A Frugal 48 Hours in Paris

So, y’all know that Paris was my dream adventure. Aaaannnd my flight was unbelievably cheap ($467, thanks to one of Scott’s alerts). Still, my frugal self refused to spend more than $1k on the total trip, so I decided to limit myself to just two nights in the City of Lights. I know, I know. Two nights?? In Paris?? That’s it?? That’s it. But I’m a time-efficient traveler and knew I could make it work.

With my flight arriving in Paris around noon on a Saturday, and my return flight requiring airport check-in by 10 a.m. on Monday, I had slightly less than 48 hours to work with. Challenge accepted.

Step 1: Find a centrally located and inexpensive place to stay. Airbnb for the win! I scored the most darling studio apartment that was a literal 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. The damage? $98 bucks a night.

Step 2: Build an itinerary that maximized every second of those 48 hours and included all the things at the top of my Paris must-do list. I’m not gonna lie, folks. The final draft was a thing of beauty. Truly. But, more importantly, I actually did every single thing on that itinerary and still made time for spontaneity – like enjoying a street crepe along the Seine, with a glowing Eiffel Tower in full view.


And so, without further ado, I give you my (less than) 48 hour Paris trip itinerary:


  • 12 p.m. flight lands
  • 2:30 p.m. check into Airbnb
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought a bag of fruit from a market down the street
  • Walk to Eiffel Tower & climb to 2nd level (I couldn’t get tickets to the summit. Boo.)
  • Watch sunset from Eiffel (Yeah, we’re on a first name basis.)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought that street crepe I mentioned above (Pure banana, Nutella bliss.)
  • Walk to Arc de Triomphe (Approx. 1 mile)
  • Window shop fancy stores on Champs Elysees
  • Walk back to Airbnb for the night (Approx. 1.5 miles)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Sushi to-go for a late meal (because a crepe is not dinner)



  • 9 a.m. Leave Airbnb
  • Metro to (what Google Maps told me was) THE ‘lock bridge’ – but no locks! (I later learned they were removed due to weight.)
  • Walk to Notre Dame (I totally lucked out because Sunday mass was in session when I arrived!)
  • Eat escargot (This was literally on my itinerary. When in Paris!)
  • Vintage shopping at three different stores I researched online: Vintage Desir (just eh), Free’P’Star (didn’t buy anything), and Kilo Shop (so highly recommend!)
  • Walk to the Louvre (I didn’t tour the museum. I just had to see the pyramid!)
  • Walk back to Airbnb (almost 2 miles)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Stopped at a fun stationary shop and purchased a card that caught my eye
  • Nighttime farewell visit to Eiffel Tower (to meet a friend who happened to be in Paris, too!)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Dinner at a café with Eiffel views (Gotta eat somewhere!)
  • Walk back to Airbnb for the night




Technically, this should only read:

  • Buy macarons at a patisserie
  • Take Metro to airport

But, I had planned to check in three hours before my flight and literally said “Screw it” as I left the bakery with those coveted macarons. Rolling my suitcase down the sidewalk, I breezed right past the Metro entrance and made a beeline for the Eiffel Tower instead. You see, I’d planned to latch a lock onto the famous love locks bridge – but, as you read above, that didn’t happen. Despite not having a significant other, I was determined to leave a lock in Paris to represent my future love. (Sappy? Maybe. But I’m hopeful that the guy I give the key to someday will find it romantic.) Anyway, I refused to get on that plane with the lock still in my possession. I just couldn’t. And, the Eiffel Tower seemed a logical – and even more ideal – alternative to the bridge.

Foggy Eiffel     Love Lock

As I rounded a corner and Eiffel came into view, I audibly gasped. The tip of the tower was covered by fog! I’d gushed over sooo many Insta shots of the tower in fog, and to see it in person was quite honestly the perfect way to end the trip. Back to the lock, though. Nearing the base of the tower, I stopped at a small, fenced-in park and decided to attach my lock to the fence. It just felt right. After snapping a few photos of the lock for my someday guy, I rushed back toward the Metro station – pausing spontaneously along the way to snap distance shots of Eiffel in the fog – and made it to the airport with an hour and a half to spare. Whew!

Thus concludes my whirlwind, 48 hour Paris itinerary. And, I’m happy to report that I stayed within my $1,000 budget, coming in at $930!

In my next post, I’ll detail my top recommendations and share what else I would have done if I’d had another day. But, for now, I bid you adieu.

6 thoughts on “A Frugal 48 Hours in Paris

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