Paris France Trip | Value, Experiences, and Cost

Share with Someone! (They need to know about this)
1 10

Paris…is well…if you’ve ever been there…you’ll know. Disappointing. It’s very expensive and not a very nice atmosphere.

Cost Per Day


Number of Days On Trip


Total Trip Cost


1 10

We stayed in a shared airbnb house and cooked our meals there. We, of course, had to get Baguettes daily from the patisserie. 

1 10

Considering we stayed outside Paris, we had a different culture experience than staying in Paris central. Melun had a local town vibe that was more welcoming than Paris central. 

1 10

Within Paris, we were wary of our belongings but we didn’t have any issues. Our airbnb in Melun was extremely comfortable and relaxing. 

1 10

Paris is a European hub of transportation, especially trains. There’s multiple train stations and operators so it is important to check your train tickets! The Metro and RER is super efficient but expensive at €2.10 per ride.


Leaving from Kortrijk, we pulled into Paris Gare Du Nord station. Our airbnb was in Melun which is about 30 minutes to the south from Paris by Train. To catch a train to head south, we needed to make our way to Gare De Lyon, the southern main train station. Luckily for us, the train was included in our Eurail pass but…..unluckily for us, they had ticket gates. With the Eurail pass, we only have a QR code that works on some ticket gates but certainly not these ones.

After sneaking through behind someone else ignoring the siren, we hightailed it to our airbnb. It was actually really nice having people in the shared airbnb space to hang out, play cards, talk too etc. We had our own room and 3 bathrooms for a total of 8 people so not too shabby!

Our Shared Airbnb

Ok, back to the itinerary! We did explore Melun a bit and highly suggest it as a Paris base and here’s why:

  • 30 minute train ride on the RER or the Transilion regional train to central Paris
  • A smaller town vibe
  • River Seine goes right through the town
  • Beautiful churches and even a Chateau within town
Riverside of Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame

Besides exploring Melun, we hit all the classic Paris sights and even did a bit of geochaching near the Eiffel Tower. We tried to go on the rooftop of shopping mall that Amber saw on instagram but we were definitely at the wrong one….whoops. 

The Palace of Versaille was on the list to check off but…..we didn’t end up paying to go inside. Instead, we headed around the gardens and building to the free park entrance. At least it is free for people on foot. it is not as glamourous as the gardens or the palace but you can get to the grand canal and enjoy a nice picnic. I wouldn’t suggest what we did if you are expecting to see the palace…without a 30x telephoto camera lense. 

Château de Fontainebleau

Instead, we went to the Château de Fontainebleau! Just our luck, the Château was free to enter on the day we went due to some art appreciation festival. Otherwise, it is €14 for adults to enter. There’s so much more history there than the Palace of Versaille. It is quite accessible too. There is a train station in the city of Fontainebleau but I suggest catching a bus from the staion to get to the Château as its a 35 minute walk.

Unique Opportunities and Experiences

I am so happy we did not stay in central Paris! The beauty of France really lies in its countryside, small towns, and Châteaus.

We went geocaching in Paris which is always a good way to get some history of the places you are in. 

If you are on the fence about doing a shared airbnb house, we recommend trying it once! It is something in between a really nice hostel and your own personal airbnb. Hopefully you get enjoyable roommates who want to make dinner together or play games! We met a guy who comes to Melun often and stays in this same house every time. He creates websites and told us to grab a beer at one of his clients pubs. I don’t think France calls them pubs, but that’s what I am going to call them. 

Trip Cost Breakdown

Item Category Cost
Public Transportation
Enterprise Rent a Car
Rental Car and Taxi
Foreign Transaction Fee
Service Fee
AMS Distri
Public Transportation
Alcohol and Bars

Cost Saving Opportunities

There are so many fresh markets and patisseries in France, it’s hard to spend more then a €1 on a baguette. Go to the supermarket and grab some sandwich stuff and have a picnic! Restaurants are so expensive in Paris especially around the tourist attractions. We did run across a farmers market walking in Paris so they do exist in the city!

Take public transit. I think that’s an obvious one but seriously. You can get to so many other cities by taking trains and possibly a bus. The higher speed trains, TGV InOui and Thalys, are not the only options if you are trying to traverse a long distance. SNCF is the major train operator in France. They offer not only TGV, but also Intercités trains. They are a cheaper but slower alternative. All trains from paris seem to book up really quick so we highly recommend buying you tickets and/or seat reservations as far in advance as you can.

This was an excellent trip. This one is also amazing!

Scroll to Top