Cost of one month in Paris

Cost of one month in Paris

The last time I did one of this posts was when I documented my time in Guatemala, where I spent a mind-boggling €789 in 30 days. Clearly, that was just to prepare me for the earth-shattering costs of living in Paris.

I allowed myself a couple of weeks to settle into my new French life and then documented all of my expenditure for March. I will be returning to France in August, but I’m considering options outside of Paris – purely due to the immense cost of living here. I knew it would be expensive, but still. Compared to London, almost everything is more expensive.

So, without further ado, here is my total expenditure for March 2016.



€493 ($560)


€284 ($323)

Dining out/entertainment

€193 ($219)


€70 ($80)

Gym membership

€51 ($58)

Language school

€416 ($473)


€603 ($685)

Phone bill

€40 ($45)


€77 ($88)


€2227 ($2531)


  • My rent here is significantly lower than what it was in London, however, it is important to note that I’m staying just outside the city border. I live right next to a train station, which takes me to Saint Lazare (one of the main central stations in Paris) in eight minutes. I really want to live in Montmartre, but I’d be looking at paying double what I am now.
  • Groceries are insanely expensive. Consequently, I’ve started eating less meat and generally less overall. It’s not like I can’t afford to eat but, on principle, I refuse to pay €9 for two chicken breasts, €1 for a banana or €3 for a single-serve pack of rice. I’ve been eating more rotisserie chickens, eggs, tinned tuna and legumes (I feel like a student again!). Not surprisingly, bread and cheese are very cheap, so I never have to worry about going hungry.


  • Obviously, eating out is also very expensive. For example, the place I go for breakfast charges €10 for a croissant and an espresso. For a meal at a moderately-priced restaurant, you’re looking at about €30-40 per head, including a drink. Oh yeah, and a can of Coke at a restaurant is €6-7 so you’re better off drinking wine. Even grabbing a take-away crepe will set you back €5-6. Eating out has now become a special treat – I miss the days of €5 meals in Antigua and Split!
But steak tartare is so delicious...

But steak tartare is so delicious…


This cost €15. Yes, really.

  • I have only started dancing again this month (mainly because I’ve been so busy!), so classes are notably missing from March’s budget. One class here will set you back €25-35, which is just insane considering I paid less than €10 per class in London and €8 for a private lesson in Antigua.
  • I have a Navigo Découverte pass, which allows me unlimited travel on public transport for zones one through five for the whole month. I’m actually surprised that it is as cheap as it is.
  • I got a really good deal on my gym (most are €80-120 a month) but, as you should be able to tell by now, it is terrible.
  • My French course is nine hours per week, at a cost of about €100 a week. I will continue with classes in Morocco but, for almost the same price, I will be taking 20 hours of classes per week.
  • I haven’t really bought any new clothes since I started travelling in June, so I desperately needed to replace some things last month, including a very expensive pair of sunglasses. This may have skewed my budget somewhat.


  • Getting a sim card here was a nightmare. I have a BlackBerry (I know, I know) and three out of the five French mobile phone providers don’t even have sim cards which are suitable for my phone. Orange wanted €80 a month, but I managed to find a cheaper deal with Bouygues. €40/month is still outrageous for just a sim card, but it is what it is.
  • My miscellaneous costs were a haircut (€41), wax (€23) and dry-cleaning (€13).
  • The only reason I’m not worried about going bankrupt is because I’ve sandwiched my time in Paris between two very cheap places: Guatemala and Morocco.

Have you been to Paris? Did you find it expensive?

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