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Jun 16, 2008 06:06 AM

Paris on a budget

Hello dear Parisians!
I will be backpacking in Europe from mid-June to August, and I am spending my 10 first days in Paris. I feel it's one of my most important destinations, given that I am from Quebec and have mostly French ancestry. I'm still a student, therefore my budget is limited. I was wondering if you know of good cheap restaurants, markets and Parisian culinary musts. If it helps, I'll be staying at a hostel in the 15th district (15 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, I think), but will be moving around during the day (Versailles, les Invalides, the Louvre, etc.).
Feel free to include travelling tips about Europe in general or information on how to get a cheap international cellphone.

Thank you very much!

P.S. If you feel more comfortable answering in French, I can send you my e-mail (I'm not sure the site allows posting in French)

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  1. There are lots of threads on budget recommendations if you do a search. You may make your own discovery in the 15e. This arrondissement is less touristy than many of the others and prices should be less touristy as well. The hostel will probably have some nearby cheap reco's.

    You can get a fairly inexpensive phone from Orange and FNAC (chain stores all over the place). Its not as easy as just buying a prepaid phone (ie Bourne Ultimatum). You have to have a credit card though. But clearly the least expensive option would be to get a phone card from a tabac and use public phones.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Brunella

      "There are lots of threads on budget recommendations if you do a search."

      Actually, I've done a search, and the only posts on inexpensive restaurants in Paris I have found are from 2001 and 2005.

      1. re: Hoc

        while some of the budget post below may include suggestions out of your budget (you probably want to spend less than 100/day), you can pick and choose from them. your best bet would be to get a lunch special and then have a picnic or sandwich for dinner. since you'll be in different spots each day at lunchtime, i would make a list of some inexpensive recs in each area. in the marais, you should try l'as du falafel on rue rosiers, cafe du musée on rue turenne has a 13 euro entree+plat lunch special that will keep you full most of the day, breizh on rue vieille du temple has amazing crepes, le coude fou on rue du bourg-tibourg has a lunch special (i believe it's 12 euro for entree+plat or plat+dessert and either wine or coffee - it's a pretty good deal, but the food isn't as good as at the other recs, imo).
        l'encrier, on rue traversière (in the 12th, right on the border of the 11th) has a lunch special that's also around 13euro and is quite good (they have great confit de canard)
        le bar à soupe on rue de charonne near the bastille (11th) serves a huge bowl of soup, bread, coffee or wine, and your choice of a salad (they often have either lentil or chickpea salads), cheese, dessert, or whatever else they've made that day for 9 euro. a big bowl of soup may not sound like a lot, but i always leave full.
        rose bakery, 46 rue des martyrs (you have to look carefully, there's not a big sign) is a great stop for lunch or an afternoon tea while in montmartre. there's also a fantastic boulangerie right across the street that has amazing tomato and mustard tarts for a few euros (i can't think of the name, but it's on a corner right across from rose bakery on rue des martyrs)
        hopefully this will give you a good start!

        1. re: patz

          Wow, thanks so much, Patz! Im in Paris right now, but sadly havent really eaten restaurant food yet. Ive been focused on bakeries and cheap groceries. I have, however, seen many cheap lunch specials, so I think it should be fine. I think I will have a late lunch today, maybe try out one of your recs. Groceries, however, are ridiculously expensive! Almost 3 euros for a broccoli? Please.

          Tomorrow I will be in the Latin Quarter, does it match any of your recs?

          Thanks again for your post!

          1. re: gremlin2

            i can't think of anything in the latin quarter that is both inexpensive and edible! if you find anything, let me know! another thing to do is find one of the markets - they usually have people selling prepared foods, crepes, falafel; etc for fairly inexpensive. some markets, like the marché des enfants rouges (which is in the 3rd so won't do you much good tomorrow), have a bunch of food stands where you can get a big plate of food for under 10 euro (moroccan, italian, bio, french...)