How to get on in Paris without money? Ten tips.

Our site offers articles for different audiences. We can write about McDonald’s or Michelin starred restaurants, hostels or Ritz hotels. This article can cause people who prefer calm and decent rest indignation. But we know that some of our readers are adventurers and this information is intended for them. How can you survive in Paris, if you have no money?

How you can get to Paris from an airport cheaply

Of course, you can always steal a ride on the RER or metro, but you are likely to be fined. City buses (besides RER trains) run from Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. On some of them you can just punch a ticket for €1.70 and get to the city. Look for routs number 350 and 351 from Charles de Gaulle, and 183, 285 and 292 from Orly.

How to eat cheaply in Paris

We’ve already written a detailed article, so we see no point in repeating that information. In the past we have had lots of complaints that we had recommended McDonald’s. Anyway, it’s always overcrowded. We described the cheapest ways to eat in “Ten places in Paris where you can eat cheaply”.

Free souvenirs from Paris

It may seem strange, but Paris is actually full of free souvenirs! Where can you get them? It’s easy – for example, at the Georges Pompidou Centre of modern art. Get in at the ground floor (it’s free) and find lots of exhibitions or installations which always take place there. Sometimes you can even get something for free. On one occasion we were given our own photos at a size of 1x2 metres – completely free!

The second place in this list is the Champs-Élysées. Everything is so posh, luxurious and costly, but think about exhibition centres. Manufacturers (car concerns, sports industry) often hand out their souvenirs there: postcards, trinkets, booklets, pens or your own photos. They are great souvenirs – with the precious word “Paris” on them.

By the way, talking of cheap souvenirs. You can haggle with an afro-French street seller and get famous trinkets with a small Eiffel Tower for €1 per 6 items.

How to get a free excursion tour in Paris.

Paris offers free tours in English and some other languages. They start from the Ile de la Cité. Get off at the Cité metro station and meet guides with the signs, which tell you the language of their tour. When the group is complete, they start a walking excursion. At the end everybody donates as much money, as he or she wants.

How to save money using public transport in Paris.

We have an article “How to save your money, using public transport in Paris”, but if you really want to commute cheaply, choose a bike. There is a special transport system Vélib. Get a free map of Paris in the metro or at a station, rent a bike (€1.70 a day) and ride it. The first 30 minutes are free. Then you park your bike at any special parking, take a new one and use it for another free half an hour. Overall, Paris – is a comparatively small city, you can even explore it on foot.

How to get into Disneyland for free

We’ve already written about Disneyland tickets and different discounts, but some tourists can’t even afford special offers. Try visiting the amusement park in the afternoon, not early in the morning, as everybody else does. Arrive at between 3 and 4 pm and wait – some visitors leave the park at around that time and you can ask them for their ticket. Be honest and admit that you have no money, or lie that you’ve lost your ticket and your friends are already waiting for you inside – it’s up to you, use your imagination. Ask them to give you their ticket for free or offer some money – it will depend on your talent and acting.

How to visit museums in Paris for free

It’s easy. The first Sunday of each month is a Museum Day, when the entry to all of them (except the Louvre) is free. Also, the most places of interest (except the Eiffel Tower) are free for euro-citizens under 26 years old. For a ticket for the Louvre – you can do the same as with Disneyland. By the way, we have a list of ten free museums in Paris.

What else can you get in Paris for free?

We’ve written about it already. Read our article “ten free things in Paris!”. We’d like to emphasize, that toilets and drinking water are free in Paris – and there are plenty of them.

Where you can stay the night for free

We were once asked “Where can I set up my tent in Paris?” Here are some recommendations. First of all, don’t forget about couchsurfing. There are lots of kind Parisians, ready to share their rooms and sofas with a stranger. Then, don’t expect to be able to spend a night at a station or on a park bench – they are closed for the night. If you have no other choices, you can spend the night at the airport or set up your tent under a bridge or in some squares (for example, Place de la République), but it’s pretty dangerous.

When I was very young, I once happened to spend three hours in a sleeping bag at a bus stop – just because I didn’t know the timetable. Then the police arrived and offered me to spend the night in a bunkhouse. Maybe, such a choice will be suitable for you. But be aware that you could be fines. As we’ve already said, you can steal rides, but you really are setting yourself up to be caught and made to pay a fine of €50. Also it’s illegal, so we don’t recommend it – by any means.

That’s it – all our tips for amateur adventurers!

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