On this page, we look at the cost of travel in France. Read on for a suggested shoestring and more comfortable France backpacking budget. We also have information about the currency and some sample prices around the country in 2023.
France Cost of Travel in 2023
France on a Budget – How much do you need?
There is no getting away from the fact that France is one of the most expensive countries to travel in. In terms of backpacking costs in Europe, only certain Scandinavian countries and Switzerland clearly come out as being more costly.
There is a large amount of regional variation though so by limiting the amount of time you spend in Paris or the swankier tourist towns in the Alps or on the French Riviera, you can help to keep your costs down. Couchsurfing is also a smart option as high accommodation costs can really eat into any France backpacking budget.
Eating out can also be very expensive so you have to be a bit smart in terms of which places you go to, but restricting your budget to 70 Euros per day isn’t impossible by any means. Staying in hostels with kitchen facilities will help you save a lot while getting a France rail or coach pass could also help to cut costs if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the country. Alternatively, consider planning your trip more rigidly in advance as booking train and bus tickets a few weeks before you travel will often cut down your transport costs quite significantly.
More Comfortable France Backpacking Budget
If you’re an experienced budget traveller, you shouldn’t have any problem sticking to the previous budget unless you are really looking to rush through the country and see as much as possible in a short time. Upping it towards 90 Euros and you can probably afford to spend an extra day or two in Paris as well as visit places like Monaco and the trendy beach towns in the South although you may exceed 90 Euros on those specific days if you’re eating and drinking out.
If you’re visiting France in the winter then an increased budget gives you some freedom to perhaps head into the Alps for a day or two of skiing. Your best bet is probably to head to Grenoble, rated as one of the best cities to live in France, and use that as your base for getting to the ski resorts.
France Travel Costs
|Interrail France Pass (8 Days in a Month)||€271 (Adults), €235 (Youths 12-27)|
|Bus from Marseille to Nice (2 hours 30 mins)||From €20|
|Meal in an affordable local restaurant||€12-18|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||€5-7|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From €25/night|
|Budget private room||From €40/night|
|Entrance to the Louvre Museum in Paris (buy online to guarantee entrance)||€17 (Under 18 or Under 26 EEA residents can enter for free)|
|Travel insurance for backpacking France||From US$42 per 4 week period with SafetyWing (18-39 year olds).|
Prices in France are high when compared to the cost of travel in Greece for example, but they are only marginally greater than what you might need for an Ireland backpacking budget. Accommodation will probably be your biggest expense with few good budget options in the major towns and cities.
Money – Euros
£1 = €1.13
US$1 = €0.93
France uses the Euro and these exchange rates are correct as of March 2023. Contactless payments via debit/credit card are widely accepted.
This information on the cost of travel in France was last updated in March 2023.
6 thoughts on “France Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel (2023)”
hi, I’m Leo from Indonesia.
Next year on Summer I’m going to go to Taize. after that, I’m going to enjoy more cities in France for 2 or 3 days. Can you tell me the best place or city that I can visit?
And if you know, can I get the cheap hostel in there?
Thankyou very much
Hi Leo, Not really an expert on France but if you’ve come all the way from Indonesia, it would be a shame not to see Paris. Then maybe depending on your interests/how much time you have, you could either head into the Alps, which are not so far from Taize or to the French Riviera but really depends what you’re interested in. If anyone reading this has less obvious suggestions please share!
You can find hostels in all the major cities with dorm-style accommodation but it won’t be cheap, particularly in summer. The article mentions 20 Euro/night for a dorm bed and I’d think that would be cheaper than average during the peak summer months at least.
1. Eat your main meal at noon. Lunch menus are much cheaper than dinner menus.
2. Get out of Paris (and the other big cities). Life is pretty cheap where I live (Carcassonne). There are so many things to see and do, and pretty much the whole country is gorgeous, so you can’t go wrong.
Great advices! Can you suggest some cheap restaurants?It would be great, i`m going to fly to Paris in October.
Listen to the Earful Tower podcast. They just did an episode on eating cheaply in Paris.
Thanks so much!