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Paris for under RM300 a day: budget itinerary from KL

Paris, the City of Light, is the most visited city in the world with over 27 million tourist arrivals annually. Enjoy a Paris holiday and visit globally famous tourist attractions such as the Louvre and the iconic Eiffel Tower, climb the towers of Notre Dame before exploring Marché aux Puces St Ouen flea market and dining on amazing food in trendy Marais. Paris can be eye-wateringly expensive but we promise, you won’t need to break the bank for your vacation with Skyscanner’s budget itinerary to Paris from KL.

Cheap flights to Paris

When to go to Paris:

Autumn is a great time for a getaway (September to October) in Paris as the city often has excellent weather and hosts a variety of notable events such as Nuite Blanche (all-night cultural events for free) and the Montmartre Wine Harvest. Winter, though cold, can bring hotel prices tumbling is a great time to travel to Paris on a budget and see festive Christmas markets and lights. Those in the mood for a spot of romance in France may wish to plan their Paris vacation for spring (March to June), though this is when the tourists begin to flood the city. Summer promises long nights, crowded Paris attractions and scorching weather.

How to get into Paris from the airport:

Bus: The cheapest way to the city from Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport is the Easy Bus which heads to Le Palais Royale in town. You can book tickets online for RM22 (€4.95) or from the driver for RM46 (€10). Buses leave the airport every half an hour to 45 minutes. The journey takes 60-90 minutes depending on traffic. Book your easyBus ticket here.

Train: Hop on the RER commuter train from Charles De Gaulle airport Terminal 3 for train connections to Gare Du Nord. Trains cost RM46 (€10), they depart every 8 minutes and the journey takes around 35 minutes.

How to get around Paris:

Metro: The Metro (Metropolitan) is one of the densest underground train systems in the world with 245 stations crammed into 87 km square. The good news for visitors is that this makes it easy to get around. Single fares cost RM8 (€1.80), which can get expensive if you are doing a lot of travelling, so we recommend picking up a carnet (booklet) of 10 single tickets for RM68 (€14.80). These tickets can be shared with friends and are valid for up to a year. Buy carnet at any metro station in the city. Alternatively, buy a Paris Visite Pass offering unlimited travel in the city for one day (€12.30/RM57), two days (€20/RM92) or three days (€27.30/RM126).

Find out more about the Paris Visite pass here

Check Paris Metro maps here

Paris Bird's-eye view

How to visit Paris for under RM300 a day:

Note: This price does not include return flights from Kuala Lumpur. The cheapest return ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Paris costs around RM2,244.

Suggested duration: 3 days/2 nights

Accommodation: 2 nights at the Plug-Inn Boutique Hostel at around RM276 (€60)

Food: Around RM345 (€75)

Admission tickets: RM78 (€17)

Transport: Around RM197 (€42.80) including transport to and from the airport

Total for 3 days/2 nights in Paris: Around RM897 (€194.8)

Where to stay in Paris:

Plug-Inn Boutique Hostel: If you want to get a feel for arty Montmartre on your Paris vacation, this hostel is the perfect choice for you. Located down a quiet side street in this cool district, this recently renovated hostel has comfortable, functional six-bed dorms, a female dorm and triples for groups of three travelling together. All dorms are en-suite so you don’t need to traipse down a corridor with a towel wrapped around you at 7am. Splash out a bit more on a double to enjoy TV and a spot of privacy in the hostel’s double rooms. Breakfast included and fast Wi-Fi throughout. Bring your sketch pad and get artsy in Montmartre!

Prices: Beds from RM137 (€30)

Address: 7 Rue Aristide Bruant, 75018 Paris, France

How to get there: Blanche Metro

Visit their website: Plug-Inn Boutique Hostel

Book Plug-Inn

Read more: Malaysians can explore Europe even without the Schengen Visa

What to do in Paris:

Day 1:

1a. Do: Go on a free tour with a Parisian.

What better way to start your visit to Paris than with a free tour. Paris Greeters run free walking tours of the city led by their volunteers, passionate locals who want visitors to get the most out of the city they love. Tours are not fixed to any set location or theme, so take this opportunity to be surprised by the tour and to be shown parts of the city not normally seen by other tourists. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of six, so you may be alone with a guide, or you may meet some new pals.

Register for your free Paris walking tour with Paris Greeters

Pianist in streets of Paris

_See another side of Paris with a free tour led by a passionate local. Photo credit: Vincent Anderlucci / Flickr_

1b. Eat: Grab a bistro lunch at Le Bougainville

A short walk from the Louvre in the chic and elegant Galerie Vivienne, Le Bougainville serves up hearty French fare the way grandmother makes it. This bright and airy restaurant is a classic bistro with formica tables and red faux leather banquettes that looks unchanged since the 1950s, and with retro prices to match. Snap up a 3-course set lunch (formule) of French favourites such as steak and fries, duck confit, chocolate mousse and indulge in a bit of Parisian people watching. Though this place is busy, you’ll always be able to snag a table as the dining room is huge.

Top tip: When eating at a French restaurant but feeling cautious about your pennies, make sure you fill yourself up by ordering more of the free bread and carafes of tap water to go with your meal.

Le Bougainville

Prices: Formule (set lunches) from around RM82 (€18)

Address: 5 Rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris, France

How to get there: Bourse Metro

1c. Shop: Drop into Marché aux Puces St Ouen flea market

This huge flea market is said to be one the largest markets in Europe (it claims to be the largest antiques market on earth) and has a history dating back into the late 1800s. There are over 2500 different market stalls, grouped into 14 specialist market areas such as Marché Malik, known for its cool clothes or the Marché Antica which is stuffed with beautiful French antiques. The Marché Biron has over 220 stalls specialising in antiques from the 17th century from across the world and is a great place to get lost for a few hours. The flea market is an absolute feast for the eyes, and a test of the willpower not to buy buy buy!

Entrance fee: Free

Address: 138/140 Rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint-Ouen, France

How to get there: Porte de Clignacourt

Visit their website: Marché aux Puces St Ouen

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1d. Do: Go to Basilica Sacré-Coeur for an incredible Parisian sunset.

The Basilica Sacré-Coeur is one of Paris’s most iconic monuments and is well worth visiting at any time of day. We suggest a late afternoon visit on a clear day so that you can experience the finest sunsets the city has to offer. Just getting up to the basilica can be quite an experience; the steps are dotted with buskers, artists and selfie sticks. Once you are inside, marvel at the ceiling mosaic, the largest in France and download the free audio guide to accompany you on your visit. We suggest paying the entry fee to access the dome, which is 130 metres high and accessed by 234 spiralling steps that seem to go on for all eternity. The reward for those burned calories at the top is an extraordinary 360-degree panorama of the city which is simply perfect at sunset.

Entrance fee: Entrance to the basilica is free but you must pay RM27 (€6) to access the dome.

Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France

How to get there: Anvers Metro

Download free audio guide here

Visit their website: Basilica Sacré-Coeur

Paris skyline including Sacre-couer

_Head to the dome of the Basilica Sacré-Coeur for awesome city views. Photo credit: Yann Caradec / Flickr_

1e. Do: Go clubbing at Chez Moune in Pigalle

Chez Moune opened its doors in 1936 in the red-light district of Pigalle as a women-only club attracting the likes of celebrated singer Edith Piaf. The club expanded its operations in 2008 to become a more eclectic night spot pulling in crowds of Parisian hipsters and trendy clubbers who come for the laid back vibes, the slightly haunting cabaret theatre environment and an eclectic music selection of live bands and DJs. The drinks menu is pleasingly short, the entrance is free and things don’t wrap up until late so wear your most comfortable trainers for a night of wild Parisian clubbing.

Entrance fee: Free

Address: 54 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, France

How to get there: Pigalle Metro

Find out what’s on at Chez Moune here

Read more: Enjoy everyday deals on Skyscanner, minus the travel fair crowds

Day 2:

2a. Do: Have a spiritual morning at Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Attracting more than 14 million tourists annually, this is the most popular free attraction in Paris, and justifiably so. Building was started in 1163 and several extensive renovations have been carried out in the 850 years since, most notably after the French revolution caused significant damage. Though the cathedral is noted for its sublime symmetry, if you peel your eyes you will notice a lot of quirky features that, in true Gothic style, were added to break the tedium of the symmetry. Look for the beautiful stained glass windows and hunt down relics, and, if your legs and wallet are up for it, climb the 400 steps to the north tower to come face to face with wonderfully terrifying gargoyles and incredible views of the city. The cathedral is considered the heart of Paris and indeed France, and the bronze star by the main entrance marks the point from which all distances in France are measured. Join the locals and step on the star, close your eyes and make a wish as the star is supposed to bring good luck.

Entrance: Free (Entrance to the tower €8.50/RM40)

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

How to get there: Cité Metro

Visit their website: Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

Gargoyle at top of Notre dame

2b. Do: If it’s the first Sunday of the month, head to a museum!

Since 2000, Paris’s museums have flung their doors open to the public for free on the first Sunday of every month. Plan to arrive early to beat the queues and select the museums you are most interested in exploring; you’ll be able to cram in serious amounts of the world’s best art. If you are not in Paris on the first Sunday of the month, it might be worth splashing out a bit on the chance to see some of the world’s finest art.

The Louvre: The world’s largest and most visited museum with over 35,000 works of art on display. A visit here takes some planning as it would take a whole day just to walk around the museum. The Mona Lisa is in here, though parked away behind a bullet proof screen and a perpetual crowd of tourists. Take some time to explore the artwork of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, the French Romantics or the Italian Renaissance.

Entrance fee: Free on first Sunday of the month (RM69/€15 on other days)

Visit their website to find out more: The Louvre

How to get there: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre Metro

Night view of the Louvre

Go for an art extravaganza at the world’s largest museum. Photo credit: Joe deSousa / Flickr

Musée d’Orsay: Housed in a former railway station, a visit here is a must for any art fan as the museum is home to a huge collection including works by Monet, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Renoir and more. The museum has recently been spruced up with the top floor devoted to impressionists and the middle floor left for Art Nouveau, Neoimpressionism and Naturalism.

Entrance fee: Free on first Sunday of the month (RM32/€8 on other days)

Address: 62 rue de Lille, 75343 Paris Cedex 07, France

How to get there: Musée d’Orsay Metro

Visit their website: Musée D’Orsay

2c. Eat: Get your hands on a tasty falafel sandwich

Paris is normally associated with haute cuisine but the ethnic food scene here has really taken off in the past few years. Keep an eye out for Khmer, north African and Vietnamese dishes which reflect France’s colonial history. We recommend making a pilgrimage out to hip Marais to hunt down a falafel sandwich at L’As du Fallafel. This Middle-eastern restaurant is located in Paris’s Jewish quarter and attracts a steady crowd of hungry punters eager to get their hands on a sandwich stuffed with falafel (deep fried chickpea balls) smothered in tahini and stuffed in a pita bread. Check out the celebs on the wall and banter with the waiters, dining here is a fun and loose affair.

Meals start at: RM39 (€8.50)

Address: 34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France

How to get there: Saint Paul Metro

Paris cafe

2d. Do: Head up the Eiffel Tower

Possibly the most famous tourist attraction on the planet, the Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline of Paris. Built in 1888, by Gustav Eiffel, it was almost pulled down in the early 20th century but was saved and used as a telegraph antenna. To get the best pics of your Eiffel Tower experience, we recommend approaching it from the Champ de Mars which has beautiful views. The queues can get long so we advise booking a ticket online and beating the queue. However, if you miss your timeslot, your ticket will become invalid so be punctual.

Entrance fee: RM78 (€17)

How to get there: Bir-Hakeim Metro

Visit their website: The Eiffel Tower

Download a free audio guide here

Eiffel Tower

Read more: Top 10 things to see, do and eat in France

Day 3:

3a. Tantalise your tastebuds with a trip to a Parisian food market

The Marche des Enfants Rouges has a well-established history having been set up in 1600 and is the oldest covered market in France. The name when translated into English means the Market of Red Children and comes from the red clothes that were donated to children in a nearby orphanage. Now, this place is the haunt of market addicts and foodies who come to hunt down bargain regional French food and offerings from Europe and beyond. If you are looking for snacks rather than meals, there are plenty of stalls selling regional artisanal fare (think cheese, wine, meats) and a morning spent trawling and gobbling makes for a perfect Parisian experience.

Address: 39 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France

How to get there: Filles du Calvaire Metro

3b. Visit a countryside chateau at Sceaux

Pack a picnic lunch with your goodies from your morning market trip and hop on a train from Châtelet to Sceaux where you will find a beautiful chateau with guided tours available in the afternoons at 3pm. The chateau was once owned by the second-most important person in France, Jean-Baptiste Colbert , who developed the chateau and hired Le Nôtre, landscaper of Versailles, to design the stunning grounds which are free to enter, perfect for a picnic and a bit of a breather from city living.

Entrance fee: Entrance to the grounds is free. Guided tour of the chateau is RM27 (€6)

How to get there: Take a train from Châtelet to Sceaux (RM25/€5.50) return, 30 mins on RER Line B

Visit their website: Domaine de Sceaux

Cheap flights to Paris

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Published June 2016. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.