It goes without saying that traveling to the City of Lights is a dream for many Aussies, but it's the kind of dream that also has a price tag on it. While Paris isn't prohibitively expensive for most travellers, it can be useful to forecast your costs if you want to enjoy a truly rewarding trip. To that end, here are all the essential things you'll need to take into consideration before booking your vacation:
Plane tickets can differ wildly according to your departure point, but if you're traveling from major airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $1000 to $1400 AUD, depending on which season you fly in. From January to March prices tend to drop a bit, while summer and fall are the most expensive seasons.
2. Airport taxis
Airport taxis are an underrated cost for freshly arrived travelers, particularly since they usually require payment in the currency of your destination. From the main Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, visitors can expect to pay around $50-$80 AUD, depending on which part of they city they want to go to. If travelling at nighttime, airport taxi fees will likely be approximately 20% higher.
3. Accommodation options
Paris's accommodation options range all the way from dingy motels to five star hotels fit for a king. That being said, an average traveller who wants something with breakfast included can usually find a room for about $200 AUD per night. Keep in mind that there are also options such as Airbnb that allow you to stay as a guest in someone's house for much lower prices.
4. Public transportation
Using public transportation is a lot cheaper than just hailing cabs all the time. You can purchase groups of individual tickets for as little as $17 AUD, which should be enough if you're only in town for a couple of days. The city's metro and bus systems are connected, so you can actually use the same tickets for both. What's more, Paris has a very extensive public transportation system, which means that you can get around the city quite well without having to rent a car or call a taxi.
5. Restaurants, pubs and cafes
Visiting chic cafes and posh restaurants is part of the Parisian tourist experience, and you'd be remiss to pass up on any opportunity to sample the famed croissants and wine that Paris is famous for. You can get away with spending anywhere from A$80 to over A$200 per day on drinks and food, depending on how lavish you want your meals to be, so make sure to set a daily limit if you want to prevent overspending.
6. Cultural expenses
Paris is well-known as a cultural haven, the kind of place where art and music are always in the air. If you want to experience it all, a full-fledged museum pass is in order. These can cost anywhere from $70 to $105 AUD, varying according to their coverage length. Be advised that most of Paris's best museums can be accessed for free on the first Sunday of each month, and year round for people under 26.
As you can see, there are several expense categories that will factor into your vacation's total cost. Some of the aforementioned factors can be pretty flexible, while others have fairly fixed values. Always take the time to properly analyze all your options if you want to get the most out of your Paris vacation.