I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Paris. Some of which include:
When’s the best time to go? Spring, Summer and Fall when everything in bloom.
Where are the best places to visit? Giverny is a must, Versailles too.
How much will it cost me? Well that depends, but here’s how much it costs me.
Where should I stay? Take your pick and read on.
Where should I shop? (See my Thrifting in Paris Guide for That Golden Nugget of Information)
But I thought it would be cool to document my expenses for all of the 6 days that I was in Paris, sort of like those neat A Week on This Salary articles that Refinery 29 bates me with each week. This will be lengthy but very informative and I think it will give you some insight in to all the questions above and help you to be more financially responsible than I was during my trip.
ROUND TRIP FLIGHT TO PARIS FROM NEW YORK: $423.16 purchased via JustFly.com on June 21st 13 weeks before my trip to Paris. It’s seems prices are lower on Tuesdays and the sweet spot is about 11-15 weeks prior to your trip for the lowest price.
SUNDAY DAY 1
1:15pm: I Arrive in Paris Sunday afternoon at 1pm after a 7 hour overnight flight. I sleep during the flight to help acclimate myself to Paris time with ease. We are served a breakfast that is unmemorable and I was relieved at how smooth the flight was. I enjoyed it so much I tweeted XL Airways France and the awesome pilot of flight 61 from NYC to Paris. I have $300 in cash on me and like an idiot I exchange all of it at the airport in Paris. My $300 only gets me $211 Euros after fees, WOMP WOMP. Why the hell I just didn’t take money out of the bank in Paris and incur just a $5 fee for using an international bank is beyond me. I just lost $90 damn dollars. I am pissed, but I’m in Paris so it’s okay!
1:45pm UBER from Charles de Gualle Airport (CDG) to my first accommodations at Hotel Chavanel (UBER $35.41)
2:30pm I arrive at Hotel Chavanel and instantly love it. There is champagne and a variety of salted nuts waiting for me along with a sweet note from the owner Sophie and a lovely diffuser that smells exactly like the hotel. I get acclimated to my digs and hit the streets walking to the Tuileries, The Louvre and Palais Royal. I then head back to my hotel to try out the rainfall shower.
9:00pm I get dressed and go have dinner at La Madeleine. After dinner I head back to my room. I’m exhausted but not too exhausted to not try the jacuzzi tub and finish that bottle of complimentary wine. I soak and I promptly fall asleep. But thanks to the tiny bell of a WhatsApp message being received from my boo, I wake up finish my wine and head to bed. (DINNER $20.04 I leave a $5.00 tip Total: $25.04)
DAY 1 Expenses: $60. 45 Dinner was paid for in cash from the dollar to euro exchange at the airport
MONDAY DAY 2
8:30am Hotel Chavanel has provided me with complimentary breakfast in their awesome dinning room. I have smoked salmon, a croissant with goat cheese, fresh figs, prunes and apricots, 2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice and a cup of coffee. Paris has the worst coffee ever. I haven’t found a cup that I liked in the handful of times I’ve visited. I decide to do some shopping.
9:15am I buy a bouquet of white flowers from the Madeleine flower market. How very Parisian of me. This is my idea of shopping, although I did pop into Gucci to see if they had the sandals I wanted. Thank God they didn’t because my budgeting would be non existent if they did. The Madeleine area, more specific Rue Royale has tons of shops and is in walking distance to all the major attractions. I also stop in Eres who has the best quality bathing suits but that are way out of my price range at 300 Euros (I have a trip to Bermuda in a few weeks). Then pop over into Printemps (located a mere block away from Hotel Chavanel) to see if they have any deals. They don’t but I so love their dinning room colored glass ceilings. (Bouquet of Flowers $12)
11:45am I pack and check out of Hotel Chavanel. The 1 night stay was complimentary. I just have to pay taxes which cost me a whooping (Hotel Taxes $3)
12:00pm UBER Pool from Hotel Chavanel to Hotel Adele & Jules ($6.72)
12: 15pm Arrive to Hotel Adele & Jules and again fall in love and may never stay in an Airbnb again. I am greeted with a sweet card and a box of chocolate. I stuff two chocolates in my mouth and quickly change clothes. I have a long 2 hour shoot ahead with 4 looks planned.
12:30pm We shoot the first look close to hotel. It’s very interesting shooting in the streets in Paris, but not as bad as shooting in the streets in Harlem. It was actually quite fun. I think it mostly had to do with how instantly my photographer Tatyana and I connected. Found her on instagram and hopped into her DMs to set up my Paris shoots.
12:45pm Quickly change into next outfit, pack a bag of the next few looks and get an Uber Pool to the next location which is a bit far thus the pool. We are going to a famous street with the most breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower Rue de Camoens. UBER pool to the second location where we shoot two looks at two different locations within walking distance of each other. I change in an alley like the G that I am. (UBER Pool $12.48)
1:45pm UBER to Final Location, Canal St. Martin where we shoot final look and then pop into Chez Prune (my favorite restaurant in Paris) to upload the photos and have a much needed coffee. (UBER Pool $14.60)
2:30pm Tatyana has a coffee. I order some type of sauteed fish, in some delicious sauce with some vegetables and other things and a coke. Most of their meals are between 13 and 15 Euros made with fresh ingredients. The menu changes daily and sometimes I close my eyes and pick from the menu. It doesn’t matter what you get, everything is delicious. Then I pay Tatyana for her amazing work. (Lunch at Chez Prune $19.50 + $4 Tip = 23.50), (Photography Fee: 150 Euros/168 Dollars for 2 hours)
*I should note your photography session comes complete with all photos as well as 20 photoshopped ones.
3:30pm I am exhausted but I walk around Canal St. Martin a bit stopping at my favorite bookstore. I walk to the train station and buy a book of 10 metro tickets. I then head back to Hotel Adele & Jules and get there just in time for complimentary tea time in the dinning area and a banana to go. (Metro Tickets $10.72)
DAY 2 Expenses: $251.02
TUESDAY DAY 3
7:00am I have requested my breakfast be delivered to the room and it is promptly at 7am. I have arranged another shoot with Tatyana this morning in Palais Royal Courtyard. This time only 2 looks. I scarf down the scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. Breakfast is complimentary.
7:45am I request an Uber to Palais Royal and arrive at exactly 8:00am on the dot. (UBER Pool $5.63)
8:30am We finish shooting 2 looks and I head to the ATM to take out 200 Euros and pay Tatyana her 70 Euro/78 Dollar per hour fee. I then take the train back to Hotel Adele & Jules and finish my breakfast. I change and go check out Passage du Jouffroy. I have a little time so decide to visit the Eiffel Tower. I take the train to Ecole Militaire stop and buy 2 magazines from a newsstand before walking up to the tower and sitting for awhile. ( $225.60 ATM Money, $5 ATM International Withdrawal Fee, 2 Magazines $10) Total: 240.60
11:00am I head back to the hotel via train and pack to leave. I meet designer Fatoumata to pick up a few pieces from her latest collection Gueras Fatim to shoot. I then have a complimentary expresso with the owner of Adele & Jules Hotel as he shows me around the facility and I take copious amounts of photos. I then call an Uber to take me to the next hotel Renaissance Paris Republique Hotel. (UBER pool $6.06)
1:30pm I check into Renaissance Paris Republique hotel and am given a tour by the Creative Manager. I take a few photos and then walk to Canal St. Martin for lunch at Chez Prune again today. Afterward I go to a local boulangerie and buy a delicious strawberry shortcake. Then head back to the hotel to do a little writing before checking out a few thrift and vintage shops in Le Marais. I stop at Starbucks and get a Tall Chai Tea Latte with Whip Cream before catching the train back to Republique. (Chez Prune Lunch $16.33, Strawberry Cake $4, Tall Chai $6.43 Total: $26.76 ) Lunch and Cake are deducted from the money I took out of the ATM Earlier
6:00pm I am starving and don’t feel like doing guess work so I go to KFC for a take home dinner. It is absolutely disgusting and I regret it. (KFC Meal $8)
DAY 3 Expenses: $266.12
DAY 1-3 Total: $577.59
The bulk of the cash went to photography which I budgeted for so it was expected. The complimentary breakfasts, and accommodations really helped a lot in curbing my expenses for this trip. Check out Day 4-6 HERE!!!