How to budget your france money and make the most of your euros
So what are the best and most accepted payment methods in France?
Do we need to leave a tip?
And how much should we plan on spending per day?
These are some of the questions that might be crossing your mind while planning your vacation in France.
Travellers Cheques, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in the major towns and cities. Rural areas and smaller villages may only accept cash (this includes some bed and breakfasts.)
Our France Currency page has more tips on where and how to find the best exchange rates in France.
If you’re planning a middle of the range holiday – ie not splurging, but also not staying in a backpacker hostel – budget for around €200 per day if you’re in Paris, to be safe. (Decent) accommodation alone will start at around €90; meals can cost around €30-40; then you have taxis/metro/sightseeing to think about (shopping sprees have not been factored in! ).
The taxi trip from CDG airport to the centre of Paris is around €60 (as of 2008).
Rather than eating out at restaurants every day, you could go to a local market or specialty food store, stock up on cheese and baguettes and have a picnic. You’ll also find that cafes and bistrots can offer meals that are very good value – especially the prix fixe (fixed price) menus.
Another way to lower your holidays costs is if you choose accommodation that is out of the main cities.
Tipping In France
A 10-15% service charge will be added to your bill (hotels and restaurants) so a tip (pourboire) is not necessary; but we’d suggest leaving a few coins on the table if you felt the service was good.
Another Way to Save Your France Money
Tax Free Shopping! If you spend more than €175 on purchases you may be able to claim the sales tax (VAT) back. For more information please see the Global Refund website.