The cost of living in Paris is higher for international students than it is in other French cities. Indeed, according to the French National Student Union, the average cost of living per month was €1289 ($1392 / ₹INR 105 830) for Parisian students in 2019. (Source) For a year, that would be around €15468‬ ($16715/₹INR 1 269 953).

Keep reading to get more insight into what a Paris student budget looks like and to get tips on how to save some €€€!  

Click on the icons below to find more info about each category.

cost of living in paris for students

Average cost of living per month

1289€

Accommodation

Food

Going out

  • Average price of a pint of beer: 7€
  • Average price of a movie ticket: 10€

Other

  • Average price of a phone plan (unlimited data, SMS and calls): €20
  • Price of a doctor’s visit (practitioner certified by the French social security system): 8€

Accommodation is often international students’ biggest expense. Here is an overview of the price of the several accommodation available to students : 

  • 1 bedroom apartment: €800 – €1000/month
  • Room in a public student residence (CROUS): €300- €450/month
  • Flatsharing: €500 – 700/month
  • Student hostels (foyers): €500-€700/month

How can you save money on accommodation?

  1. Choose the cheapest accommodation options: instead of looking for a studio apartment,  look for cheaper options such as public residences (CROUS), student hostels (foyers) or flat-sharing.
  2. Live further away from the center of Paris: You are guaranteed to find cheaper places in the suburbs of Paris: whereas the average monthly rent for a flatshare is 691€ in Paris, you can find rooms for less than 550€ in cities like Nanterre or Créteil. (Source)
  3. Apply for housing benefits: To save money on rent, you can apply for housing benefits (Aide personnalisée au logement). The precise amount depends on your income and the type of housing you have, but on average, students without any income can receive up to 200€-300€ per month.

Want more tips to find cheap accommodation in Paris? Download our free guide here.

student accommodation paris

The guide

Food

On average, students spend €200 – €250 on food every month (Source). You won’t be able to eat in 4 star Michelin restaurantss on a student budget, but you don’t have to eat ramen and pasta 24/7 if you follow our advice : 

How can you save money on food ?

  1. Eat in university dining halls:  The most underrated student hack in my opinion! instead, I would suggest eating a CROUS dining hall (restaurant universitaire). For only 3,30€, enjoy a balanced meal to eat in or take away in the 18 restaurants, 36 cafeterias and 4 food trucks managed by the CROUS of Paris.
  2. Use anti-food waste apps: once with anti-food waste apps such as Too Good to Go, Optimiam or Zéro-Gâchis. Thanks to those apps, you can see which supermarkets or restaurants near you have unsold food that you can buy at a discounted price.
too good to go

The Too Good To Go app

Transport

You’ll be pleased to learn that public transport is quite affordable for students in Paris. Indeed, students benefit from pretty interesting discounts : 

How can you save money on transport?

  1. Buy a Imagin’r pass instead of buying tickets daily:  If you’re studying in Paris for more than 4 months and you’re under 26 years old, your best bet to save money is to get the Imagin’r Etudiant pass. This travel pass allows for unlimited travel in the Paris Region on RER, buses, subways, and tramways. It only costs 38€ a month (€350/year), which amounts to around 1.26€ a day, which is less cheaper than buying a one-way ticket that costs 1.90 €.

Going out

The student life scene in Paris is great. From museums to nightclubs, there’s no shortage of things to do without breaking the bank: 

  • Average price of a pint of beer : 7€
  • Average price of a movie ticket : 10€

How can you save money when you go out ?

  1. Always keep your student card in your pocket: If your student card is not already your best friend, it should be! With it, you can benefit from very preferential rates in the best museums, theatres, and cinemas of the city. For example, French national museums like the Musée du Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay are free all year round for European students under 26. Want to watch the next Quentin Tarantino movie? If you’re under 26, you can buy a ticket for only 4,90 € during the week, and 7,90 € during the week-end in all the MK2 movie theaters.
  2. Use the Paris Student Guide app to find Paris’ cheapest spots: Paying 10€ for a drink? In the words of a wise philosopher, “Ain’t nobody got time for that !“ With our app, those days of overpaying for your drink are over. Indeed, it allows you to find the bars that serve the cheapest pints of beer at any time of the day, with or without happy hour. You can get it here.
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3. Get a Meetup account : When you’re an international student studying in Paris, life can get pretty lonely… Meetup is my best kept secret for finding cool and cheap events anywhere in the world, and Paris is no exception ! Create an account for free right now to find events. What I like the most about Meetup is that there’s something for everyone, from hikes to book clubs to pub crawls… I would recommend the following groups to find cool events :

– Paris Student Guide Meetup Group

– International Afterworks in Paris 🍸 MeetnTrip

– Mundo Lingo Paris

Other expenses

How can you save money on health, phone plans, and other expenses ?

  • Average price of a phone plan (unlimited data, SMS and calls): €20
  • Price of a doctor’s visit (practitioner certified by the French social security system): 8€
  1. Register to the French social security system (“Sécurité sociale”) : Did you know that when you come study in France, you have to register to the French social security system ? It is free of charge and will entitle you to the reimbursement of your health care expenses, without even having to pay for private health insurance! For example, if you go to a general practitioner certified by the French social security system (médecin conventionné secteur 1), you will only pay 8,5 € (a consultation costs 25€, and 16.50€ are reimbursed by the French social security system). Click here to register if you haven’t already done it.
      1. PS: If you’re from the European Union, you don’t have to register! Just use your European Health Insurance Card (Carte Européenne d’Assurance Maladie)
  2. Get a Free Mobile phone plan: Free’s no-contract plans range from 2€ (phone plan with 50Mo of data, 2 hours of calls and unlimited texts in France only) to 19,99€ (100GB of data in France, 25GB of data abroad and unlimited talk and text in France, the EU, USA, Canada, Australia…)

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gio

    Hey just a question how did you get to 39 €/month for the rail ticket? Shouldn’t 350/12 be around 29?

    1. Monique

      hey, it’s because if you choose to pay the Navigo monthly, you’ll have to pay it in 9 monthly installments and not 12 (350/9 = around 39), even though the pass is valid for the whole year (yeah I know that’s weird…)

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