Cost of living in Paris

Cost of living in Paris
Planning your budget is an important part of any study abroad plan. In order to do this, you’ll need to understand the cost of living in your destination city. Using this information, you can form an estimate of how much money you’ll need to cover your costs during your time there. In this article, we’ll lay out some of the most important cost considerations for your time in Paris. Paris is a large and diverse city that offers options in accommodation, food, entertainment, and transportation for all budgets, from luxury lifestyles to students on a budget. If you fall into the latter category, you may be surprised to find that there are plenty of ways to maintain a reasonable cost of living in the City of Light! First, let’s review the costs you can expect for some basic categories.


Housing will most likely be your largest monthly cost in Paris. Due to the city’s strict zoning regulations that limit building heights in order to maintain Paris’ historic ambience, the local housing market is quite saturated. After all, we have around 2.5 million people in just 65 square kilometers, and everyone needs somewhere to live! But don’t worry — there are plenty of resources available here at PSB Paris School of Business and in the city that can help you do your research and find a place to live that suits your needs and budget.

On average, you can expect to pay around €550 - €700 per month for your housing, including utilities. As you might imagine, this will depend greatly on your housing situation and location. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center by yourself could range between €800 to €1,350, while sharing a three-bedroom apartment with roommates outside the city center could range from €1,100 to €2,000. If you split this evenly with two other roommates, it could be as cheap as €367 to €667.

Other options like student residences or short-term accommodations in hostels are also usually affordable options. 


The cost of groceries will also vary depending on your own preferences, diet, and where you do your shopping, but it’s definitely possible to eat on the cheaper side in Paris. Paris has many markets where you can find both the freshest products and lowest prices. Below are a few data points from, comparing average prices for a few common food items in Paris.


Average Price

Price Range

Milk (regular), (1 liter ≃ 1/4 gallon)


€0.80 - €1.5

Loaf of fresh white bread (500g ≃ 1lb )


€0.91 - €1.81

Rice (white), (500g ≃  1 lb )


€0.50 - €1.13

Eggs (12)


€2.00 - €4.00

Local cheese ( 500g ≃  1lb )


€3.63 - €9.07

Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) (500g ≃  1 lb)


€3.63 - €6.80

Beef round (500g ≃  1 lb) (or equivalent back leg red meat)


€4.54 - €13.61

Apples (500g ≃  1 lb)


€0.91 - €1.81

Banana (500g ≃  1 lb)


€0.68 - €1.36

Oranges (500g ≃  1 lb)


€0.68 - €1.59

Tomato (500g ≃  1 lb)


€0.82 - €1.59

Onion (500g ≃  1 lb)


€0.68 - €1.59

Water (1.5 liter bottle)


€0.50 - €1.00

Bottle of wine (mid-range)


€5.00 - €8.00

Domestic beer (0.5 liter bottle)


€1.30 - €2.00

Imported beer (33cl ≃ 11.2oz small bottle)


€1.50 - €3.00


Paris may be known for its Michelin-rated gourmet cuisine, but it also has a very wide range of diverse restaurants to meet any taste or budget. As a city of students, families, and immigrants from all over the world, you can find everything from affordable dining halls for students to small cafés specializing in cuisines from every culture. Here are some sample prices for what you can expect at different types of restaurants in Paris:


Average Price

Price Range

Meal for one at an inexpensive restaurant


€10.00 - €15.00

Meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant (3 courses)


€35.00 - €70.00

McMeal at McDonalds (or equivalent combo meal)


€7.50 - €9.00

Cappuccino (regular)


€2.00 - €4.50

Public Transportation

Paris has a wonderful public transportation system that allows you to explore every corner of the city at an affordable price. A single ticket costs €1.90, but if you’ll be using the Metro or bus system regularly, it may be worth it to consider getting an unlimited monthly pass, known as the Navigo pass. A monthly pass that covers all zones of the Metro, RER regional train, bus, and tram costs €73. 

Entertainment and Leisure

The options for fun in Paris are endless! For a ticket for a mainstream international movie at a theater, you can expect to pay between €10 - €12. If you’d like to join a gym during your time in Paris, you can pay anywhere from €30 to €80 per month. Concert or performance tickets can range drastically, from more expensive seats at an internationally known artist at a large venue, to cheaper covers for local artists performing at more intimate venues. There are also a lot of opportunities for free entertainment, from Paris’ many free museums and seasonal events to special discounts for students for a variety of activities. 

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Your own insurance costs may vary depending on your country of origin and current insurance. If you are not an EU citizen, and will be participating in a PSB program for 4 months or more, you are required by law to purchase French social security insurance. The cost of this is approximately €213 per year. You should verify the current rate and make sure you are including this in your budget, in addition to the cost of any other insurance you will have during your time here.
We hope that this gives you a better idea of what your cost of living will be during your time in Paris. You can use this information to put together your own budget based on your lifestyle and preferences. Remember, in a city of students, there’s always a way to live affordably while still being comfortable and having fun!