Home FAQ Which is Cheaper, Paris or Amsterdam?

Which is Cheaper, Paris or Amsterdam?

by Micaela Zaslabsky

Considering visiting Paris or Amsterdam? There are many factors to take into account when going on a holiday and even more moving to a place. Money is without a doubt a very important one to consider. Most people consider Paris being way more expensive than Amsterdam and sometimes even more interesting. In my opinion, Amsterdam has proven to be a very similar city, budget-wise, and entertainment-wise.

Accommodation (3 stars) 4 nights400-600300-400
Accommodation ( 4 stars) 4 nights500-700450-700
Airbnb (1-4 nights)100-43080-330
Museum Tickets11-1515-19
Museum Pass (2 days)48/48h80/48h
Public Transport (1 way-1 day)1,90-14,503-8

Amsterdam and Paris are both relatively expensive cities. Accommodation in Paris seems to be more expensive but they are quite similar in other aspects.

Even though people on the internet say that Paris is a much more expensive city, I have been to Paris several times and have lived in Amsterdam, and I don’t consider one to be more expensive than the other. Both cities call for a high budget, Paris seems to be more expensive when it comes to accommodation and Amsterdam when it comes to transportation. Do you want to know more about it, first from the tourist perspective and then from the resident one? Keep on reading!

Accommodation: Paris vs. Amsterdam

When going on a holiday one of the first things to check is the hotels or accommodation to see what the prices are like. Both Amsterdam and Paris have great airports, which means pretty good deals for buying a flight, but the high demand they have on accommodation makes this one of the most expensive parts of the trip.

The table above considers three types of accommodations: a 3 stars hotel room, a 4 starts hotel room and airbnb in the centre of the city (fairly centric at least) in a random date of 4 nights in November, low season in both cases. This is the comparison:

3 Stars Hotel: according to my search and my experience working for the hotel industry, the average prices for an off-season week at a 3 stars hotel in Amsterdam would be 300-400 euros for 4 nights, whereas in Paris it can go up to 400-600 euros. A noticeable difference. (For Amsterdam on a budget read this article)

In Amsterdam I would personally recommend checking out these hotels for the quality-price relationship and the walkable distance to the most important attractions in Amsterdam:

My recommendation for Paris with the same criteria are, close to the centre, good quality-price and nice reviews:

Airbnb is also always a good option. Of course, it is not for everybody but these cities have a great demand for accommodation and Airbnb has always worked for me and my siblings, who have come to visit me in Amsterdam. In Paris it is also a great type of accommodation because it is flexible and you have other facilities that allow you to cook at home and son on. Check it out!

Public Transport: Paris vs. Amsterdam

Paris Public Transportation seems to be cheaper than Amsterdams. A one-way ticket in Paris is 1,90 euros alone and 1,45 each if you get 10 trips. In the case of Amsterdam, it always costs 3,20 for only one hour, 8 euros for the whole day and a minimum of 7,50 for an OV chipkaart and then the price of the trip. In a nutshell, Amsterdam’s public transportation ends up being rather expensive for a tourist, even more than Paris.

Photo Courtesy of DennisM2|| Flickr

BUT! But Amsterdam is a small city! With this I mean, it is a very walkable city, a city you can easily visit by foot, something almost impossible in the big Paris. Renting a bike is also a good option, a little bit expensive but it is definitely worth the experience (around 15 euros for the whole day, read more here).

P.S. When it comes to the location of accommodation this is also something important to take into consideration.

Museums: Paris vs. Amsterdam

Museums tickets in both cities are expensive, this is one of their main attractions! In both cases the average prices are 15 euros per person. The museums I considered on my table were the impressive Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the famous Louvre in Paris. The price of the Rijksmuseum is 19 euros whereas the Louvre’s entrance is 15 euros.

This is what I normally do at museums || Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

In both cities, kids up to 18 tend to have free entrance to most museums. Other types of discounts are applied and as you may know there are days when going to the Louvre can even end up being free!

However, if you are very much into museums both cities offer different types of deals to visit more museums. In the case of Paris, the most famous one os the Museum Pass they offer for a 48 hours for 48 euros visiting the most famous museums. This is for someone who has everything organise to make the most out of it. In the case of Amsterdam you have the option of buying the Museumkaart, the Iamsterdam Card and the Holland Pass. If you want to know which one is for you, read this article. In the table I considered a 48 hours for Iamsterdam, with a price almost twice more expensive than the Parisian version: 80 euros. This, however, also includes free transportation, a free cruise and other experiences such as the zoo, among other discounts. Definitely something to consider!

Food: Paris vs. Amsterdam

Eating out in general seems to be expensive. Lunch in Paris goes from 16 to 20 euros and in Amsterdam from 10 to 20 depending on the place you choose to go. The best options in Paris tend to be Pret-a-manger and Ma Kitchen. My recommendations in Amsterdam are De Tulp and STACH. If you want, you can check out this list of cost of food and drinks in Amsterdam.

Dinner is always more expensive, no matter where you go. Paris is famous for its bistro and such (read this blog for more information and recommendations from an expert) whereas Amsterdam doesn’t have its own cuisine and offers a worldwide variety of cuisines. My favourites places are: FoodHallen, Le Kas, Rotisserie Amsterdam and Eethuis Sie Joe.

Amsterdam vs. Paris. Which one is more expensive?

I have lived in Amsterdam for a couple of years now, but I have only been to Paris a couple of times. It is true that when you live somewhere you get to know the ups and downs and all the tricks to spend less money on your daily basis, however, when you go on a holiday you tend to splash more on your budget and do all the things you wouldn’t normally do.

I consider both cities to be expensive. I believe both are expensive for tourists but Paris is more expensive to live in. I don’t know as many tricks about Government help and other benefits about living in Paris (click here if you are interested to know the Dutch ones) but I have asked my brothers who have lived in Paris and have searched the internet for an answer, and here is what I came up with:

Living in Paris vs. Living in Amsterdam

Why is Paris more expensive than Amsterdam? Well, it is all in the lifestyle. In my opinion, there are a couple of things that make Paris more expensive than Amsterdam:

  1. Accommodation: renting in Paris is just as hard as it is to find accommodation in Amsterdam but a hundred euros difference can make a big difference at the end of the month. Whereas in Amsterdam a rent of a studio in a decent area can be around 1000 euros, it Paris the price goes up to 1200 without expenses in most cases. Distance is something to take into account, since in Amsterdam everything is around 3-5km apart and in Paris that is only the city centre. Living far from the centre in Amsterdam means 3km away from it whereas in Paris would start from being 10-15km away.
  2. Transportation: I am not gonna lie, both of them are expensive. Public transportation in Amsterdam is even twice as much expensive as in Paris, if not the same in certain cases. The difference is that the Dutch lifestyle allows you to go everywhere with your bike, making it even harder for you to want to take the bus to go to work. Healthier and definitely cheaper. If you want to know why the society encourages you to do it, read one of my latest article here!
  3. Food and extras: Food is something hard to calculate because it depends a lot on the person’s diet. Going out is just as expensive in both cities. Restaurants have a better quality for the same price in Paris, according to the majority of people but supermarket-wise they are both very similar. Expatistan makes a fair comparison of most cities in the world, including grocery shopping. I have made my own of Amsterdam that you can check out here.

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