Prices, spending and tipping

What are restaurant prices like? Should you leave a tip? What is the cost of living?

Paiement en carte bleue café © Fotolia

In France, unless prices are regulated by the law, they are displayed. That makes it possible to compare them. Prices shown always include tax and service charge.

In shops

Paris is known for its luxury goods but items are wide-ranging. Year-round, you can enjoy great offers and promotions in stores, and 2 times a year, the Sales are an opportunity to shop for goods at cut-rate prices.

See our article on the Sales in Paris

Restaurants prices

Restaurant prices are always displayed outside. Prices shown include taxes and service. There are set menus to choose from, often available at lunch times, different menu choices or à la carte. For an idea of prices, use the search engine for more details.

In bars and cafés, prices of drinks are required to be displayed inside. It’s handy to know that the prices vary depending on whether you stand at the bar (where they are the lowest), or at a table inside or on the terrace. After a certain time in the evening, a supplement may be added to the price of drinks.

In France, all prices shown include tax and service (the latter is around 15% of the total price). However, if the service has been particularly good, you may wish to leave a tip in order to show your appreciation. As a general rule, the amount is 5 to 10% of the total bill.

Here are some average prices for everyday consumer products:

  • 1 full-price museum admission: €7 to €12
  • 1 sandwich: around €6
  • 1 pizza: between €8 and €12
  • 1 small coffee: €1 at the bar, €2 sitting down
  • 1 full meal (starter, main dish, dessert, not including drinks): between €15 and €20 depending on the area
  • 1 baguette of bread: €1
  • 1 beer in a café: around €4
  • 1 seat at the cinema: €10

 Inexpensive Paris