A practical guide for visiting Paris without spending a fortune. 

On a Dime Destinations

Paris is a great launching point for reasonably priced destinations in France and other European Countries. You can read about some of my favorites here.

San Sebastian, Spain

To reach San Sebastian by train from Paris, you will need to take the TGV from Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, France. This is about a 5.5 hour ride. From Hendaye you take a short walk across the parking lot to the local commuter train called the Euskotren. This will take you to San Sebastian in about 40 minutes.

The Wind Combs on Ondaretta Beach

If purchased in advance, round trip 1st Class train tickets cost less than a round-trip taxi ride from CDG to Paris. 2nd class is even cheaper. I paid 80€ . I had 1st Class on the way there and 2nd Class on the way back. You can also look for cheap flights, but I prefer taking the train.

View from my room at Pension Itxasoa

Accommodations can be cheap too. I’ve stayed twice at the Pension Itxasoa. It’s small, with only 6 rooms so I do suggest booking well in advance. But even in April I was able to snag a room for late June. My single room with a balcony and a sea view was 51€ per night.

It’s right on the edge of the Parte Vieja (Old Town) but just far enough away to avoid the noise. I was really torn between just spending time on my balcony and enjoying the views or hitting the pintxo bars in Old Town. I ended up doing a little bit of both. 

Pintxo Bars in Parte Vieja

My visit also included a daytrip to Getaria to take a boat ride along the coast to see the Flysches (rock formations) and visit the Balenciaga Museum.


Click here to read my complete trip report.



Here’s what I spent on my 4-night trip:

Round trip train ticket from Paris                             80.00€

Bus - local trip and trip to Getaria                             10.00€

4 Nights, single room Pension Itxasoa                   204.00€

Food, estimated                                                        120.00€

Sightseeing and activities                                          50.00€

Total                                                                       464.00€           


My entire trip was cheaper than 4 nights in a budget hotel in Paris!                                   



Train – www.capitainetrain.com

Pension Itxasoa - http://www.pensionesconencanto.com/fr/imagenes.php?id=3#confoto

La Perla Spa - http://www.la-perla.net/en/

Flysch Boat Tour - http://www.geoparkea.com/

Sun setting on La Concha Beach