Should you visit France or Greece?Both France and Greece are popular tourist destinations in Europe. France is known for its interesting history, delicious food, and beautiful art. Most visitors to France spend at least a few days in the world renowned capital city of Paris, but there are many other beautiful places to visit in the country. France has an efficient transportation system so it's relatively easy to travel around with country without renting a car. There are also many hostels and budget guesthouses, where budget travelers can save some money. France has no shortage of independent travelers so it's easy to meet up with some travel companions. France is also a popular study abroad destination, so if you're a student, there is likely to be a diverse group of other students around.
Greece is another top tourist destination in Europe. The country is famous for its beautiful islands, interesting towns, and unique history, all of which make it a favorite destination for all types of travelers. Whether you're looking for great museums or a vibrant nightlife scene, Greece will likely not disappoint.
Although the cheap prices of years past are long gone, it's still possible to visit Greece without spending too much. There are hostels in the larger cities, and if you get away from the most touristy neighborhoods you'll likely find some affordable restaurants. If beaches and blue waters are your thing, then Greece is a great option.
When is the best time to visit France and Greece?
Despite the colder weather, Winter is still a beautiful time to visit France. In general, prices tend to be a bit cheaper during this season, but it is hard to find great deals in cities like Paris, which remain popular year around. The holiday season around Christmas is a beautiful time to head to the city, but prices can climb during this time.
Like much of Mediterranean Europe, Greece is best visited during the late spring/early summer and fall months. If you time your travels well, you can avoid the high costs and crowds of the peak summer months. The summer is also a hot time to be in Greece and temperatures are much cooler during the spring and fall seasons.
During the winter months, Greece can be a bit more challenging to visit because there are far less ferries traveling between the islands. Many restaurants and hotels also close for the season. Also take note that hotels can fill up quickly during the week of Easter, particularly in and around Athens.
Why is France more expensive than Greece?Despite both France and Greece being popular tourist destinations, the prices in France are significantly more expensive than those in Greece. In particular, Paris is much more expensive to visit than Athens. The coastal areas in France are also expensive. Restaurants and accommodation are all a bit pricier in France than in Greece.
In general, the cost of living in Greece is cheaper, so everything from food costs to transportation costs can be more affordable than in France. Still, in the most touristy areas or on certain islands, you can expect to pay a bit more for everything than you would in Athens.
What are the most expensive and cheapest cities and regions in France and Greece?
The coastal areas in France are also quite expensive, particularly during the peak summer months when budget accommodation fills up quickly.
In Greece, the most popular island destinations like Mykonos and Santorini are actually more expensive to visit than Athens. Most islands have a shortage of hostels, and the budget hotels are a bit pricier than they are in the capital city. Restaurants are also expensive, particularly in the most touristy neighborhoods. Cruises frequently visit these Greek islands and wherever their are cruise ship passengers, you can expect high prices. While cruise passengers do visit Athens, the city is quite large, so their impact on pricing is minimal. Traveling to and from the Greek Isles can also be expensive, increasing the entire price of your trip.
How you can save money when visiting France and Greece?Travel during the shoulder season. Prices are less and the temperatures are more comfortable during the fall and spring seasons.
Think outside the box and look for alternative places to stay instead of popular chain hotels. Local options are usually more affordable and offer a more unique experience.
Buses are usually the cheapest way to travel around, so look into all of the bus options before you book your tickets.
Slow down. In both Greece and France, transportation costs can be expensive, so plan to visit less places for longer periods of time.
Spend time walking around the city or town you're in. Take advantage of the area's natural beauty and free activities, so you don't spend too much money on entertainment costs.
Plan a picnic. Restaurants can be pricey so grab some local food at a market or grocery store and find a good place to sit with a view. This is a great way to enjoy local food without spending a fortune.