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Best Tips Camping Paris

June 03, 2013

Paris camping and picnic at the Eiffel Tower

Did you know that camping in Paris is one of the best kept secrets for budget lodging in this City of Light ("La Ville-Lumière")?

CHEAPEST LODGING IN PARIS ...AND LOVELY!

Yes, cheaper than hostels and very comfortable...you can even rent a furnished cabin, tent or trailer if you want. In my opinion, this is not just the cheapest way to visit Paris, but the best way! We have been camping Europe and doing road trips around Europe for months at a time for almost 8 years now on our world tour and find these the 3 best campgrounds in Paris.

BEST CAMPSITES IN PARIS


Moonlit night in Paris on the Sienne

Can you imagine this view of the Seine with a glass of wine in your hand relaxing after a day of touring around Paris ,listening to the crickets and katydids chirp on a summer night, trees swaying in the gentle breeze as the moon comes out and a slow barge ambles by as you recline in your chaise lounge near the shore?

paris camping violin playing kid


These are the moments that make me smile with glee as we live the life of kings on a tiny budget, traveling the world non-stop on $23/day per person. No, it is not a 5 star hotel, but in some ways better and I remember those nights fondly as we discussed our day in this lovely private, woodsy setting.

1) CAMPING ON THE SEINE - BOIS DE BOULOGNE

Royalty use to hunt in the beautiful 25 acres that is now Bois de Boulogne in Paris where one can camp along the Seine! Where else can you get a huge space to stay in Paris for barely twenty something dollars a night (even  less for tent campers)? Prices vary by season and options you pick.You can even see the Eiffel tower from the camp!

camping right in Paris with a motorhome

Bois de Boulogne Camp Site is not really a secret as it is the only campsite right in Paris. It is on the western edge of the 16th arrondissement,on 17 acres just 15 minutes from the Champs-Elysees open 365 days a year with its own store, restaurant, take out food, rentals etc and has 435 pitches for camping and is usually pretty full and popular with Europeans. Sadly, few Americans know about this low budget gem.

camping Paris  Bois de Boulogne Camp Site


CAMPING PARIS WITH KIDS

Camping Paris rocks for young adults, traveling retirees, but is especially rewarding with kids and best budget bargain for families. When you are not out touring Paris or seeing museums with your kids, they can play in nature, near one of the best parks in Paris and meet other kids from many countries.

camping paris kids playing

Paris camping bois de boulogne

Bois de Boulogne camping is within walking distance to  the famous “Petite Train” (takes one to Le Jardin d’Acclimatation which is Paris’ biggest children’s amusement park) and near the Porte Maillot Metro/RER station. The park areas across the street have some cool lakes and one of the best playgrounds in Europe!

cute girl camping in Paris

This campsite is older, but  has large clean showers that are even heated in winter time with plenty of hot water, there are two Carrefours ( hypermarkets) within 10 minutes walk and other useful small supermarkets within walking distance,and the shuttle to Port Maillot runs regularly. It is really quiet and peaceful during the day ( everyone leaves in the morning)  for slow travel types like us that lke to hang out and homeschool when not touring.

cute girl exploring Paris


We mostly cook our own healthy, cheap food but the restaurant serves various salads, sandwiches, pizza etc,like most campsites in Europe, they also have fresh bread daily and a pretty decent fruit, veggie and wine selection.

I suggest you buy carnets de ticket at Porte Maillot Metro for bus/metro/RER (E12.90 for 10/E1.70 each, E1 for child each way). The bus from the campsite (E1.70 single trip) runs every half hour and takes you straight to Port Maillot Metro, from which you can easily go anywhere in Paris you care to visit.

train tickets paris

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camping paris..feeding swans on the Seine


2) CAMPING ON THE SEINE - MAISON-LAFITTE CAMPSITE

Can you imagine starting your day in Paris by feeding swans swimming in the Seine in your pajamas with bits of your left over warm croissants? This photo was taken in  high season summer and we were camped a few feet from the river, right on the bank of the Seine and had it all to ourselves.

We adored our site right on the banks of the Seine at our popular Maison-Lafitte campsite and the good access to central Paris via RER.

Maisons Laffitte
( "City of Horses") is a sweet little town just 11 miles from the center of Paris with a beautiful, 17th century chateau, a famous horse track and plenty of cafes, restaurants and small supermarkets. One can easily pretend to be living a Parisian commuter existence like many of the locals.

Touring Paris on holiday


This older, ( refurbished in 2012) but pretty and well maintained campsite is located on an island in the middle of the Seine River, and just ten minutes  away from the center and the train station. It's just 20 minutes to the center of Paris and 50 minutes to Disneyland by train.Next to the train station there is a tourist information office with helpful folks who speak English which is handy.

There are 351 pitches for tents, caravans or campers and 92 fully equipped cottages and the price begins at 15 euro a night for 2 people. There is no pool here, but the municipal pool is only a 15 minutes walk.

For us, it is a toss up between this campground, Camping International Maisons-Laffitte and Le Camping Bois de Boulogne.We like them both a lot and they have different advantages ( and disadvantages). Sadly, they both have bad internet, but we have our own fave free wifi travel office in the center near the Louvre.

Paris boat and Notre Dame

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Camping Paris pool

3) SWIMMING IN A FOREST - CAMPING HUTTOPIA VERSAILLES

The campsite in Versailles ( which we stayed at to visit Versailles and some visit Paris from there using the RER trains) did have excellent cheap wifi, but we did not like that campsite ( primitive, very sloped site) or the very rude young people who ran it. The help was mostly teen boys and more interested in partying than being helpful.

But it does have a small pool, so if it's hot I might return just for that and it is newer and quite nice looking, but the pitches are way too steep and packed together ( no privacy). I did love the foresty feel to it and it was full of mature chestnut trees. The cottages looked good there and the suburban town is nice ,but it is also more expensive than our two favorite campgrounds in Paris.

Paris is ideal for kids..sailing a boat in the park


It is an easy and pleasant ten minute walk to the Porchefontaine RER train station that brings you right into the Eiffel Tower in just 20 minutes. The other way on the train is five minutes to Versailles (or a thirty-five minute walk and Versailles is free to wander the gardens on most days...and it's huge..biking this area would be fun too). Plus there is a  well stocked Carrefour store and a boulangerie to pick up groceries. So this one would work in a pinch.

Paris family travel...picnic at the Eiffel Tower

So what do you think? Is it time to plan a camping trip to Paris?

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Carla

Wow, great post. This is fantastic!! Thanks so much.

David

Great Post and love the pictures

Lauren Katulka

What a great post! We always think of Paris as such as expensive location, so it's refreshing to see that it doesn't have to be! We've included you in our latest web wrap: http://www.frugalmonkey.com/travel-news/frugal-monkeys-web-wrap-7-june-2013.html

Curtis

Hello:

Ah, how we miss Paris! This is the best time of year too. Enjoy.

jeanne @soultravelers3

We do too Curtis! Such a wonderful city to return to often and you are right...June is a lovely time of year to be there!

jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Carla...we hope it helps you in your travel planning!

jeanne @soultravelers3

Glad to hear that David!

Kathy

Great post! We are lucky to have friends that live in Paris so stay at theirs....but we love camping & love the sound of this....you just don't think of camping pretty much in Paris...or any other major capital city!

Jessy

Didn't knew there are so much camping options near Paris. A million thanks for sharing this tips with us. Keep up the good articles!

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