A guide to La Rochelle on a budget!


I visited La Rochelle recently in the Poitou-Charentes region of France. Ordinarily France is seen as a more expensive destination for travellers, but the truth is there are many ways to experience the country on a budget – as I have been discovering lately! Poitou-Charentes in particular is very affordable compared to the more touristic areas of France such as Paris or Nice. You’ve therefore already got a distinct advantage as a budget traveller coming here compared to visiting some other areas of the country. La Rochelle – the main gateway to the region –  also happens to be incredibly beautiful! For that reason I thought I’d do a feature on the city and share some of the budget tips I have acquired about the city since being there just last week.

Free city transportation by bike


Getting around La Rochelle on the cheap is extremely easy. The main reason for this is because of the city ‘Yelo’ bikes. You can ride them around La Rochelle for up to 2 hours completely free of charge! For any additional hours thereafter it’s just €1.10 per hour. This means that getting from A to B in La Rochelle is especially cheap for travellers, but with the city having some incredibly beautiful architecture and pretty seaside views it’s also a good base for a day trip out in the city – using the bikes to tour the area.

Go to the beach!

La Rochelle is a city that opens out right onto the Atlantic Ocean and as I mentioned above has some stunning coastline views on offer. For that reason a day at the beach is something you can do easily that won’t cost you a penny. During summertime La Rochelle typically has temperatures averaging around 20°C which is just nice for outdoor activities.

Finding budget accommodation in La Rochelle…

As far as accommodation is concerned in La Rochelle I stayed at Hotel Bord’O which is budget hotel that has rooms starting from €53 per night. For those on an even tighter budget (such as backpackers for instance) there is also a YHA hostel near the student halls of residence.

Getting to La Rochelle on a budget…

In terms of actually getting to La Rochelle on a budget there are many budget airlines who fly to the city such as Flybe, Ryanair, Jet2, and Hop (a local French airline). Direct routes to La Rochelle ran by these airlines include from London, Paris, Brussels, Dublin, Manchester, Southampton, Birmingham, Cork, Porto, Lyon, Corsica, Edinburgh, and Leeds.

Eating & drinking out

What I found in La Rochelle in terms of eating out (on a budget) was that there was great quality of food throughout the city, but if you wanted to eat out on the cheap your best bet was to head for lunch time specials rather than dining out for dinner. In actual fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s worth splashing your cash a little bit in terms of eating out in the city (using the money that you saved on other things such as accommodation and transport) because it’s worth it for the quality and experience of dining out that you’ll get. A particular favourite restaurant of mine was La Solette Café, 11 Place De La Fourche, that offered deals at lunch time for around €20 (3 courses).

There is so much more that I could have written about experiencing La Rochelle in terms of travelling on a budget, but for me what I think is important (and is part of the fun of travel) is getting out into a destination and discovering some of your own favourites! For that reason I hope this guide helps get you started should you visit La Rochelle in the near future, but also inspires you to get out and discover new places too that you will discover for yourself! 🙂


4 Responses to “A guide to La Rochelle on a budget!”

  1. Claire says:

    It’s amazing that they offer the bikes for FREE!!!!!

  2. Joe B says:

    It’s interesting what you say about eating out. I’ve never thought about that before but I suppose if you can save a lot of money on other things then eating out in more expensive restaurants becomes easier to afford.

  3. Alex says:

    France is not somewhere I’d usually go because I’m on a budget, but I may go to La Rochelle now. The free bikes are a great idea too!


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