14 May Living Like a Local: Renting an Apartment in Paris
Renting an apartment when you travel gives you a glimpse into living like a local in a new destination. In a city like Paris where accommodations can be pricey, an apartment can also be a fairly affordable option, especially if you are traveling with another person.
I had been wanting to try this type or lodging for some time, so when we decided to head to Paris, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity. I hopped onto sites such as Roomorama.com, Homeaway.com and Wimdu.com and began my search. I tend to be picky when choosing the location for our accommodation, so narrowing down our top neighborhoods was my first move. I filtered the search to show apartments in arrondissements 1-6 because I was hoping to stay within walking distance of many of the sites we were visiting. Once I had that settled, I began to focus on the price–I noticed that many apartment rentals were well over $100/night, which is more than I was hoping to spend, so when this adorable apartment in Le Marais district jumped out at me on Wimdu.com for less than $100 a night, I knew we had found our place. Due to the strict cancellation restrictions and wide open availability (because I am a little crazy and was starting to plan about 10 months in advance), I decided to hold out and make sure there wasn’t anything better out there. It turns out, this was the perfect match for us and I ended up happily booking the apartment around 6 months in advance.
I am so glad we picked this apartment to stay in–it was charming and in such a great area! We were in Le Marais district, not far from amazing restaurants and shops and about a 10 minute walk from Hotel de Ville and the river. The Pompidou was also close by, but unfortunately it didn’t work out for us to visit–I would have loved to see the view from the top.
The apartment is located near the end of a small little side street right next to a delicious bakery. When you arrive, you walk back through a narrow hallway and through two securely locked doors. This was very comforting to me and made us feel safe, especially when it was dark at night and we couldn’t figure out how to turn the hallway lights on.
Upon entering the apartment, you are greeted with a fresh bowl of fruit, a bottle of wine and a kitchen stocked with the necessities you need to cook a meal. The apartment is a small studio, but it was definitely enough room for the two of us. And, the decorations! I loved the feel of the entire apartment–it felt clean, modern and simple–all of which are aspects I enjoy. With a small kitchen for cooking, a comfortable futon, a washing machine, fresh linens, speedy wifi and even a hair dryer (something I hate to live without), this apartment has it all. Although we didn’t have much time to use them, the washing machine and kitchen are great to have and can really help with your budget. Just make sure that if you decide to wash a load of clothes, that you don’t do it at 11:30 p.m.–we may have made this mistake…warning: the washer is NOT quiet. Sorry neighbors, we didn’t mean to cause such a ruckus.
One of the best parts about this rental is the owners! Marc and his wife Patricia are such welcoming hosts–they have filled the apartment with books, maps and information about the city and were so willing to share as much of their knowledge of Paris as they could. Marc made sure to tell us his favorite museums, and upon checkout, he even walked us to the metro station showing us the quickest and best route to the airport. He was such a help and a pleasure to talk to, even with the language barrier as he didn’t speak much English.
Here is a quick video showing you around the apartment:
I honestly cannot think of any flaws with this apartment other than the fact that it’s small. If you like ample space, it might not be the place for you, but if you don’t mind being cozy, I would definitely recommend this adorable abode–we loved it and I would definitely return again in a heartbeat!
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