farmers market · favorite things · guide · http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post · I'm just sayin' · Paris · travel

Lizzie’s Guide to Choosing an AirBnb rental in Paris

I’m going to give you the rundown on how I go about choosing an Airbnb rental in Paris.82935-img_4928

well, almost…

My first experience using Airbnb was last summer. I like how easy their website is to navigate and there is a wide selection of rentals. They have accurate photographs and honest reviews. I was able to save my favorite apartments to a wishlist and contact the owner to ask questions. I was a bit disappointed that the first three apartments I wanted weren’t available but I was very happy with the one we rented. You can search by location, price and size. Let me tell you that apartments in Paris always have a trade-off. You will have to put up with something lame in order to get most of your needs met. In our case, we weren’t in our ideal location *le Marais, the 3rd arrondissement* but the neighborhood we ended up in *the 10th arrondissement* was super convenient to the Metro and we had a lovely, quiet courtyard so we didn’t hear all the street noise.

46ea8-dsc_1267
Such a difference from the tough-looking exterior of our apartment and the lovely courtyard

1103c-dsc_1330

 e9c78-dsc_1207

Our view from our 2nd story apartment

My recommendations for your search for the almost perfect Parisian rental:

Stick to your budget. It’s easy to fall in love with big, fancy places with chandeliers and there are plenty of luxurious apartments listed on Air bnb but the reality is, besides sleeping, bathing and occasionally eating, you really won’t spend much time in the rental during your vacation. Unless you are staying long-term I suggest you keep the cost of the rental less than what it would cost for a hotel per night. In my case I would have paid $199 per night for a hotel and our rental was only $2,000 for two weeks. Plus we saved so much money cooking our own *delicious* meals and not having to tip people.

e2391-dsc_1220

So lucky we had a full size refrigerator

8006d-dsc_1277

We even had the luxury of a dishwasher (most Parisian apartments have them)

7f578-dsc_1358

I loved buying fresh croissants every morning from the Patisserie on the corner

Find a place that is bright/lots of windows, preferably on a higher floor. Most of the apartments are tiny in comparison to American homes so there is an illusion of a larger space with a sun filled apartment. High ceiling also help you not feel too claustrophobic.

5c254-dsc_1411

The skylights were wonderful and when it was too hot, I could use a remote to close them

If the apartment is two floors or higher, make sure there is an elevator. Our summer apartment was on the 2nd floor so we were fine without an elevator but the apartment Aimee choose was on the 6th floor and there is no way she could have walked that many narrow stairs everyday.

358e8-dsc_0885

I never used these crazy stairs at Aimee’s place but just looking at them gives me vertigo

Stay away from dated apartments. I know it’s hard to resist the 19th century rustic charm of Parisian apartments but the older the rental’s interior, the less amenities you will have. Such as a microwave, washing machine, decent water pressure in the shower and tile floors are cold. I fell in love with many older apartments but I had to face the reality that staying in a period apartment with a 4 year old would have been a headache when she couldn’t resist touching most of the antiques or we wouldn’t be comfortable lounging around on old furniture. Plus laundromats are a bummer.

f04d4-rustic2bapartment

I almost rented this rustic apartment with the tiniest kitchen ever and five flights of stairs!

It’s fine to get a place without a TV. French TV sucks (it’s mostly trashy reality and soccer) and you can watch Netflix on your laptop if you must watch something *which is crazy because hello, Paris-watching will keep you plenty entertained* However do not rent a place without strong Wifi. I had a major crying fit when we first arrived at our apartment and I couldn’t figure out how to connect to the wifi. My cellphone bill was over $1,000 when I got home because I wasn’t connected to the Wifi for the first few hours we arrived. I got a $700 credit but it’s extremely expensive to use data abroad.

As I said before, it’s all about trade-offs. I really wanted chevron hardwood floors and Haussmann style windows but the apartment we chose over the summer within our price range didn’t have them. However it did have an awesome swing for Olivia and I loved the charming skylights. Find a place that has something you love but be prepared to give up something else in exchange for it.

37d3d-img_9495
 Liv devoured a bag of fresh cherries everyday! I loved how much healthier we all ate in Europe.

57468-dsc_1213

The white floors were hard to keep clean but very nice touch to the bright apartment

22a69-dsc_1304-2

I didn’t mind the breakfast bar but I would have liked a dining table

 91e24-dsc_1215 e1f8a-dsc_1214

We loved that there was a separate bedroom loft space but climbing these “stairs” ladder was treacherous.

70f96-dsc_4646

We carried Liv up and down the first few days until she got used to climbing on her own.

 17271-dsc_1218-2 b6d22-dsc_1209 43d4d-dsc_1326

So happy that the bathroom was clean and had a blow dryer

 16e94-dsc_1416

Be flexible about the location. My favorite neighborhoods in Paris are le Marais *3rd and 4th arrondissement*, Republique *10th arrondissement* It felt more authentic Paris with lots of excellent shops, hipster restaurants and art galleries without the annoying tourists. Although just like LA, the cooler the location, the smaller and more expensive the rentals are (ahem, Venice beach!). If you don’t mind a smaller place, get the better location. When I was helping Aimee look for a rental, she didn’t care about having a kitchen yet I found a beautiful studio with a balcony and a separate kitchen in the Marais but the trade-off was the tiny bathroom. She loved being in walking distance to her school and really enjoyed staying in a clean, trendy neighborhood close to great restaurants and shops. She also ended up using the kitchen everyday!

02c18-img_4925

It was a nightmare taking a shower in this space but worth it to stay in le Marais

c8620-dsc_0887 6d436-dsc_0889

I died when I saw those floors and the sweet balcony!
6cc0d-img_4790
How adorable is this miniature chandelier?
I loved the classic Parisian style of this place yet it had a modern design

1c410-dsc_0905

Aimee had no idea I was coming to visit her when we chose this apartment. I secretly knew it would be perfect for the two of us.

68a67-img_49240965f-img_4923

The size of this kitchen was perfect for one person. Again, smitten with those floors!

80c53-dsc_0911

Oh, how I miss this place! Even the elevator was adorable. It said the floor numbers in French.

83822-img_4932

c53a4-dsc_0878
Her building was beautiful!
Her apartment is a steal at $89 per night and located one block from Café Charlot and the famous Marché des Enfants Rouge. This is one of the oldest farmers markets in Paris. You must try one of the amazing crepes made by our sweet friend Alain.
He is very popular and his line is always long.

 e0022-dsc_1130 27b32-dsc_1139 04c9e-dsc_1142 de002-dsc_1134 1cec8-dsc_1144 c5ad5-aimee2bcrepe

Watching him make his enormous crepes is like watching an artist at work

19777-dsc_1140 12171-img_4708 381d4-dsc_1145

Happy apartment hunting! I’m happy to provide referrals for the places we rented if you send me an email.

One thought on “Lizzie’s Guide to Choosing an AirBnb rental in Paris

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s