If you are planning a stay in Paris, you may want to consider a a short term apartment rental. These apartments are rented out by businesses specializing in short term rentals. Compared to a hotel, they can save you money while offering furnished accommodations, kitchens, internet access and a convenient location to popular sites. There are a number of owners and agencies that provide short-term rentals to visitors. You will need to do some research in order to pick the right Paris rental and understand a few key things to have an enjoyable stay.
Step 1: Understand Paris’ short-term rentals laws – Although this is often disregarded, it is illegal for a private residence to be rented for less than one year. However, many apartment rental companies have commercial licenses to be able to rent out apartments for short-term stays.
Short-term apartment rentals are only illegal in Paris if you rent for less than one year from an owner who does not have the apartment classified as a commercial property. Be sure to ask the person you are arranging the rental with, should you have any concerns.
Step 2: Decide where in Paris you would like to stay – The main districts of Paris are called arrondissements. It will serve you well to become familiar with a map that shows all the main attractions and its neighborhoods, and then choose a district close to the attractions you are most interested in. You can search the internet to find a map for guidance.
Step 3: Calculate your budget – Paris offers lower prices for simple accommodation and higher prices for luxury apartments. A short-term apartment will not necessarily be inexpensive, but should be less than staying in a hotel. Remember that you are paying in euro and make sure you use and exchange rate calculator so you know what you would actually be paying.
Step 4: Search for Paris apartment rentals – There are hundreds of companies that provide this service and doing a simple internet search will yield a wealth of information. Some sites include: VacationinParis, ParisStay and ParisianHome for higher end rentals and for lower cost rentals: VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner), Craigslist, Slowtrav and Flipkey. Make sure when conducting your search to specify furnished apartments.
Step 5: Check out apartments near the Seine River and metro stops – Paris is a walkable city and being located near the river will allow you easy access to metro stops as well as many historic locations.
Step 6: Re-think rentals that are too expensive and have excessive stairs – While staying on the top floor has its charm and advantages, a rental without an elevator, makes it a challenge to carry luggage and groceries to and from your room. Remember that the price listed will be more after taxes and fees are calculated.
Step 7: Request the total cost from the service or owner – Request any extra information needed about the apartment like are there extra service fees for water, gas, electricity etc. Be prepared before your book your lodging.
Step 8: Contact the owner or agency prior to booking – Make sure you feel completely confident that the rental is legitimate before giving any credit card information. Look for reviews to confirm that the agency or owner is legitimate.
Step 9: Place your reservation to secure the rental for your stay.
Step 10: Obtain details who will be meeting you and how to obtain access to the rental – Ask for detailed instructions when confirming your rental.
There are countless websites and companies that rent apartments. While many will rent from an agency, the best way to stay in Paris is to find an apartment for rent by owner (FRBO). Apart from being less-expensive than a hotel, renting an apartment can allow you to save by skipping things you do not need from hotel.
The advantage to renting a FRBO apartment over a hotel is the price, staying in a neighborhood and “living” with the locals, and having a kitchen to cook in. There are pros and cons to staying in a rental versus a hotel but armed with knowledge and information can make for a unique and memorable experience.
Apartment Rental tips and links
These are links to sites that are either non-commercial or offer alternatives to the usual apartment rental sites. Apartments rented from non-commercial agencies may not have insurance that traditional agencies might offer and you should accept any risks associated with that.
Here are several websites worth browsing:
AirBnB – offers apartments and rooms for rent in private apartments, verifies personal profiles and listings and helps hosts and guests communicate effectively about rentals.
Paris Attitude – offers a range of furnished apartments in Paris from luxury to atypical properties.
Paris For Rent – offers a diverse assortment of rentals with a full property management agency.
Paris Perfect – handpicked Paris vacation rentals.
Vacation in Paris – offers a smaller listing of privately owned quality apartments in Paris.
VRBO – offers listings of vacation rentals by homeowners.
Remember, you may feel as if you are living in your own home, however respect the owner of the property and neighbors.
Above all, it’s your vacation so spend it having the best time possible. As long as you know the basic layout of the city, don’t worry about getting lost, have an adventure…you will be fine! Mingle with locals, stop by both tourist and residential areas and immerse yourself in French culture. When you return home your friends will notice that Paris glow.
Featured photo by Molly.Low // Flickr