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Renting an Airbnb Apartment in Paris – My Experience

My experience renting an Airbnb apartment in Paris was an absolutely fantastic one. I enjoyed it so much that as I plan my next Europe trip I’m making a point of using Airbnb whenever I can. I realized I never wrote about the cute little apartment I stayed in while I was in Paris so today I want to take you guys to Paris for a moment and talk about that studio apartment that I fell in love with.

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

 The view from my Airbnb apartment in Paris.

My Airbnb Apartment in Paris

This was my second time renting an apartment from Airbnb and I pored and pored over all the listings prior to selecting the one I did. I debated which neighborhood I wanted to stay in and compared distances to Metro stations. I eventually decided on this listing. I’d already used my free $25 credit when I had used Airbnb in Portland but I was still pleasantly surprised by how affordable the place was. It was more than what I would have paid for a hostel but the same price or cheaper than most of the hotels I had looked at. Plus it included a full kitchen, washing machine and internet.

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

Apologies for the picture quality! I snapped these before I headed out the door for my early morning departure to the airport.

You could see the entrance to the nearest Metro station from the entrance of the apartment building (score!) and around the block was another Metro station that served two different lines. It was ideal for someone like me who wanted to take public transportation the entire time I was there. It was also a mile from the Eiffel Tower and my first visit to the iconic tower was on foot as I walked through Parisian neighborhoods to arrive at it.

In fact, that’s probably my favorite thing about the apartment. It was close to all the major sites but at the same time it was in a residential neighborhood. There was a small grocery store around the corner, a beautiful bakery down the street and just below the apartment was a cafe. I also later discovered that two blocks over was a street filled with every type of store you could want including what looked to be Paris’ version of Target. I had a lot of fun exploring!

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

My communication was the host was flawless and they were so helpful with advice about the best way to get from the airport to the apartment. She met me at the apartment and showed me around and offered to answer any questions I had while I was there. And even better, she had created a beautiful guide to the neighborhood and to Paris. I’d pored over travel guide books before coming on the trip but there’s something so much more valuable about getting the advice of a local. I was especially thrilled to see a list of recommended restaurants and shops that were close to the apartment. At this point I’d been spoiled by both my Portland and Paris hosts in the fact that they provided these!

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

 

The #1 Reason I Love Airbnb Apartments

The biggest thing that I like about renting an apartment is that it makes me feel like a local. It’s completely different to stay in an apartment complex with other locals and grab groceries at the store downstairs the same way that they do. You just can’t get that in a hotel.

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

I also loved using a true European kitchen and getting to experience the difference between their version of a kitchen and my American notion of what size a kitchen should be. I had to figure out how to use a oven when all the labels were in French (OK I cheated and used the apartment guide book that my host had provided – ha!) and made espresso in their fancy espresso maker each morning. There are few things more relaxing than sipping an espresso in Paris in your pajamas as you look upon Paris from your top floor window. I mean, for real, you don’t have to be a millionaire in order to enjoy the small things in life.

Airbnb Apartment In Paris

One night I came back from sightseeing, bought a frozen pizza at the grocery store between my Metro stop and the apartment, and had dinner while I put my feet up and checked my email. Another night I bought pasta, sauce and the best baguette I’ve ever eaten and enjoyed it all in the apartment. Saving  money by eating at “home” ended up being an unexpected perk of renting an apartment.

 

When and Why I’ll Keep Using Airbnb

I had such a fantastic time in Paris staying in an apartment that I hope to do it as much as possible whenever I go to Europe. Since it’s more expensive than staying in a hostel there will be times when I let my wallet win but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much money can be saved when you share an Airbnb apartment with friends. For less money than it would cost for all of us to stay at a hostel some friends and I are renting an apartment in Italy. It has two bedrooms in addition to the living room and kitchen. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about it!

There will be times when Airbnb just doesn’t make sense though. If I’m only going to be in a city for one night it’s often not worth it depending on the cleaning fee involved. Plus a lot of hosts would make better money from booking people for more nights. Booking one night stays that ruin their availability calendar just aren’t ideal for them so I don’t blame hosts for having minimum stay requirements. I also don’t like using Airbnb when I’m taking weekend trips within the US and will be arriving at really odd times of the night. Since most Airbnb rentals involve meeting up with the host that just isn’t convenient.

 

Some Tips:

+ I always rent an entire place instead of a room in someone’s place. To me those are two entirely different scenarios. Some people love renting rooms. For me, I want the entire place.

+ Pay attention to the cleaning fee. Some apartments may have the same nightly rate but if one of them doesn’t have a cleaning fee it will be the cheaper option.

+ If internet is important to you be sure to filter for that. In one of the small towns in Italy I’m traveling to almost none of the apartments have internet so it’s a commodity to have! The majority of the time the apartments include wifi – but be careful and double check if it’s an important item for you!

+ If you’ve never used Airbnb before be sure to sign-up using a referral code. It will get you $25 off your first stay. I used one from a fellow blogger and was thankful for the large discount on my first stay. If you’d like to use my $25 referral credit you’re more than welcome to!

+ Don’t wait until the last minute to try to book. The best apartments are usually booked pretty far in advance.

Renting An Apartment In Paris

 

At the end of the day I’d obviously recommend looking into renting an Airbnb apartment if you’re headed to Paris or anywhere else! If you do please come back and let me know what you thought of the experience – I’d love to hear about it!

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  • I’ve been so hesitant to use AirBNB but your post is so encouraging! It’s so odd to stay in someone’s home, but I guess that’s what you do when you rent a beach house! Hopefully my husband and I can try it out soon!

    • Definitely give it a try and see how you like it! In all of the places I’ve rented it wasn’t someone’s actual home, just an apartment they’re currently using to rent out to Airbnb guests. I’ve had friends rent rooms from people and said the experience wasn’t really what they wanted. =/ I’m going to stick to renting out entire places.
      If you and your husband try it be sure to come back and let me know how it went! =D

  • My husband, my friends, and I were in Montreal recently for a wedding. We stayed at an airbnb, and it was such a steal! I think for Friday-Tuesday (four nights) we paid about $80/person. We were two couples and one single, so the three bedrooms with one single bed and two double beds were perfect. It was great being able to cook meals there, although we also treated ourselves to meals out quite often! It was a vacation, after all. ;)

    • That sounds like such a fun experience! I’m getting an Airbnb apartment with friends in Italy and I think it will be so much more fun than staying in separate hotel rooms. Plus having the option to cook is great – although I’m with you, it is a vacation after all ;)

  • I heard some great things about Airbnb. I think I would agree with you that this is a great way to experience the area like a local. I’ll have to look into it! I also really like the VRBO site. I think it’s a similar type of thing, you can rent a house from the owner. We are renting a cabin through VRBO for our honeymoon and so far we loved how easy it was to find a place and set up the trip with the owner.

  • I’m obsessed with airbnb now, I can’t see myself traveling and staying in a hotel any time soon. I’ve had nothing but very positive experiences and I also booked one for an upcoming trip to Paris so I’m excited to see how it works out.

    • That’s what I’m hearing from more and more people! Which part of Paris is your upcoming apartment in? I still can’t get over how much I loved the cute little apartment I had in Paris =)

      • It’s located in Bastille. There were an overwhelming number of options for apartments so hopefully we picked a decent spot