I love using Airbnb when I travel for so many reasons but this is especially true in Paris. The hotel rooms in Paris tend to be teeny-tiny so getting an apartment is a way better value. If you haven’t traveled much in Europe the idea of staying in a flat vs. a hotel can seem strange (I had to talk my sister into it recently) but it’s how most people travel in Europe. I lived in Paris for a year and a half and my friends are always asking me to help them choose an Airbnb so I thought I would do a post on how to choose an Airbnb Flat in Paris. I actually just returned from a trip to Paris and we stayed in the most beautiful Airbnb flat. (Of course there are lots of great neighborhoods but for the sake of this post I’m going to narrow it down to my three favorites.)
1. Location Location Location
For me location is the first thing I look at. It has to be a few minutes from a Metro station and in a cool neighborhood near shops and cafes. There are so many great neighborhoods in Paris but my favorite neighborhoods to stay in as a visitor are Near Rue Montorgueil, Near Rue Cler and The Marais. I’ve put pink dots over the parts of the neighborhoods I usually look in but there are great spots outside the pink dots too. This is just to give a bit of a reference.
I love Rue Montorguiel, It’s centrally located and easy to walk to the Marais or the Louvre. The market street is the real draw, you’ll find fruit stands, cheese shops, several bakeries all on one tidy block. There is also a lot of great boutiques and shopping nearby. For my search I look for the Sentier metro stop and then search within a few blocks of Rue Montorgueil.
Rue Cler is also a really great market street and even though the 7th is a little farther out the metro gets you into central Paris very quickly. Several guidebooks also recommend this neighborhood for tourists. Besides being home to my favorite breakfast the other perk is being so close to the Eiffel Tower, night time picnics! I search for Rue Cler and be sure to not look at places too far away from the Metro.
The Marais is the home of my favorite shops and restaurants. Meandering the streets at night is one of the most romantic things in the world. The Marais is very large and filled with lots of small cobblestone streets. You can’t go wrong here unless you get far away from a Metro station. There are so many cafes and shops and this area even covers Ile Saint-Louis (I’ve always wanted to stay in apartment there!)
2. The Details
After the location the next thing I look for is something with beautiful architectural details like parquet floors and floor to ceiling wondows. For my work wifi is mandatory and I usually try to find a room with a view. Be careful when you wish for a view! A lot of the apartments don’t have elevators and that 5th floor walk up can be painful when you are carrying lots of luggage. I think the most magical part of staying in an Airbnb is finding something really beautifully designed. It’s so fun to stay in a really cool apartment.
Reviews are very important part of the process. For me an occasional bad experience doesn’t worry me (we all have a bad day once in a while) but I try to avoid people who cancel last minute or if there are a large amount of negative reviews.
4. Overall Tips
The best selection is usually available far in advance, so book early. I usually inquire with 2-3 apartments at a time and see which ones are available before making a decision. I’ve only had good experiences renting apartments but Airbnb has really great policies in place that protect consumers.
This post is sponsored by Airbnb a company I’ve loved and have been using for years.