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How to Search for an Airbnb in Paris

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.)

How to find an AIRBNB in Paris | Oh Happy DayHow to find an AIRBNB in Paris | Oh Happy DayHow to find an AIRBNB in Paris | Oh Happy DayHow to find an AIRBNB in Paris | Oh Happy Day

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!)

ruemontorgueilruecler the-marais

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.

3. Reviews
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. 

  1. Mrs. Limestone

    July 2, 2014

    I’ve loved seeing you trip photos from Instagram..thanks for sharing.

  2. Lisette Wolter-McKinley

    July 2, 2014

    Great info! Thanks for sharing.


    July 2, 2014

    I’ve also been following you on Instragram. I’m now dreaming of my trip to Paris.

  4. jodi

    July 2, 2014

    fantastic!! thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Rebecca Plotnick

    July 2, 2014

    Love this apartment and Airbnb. I used Airbnb to find my apartment for my first 3 months in Paris. It was lovely and I miss it so much! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful tips and photos.

  6. Christen

    July 2, 2014

    I lived in France while you were there as well (but in Bordeaux) and have been using Airbnb for years too – in France and elsewhere. I’m now back stateside and I’m a host in Chicago, and think it is basically the greatest website ever! I personally love staying at places while the host is there, it is a great way to find out hidden gems that you wouldn’t see in a guidebook, and I’ve been invited to hang out with hosts which is in my opinion one of the coolest ways to experience a different culture.

  7. Air comme Renée

    July 2, 2014

    Hi ! I’m a true parisian, i was born and i live in Paris.
    The neighborhoods you are telling about are very touristics (that’s okay of course ! ) May i suggest you for the next time the area of Montmartre ? There are a lot of really beautiful places around the metro Lamarck Caulaincourt ! This is a quiet place but also a great place to go out by night ! And for me we have the best view of Paris <3
    I have a list of cool stuff to do in Paris, feel free to ask me the next time you are in Paris 🙂 Your article were great though ! I'm happy so tee that you love Paris ! Paris loves you too 🙂

  8. Nora

    July 2, 2014

    This is wonderful Jordan – thank you! I am planning a trip for next year and would love to get your advice on where to stay and what to do in Marrakesh too!

  9. Stephanie

    July 2, 2014

    Any advice on searching kid-friendly flats on Airbnb? More than the flat itself, I’ve wondered if some hosts are not interested in having kids stay at their place.

  10. valerie lily c

    July 2, 2014

    bookmarking for future reference when i return to my fave city! thanks for this helpful guide. love airbnb. 🙂 xx

  11. Rachel

    July 2, 2014

    This is unbelievably helpful! Saving this for future travels to Paris. Love!

  12. Marissa

    July 2, 2014

    So helpful! Thank you!

  13. Kristen

    July 2, 2014

    This is awesome! Can you do a post on packing? How to pack for a carry on? Would love to be as stylish as you while traveling!

  14. Charming Paris Apartment

    July 2, 2014

    Our Paris flat is shortly going to be on Airbnb, hope some of your readers will give it a click and maybe even a stay when it’s up!!!! We’re already taking bookings!

  15. lina

    July 2, 2014

    i used airbnb when i spent about a week in paris as well! it was my first airbnb experience & i LOVED it. such a great company. i recommend it to all my friends who are traveling.

  16. Stacey

    July 2, 2014

    I am a huge fan of renting an apartment over staying in a hotel!! We weren’t able to get everything we were looking for with airbnb but had a great experience with Apartments Paris. For me, the best part was being able to pretend that we actually lived in Paris! 😉

  17. janis

    July 2, 2014

    Are you going to be posting about your China trip at some point? I’m so interested to read about it!! Especially the planning process/how you booked things. Thanks!

  18. Elizabeth

    July 2, 2014

    Air Bnb is excellent for a long stay vacation. We spent two glorious weeks in an apartment in the 10th. I initially wanted to stay in the Marais but those apartments really book quickly so I went a few blocks north. We we in walking distance to the Marais and right next to the St. Martin canals a hotspot on the weekends. You can see the apartment we booked on my blog. The best part was having a kitchen and a swing for our four year old!

  19. Kristin

    July 2, 2014

    How exciting! Great information.

  20. laura

    July 2, 2014

    If you will only be in Paris for 3 nights is it still worth it to rent an apartment or should you do a traditional hotel?

      • jordan
      • July 2, 2014

      I stayed there only two nights and would still choose an apartment.

  21. celyn

    July 2, 2014

    awww reading this post made me miss Paris so much! I lived there a few years ago for a few months and spent about half of my time living in le marais. i absolutely LOVE that neighborhood! Hopefully I can visit Paris again soon, this time i’ll be sure to try out Airbnb! It sounds great, thanks for sharing!

  22. Caitlin

    July 2, 2014

    Great advice! I love airbnb. Any thoughts on the Bastille area? My extended family is going for New Years and the pickings are slim for big apartments to house all of us…just curious if you think it’s a decent area!

  23. Lily

    July 3, 2014

    I’ve been traveling in Europe for over three months, and have been staying in Airbnbs in every country we visit. I’m writing this from one in Rome! It was hard to choose one for our week in Paris, but since we’re on a pretty tight budget, the really central ones were unavailable. We ended up staying in the République neighborhood and really loving it. The best thing (to me) about staying in Airbnbs is finding neighborhoods that are out of the tourist radar, and getting to see what it would feel like to actually live in the city you’re staying in!

  24. Lee

    July 3, 2014

    This flat is indeed beautiful.. love it!

  25. Bonnie @ The Pin Junkie

    July 3, 2014

    I just used airbnb for the first time to book an apartment in Brussels. It was super easy to use and I was surprised at how affordable many of the places were priced. This is my very first time used airbnb. Glad to hear that you like using it. Now I feel even better about my choice to use it on my travels. Can’t wait to get there and see it! Leavinging two weeks!

  26. Aude

    July 3, 2014

    Next time you should try Rue des Martyrs and neighborhoods… My favorite place in Paris 🙂

  27. Tamsin | A Certain Adventure

    July 3, 2014

    Hooray, I’m so excited that I’ve chosen an AirBnB apartment within one of your preferred zones – I’m staying close to Réaumur-Sébastopol métro next week! Really happy that you like that area and I shall have to check out Rue Montorgueil, hoping that the market will be open while I’m there!

  28. Ceci Bean

    July 3, 2014

    I stayed in an AirBnB near the Chemin Vert station. It was absurdly tiny (like a kid’s playhouse), but the price was right and the location was great. Next time maybe I’ll splurge for something with a bit more character though.

  29. sean

    July 3, 2014

    Using Airbnb in other countries can help provide a local’s perspective to the visitors. Thank you for sharing your amazing Paris journey and how to use the service. We have booked an upcoming Italy trip and are excited to try it out! To learn how you can earn $1,000/month with Airbnb, check out “THE EXPERT GUIDE TO AIRBNB” on the Kindle:

  30. Kathryn

    July 3, 2014

    We also prefer to stay in apartments when traveling, but we had a truly unfortunate experience in Paris that I would warn others about. We rented a place in the Marais and it was lovely…the only thing was that the toaster blew the electricity out at 10:00 pm. We had no other appliances running…it was just an old building. This took out the internet and our cell phones were not working in the building so we couldn’t reach the owners. We luckily found the fuse box where we reset everything. The next day, it happened again. We reset, Went down the street for wifi so we could alert the owner, and proceeded with our day. When we returned, the owner said we owed her $2800 euros for the electrical box!!!! She claimed that because we reset it, it blew the box or something. Outrageous. It was their toaster! There I was, pregnant and traveling with 2 small children and this woman is telling me I can’t leave until I pay her. It was unsettling. I did not pay, and luckily did not have a huge deposit that she could keep. Check into the customer protection policy at Air B n B to make sure you would be covered in this instance. We used a competitor and I don’t think they had a strong protection policy.

  31. Amelia

    July 3, 2014

    I’m currently planning my own trip to Paris and this is super helpful- thank you! x

  32. Marie

    July 4, 2014

    We love to stay in apartments when we go to Paris, too! I’ve been a little scared to try Airbnb in case something happens, like what happened to Kathryn above. One time the apartment we were going to stay in had a broken water pipe and we had to find another place at the last minute. If we were working with a bigger company that managed other apartments instead of with the owner of just one flat, we could have been moved to a different apartment. So for me, using a good agency sets my mind at ease. We’ve found Guest Apartment Services and LOVE them!! They have about 50 beautiful apartments mostly on the Ile Saint Louis, and they have been in business for a long time. You have to stay at least a week though. They are the best group of people, and they will even call and make restaurant reservations for you if you’re worried about using your French 😉 Last year we rented this apartment and we hope to stay in it again next time!

  33. Hailey

    July 4, 2014

    We stayed in an apartment on a side street off rue montorgueil and it was the best decision! Walking distance from les halles metro (so no metro connection required once we got into the city from te airport… Which makes a big difference with luggage and a stroller!) and walking downstairs straight onto a street of boulangeries and fromageries every morning to scout some breakfast really made the trip. I must say though, later in our trip we stayed at an airbnb place in london and had a real horror story! Overall I found airbnb great, but they were absolutely useless in a crisis. We weren’t able to locate or get in touch with our host the night we arrived, and only avoided a winter night on the streets (with baby in tow!!) by luckily finding an available hostel room nearby. We were finally able to contact the host and check in the next day and had a nice time after that, but it wasn’t till 3 DAYS LATER that we finally got a response from airbnb addressing the issue. I’m not sure if I would use them again unless I had a backup plan, and how useful is a service if you need to travel in that frame of mind?

  34. Jorina

    July 5, 2014

    I’m a little bit confused about why you’d say this is how most people travel in Europe? Because really, most people just stay in hotels like anywhere else… Not to say the concept of staying in someone’s actual house isn’t great, of course. But it’s not the standard thing to do here.

  35. Bianca

    July 6, 2014

    Would love to hear about where you stayed in Marrakech, too! Will you be blogging about your travels there?

  36. Stephanie

    July 8, 2014

    Funny you make this post, just got back from Paris and utilizing AirBNB for the first time. We stayed in Marmonte, LOVED the neighboorhood.

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