Do you dream of renting an apartment in Paris? Your own little slice of the city of lights with wine and cheese on the terrace? With so many options available this scenario is closer to reality than you may realize. There are apartments for every budget, lifestyle, and decor preference.
Before you press the “book now” button, you may want to consider these 10 factors to make the most of your vie Parisienne. 🇫🇷
Most of the traditional classic buildings with gorgeous parquet floors, intricate moldings, and high ceilings are six stories high. Many times there will be a little balcony on the second and fifth floors. The sixth floor was originally for the maid’s quarters but are now full (tiny) apartments (usually a bargain compared to others in the same building). The ground floor is labeled as zero or rez Chaussee (RC in the elevator). For privacy and a lot less noise, chose an apartment on the second floor or higher. And, remember to ask if there is an elevator and if it works!
Paris is broken up into 20 arrondissements, which are further broken down into neighborhoods. Most visitors, renting an apartment in Paris, want to be close to the city center, within easy walking distance to top attractions, restaurants, and shopping. This is generally in the lower numbered arrondissements, 1-6 that spiral out from Notre Dame Cathedral and include St. Germain, the Marais, and the Latin Quarter. A quick tip: When you look at an address in Paris, the zip code includes the arrondissement number, the last two digits. For example, 75014, the 75 means Paris, and the 14 means the 14th arrondissement.
As long as you are close to a Metro stop you are never too far from home. The (mostly) underground transportation system has hundreds of stops. Within the city center, they are usually just a few blocks apart. While you want to be close to a good metro line you don’t want to be right next to one. These entrances are super busy at peak time, can be noisy and you need to be aware of pickpockets. So to be safe I’d say be within a 5-minute walk of a station and you’ll have the convenience and get in a stroll at the same time. 🚶♀️
For the past two summers, the temperatures in Paris have reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most apartments and Parisian buildings in general, don’t have A/C. If you are traveling to Paris during the heat of the summer, June, July, and August you will want to look for an apartment with courtyard-facing rooms (especially the bedroom). These rooms stay much cooler in the summer months since they do not have direct sunlight. In addition, the thick stone walls help keep the temps down. If there is no aircon, make sure the host provides at least one fan.
It’s Europe, and they use the metric system, so the size of the apartment will be written in square meters. For ease, simply multiply the number by 10.5 to get approximate square footage. Most times, the apartment will also show “pieces” which is the number of main rooms. For example, a 3 pieces apartment with 40 square meters would be a 420-square-foot place with, a living room, bedroom, and another room. The bathroom and kitchen are generally not included in the number of “pieces”.
This brings us to the bathroom. Since most apartments the “ancien” (antique) buildings were carved out of larger homes, the wc, sink, shower/bath can be in very odd configurations. Many times the wc is separate from the sink/bathing area. And you’ll need to plan on getting cozy because finding a 2 bathroom unit in central Paris can be tedious and expensive.
Depending on your length of stay and your OCD you may think about bringing your own bed linens. Remember, these are real Parisian homes, not hotels. There are also a number of luxury linen companies where you could buy a fantastic and very useful set of sheets as a souvenir.
While this is not always possible, seeing the floor plan before you make your rental decision is incredibly helpful. Especially with the whole bathroom separation, the “pieces” vs “real” rooms and kitchen. This way you will know exactly what you are getting and won’t be disappointed if something is lost in translation.
I love this feature of Google maps where you can literally walk around the streets next to your prospective apartment in Paris. One of the things I look for is what is on the ground floor of the building. Even if you LOVE curry, do you really want to smell it day and night from the fabulous Indian restaurant beneath your window? Now, if it’s a bakery (boulangerie) or pastry shop (patisserie) then go all IN! 🥖
I’m sure some folks will disagree with me on this one since kids need to assimilate and try new things. While that’s very true, depending on the length of your stay and the age of the children, it may be a good idea to bring some fave foods from home. I once brought a taco kit to Paris, then bought, meat, cheese, and lettuce for a simple and familiar Mexican night at home. 🌮
I hope these tips help you when you think about renting an apartment in Paris. I’d be happy to share more information about renting or staying in France with you. It’s easy to set up a complimentary 15-minute vacation chat with me here. Or, just send me an email, at email@example.com.
Want to read more about how working with a travel agent can save you time and headache? Check out this article.
At Gourmet Adventures Travel Co., I craft culinary getaways for travelers who love to eat well and yearn to truly savor the authentic side of their destination. From a river cruise through Provencal wine country to a journey through the heady spice markets and medinas of Morocco, you'll taste your way through the world's most enchanting landscapes.