Finding An Apartment in Paris

Finding An Apartment in Paris

Being a bit of a Mrs. Kravitz, I love peeking inside people’s homes. Open Houses, ahhh! I have an obsession when it comes to architecture and interior design, even paint colors.

So, when it comes to finding an apartment in Paris I can waste entire days surfing.

The three rental websites I’ve found most useful are: HomeAway, Airbnb, and VRBO.

I found my New York rental through Airbnb and couldn’t have been more pleased. My sister and I have used VRBO and HomeAway. All have been good experiences. No disappointments.

I prefer Airbnb because–embarrassed to admit–their website is the most well-designed. Yes, the prettiest. It’s simple, easy to read, big photos with a simple filtering system. Look at this page, “Studios in Paris ~ Anne’s Picks.” Just fun.

VRBO has more sophisticated filtering systems than Airbnb, but for me, it’s too much to think about.

HomeAway is my sister’s favorite. It’s clean in design, easy to navigate as well. I see that HomeAway and VRBO are owned by the same company. News to me.

There are plenty of places that look respectable for way under $100 a night. It might be a 3-story walk-up, but hey, it’s only $30 a night. Just decide what’s important to you. I have always negotiated with the owners, “what’s your best price?” All but one has given me a better price than quoted online.

One placed advertises: “It’s equipped with wifi, a washing machine and a bread-making machine.” To each his own.

Each time I’ve used one of these sites I’ve wondered, ‘Is this owner legit? Will I arrive only to find an empty lot?’

“I’m Sophie, 31, PhD in culture & communication. I’ll be there when you arrive to make sure you feel at home.”

This one’s GOT to be legit, right? I verify folks by reading the reviews then looking at their Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn profiles. And remember, it goes both ways. Make sure your social media presence is presentable, too. I hope no one is spooked by all the graffiti on my Facebook page.

Use a credit card that guarantees purchases. Several of these sites offer insurance. Home Away and VRBO offer a guarantee policy for up to $10,000 against internet fraud, wrongful denial of entry, blah, blah, blah. Airbnb suggests getting travelers insurance which is very affordable.

First I narrowed down the neighborhoods that sounded the best. I’ve looked in arrondissements 5, 10, 11, 12, 13 – but the 14th caught my eye:

“Observatoire, the 14th arrondissement, is a lively neighborhood historically linked to great artists and writers . . . a euphoric meeting ground for the artistic world . . . where man relaxes and recaptures his taste for life, his frenzy to dance . . .” 

So, boys and girls, I have chosen five studio apartments. I’ve emailed all the owners with questions. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe, just maybe, I can book something in the next few days.

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Don’t forget to sign up for email reminders (over there, in the right hand column). Or you can follow me on I’ll be sharing daily experiences as I count down to my 30-day trek across Paris. Remember, I encourage you to offer any hints below in the Reply Box.


  • Denise Marie Merat
    Posted at 16:55h, 02 July

    I am interested in traveling to Paris at some point next year. I am enjoying your site so far. Please keep me in the loop!

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 17:07h, 02 July

    oh, Denise, do it! Set a date and make it happen. Thanks for your kind words. I have a whole list of stuff to write about and share. Stay tuned and thanks for following.

  • Cathy Lessing
    Posted at 18:49h, 02 July

    I’m soooo impressed with this venture of yours. Totally appreciate the interesting and helpful info on your process for finding an apartment. We’ve used VRBO in the states without any problems. Nice to hear about other options. Will be following your posts with great interest and virtual applause!

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 19:37h, 02 July

    Oh, Cathy, I am in maniac-mode right now. Too many details to worry about. I’m certainly not a fan of those ‘trips-in-a-box’, you know, the ones where they put you on a bus and take you everywhere. But right now those sound pretty good.

  • Sally
    Posted at 00:50h, 04 July

    You can’t be lying about your age too much if you know who Mrs. Kravitz is.

  • lisa
    Posted at 02:12h, 04 July

    Busted! Yeah, I aught to take a poll to see who remembers her!