Hey Trippy community! You've all been super helpful in my Paris planning. Next question: Can you name some good long-term accommodation options? I've been using Airbnb and am shocked at how tiny apartments are in Paris, or rather, how expensive it is to rent apartments that are so tiny.
1) Good websites to use
2) Best ways to find an apartment (should I just wait until I get there?)
3) Best neighborhoods to live in
4) Expected monthly rent for Paris?
Perhaps it's just because I'm a tourist who's never been to France...but I'm craving to stay in an apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower; unsurprisingly, this seems to be very expensive on Airbnb.
Well, accomodations in Paris are VERY expensive. We lived next to the Eiffel Tower for five years, and while it was really a dream coming true for us, we had to pay more than 1000€/month for a 40sq meter studio (without furniture, electricity, phone, internet, etc!). But that was 10 years ago. We later moved to Greece, and by the time we went back to Paris, the rent got even higher. We found a 35sq meter (fully furnished this time) in the 13th arrd. for about 900€/month. But of course we had to sign a 1 year lease, and provide many official documents, bank statements, etc. To give you another example: friends of us had a 20sq m studio in the 14th arrd. for 600€/month. Other found a room to share for 500€/month. And it's getting worse and worse.
I suppose you're not staying more than 1 year in Paris. Depending on how long you want to stay there, the best way (the less expensive) would be via Airbnb. If you can't find one, and still want to avoid hotels, you can try Apart'Hotels There are more than 15 Apart'hotels in different neighborhoods. And I think there's one close to the Eiffel Tower. It's basically fully furnished appartments, that you can rent for a night, to a month, or even longer.
You can also check out this website: http://www.pap.fr It's updated every day at 8am or 9am. So be sure to have a pen and a phone ready by that time, and once the new ads are published, you call the ones you're interested in to talk to the owner.
The best way to find a place to rent is being on-site. Because then you can make an appointment to visit the accomodation right away, and if you don't like it, just look for another one. But of course, you'll have to stay somewhere for a certain time until you find your long-term accomodation. If hotels are too expensive, you can check out some hostels: http://www.aubergesdejeunesse.com/France/Paris
As for the neighborhoods in Paris, it really depends on what you want to do, or where exactly you'll spend most of your time.
If Paris is simply too expensive for you, try to find a flat outside of Paris but close to a metro or train station. Paris' rents are expensive because of the tax. Outside of Paris, in Montrouge, Clichy, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Ivry-sur-Seine, the tax is more than 50% lower. However, try to avoid towns such as Aubervilliers or Asnieres-sur-Seine, because it's not very safe there. It'd be better to stay in the southern outskirts (IF you want to stay outside of Paris for a lower rent).
If you know in which neighbourhood you'll spend most of your time, let me know, and I might be able to help you more.
Good luck hunting! And hope this helps a bit :)
Mei & Kerstin (from Openupnow.net)
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I would try FUSAC which is a magazine for the English-speaking community in Paris. Since it's a magazine that's geared towards ex-pats and people who plan to be there a while rather than tourists, they often have ads for long-term stay apartments. Since it's a lesser-known resource, it's also less competitive than say, airbnb or the like.
Here is the link to their housing offers:
That said, the rent in Paris is what it is and that's hard to get around. I would think you'd have better luck finding something a bit cheaper if you looked in say, the Belleville area, which has been an up-and-coming area for a while now, than say Quartier Du Marais which is the hottest neighborhood in Paris.
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Mei and Kirsten's answer below is very accurate, most places in all of Europe are considerably smaller than in the U.S., folks there just do not live as "large" as Americans are used to.
I also agree with their statement about living just outside Paris near a Metro or RER station, the train systems there are fast, reliable (unless they are on strike) and frequent.
Everyone who has spent any time there at all, is going to tell you the same thing, it is not inexpensive to live in Paris.
On the bright side of things, the Eiffel Tower is very, very close to a Metro Station ( Bir-Hakeim ), so even if you do not find a place with a view, it doesn't take long to get there on the Metro !
Treat this as an adventure, one where your expectations have to be made to fit the French "norm" and you are going to enjoy every minute of your stay there. Do not approach this with "Americanized expectations" as to square footage, etc !!!
Have Fun !
Vrbo.com was a huge success for my family's vacation to Paris. We rented a beautiful apartment in the 12th (a quiet but very nice arrondissement) and it was cheaper and way more spacious than a hotel would have been. Plus the host was extremely kind and left us with all sorts of tips and information about the area.
My husband and I have a large studio, small 2 room flat in Paris, between the Arc de Triomphe and Trocadero, ie well situated. The flat is 60m2, is on the 5th floor of an attractive 1930s building in limestone, with a partial view and sunny. We rent it, on a yearly basis, furnished, for 1800 euros per month. Perhaps this helps to give you an idea about prices.
For a shorter rental length, ie 1 month only, the rent would be quite a bit higher, of course.
For guests of ours, looking to rent in Paris, we recommend www.museofparis.com
My favourite area is the Latin Quarter, or the Ile de la Cité, but the flats are often smaller there, and noisy