Furnished rental apartments (meublé) in Paris from as little as $65 per night or $400 per week

Renting your own furnished apartment in Paris (called a meublé in French) will likely be as cheap—if not cheaper than—a hotel, plus will get you a kitchen and the other amenities of everyday life that will help you feel more like a Parisian and less like a tourist.

Of course, you are still a tourist. But you're one who can cook a few meals at home to save on restaurant costs, who probably gets a code for free access to WiFi, and who can just toss the laundry in the apartment's midget washing machine at night rather than having to waste valuable vacation time at a laundromat.

And did I mention apartment are usually cheaper than a hotel?

How much does an apartment in Paris cost?

As a very rough estimate, for a centrally-located apartment in Paris sleeping two you can typically expect to pay around €80 to €140 per night ($105 to $180), or €500 to €900 per week ($640 to $1,150).

Those are average rates. Apartment prices for two can actually range as low as €50 ($65) per night or €310 ($400) per week, and as high as €225 ($290) per night or €1,600 ($2,050) per week. And that's all covering one-bedroom flats.

There are, obivously, many variables that affect the cost of short-term apartment rentals in Paris:

  • Time of year (winter is cheapest)
  • Size of the apartment (they can sleep anywhere from two to eight people—but four or six people splitting the cost of a two- or three-bedroom apartment will often pay much less per person than a couple in a one-bedroom)
  • Location (you'll pay more to be near the Louvre or Eiffel Tower than to be in Montmartre)
  • Length of rental (the longer the rental period, the less the nightly cost)
  • Style (how plain or fancy the joint is)
The pros and cons of renting an apartment on vacation
  • You can rent an apartment for just a few nights. The first thing most people get wrong about renting an apartment for their travels is they assume you can only rent one by the month. This is not so.

    In fact, while some are available only on a monthly basis, the majority of vacation apartments are rented out by the week, or even for just three nights—and there are plenty that will rent to you for just a single night, especially in low season.
  • You get to live like a local. With you own pad, and a chance to try on the experience of living life as a local for a short while, shopping at the local stores and cooking meals in your own kitchen.
  • You save money. It's not just that apartments often cost less than hotels. That kitchen helps you save money on dining expenses by limiting the number of meals you have to eat out at a restaurant; you avoid paying through the nose for a hotel breakfast, can dine at home some nights, and keep a stock of cheese, salamis, fruits, and veggies in the fridge for replenishing your daily picnic lunch supplies.
  • No one will clean up while you're out and about. One hotel amenity you usually don't get with a short-term rental apartment is maid service—but do you really need fresh sheets every night?

How to find an apartment to rent in Paris

Apartments for rent—often referred to using the British terminology "flats to let"—are widely advertised in U.S. and British newspaper trvel sections and magazines, though that is usually the priciest way to go.

Apartments are often easiest to arrange through a rental agency or consortium, but you'll usually find the best deals by contacting people privately in Paris via one of the "virtual classifieds" self-listing sites.

Virtual classifieds
  • PartnerAirbnb.com (www.airbnb.com) - A network of more than 4,600 apartments and houses for rent (plus nearly 100 B&Bs/homestays). Many are direct from the owner—meaning you pay some of the lowest rates out there. Rates start as low as $35 a night, even in the center of town. In fact, you can stay in the oh-so-chic Marais or Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhoods—or along the Seine with a view of Notre Dame—for as little as $39 per night for two people. I am not kidding. Even once you add to those base rates the $30–$40 booking fee and €50 final cleaning fee (and, if applicable, a €20–€30 fee for stays of fewer than three nights), it remains an amazing bargain. You're looking at about $100 per night, all inclusive, for your own apartment in the heart of Paris. Beat that, hotels.
  • PartnerVRBO (www.vrbo.comPartner) - Another massive database. I counted more than 110 properties just in the 1st arrondissement (around the Louvre), another 110 around Montmartre. That's just ftwo or of Paris's 20 arrondissements. VRBO stands for "Vacation Rentals By Owners," which is (mostly) exactly what this is: it cuts out the middle man or a rental agency (and the attendant fees) by allowing those with rental homes to advertise them directly to potential vacation renters. I say "mostly" because, as you might imagine, plenty of agencies post their offering here as well, but that's OK. So long as you find the right match for you, Does the provenance of the perfect vacation home really matter? I've used this service to find everything from a flat in London to a South Carolina beach house for an extended-family vacation (as in the family was extended—three generations-worth—not, sadly, the vacation, which was one week).
  • Craigslist.org (www.craigslist.org) - The biggest virtual classifieds section lists short-term rentals all over the world. A bit of a Wild West (little vetting of properties and few assurances), but you never know what you'll find. There is a Craigslists for Paris, but be sure to rifle through the craigslists of major US cities, too—doesn't matter if you live there or not—because lots of folks post rental ads for their Paris apartment on the Craigslists for New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.
Apartment rental agencies

There are a ton of agencies and listings sites for Paris. To make things easier, here are those with the most options at the best prices.

Big agencies (more than 1,000 apartments in Paris)

  • PartnerRentalo (www.rentalo.com) - More than 120,000 properties around the world, including 1,098 in Paris alone—a modern one-bedroom in the Bastille district, five minutes from the Picasso Museum in the Marais, runs €580 a week.
  • PartnerHomeaway.com (www.homeaway.comhomeaway) - Another biggie, with more than 2,160 rentals in Paris.
  • Lodgis (www.lodgis.com) - Wonderfully simple site for a Paris real estate agency that includes vacation rentals (1,252 in Paris) along with long-term rentals, sales, and other real estate options.

Smaller agencies (more than 100 apartments in Paris)

  • Villas International (www.villasintl.com) - Long-established agency, with more than 400 properties around Paris—amusingly, the very first result it returns on the general "Paris" list is a chateau that sleeps 30. Don't worry; there are more than 200 flats on tap sleeping one to four people.
  • PartnerInterhome (www.interhomeusa.com) - About 140 flats and houses or cottages in Paris in the surrounding Île-de-France region.
  • Barclay International (www.barclayweb.com) - One of the world's premier rental agencies since 1963. (And yes, "premier" does mean "a bit pricey"). Excellent properties and service on about 135 Paris properties—though many are residence hotels or condo-like arrangements, not private flats.
  • Apartmentparis.fr (www.apartmentparis.fr) - About 120 apartments across Paris.

Boutique agencies (fewer than 100 appartments in Paris)

OK, these each rep fewer than 100, but the're good ones.

  • PartnerVenere.com (www.venere.com) - Hotel booking engine that also includes more than 75 apartments in Paris. Not as many options as at some dedicated apartment-rental agencies, but there are some big benefits to using it: namely, the flats are as easy to book as a hotel. There's no mucking about with contracts to fax and deposits to transfer (at a fee) by bank wire; just enter your dates and credit card info and you're done.
  • 1000 et 1 Paris (www.milleetunparis.com) - Reps about 90 apartments in Paris starting at €32 per night with a two-night minimum.
  • Paris Séjour Réservation (www.psrparis.com) - Around 50 apartments across Paris, starting at €90/€100 for a studio or one-bedroom.
  • Chez Mois à Paris (www.rentapart.com) - A boutique agnecy, with only 44 properties, but simply set up, with no surprise fees and accepts credit cards.
  • Paris Appartements Services (www.paris-appartements-services.com) - Just 68 appartments, but nice selection. For two, studios start at €130 per night, 1-bedrooms at €180 per night. Four-night minimum.
  • Coach House Paris (www.rentals.chsparis.com) - Only about 17 apartments, but all carefully hand-selected and reasonably priced, starting at around $150 a night.

Top tips for renting an apartment on vacation

Here are some tips to help during the booking, paying, and arrival process:

BOOKING: Getting what you pay for
  • Do a lot of shopping around. Ask many questions, look at pictures if you can get 'em. Work with an agency that will help you find the place you want, not the one they want to sell you.
  • Week-long rentals are typical, though many apartments are available for two or three nights at a time, especially in the off-season (winter).
  • Peak season is roughly Easter to mid-July and August to October, plus Christmas (Dec 15–Jan 6).
  • Advanced reservations are essential. For high season, it's best to book several months, or even a full year, ahead.
  • Every owner bends the rules sometimes, so even if a website states that an apartment only rents by the week or longer, or that rates are completely nonnegotiable, it never hurts to inquire about flexibility. Small agencies and owners who rent one or two apartments are particularly likely to bargain during slower periods.
  • Bait and switch is pervasive when booking through an agency (as opposed to direct from the owner or a hotel)—whether intentional or because online databases aren't updated to reflect actual availability. Double-check that the apartment you want is the apartment you're getting. If the agency offers an alternative, make sure it's up to snuff and reasonably priced.
PAYING: Deposits and cancellations
  • A deposit will often be necessary to hold your reservation. The amount varies: It might be the equivalent of one night's stay; it might be 30%–50% of the total; it might be something totally different. The balance is due 6 to 20 days prior to arrival.
  • Bank wire transfers are required to rent some apartments, particularly direct-from-owner units (agencies will usually let you use a credit card). Note that banks in the U.S. charge $30–$50 for an international transfer, and it'll take three to five business days to process.
  • Taxes, utilities, and an initial and final cleaning fee are frequently included in the quoted price, but that's not always the case, so ask. If the apartment has a phone, inquire whether local calls cost extra.
  • Expect to pay a deposit against potential damages, either through a hold on your credit card or in cash to the person who gives you the keys. The money will be refunded when you check out.
  • Cancellation policies vary, with refunds given on a sliding scale, meaning less money is returned the later that you cancel. The deposit is rarely refundable, though you may be able to get some of the money back if you cancel far in advance.
ARRIVING: Who will give you the key?
  • A representative will usually meet you at the apartment, a major landmark, train station, their own downtown office, or the local bus or metro stop nearest the apartment at a prearranged time. He or she will lead you to the flat, show you the ropes (which keys fit which locks, location of the fuse box), point out nearby markets and cafés, and provide a local number to call if you have questions.
  • Most kitchens come fully equipped, but double-check that this is the case if you plan on cooking. Before heading to the market, look in the cabinets. There are often some cooking staples (salt, sugar, pasta, oil) left by former guests.
  • Towels and linens are typically provided, but bring your own soap, shampoo, and toiletries; this is not a hotel.
  • Maid service is rare, though a few rentals offer cleaning every three days or so. Remember: You're living like a local, which includes taking out the trash and recycling. Your host will provide a schedule.

» More lodgings in Paris: Booking.com, Venere.com, Bedandbreakfast.com, Getaroom.com




Web ReidsParis.com