During my stay in Paris, I wanted to stay in an AirBnB– the idea sounded so amazing– walking down to the boulangerie every morning for fresh baked baguettes, looking out the window to the famous Parisian architecture and walking home from late night dinners…a total dream. While, the AirBnB I stayed at was incredible (and I highly recommend it!) there are a few tips I would have known beforehand, especially in a big city like Paris and that’s why I’m writing this post today. If you find yourself still wondering about AirBnb, or if the one I stayed at is the right choice for you, feel free to comment below or jet me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
à voter santé to enjoying your Parisian stay!
First things first, most Paris apartments have codes to get in– make sure to ask your host for this code beforehand! Most will mention it upon booking, but if they don’t, send a note their way– there’s nothing worse than arriving with loads of bags and being stranded on the side walk. And remember, depending on your plan, you may not be able to simply call them right away! Planning ahead is key. I also kept the code along with the address written on a piece of paper that I carried in my purse at all times along with my host’s name, and phone number if needed.
It’s also worth noting that at the apartment we stayed at (as the case with most residential buildings in Paris) that it was a hike up the winding staircase to the top floor of our host’s apartment. If you’re taking tons of luggage or have any physical ailments, I recommend asking your host what floor their apartment is on before booking.
Our host met us upon entering and had the nicest welcome gift waiting for us– delicious chocolates, teas and fresh croissants from the bakery below the apartment– a welcomed treat after our long travel morning! She was a total sweetheart and also left a list of restaurants and attractions in the area that she recommends. I loved that touch + appreciated it– it was great to get away from the tourist attractions every once and a while and see the everyday life of Parisians.
When renting an AirBnB in Paris, it’s vital that you consider location (+ I can’t stress this one enough!) While I loved how close our AirBnb was to the Sacré-Cœur (one of my favorite places in the city) and the Montmartre district, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable walking back from locations late at night. It’s also worth noting that it would have been quite the hike to other popular arrondissements!
This AirBnb was in the 18th arrondissement while I would have probably had chosen the 3rd-9th arrondissements had I known the location better prior. You don’t want to feel like you have to say no to that next glass of red wine at dinner because you have to get home before dark, ya feel?
Another thing to consider?
Where the nearest metro location is! While you could easily walk through Paris or take an Uber, taking the metro is often far less expensive and allows you to cut through that horrible Paris traffic.
Look in the reviews of your AirBnB and see what people have to say about the hosts– it’s nice if you have someone that’s notably responses in case any questions arise (you’d be surprised how many little things might come up!) I happened to get extremely sick during my stay and my host was able to recommend where to find a Dr. and offered to help in any way she could. While she couldn’t meet us at the end of our stay for the key return due to travel plans, her parents met us and they were delightful and also offered to help carry our bags down the stairs and answer any questions we had about returning to the airport.
Look into these before you book! Is wifi a must for you? A washer and dryer to do your laundry? A heater if you’re going during the winter months? You don’t want to be shocked! Remember: Just because it’s a “duh” in one country, doesn’t mean it is in another!
Other tips + notes
- Remember that European bathrooms are smaller! Don’t be surprised by the size: It’s extremely rare to find an American sized bathroom in AirBnB’s. If this is important to you, make sure you pay special attention to it on your search.
- Ask your host where the nearest Dr, pharmacy, etc. is beforehand! I wish I would have– by the time I was super sick, it took a while to figure out where everything was and the best place to go. Health care isn’t like it is in America in France, and this was by far the most troubling part of my experience.
- Learn a few key phrases in French + try to use them as often as possible in the neighborhood you’re staying in! A little bit goes a long way, especially in a city like Paris.
- Respect thy neighbor. You wouldn’t blast U2 at your apartment at 3 in the morning at home, don’t do it here.
- Ask your host where the best places to go around you are to embrace the local experience– coffee shops, bakeries, book stores and shops are all good starting points.
- Leave the house as you found it. Make the bed, clean-up your mess, take out the trash, etc. It’s common courtesy– this is your home during the trip, not a hotel room.
- If you’re looking for 24/7 help and an atmosphere to help make you feel more at home when abroad, (which I’m not going to lie, would have made our experience so much easier but a lot less interesting) stay in a hotel! AirBnB’s are about fully immersing yourself into the country’s culture.
Everything laid out on the table, I truly recommend it + can’t wait to do it again on my trip to New York City in the Fall! It was an unforgettable experience.
Want to give it a whirl for yourself? Use this code for $35 off your first stay at any AirBnB listing.
Have questions about renting an AirBnB or have one that you recommend? Let me know in the comments, below! xo