- Photo Essays
Last winter, a friend and I rented an apartment in Paris. From the giant solid-wood doors that led into our charming little courtyard we could see the majestic stature of Notre Dame, just a couple of blocks away.
Our tiny street was home to half a dozen restaurants, a fromagerie (cheese shop), a boulangerie (patisserie), a supermarket, Saturday craft markets, a couple of Parisian art galleries and was smack-bang in the heart of the Latin Quarter.
Sounds rather glamorous doesn’t it? Well, I wouldn’t quite go that far but renting an apartment did give us a taste of what it must be like to live like a Parisian. A Parisian on a very low budget, at least.
The apartment was a budget option at only 300 euro a week, about 40 euro a night, which for a city like Paris is very reasonable. Between the two of us, it was cheaper than staying in a dormitory in a Paris hostel. And while it was definitely not the Hilton, it had a location to die for!
Of course, having an apartment in Paris is a perk in itself but the next best thing was being so close to everything. We walked absolutely everywhere! I bought a book of metro tickets on my first day and only used one ticket in the entire time I was there.
Granted, I didn’t venture out to Montmartre or any of the outer arrondissements on this trip, but there was really no need. Within easy walking distance was St-Germain de Pres, Rue Mouffetard, Jardin de Luxembourg and we were a mere bridge crossing away from the Right Bank and the Marais district.
The entire apartment was the size of my living area back home but was surprisingly comfortable. The very European shower-over-the-toilet situation took some dedicated negotiation and rather yoga-like manoeuvres but apart from a little flooding from the shower, it was an overall success.
In short, the apartment was small, comfortable, self-contained, central, cheap…..pretty much perfect!! One of my friends happened to be in Paris for her birthday while we were there so our ‘home’ made the ideal base for some pre-dinner drinks.
While walking home one evening we happened upon an exhibition launch three doors down from ours. With tables laden with French champagne spilling out on to the pavement it was impossible to resist a quick look at the art. We embarked on our own version of the Paris Champagne Tours and three glasses of complimentary champers later we stumbled the last couple of footsteps to our Parisian home.
I will definitely consider this option again next time I am in Paris. I am hoping it may be a little more long-term next time…
There are many companies that offer short-term or vacation apartment rentals in Paris. We found our apartment through Paris Sweet Home and were happy with the service we received. A couple of other companies to get you started are: Vacation in Paris, Sejour a Paris, and Paris Stay. Of course if you would prefer an even more budget option you can always try HostelBookers’ hostels in Paris.
Rent an apartment in Paris and you’ll be living like a Parisian in no time!