‘I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall. I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles…’
You get the picture.
What most of us do not love about Paris is the eye-watering cost of accommodation in the City of Lights. France’s capital has been ranked as the seventh priciest city in the world and Europe’s most expensive spot for a weekend break.
Still, the allure of the wide boulevards, the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower is too much to resist, so Paris afficionados swap swanky hotels for picture-perfect AirBnBs in lesser known arrondissements and save their cash for seeing the sights.
Our advice? Book a room if you’re a solo traveller (your AirBnB host will have some local knowledge to share, meaning you get a more authentic experience) or an apartment if you’re travelling as a couple or in a group. Make use of the Vélib’ — the Paris’ bike-share program (buy a one-day pass for €1.70 or a one-week pass for €8 – there are over 20,000 bikes at 1,800 stations located all over the city) and pick up the ingredients for some incredible picnics (wine, cheese, fresh bread) at the markets.
Here are 6 AirBnB rentals from which to live out your Parisian fantasies.
Best for: Families with small children, sleeps up to 12 people from around €100 per night.
Not only is this three-bedroom apartment an absolute steal for a family break, the host also provides a portable wifi hotspot that you can bring into the city with you as you explore. Located in central Paris in a 16th century building, it’s within easy walking distance of Paris’ most magical monuments. There is a total of eight beds for adults and two foldable baby beds for little guests as well as a kitchen and bathroom. Once the kids have gone to bed, open the balcony door and take in the pretty, bustling street below as you sip some French wine.
Best for: Groups of six people, around €116 per person per night
Not only has this three-bedroom, three-bathroom flat just been renovated by its French/American owner, the make-over even earned it a feature in Architectural Digest Espana (Spain), Coté Paris (France), and Living Etc (UK). With 14 foot ceilings, five marble fireplaces and original 18th century ‘Versailles’ parquet floors, it’s easy to see why. This glam apartment is located in the best part of the 6th arrondissement and St Germain market is literally on the doorstep. Oooh la la!
Best for: Flea market fans, caffeine addicts. Around €110 per night, sleeps two.
You could spend a week soaking in the cafe culture of this iconic hilltop neighbourhood, but if you only have a few days to spare, you might as well stay in the middle of the action. This elegant one-bedroom flat is located right down the steps from the Sacré-Coeur. Perched on the fifth floor (with lift) overlooking the inner courtyard, there’s a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom and the place is flooded with light in the morning. It’s also a handy two minutes stroll from metro stations (line 2 & 12) and bus stops.
Best for: solo travellers. Private bedroom, €51 per night.
If you like your café au lait and croissants in the morning sunshine, this gorgeous garden-access room rental will be right up your street. The private room is in a lovely two-bedroom flat in the 14th district, next to the Montparnasse train station and the extraordinary Catacombes. Host Jacques is commonly referred to by previous guests as “the nicest guy you’ll meet” and the local boulangeries are sensational.
Best for: Price-conscious couples. Around €82 per night, sleeps two.
Located in the middle of the Montorgueil pedestrian zone (both historic and trendy), this gorgeous one-bed flat is a 10 minute walk away from the Lourve, the Pompidou Centre, the Seine and the Opera. There’s eclectic decor with plenty of vintage finds, wireless internet, a TV and (best of all) a giant bathtub to soak your tired bones in after a long day of sightseeing.
Best for: Art lovers. Around €90 per night, sleeps four.
shops, bars and restaurants nearby (the area is a hub for the trendy LGBT crowd), but the flat is blissfully quiet and peaceful, with minimalist decor. The Musée Picasso, the house of Nicolas Flamel, the Musée Cognacq-Jay and the popular Café Charlot are all in the neighbourhood.
GETTING THERE: Aer Lingus operate daily flights from Cork Airport to Paris from €70 return. The flight time is just over one hour.