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Finding a place (hotel or apartment) to stay in Paris, France

Paris isn’t cheap. We knew that going in, but we were a bit surprised by just how expensive it is to stay in Paris at even the “less expensive” places. So we did lots of research for our Paris trip this coming August, and I will share our findings with you. Perhaps it will save you a few hours in finding a place for, or few hundred Euros on, your next trip to Paris.


paris hotels and apartments

There are two main factors that cause Paris to be expensive in our case. The first is that the U.S. dollar is very weak at the moment. If a dollar equaled a Euro (like it did eight years ago) then things wouldn’t be so bad. As I write this, however, a U.S. dollar equals just over .6 of a Euro which means that things are more than 56% expensive in U.S. dollars that they were eight years ago due to the weak dollar. This doesn’t even consider inflation. As recent as 2002, a U.S. dollar equaled 1.15 Euros which means things have actually become more than 70% expensive in just six years (not counting inflation)!

The second factor is that there are four of us. Very few hotels in Paris allow four people in a single room (what are called quad rooms in Paris) which means that we’d have to get two rooms at more than 90% of the Paris hotels. Given that average room rates are near 200 Euro a night, we are talking about more than $600 U.S. dollars a night for something that isn’t all that fancy. Ouch! But there is a better, less expensive way.

Look not for a hotel but an apartment when you want to go to Paris. There are many advantages in renting an apartment in Paris over a hotel room.

  1. apartments are usually bigger, in many cases much bigger
  2. apartments have a kitchen (not only is this a matter of convenience, but it also means you don’t have to eat out for every meal–saving yourself some more money)
  3. apartments frequently include a free-to-use washing machine (and compared to hotels more have free cable TV, WiFi, and phone calls) 
  4. apartment neighbors are usually real Parisians instead of noisy tourists
  5. apartments can usually accommodate 4 or more people
  6. apartments cost much less than a much smaller hotel room
  7. apartments usually have a big price break if you stay for a week or more

About the only disadvantage is you won’t have daily maid service. With the above discovered, we narrowed down our search to three places.

http://www.vrbo.com/171594
http://www.vrbo.com/79965
http://www.vrbo.com/117217

We ended up going with the middle one because the first seemed a little cramped for four of us, and the last one was booked the week we needed it. I’ll provide reviews and recommendations (or not) after we stay there in August.

To look for your apartment in Paris these are the two best sites:
http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/europe/france/ile-de-france/paris
http://paris.en.craigslist.org/vac/

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