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Help with Paris Apartment Rental for ONE MONTH in January and Feb 2013

Help with Paris Apartment Rental for ONE MONTH in January and Feb 2013

Old Dec 11th, 2012, 05:49 AM
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Help with Paris Apartment Rental for ONE MONTH in January and Feb 2013

Hi All!

It has been a while since I've been on these forums! I took a hiatus from traveling and trip planning ever since my husband and I set the date for our wedding, but now that it's finally over, we're back at it again! So exciting!

We have a unique opportunity to go away for more than 2 weeks so we decided to spend 31 days in Paris (Jan 14th through Feb 14th). We chose Paris because we live in Manhattan and wanted a similar city that has different neighborhoods to explore and tons of things to do. I've received recommendations for Le Marais, which people have compared to West Village, so naturally I am drawn to this neighborhood because it is my favorite.

Our ideal apartment would have the following:
+ Beautiful interior, sunny, with open floor plan
+ On a nice quiet street in a cute neighborhood
+ A juliette window/balcony with a view of some sort
+ Doesn't exceed $3,500 for the month

There are a few apartments that we're considering so we need the input of the ever-so-knowledgeable Fodorities and Paris lovers before we make a decision:

1. 4th Pompidou Le Marais - Rue Saint Martin Apt
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p2024089

PROS: open floor plan (I can see us really enjoying being in this apt on a lazy day and cooking in that kitchen with goodies from the market)
CONS: no balcony (may not really matter since it will be cold anyway), no city view, the most expensive option, but we're willing to splurge

2. 3rd Marais - Rue Caffarelli Apt
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p901601

PROS: least expensive option, sunny, homey feeling
CONS: modern and not parisian looking at all (I like Haussmanian style), kitchen is detached from living space

3. 15th Vaugirard - Place du General Beuret Apt
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p959415

PROS: good floor plan, looks super comfortable, spacious and reasonably priced
CONS: don't know too much about this neighborhood

4. 18th Montmartre - Rue Andre Barasacq Apt
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p947421a

PROS: amazing views of the city, duplex, has a balcony
CONS: don't know too much about this neighborhood

I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback on either the apartments and/or neighborhoods! Also would be open to any other apartments people have stayed at and really enjoyed!
citychicnyc is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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Also please recommend any side trips we should take during our month stay! Loire Valley to see some castles or maybe even Switzerland?
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 06:38 AM
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Lucky you! A month in Paris is a delicious idea.

The apartments shown are mostly in very active areas. In fact, one has a cafe at ground level with the likely effect of late night noisiness. If the windows are single paned and the apartment on a lower floor, that could inhibit sleep. The apartment with the shower in the bedroom? Poof! Make that one go away!!! You will end up with a very humid room and quite unattractive, at least to me.
Paris isn't a huge city. Metro can get you from Point A to B really quickly, so I wouldn't lock onto an area because it is central to places you want to visit. In fact, a friend once told me she walked the breadth of the city in a little over an hour...
And, no matter where you end up, every arrondisement offers walking opportunities similar to the west village in NY.
My husband and I spent a month in an apartment loaned to us a few years ago. That was a glorious experience. One warning: be incredibly careful with your possessions when using Metro. Wear a money bag around your neck inside your clothing. The Roosevelt station was widely known then as the station where one is robbed!
Bon chance -
Carol
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 06:46 AM
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hi carolll, thanks for your response! omg i didn't even notice the shower in the bedroom... agreed! that needs to come off the list.

which arrondissement did you stay when you went to paris for a month?

i stumbled across feelslikehomeinparis.com just now and some of these apartments are really lovely and are all in montmartre. i am beginning to like the idea of staying in montmartre which seems less touristy compared to marais.

http://www.feelslikehomeinparis.com/...s-with-a-view/

http://www.feelslikehomeinparis.com/.../french-flair/

http://www.feelslikehomeinparis.com/...er-montmartre/
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Montmartre less touristy? Well, maybe, because it's pretty far out from the center of the city, but it wouldn't be on my list of places to stay for a month, and it's far from non-touristy.

If you really want a non-touristy, regular residential Parisian neighborhood, you're going to have to go to where the tourists don't tend to venture - the 11th or 13th or 20th arrondissements, for example. Then again, they're not the West Village.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 07:51 AM
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A month in paris is a great experience. January to February might be rainy but not too cold to enjoy some time outdoors. Still I'd want to have lots of indoor activities lined up.

I like the apartment in the 15th (#3 on your list). My daughter spent 2 years in Paris and her apartment was on rue Vaugirard in the 15th. Of course I visited often and I liked that neighbourhood, quite lively in some spots, quiet in others, good access to transportation and close to the lovely St. Germain neighbourhood. For me a cafe right downstairs would be a plus, I wouldn't be that concerned about noise. Especially in the wintertime, I think that neighbourhood would be great with everything close by.

I also spent a month in an apartment in the Marais, which I liked, but I just really prefer the Left Bank, ie south of the Seine. especially the 6th. The 15th has the advantage of being close to the 6th but much less expensive.

Personally I wouldn't stay in Montmartre. I think getting around in the winter would be more difficult from there, as it's further from the centre, and though some areas are fascinating to visit, I just didn't like the feel of some of the grittier neighbourhoods. But that's just me, lots of people love Montmartre. Be sure to check the distance to the nearest metro station or bus stops.

You'll have a great time wherever you end up, I'm sure.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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There are parts of Montmartre that are definitely less touristy than the Marais, and some that are really touristy (near Sacre Coeur and the southern border, mainly).

Public transportation is a little spotty in some spots that are the less touristy area, meaning no close metro stop. That one apt is in-between Abbesses and Sacre Coeur and overlooks the church (it says), so I don't think I'd call that particular location less touristy. Maybe a little because it's down the hill a bit from place du Tertre which is 100 pct tourists pretty much. At least that location isn't too terribly far from a metro stop, though.

I think Montmartre would be fine for certain folks, but they would know what they were getting into. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who has never been to Paris and doesn't know French, in the winter especially. It's hard to tell, some folks could end up loving that, if it weren't winter I might not think it so bad but in the cold and gloom, going to/from that location (which is up on a hill, you know) may get pretty old after a while.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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I've stayed in all of those areas. I would splurge and go with #1. It is so central (lots of interesting walks as you head out from that point and less metro/bus required, which I prefer) and it's in a great area (wonderful shops, cafes, restaurants, people). Plus, it just looks so Parisian!

#2 would be my second choice.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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WE have a friend that has an apartment on Rue Vaugirard that we usually stay at when we go to Paris. We are right down the street from the Vaugirard Metro so this apartment is quite near our friend's apartment. We LOVE this neighborhood and I cannot highly recommend it enough. Walk up the street to Rue Cambronne and you will have bakeries and one of our favorite little restaurants Pizza Flora. There are also grocery stores nearby.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Do you realize that, with an apartment in New York, you could swap with someone in Paris and stay for free in a great apartment. Check out House Swaps on the Paris board on Craigslist and see how many people want to come to New York.
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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Have you looked at www.airbnb.com? Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 11th, 2012, 11:56 PM
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Here's one, for example, in the 19th and it's available for your dates. I personally like the 19th and have stayed in that district several times.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/71495

Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 05:11 AM
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hi citychicnyc!:

We had been to Paris some 6 times, last one was in september, 2012, with 7 friends.
Related to apts; I like all of them;the 1 is gorgeous, the nº 3 is located near the aparthotel wher we were last september(this was closer to the Seine, in Rue du Theatre.Good zone, with many good shops in Rue du Commerce, residential; I will go again to this zone without doubts.
Nº 4 on Rue Lepic; I really like rue Lepic; near your apartment you will find the famous Cafe d'Amelie (Cafe du Moulin); amorino and many many restaurants, one of them on rue Lepic much closer to Sacre Coeur there is a restaurant that has good food.
Related to days trips you can have plenty of them:
Strasbourg(for one or two days);Reims,Chartres,Mont St.Michel,castles on the Loire and many more.Let us all know your trip report when you return; as one month in Paris is something we will do no further than june 2014.
Enjoy your planning and your trip!
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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 11:33 AM
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Have been to Paris several times, and this year for the first time stayed in Montmartre on Rue Lepic for 4 nights. It was fun, but I was quite ready for another area after that. We came back to Paris 3 weeks later and stayed for 2 weeks on Rue du Bac in the 7th. Liked it much better for a longer stay. More centrally located and easier to walk to many destinations.

If you aren't sold on Montmartre yet, your first and third choices at the top looked good enough that I am now considering them for my next trip.
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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 04:40 PM
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hi everyone! sorry for neglecting this post! i've been busy trying to find a subletter for our apartment in nyc, locking down our airfare, and finally... BOOKING OUR PARIS APT!

first, let me just say that all of your responses were insightful and helpful! based on everyones feedback and personal experiences/opinions, WE DECIDED ON APARTMENT #1!

@StCirq
you're right... and no thanks! we'd rather be in a "touristy" area that is simply convenient to everything than "live" amongst the local Parisians. lol. my husband and i are going to try to find something cool to do and/or eat at a restaurant in every single arrondissement tho... even in 11th, 13th, and 20th!

@baladeuse + @lrock5
thank you for your input! if we ever return to paris, i think we'll try out the 15th! i'm definitely curious if i will end up being a left bank or right bank person after this experience!

@Christina
i agree... i can see what you're saying exactly about traveling back and forth from montmarte and i think i will grow tired of it quickly. i don't want to feel like venturing out to explore central Paris to feel like such a mission.

@zoecat
yes... one of our requirements for the apartment was for it to look very parisian... big windows, juliette balcony/windows, elegant moldings on the wall, haussamanian style... we love it all! #1 is so beautiful, i wouldn't be upset if we were stuck indoors!

@nancy1652
we actually started out with our idea of "living" in paris for month with an apartment swap! we have listings on both lovehomeswap.com and homeexchange.com, but it was extremely difficult to (1) find someone who was willing to swap with us in JANUARY (2) for an entire month at that and (3) with an equally awesome apartment in a desirable neighborhood... especially at the last minute! when all of our prospects fell through, our plan b was to sublet our apartment to offset the cost of renting an apartment in paris. i'm actually happy we ended up with plan b because we are generally really picky about lodging when we travel. we do love the idea of apartment swapping though and hopefully we can line something up for our next trip!

@Guenmai
we searched airbnb.com extensively but didn't find anything that really appealed to us.

@jelopez33
i've never posted a trip report but i may just do that for this trip because i'm sure we will have much to contribute in terms of "off the beaten path" activities and neighborhoods! thank you for your side trip suggestions... i will look into them for sure!

@susncrg
thank you for sharing your experience! it totally reassures me that we made the right decision to stay in the 4th / apt #1. i'm glad i was able to help you with potential future lodgings!
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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Congrats on your choice. That's a great apartment, and you should enjoy the location - very lively, touristy yes, but fun, close to everything. You'll quickly identify your favourite cafe or bistro from the many to choose from in the neighbourhood and beyond. It's great to start feeling like a regular.

I recommend doing the paris-walks.com tour of the Marais - a fascinating walking tour.

I'm sure you'll have a fantastic trip.
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