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Paris Apartments...going crazy looking

I have been looking non-stop for a 2 bedroom in the 1st, 3rd or 4th arrondisements. It seems like any of the good deals raise red flags. I was looking at a place on Parisstay.com (Rousseau) that came in around 1500 Euros for a week next June but they required the full amount of rent via bank transfer and that didn't seem right. Craigslist looks like it is full of scams and I am not sure Homelidays is any safer. Some of the recommended sites on other Rick Steves posts yield very high prices (to me) over 2000 Euros a week. I know it is Paris and it is expensive, but can I get a reliable 2 BR rental around 1500 Euros per week or is that just a pipe dream?

Posted by
18 posts

Have a look at cross-pollinate.com. Thee people who manage it run The Beehive in Rome. They are an American couple and have a great list of apts. that they personally visit. We have used them in Paris and Rome and they were fantastic to work with. Have a look.

Posted by
11450 posts

Michele.. first off , no way in h e double toothpicks would I use craigslist.
There are many reputable agencies to rent from. Suggest you look at VIP ( Vacations in Paris) many good reviews for them. VRBO( Vacation rental by Owners,, this one you do have to do some research to confirm relibilty but you can go on a site like tripadvisor.com Paris forums and post the actual apartmental listing number and people will post and tell you about their experiences havign stayed in that specific unit( since all are seperate owners ) Parisbestlodge is a wonderful company , I have used them and cannot recommend highly enough, small agency so not sure if they have what you want, but they are great. June is high high season.. so while your budget range is not unreasonable it may just be a tad harder. Good luck.

Posted by
8054 posts

VIP is great, but they're expensive. We've rented two apts through ParisAttitude and were very happy. Their prices are very reasonable imo. It's more of a hassle dealing with them vs. VIP, you have to send money to the agency and to the owner, then pay a deposit in cash when you get there but I went with them b/c they had apts on Ile St. Louis (hard to find in that neighborhood) and the prices were good. As I said, we were happy with the agency. We worked with Amelie Grousseau and she was wonderful.

Posted by
50 posts

I took a look at Vacations in Paris before and they were just slightly higher than budget. But since they get such solid recommendations and have a better payment policy, I am going to take a serious look at their places. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated!!!

Posted by
11450 posts

Just cruised the Parisbestlodge site, no they have no two bedroom units.. but I do have a great idea, and it fits your budget. Some of their apartments are in same building.. so you could rent two in one building( the building we stayed in was very small, only 2 apartments per level so you can literally be right next door to friends) and they are very nice apartments. Just a thought ,, btw, many rent for 800 or 850 a week so will fit your budget.

Posted by
50 posts

Victoria: I appreciate your reply but we have 2 kids, ages 11 and 13 so we all need to be in the same spot. I guess I didn't mention that as part of my "pipe dream" I would like to have both a dishwasher and a washer. I know, probably too much to hope for. The only one I found on VIP that had a dishwasher, etc. was #172 and it is nice and large but the only down side is that the second bedroom is in a loft that is not enclosed. Michele

Posted by
2193 posts

Try airbnb.com for apartments. I've had nothing but good luck with this site, and I've used it alot this year. Absolutely safe and reputable.

Posted by
8410 posts

I use vrbo.com and homeaway.com for apartment rentals. I would NEVER use Craigslist!

Posted by
262 posts

Try this two: parlerparisapartments.com and myparisvisit.com. I have used both
many times. My favorite is the first one. Happy Travels!

Posted by
784 posts

I had a good experience with Cobblestone Paris Rentals - listed in Rick Steves' 2013 Paris guide. Most of their rentals are in the 3rd and 4th. While I did pay in advance, I was able to use my credit card through Paypal, and there was no deposit. I thought their rates were reasonable.

Posted by
50 posts

Wow! Thanks so much! I have found so many more options based on all of your suggestions. There are some horror stories about people getting scammed, and the initial agency I thought about using (Parisstay.com) had some bad press on Trip Advisor so I knew I needed to find some better options.

Posted by
415 posts

A second vote for MyParisVisit. I used myParisvisit for a three bedroom/2 bath apartment very close to the Louvre. It was 1700 for the week - it did not have air conditioning but in early June of this year, it was pretty cool in Paris and we didn't need it. They have quite a few two bedroom apartments.

Posted by
12040 posts

"but they required the full amount of rent via bank transfer and that didn't seem right." This is a very common method of payment in Europe, particularly for property rental. There's nothing suspicious about it.

Posted by
68 posts

Paying by bank transfer is quite normal and some agencies will also let you pay with paypal. Normally you would have to pay a reservation deposit and then pay the final amount 30-60 days before arrival. if you havent found anything yet try nextaway.com as i have used them before and they have a few nice Paris apartments.

Posted by
50 posts

What about Homelidays? Is that a reliable site or is it like Craigslist? Thanks, Michele

Posted by
1014 posts

I have used homelidays and airbnb. Both worked fine for me. On both, read the reviews.

Posted by
50 posts

I appreciate the VRBO recommendation. That flat works out to be about $2800 US dollars which is a lot higher than I am hoping to go...I really appreciate the specific recommendation.

Posted by
110 posts

Michelle, We (2couples) stayed 5 nights in this apartment http://www.vrbo.com/124494
in late September. The location is second to none, the apartment is beautiful, views of the Seine from it's 3 (!) balconies. There is not a dishwasher, but there is a washing machine, and heated drying rack. Payment is required in advance, by wire transfer, paid fully in advance, and while it made me nervous in advance, we had no problems whatsoever. I feel confident in recommending this apartment. I hope you have a great time in Paris!

Posted by
5201 posts

Michele-we've used Gites de France a lot in southern, eastern, and northern France and always had a great place with a great price. Have never used one of their listings in Paris, but they do have Paris locations. Their gites-de-france.com Website has an English translation option in the upper right-hand corner. Might be an option for you. Regarding bank transfers, our cottage in Ireland 2 years ago was supposed to require one. The owners were British, so between dollars for us, Pounds Sterling for them, and Euros for the location of the cottage, it was complicated. Also, our bank (US Bank, NA) had just raised their wire transfer fee to an exhorbitant amount. We could've used Western Union (cheaper than our bank), but the owners were used to fellow Brits wiring the money directly from their British bank account to the owners' British bank account, apparently very common and cheap for all of them. After much give and take (complicated by the William/Kate Royal wedding when all this was happening -- a long story), we wound up mailing them a US check as a deposit, which they never cashed, and paying fully in cash upon arrival in Dingle. The wiring of money wasn't suspicious, just a pain.

Posted by
1014 posts

I have used Craigslist and Gumtree to find apt. in Dublin and Paris. The caveat is that you must have someone local who is able to go put eyes on the apt and speak to the lender. Then they will work. Otherwise, yes, stay away. Also, obviously, if you are in the city and looking, you can go see the apt. yourself.

Posted by
360 posts

I used Vacation in Paris last fall. Everything was just as pictured & went smoothly. I joined a tour after my stay so couldn't return the key immediately. No problem -- they were very easy to work with. I'd use them again.

Posted by
50 posts

Thank you for the Gites in France website! I didn't find anything for Paris! but I found an amazing gite for our next stop in the Loire.
I am starting to narrow down some options based on all the assistance here and will let you know where we land.

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Michele, We rented an apartment in the Marais from A La Carte Paris and were very happy with it. Great location, very clean, and the staff who you deal with is wonderful --- quickly answer emails, help if you need it when you are in Paris, etc. They have 60 or so rentals in Paris. Check their website for locations, photos, etc. We were very satisfied with our dealings with them and with the apartment.
Good luck!

Posted by
1 posts

Michele, we just got back from Paris. We rented a 3 bedroom in the Marais from Paris for Rent, recommended in Rick's 2013 Paris guide book. We were extremely happy with the apt. and with Paris for Rent. They have a San Francisco area office, so you pay in US dollars on your credit card. The staff (in the USA and in Paris) was extremely helpful and available before and during our trip. The apts. may cost more than you wanted to pay, but still much cheaper than multiple hotel rooms. I also got travelers insurance, which I usually do not get, but wanted piece of mind with paying out so much money before the trip. Good luck!

Posted by
516 posts

HI Michele.. we used parisstay and had no problems with them. We had a one bedroom that was right on the Seine. Was very nice. Their office is right on the island and their open during the day. Recently rented with Friendly Rentals in Rome and I would never use them again.

Posted by
50 posts

We ended up renting Home away 681954. It met every one of my criteria at my goal price (1500 euros per week). We wanted >60 sq meters; this is 75 2 bedrooms, washer, dryer, and dishwasher in the 1st,3rd or 4th (this is in the 4th). I learned a LOT from all the suggestions and appreciate them greatly.
After Paris, we are going to the Loire (gites de france-thanks Cyn), then, not sure, maybe Dordogne???

Posted by
1 posts

It is especially exhausting to find a 2 bedroom. We stayed in a wonderful 2 bedroom in Le Marais through the website parisnicehome.com. Pascal, the owner and manager, is super pleasant. Payment is secure. I chose to make the deposit through Pay Pal. One half is due a month before arrival and then the remainder on arrival (cash, Pay Pal or credit). Check out the website for photos of the apartment. All are accurate. Wonderful courtyard view. Modern bathroom. Light-filled. Washer/dryer combo. English language TV. Free international phone calls. Very quiet. 2 steps to 2 metro stops and the main street of Le Marais. Terrific area amenities yet off on a small side street. 2 bedroom apartments are more pricey in center of Paris. Location is everything. I rented for month so not sure 1 week price. If price is the deciding factor, you will need to look closer to city limits for 2 bedroom. To stay within budget I would recommend going for a 1 bedroom with a nice foldout sofa bed. There just aren't many 2 bedrooms for rent and prices are set at premium levels. Like you, I searched for hours. Chose Pascal especially because of reviews found on reliable sites and his secure booking process. Agree with you. I would never do a bank transfer or fully pre-pay to an individual. (Keep in mind companies such as airbnb.com and homeaway.com have staff support and insurance for the renter. So those are safer options.) My choice for a 1 bedroom would also include Cobblestone (which is on my wish list to try) or Paris Best Lodge. Rented a 1 bedroom from Paris Best Lodge in August and was very happy. Apartment was over on left bank but they have other 1 bedroom properties. Safe payment arrangements. Come hungry and enjoy!

Posted by
411 posts

Although this is not in one of the arrondisements you asked about, we (3 adults and two teenagers) stayed at
http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p54936 a few years ago and loved it. You could contact the owner for a current price, as I do not see it listed, but it was definitely under 1500 euros when we rented it. Very easy to go everywhere and anywhere in Paris...the local neighborhood is amazing and walkable at all hours! I would rent this apartment again in a heartbeat...we had no problems at all. Good Luck and have fun wherever you choose!

Posted by
262 posts

Great choice Michele, right off the Rue de Rivoli, very near the Hotel de Ville. Metro right there too. Lovely apartment too! Have a wonderful time in the City of Lights!!!