Paris steals the hearts of travelers like no other city on the globe. With its proud Haussmannian blocks and look-at-me palaces, its tree-lined boulevards and uber-romantic bistros, it oozes a style and pizzazz that other capitals can only dream of. Then you throw in the world-class museum exhibits of the Orsay and the Louvre (hello, Mona Lisa). You drop the rambunctious clubbing scene and the accomplished fine-dining venues. You add the bucket-list draws – the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysée, the Gothic towers of Notre-Dame. It really is in a league of its own.
If you’re looking to join the millions that pass the way of the enthralling French capital each year, then you might want to consider skipping a classic hotel and plumping for an Airbnb instead. There are now thousands on the menu in the metropolis. There are bohemian artist’s studios with views of the river. There are grand and luxurious residences that open onto the Eiffel Tower. This guide is a great place to begin if you’re looking to find your bearings in the City of Light and home in on some of the very best Airbnbs in the offing.
For the traveler, Airbnb in Paris is free, simple, and perfectly legal to use. It’s just a case of clicking over the site, browsing all the beautiful apartments along the Seine and the Canal Saint-Martin, picking the pad that you love the most, and booking. You can even contact your prospective host to ask any questions about the accommodation and the location. There are some regulations in place for property owners. Short-term lets of individual places are currently only allowed for a maximum of 120 days each year. What’s more, all landlords need to register their properties with that government. But don’t worry – all that’s handled by hosts, not guests!
Where should I stay in Paris Airbnb?
Paris isn’t small, so first-time visitors might want to get their bearings in the 1st Arrondissement(1) (the home of the Louvre) before branching out to the 7th Arrondissement(2) to see the Eiffel Tower. Further south and across the river is the Latin Quarter(3), which is known for its rich literary history and erudite inhabitants. Le Marais(4) will bring you north with its boutiques and fashion workshops (it could just be the trendiest part of the French capital). North again means hitting the bubbly nightlife and café area of the Canal Saint-Martin(5). Shoppers often prefer to focus on the likes of the Champs Elysée(6) and its haute couture brands. Hipsters, meanwhile, are now flocking to Belleville(7). But it’s Montmartre(8) that has perhaps the most quintessential Parisian street scenes of all, draped over its hill on the northernmost part of the city centre.
The Louvre on the doorstep
Some of Paris’s most iconic sights
Upscale shopping boutiques
The First, as it’s referred to by locals, is the Paris you probably know the best too. Sporting those trademark Hausmann blocks and more 17th-century palaces than you can shake a bottle of Bordeaux at, it’s riddled with sights and photo opportunities. The Louvre is probably the main centrepiece, drawing thousands with its priceless artworks and the legendary Mona Lisa. Next to that is the impossibly elegant Tuileries Garden, along with lovely walking paths filled with booksellers by the Seine. Airbnbs aren’t in abundance; most will command a high price.
The Seventh is worth a special mention because it’s home to perhaps the most famous attraction in all of Paris: The Eiffel Tower. You’ll find the district butting up to the Seine River as it bends into the western half of the city. Just a stone’s throw from the water’s edge is the looming spire of the great iron landmark, which you can scale by foot or by elevator (your choice). Affluence is the keyword back on ground level. This is the area where the Parisian jet set make their home, with sportscars, wine bars, and luxurious Airbnb apartments the norm.
There was a time when Hemingway and Orwell walked the streets of the gritty Latin Quarter. Long the home of students and thinkers, it’s gone from ramshackle slum to gentrified bohemian area in the last 100 years. Still, there’s something atmospheric about the narrow alleys and cobbled lanes, all of which seem to lead interminably to the great dome of the Panthéon – the burial place of luminaries like Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Rousseau. Café culture, the food scene, and people watching are the main activities you’re likely to be partaking in while living in the Latin Quarter.
This diamond-shaped neighbourhood starts at the avant-garde Centre Pompidou and ends at the mouth of the Canal Saint-Martin. With its cool moniker, SoMa, now generally accepted among locals, it reigns as perhaps the city’s most trendy and chic department. Organic coffee roasters rub shoulders with artisan bakers. You’ll catch stripped-down New Nordic-style kitchens and stylish clothes boutiques galore. You’ll see street-side cafés fizzing with chatter and life from morning until night. The long Jewish heritage also means loads of kosher and mezze joints.
Join the students and the young crowd at the quays of the Canal Saint-Martin to enjoy a snapshot of local Parisian life in action. Come the afternoon, the area is a hubbub of wine drinkers and boules players. Plane trees dot the walkways to the north and south of the water, which is also threaded with cool little independent bistros and bars. The Bassin de la Villette is the place to look for Airbnbs in quieter areas, but the southern end of the canal is top for nightlife.
Perhaps the best high-fashion shopping in the city
Exclusive and luxury Airbnbs
You’ll be staying on one of the world’s iconic roadways
Loads of traffic, all the time
You haven’t heard of Paris if you haven’t heard of the Champs Elysée. This long boulevard is one of the most iconic streets on the planet, as it ranges through the 8th Arrondissement from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Long a magnet for shoppers thanks to its medley of haute couture and refined jewellery outlets, it’s probably best left to travelers who come to Paris for the finer things.
Lofting 130 metres above the urban sprawl on the capital’s northern side, the hill of Montmartre now hosts something of a fairy-tale version of Paris. Cobbled alleys weave and wind around stooped café frontages painted in Art Nouveau fonts. There are smoking artists dotting the squares. There are staircases dropping past parks filled with pine trees and blooms of bougainvillea. If you’re looking for a place in the picture-perfect Paris of the postcards, you’ll find it here.
Fusing Chinatown with Paris’s most creative hub, Belleville hides amid the parks and districts on the eastern outskirts of the downtown. This is the land of graffiti-strewn sidewalks and smoky jazz bars, of street-food markets and grimy grunge cafés where tattoo-covered locals drink their days away. Vegan restaurants and spice-scented oriental cooking abound, while pretty Parc de Belleville is a good escape from it all, and nearby Père Lachaise Cemetery is always one of the more haunting and intriguing draws. There aren’t loads of Airbnb rentals in Belleville but they do tend to be cheaper than their compadres nearer the Louvre.
There’s a true Parisian feel to this gorgeous flat, which moves from wood-floored interiors to bright and breezy Juliet balconies that offer peer-over views onto the bustling streets of the 2nd Arrondissement below. The living space is a charm, with facing sofas and bottom-to-top windows that let light flood through the whole property. The kitchen is another plus, with its fully equipped cooking spaces and central island – the perfect spot for culinary evenings in together.
Central Paris, Gourmet Kitchen, Historic, Ballroom
Immerse yourself in the flamboyance and panache of Paris with this historic property. Velveteen curtains and stacks of old books beckon you to the library, while the colossal ballroom area is all about gold-leafed filigrees and diamond chandeliers. Kitschy and fun, it also puts you near the Musee Rodin, the Orsay, and the legendary Louvre.
Check out this charming and cosy Latin Quarter rental that’s specifically designed with families in mind. It sleeps up to seven guests in total, across three private bedrooms. There’s a communal cooking and dining space for those homecooked meals, along with an oversized lounge that has street-view windows and plenty of space for communal activities.
Sleek, modern, but – most importantly – large, this sprawling property is big enough to host up to 16 people at any one time. It’s got six individual bedrooms and a trio of sofa beds, not to mention plenty of communal space in an interior of greys and pine-wood floors that covers a whopping 200 square metres. The location is prime for both sightseeing and nightlife, being almost equidistance between the Louvre and the Canal Saint-Martin.
Exquisite Apartment on Jewel of an Island in Heart of Paris
Channel a little of the grandeur of the French kings and queens by choosing this uber-exquisite apartment in the beating heart of the city. It’s an Airbnb Plus listing, which guarantees just a touch of extra quality and class. And boy is it deserved. The rooms mingle classic gold-leafed and contemporary furnishings, dangling chandeliers, and age-old painted beams to create something truly special within. Meanwhile, a step outside brings you to the quaint Place Dauphine at the top end of the attraction-rich Île de la Cité. What’s not to love?
Hotels in Paris can actually be notoriously expensive, especially if you’re looking to explore the City of Lights during peak periods like Christmas, the summer, or around Easter. Airbnb rentals in Paris, on the other hand, can offer some surprises on the price front. They are typically less per night than their hotel counterparts, but also come with extra space (so you can share the cost with more travelers) and self-catering facilities (so you won’t have to set aside so much of the budget for eating out).
But it’s not that simple. Hotels do tout a greater level of service than Airbnbs. You’ll have to sacrifice your daily housekeeping, the concierge in the lobby, the welcome drink, the on-site bar, and room service. If you’re determined to keep things like that, then hotels like the Best Western Premier Kapital Opera are a doozy. That offers suites and rooms in the beautiful district of Montmartre that also boast extra creature comforts like regular cleaning and a dedicated front desk.
Enthrall yourself with visions of the Mona Lisa and selfies up the Eiffel Tower, with tastes of coq a vin and crisp champagne wines, with fashion shopping on the Champs Elysée and walks through the postcard streets of Montmartre, all by hopping off to Paris for a few days. There are some seriously fantastic Airbnbs waiting to make it a trip to remember!