Top alternatives to renting an apartment in Paris

By Kamilé Linkutė Published 02/08/2022

You’ve made Paris your new home, you’ve brushed up on your French; now, all you need is a place to live. Let the search begin!

First, speaking realistically, finding a suitable apartment to rent in Paris can be extremely difficult. And even when you do find exactly what you were looking for, you may be shocked at how much money you’ll have to pay, and how much documentation goes into the process.

Also, it can take quite a while to actually sign a lease. You’ll need to also find a guarantor who’s willing to put in the time and effort to sign the agreement and help you with the supporting documentation. 

If you feel a headache already kicking in just from reading all of this, short-term housing and coliving might be a perfect option for you.

There are quite a few different options, whether you would like to live with someone else or alone.

Beautiful room with light on in a premium coliving space.

Let’s look at some great long-term alternatives to renting an apartment:

1. Popular platforms for temporary stays

Airbnb and Booking.com are some of the more famous and trustworthy websites to find a short-term home. One major upside is that most of the places on these sites are verified, so you will not be scammed. Also, you can always check the reviews to be as sure as possible. 

On the other hand, sometimes these options can be rather expensive. However, you can save a lot of money on your own by checking out the deals on Booking.com. If you are staying in Paris for more than one month, you may get access to some special discounts. To get a feel for the range of prices and amenities offered by different rental properties, browse the “Booking Deals” section of their homepage. There are some great deals to be had on short-term housing via Booking.com’s “Festive Deals,” with some properties offering rates as low as $10 per night.

Living room of a design space in Paris

Some websites, such as TheBlueGround.com, offer deeply discounted rates of up to 60 percent on opulent and fully-furnished apartments. The website FranceLodge.fr is another option, as is ParisianHome.com. You can book monthly or longer stays directly with homeowners through these websites. The good thing about these websites is that you can check how the house looks, know all the charges in advance, and take advantage of flexible rent.

Pros

  • If you aren’t sure you want to commit to a year (s) long lease in Paris, short-term housing is a very good option.
  • Given the limited duration of the contract, you are free to shop around for better rates when choosing or switching Parisian landlords.

Cons

  • Many of the properties listed for rent online are not eligible for occupancy by tenants under current law. For a temporary stay, it’s best to work with reputable service providers.
  • Moving every few months can be a pain, especially if you have a job that requires you to be somewhere else during the week. You find that your weekends are no longer free because of the constant moving. And if you’re a stranger to the city, there aren’t many people who can lend a hand.
  • It’s hard to create a cozy home by moving frequently.

2. Staying with a host family

More and more international visitors to Paris are opting to stay with local families. Why? The rent is affordable, you start your journey with someone who has been in the city for 10+ years, and gets a taste of how locals live (and if you’re lucky – how they eat!).

Cosy living room in Paris

Parisian families typically charge between €30 and €70 for a single occupancy room with a queen bed. Whether you have access to a private or shared bathroom is at the discretion of your host family. For the price of a room, some families will also provide guests with breakfast, or even invite you to dinners together (typically with a lot of local food).

Since they are welcoming strangers to be their guests for indefinite periods, these French families are happy to show visitors around and give them any information they may need to make the most of their time in Paris. When staying with a family for a month, most offer language lessons in French.

Students from abroad who are just starting out in France often choose to live with host families in the city of Paris. It gives them a head start in France and allows them to immerse themselves in French culture.You can find host families in Paris through a variety of online resources. Homestay In Paris, Host Families in Paris, and Homestay.com are just a few of the websites offering homestays in the French capital.

To stay with a local family, you must first register and provide the required information. Included in this information are things such as nationality, passport number, dates of arrival and departure, the reason for visiting, etc.

In their listings, potential guests can check information provided by potential host families, such as the number of available rooms, the layout of the household, and any other guidelines they feel would be helpful.

View on Paris Center from Downtown Paris.

Most households have rules about how long of a visit is acceptable. Once you’ve found a suitable host family through one of these sites, you can make contact with them and arrange to stay with them by paying a booking fee to the site. A reservation with a host family can be guaranteed for this price. When you arrive at the home of your host family, you will have the opportunity to settle up for your stay.

Pros

  • The cost of your room is much lower than the cost of renting an unfurnished apartment in the same area.
  • Parisian host families are a great way to ease into the city, get to know the culture, and even learn the language.

Cons

  • You may not have as much personal space as you would in an apartment of your own if you choose to live with a host family.
  • You should try to adhere to the schedule of your host family. To avoid upsetting your host family, you may need to return home earlier than expected.

3. Coliving

Coliving, also known as shared living, has become much more popular in the last few years. This may be in part because people were feeling lonely after the pandemic hit and they wanted access to a community

The best part about coliving is the abundance of shared amenities, including a kitchen, a living room, a gym, and even a cozy cinema.

The majority of qualitative coliving spaces can be found in convenient downtown locations. Coliving allows you to have the best of both worlds, eliminating the need to choose between a convenient location and a cozy living space.

You usually have the option to live with 6-12 people in shared workspaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and social areas.

People chilling together in a nice and big living room of a premium coliving space in Paris.

Most of the coliving contracts can be done entirely online, which is very convenient if you are looking for a place before you are even in the city.

In Paris, you have many coliving providers: Wellow House, Coco, Colonies, LifeX and of course, us, Cohabs. You can also find premium and convenient coliving players in Paris on Coliving.com.

Following registration and verification, you’ll have a chance to check your room’s pictures, and sometimes even the people already living in the house you want to move to.

Pros

  • For a fraction of the price of a Parisian rental, like-minded individuals can find fully furnished apartments in convenient locations.
  • Help the planet! Sharing a living space offsets your carbon footprint and decreases the resources used by one household.
  • New in town? This is a great way to immediately meet a bunch of friendly like-minded people and be a part of an incredible community.

Cons

  • If you’re introverted, living with many strangers can seem a bit too intense before you get to know them.

It can be intimidating to turn your life upside down and move to a new country where you don’t speak the language and the culture is completely alien.

The housing option you choose will depend heavily on your requirements for having personal space, getting to know more people, and feeling at home in your living space.

In fact, you can even try all of these options, which would allow you to experience all the possibilities before you settle for a longer time.

Coliving in Paris can also be a great way to meet more people and get to know the city and its different districts.

People meeting new friends from a Coliving community in Paris

Staying with a family might give you a lot of knowledge about the city, its authentic places for food and architecture while choosing coliving will definitely bring many new friends into your life, which will help you to feel more at home.

Choosing to live alone can also be wonderful if you prefer a calmer lifestyle and a private space for yourself. Choosing one option does not mean you are closing the door on the others.

Enjoy Paris, and be open to new things, just like you were open to moving to another country and start a new adventure!  

If you have any questions about moving to Paris, finding a trustable place to live, meeting new people or whatever, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to take care of you.

About the author Greetings from a Cohabs digital marketeer!