If You Go

Renting an apartment in Paris

Do you really want to walk up to the 3rd floor?"
"It's the fourth! The French start counting with our second floor as their first." So the third floor in France is the fourth floor in the US.

Is a kitchen convenient? Are you going to have guests? Need room? Near a market? Can you walk at night? (It's important to participate in the life of the city especially at night.)

Getting yourself together is the very first thing you should do. What are the essentials?

We wanted a double bed that could remain open so that if wanted to take a nap, we could without opening a convertible sofa. I wanted a firm mattress.

We needed to get some idea of space which is measured in square meters rather than feet. We figured out how large various rooms in our house were in sq. feet. Then made the conversion. We also had the formula. 40 sq. meters is equal to 40 times .09 or about 444 sq. feet.

We decided we could walk two flights. If an apartment was on a higher floor, then we would want an elevator to make carrying luggage and groceries, etc. easier.

We had lived near Place de la Bastille where you could safely walk at night. You could also walk from the Place to the Left Bank. We wanted a similar location.

We needed a place to hang our clothing and an area to store our folded things.

We needed good radio or TV, and we needed a telephone.

We wanted a safe apartment house. Is there an entry code panel for the entrance? Are there locks on the windows?


Rent will be stated in euros; perhaps it will be stated in American dollars as well. Nowadays the euro is about equal to the dollar.

In addition to the rent the following fees/taxes could be charged:

Check our budget.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the city. Have a good street map so that you can find an apartment's neighborhood.

On the internet:

Make sure you know how to do the following things on your computer.

  1. Copy and paste text or a photo while on the internet.
  2. When you visit a web site and find an apartment that you like, you will want to the keep the photos so that you can review them at your leisure later. Almost all the photos that you copy will of the JPEG or JPG format and will have their own names which you should keep.

  3. Send and receive email.
  4. Sometimes you will be sending email right from the site. If that is the case, it is a good idea to return to the site later after you've created a good letter and made a copy of it. Then paste it on their form. When you send an email from a web site, you may not have a copy of it.

    You will also have to send email from your browser through your own ISP.

  5. Send and receive faxes either on your own computer or at a nearby store. Folks in Europe use faxes for contracts, agreements, leases, etc.

  6. Create and name a folder.
  7. You should make a folder for each apartment. Name it how the agent names it - by the street or by a number. In the folder you will put copies of everything having to do with the apartment.

    Before you begin your search, open a word processing application. Then minimize it or close it so that you can access it later when you are in the internet. Know also where you will keep the folders you will create and the material you will copy.

To get started:

Begin with a search engine like google. Enter "Paris Apartments" or "Rental Apartments in Paris".

You might want to read some email between me and a correspondent in Paris about finding and living in an apartment in Paris. Our letters back and forth appear in a different section of this site - a section devoted to email from boaters. But if you don't mind. click on Apartments. You'll also find links to agents who deal in renting apartments.

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