Okay, so we were DUMB for thinking we were going to get an awesome studio apartment in Paris for under $50 a night. I’ll admit it. We should’ve known better. BUT hear me out for a second.
First, we were slightly intoxicated when we booked it. Pro Tip: Don’t spontaneously book rooms when under the influence of alcohol. It was April and we were in Boston to celebrate my birthday. While waiting for a table at a sceney, Mexican restaurant (who’s name is escaping me at the moment and I have no WiFi on the train while writing this… hashtag Travel life problems), we got really excited about having just booked our one-way ticket to Paris and decided to start looking at places to stay.
“Wow, look at this one! Exactly $50 a night, our own place AND it’s in the neighborhood that Nicole suggested we stay in! Yes, it looks really small, but it will be fine for what we need!”
Ohhhhh if only we could see into our future to prevent mistakes like these. Wouldn’t life be grand?
So yes, $50 CAN get you your own apartment in Paris, but not without its consequences.
Fast forward 3 months from that April evening in Boston, and we had just landed in Paris after a very long redeye from Toronto where we didn’t even sit next to each other and got maybe an hour of sleep. Tack on another 90 minutes on the metro from Charles de Gaulle airport and you have us standing at the door of our place.
Our host was out of town so he prearranged for us to pick up the keys in a safe, located within his mailbox. Easy enough. Once we walked up the 3 flights of creaky stairs, in the dimly lit hallway, we were at our door. 5 minutes later, we were inside. I know how to use a key, guys. This door had issues, OKAY.
“You have GOT to be kidding me.” I think was the PG version of what I said when I walked in the door. The entire apartment was 10×10 meters or in American measurements: The length of Casey’s wingspan.
Okay, okay. We knew it was going to be small. Whatever. I’m exhausted, I need a nap, let’s get this sofa bed from sofa to bed ASAP.
It took two people, 30 minutes and a few choice words (and tears) before the bed was lying flat. 30 minutes to figure out a sofa bed. WHAT THE ACTUAL F*CK!
I’ll spare you the details about the rest of the apartment, because honestly there isn’t much to say. The mattress was kind of gross so we triple-layered the sheets.The bathroom was the size of a porta-potty and the “kitchen” (if you could call it that) just became a place for us to put our clothes since the bed took up the entire room.
To be honest to our host, he didn’t LIE about the apartment or deceive us in any way. The place was just as tiny as he described and all of the amenities were accurately listed. It just wasn’t nice. And MAN-OH-MAN he must be a professional photographer because the angles he worked to make the apartment look 10x better in the photos would make a self-conscious, Sports Illustrated Model weep tears of joy.
When it came to location, it was definitely NOT as centrally located as we thought. We were probably a good 15-20 minute walk from the center of Monnmartre, which is totally fine and we don’t mind walking. However, this area was borderline sketchy. Really glad that Casey was with me because I would not have wanted to walk around alone at night.
One suggestion that I have for picking a place to stay in Paris, is to look at the nearby metro stops. We we luckily right off the Brochant stop on the 13 line, but had we done a little more research, we would’ve opted for a place closer to all the action. For us to get anywhere it only cost 1,80 Euro, but took about 30-45 minutes.
Entire home vs Private room:
While it was nice to have our own place after a very exhausting travel day, if we did Paris again using Airbnb we would definitely pick the private room option. Neither of us had been to Paris before and other than “bonjour” and “merci”, we don’t speak a lick of French. It would have been nice to have a local resident there to recommend where to snag a cheap espresso or a “must do” that wasn’t on the typical tourist’s list.
All-in-all it was a rough start to our 5 months of Airbnb experiences, but we completely take the blame for it. We have spent more time researching the homes & apartments coming up in our trip and cannot wait to meet some of the wonderful hosts that we are staying with.
Onto the next adventure…