11 things to look out for when renting an AirBnb in Paris

The photos were so beautiful and the apartment was rated four stars so you booked it on AirBnb or another apartment rental site. But what seemed like the perfect stay in a tiny apartment turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. The kitchen was not a kitchen, you couldn’t contact your host for where the towels were, and you strained your back to get you and your luggage up to the sixth floor.

Here are 11 things to look for when booking an AirBnb in Paris to ensure the apartment you want is the one you get.

1. What floor is it on?

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Most of the cheapest apartments available are on the upper floors. Look for notices at the bottom of the accessibility and “things to keep in mind” section regarding the need to be able to climb stairs. If the apartment is listed as being in the attic or a “maid’s room”, be aware that it is very likely that the ceiling is sloped.

2. Is there an elevator and how big is it?

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This is important to know both for your physical abilities and for carrying your luggage. If there’s an elevator, don’t assume it can hold your huge suitcase or even a wheelchair, if that’s a factor.

3. Do you have to go out to access your room?

It’s rare, but it happens. Some apartments are only accessible from a second entrance upstairs and outside. Thus, you would climb the stairs of a building, exit through a door and follow a walkway or cross a terrace to your apartment. If you are afraid of heights, do not buy an apartment accessible only from the outside on a higher floor.

4. What appliances are in the kitchen?

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For a 15th floor apartment, the listing of which indicates that it has a kitchen, the “kitchen” is described as “a refrigerator, a freezer, a microwave oven, baking dishes, crockery and utensils”. So if you like Picard, the affordable frozen grocery store (what you need), then you’ll do just fine! If you want to make a hot camembert baked or eggs for breakfast, be sure to filter your search to only include apartments with the necessary appliances.

5. Is there a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector?

The amenities of an AirBnb in the 10th arrondissement. (Screenshot by Frenchly)

Since 2015, these are legally required in all residential buildings, but you will frequently come across properties when searching without a smoke detector, and more commonly without a carbon monoxide detector.

4. Is there Wi-Fi?

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On condition (especially) of AirBnbs in the United States, this is not always the case in France. Just check that it is there before making your reservation.

7. Is the bathroom in the apartment or down the hall?

An AirBnb in Montmartre has a bathroom that is in the hall, shared with the neighbors. (Screenshot by Frenchly)

It is Very important. Unless you want to share a bathroom with several people and put on shoes to go to the toilet in the middle of the night, do not take an AirBnb with a toilet that is not in the apartment. On the other hand, a maid’s room or another one-room apartment could have the shower, toilet and sink all located in the room together.

8. How far is the metro?

Although the metro is never far away, if you choose to stay in an area where you don’t feel very comfortable, at least check which are the nearest metro stations so you don’t have to spend so much time wandering the neighborhood

9. Is the nearest metro station open?

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The nearest metro station may be closed at night, on weekends or completely closed due to construction work. Check the RATP website to find out which metro lines and stations are under construction during your trip.

10. When is the payment?

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A midday departure may seem reasonable, but if your flight leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 9:00 p.m., you don’t want to drag your bags around for five hours before getting to the airport. Those with evening flights would do well to inquire about the possibility of leaving their bags at the AirBnb and picking them up after check-out times, or finding a location with a later check-out.

11. How do you contact your host?

If the main method of contact with your host is text or call and a French cell phone plan is not in your budget, message the host about the possibility of other means of communication before to reserve the room.

Featured image credit: Image bank by Pascale Guéret / Shutterstock

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