photo: appartement blanc paris
Where should the four of us stay in Paris when we visit this summer? My favorite kind of problem to solve.
Chrissy is fortunate to have a month-long sabbatical from work coming up. We’ve been debating where we should spend it but, in the end, France and Italy won out. We’ll spend most of our time in the South of France (can’t wait, Kim!) and Italy, but since we’re flying in and out of Paris, we decided to do a few days there with the kids each way.
Where should we stay — hotel or apartment? I can tell you, I spent A LOT of time looking at the family-friendly options. Here’s what I learned and what I found.
Hotels don’t have a minimum stay and you don’t have to deal with potential apartment-y problems like a key that doesn’t work or trouble with the heating. But you pay for that, too — for a family of four, where you are often looking at renting two rooms or a junior suite, hotels are pricier than renting an apartment. And the more affordable hotel options — the ones we had to consider — are glaringly charm-free.
By far, the vast majority have a one-week minimum. So if you are staying a week or longer, your options open up substantially. Still, if you look, you can find a handful of places that will rent to you nightly or that have only a 3- or 4-night minimum. There’s typically an up-charge the fewer nights you stay, but generally only a few Euros per person.
Most affordable apartments that say they sleep 3 to 4 people are studios or one bedrooms with a pull-out couch in the living room — so be forewarned. There may be more togetherness than you’re used to at home. You’ll get charm to spare, though — and you’ll shop the markets, cook at home, and get to pretend you live there.
I looked high and low, people, and here are the best kid-friendly Paris apartments I found. (In addition to affordability and being suitable for kids, the places had to be cute — even if the price was right, I dismissed quite a few flats because I wasn’t digging the aesthetic.)
If you’re planning a trip, I hope this helps! If not, I hope this inspires you! And if you have helpful suggestions for other Paris vacation rentals, please share them below in the comments.
photo: appartement blanc paris
Appartement Blanc Paris
This is the place we booked — 2 bedrooms in a great quartier between Oberkampf and the Marais. (That second bedroom may not be essential, but it’s so, so nice to have it.) Chic, but simple, un-fussy, and kid-friendly. The rental contact was pleasant to deal with and quick to reply.
photo: canal apartment paris
The Canal Apartment Paris
Adorable, right? This 1 bedroom was our runner-up. It was a little more expensive and the place wasn’t free for our dates both coming and going. We considered it seriously anyway, though, for one end of the trip because it was so cute. Again, the rental contact was responsive and friendly — and, even though the decor is sophisticated, kids are cool (I double-checked.) A great location on the Canal Saint Martin.
photo: reuilly 1 bedroom / paris flats
Reuilly 1 Bedroom (via Paris Flats)
A 4-night minimum stay, but extremely affordable. Basic and comfy.
photo: paris 10th loft / VRBO
Bright, Cozy and Quiet Loft in the 10th Arrondissement (via VRBO)
I liked this place for the light and space — it feels big and open — and the ground-floor entrance. No stairs! So much simpler with bags and jet-lagged children.
photo: lucie loft / paris oasis
Lucie Loft at Paris Oasis
TripAdvisor reviews note that this guest house in Montmartre is family-friendly, and guests seem to love it — it’s rated #1 in their list of Specialty Lodging in Paris. Open, modern — AND they have a pool.
(Note: I found a couple of these options via a blog I’ve recently discovered and am really enjoying — Pret a Voyager. Lots of interesting Paris-related stuff there, so check it out.)
If you decide you’re more down with the hotel idea, see:
Paris: The Best Hotels for Kids and Families
TripAdvisor: Citadines Bastille Marais
Ciao Bambino on Paris with Kids
A Mom Amok on Rome with Kids
And more fun fantasy real estate stuff: Currently Obsessed with…. Moving to Austin