12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris

{My stay in Paris was in partnership with Airbnb India}

12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris

We booked our tickets to Europe in Jan for our summer holidays. There was then the question of where to stay. Hotels in big cities of Europe are often insanely expensive or extremely tiny or both. 3 of us, in one tiny room, bumping into each other and stepping on each others toes didn’t seem like fun. Since I had read a few of blogger friends' Airbnb experience, I wanted to give it a go. It was the perfect way to explore the city like a local.

If you ask me what kind of traveler I am, I’ll say ‘Like a local’. I love to go to the local supermarkets, neighbourhood pubs, use public transport, just like the locals do. Since I have a family of my own, it is a bit of a stretch to live with locals, so I have to draw the line there. If I were a backpacker, I’d do that too. No better way to experience a new place, right?

Talking about our stay in Paris, we zeroed in on this loft at Montmartre, which seemed like a lovely neighbourhood to explore the city from. The apartment belonged to a food lover and the listing spoke of a highly well equipped kitchen, two bedrooms, a vast dining space and tons and tons of books. We found all that and more in this space we called home for 5 nights in Paris.

Here are some of the reasons why loved staying at this Airbnb at Montmartre, Paris.

  1. It was a thrill to stay in a traditional Parisian loft with a great deal of history. This loft had been occupied by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, a great painter and illustrator (1864-1901).
  2. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    this well stocked kitchen was such a delight
    The kitchen was equipped to the gills with pots, pans, teas, coffees, Nespresso, toaster, juicer, you name it. What more can a foodblogger ask? Not just the kitchen, but the rest of the home was cozy as a cocoon replete with comfortable couches to sink into. After you’ve walked all day around Paris - trust me, you need this! When you look at the listing, make sure you expand the Amenities section to see if the apartment you are looking at has all that you may need during your stay.
  3. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    They say the devil in the details. Our host left us a bag full of the essentials - maps, Lonely Planet guide, and even an adapter. The bathrooms had everything we needed and more. I fell in love with the Savon Marseilles soaps in the bath, promptly hunted them down and bought several months of supply to remind me of my time in Paris. The apartment was thoughtfully equipped with towel warmers, men’s toiletries, and other grooming products too. I’ll say this, Parisians know how to make the most of tiny spaces. My host’s extra bathroom, which was quite small, also made space for a magazine rack, some art and a mirror.
  4. There was unlimited high speed wifi (which your hotel will charge you an arm, a leg AND a kidney for) on tap, which meant we could do our research, plan our trips, check our emails and I even managed to do live broadcast a Periscope from the kitchen.
  5. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    The great Van Gogh lived here
    Ref point 1, Montmartre was / is home to plenty of artists, galleries, making it a bustling neighbourhood that has a bit of everything. Walking around the place, you realise it’s been home to greats like Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre Jacob. If there are 3 things you need to remember while choosing an Airbnb for yourself in any city, I'd say they are 1. Neighbourhood 2. Neighbourhood 3. Neighbourhood. And this one totally lived up to our expectations. Many Airbnb listings give you complete details about the neighbourhood, right at the bottom of the listing, if you scroll past the reviews and the host profile. I nearly missed this until someone pointed it out to me.
  6. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    The Sacre Coeur Basilica
    Sacre Coeur is one of the must visit places in Paris. The construction of this magnificent church started in 1875 and was finished in 1914. Sacre Coeur was just a 5 minute walk uphill from the apartment or from pretty much anywhere in Montmartre. Entry is free but you can offer a voluntary donation at entry or exit.
  7. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    the view from top of the hill
    Montmartre walk is another must do when in Paris. An uphill climb, lined by quaint shops, cafes and galleries and a fantastic view of Paris below, including the Eiffel tower, it was a memorable part of our time in Paris. A village like atmosphere, shops selling trinkets, crepes, ice creams, artists willing to draw your portrait and beautiful display and sale of paintings makes this a place with a lot of character (and photo opps). There is also an old winery and a windmill in the locality.
  8. When in Paris, public transport is king. If you have decent Metro access from where you are staying, your travel in the city is pretty much sorted. The apartment in Montmartre was close to Blanche and Abbesses - both metros being a 5-6 min walk. With a Navigo pass for a week for us adults and a cartel of 10 tickets for the kid, we had unlimited use of the public transport. Tip: You can feed the address of the Airbnb listing in Google maps and see how far the nearest Metro / bus stations are.
  9. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    Coffee and Croissant at Gontran Cherrier
    What is Paris without access to good coffee and croissants! Just outside of our apartment building was Gontran Cherrier, the artisan boulangerie. The tables at the windows looked into the street, and there were always people queuing up to buy their baguettes and croissants. Cheery staff and the warm aromas of fresh bread and coffee were instant feel good things on a chilly Parisian morning. A lot of hosts often give you their favourites marked in the Neighbourhood section of the listing, or will leave you a folder with these insider tips. You can also ask them for more specific places to visit once you have booked the listing, in your further exchange with them.
  10. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    supermarket wine does not taste bad here :)
    Franprix (the express version of the supermarket) was just two buildings down, where we could get general supplies like greens or boxed salads. A whole shelf dedicated to wine even in this tiny supermarket brought a smile to our face :) Nothing like a bottle or two of wine to relax in the apartment after a whole day of sight seeing. Again, Google maps is your friend. Locate the nearby supermarkets, carry a bag and trod along to get your dinner fixed for cheap.
  11. May Ta on 12 Rue Lepic, had some delicious Asian food, which you can eat there or take away. The vegetable fried rice and steamed broccoli in a light sauce was delicious to tuck into after walking back from the metro in icy cold rain. When one gets tired of cold baguette sandwiches, the hot food hit the spot! Bonus: They stock Tsingtao beer.
  12. 12 reasons we loved staying at an AIRBNB in Montmartre - Paris
    one can go crazy with fresh produce at this market
    The Barbes market, just two metro stations away from Blanche, was one of the highlights of our trip. It was a joy to see such a profusion of fresh produce, olives, dried fruits. We came back with a bag full of the freshest fruit and veggies for salads for just about 5 Euros. I even did a Periscope broadcast on making a salad for dinner using the fresh produce.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post on the Montmartre neighbourhood and my Airbnb experience.

A few people have left comments on my Instagram and tweeted to me on how to select a good Airbnb listing. For Paris, I looked at the neighbourhood, the kind of apartment that would be convenient for our family of 3, kitchen facilities and laundry facilities. I’ll tell you about the importance of the last one. Many traditional European apartments have no elevator, so imagine trying to lug a massive bag up and down the stairwell. We packed only for 6-7 days with the intention of doing laundry around twice in our 15 day trip in Europe and it worked out really well for us. In short, there is an Airbnb listing to suit every need. Going through various profiles, details, neighbourhoods, will give you a fair idea of what will work for you. Make sure you read the reviews left by other guests too.

This was my first experience staying in an Airbnb apartment. In a new city, this definitely feels like home away from home. If you have any further queries on how to choose a listing or anything about my experience, I'm happy to answer in the comments below.

If you haven’t signed up on Airbnb yet, use my referral link to get more than Rs.2000 off on your first stay.

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