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Paris in apartment for one month
With two children aged 8 and 5

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#1 lilmissmuffet

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

DH will have long service leave in three years and we have been discussing the possibility of travelling overseas with our children (who will by then be 8 and 5 years old) and staying in a city or region for a month. Need to start saving now really!

We'd love to go to Paris and would like to stay in an apartment so we don't have to drag our luggage all over, plus we can really get to know the city properly. And if there are tantums or signs of tiredness we can venture out on another day.   biggrin.gif  Sounds good in theory, right?!

Has anyone done this? Would it be too long to stay in Paris? We could use it as a base for visits to other regions? Any idea of costs to budget for? We figure our grocery bill wouldn't be too excessive as it would replace what we spend at home, accommodation in an apartment better value than a hotel, trains to get around. Airfares would be biggest expense.

DH and I have been to Paris as young backpackers but it would be such a novelty as the children are learning French at school .

Any thoughts and experiences to share would be great!

#2 ComradeBob

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:52 PM

Someone will be able to give you websites that let apartments for that length of time, which will be preferable to a hotel. Paris will be an ideal base to see other places from, as the TGV is fast and relatively inexpensive (from memory). Also, avoid the temptation to shop in the bijou little local street markets and get the majority of your groceries from the more prosaic, but far cheaper supermarket!

And have a ball. I am very deeply envious of you  original.gif

#3 Lagom

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:56 PM

Sounds excellent!  Can I come?   wink.gif

Our last trip to Paris we spent 2 weeks and only scratched the surface.  One month would be great.

Having an apartment is great because you can save a lot of money by cooking a lot of your own food.  I didn't find grocery shopping expensive at all.  Although, you WILL want to eat plenty of local food. (Where IS that drool icon?)

#4 Dionysus

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:58 PM

ooh, we are thinking of doing the same in a few years.  DH will have long service leave (and I have some anyway) and we are thinking of 8 weeks in Europe - 3 weeks of those in an apartment in/outside of Paris.  DD will be 7ish.

Hope you get some good suggestions here!

#5 protart roflcoptor

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

Well jell!!!!

#6 Mocha Coffee

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

Try Rent Paris.com

We used them (only for a week) but I loved, loved, loved the apartment we had.  

#7 Ice Queen

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

I LOVE France and many years ago DH and I spent 3mo living in the Loire Valley.  That was prekids.  We always say how we would love to do it with kids.

So what would I do?  Well, I probably wouldnt choose Paris but a smaller French city.  I love Paris but it is stupid expensive (although the strong Aus $ does make it better), it is a very busy, noisy and crazy city which you only really notice when you are pushing a stroller along a busy road crawling with scooters.  

We had a few days in Lyon and I would live there in a heartbeat.  OMG lovely city.  Other cities include Bordeaux, Tours, Dijon maybe, Nantes but Lyon is my favourite.  You just need to choose a city on the TGV system and then getting around should be okay.  As much as you think you will, you wont get to that many places anyway.  A month isnt that long especially when you are trying to get to know a city and area.  We spent 3mo in the Loire Valley and still didnt see as much as we thought we would!  And that was with no kids!   You could use the local rail to visit the regions around your base city (a concept that I highly recommend), visit the local markets, go wine tasting etc etc.

We went there in Oct-Dec and rented a cottage through a UK holiday website.  There are loads of holiday websites and if you avoid summer, you can pick up a great place on a long term let at a discount as they generally sit vacant out of summer.  It made life a lot easier dealing with a British owner than navigating the French.

I LOVE France, i would move there tomorrow......champagne, frois gras, cheese, red wine......my lips are watering just thinking about it.  great idea.

#8 Apageintime

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

I will be spending a month in a Paris apartment over Xmas this year.

Your trip is a while away so I won't recommend apartments. No doubt things will change by then.

But i have a huge list of things to do while I'm there and I don't think I'll get through it all.

I used the lonely planet thorn tree forum and trip advisor for planning.

#9 RichardParker

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Sorry, I'm unable to curtail my jealousy long enough to provide helpful suggestions.

#10 Fright bat

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

We did this as our last holiday before kids. It wa awesome. Made friends with other people in the apartment block, had 'picnics' on the roof with our new friends, bought cheese from the cheese store at the bottom of the block everyday... Bliss!

We could have spent more time there. We spent about $10k for two for a month including all flights, accom, living expenses and shopping. We didn't eat out much because we had an apartment, but cooking is Paris was a treat anyway - French chanterelles that retail in Aus for $100/kg for less than a tenth the price! Amazing bread and cheese, so much fresh amazing stuff. Copious amounts of wine - drunk the French way, in glass tumblers!

Only thing to bear in mind is that August is the best weather (still cool by Aust standards), but it is 'les grandes vacances' - the big summer holidays when Parisians go to the beach/countryside and Paris is quiet except for tourists. It is nice in some ways, but not 'authentic' Paris, IYKWIM.

In terms of where to stay, I'd suggest somewhere in or around the 5th arrondissement. But if you can't specifically find a suitable place, anywhere near the Luxembourg Gardens should be a must - the Jardin des Tuileries is more famous, but the Luxembourg Gardens are delightful for kids.

You'll have a ball!

#11 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

My mum did this, and I stayed with her for a week.  

She did some day/overnight trips out of Paris by train (rail pass) and spent the rest of the time just pretending she was a Parisian.  Definitely not too long.    Bear in mind that the average Parisian apartment is tiny (especially kitchens and bathrooms) but the cost was pretty reasonable (if you avoid the high season) and as PP said she did most of her shopping at the supermarche.  

The other advantage of living there for a month is you can do the big touristy things early or late and avoid the crowds.  

Plus Eurodisney.  wink.gif

#12 Pop-to-the-shops

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

We have done Paris a few times with kids. A bit younger than yours but its a great place for kids, they will have a ball.

Www.parisflats.com.au is run by an Australian and has some lovely little places.


#13 Ice Queen

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

Agree with MsN about August.  Try to avoid summer at all costs.  Seething with tourists and lots of locals go away.  I remember going once in late July and the heat was stiffling with no aircon anywhere!  Never again.  I have been to Paris in the snow.....now that is lovely.

#14 lilmissmuffet

Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

So excited now!!!

We were thinking we'd go in May or October to avoid the crowds and get cheaper airfares. DH and I went in April and that was definitely coat weather.

Are there any months that are rainy? Can handle the cold but not constant rain.

#15 Ally'smum

Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

We did this a couple of years ago, I think September for Paris would be great, October is already getting cold and dark, May would be great as well.

We stayed in Marais which is the 4th arrond. as it was so central we could walk to many places and didn't need to use the metro. It is such a walkable city it was easy. The apartments are so small compared to Australian ones so keep in mind that unless you are spending a lot you are going to be in a small space. Groceries should cost about the same as here.

Enjoy it and take lots of photos, it will be a defining point in your life!

Edited by loggedin, 12 November 2012 - 09:30 PM.

#16 Fabulous

Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:36 PM

We rented an apartment last year through paris address. We went in May and the weather was perfect. We stayed in this apartment http://www.parisaddress.com/paris-apartmen...partment/MOULIN

Edited by Fabulous, 12 November 2012 - 11:44 PM.

#17 biscotty

Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:49 PM

I am doing this next year biggrin.gif I have three months, spending a month in 3 different places, Paris being one.

I haven't started looking at apartments properly yet, will start doing that this uni break.. so I will keep you posted. I have quickly looked at sites such as homeaway & VRBO and there seem to be some good apartments...

Will be keeping a close eye on this thread original.gif

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