Finding Accommodation, Flatsharing, Hostels in Paris
France is on par with the rest of western Europe as far as expense, but is about 25-35% cheaper than in the UK. Groceries tend to be fairly inexpensive, but property or raw goods can be pricey.
When traveling, expect to pay about €50/100 per person for mid-range accommodations and meals per day. Backpackers using hostels and cooking their own meals can get by on as little as €30 a day, not including transport.
Estimates on cost of living:
- Rent 1-bedroom (City/Paris): €800-1,500/month
- Rent Studio (City/Paris): €600-1,000/month
- Rent 1-bedroom(Rural): €500/month
- 1L unleaded petrol: €1.28
- French national newspaper: €1.20
- Cinema ticket: €8
- Basic 3-course evening meal: €18-30
- coffee in café: €2
- Bottle of French table wine: €5
- 600g pizza: €4.75
- 70cl can of lager: €1
- 1 bagette: €0.80/1.30
- 1 kg potatoes: €1.45
- 6 eggs: €2
- Weekly groceries: €30 - 80 per week
Prepare for your Housing Search
Research, research, and introspection should define your pre-accommodation search. Familiarize yourself with the different areas of Paris and find where you want to live. Discover the area and find local resources like expat blogs in Paris.
Ask yourself questions like:
How big should the place be? A studio? A three room flat?
Do you want roommates or to live alone?
Where do you want to live? Somewhere close to your work?
What's your price range? What are you comfortable paying?
With answers to these important questions you can begin to think of a specific place.
If you are unfamiliar with the area, it can be difficult to assess where you want to live and what exactly you want out of an apartment. Short-term accommodations and apartment hotels can be the perfect solution, offering you the ability to get to know the city before picking permanent accommodation. These are usually more expensive then renting accommodation outright, but less expensive than a hotel and offers amenities like a kitchen and the ability to live in more of a local setting. Most are offered furnishing and short-term contracts are available for as little as a week to several months.
Chains of this style of accommodation include Pierre et Vacances and Citadines.
Short-term Furnished flats
As the expat might not often have all the guarantees asked by the lettting agency (see our article Rent), he/she might rely on short-term furnished flat, at least initially. Prices vary up to 100% more for the same kind of accommodation, so you better compare several websites. Cheaper offers are usually 10-15% more than similar furnished flats.
Deposits are 1/2 month-rent for 3 months, 1 month-rent for 6 months, and agencies are used to ask for a guarant or bank guarantee.
Student Residence Halls
Resident halls offer inexpensive accommodations for short-term rental. Accommodations vary from house to house with some offering shared rooms, shared flats, or private residences. Prices start at €400 per month. Check directly with universities for opportunities.
Subletting, the leasing of a property by a tenant, as opposed to a landlord, during a portion of his or her unexpired term of occupancy, is another popular option. This can allow you to sign a short-term contract for a furnished place with few strings. Be aware that even though many of these agreements are fairly informal, it is important to have a written contract to protect yourself. It is common to ask for a small deposit (usually the amount of one months rent).
A flatshare (colocation) can be an excellent way to save money on your accommodations. It also offers an opportunity to get to know a new city with a local, or some other misfit expats. Shared accommodation in cities range from €300 per month (out of the city center) to 500 or more per month (city center).
colocation.fr is also a popular search engine. It costs a small enrollment fee, but offers worthy listings
However, an important trait in any roommate situation is having boundaries and a clear understanding of what each roommate requires. To protect yourself against potential problems, try to arrange it so that your roommates co-sign the lease. This makes all the roommates responsible for whatever happens to the property. If the worst was to happen, such as your roommate losing their job and not being able to pay rent, they will be held financially responsible - not you.
Hostels (auberges de jeunesse) are plentiful across the France. Most are clustered around the cities, although a few are interspersed in the countryside. Most youth hostels only charge €15 per bed, per night. Within Paris, prices are much higher starting at €20 per bed, per night. The taxe de séjour is €.10-2 per person, per day and is usually included in the price.
Standards are general adequate with some hostels creating a vibrant party atmosphere. The most popular can fill up quickly, so reserve the best places early. There are flexible standards and curfews are rare. Sheets and breakfast are rarely included, but may be offered for additional charges as well as internet access, laundry services, kitchen, etc.
The Fédération Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse (FUAJ) is a French branch of International Youth Hostel Federation (English and French). They offer access to a selection of hostels and discounts.
Looking for cheap accommodation in Paris isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking mid-long term accommodation with thousands of verified properties.
- If you’re looking for a room or a flat, you can search for ads in your new city:
- If you have a room available and you wish to rent it, get in touch with us:
I had a hell of a time finding a suitable accommodation, which wouldn't be a rip-off (like parisattitude and other luxury rentals!), nor a scam, and finaly got great hep by the Pour Vous Paris volunteers: www.pourvousparis.com
Write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Great ressources also to plan your trip
jUST RETURNED FROM PARIS, MY DAUGHTER WILL STAY FOR 6 MOONTHS WORKING AND STUDING, MANY PROBLEMS TO FIND ACCOMODATION, WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THIS ADRESS www.aljt.com
VERY GOOD AND CHEAP FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THEY HAVE RESIDENces all over Paris, you have to request the accomodation throught the web and they answer inmediatly.
One source I used very successfully for my last stay in New York but that also does vacation rentals, Bed and Breakfast and longer term rentals in Paris is New York Habitat's website at www.nyhabitat.com
A friend of mine had recommended them and I must say they were very helpful, gave what they promised + they were of very good advice for choosing the neighborhood which was a big + for me.
First of all, for any request, the best thing is to contact the websites, they will respond shortly.
Here are the conditions for Lodgis.com (2007/08) that they sent by email:
1. You select an apartment which meets your needs and is available for your dates of stay.
2. All availabilities are listed on the website (minimum or maximum length of stay) and are updated all day long.
3.Send an email, or fill the request form , or call to specify:
Your first and last name
The reference of the apartment you have selected
Your dates of stay
The number of people who will stay in the apartment
Your fax number ( if possible ), your phone number(s), and email
4. The rental lease will be sent by email or by fax to book this apartment ( you will be able to visit the apartment if you stay more than 6 months, then you will receive a visit acceptance before the lease )
5. You fill out those documents and send them back by fax within 24 hours with a copy of your passport. Please note that the reservation will not be possible if you do not provide all the requested documents.
6.Following the landlord's confirmation, he will sign the rental lease
7.You pay the agency fees BY CREDIT CARD (*agency fees are listed below)
8. You will receive, by email, the owner's contact details, in order to pay him the deposit to secure your booking (within 7 days, except if you book at the last minute ). If the owner doesn't receive this payment by this time he will have the right to cancel this booking.
Your booking is confirmed once the rental lease is signed by you and the owner, and the down payment and agency fees are paid.
A - For rentals of less than 3 months : You should be able to provide, if requested by the landlord, a "holiday insurance" certificate, which covers personal property and the landlord's belongings. Failure to do so, could mean the renting of the accommodation being refused.
The agency will offer you a tenant insurance for this purpose (cancellation, suspension of the lease and damages). You can find the terms and conditions on the following address :
The cost amounts to 3% of the total rental price.
This insurance is optional.
B - For rentals greater than 3 months : You should also be able to provide, if requested by the landlord, a comprehensive residential insurance certificate.
Failure to do so, could mean the renting of the accommodation being refused. The agency can offer you an insurance, for this purpose. You remain nevertheless free to choose the insurer of your choice.
10. The owner will set up an appointment with you, to welcome you at the apartment on the day of arrival. You will sign the inventory with him and you will pay the balance of the rent ( if you paid a down-payment )and the security
* Fees are based on the length of the rental, they are included in the prices listed by week and are not included in the prices listed by month on our website.
From 1 day to 2 month, the agency fees are 25% of the total rental price.
From 2 month 1 day to 3 month, the agency fees are equal to 1/2 month's rent.
From 3 month 1 day to 6 month 20 days, the agency fees are 16,7% of the total rental price.
From 6 month 21 days, the agency fees are equal to 1,11 month's rent.
File Fees are 20 Euros
Lodgis and Paristay are the 2 websites I recommend as it is very easy to see the services available in the flat and navigate through the interface. Overall, you can use all and it's straightforward to ask them questions through emails.
has requested us not to communicate any of their conditions on EasyExpat and complained that information given were not accurate (despite being from their website). Therefore we cannot recommend them.
If you have or are looking for a room or a roommate, you could post for free an ad in www.okroommate.com/france
It is the most extended rooms and roommates search engine.