To explore the real Paris, you need to experience it like a local, staying in a Parisian home rather than a hotel. It’s not a dream. I have been staying in authentic Parisian homes since my first visit to Paris with the help of Airbnb.com, a website that connects travelers with local residents, with a robust reputation system.
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Stay in Parisian Homes
The apartments I have stayed in were in different arrondissements (districts) with diverse characters—multicultural, modern or spacious, but all are memorable and provide me with fond memories.
Finding the Perfect Location
If I had to pick my favorite one, location-wise, I prefer the one in the 15th arrondissement (also called the “Arrondissement de Vaugirard”), near the chic, stunning yet eco-friendly Beaugrenelle Shopping Mall in the Beaugrenelle district (or Front de Seine).
Paris is characterized by its distinctive historic quarters (quartiers) that have developed or retained unique characters of their own. The Beaugrenelle district is a high-rise (apartment building) neighbourhood area that includes towers built around an elevated esplanade.
Stereographic projection of the panorama of high rise towers in the Beaugrenelle district of Paris showing the Hôtel Novotel Paris-Tour Eiffel (formerly known as Hôtel Nikkō) with its red-encircled windows
The Tour Totem consists of a stack of glass-faced blocks.
The 15th arrondissement is alongside the River Seine but not in the city center, so it’s not too expensive, crowded or noisy. When you casually turn your head, the Eiffel Tower will leap out at you and it’s only a 20-minute walk away!
Stay with a Parisian Family
There’s nothing better than staying with a Parisian family to learn about the city’s culture. Therefore, personally I favor a private room in an apartment shared with a Parisian host over an entire apartment to my own. But staying in a Parisian studio or a relatively spacious apartment is a valuable experience too.
Get to Know Paris Arrondissements
Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements in the form of a clockwise spiral, with the first arrondissement in the middle of the city, on the Right Bank (north bank) of the Seine.
Explore Paris on Foot
The best way to explore Paris is on foot rather than locking yourself underground in the métro, because Paris is not only about the famous attractions. Yes, there are many of them but the beauty of city is also about its rich culture and sights at every corner. It’s not only a place to be toured but also one to be discovered, one that makes you pause, linger and appreciate at a slow pace.
Stroll along the Seine
We will stroll from Beaugrenelle along the Seine towards the Eiffel Tower, and continue along the Seine towards the East. Follow our footprints to discover the subtleties of Paris once again.
See Also: Paris Travel