Living like a Parisian with Wimdu

Staying in a cosy little apartment in Paris should appeal to the romantic side of us all, even for just a few days. It is often preferable to staying in a large, luxury hotel; there is a sense of ownership, it belongs to you for the period of the stay. Therefore when offered the opportunity to stay in an apartment in the centre of the French capital with accommodation provider Wimdu in the company of a friend I jumped at it.

Self-catering accommodation in the Montematre district of Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-45

Wimdu apartment in Paris

Self-catering accommodation in the Montematre district of Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-44

Small but perfectly formed

The process is simple, browse the website for a suitably located apartment in your  chosen city. There are usually plenty of detailed descriptions and photographs, including the facilities, and location. Most also indicate the available space, and of course the photographs show this further but a word of warning; the apartment we took looked noticeably larger in the images. Therefore don’t be too surprised if it turns out slightly snugger than anticipated.

Leisure cruise craft on the River Seine in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-24 seine_paris

Cruising on the River Seine

Once a suitable property is found, booked through the website and eventually if successful, confirmed by email. Any details such as address and entry codes are provided then. Do make sure that all the rules are read thoroughly and understood. In France many of the proprietors will need a deposit, in this case 200 euros, returned without issue provided there isn’t any damage.

The Ferris wheel (La Grande Roue) at Place de la Concorde in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photographyIain Mallory-300-36 bigwheel-paris

Under La Grande Roue at Place de la Concorde

It is also worth remembering that the owners are not hospitality professionals. They are members of the public that own a property which they rent out. This can mean a degree of quirkiness in dealing with them. We were greeted by two young women that were friends of the owner, they spoke almost zero English. Communication was awkward and when asked to provide a receipt for the deposit, initially they misunderstood and then appeared to resent being asked.

A Local of Montmartre

Church near the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur on top of the Montematre Hill in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-41sacré-cœur

Small church in Montmatre

As is reasonable to expect the apartment was clean and tidy. There was also a requirement to clean it before departing or pay a 40 euro fee to have it cleaned. For this reason we were grateful it consisted of just one small open plan room and a bathroom as we opted to clean. No issue, it took about an hour before leaving but something that needs clarifying before confirming any booking.

Situated in the Montmartre district just below the hill on which the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur sits. This is one of the most popular attractions in Paris and despite it raining when we arrived, visiting the Sacré-Coeur to admire the views of the Eiffel Tower and the “City of Light” was too good an opportunity to miss. 

It was especially pleasing to also discover there were a number of bistros and restaurants close by, lining the narrow, cobbled streets and petite district square. The aroma of French onion soup and bœuf bourguignon drifted temptingly through the area on the faintest of breezes. We promised ourselves a return visit before departing; a promise we thankfully kept, finding a lovely little bistro offering an excellent plat du jour on our last evening.Incidentally the bœuf bourguignon tasted as good as it smelled.

The apartment was also located within a few minutes walk of the metro, so using the excellent public transport system to explore the city was a cinch.

Eating like a local

The great thing about living like a Parisian is having a place all of our own to chill after a hard day discovering Paris. There was a small market shop within a block of our accommodation, selling all the supplies we would need. Freshly baked, crusty baguette, creamy camembert, ground coffee as well as fresh fruit and salad vegetables. We intended to take lunch on the hoof, so just breakfast and dinner to sort out, then enjoy it in front of our own television. The perfect way to chill out.

Genadarmerie fleet of vehicles for a peaceful protest at the Trocadero and Champs d'Elysees in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-17 gendarmes

A heavy police presence

Protest in the Trocadero in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-16 protest_trocadero

Protesting for single parent family rights at the Trocadero

We all may enjoy a touch of luxury and staying in a simple, small self-contained apartment may not be everybody’s ideal holiday accommodation. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay however, the size was not an issue, it was comfortable and the facilities were adequate if not exactly luxurious. An apartment is a great way to explore a city and to feel like a local.

Wimdu provides a simple and effective way to find a suitable one. There is the added comfort that are terms and conditions for the owners too, which should provide a trouble-free stay.

Statue in Paris, France near the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-15_BW

Red nosed statue

Love locks on a Paris Bridge over the River Seine in France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-26 love_locks

Sparse padlocks of love on a Paris bridge

This inspired me to offer a slightly different view of the city of light, not the typical tourist portfolio. The French capital is familiar with protests, we saw two in the three days we were there, humourous statues and locks of love confirm it’s romantic appeal. There was much more to entertain than the usual attractions. I hope you enjoy my alternative view of gay Paris.

Street food vendor near the Louvre Museum in Paris, France on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-35 vendor-paris

Grabbing a bite to eat near the Louvre

A view of the Arc Triomphe Du Carroussel from inside the Louvre's glass pyramid on Mallory on Travel, adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-34 triomphe-du-carroussel

Viewing the Arc Triomphe Du Carroussel from the Louvre

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