Vacation Apartment Rental – Living Like a Local

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Our apartment was in the heart of Nice in Southern France across from the museum of art and a short walk from the night life of old town Nice. Our landlady met us at the door and gave us our keys. We walked up the 2 flights of stairs to our apartment. It had one private bedroom, one loft and a fold-out couch for the 6 of us.  No, we weren’t moving to Nice but instead were only staying for 3-4 nights.


The balcony there in the middle was our apartment.

There is something very different about living as a temporary local in a city rather than in a hotel or hostel even for a short stay. A week is a typical minimum stay for renting an apartment but sometimes shorter stays like our are possible. When you arrive you often get a local telling you where the local stores are. In our case the bakery up the street offered 5 croissants or 5 pan o chocolate for 5 euros (You can order by just saying “cinq cinq”)

We saved money one night by cooking dinner for ourselves and just taking a quite night in. This was a great break in the middle of our trip.

Apartments are a great option for families or small groups traveling together. In some cases they are a better option for those who are not looking for night life as they may be in a more residential neighborhood. Try this, after you find a property look on google maps for restaurants and bars nearby if night life is important to you.

There are a number of places to find vacation or holiday apartment rentals online: is a site that has become popular since I first wrote this article. We have even started hosting with Airbnb recently. is a popular site for finding apartments, beach houses, or even houses for rent. They offer 185,000 vacation rentals. is one of the largest sites for Vacation Rental By Owner. They offer 130,000 rental properties. is a popular hotel rental site in Europe but also offers serviced apartments. It is how we found the apartment we rented.

Coach House Rentals – In London, New York City, Paris or Rome check out this smaller site. We rented an apartment in London through them that was a short trip on the tube from the main sites and more spacious and inexpensive than a hotel.

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

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