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 nightlife 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 ours 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 quiet 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 nightlife 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 nightlife 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.

VRBO 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.

Traveling Soon? These useful links will help you prepare for your trip.
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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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