I'm considering an extended (three to six months) stay in Europe. Where do I start looking for accommodations, such as a furnished apartment at a reasonable rate?
-Jon, Lansing, Mich.
Most people know that apartments will usually be cheaper than hotels, but if you’re paying for a suite, the price disparities can be shocking. To get 1,000 square feet of space in the heart of Paris, you’d have to pony up over $2,000 per night at the George V. A nearby one-bedroom apartment rents for $550 per night and is slightly larger.
The tough thing about apartment rentals is usually finding the right one for you. In most major European cities, there are dozens of places to find furnished apartments for rent, from Web sites to local newspapers. While there are a number of sites that offer apartment rentals all over Europe, these rarely have the depth and variety of resources you’ll find in the city-specific guides.
Just to get an idea of how many sites we’re talking about, here’s perhaps the single most comprehensive list for London: http://www.britainexpress.com/great_british_sites/London-flats.htm.
In Paris, among the easiest-to-use and most comprehensive sites are:
To save money, consider a more rural apartment outside the big, expensive cities like Paris and London. One good source for finding these types of places is Gites-de-France.com, http://www.gites-de-france.com/gites/uk/rural_gites. “Gite” means (roughly) “cottage” in French. For the English countryside, try HolidayLets.net, http://www.holidaylets.net/rentals-in-england/1/0.