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The Impressionists have marked the history of art, not only in France, but around the world. At the end of the 19th century, many young painters were tired of the boring classicism of teaching at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and invented a new way of looking. Inspired by the latest scientific developments, especially in optics, they want to recreate the effects of light, the shimmer of water, the diffraction of sunlight, the way the leaves of a tree produce a speckled shadow, so characteristic. To represent reality as our reason conceives it seems to them to be of little interest. What they want is the immediacy of the visual sensation, the way the luminous reflections touch the eye. Similar to the digital pixels, the color spots that the impressionists have on their canvases reconstitute an image in a way even closer to reality. Touch by touch, emerges an impression closer to our experience, that of a bright afternoon when dazzled by the shimmering water, when the dark shadow that the leaves of trees make on the floor shows us unexpected tones, blue or green. A greenish reflection on the cheek of a girl?! Scandal! And yet, it is the reality of our visual perception. The painting that Claude Monet calls "Impression: Rising Sun" gives the movement its official name. After being repeatedly refused at the Salon Officiel, the Impressionists will eventually win. The public does not fool in front of what it takes for laziness or dilettantism: the colored spots thrown on the canvas in haste, the paintings made in a few hours in the open air, as long as the light is beautiful, instead of being conceived, realized and finished in the studio, the themes drawn from everyday life and not from ancient mythology, everything is new and rout of spectators who had been accustomed to more classicism. Today, the impressionists hold their revenge: admired throughout the world, their paintings adorn the least of memories, coffee mugs, t-shirts, fridge magnets and keychains. Yet far from the adulterated reproductions, one can admire in Paris many paintings of this movement which revolutionized the history of art. Let's take a tour of the three main museums that house today the masterpieces of Impressionism in Paris. See the paintings of the Impressionists in Paris: Le Musée d'Orsay The museum occupies a choice place, on the banks of the Seine, in the former Orsay train station, a magnificent building built for the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1900. It brings together an impressive collection, paintings of course, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts ... It is in Orsay that we find many famous paintings of Impressionism, such as the floor scrapers, Gustave Caillebotte, The Card Players of Paul Cézanne, The Willows at the Water's Edge by Camille Corot, as well as several Courbet and Degas, to name but a few. Van Gogh's bedroom in Arles is also there, as well as La Méridienne and the Church of Auvers sur Oise. In other words, the museum is a must for anyone who loves paintings, including paintings of the second half of the 19th century, in France and Europe. It is better to take your time, and have breaks in the cafe or museum shop. A thorough visit can easily fill the day! Musée d'Orsay - opens every day except Monday from 9:30 to 18h, Thursday until 21:45 - 1, rue de la Legion d'Honneur, 75007 - metro 12 Solferino, RER C Musée d'Orsay - entrance 12 € Reduced price 9 € - attention, keep your ticket: it entitles you to the reduced rate within eight days of the visit to the museum Gustave Moreau, the Palais Garnier and the museum Jean-Jacques Henner. See Monet’s Water Lilies in Paris: Le Musée de l'Orangerie One comes to the Orangery first to see the centerpiece: the gigantic fresco of Claude Monet's water lilies. For more than thirty years, Claude Monet tirelessly painted reflections of the water lily pond in his Giverny property. The result is more than 250 paintings, of which the monumental frescoes of the Orangery Museum which are the most famous. Spread over two oval rooms lit by a glass roof, they represent the pond through the day and the four seasons. They offer a moment of meditation and unparalleled beauty. The museum also houses a rich collection from the late 19th and early 20th century: Cézanne, Gauguin, Marie Laurencin, Matisse, Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and Picasso live side by side. Temporary exhibitions Water Lilies: American Abstraction and the Last Monet Until August 20, 2018 This exceptional exhibition presents a large canvas of Water Lilies exhibited in New York in 1955 and the creations of the New York abstract school, including works by Pollock and Rothko. The Cruel Tales of Paula Rego From October 17, 2018 to January 14, 2019 Paula Rego left her native Portugal as a teenager to move to London. At the Slade School of Arts, she meets Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and David Hockney. In uncompromising paintings, she depicts squeaky and cruel scenes that evoke power struggles and the feminine condition. Musée de l'Orangerie - open every day except Tuesday from 9h to 18h - Tuileries Garden, 75001 - metro 1, 8 or 12 Concorde - entrance 9 €, reduced price 6,50 € - possibility to buy a cut the line ticked -file online, print at home. See other Impressionist paintings in Paris: Le Musée Marmottan-Monet The Musée d'Orsay may receive the lion's share of the visits, but the Marmottan-Monet museum has a very rich collection of impressionist art, built up little by little, with illustrious donations: the "doctor's daughter" "Impressionists", Georges de Bellio, and the second son of Claude Monet, bequeathed the collections of their fathers, and this base has been enriched over the years. The museum is also home to some of the most beautiful ancient illuminations, the Georges Wildenstein collection, as well as the collection of paintings and objects from the First Empire that belonged to the museum's founder, Paul Marmottan (who, by the way, hated the Impressionists, apparently...). Temporary exhibitions To discover the temporary exhibitions of the Marmottan Museum, visit the website, on the pages "Exhibition in progress" and "Exhibition to come" Corot, the painter and his models Until July 8, 201 The famous landscapes of Camille Corot reminds us that he was also a great portraitist. In his paintings, he represents fashionable characters or modest anonymous, with always a lot of modernity. This exhibition brings together about sixty paintings from public and private collections from all over Europe (Zurich, Lyon, Madrid ...) and the United States (Washington, New York). Private Collections - Masterpieces from Private Collections of Fauvism Impressionism From September 13, 2018 to February 10, 2019 This exceptional exhibition will bring together about sixty works usually invisible to the public, lent by private collectors. This is a rare opportunity to see for the first-time paintings by the greatest names in Impressionism and Fauvism, such as Monet, Degas, Caillebotte, Renoir, Rodin, Camille Claudel, Seurat, Signac, Emile Bernard, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Redon, Vuillard, Bonnard, Derain, Vlaminck or Matisse. Musée Marmottan-Monet (notice of the museum to download) - open every day except Monday from 10h to 18h, Thursday until 21h - 2, rue Louis Boilly, 75016 - metro 9 La Muette, RER C Boulainvilliers - entrance 11 €, reduced price € 7.50Read more
Versailles is one of the destinations not to be missed under any circumstances when visiting Paris. Voila, the castle is huge, beautiful, and its history may seem like too much ... but how to enjoy the visit without getting overwhelmed? For example, what would you say about going on a treasure hunt? Here are four representative objects of Versailles, with their history. Can you find them in the galleries of the castle? Visit Versailles: some practical tips Versailles is very, very, very popular with tourists ... It will take patience to queue at the ticket office, unless you buy your tickets online here. Remember, however, that you can rely on HomeTown to organize an excursion to Versailles with a guided tour. In this case, goodbye long queues! The Château itself is open every day except Mondays, from 9am to 6.30pm in high season. The Petit Trianon and the Galerie des Carrosses are open in the afternoon only, from noon to 5.30 pm. It is recommended to avoid Tuesdays and weekends when there is a crowd. You can also consult the calendar of the castle to see the forecast of affluence. You can go to Versailles by public transport, several solutions for this: Take the RER C to Versailles Château Rive Gauche Or take the Gare Montparnasse train to Versailles Chantiers Or take the Gare Saint-Lazare train to Versailles Rive Droite The RATP bus 171 departs from the Pont de Sèvres (terminus of metro line 9) and goes to the castle A forewarning, all of these options, except the bus, require to finish the journey on foot (between 10 to 20 minutes walk from the station). There is also a shuttle, Versailles Express, which goes directly to the Palace of Versailles. The shuttle departs from Quai Bourdonnais, near the Eiffel Tower. Once you have passed the golden gates of the Castle, here are the four objects to find! Portrait of Marie Leszczynska Less known than Marie Antoinette, Marie Leszczynska, the wife of Louis XV, had not less a remarkable destiny, and almost as tragic as that of Marie Antoinette ... In 1725, the weak health of Louis XV worries a lot: what will become of the crown of France if he dies without an heir? When he falls sick again, his entourage panics and looks for a wife of age to give him children. After complex court intrigue, it is Marie Leszczynska, Princess of Poland, who is chosen. She is seven years older than her future husband. This is a default choice: the princess was first eliminated from the ranking because her lineage was not prestigious enough, but it is finally chosen because it does not threaten any party at the court of Versailles. She has no support at court, where she finds herself isolated. She will give ten children to Louis XV, including eight girls; only one son survives. Very pious, rather shy, she finds it hard to find her place in Versailles because she lacks a lot of talent - she does not master French "lightness". To find this portrait, go to the Victoire apartment! This portrait really pleased the Queen, who had several copies made of it. She is modestly represented in city clothes, with nothing to show her status as queen. Pendulum of « Louis XIV » In 1706, the watchmaker Antoine Morand presents the king with an exceptional clock that he himself made. To please Louis XIV, Morand represented the king in panache: when the clock rings the hour, two putti strike the gilded metal, and the king appears, to be crowned by the goddess of Fame. The clock is mounted on a box of fine marquetry. Like many objects of the Palace of Versailles, the clock experienced many vicissitudes at the time of the Revolution. A revolutionary watchmaker removes the royal arms to replace them with Republican emblems and makes the clock the "Pendulum of Liberty". It was bought by Louis XVIII and returned to Versailles in 1819. Step 2 of the treasure hunt: you will find the clock in the Salon de Mercure. Do not miss the Astronomical Clock, a clockwork jewel with an exquisite precision. It is exposed in the cabinet of the Pendulum. Candelabrum « of the American Independence» This candlestick represents a trend firmly rooted in the courts of Europe at the time: objects that celebrate or commemorate a special occasion, with many symbols. For the third stage of the treasure hunt, you will find this candelabrum in the King's Inner Cabinet, its original location. The candlestick was created in 1784, to celebrate the victory of Yorktown (1781). We find the animals and elements that symbolize the various protagonists of the battle, delicately carved in bronze: leopards, roosters, mermaids and ships. The Siege of Yorktown is a turning point in the American War of Independence, which pitted the British armies against the American insurgent forces. These fought with the support and reinforcement of the French. While, on the American side, the Duke of Rochambeau and General Washington decide to march to New York, on the English side Lord Cornwallis leads his troops to refuel at Yorktown. Rochambeau decides to change strategy and march to Yorktown to fight Cornwallis, without informing Washington. The bet is risky, but the British soldiers are much less numerous, and weakened by malaria. With the reinforcement of the French fleet wetting in the Chesapeake Bay, the American victory is assured, and the English surrender on October 19, 1781. Marie-Antoinette's Armchair at the Petit Trianon One of the things that amazes the most when visiting Versailles is the furniture. Imitated around the world, admired, the furniture of 18th century Versailles never stops to influence fashion. This pretty armchair was commissioned by Marie Antoinette to furnish her bedroom, and you will find it at the Petit Trianon. Last step of the treasure hunt! It is part of a set decorated with ears of wheat, honeysuckle and jasmine that the queen ordered in 1787, just two years before the Revolution. It is possible that she did not enjoy it very long... The vegetal decoration corresponds well to the rural inspiration that Marie-Antoinette wanted to give to the Petit Trianon. This castle was her refuge when the atmosphere of Versailles, stiff and starched, became too stuffy. This is a space that Marie-Antoinette wanted to model according to her tastes: the refined simplicity is inspired by the fashion of the "Swiss chalet", which was raging at the time. Against the sophisticated sophistication of the Court and the corruption of big cities, many aristocrats aspired to a simple life - or at least a fashion that reminds them of what a simple life could be! Indeed, we should not push too much anyway: this "return to nature" is especially evident on furniture sets very refined and comfortable! Even if the Hameau de la Reine farm worked well as a farm, Marie-Antoinette was never really a shepherdess, except to dress up ... And to finish the visit: see Versailles differently Contemporary photographer and artist Jean-François Rauzier made a startling bet: take thousands of photos of Versailles - and sew them together to get dreamlike views of the palace. Infinite staircases, kaleidoscopic galleries, maze libraries ... The result is breathtaking. He dedicated to Versailles a magnificent book, Hyper Versailles (found here). In this video, the artist explains his technique as he applied it to the graceful lines of the staircase at the Hôtel de Ville in Versailles.Read more
One of the great pleasures of a stay in Paris is to wander through the streets and spontaneously enter a small neighborhood bakery, attracted by the tantalizing smell of freshly baked bread, or the butter scent of the golden croissants, crispy on the outside and melting on the inside. Pastries and bakeries in Paris are perhaps the most visited monuments! Did you know that until 2014, it was the prefecture that decided which bakeries had the right to take vacations in July, and which others were allowed to close in August: no way to leave the French, and the Parisians furthermore, without their sacrosanct wand, under penalty of riots... What a pleasure to plant your teeth in the beautiful airy bread of a traditional baguette, or enjoy a simple but divine pastry - not to mention new fashion stores, whose minimalist look is inspired by art galleries: in these chic places, we appreciate refined delicacies as much with the eyes as with the taste buds! Let's go around some of the best pastries in Paris... The most Parisian: Boulangerie Alexine Let's start with a small neighborhood bakery, the kind of bakery that we discover when we do not expect it, at the corner of a street. In the old fashioned way, the Alexine bakery has neither Facebook page nor website, but its reputation was made without the help of social networks! Appreciated by lovers of good bread and good pastries, it is always full. To be discovered, to find the nostalgic pleasure of a Parisian bakery who contents in making excellent bread, and who finds its publicity in its location. Without worrying about blowing the trumpets of fame. Alexine bakery - 40 rue Lepic, 75018 - Abbesses metro station The most Rising Sun: Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki Who would have believed it ? A Japanese pastry chef seduced the French - and all the other aficionados who came to make their pilgrimage to the Parisian shops of Sadaharu Aoki. In these shops with a zen look, we come to admire beautiful candies and cakes. The chocolates nicknamed "Makeup" take the form of small sticks carefully arranged by colors. One would hardly dare to eat them and only admire, so much their alignment is pleasant. Cakes are not left out: some take a perfect rectangular shape to better show off their surprising colors. Matcha green tea is in the spotlight and lends its silky powdery texture to original creations. There is also another ingredient in the Far East pastry, the azuki bean, in cakes, tarts and mille-feuilles, which have nothing to envy to the French savoir-faire. Pastry Sadaharu Aoki - 35 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 - Metro Rennes or Saint-Placide - Other shops: 56 boulevard de Port-Royal, 75005; 25 rue Pérignon, 75015; 103 rue Saint Dominique, 75007 - closed Mondays and holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday from 11h to 19h and Sunday from 10h to 18h The most Norman: Aux péchés normands Pastries in France need butter. A lot, a lot and a lot of butter. Without it, no croissants, no brioches, no pleasure! A bakery and pastry under the sign of Normandy is auspicious... This traditional bakery in Paris will delight the nostalgic with its beautiful old-fashioned setting. We come to delight in mille-feuilles, pastries and fondant croissants (because of butter course!). We also stop at noon, for lunch on the run of a generous baguette sandwich, or a quiche (chicken, spinach-salmon), and there are of course breads that we nibble even without hunger, like the ficelle aux olives. Large selection of breads and pastries without gluten. Aux péchés normands - 9, rue du Faubourg du Temple, 75010 – Metro République - Open Monday to Friday from 6am to 8pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday. The most Breton: Maison Georges Larnicol It must be admitted, the Breton butter is well worth Norman butter ... The rivalry is secular and it is difficult to designate a winner! And if Norman butter makes very good croissants, it is a cake that only tolerates Breton butter: the kouign-amann. They are very lucky, those who do not yet know this delight, crisp on the outside and soft inside, because they will be able to taste it for the first time! Georges Larnicol has made it his specialty. In small format, renamed "kouignette", kouign-amann should soon dethrone the macaron as a pastry fashion. The kouignette is sweet or salty, in many flavors: orange, raspberry, pistachio or rum raisin - and salted butter caramel, of course. But the shop in the rue de Rivoli is also a gourmet paradise for its inexhaustible drawers filled with self-service chocolates. Not to mention the daring creations in chocolate, Egyptian sphinx, gothic church recreated even in its least gargoyles, or dragons more real than nature. Georges Larnicol House - 14 rue de Rivoli, 75004 - Saint Paul Metro - 132 Bd Saint-Germain, 75006 - Metro Mabillon or Odeon - 7 rue de Steinkerque, 75018 - Metro Anvers or Abbesses The most meringue: Au merveilleux de Fred Here is another regional specialty: neither Breton nor Norman, the merveilleux is a pastry from the North of France and Flanders. It is a crunchy meringue coated with whipped cream and rolled in caramel chips, praline or chocolate. Impossible not to have your mouth watering...Frédéric Vaucamps has made the merveilleux his vocation, and he is intractable on its quality. In his pastry shop in Paris, there is also the delicious cramique, raisin brioche, also from Belgium and Flanders. Attention, the merveilleux is very popular: it is better to avoid going to this pastry in Paris on weekends, to avoid having to endure a long queues. Au merveilleux de Fred - 24 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe, 75004 - Metro Saint-Paul - Several other addresses in Paris, see website. The most Belle-Époque : Au Petit Versailles du Marais An excellent bakery in Paris, in a period setting: all our wishes are fulfilled! In the Marais, the bakery has existed since 1860. We do not know where to look: the stall is enticing, but the ceiling of time, with its paintings on glass tiles, is beautiful. At the head of this Petit Versailles: Christian Vabret, Best worker of France. The quality is there waiting, whether it's crispy baguettes whose crumbs are good for grilled wheat, or sublime pistachio croissants. At the Petit Versailles du Marais - 27 rue François Miron, 75004 - Metro Saint-Paul - open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 8pm, closed on Sundays.Read more