The city of love, good food, and... houseboats!
Paris is without one of the most amazing cities in the world. The city of love, the city of good food, the city of… houseboats! The river Seine is home to dozens of floating homes, or ‘péniches’ as the French call them, and quite a lot of these boats are actually for rent!
From the outside you would say it’s a dark and small place, but as soon as you enter the old steel boats, you’ll be surprised. Almost all the boats on the Seine, one of the most amazing scenes in Paris, are former freighters. And that explains the shape of these steel cargo ships: they are designed to fit exact in the French locks and canals without wasting precious space. This is why a typical ‘péniche’ is exactly 5,05 meters wide and 38,5 meters long. A lot of space, isn't it? Especially when you think of the size of an average hotel room in the city of love: not quite a ball room…
All that space, that must be a costly thing… Well, not really. Renting a houseboat in Paris does not have to be expensive, especially when you’re travelling with larger groups. We can definitely recommend the boats that are situated around the Eiffel Tower, with the amazing view you will never forget. Even on a place like this, the rent per person can be very reasonable if you share the cost with your friends.
And did you know that the péniche is pretty popular abroad too? Just have a look in Amsterdam, and you’ll see that a lot of these French boats have been transformed to Amsterdam houseboats, such as the Maroxiden with her identical twin sisters next to her (see picture above). In Dutch the 'péniche' is called ‘spits’, a name that has become so common that even the owners of these boats often don’t know the French name anymore.
Well, for the very last time: it’s called a péniche. And for what it’s worth, we think that’s French for ‘the good life’!