Péniche Houseboats in Paris

It is nearly two months until my next trip to France and I am already catching myself with that far-off stare. I have also been thinking about boats and living on boats. Living on a boat in France, particularly Paris would be amazing.

It is not an impossible notion. There are people who do it. These houseboats, called péniches are found along the Seine. In terms of purchasing one, they are hard to find, as obviously the real estate is quite limited.

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There are péniches that have been converted to hotels and apartments for rent. This is a great option to test out if you even like to live that lifestyle.

These types of little boat neighborhoods exist in other places as well – London, Amsterdam, Seattle – but as you have heard from me ad nauseam, Paris has my heart!

I have been gathering images and articles on these beautiful homes for a while now and thought I would share some with you.

Here is a Paris houseboat photo series from the Living Agency in France. Seriously I drool looking at these. Here is a tease:


Spotted on Elements of Style last March (I told you I have been collecting these for a while!), here is an adorable place in London owned by author Josie Curran.


And of course, you can take your boat on the road…so to speak, and rent a péniche to do one of many canal tours throughout France. It is a trip that Mr. Misadventures and I are very keen on doing.

Chez Loulou did a fabulous photo essay a while back on one of the most famous places to do this activity, the Canal du Midi. France Today also did an amazing write-up on doing one of these trips with a gourmet chef, who wouldn't want that?!


On your next visit to Paris why stay in a hotel when you can rent a péniche apartment? It is a great way to see a different angle of the city and would make a lovely picnic spot that you would not have to fight for!


If the idea of renting an apartment doesn't interest you, there are definitely péniche hotel options as well, all it takes is a simple Google search to produce a huge list!

And everyone profits from these boats in Paris, even the homeless. There is a very special houseboat located in Paris that takes in homeless people with animals.

From time to time I get to watch one of the oldest running programs on French TV, 30 Millions d'Amis, a show about animals. They did an episode about this very special place. It is called Le Fleuron and every night they take in homeless persons who cannot (and why should they?) bear to be without their pets.


Lastly, I have these random images that I have been collecting, I wish I had done a better job of noting where they came from, sorry!

Peniche Interior
Peniche Interior

It is a very special way of living, one that I find to be intriguing!

How about you? Have you ever stayed on one of these boats?

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  1. I love the idea of staying on a boat and navigating along the waters of Europe. Will put that in my wish list…along with finding someone with the means to make it happen!

    1. @Walker, I like your thinking!

  2. oh boy, I shouldn’t have looked at this, now I’m fantasizing a move!

    1. @Lindsey, at least you would still be “in” Paris!

  3. Kasia Dietz says:

    I love the idea of living on a boat, particularly on the Seine. My Italian loves it even more. I recently visited a friend with just such a house. Great alternative to a hotel!

    1. @Kasia, start looking for property, I will come visit you 😉 ~!

  4. I always thought it would be so cool to live on a péniche in Paris!
    I’ve stayed overnight on one in Gascony and had friends who lived on a péniche on the Canal du Midi where we spent many a lively evening before they moved on to dry land last summer.
    A week (or even one night) on a canal barge is a great way to experience France!

    1. @Loulou, it is a trip that I want to do in the very near future!

  5. We went last year on the Canal du Midi, your blog really made us relive the whole experience – what a great time! We sailed in a luxury hotel barge with http://www.gobarging.com and loved every second. The food was completely divine and don’t even get me started on the wine! We are booked on the Anjodi next year and are counting the days.

    1. @Peter, oh thank you for the info! I must go check those out!

  6. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Okay, I think I just passed out from the overwhelming fabulousness in this post!!! I MUST live in a houseboat on the Seine one day. I must.

  7. The closest I’ve been was on a forgettable family vacation inboard a houseboat on the Norfolk Broads in England.

    1. @Ryan, doesn’t come close, but nice try 😉

  8. Christine says:

    I stayed on a “hostel houseboat” in Amsterdam and absolutely loved it!!! What a cool way to stay in Paris–I would definitely look into this next time I’m in town. Thanks for sharing!

    1. @Christine, I like the idea of a hotel/hostel/rental to check out how it is.

  9. Danee Gilmartin says:

    These boathouses are so much more stylish then I thought they would be! I used to walk by them everyday when I lived in Paris and always wanted to see inside them! Thanks!

    1. @Danee, beautiful right?

  10. Genie - Paris and Beyond says:

    Hummmm, I am going to have to add this to my Paris bucket list, Andi! I wish we were going to be there at the same time. I will be there in April, a month in which I have never visited.

    I would love to take on of the river boats (canal boats?) for about a week and bicycle through the small towns along the way.


    1. @Genie, April is a wonderful month, my favorite after October, you will really enjoy it!

  11. Sweet Freak says:

    Oh la la – a whole new way to experience Paris. A whole other adventure to consider!

    1. @SweetFreak, amazing, just when you thought you knew all the ways to experience a town!

  12. I would ABSOLUTELY stay on, or live on a houseboat. Since I’m here in Paris now … It makes me want to walk down to the Seine and beg an owner of one to let me live with them this week!!!! Oui! A beautiful thing, a houseboat!!!

    1. @Kirsten, if you find a boat owned by a single guy, I don’t think he would say no to a coffee on board his place 😉

  13. Lady Jennie says:

    My husband’s parents had friends that were able to dock their péniche at Ile de la Cité. I don’t think you’re allowed to do that now though. They saw the fireworks from there on New Year’s Eve.

    1. @Jennie, that would be a spectacular way to see fireworks!