By Eoin Bassett, International Living,
It may be your lifelong dream to live in the grand old cities of Europe…cities with a foot in the past and another firmly in the present. Or maybe you’d rather be closer to home in the Americas, enjoying the sultry Latin lifestyle of Panama City or Buenos Aires.
Whatever metropolis suits you best, a pied-à-terre is just the thing. French for “foot on the ground,” it’s exactly that…your home away from home, a base from which to explore and enjoy big-city life.
Own or rent a small apartment in the heart of the action, and you’ll be living your life as the residents do: in the street, in the parks, in the squares, and on the terraces of elegant cafés. And, in three of the world’s best cities, you’ll be doing so far more affordably than you may think.
Panama City, Panama—Luxury for Less
Often called the Miami of Latin America, Panama City does share a lot in common with that metropolis. Both are waterfront. Both skylines are dominated by gleaming high-rises.
Both are home to world-class dining and nightlife. But booming Panama City also has one foot in the past, with ongoing restoration of the Casco Viejo historic district. And it’s much cheaper.
In fact, Panama City just garnered third place in an index of the world’s cheapest cities.
Be part of that world-class skyline in a 900-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with an ocean view for $160,000. For rent, a two-bedroom, ocean-and-city-view apartment, in a new building near the water, will run you $1,250 a month.
Paris, France—Escape to the City of Light
Who can resist the City of Light? It’s a refuge for lovers on romantic getaways…a Mecca for those seeking to be immersed in arts, culture, and high fashion. Whether you enjoy browsing the used bookstalls along the Seine, spending hours in the galleries of the Louvre, people watching at sidewalk cafés, or simply wandering the city’s history-infused streets…magic is found in every corner.
With prices approaching $1 million for two-bedrooms in most districts, we have to scale things down a bit. Just in size, not in quality. You can find a lovely, tastefully-renovated, 226-square-foot pied-à-terre in the heart of Paris in the newly refurbished République neighborhood for just over $250,000.
In République, you’re just five minutes away from the chic boutiques and cafés of the Marais. A five-minute walk in the other direction, you’ll find yourself on the peaceful, tree-lined footpaths of the Canal St. Martin, made famous by the movie Amèlie.
Don’t want to buy? Rent a 194-square-foot duplex in the elegant Palais Royale area, just steps from the Louvre. This charming, furnished apartment comes with an equipped kitchen, shower, and even a washing machine for just under $1,000 a month. The apartment might be on the cozy side, but in this dazzlingly central area, you’ll really feel like you’re living the Paris dream.
Buenos Aires, Argentina—Old-World meets Latin Flavor
Set on the Río de la Plata, this bustling city blends the Old and New Worlds, thanks to architecture reminiscent of 19th-century Europe and waves of immigrants from Italy, Spain, and just about every other European country imaginable over the centuries. Expats have been coming here for years, drawn by low prices, business and investment opportunities, and a culture that embraces theater, dance (like the tango), opera, and art.
A one-bedroom apartment in the Palermo neighborhood, the heart of the historic city center and full of classic BA style, will run you $110,000. For rent, try a studio down-town for $625 a month.
Editor’s note: In the current issue of International Living magazine, we tell you much more about owning or renting a cosmopolitan home away from home in the best cities worldwide. Like where to find the properties featured above…or the affordable Asian city where you could own a city center apartment with communal pool for $121,000…or, should you find yourself in the market for a multi-million-dollar luxury property, we’ll show you where to find those, too.
affordable home, buenos aires, Casco Viejo, panama, paris, real estate