Paris is one of the most visited cities on the planet, and with good reason - it is beautiful, historic and romantic. The problem is that so many people visit Paris every year that it has become a very expensive city to spend any time in. Even if you think ahead and try to go in the "low season" you are still going to find higher prices than you will in many other parts of the world. And with the value of the Euro continuing to rise, that makes it even more expensive.
So does that mean you will only be able to spend a couple of days in this exciting city? Does it mean you will have to give up on the dream of staying for a week in the City of Lights? Does it mean you will sacrifice eating in order to visit this city you have wanted to see since you were a child? No, it does not. You can, as they say, have your cake and eat it, too - if you are smart about where you stay.
You may have heard about the divine boutique hotels that dot the city of Paris, and you may have dreamed of one day living like royalty and staying in one of them. Well, you might have to keep dreaming about that scenario if you do not want to spend your entire vacation budget in one night. But there are many more options in Paris than just expensive hotels. Paris is a gigantic city, with all kinds of accommodation at all budget levels. The most economical way to travel in this costly city is to book a hostel in Paris.
Contrary to popular belief, Paris hostels are not just for the "youth" anymore. Even if a property calls itself a "youth hostel" it is unlikely there will be an age restriction. These days, hostels are the perfect kind of accommodation for any budget traveler who is interested in seeing more of what Paris is really like. You will definitely get a better feel for the real Paris if you are not staying in a 5 star hotel! Hostels are also ideal for people who like people - you will meet travelers from all over the world and be able to share travel stories and exchange travel tips, and you might just make friends for life. Hostels can be a great option for anyone traveling alone who is looking for some company in an unfamiliar city. Staying in a hostel will afford you the luxury of being able to spend more time in the fascinating city of Paris without blowing your budget. And be sure to keep in mind that some of the budget properties do not even call themselves hostels - many call themselves budget hotels or guesthouses.
About Hostels in Paris
Depending on the hostel, you will be able to choose between a private room or a dorm-style bedroom, and because Paris is such a large city you will certainly be able to find a hostel that is in the part of the city you most want to visit. Some areas of the city will be more expensive than others, so you have to look around to find the best combination of location and price for what suits your needs. In the 1st arrondissement, for instance, where most of the main sights of historic Paris are located, you will also find some of the most expensive hotels in the city. It is possible to find a budget bed here, but it will still cost more than a budget bed further away from the city center.
You may find more selection of budget hostels in the 10th arrondissement around the Canal St-Martin, the 11th arrondissement around the Place de Bastille, the 5th arrondissement which includes the hip Latin Quarter, and the 18th arrondissement near the artsy Montmarte neighborhood. But the good news is that wherever you book a hostel in Paris, as long as you are near a Metro station you can get anywhere you want to go in this city in a matter of minutes. In that case, it might be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of central Paris in the evenings so you can truly relax after a busy day of sightseeing!
Some of the More Popular Paris Hostels
There are several Paris hostels which are popular with travelers, but if none of these sounds right to you then do not get discouraged - there are so many choices for budget travelers in Paris, you will find something that makes you smile.
- St. Christopher's Paris - This newer hostel overlooking the water has quickly become one of the most popular in the city. It's a new purpose-built hostel with 300 beds in a convenient location close to both Montmarte and the Gare du Norde train station.
- Absolute Paris - This hostel is in the 10th arrondissement and faces the Canal St-Martin, which is an ideal place to begin a leisurely stroll through Paris.
- Le Montclair Montmarte - Also in the Montmarte area, this hostel is close to Sacre-Coeur but far from the crowds on its steps.
- Peace and Love - In the 10th arrondissement, this is the place to party. With an on site bar (including a Happy Hour) and lively social atmosphere, this hostel is popular with the most outgoing travelers. You can read the Parislogue review of Peace and Love here.
- Le Village - Located in the trendy Montmarte area, most of the rooms at Le Village Hostel offer spectacular views of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which would be enough to make it a popular hostel. Additionally it offers excellent service and attracts interesting travelers.
- OOPS! Hostel is relatively new. Located in the 13th arrondissement near Metros: Monge and Campo Formio, you are within decent walking distance from the Luxembourg Gardens, the Latin Quarter (and one of my favorite pubs the Bombardier).
Again, if these Paris hostels do not sound like the perfect setting for your Paris holiday, do not worry. There are many more budget accommodations to choose from in Paris - there is no doubt that you will be able to stay in Paris without spending a fortune, and that is a very good thing!
Have a great time in Paris, and if you are looking for more information about this vibrant city, read about daily life in the City of Lights on this Paris Travel Logue. Bon voyage!
* More on Montmartre Hostels and Budget Hotels
* Choosing a Hostel in a Safe Neighborhood