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The Hostelling Experience

Peace and Love Hostel

Staying in a hostel is not only an economical alternative to high-priced hotels, but you are far more likely to mingle with fellow travelers from around the world during your stay. Hostels are truly an international experience to be savored. Since sleeping quarters and kitchen facilities are shared, you will have ample opportunities to strike up conversations and perhaps glean some sightseeing tips from fellow travelers, frequently within your own age group, and hailing from many nations worldwide. While you may be visiting France to soak up French culture and language, you'll no doubt appreciate learning about the different cultures of your many new friends. For those who are traveling alone, this experience can be especially rewarding, as you'll likely meet other hostellers eager to join forces with you exploring Paris or the provinces.

Le Village Hostel

Of course, hostel accommodations have their drawbacks, too. If privacy is of utmost importance to you, the dorm-like arrangement of most facilities may not be very appealing (though sleeping quarters and bathrooms are generally segregated by gender). Security issues with personal belongings may be a concern, although many hostels will offer some kind of locker to stow away your gear while jaunting around the city. It is a common practice for hostels to impose some type of curfew (less so in major cities), so you may find yourself locked out if returning at a very late hour; "lights out" is generally enforced in the sleeping quarters after 11 p.m. Customarily late sleepers may not appreciate the early hour many hostellers tend to arise, and no matter how considerate your roommates may be, the rustling of backbacks and shuffling feet at 7 a.m. may be unsettling to the uninitiated.

Aloha Hostel

Consideration for your fellow travelers and finite supplies of hot water may also curtail your forays into the showers and bathroom facilities. Finally, in exchange for the low cost of your stay, you may be asked to perform some small chore before leaving, such as sweeping the floors, emptying the trash, or cleaning the bathroom. All in all, though, the egalitarian nature of hostel accommodations will become second nature as you laugh and talk with others around you. We offer these caveats only to caution the inexperienced, not to discourage you from what should prove a pleasantly memorable component of your travels! (see Frequently Asked Questions)

The links below offer a variety of hostel accommodations, some privately owned and operated, others which are members of national and international organizations. Age requirements or limitations vary among establishments, so check the listings to see if you qualify. Advance reservations are highly advisable during Paris' peak seasons, though a handful of beds are sometimes held for last-minute arrivals. Some facilities offer limited family quarters, so check ahead if you wish to book a stay with family members.

For visitors who plan to séjour a week or longer, consider an economical and more private alternative in one of Paris' numerous suites and apartment-hotels, fully equipped with kitchens and other amenities to make you feel right at home. If your stay is shorter, or you tend toward more traditional vacation lodgings, check out our selection of reputable French and international hotel chains such as Best Western, Campanile, Comfort, Golden Tulip, Holiday Inn, Ibis, Kyriad, Libertel, Mercure, Quality, and Timhotel, as well as a selection of fine establishments recommended by Fodor's, Frommer's, Lonely Planet, Michelin, and other reliable guides. You can book your hotel stay online using our convenient, secure reservation system! If you already know the name of a property, use our handy Search Form.

Transportation

Visitors to Paris will discover that the City of Light offers one of the best public transportation systems in the world, including an extensive Métro (subway) system with stations situated everywhere, plus bus service running at all hours. Backpackers who are planning to explore the provinces will find numerous outlets for bicycle rentals, many of them at or near train stations. Car Rentals For travel by train, it is highly recommended that you purchase your rail passes here, before proceeding abroad, as tickets purchased in France can be much more costly.

If you plan to drive a car while in France and need to reserve a rental vehicle, be sure to do so before you depart from home, as advance rates are much lower than those you'll encounter once on French soil. Those who are traveling with several companions will find a car rental of a week or longer to be a viable alternative to the price of train travel, though the cost of gasoline and highway tolls should be factored into the budget. Our handy online quotation and reservation system takes the worry out of finding the best deal and arranging to have a car waiting for you when you arrive.

Legend

Address: 750xx indicates postal code; last two digits represent the arrondissement : i.e., 75008 = 8e, 75016 = 16e, etc.

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