The City of Love has long been an icon of nostalgia, with its many beautiful streets and tiny, cobbled lanes and back alleys. From the winding streets of Montmatre to the elegant boulevards of the 7th arrondissment, this is a city that reveals its true character to those who explore on foot. Famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe aside, there is an intangible romantic quality to the sometimes calm, sometimes frenetic paths that have gathered so much history. It should come as no surprise, then, that many of those who come to stay in the hostels in Paris are keen to explore the city on foot. This type of visitor is not necessarily a backpacker; they may well have money to spend on more expensive accommodation, but are keen to immerse in a more inclusive and authentic experience of the city. The centrality and diversity of the locations of hostels in Paris, juxtaposed with the ease with which one can stroll around the city, using the central River Seine as a backbone of discovery, make it an ideal choice for this kind of traveller.
It seems that everyone is a photographer these days. The advent of quality lenses on mobile phone cameras and social sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterest has seen the end of photography as a domain for the professional or a culmination of artistic sweat and tears. This has also led to the rise of the traveller who seems perpetually glued to their camera. The best hostels in Paris serve as an opportune base, allowing the keen amateur snapper to explore the many central landmarks, museums, and cultural hot spots deemed the most photogenic. What could be more iconic than the instantly recognisable silhouette of the Sacre Coeur, or the imposing facade of the Louvre? But alongside those images are the ones waiting to be captured by the eagle-eyed amateur – ones of the street market in Montegueil or far ranging vistas from the tower of Montparnasse.
The Social Butterfly
The solitude of staying in a hotel is perhaps at its most romantic in this city, and has been exemplified in many a whimsical film. Yet such romance is often better tasted in the context of fiction! For many, the key to enjoying this famous cultural melting-pot lies in mixing with other travellers and, importantly, with locals. The hostels in Paris are designed to cater to this type of traveller, let’s call them the “social butterfly”, with a range of common areas that encourage open communication and the opportunity to share experiences.
Along with the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the romantic vision of lovers locked together by the Seine, the French capital is perhaps most renowned for its cuisine. The gourmand traveller, even those on a tight budget, will have at their disposal countless opportunities to taste, test and be tempted by the myriad places to eat in Paris. For those who choose to stay in a hostel, visiting local markets and purchasing authentic delicacies to bring back and cook for themselves is often one of the most memorable ‘foodie’ experiences of their stay.