Paris Hotels Articles

June 7, 2010

Hostels in France

France is a country of many faces, with experiences and sights to match every type of traveler’s desires. And whether it’s good food, its impressively recounted history and culture or its natural beauty, France can easily be enjoyed on a budget.

Cities

Paris, Marseille, Nice or Montpellier – every city offers its own unique visitor attractions. More importantly, most cities are walkable or offer cheap transport, which makes getting between France hostels relatively hassle-free.

The capital, Paris, is an obvious addition to any backpacking itinerary, whether taking a quick hike up the Eiffel Tower, circling the impressive Arc de Triomphe or taking photos next to the stunning Sacre-Coeur cathedral at the top of Montmartre Hill, with its fantastic views of the city.

But equally, Nice’s Promenade des Anglais and Le Chateau castle, or the historical fashion exhibits at the Musee de la Mode in Marseille are all just as appealing – depending on one’s preferences.

There are also plenty of cheap hostels, restaurants and cafes in the cities, as well as comparatively cheap grocery shops offering fresh and varied domestic produce that make visiting on a budget easy for the forward thinking traveler.

Countryside

It may be the lesser-touted tourist destination of France, particularly for backpackers, but its countryside villages and small hamlets endow the country with much of its character. More importantly, it offers some of Europe’s most dramatically beautiful scenery.

Travel is, of course, more of an issue for countryside backpacking, and out in the countryside, hostels in France are fewer and further between than in cities. Budget travel, though, is still remarkably simple.

For example, the awesome Ardeche River in the south and the surrounding towns of Ardeche, Lozere and Gard all offer plenty of places to stay, making it an easily accessible sightseeing and adventuring stop.

In fact, kayaking down the 120 kilometer river and stopping at the various towns along the way is a great way to see the natural side of France. The most scenic stretch of the Ardeche Gorges ends with the impressive 60 meter stone arch Pont d’Arc. Guided tours are available, but it is cheaper just to hire your own kayak.

Equally, the Mediterranean-lying cities along the French Riviera, such as the famous Cannes, provide the hardcore water sport enthusiasts scope to partake in a spot of surfing, sailing, windsurfing or snorkeling.

However, these southern destinations are popular with all manner of travelers, both domestic and international, in the high-season, so booking in advance is advised.

But regardless of whether it is the stretching landscape of vineyards interspersed with miniature communities or the cosmopolitan cultural explosions that are France’s cities, there is plenty on offer for those with enough time to explore.

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