How French Hostels Open a Window to a Different Paris
The conventional image of Paris is a trope worldwide. However, the French hostels in this city show travellers a different side to Paris.
Cinema has long had a love affair with Paris. From Hollywood's iconic forays around the Seine with Marlon Brando or American werewolves, to a Russian social satire following a cat's window linking St Petersburg to the Eiffel Tower, there is no shortage of films portraying different types of visitors to this iconic city.
Likewise, there are many different ways to visit the city in real life.
The Independent Sightseer
One of the lures of staying in French hostels, as opposed to hotels, lies in their do-it-yourself feel. You feel less separated from the authenticity of life on the streets, which may certainly appeal to the independent sightseer. The city is so full of easily accessible cultural delights and hidden gems waiting to be discovered, so staying for cheap and wandering about on your own is a great way to come to grips with this incomparable place.
The Cultural Investor
The culture of Paris is known worldwide; there are few people in the world who do not have some sense of what to expect of the people and fashion of the city. Many people travel here with the express purpose of drinking deep from the cultural wells of this ancient yet, at the same time, truly modern city. The cultural investor is the traveller who avoids galleries and museums and taking snapshots of the Eiffel Tower and the Bastille; for them, the French hostels in the city give them a chance to meet a variety of international visitors and locals who can give them a more multicultural take on this iconic metropolis.
The Adventurous Visitor
Many popular images of the City of Love reflect grandeur, class and high culture. But this is a city with too diverse a history and too broad an energy to be so simplistically defined. The French hostels around the country, and especially in the capital, can give you a taste of the edgier, rawer, and somehow more authentic France. The adventurous visitor wants to get his or her hands dirty. Rather than be cloistered in the artificial environment of a luxury hotel, they embrace the real Parisian experience, the complexity of the traffic, the rarely visited suburbs, and the stories behind the paths less travelled.
The Natural Explorer
Some people may think of a resort in the Bahamas when they think of their ideal holiday, while others may think of a trek to Everest! The natural explorer may not immediately consider the French hostels of Paris an ideal destination, but, in fact, the city's boulevards are cradled on the edges by several large parks and many of these are of enormous historical importance. In the Bois de Bologne and Bois de Vincennes the nature lover will not find lions, or tigers and bears, but they can gain as much pleasure from the well kept gardens of the Jardin des Tuileries, the Jardin des Plantes and the Jardin de Luxembourg as from the wild open spaces anywhere else in the world.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Looking for your dream travel experience? Jason H. Cunningham works for Hostelling International, a company with more than 4,000 hostels worldwide in fantastic locations. For the best French hostels, join our global community and say hi to the world. From quality, affordable accommodation and backpacker tips, to meaningful volunteer opportunities and enriching our eco footprint, we are the world’s local hostelling hub.