France, known for its sophistication, exquisite cuisine, fine wine, an appreciation for art and culture, and haute couture fashion. France has a wide variety of regions to offer sightseers, including bustling cities, medieval villages, mountain ranges, and Mediterranean beaches. And all of these sights have hostels nearby. The choices are endless. You can relax at a resort by the Mediterranean sea in Nice, Marseille, and Cannes. You can stay in a chalet in Grenoble, Chamonix, or Annecy and ski the French Alps. You can give yourself a royal experience and visit the extensive Middle Age residential palaces of the Kings and Queens of old in the Loire Valley, Carcassonne, and Versailles. And of course there is Paris. You can climb to the top of the Eiffel tower and admire the magical view, shop the Champs Elysées, and spy the Mona Lisa among the treasures at the Musée du Louvre. In fact, this diversity and of course the charming allure of its capital, Paris, may be what makes France the most visited country in the world by foreigners. But don’t let the tourists deter you, France is definitely a must for anyone planning on visiting Europe!
No country is more synonymous with wine than France, and for champagne to be called champagne it must be from the Champagne-Ardenne region. Many visit France for the excellent quality wines and classic vineyards. Top wine spots that offer hostel accommodations include Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne.
Mont Saint Michel is the classic island castle that often tops the lists of lesser known but must see attractions around the world. Mont Saint Michel is located in the Normandy region. The nearest town with hostels is Rouen, which is also happens to be a beautiful town in its own right.
Other worthwhile cities to check out include Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Avignon.
France is a well connected country and it should be easy to make your way to your hostel. If travelling by train, most hostels are located within a short distance to the "gare" (train station) and the "hotel de ville" (town hall). Paris of course has the most dorm-style hostels, while many other smaller French cities have few hostels and more hotel options. If travelling to smaller French cities on a budget, be sure to book in advance during peak season as there aren’t as many choices.
France has an extensive high speed railway system that is connected to most cities in France and to almost all of its neighbouring countries. It is very easy to travel around France by train, but it can sometimes be expensive. Rail passes can be very useful if you are visit many different cities in France. Also, be sure to check for cheap flights, like Ryanair and EasyJet, as most cities in France are well connected by budget airlines. Budget airlines are usually located just outside of major cities, so be sure to research connecting buses, trains, or airport shuttles before travelling. Paris has an excellent metro system and some other French cities have good tramways. Make sure to do your research on how to get to your hostel beforehand, as many French people in smaller cities do not speak English.
There are so many natural and man-made beautiful things to see and do in France. It’s culture, history, art, food, and wine have made it an iconic place around the world. After all, Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea.” Why not see the rest of what France has to offer too?
You can choose a city, or you can start by exploring hostels in one region at a time using our Regions list.
Handwritten by local expert for France hostels Shannon Neuber