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.
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Everything in Chamonix, is truely remote from any skiing. I wouldn't go back, mostly because Chamonix as a ski area is over-rated. It's lots of small ski areas spread out. Lifts are slow, crowded, and you have to take a lift up above the tree line before you can take another lift to begin skiing. Go to Tignes …
You could stay in Paris forever — if you can afford to — and still not get enough. I ran the whole time day and night and did not see the half of it. And remember, please at least try to speak a little French and you will be surprised how pleasant Parisians will be—don’t try and you will experience the …
Sete has beautiful beaches and it's a great medium-small town that isn't trampled by tourists.
Cassis is beautiful! Go there no matter what!
Reims is a very unique and pretty place. People are nice and patient. It's good to travel the city with the day pass which cost 2.5 euro.
Montpellier has a few rather shady characters especially once it gets dark, but a really lovely town. Very relaxed and pleasant.
Marseilles is a beautiful city with a very different character than most of France. Good luck and have fun.
Strasbourg...Vive la France! I had my first taste of frog's legs (grenouille) here at a Chinese restaurant just outside of the train station. Very tasty. Not to mention, it was pretty darn cool to hear Chinese people speaking French. (I know, I know, I sound like a dumb American tourist). This was my first trip …
Lyon has the best food in France, period. Save money by cooking in Paris, eat out in Lyon. Night life is good Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Vienne is a very interesting historical small town -- both ancient (Romans) and medieval city. There are many small restaurants, pizzerias, and small supermarkets open late at night. It's probably a good place to sleep if you have to stay in Lyons or go down to the South of France by the Rhone Valley.
The Centre mentioned is not worth it but Dijon is worth a couple of days. There are lots of OK hotels just out the train station for around 40 euros a night. Visit the Mustard Museum. The Visitor Centre is fairly helpful and just out of the train station -- they rent mountain bikes there.
What a beautiful city! I've been twice and both times it took my breath away. I recommend renting a small motor boat. Its a wonderful and extremely cheap way to get out on the lake. If you want to experience real french culture... get to Annecy!
You will learn that streets are not marked as obviously in Europe as they are in the states—look up on the corners of the buildings for placards. Train is the likely way you will arrive in Nice if you are a backpacker—just listen up for strikes because the trains and then the trains and the buses went on strike the …
Don't come to Nantes, it is terrible. Absolutely nothing to do here it is sooooooo dull.
That cathedral in Bayeux is magnificent. Great arcitecture. By far the greatest cathedral in Europe.