Île-de-France is a region in northern France. Although the smallest of the 18 French regions, it has the most hostels because Île-de-France includes Paris. There are two international airports and a variety of ground transportation to choose from.
France in general can be an expensive country to visit and Île-de-France certainly does not disprove this! Everything, particularly in tourist areas, can be pricey, but it's also possible to make a visit more affordable. The best money-saving tactic is to stay in hostels. Several Île-de-France cities have a hostel, and there are hundreds of hostel options in the Paris metropolitan area. You can choose to stay close to central Paris to be near the action, or choose a hostel on the Parisian outskirts or even another city and rely on public transportation or a car rental. If you walk or use public transportation (especially the metro system), and opt for grocery stores and street food above sit-down restaurants, you'll find that Île-de-France can be done on somewhat of a budget.
The climate of Île-de-France varies by season, being hot in the summer and cold in the winter, with snow being fairly rare. It is largely flat with a few hills. In fact, Paris itself only has one hill in the entire city, the Montmarte.
Most attractions will be found in Paris. The Notre Dame Cathedral is a French favorite. The Arc de Triomphe can be appreciated on so many levels, from history to art to architecture. Moulin Rouge is a popular place to see a show. If you plan your trip accordingly, you could be in the area to enjoy an event such as Bastille Day or Le Tour de France. For a change of pace, a popular past time is picnicking in on of the many parks. Of course, no one can forget the international symbol, the Eiffel Tower!
Outside of Paris, Île-de-France offers few things to see and do, but what is offered is worth the trip. Disneyland Paris is located in Marne-la-Vallée. It is the most visited theme park in all of Europe, and offers some rides and attractions that are not found in other Disney parks. Versailles is a well-known day trip, especially the palace of Marie Antoinette.
Whether you go to Île-de-France for the dazzle of Paris or a change of pace, this is a region that should be included in every trip to France!
Hi, I'm Jessica Lippe,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Île-de-France hostels. Welcome.
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 …