Youth Hostels in Paris

Old Mar 28th, 2006, 07:51 PM
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Youth Hostels in Paris

My son and his friend are going to Paris this spring and want to stay in youth hostels. I have been to the www.mije.com site and they look ok. Can anyone tell me something about actually staying in one? Also, is a membership required? Anything we should be aware of?
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 04:48 AM
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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The MIJE hostels are excellent. My wife, adult daughter, and I stayed in Fourcy in June. There are cheaper hostels in Paris, but how can you beat staying in a renovated 17th-century private mansion in the Marais district (very central location)? Many school groups use these hostels so they are very safe and secure. Yes, there is a small membership fee. It's listed on the Web site.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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The MIJE hostels are just outstanding as hostels go. They're situated in old mansions in a very central and convenient part of Paris.

However : there are drawbacks that your son might not appreciate. First, they're often fully reserved well in advance. They also receive a lot of school groups, and being surrounded by young kids might not be what you're son expect from a hostel experience. Finally, if I'm not mistaken (and I could very well be, so check it up), there's still a curfew, which is very rare in hostels nowadays, and something that young traveller really don't like.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 06:26 AM
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I get a kick out of reading the comments people make about hostels on these two sites: www.hostelz.com and www.bugeurope.com
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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Lonely Planet's forum called The Thorn Tree also has extensive hostel experiences posted.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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For double rooms, there are more economical options in Paris, for example the Hotel Cosmos, http://www.cosmos-hotel-paris.com/ at 54 euros per night, with a 9.3 out 10 rating on Travel Library. But if your son and his friend prefer hostels as a way to meet other travelers, the locations of the mije hostels are great and so, often, are the buildings. The membership fee is 2.50 euros for a year.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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If you want a review of hostels, links to sites, etc, try this website:

http//www.eurotrip.com

There's a wealth of info to be obtain from this site.

As for myself, I stayed at this one hostel in Paris a few years ago called the Three Ducks. It was a pretty good hostel in a good area (Metro stop: Commerce on line 8 - end stop at the south is Ballard).
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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My son would just as soon stay in a cheap hotel if he could find one since there are two of them. Appreciate the comments.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Even though your last post says your son would prefer a hotel, here is one more hostel to check out: Young & Happy Hostel in the Latin Quarter (www.youngandhappy.fr). Cheaper than the MIJE hostels and doubles are available as well as dorm beds.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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If your children are under the age of 30 there are only two sites (other than the message boards at letsgo and lonely planet...just to get info) for them to be looking at.

gomio.com (I dont like it as much but I got a hostel through the site when the best site happened to say the hostel i wanted was booked)

THE BEST-

HOSTELS.com

Few notes:

1) Hostels are the best for people who want an experience and are young. I have been staying in hostels since i was 18 and I stayed in them throughout Europe last year when I was 31. You meet a ton of people.

2) Hostelling does not require a membership unless the hostel says so on its site. DONT GET SUCKED INTO PAYING THE 15 bucks unless they need it.

3) Hostels.com allows you to read independant feedback. It also is the most comprehensive guide to hostelling, no questions asked. They give you maps, city guides, great service etc.

Here is a prime example of the benefit. I put a "downpayment" on 10 different hostels. My trip plans changed and I either A) called the hostel to cancel with my hostel.com confirmation or B) emailed the hostel (keeping track of the emails). The most you get charged before the day you arrive is 5 bucks to cancel. NOT SHABBY.

More specifically, hostelling in Paris is much like Hostelling in NYC or any major US city. They are not the best hostels (ammenities kind of stink) and are often far from the center. The good ones book fast.

On the other hand, some of the hostels are 1 star hotels (the Alexander...in a prime up and coming locale on the locks of canal St. Martin...walk to the Marais).

In Paris, my list of hostels (no particular order) would go like this:

Absolute Paris
Friends Hostel
Peace and Love
The Three Ducks
Young Ducks

Your sons should hit the message boards and see whats best. BIG KEY....CURFEW AND RECEPTION. They want 24 hour reception (or at least an entry key so they can get in) and NO CURFEW. PARIS often has curfews and they are way early...like 11. Truste me, your sons will not want that (though you might)

Feel free to shoot me emails if you would like at [email protected]

Hope that helps.

Oh, and I have stayed at Friends. It gets low ratings, but it is what it is. It is a three block walk off of a major rail station and the Metro stop is right in front of the Hostel. Granted it's in Montmartre...but for youth it is a great locale.

Also, depending on length of stay, have the boys bring a small passport style photo and they should purchase L'Carte Orange. Will get them all over the city for a week for 15 euro (instead of 1.40 euro each time).



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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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I meant young and happy...not young ducks. Sorry
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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I don't know the details of the one in the Marais (ie, its name). I was "photo-ing" this past week and walked into it ... it is REALLY cool. You are in an old old building, the breakfast room is gorgeous with beautiful windows and light coming in, you are across from an amazing neighborhood church... I didn't see the rooms, so I can't speak for them, but how cool to be in such a historic building!

When I was a student, I stayed in hostels - I appreciated the atmosphere rather than chafed against it. There was always a willing companion to visit an area for the day if you were willing to ask. I met many nice people there that I would run into in other European cities in the hostels.

As a college student, you are used to the lack of privacy and it doesn't wig you out. I felt hotels were very impersonal, so remember, its all a matter of perspective!
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Surfmom...I couldnt have said it any better. In fact, I think every young person should stay in a hostel because it allows you to grow and open up more, but more importantly, it is instant social time with people from all over the world.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 03:50 PM
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Again, very much appreciate the great info. Will pass it on to the guys.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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OK, the boys made reservations at Hotel Cosmos. They are going to be in Paris Easter week and all the youth hostels were jammed. I think they are going to like a hotel better anyway.

Now, have you got some good, inexpensive places to eat? And someplace close to the hotel for breakfast? My son likes French food and would rather eat in a little cafe or bistrot than ethnic although he does like a good flaffel. I see the hotel isn't far from Place de la Republic.
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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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There are two standout restaurants near the Hotel Cosmos, the Astier, at 44 Jean Pierre Timbaud, with a 26 euro fixed price meal (four courses including a great cheese plate), or 21.50 euros for three courses at lunch, and Estaminet, at 10 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, where you can have less than a three-course meal, and therefore save money.

Also, while your son and his friend are there, they should stop for a drink at Cafe Charbon, on rue Oberkampf, parallel to Jean-Pierre Timbaud and roughly at the corner of rue St. Maur and rue Oberkampf, east of their hotel, turning left as they go out the door. There's a very lively night scene for young people on rue Oberkampf that also has spilled into rue Jean Pierre Timbaud in that section, and Cafe Charbon is one of the centers of it.

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Old Apr 4th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Surfmom,

The hostel you're describing is one of the MIJE hostels the OP was asking about.

By the way, a poster mentionned the "peace and love" : it's not situated in a particularily convenient or attractive part of Paris (this one is a private hostel. Nothing to do with the MIJE)
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 02:26 AM
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Correcting the address of the Estaminet. It's 116 rue Oberkampf.
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Old Apr 5th, 2006, 04:38 AM
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If he likes falafals, head into the Marais....some of the best ones I have eaten are in the Marais. Cheap too!!!
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