Edit: originally published on The Hostel Girl on December 29th 2014, this article was updated on February 19th 2015 to add more hostels, information & photos.
Every month from November 2014 through to February 2015 I have jumped at the chance to go back to Paris and work with Hip Hop Hostels. Each time I’ve had the chance to either stay or visit one of their many incredible hostels, so I thought I’d give you guys a bit more info!
The reason I first got to sneak in to Le Village and have a look is because it is located right next door to the On The Road pub, and is smack bang in the centre of Montmartre! On my first visit I didn’t have a chance to see the rooms as the hostel was full (always a good sign!) but the cosy common area looked perfect for socialising in and meeting other travellers over breakfast or dinner so I made sure to stay there on my return in January. Like the other Hip Hop Hostels, the hostel offers the basic amenities such as breakfast and lockers in the common area, but to top it off the outside terrace offers the most incredible view of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica!
Vintage was the second of the Hip Hop Hostels I’ve stayed in, and was the first hostel to introduce me to the wonderful district of Montmartre. Located just 5 minutes from Le Village, the interior is more modern and clean-cut, whilst still providing a great common area and keeping the soft social vibes of the other hostels. The staff at Vintage really try to help you get the most out of your stay in Paris, whilst the rooms are really-well equipped with modern showers, and personal lamps and plug/USB sockets for each bunk.
If you’re lucky you might even get a balcony!
My very first solo trip to Paris was spent at Arty Paris Hostel, and I’m so glad because the cosy common area meant I wasn’t alone for one part of my three night stay! The building in which Arty is set is a true-to-form classic Parisian building, and yet the rooms are well equipped for modern travellers, if a little shy on accessible plug sockets. The one let down for Arty is it’s location as it is quite far from the centre of town. However, if you want to explore the Southern districts of Paris in a family atmosphere this is the perfect place to do it.
If you’re looking for a hostel in the easiest of all locations, Smart Place is located within a 5 minute walk of the Gare du Nord train station, making it the perfect spot if you are arriving to Paris via train and just want to crash straight away. It’s also incredibly well located to get around the rest of the city via metro, as almost all the main lines go through Gare du Nord. Fully equipped with the Hip Hop regulars (table football, guitars, guest computers & kitchen) the hostel has everything you need to get straight on with exploring Paris!
Regular readers of this blog and my social media channels will know a lot about my love for Montmartre and the hostels located in it. On my last trip to Paris however I got to experience the exciting streets surrounding Young & Happy Hostel, and absolutely fell in love with the area. The closest metro station to Young & Happy is Place Monge, which happens to be the location for one of the best food markets in Paris. A wander downhill from the hostel along Rue Mouffetard will also lead you to some great boutique bakeries, restaurants and cafés, and the area is home to as many international students as locals so don’t be surprised to hear more English than you’d expect in the local bars.
I was fortunate enough to have a meeting take place in the On The Road Pub back in December, and I am too embarrassed to tell you how many hours I have spent in my spot on the bar since then. All guests to any Hip Hop Hostel currently get a free beer/shot token on arrival… but once you’ve had your beer I would definitely suggest treating yourself to a cocktail! Whilst I’m usually extremely loyal to my Bloody Mary addiction, Max the manager makes a mean Espresso Martini so you can usually spot me winding down after a night in Paris with one of those in my hand. If you’re a beer fan you can find over 40 beers from countries all over the world lined up along the back of the bar, and they also stock some of the best international whiskies!
The On The Road Pub is also a great venue for events; you can find anything from Mexican Wrestling masked bands to gorgeous duets singing at the back. My favourite has to be their Thursday night violinist, although their incredibly hard pub quiz night is definitely a challenge!
This article only covers those Hip Hop Hostels I’ve visited personally – for all of Hip Hop Hostels’ locations make sure to visit their website.
My initial stays at Vintage, Arty, and Le Village were free in exchange for review, but all opinions are my own and honest…luckily I loved the hostels and the staff! Since the initial stays I have returned to Le Village twice at my own expense. My interest in and overview of Smart Place and Young & Happy is personal, and therefore comes without compensation, after such great experiences elsewhere with Hip Hop Hostels.
Lots of love,