Here’s the usual deal. Paris is very romantic. Paris is even more romantic during the Christmas season when the City of Lights turns in to the City of Christmas Lights, vin chaud, and Christmas Markets.
You’d think Paris is probably not the best spot for a solo traveller.
Wrong. If anything, Paris turns into a beautiful city of softly lit cathedrals, blankets to wrap yourself up in outside the cafés, and the chance to make plenty of other solo traveller friends. I wasn’t the only one that thought this, as I met so many others who had travelled to Paris solo for Christmas, and most of these I met with the help of Arty Paris Hostel!
I was a bit flustered arriving at Arty Paris as I’d got myself a bit lost (more on that later) and was more than happy to see the inviting collection of flags waving me towards the entrance of the hostel.
Once I walked in, the reception area was more than obvious & placed directly opposite the door – you’d be surprised how often these desks either don’t exist or are hidden away in a corner somewhere. I got a great smiling reception and even offered a beer. Sold. It turns out the other members of Hip Hop Hostels offer a token for a free bar at their own bar in Montmartre, but as Arty Paris isn’t too close to Montmartre you get your beer then and there.
There is also a great mix of nationalities at the desk at Arty, all of whom speak English but it’s more than likely that if you’re European you’ll find someone there to chat with in your home language too.
Arty Paris has a very open common area, with soft lounge chairs at one end of the downstairs open area, plus a computer area, and tables and chairs at the other end closer to the kitchen. Personally, I found people were interacting a lot more around the tables and kitchen, and the lounge area seemed to attract people getting cosy over a book. There was also table football at the same end as the lounge chairs, and inviting someone to a game of table football is always a great way to make friends…or lose them if you get too competitive!
I really enjoyed the room at Arty Paris. I had a four-bed dorm, and managed to grab a bottom bunk which hasn’t happened to me for months! To top it off, the beds were really comfortable (a topic often discussed in the common areas!) and came with a heavy blanket to curl up in during the cold European winter.
All the rooms at the hostel have en-suite bathrooms, so it was nice not to have to walk around the corridors looking for bathrooms for once. Whilst the bathroom had seen some wear and tear and was a bit small, the shower was hot and powerful which is always a treat! This did mean that the bathroom could get a bit foggy and difficult to change in, but I would just crack the door slightly to let a bit of fresh air in and it cleared up really quickly.
For around €23 a night, Arty Paris isn’t too bad considering there aren’t too many other budget options in Paris! Obviously, I stayed mid-week, so the prices vary a bit on the weekends but you will get a 5%-15% discount if you book directly through their website.
Paris is actually not a large city, so whilst Arty Paris is located towards the outer limits of the city, it’s not quite yet in the suburbs and it will only take you 20 minutes on the bus or metro to get in to town. Personally, I find the metro much easier to navigate and the closest one to Arty is Porte de Vanves, just a 10 minute walk from the hostel.
However, the bus offers a great easy and cheap ride, and buses are also a great way to see the city, something you don’t get on the metro! The hostel has a well-connected bus stop just at the end of the street so just ask the staff for info on where to pick up the bus tickets. There is also a tram just a 5-minute walk from Arty, so really you’re pretty sorted for links to the city!
I mentioned below that I got a bit lost finding my way from the metro to the hostel, as there’s an overpass across the train tracks that was closed for refurbishment. In the map below, I’ve pointed out the route I walked instead (in blue), and it’s probably the most direct whilst the overpass is closed.
I had a great time at Arty Paris and it’s definitely a great option if you are looking to visit Paris but aren’t too bothered about being very central.
Lots of love,