My latest trip to Paris was my third and though I was no stranger to the city I was overwhelmed with the amount of options available for accommodation as previously I had visited Paris through tours and it was all taken care of for me.
When you’re booking you’ll be bombarded with options and quickly realize how expensive accommodation is in Paris. But of course it is, it’s Paris after all, a city visited by thousands each year all wanting the perfect location with that dream view of the Effiel Tower.
But let’s get back to reality and realize that those kinds of rooms will cost hundreds of euros and this is a blog about budget travel so hostels are always my go to and first choice. Staying directly in the city is also costly so I opted to stay at one of Europe’s finest and most trusted hostel brands, St. Christopher’s Inns which offered a location in an area just off the beaten track in Paris.
Luckily Paris is a massive city and there really is no prime location as all the major attractions are scattered across the city. So be sure to grab a metro card and travel around the city as the locals do.
St Christopher’s Canal Paris Location
I would never have thought to have looked in the area of the city that St Christopher’s Canal Paris is located in as there’s no major landmarks but I was pleasantly surprised. The hostel sits along the Canal St Martin, overlooking the water and where you can have a drink or enjoy a meal. In the 19th arrondissement on Rue Crimée and only a short 5-minute walk from the closest metro station (Laumière) make its location extremely easy to get to from the airport and all parts of the city. This stop is also only three stops away from Gard du Nord, a major hub for transportation that links to other metro lines in Paris, the Charles de Gaul airport and trains to the surrounding areas.
What was so nice was that it isn’t a touristy area. You can stroll along the canal or through the nearby park or sit on the hostel patio and watch the locals go about their day as the Parisian’s do. It certainly isn’t a quiet area so you will see plenty of action and have many affordable and local restaurants options close-by.
By far my favourite part of this area was Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, somewhere I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for this hostels location. It offers some of the best views of Sacre Coeur Basilica, there’s a waterfall and paths through lush green trees that will make you forget that you’re in a city.
It’s a peaceful area to come back to after roaming the bustling city. You’ll feel relaxed, safe and not like a tourist.
Why You Should Stay at St Christopher’s Canal Paris
There are few things that you need to make a good hostel stay: a sociable atmosphere, for it to be clean and an affordable price. Everything else on top of this is a bonus. St Christopher’s Canal Paris offered all of this and more. It was incredibly clean everywhere in the hostel, had a large common room where you could meet people, grab food or some drinks and very friendly staff.
Outings can be organized through the hostel so you have the chance to meet other travellers, there’s a lounge room for those who wanted a more chilled out area, a free walking tour of Paris is offered and guests receive 25% off food.
The overall vibe was great and drew in traveller’s of all kinds. Wi-Fi is available throughout (which is also a bonus) and the rooms were cosy yet spacious. The best part of the rooms were the curtains on each bed so you had privacy when sleeping and each bunk had a light and outlet, both nice touches that not enough hostels have.
Did I mention breakfast? I’ve grown accustomed to the typical hostel breakfast of toast and cereal but this hostel went above and beyond with the usual plus baguettes, cheese, yoghurt and more.
Tips Before Booking
No hostel is perfect but St Christoper’s Canal Paris certainly is above par. However as I was staying on one of the lower floors it was quite noisy as we were on the side of the hostel above a noisy street so be sure to bring some earplugs! The room was quite hot even with the window open and there were no plugs in the bathroom or room for straighteners or curling irons.
If you’re worried about the safety of your belongings there are lockers on-site but not in the rooms. You have the option to pay for them in the basement which can add up quickly if staying for multiple days at a rate of 5 euros a day. My tip is to just have a lock on your bag which I do all the time.
As mentioned before St Christopher’s Inns is a respected hostel brand in Europe, it’s a large hostel with lots of opportunities to meet people and offers a clean and off the beaten path area to stay in Paris. Though it may not be ideal for first-timers in Paris it does off easy access to the metro which can get you anywhere in the city though this can take up to 45 minutes depending on what attraction you’re heading to.
If it’s your first time in Paris then a closer option to the city is the Gare du Nord location also by St Christopher’s Inns. But if a budget option is what you’re looking for then this is a great choice.
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