This behemoth hostel, located on the picturesque Bassin de la Villette, boasts 346 beds, most of which are in dormitories for 6 to 12 hostelites. Dorms can be big or small, mixed sex or female-only, and with or without in-suite bathrooms, which accounts in part for the wide variety of rates (they also fluctuate with the seasons). If you are shy, there are 21 private rooms, but for 80€–100€ you can probably do better at a budget hotel. The dorms are filled with young, mostly English-speaking travelers doing their post-college European tour. The hostel includes a British-style bar, club, onsite launderette, and Internet cafe. This may not be the most authentic Parisian experience (the staff is mostly British), but it is certainly a cheap and practical one. St Christopher’s has a second gargantuan hostel next to the Gare du Nord; see the website for details.
- Margie Rynn