When thinking of Paris, “inexpensive vacation” is not usually the first thing that comes to mind; after all Paris is one of the most glamorous cities in the world. Glamour and inexpensive don’t normally go hand and hand.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can come to Paris and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune!
Paris is probably one of the best cities in the world to find an inexpensive hotel; it’s full of them. If you’re willing to give up some of the comforts you’re used to (like elevators, a minibar and big fluffy towels—and in some cases your own private bath) you can easily find an inexpensive hotel in Paris.
How inexpensive you ask? Well, I decided to limit my search to hotels that cost fewer than 70 € for either a single or a double and here are the best that I found:
THE LEFT BANK
THE LATIN QUARTER
The Latin Quarter, so named because Latin was once the language of the intellectuals who congregated here during the middle ages, is a great place to stay. Although the fast food chains have moved in along Boulevard Saint Michel and throngs of tourists fill the quartier, it has managed to hold onto its charm. The small, winding streets lined with cobblestone by the Seine evoke for many the image of Paris. This, combined with the fact that it’s a short walk to many of the top tourist attractions, make it the perfect place to stay.
Hôtel des 3 Colleges:
This hotel is sparkling clean and très modern. Minimalist décor give it a sleek look. It’s located on a quiet street just off of Boulevard St. Michel near the Sorbonne and the Pantheon. The least expensive rooms might be tiny, but they have all of the necessities: desk and chair, double-glazed windows, direct-dial phones, TV, hairdryer, and fully equipped bathrooms.
Prices for a single room start at 69 €, doubles start at 89 €.
(16 rue Cujas, 5th. Métro: St-Michel, Odeon. RER: Luxembourg, Cluny. Telephone: 01-43-54-67-30. Fax: 01-46-34-02-99. E-mail: [email protected]).
This hotel is in just about every guidebook and for good reason. It’s in a great location and has clean, well-appointed rooms for an affordable price. The rooms may be small, but have nice touches such antique furnishings and pretty quilts. The owners live on site and make a special effort to make guests feel welcome. All rooms are equipped with either a shower or bath, WC, cable TV, hair dryer, minibar, and a direct-dial telephone. The prices are a bit more than the others listed but you can still find a single for 68 €, while a double will cost you 79 €.
(11 rue des Ecoles, 5th. Métro: Jussieu, Cardinal-Lemoine, Maubert-Mutualité).
Hôtel de Bresil:
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, clean place to stay in a great location then this 30-room hotel located steps from Boulevard St. Michel might be for you. The rooms were recently re-done and have simple but adequate furnishings. All of the rooms are equipped with either a shower or bath, WC, cable TV, hairdryer, and a direct-dial telephone.
The prices can’t be beat: Single with shower: 62 €; double with shower: 66 €; double with bath: 76 €; Twin beds with bath: 81 €.
(10, rue Le Goff, 5th, Métro: St-Michel, Odeon. RER: Luxembourg, Cluny. Telephone: 01-43-54-76-11. Fax: 01-46-33-45-78. E-mail: [email protected]).
Located just around the corner from Shakespeare and Company along a tiny tree-lined street by the Seine, this hotel is legendary for it’s inexpensive rooms and its astounding views of Notre Dame. The least expensive of 19 rooms is an unbelievable 30 € a night (just a sink mind you—no shower or toilet)! However, be warned, this hotel is not for everyone and while some consider its shabby chic décor romantic, others will deem it simply shabby and not so chic (myself included). The rooms come in all shapes and sizes with quaint country décor and squeaky floorboards.
Prices: Singles run from 30-70 €, doubles from 75-80 €, triple and quads from 90 €. Of course there are no TV’s and don’t even think about air-conditioning here.
(4, rue St-Julien-le-Pauvre, 5th. Telephone: 01-43-54-19-20. Fax: 01-40-51-00-68).
In my eyes, Saint Germain is one of the best places to stay in Paris. Long ago the city’s intellectuals gathered in its cafés; Sartre, Camus, and Simon de Beauvoir all held court at Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore. Later, it was the center of the Paris jazz boom during the 1930’s. Today, it is still one of the most happening areas of Paris. Shops, cafés, and restaurants abound. Walk the charming streets that lurk beyond Saint Germain, like rue de Seine and rue Jacob, and I dare you not to fall in love with Paris.
Hôtel Saint Pierre:
Just a short block from the center of Saint Germain sits the Hotel Saint Pierre. This hotel, which is situated on a quiet street over looking the L’école de médecine, has small, well-maintained rooms for a low price. Bathrooms are tiny, but modern with all the fixtures. All of the rooms have telephones, cable TV, a shower and a sink. Most have a WC as well, but for the least expensive you’ll have to share one of the sparkling clean toilets, which can be found on each of the seven floors. There’s even an elevator, which is unusual for a hotel of this price.
Singles: 60 €. Doubles: 70 €.
(4 rue de l’Ecole de Médecine, 6th. Metro: Odeon. Telephone: 01-46-34-78-80. Fax: 01-40-51-05-17).
This hotel is a budget seekers dream. The location is superb, the rooms are immaculate, nicely furnished, and you can’t find much lower prices in Paris. Of course, for the lowest priced rooms you’ll have to use the toilet down the hall and the shower on the first floor, (both spotlessly clean). There are however cable TVs and direct dial phones in every room.
Prices: With sink only (a shower will cost you 4): Single: 42-67 €, double: 52-67 €, triple: 80-94 €. With shower: Single: 66-73 €, double: 72-80 €, triple: 94-115 €. All with tax and breakfast included.
(22, rue de L’Hirondelle, 6th. Metro: Saint Michel. Telephone: 01-43-26-58-25. Fax: 01-43-26-51-06. E-mail: [email protected]).
Hôtel de Nesle:
There is no other hotel in Paris quite like the Hôtel de Nesle. All of its 20 rooms have hand-painted frescos based on historical events and themes and some of them are absolutely stunning. I fell in love with the Melanie—a beautiful room with wooden beams, French country furniture, a fireplace, a lovely rose-colored quilt, old photos hanging on the wall—it was simply charming. Another favorite was the Bonbonnière, a pretty room with mauve-colored walls, a white-beamed ceiling to match the painted white furniture, and a mosquito net, which added the final touch. Some of the rooms overlook an exquisite rose garden and one even has a sauna! All this at unbelievably low prices. On the downside, many of the rooms are equipped with only a sink and you’ll have to use the shower and toilet down the hall. They also can’t guarantee which room you’ll have and there are no TV’s, minibars, etc. But, you’re in one of the best quartiers in Paris and while the hotel does lack some amenities it more than makes up for it in charm.
Prices: Single: 50 €, 60 €, 75 €; Double: 75 €, 100 € .
Saint André des Arts:
If you’re the type who wants to stumble out of your doorstep to be in the center of it all, then the Hotel Saint Andre des Arts may be for you. Its location, on an animated street a short block from Saint Germain, is lively day and night. For many this is the place to be in Paris, with the Buci Market , the art galleries on rue de Seine, and Boulevard Saint Germain, all close by. This family-run hotel was built in the 17th century and the original beams can still be seen throughout. The rooms themselves are a bit nondescript, with plain furnishings. Families will want to ask for one of the two double rooms on the roof, which are quite large and can sleep four. All the rooms have direct-dial phones and either a shower or bath with WC, but if you’re the type who needs an elevator or TV, then you’ll have to look elsewhere, as the Saint Andre des Arts has none. The windows are double-glazed to drown out the sounds of the streets, but you might want to ask for a room overlooking the courtyard, especially in summer when you’ll want to leave your windows open.
Single: 62 €, Double with one bed: 77 €, Twin: 83 €, Triple: 94 €, Quad: 105 €, breakfast included.
(66, rue Saint-Andre-des-Arts, 6th. Metro: Odeon. Telephone: 01-43-26-96-16. Fax: 01-43-29-73-34. E-mail: mailto:[email protected]).
Hôtel du Dragon:
The Hôtel du Dragon , at 79 € a single (99 € for two), was just able to make our list. It was such a beautiful hotel though, that I felt compelled to include it. Located just a block from Saint Germain and all of the famous literary cafés, it’s a great place to stay in Paris. The Rabier-Roy family has owned this quaint little hotel for the last 80 years. The rooms, which were all decorated by Madame Roy herself, are just beautiful. They have been recently redone (except for two!) and have a provençale feel with lovely blue and yellow walls, wooden beams, and pretty country French furnishings. All rooms have either a shower or bath that are quite spacious with pretty tiles. Despite its no-star status, the rooms are equipped with cable TV, direct dial phones, a WC, and most have hairdryers.
(36, rue du Dragon, 6th. Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés or Sèvres-Babylone. Telephone: 01-45-48-51-05. Fax: 01-42-22-51-62. www.hoteldudragon.com)
Montparnasse may have changed a bit since it’s heyday during the 1920’s and 1930’s, when its cafés were filled with American Expatriates like: Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Ernest Hemingway, but it is still a great area to stay in nonetheless. While not smack in the center of town, you’re still be close enough to walk to many of the main tourist attractions and you’re only a short trip on the Métro or bus away from the others. Montparnasse is full of movie theaters, cafés, and restaurants, and one of the most beautiful parks in the world will be at your doorstep—the Jardin de Luxembourg. Plus, since it’s a bit off the tourist track you’re more likely to find an inexpensive hotel.
Hôtel des Bains:
One of the best-kept secrets in Paris, this quiet hotel is located a half-block from Boulevard Montparnasse and has been recently renovated. The rooms are tastefully decorated and have either carpeting or polished wooden floors, desks, cable TV with Canal Plus (a French movie channel) and English language programming, and adequate storage space. All bathrooms have been recently redone and are equipped with a shower and hair dryer. All this will cost you 71 € for a room with one large bed, and 75 € for a room with two beds. Two rooms suites that are perfect for families cost anywhere from 100 €- 137 € depending on the size.
(33, rue Delambre, 14th. Metro: Vavin or Edgar-Quinet. 01-43-20-85-27. Fax: 01-42-79-82-78. E-Mail: [email protected]).
The owners of this popular Montparnasse hotel took a dilapidated one-star hotel and transformed it into a modern three-star hotel without the three-star prices. All 30 rooms have either a shower or bath, hair dryer, direct-dial phones, and televisions with international reception.
Prices: Single: 65 €. Standard room: (1 or 2 people) 80 €. Superior room: 85-90 €. Mini-suite: which accommodates up to four guests: 120 €.
(35, rue Delambre, 14th. Metro: Vavin or Edgar-Quinet. 01-43-20-66-32. Fax: 01-45-38-92-76. E-Mail: [email protected]).
Another Montparnasse hotel, which has been recently renovated, is the Hotel Chaplain in the southern part of the sixth. This small hotel is situated on a very quiet street that is one block form the Luxembourg gardens and one block from Boulevard Montparnasse. The décor is modern with a garden theme (think Monet’s Water-Lilies), which was a bit busy for my tastes, but is still très correct as the French would say. For the price you’ll get most of the modern conveniences including: newly renovated spacious rooms, private baths, color TV, direct dial phones, a safe, and hair dryer. Breakfast is served on the terrace, which over looks a small garden.
Prices: Single: 68-76 €. Double: 76-90 €. Triple: 105-111 €. Quadruple: 112-120 €.
(11 bis, rue Jules-Chaplain, 6th. Metro: Vavin or Notre Dame des Champs. Telephone: 01-43-26-47-64. Fax: 01-40-51-79-75).
THE RIGHT BANK
Home to the Champs-Elysées, Rue Saint Honoré, and the Louvre; the right bank is normally known for its lavish hotels like the Crillon, the Bristol and the Ritz. Not to worry though, thrifty travelers will still be able to find a hotel or two to suit their budgets.
The area known as Les Halles, which is just northeast of the Louvre, was once home to the first wholesale fruit and vegetable market that was built nearly 800 years ago in 1181. The market flourished and grew until it was torn down and moved to Rungis in 1969. The giant hole was transformed into Le Forum des Halles in the early 80’s, but it never really took off. Today the area is hit or miss— great shops, restaurants, and the Pompidou Center can be found, but the area draws an unsavory crowd as well and some areas are best avoided at night.
I almost gave up on visiting the Tiquetonne Hôtel. For one, I had already seen several hotels in the same price range and quite frankly I wouldn’t stay in any of them. I wasn’t so thrilled with the neighborhood either as I walked from the Métro near Les Halles. But, I had read such good things about this little hotel in the second arrondissement, that I had to check it out for myself. I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice hotel, which offered basic, clean rooms for an incredibly low price. A simple single room with sink and bidet (shower and WC down the hall) will run you 24 €, whereas a double with shower will cost a modest 42 €—pas mal eh? Don’t expect any amenities here—no phone in your room, no TV, and no minibar, just the bare necessities and rock-bottom prices. The hotel has been run for the last fifty years by Mme. Sirvain and her niece Marie-Jo, who could not have been nicer during my visit. On route home I followed the rue Tiquetonne back towards the Louvre, and found this route to be quite charming—with shops, restaurants, and cafés—nothing like the seediness I had encountered near Les Halles.
( 6, rue Tiquetonne, 2nd. Metro: Etienne-Marcel, Reaumur-Sebastopol. Telephone: 01-42-36-94-58. Fax: 01-42-36-02-94).
This is another favorite area of Paris with tourists. Its quaint cobblestone streets are lined with magnificent hôtels particuliers, revealing its aristocratic past. The past and present blend perfectly together here to create a lively, hip, neighborhood full of architectural wonders.
Grand Hôtel Jeanne D’Arc:
If staying in one of the hippest neighborhoods in Paris, in a funky little hotel, at really low prices appeals to you, then book a room at the Grand Jeanne D’Arc. This hotel is situated on a charming street in the heart of the Marais, just off the Place du Marché Saint Catherine, one of the loveliest squares in Paris. Inside the rooms are simply—but nicely—decorated. 55 € will buy you small single room with IKEA type furniture, pretty blue walls and matching bedspreads, shelves, a desk, cable TV, phone and a small bath with shower. A larger room, which accommodates two, with antique furniture and a much bigger bath can be had for 64 € for one and 73 € for two. The rest of the hotel is bright and cheerful with some artistic touches. If this sounds like the place for you—book ahead because the rooms at the Jeanne D’Arc go fast!
( 3, rue de Jarente, 4th. Métro: Saint Paul. Telephone: 01-48-87-62-11. Fax: 01-48-87-37-31).
This 29-room hotel steps away from the Place de Vosges offers basic but adequate rooms at a low price. Rooms were recently renovated and are equipped with a small armoire, desk, television, direct-dial phones, and either a shower or bath. Industrial carpeting and floral bedspreads might lack that certain Parisian charm, but it’s more than an adequate place to spend the night in a great part of Paris for an unbeatable price.
Price: 55-75 €.
(2, rue Mahler, 4th. Métro: Saint Paul. Telephone: 01-42-72-76-17. Fax: 01-42-72-98-28).
The Hotel Castex is everything you could hope for in a budget hotel: a central location near the Bastille, unadorned but clean rooms, and a very warm welcome from the staff, plus a few extra touches like a courtyard to store bikes and a kitchen that guests can use (not to cook three course meals however!). Each large room has a desk and a chair, bath or shower, but no TVs—you’ll be welcome to watch the one in the salon however.
Prices: Single for 60 €; Double for 70 €.
(5, rue Castex, 4th. Metro: Bastille. Telephone: 01-42-72-31-52. Fax: 01-48-04-33-72).
Pension Les Marronniers:
A room in one of the chicest arrondisement in Paris with breakfast and dinner included for only 43 € a night? Ce n’est pas possible! Mais si, if you’re lucky enough to snag a room at Les Marronniers—one of the last pensions (which is a rooming house where one can stay for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few years) in Paris. This lovely, family-run pension has been in the Poirier family for over 100 years and is run by Marie Odile, a woman who runs a very tight ship. There are 12 simply furnished rooms in all, most with a shower, but only one with a WC. Each one comes with a desk, shelves, a small refrigerator, and direct-dial phone. You’ll be able to help yourself to the library and sitting room where you’ll find a collection of more than 200 films. A typical French breakfast is served every morning and at 7:00pm the guests all sit down together for a home-cooked three-course meal. And, did I mention the location? Located on the corner of rue d’Assas and rue Vavin in the 6th arrondissement, overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Prices: (meals included) single: 43-61 €; Double: 54-82 €; Triple: 74 €. There is a 20% discount for monthly stays.
(78, rue d’Assas, Escalier A-1st floor, 6th. Métro: Vavin or Notre-Dame des Champs. Telephone: 01-43-26-37-71. Fax: 01-43-26-07-72. Website: www.pension-marronniers.com. E-mail: [email protected]).
When Les Marronniers is booked, Marie sends her guests to the Residence Pension Ladagnous, another pension in the same building which has twenty-four rooms. While it may lack the family type atmosphere of Les Marronniers, it’s still a great place to find a clean, inexpensive room in one of the most sought after neighborhoods is Paris.
Prices: Single: 42.15 €; Double: 58.30 €; Triple: 75.45 €; Quad: 100.60 €. All rooms have a shower and sink. Breakfast is included; dinner is an additional 10 € a night.
(78, rue d’Assas, Escalier B-2nd floor. 6th. Métro: Vavin or Notre-Dame des Champs. Telephone: 01-43-26-79-32. Fax: 01-43-54-60-61).
To really see how the French live, you might try booking a room in a Parisian Bed & Breakfast. Two reputable companies to try are: Alcove & Agapes (8, bis Coysevox, 18th. 01-44-85-06-05) a B&B service which offers rooms in more than one hundred homes in Paris (a double room will cost you anywhere from 45-115 € depending on the accommodations), and Good Morning Paris ( 43, rue Lacepède, 5th. 01-47-07-28-29), another company with 40 rooms through out the city (rates range from 38 € for a single to 75 € for three).
So there you have it, definitive proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a hotel in Paris. Paris is full of inexpensive hotels, you just have to know where to look.
Please let us know about any experience you have or have had with any of these hotels, as seeing a hotel is one thing, but staying in one is a whole different matter. We’re always on the lookout for great hotels and would love to add one of your “finds” to our list!
**The information in this story was accurate at the time it was published, but we suggest you confirm all details and prices before making travel plans.**
Bonjour Paris is pleased to have Klancy Phyllis Flick as a contributor.
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