Having spent my last couple of trips to Paris exploring the main sights, I knew I wanted more of a local experience when I returned to Paris last month. Thus, I was delighted to discover Arty Paris, an artsy hostel nestled in the Brancion neighborhood of the 15th arrondissement. From there, I was able to discover local restaurants and sights that I had never before seen, and experience life in a traditional Parisian neighborhood. If you want to live like a local in Paris, Arty Hostel is your perfect starting point.
READ MORE: Paris Travel Guide for Beginners
Paris’ Brancion neighborhood is a pretty neighborhood filled with parks and local stores that has preserved the charm of traditional Paris. From Arty Paris, it is easy to engage in authentically Parisian activities like walking to the old book market, visiting the fish market, and discovering George Brassen’s park, where the famous French singer found his inspiration.
If you’d like to wander a bit farther out of the neighborhood, the cable car, bus, and subway are all within walking distance from Arty Paris. Many of the main sights in Paris are within walking distance from the hostel as well. In fact, I walked from Notre Dame to the hostel, and from the hostel to the Eiffel Tower. It was a bit of a long walk, but enjoyable, especially on a nice day.
CHECK-IN PROCESS / LOBBY
As soon as I walked into Arty Paris, I felt comfortable and at home. To my left was a cozy common area with a pool table, couches and other unique furniture, and a guitar hanging on the wall. To my right was the check in counter and a hallway leading to the dining room and kitchen.
Despite checking in almost seven hours later than scheduled due to a mishap with getting my phone stolen (NB: always pay attention to your belongings, especially while riding the subway), I was greeted kindly by the front desk staff when I arrived at the hostel. The check in process took no more than five minutes, and I was given a drink ticket to use at any time during my stay. I was also given a map with useful information on local restaurants and bars. Since I was unfamiliar with the neighborhood, and Brancion is not a commonly talked about neighborhood in Paris, I found the map and guide to be very helpful.
While enjoying a beer on one of the cozy couches in the hostel lobby, my boyfriend found a cute little Parisian bistro called Arthur et Juliette for us to go to for dinner. This quintessentially Parisian cafe had some of the best food I’ve had in Paris. We ordered pasta covered in a specialty French cheese that we had never heard of in the U.S., and of course a side of escargot. Having noticed our clumsy attempts at eating escargot, our waitress kindly offered to show us how the French typically eat escargot. We were grateful and proceeded to finish our plate of escargot with utmost sophistication.
After walking all the way from Arty Paris to the Eiffel Tower and back, I was ready to collapse into bed. I was happy to find fresh towels provided by the hostel and a bright and cozy interior decor. Like most hostels, Arty Paris offers dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms. The private rooms come with a bathroom inside the room, which is a convenience I enjoyed.
In addition to a comfortable bed, the room came equipped with a desk, television, clothes hangers, trash bin, chairs, plenty of outlets, and free wifi.
Best of all was the view from the room. The room had a large window with a small balcony that looked out onto Brancion and street level. I kept the windows open for a while to take in the fresh air as it was a perfectly mild and comfortable day. As I peered outside onto the street, I felt like I was peering out from my own apartment in Paris. All I saw were local, traditional Parisian buildings, without the glam of the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, and in that moment, I was living like a local in Paris.
BREAKFAST / KITCHEN
For breakfast, I decided to stay at the hostel and enjoy their selection of pastries and coffee before heading out to catch my flight at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Breakfast is served buffet style in the hostel’s dining room. The dining room has plenty of seating, and there were only a few other guests in the dining room when I was there.
Behind the dining room is a kitchen area with a refrigerator for guests to store leftover food. The kitchen comes fully equipped with pots, pans, utensils, plates, mugs, and a microwave. There is also a sink with cleaning supplies. While I did not observe any guests using the kitchen during my short stay, I can imagine that this is a great area to meet fellow travelers over a shared meal.
Arty Paris was the perfect base for me to live like a local in Paris. Its location in the center of a traditional Parisian neighborhood helped me feel as if I were a resident in Paris rather than a tourist. The staff were polite, helpful, and accommodating. The ambience was laid-back and welcoming. If you are looking for the perfect local experience while living on a budget, you need not look any further than Arty Paris. Click here to book online now.
A big thank you to Arty Paris and Hip Hop Hostels for making our stay possible. As always, all opinions are 100% our own.
Author: Diana Chen
Recently left my job as an attorney to pursue the work-from-anywhere/travel-everywhere life. I blog about traveling the world with a full time job, confronting your travel addiction, and pursuing your passions without going broke. Traveled to 21 countries on 4 continents since March 2017 and 48 countries total. Next big adventure is hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro in February 2018.
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