Destinations,  Europe,  France,  Hotels, Hostels & BNBs

Where to stay: France hostels & hotels for solo female travelers

I find it helpful to see where people stayed in certain areas, so I thought I’d share where I stayed in each part of the world. This is where I’ve stayed while traveling in France. So far everything is from August-October 2022, but I’ll update this post with more hotels whenever I go back to France.

See also where I stayed while traveling around the United Kingdom and Japan.

Things to note:

  • Since prices change so frequently I haven’t bothered to note what I paid for each room, but in general I TRY to stay at $50 USD or less per night.
  • I prefer single rooms with an ensuite (and will pay a few bucks more to get one). I also prefer smaller B&B style hotels than large chain ones, generally.
  • If I’m staying in a particular area for longer than a few days, I try to get a place with a kitchen.
  • I use Booking.com, AirBNB, and Google Maps to search for places to stay, and I make sure to check my major credit card’s travel portal in case I can use CC points to save a bit of money.

Hotels with a little ♥ in front of them are recommended in particular.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small percentage of that at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.)

Hotels, AirBNBs & Bed & Breakfasts in France

Amiens

I booked my stay here mostly because of the hotel prices, but ALSO because it’s got a lot of Jules Verne stuff which seemed fun. It’s a lovely town and well worth visiting.

Neoresid – Résidence Saint Germain. This is a student accommodation building that I guess also rents to travelers even during school time! It’s a studio apartment with a tiny kitchenette, microwave, water kettle, etc. located in a quieter part of town, about 15 minutes walking from the train station.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Carcassonne

A classic medieval city with old walls and a castle, etc. If you have the budget you can actually get a hotel within the city walls, otherwise you’ll be just outside it in the newer part of town. Most people stop here to visit the old city, which is what I did!

L’UNDERGROUND Studio Hyper-Centre. A studio apartment in the center of town, within 10 minutes walking distance from the train station and about 20-30 min walking from the Cite. My flat was at the top floor up some very twisty stairs, and looked like it’d been recently remodeled. Unfortunately it was a sofa bed situation, which I normally try to avoid, but since I only stayed 2 nights it was tolerable. Good supermarket nearby, plus restaurants and shops.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Epinay-Sur-Orge

A suburb of Paris, about 30 min away by RER train. Very residential, with huge houses. The nice thing about staying here is it’s much cheaper than staying directly in Paris!

Independent studio 20 minutes from Paris (AirBNB). A converted apartment within a HUGE house; the owners live on-site but it was very private overall. About 10-15 minutes walking to the train station (longer if you make a wrong turn and get lost like I did), and then about 40 minutes by RER train into Paris. Very comfortable little studio with a washing machine (no dryer), TV, kitchenette, table, etc. Not much to see within the town itself, but there’s a few Geocaches nearby which is fun.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Le Havre

This port city has a lot going for it, though not so much for sightseeing (though you can do day trips to other towns). But for living or long visits it’s probably pretty good as there’s good public transit (including a tram), a lot of restaurants, a huge shopping center, and young university students to liven things up. I stayed here to go on a European cruise with MSC.

The Originals Boutique, Hôtel Le Marignan. A standard hotel room with double bed and ensuite; no kettle or fridge or anything so I ended up going to McDonalds for breakfast (they have huge coffee! everywhere else is tiny cups!). Located maybe 5 minutes from the train station in a somewhat noisy city neighborhood– the tram line runs right next door, for instance– but otherwise a good location. I wasn’t feeling very well during my time here so I didn’t get a chance to do much and I mostly stayed in the hotel, so luckily it was comfortable. The bathroom did smell like sewer but that happened a lot in France so idk.

Narbonne

About an hour from Carcassonne by train, Narbonne is very pretty and very expensive. I used credit card points for my stay here.

Hotel La Residence. A normal hotel room with a double bed and ensuite, BUT it came with a mini-fridge (actually a mini bar) which meant I could store cheese and other snacks. Very pretty building with a lovely shared lounge, and friendly staff to boot. Centrally located– the tourist office is down the street and all the tourist stuff is within a 20 min radius– and a quiet neighborhood overall. About 10 minutes walking from the train station in a fairly straight shot.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Paris

The prices in Paris are truly ridiculous, even for hostels. It’s a great place to visit but the costs were worse than London. My first visit I stayed in a hostel and my second visit I technically stayed in a suburb outside of the city (see above: Epinay-sur-Orge).

The People – Paris Nation. My first hostel in a while! I booked one bed in 6 bed dorm (female only). Beds have big lockers and curtains, plus plugs next to them. Shared bathroom, of course, which was clean but smelly by the drains. No free breakfast, no shared kitchen, no lounge but there’s a restaurant at the top of the building and you can probably hang out there if you wanted. Friendly staff and a good location if you plan on using the Metro to get around (which I did). Next to a (slightly overpriced) grocery store and a Metro station, though it’s slightly far from the train stations.

Perpignan

Close to the Spanish border, Perpignan is interesting because you can see some Spanish influences creeping in. The main tourist area is fine but the outskirts are a little rougher.

Appart’City Perpignan Centre Gare. An “aparthotel” operation, where you rent apartments in a building run like a hotel. This is located literally across the street from the train station which is great for travelers looking for nearby hotels, but maybe not great for people who want quiet stays in peaceful neighborhoods. Excellent sound-dampening windows, however. Fairly well-stocked kitchenette and a LIDL within 10 minutes walking distance. About 20-30 minutes walking from the main tourist part of the city. They offer a paid breakfast but I didn’t try it since I had the kitchen.

Rouen

Lots of Joan of Arc things in Rouen, plus huge old churches and other such things to look at. I stayed longer in Rouen not because I loved it (I didn’t hate it, of course), but because it was relatively cheap compared to other places. Plus, technically I could’ve done day trips into Paris if I wanted to (though I never did).

Amazing Atypical Q1 (AirBNB). A converted barber shop-turned-studio, which SEEMS fun but really means you’re sleeping against the big shop windows right next to the street, which feels very creepy. It’s fairly residential and quiet, and very near a natural history museum, so it didn’t feel unsafe overall. Amenities include kitchen with big fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, fairly big bathroom, TV, etc. This is run by an AirBNB company with rentals all over the city, but they kept in touch and had good communication.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Denver House, Rouen, France (AirBNB)

Denver+House in Rouen+CentreVilleRouen+NetfilxWifi (AirBNB). A loft studio closer to the river (and university), this was a very comfortable stay with a friendly host. HUGE bed and modern bathroom. Internet connection was a little iffy.

Le Savane (AirBNB)

Le Savane, your studio next to the Old Market (AirBNB). A tiny studio off a busy street, with a couch bed (ugh), a kitchenette, TV and some fun decorations. Technically there was a shared washer/dryer as well, but you had to bring your own soap. Close to a really good supermarket (EXCELLENT baguettes). This whole building is converted AirBNB flats, run by a group of people, but they were good at getting back to me quickly when my fridge started leaking.

Toulouse

Once I got to Toulouse, I realized why people particularly recommend the south of France over other regions. It’s beautiful! And much more fun that some places I stayed in the north of France.

Lovely studio in the very heart of Toulouse (AirBNB). A small studio with kitchenette, nearly at the top of the building on a VERY centrally located street about 25 minutes walking from the train station (longer if you get lost, which I did). The neighborhood felt a little rough but it’s literally three streets over from a major shopping area, so it’s probably safe as anything else. Lots of restaurants (and grocery stores) nearby and some sort of university building where students like to sing loudly on Thursday nights.

Yvetot

A tiny town between Rouen and Le Havre, I stayed here for a weekend to get a taste of small-town France.

Une Chambre D’Hote Yvetot. A Bed and Breakfast run by a French couple for many years, located in a residential area just off the main downtown part and about 20-ish minutes walking from the train station. I got the double room with ensuite, and also had access to a shared mini fridge, microwave, and electric kettle. The decor is a little out there– I think it’s leftover from France’s obsession with “African safari” style in the 1990s. Rates include French breakfast in the mornings with the hosts!

Here’s a room tour video I took:


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Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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