In terms of independent travel, there are some fabulous hostels in Paris, perfect for the intrepid traveller looking for a friendly, comfortable and sociable place to stay. From any of the hostels in Paris, this great city opens its doors and offers you the chance to explore one of the most beautiful and iconic of all the European capitals.
Many travellers wanting to discover the true heart of the city actually prefer to do it on foot. This gives them the opportunity to take their time, stop for photographs, wander down little side streets and venture into places they may not otherwise have discovered. Here are three great walks to embark on if you want to avoid local transport, stretch your legs and soak up some real Parisian atmosphere.
The Flower Market Walk
This stunning flower market, named the "Marche au Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II", is located in the Ile de la Cite, near the famous Pont Neuf. Bursting at the seams with beautiful flowers and plants, the place buzzes with locals looking for colourful ways to fill their window boxes and add a touch of individuality to their apartments. Here you can find all kinds of exotic flowers as well as many much more ordinary, but no less beautiful potted plants. This is a wonderful area to wander around before stopping for coffee in one of the many bustling cafes nearby.
The River Seine
Strolling along the river is a definite must for those who love to walk. There is something quite magical about this riverbank walk, and between the beauty of the river and the vibrant pavement cafe culture, you can easily spend an hour or two wandering, unwinding and relaxing.
Depending on which of the hostels in Paris you are staying in, you could start from Notre Dame and make your way along the banks either upstream to the Ile Saint Louis or down river towards the Pont des Arts bridge. All the way, the banks are lined with second hand bookstalls, which sell authentic old books as well as modern copies of famous texts. These eclectic little stalls are fun to rummage around, and you never know what you might stumble across!
The Latin Quarter
For a little colour and a lot of atmosphere, head to The Latin Quarter. You can lose yourself in the plethora of lively shops and boutiques, which include tourist orientated souvenir shops, antiquarian bookshops, specialist boutiques, art galleries and craft shops.
The tiny streets are perfect for wandering, and the numerous cafes and bars that entice you in for a morning coffee or an afternoon pastry are difficult to resist.
There are many more places to explore on foot in this city, and the staff in any of the hostels in Paris will be more than happy to make suggestions and recommend other off the beaten track places to visit.