Parisian hotels are among Europe’s most expensive for what you get. Although it is possible to find a double room in a central location for around €50–70, these will usually be basic, with a sink (lavabo) in the room and a shared bathroom on the landing (dans le palier). As a rule, a double room in an old-fashioned two-star will cost between €80 and €150; for something with a bit more class you could easily spend as much as €200. Some bargains do exist, however, so it pays to shop around – we have listed many of the best-value options below. At the luxury end of the scale the sky’s the limit, with prices above €400 not uncommon – though online and off-season deals can chop a dramatic amount off the official rack rates.
One of the best central areas for budget hotels is the 10e, especially around place de la République, and the 11e, especially along rue du Grand Prieuré. Quieter districts, further out, where you can get some good deals are the 13e and 14e, south of Montparnasse, and the 17e and 20e, on the western and eastern sides of the city respectively.
If you want to secure a really good room it’s worth booking a couple of months or more ahead, as even the nicer hotels often leave their pokiest rooms at the back for last-minute reservations, and the best places will sell out well in advance in all but the coldest months. If you find yourself stuck on arrival, the main tourist office will help you find a room in a hotel or hostel free of charge. The tourist office also offers a free online reservation service (Wparis-info.com), with discounts on some hotels.
Most hostels take advance bookings, including the hostel groups: FUAJ (wfuaj.fr), which is part of Hostelling International, and MIJE (wmije.com), which runs three excellent hostels in historic buildings in the Marais. (There is a third big hostel group, UCRIF, but it caters largely to groups; full details can be found online at wucrif.asso.fr.)