We are going to be in Bern and Lucerne as well as Paris in August. Any suggestions for hostels I those areas for our family of four? I guess we could stay separately as well instead of a family room. Our kids are teenagers so we don't all have to be together.
Tanja, The best suggestion I can think of for Hostels in those two cities would be HI Hostels. I've found that they're well run and the facilities are fairly consistent from one location to the next. They're popular with families and school groups, and they're not "party Hostels". They often have more than one property in larger cities. If you book early enough, you may be able to get a four-bed Dorm room, so would have one room for your group. Hostel prices are usually "per bed / per person". I'm not sure if each of the rooms has ensuite, but that seems to be more common these days. Breakfast is usually included in the price. Having an inexpensive HI membership will provide cheaper rates and preferred booking (over non-members). That may be compulsory for Switzerland, as I've been asked for my membership no. when booking. I looked at the one on Bern for my trip last September, but eventually booked a Hotel. I travel with expensive Camera gear, so hotels are often more suitable (although I did stay in a Hostel in Rome in September). As I recall, the Bern Hostel is close to the river, so swimming should be possible. Staying in a Hostel would probably be a very interesting experience for your teenagers, as they'll likely be able to chat with people their own age from various parts of the world. Some Hostels may be located a short distance from the city centre, but they always provide good information on which Bus or Trams to use. Happy travels!
Hello, in Lucerne there are a lot of inipenden hostel and hostels, where you don't need to be member and there are no extra costs by booing. Check out websites such as HostelsClub.com and HostelsCentral.com (no booking fee). In Lucerne you will find Twins Minbak Hostel, in Bern I can suggest Bern Backpackers Hotel Glocke (really nice Swiss hostel) and also other Bern Hostels (http://www.hostelsclub.com/city-en-346-Bern.html). For Paris hostels you will have a lot of options. Nice hostels are Vintage Hostel and The Loft Hostel. Have fun in Europa! Lena
Hi Tanja! This isn't a hostel, but the Hotel Marignan is a very inexpensive hotel in Paris with similarities to a hostel. They are located in the Latin Quarter, about a 5 minute walk to Notre Dame. I jumped on their website and it looks like rates in August for a 4 person room with private toilet and shared shower in the hall are around 126 euros/night which may be higher on the weekends. I have stayed there twice, once solo and once last summer with my husband and 2 kids. The hotel offers free breakfast, wifi, laundry, and a kitchen that can be used by guests after breakfast. Beware they do not have an elevator. The staff are friendly and very informative if you have questions. Their website is below. www.hotel-marignan.com
For Paris I highly recommend any of the three MIJE hostels in the Marais. They are renovated 17th-century private mansions and are centrally located. Both Rick Steves and Lonely Planet call them "the best budget accommodations in Paris." You can get a private room for four people.