pop hostel avignon facadeUnless you're on the AirB&B circuit, Pop' Hostel is the best budget option in central Avignon, with sleeping options ranging from eight-bed dorms with shared showers to private en suite rooms.

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Pop' Hostel (sic: what is it with the French and their fondness for superfluous apostrophes?) opened in 2013. It occupies the four upper floors of a listed 19th century apartment building on Avignon's main shopping street.

This is a prime location in the heart of the city, a short walk from Avignon Centre train station, the bus station, the Tourist Office, the Pont d'Avignon and the Palais des Papes. Behind the elegant façade, the ground-floor lobby (shared with another hotel, the Danieli) is surprisingly dingy.

But, once you've taken the ancient lift / elevator to Pop' Hostel's reception area on first floor, the decor is modern and airy with an emphasis on primary colours and photographs of street art on the walls.

One of its bonus points is a large public space, with a billiard room, pictured, library and computers (there's also free wi-fi). All ideal for the solo traveller and others keen on the social side of tourism.

pop hostel avignon barThe bar, open to non-residents, serves tapas as well as espresso coffee, draft beer and other drinks and has live music on some evenings.

There's also recorded music playing there during the day which you might or might not appreciate.

Pop' Hostel's cheapest rate buys you a bunk bed in a shared room (4-8 people) with shared shower facilities.

However prices can skyrocket in the high season, especially during the Avignon Theatre Festival, and the dorms may not always be single-sex at these times.

Each bunk has its own power point, USB port, reading light, a large locker (bring your own padlock) and a curtain for privacy. But the eight-person room we visited looked on the cramped side and the cleanliness of the shared bathrooms appear to be a bone of contention.

The rooms are air-conditioned, but can get hot in summer. Another downside is the noise from the busy street below (the windows are not double-glazed).

Pop' Hostel is aimed primarily at the back-packer market. But it's open to clients of all ages.

And, for those prepared to pay for a bit more comfort, there is a handful of private rooms (twin or double beds) on the upper floors with their own en suite bathrooms.

Breakfast costs extra, though you can do your own basic catering in the "kitchenette" (actually just an electric kettle and microwave - no fridge). Supermarkets are close by, and the Les Halles gourmet food market is a short walk away.

Visited August 2016

Where: Pop' Hostel, 17 rue de la République, 84000 Avignon. Tel: (+33) 4 32 40 50 60. Book a room at the Pop' Hostel Avignon


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