Hostels are lively establishments which are usually part of an association or larger network, most of them being non-profit organisations. They offer simple accommodation, limited meal service and/or separate kitchens that are available for personal use as well as other benefits, programmes and activities.
Hostels are principally targeted for young people with educational and recreational objectives. They welcome groups of young people (students, athletes etc) and independent young travellers offering them a great environment to stay and to meet other likeminded young people.
Hostels will generally provide accommodation in share-rooms or dormitories. Sometimes, the access to youth hostels requires to become a member (individual or group) of a nationally recognised association by the Féderation International des Auberges de Jeunesse (Hostelling International) or, to have bought a membership card in a member hostel of Hostelling International.
A large majority of hostels in France are affiliated with the FUAJ network (Féderation Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse) or LFAJ (Ligne Française des Auberges de Jeunesses).
Other hostels are affiliated with the UCJG (Christian Youth Union), the French branch of the YMCA.
Choosing to stay in a hostel is a perfect way to meet people and certainly a cheaper way to discover a city or region!