QG Marseille is the smallest hostel in France, Source: Hostelling International

Where can you find France's smallest hostel?

Where can you find France's smallest hostel?

It can fit 14 guests and doubles up as a cultural centre

Next time you head out to the French South and its vibrant capital – Marseille – you might consider discovering a new part of the city by staying at the QG Marseille, a charming house in the northern districts. That way, you can also brag later that you’ve stayed at the smallest hostel in France.

The name of the establishment translates to HQ Marseille as it invites you to tread off the beaten path and make this part of the city your headquarters while there.

You might be surprised to know that youth hostels (auberges de jeunesse) are actually kind of rare in France, despite the country’s enormous tourism magnet appeal. Before QG Marseille opened its doors, the city only had one other official hostel, which has around 100 beds offering budget-minded explorers the chance to sample some of the Provencal charms.

What’s behind its cute façade?

The hostel is located in the 15th arrondissement of Marseille, which doesn’t normally feature heavily on backpackers’ itineraries but that’s part of why it can be worth discovering.

Its owner, Charlotte Noblet, is a former journalist and foreign correspondent, who’s seen her fair share of travels, according to MadeinMarseille. Following years of renovations on the house, formerly owned by a mining company, at the start of this year, she launched the hostel so the “world could come to her”.

QG Marseille has five rooms and shared spaces and can accommodate up to 14 guests, which makes it the smallest hostel, but also probably the most intimate and cosy in all of France.

What’s more, Charlotte decided to turn the place not just into tourist accommodation but also into a cultural centre, hosting things like regular art exhibitions, board game evenings and gardening and cooking workshops, so that QG Marseille would be interesting to the local community as well.

Two Thursdays a month, the hostel offers an “RTM aperitif”, which ends at 9 p.m., and that’s just so that people can catch the last metro train as Marseille public transport now stops at 9:30 p.m. on weekday evenings.



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