A charming and interesting town along the Rivers Nive and Adour, Bayonne’s medieval streets are dotted with old buildings, exuding a lovely mix of French and Basque architecture. A stroll along the river banks will find you stopping at the quaint cafes and restaurants, to take in the beautiful city view. Although not very big, it’s one of the prettiest places in southwest France and also houses a beach resort area known as Biarritz.
But, this sleepy little getaway is not so sleepy from July to September, when it holds its annual festival – the Fetes de Bayonne. This is where you get to see the French version of San Fermin or the ‘Running of the Bulls’. The Bayonne festival attracts over a million tourists every year, making this the biggest event in all of France. It’s a great place for backpackers to stop over for a day or two, if not more, even for those on a shoe-string budget. The city lets you ‘basque’ in its friendly vibe and, at the same time, provides a comfortable stay without hurting the pockets.
Here are a few cheap and budget stays that offer great facilities (including English-speaking staff), along with locational advantage.
An ideal place to stay for families, the hotel enjoys an immense locational advantage, with the historical hub only 2 km (1.2 miles) away and beach area some 8 km (5 miles). Breakfasts are sumptuous affairs, usually comprised of items like brioche, cakes, pastries, cheese, breads and hot beverages. The terrace restaurant serves grilled food, along with traditional fare. For a cost-effective unit, facilities like free WiFi, parking and 24/7 front desk, make this pet-friendly accommodation a favorite among all kinds of travelers.
Located in the historical hub, Hôtel des Arceaux is a charming 17th-century building, with uniquely decorated rooms. The rambling house is clean and exudes an authentic feel. It’s also the perfect base for exploring the countryside, with easy access to the mountains, beaches and country roads surrounding the property. Because of its location, backpackers can easily save some money and reach the local attractions on foot and enjoy close proximity to public transport links and eateries, at the same time. WiFi is free and provides great coverage.
This city-center hotel is close to the commercial hub, as well as attraction sites like the Vauban Citadelle, Saint-Esprit Church and Saint-Catherine Street. The Bayonne Train Station is only 300 meters (984.3 feet) from the hotel premises. While the cozy bedrooms come with a work desk and flat-screen TV, be sure to mention you want a private bath, as the hotel also provides shared rooms with a common restroom. Hotel de la Gare serves delicious homemade food, and their hearty breakfasts can also be served on the terrace, upon request. WiFi is free and available in common areas.
Ideal for a stopover, this hotel is extremely close to Biarritz-Anglet-Bayonne Airport, at only 800 meters (2624.7 feet) away, while the city center lies only 2 km (1.2 miles) away. An in-house (free) car parking area is a major plus, especially for the road-trippers. Breakfast is usually served in the hotel restaurant or on the terrace. Guests are particularly happy about the cleanliness of the rooms, quality of food and impeccable service. Their good-natured staff are always available and ready to help.
Address: 43 rue Chapelet - Boulevard Marcel Dassault RN 10 Rond Point du mousse
Price: from 65 USD
Terrace Non-smoking throughout Shared lounge/TV area Non-smoking rooms Smoke alarms Meeting/banquet facilities Key card access Wheelchair accessible
Located in the heart of the city’s historical center, Hotel Cote Basque overlooks the Saint Esprit bridge. With easy access to the train station (100m/328ft) and Biarritz (5km/3.1 miles), this property is easily the perfect base for travelers who like to see everything a city has to offer. The pet-friendly property also provides car and bike rental services. If you need an early start to the day, the cooperative staff can prepare your meal well before breakfast hours, if requested. For travelers with cars, there’s a public parking lot right outside the hotel.
Just off the motorway, this accommodation is an excellent choice for travelers driving towards Portugal (or back). It’s the perfect base for exploring the charming town, as Campanile Bayonne is located just 5 minutes from the city center. Fully equipped, with standard amenities like free Wi-Fi, private baths, large, comfy beds, and beverage-making facilities, the pet-friendly rooms are done up in interesting tones of chocolate and green. The all-you-can-eat spreads give you a taste of the local cuisine, which can be enjoyed with drinks on the hotel terrace.
Address: Avenue Du Grand Basque
Price: from 70 USD
On-site coffee house Terrace Breakfast options Screens or physical barriers placed between staff and guests in appropriate areas Wine/champagne Fire extinguishers Snack bar Physical distancing in dining areas
Overlooking the Adour River, this ibis property is set on its banks and is only a five-minute walk from the heart of Bayonne and 600 meters (1968.5 feet) from the train station. Along with its perfect location, the hotel warrants the loyalty of its guests with impeccable hospitality, private parking slots, modern restaurants, and clean and comfortable rooms. Your requests for a river-view or a quiet room are always tended to by the accommodating staff, who are also extremely good with pets. And the best part, all the local sights are at your doorstep, including the cathedral, which is right next door.
Although located 2 km (1.2 miles) away from the city center, Hotel Loreak is one of the more popular budget stays, simply because of its team of attentive and helpful staff and clean, comfortable rooms, with free parking. The in-house restaurant serves a great mix of modern and regional dishes, and there are quite a few decent eateries at walking distance, to add to your options. The hotel’s proximity to the motorway surprisingly does not cause any disturbance and poses only as an added advantage.
Address: 1 chemin de Hayet
Price: from 81 USD
Facilities for disabled guests WiFi available in all areas Key card or motion-controlled electricity for guests Safety deposit box Guest accommodation is disinfected between stays Linens, towels and laundry washed in accordance with local authority guidelines CCTV outside property Guests have the option to cancel any cleaning services for their accommodation during their stay
All you need in Bayonne
With easy connectivity by air and rail, Bayonne is yet another French adventure - albeit a very different one from usual Parisian experiences. It’s a surprise package for impetuous travelers, who like to deviate from the usual routes and discover pretty towns, tucked away in the corner, steeped in rich art and traditions. Not only does it have a fascinating historical background, Bayonne has some fantastic architectural evidence to stand by its legends and folklore. This little French town is worth a detour, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
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