In this Berlin Christmas Market review, I’m breaking down some of the best spots for seasonal fun – from gingerbread and glühwein (mulled wine) to shopping and activities.
This hotel often doesn’t come up in the Paris hotel listings, due to its location which is just beyond the ‘Boulevard Périphérique’; basically, the big ring road that circles Paris and the areas of the city called ‘arrondissements’. In fact, St. Ouen is actually a suburb!
However, by crossing over into suburbia, you do get a lot more for your money and the good news is that it’s still well served by public transport.
Whilst it is a 3 star hotel, it’s a good example of why star ratings are based on facilities and not on the service or general vibe of an establishment. Why? Well, Mob Hotel is pretty cool, from its trendy design to the evening comedy club. When I went they had weekly pop-up markets, yoga on the terrace, and fortune teller sessions. So this is more than just a place to lay your head in between a busy day.
Another perk of being outside the city is the space they have – there’s a big outdoor terrace for drinks and dinner and many of the rooms come with their own terrace. I always opt for the cheapest room and it is compact, but it’s been cleverly designed to maximise the space. Being at a 3 star hotel, don’t expect the softest of linens and room service. There are elements – such as the bathroom – that remind me of modern hostels that have started popping up. This isn’t a bad thing at all – hostels have really upped their game! – but a reminder that you’re not paying for luxury, so don’t be underwhelmed when you realise that some aspects are teething on the side of basic.
Overall, I think it’s a fantastic way to stay somewhere for cheaper that still has a considered design and a lot of fun injected into the running of it.
The restaurant – serving mostly Italian food – is decent enough if you’re tired and in need of a quick bite, but I’d recommend getting out and exploring instead. Paris is a food haven after all! As for the local area, I recommend a classic ham & egg crepe at Marche O Crepe around the corner, though don’t assume everyone will speak English. In fact, it’s the perfect place to dust off that GCSE French because the staff are incredibly nice and I’ve had a lot of fun there as we muster through the menu together!
You’re also close to Saint Ouen flea market which is open on a (DAY) and for getting out to explore Paris, head to Garibaldi metro station for the number 13 which will zip you into the centre in under 20 minutes.
Is the area of St. Ouen safe? In the direct area of the hotel, I have always felt safe in the daytime; there’s almost a village feel around Garibaldi! But as with most big cities, it’s good to be on alert, especially in the evenings and especially if you’re on your own and not a bloke. I would also avoid walking under and around the ‘Boulevard Peripherique’ when it’s dark so if you are returning late, opt for a taxi, take the metro to Garibaldi or opt for a bus, as there’s a stop a 1 minute walk away from the hotel.
If you’re after the city buzz – and perhaps that ‘safe’ feeling that comes with it – you’d be better staying more central as things will get quiet here after a certain time. However, if you’re used to cities or travel a lot, you’ll probably feel pretty at home here! I actually love the slower, more local vibe.
For those looking for a treat stay – or a bit more space – check out Mob Hotel’s older and fancier sister, MOB House, which even has a pool!
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I’m dishing out all the important Kraków Christmas Market info, like the available activities, food and drink prices, and the best places to stay during your Kraków city break.
I’m giving the lowdown on all Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt am Rathausplatz Christmas Market has to offer, including festive food and drinks, fun activities and shopping.
Budapest’s Advent Feast at the Basilica has been crowned the best Christmas market in Europe, I’m spilling the beans on all the good stuff – from food and drinks to activities and prices.
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