Hostels

Reviews of Hostels in Berlin, Prague & Vienna.

Berlin, Generator Hostel – Oranienburger Str. 65, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Generator - Berlin

This hostel was amazing. It had a great bar and atmosphere and a courtyard which served as a beer garden but also an outdoor  cinema. The wifi was great, the rooms stylish and clean. I would have trouble faulting it. The hostel itself has entertainment staff so there is always an event planned which gives the hostel a student community vibe – which I liked. Its location is brilliant and is what attracted us in the first place as it’s extremely close to Friedrichstrasse, the major cultural and shopping high street in Berlin. The street in which the Hostel is located is great too, there are plenty of bars and restaurants and the tram lines are minutes away.

As I mentioned  before the rooms are modern and clean but what’s brilliant is the number of plugs available in the room, which tends to be an issue in most places. The lockers are very secure and are locked by your room key. In regards to showers, each room has en-suite facilitates (2 showers and one toilet per 8 person room).

There is no curfew and a big bonus is the hostel lobby has an ATM machine.

Unfortunately, the hostel does not have kitchen or cooking facilities, so you cannot save money by cooking a hot meal and breakfast is not included in the price but the hostel bar serves food and because of its location – you’ll be spoilt for choice as many restaurants line the streets

Fun and friendly staff , great atmosphere and good value too but a shame breakfast isn’t included.

 4/5

Vienna, Wombats Hostel – Rechte Wienzeile 35, 1040 Wien, Austria

naschmarkt

This hostel was amazing and ticked every box. The rooms were clean and modern, 24 reception, bar restaurant as well as cooking facilities. With regards to hostel atmosphere, the bar was brilliant with themed nights and different events to take your fancy. There is also a chill out zone full of large plush couches, where guests may nap or read a book. Although I did not have the time to use it – the hostel also has a steam room.

There are en-suite shower facilities and plenty of plugs as well as great wifi. The hostel also has cooking facilities to save money but unfortunately breakfast is not included in the room price. A buffet style breakfast is available for 4.50.

Its location is amazing as it is housed surrounded by famous art-deco architecture, just across from the famous Viennese  Naschmarkt, Vienna’s largest market, full of food vendors – you’ll be drooling just over-looking it! The staff were wonderful and extremely helpful and as well as being located beside a major city landmark – it is super close to both metro and bus stops

Good value, great location and facilities

4.5/5

Prague, Miss Sophie’s – Melounova 2, Prague, Czech Republic

Miss Sophies

Advertised as a chic hostel – Miss Sophie’s lives up to the name. Housed along a quiet street. The hostel is a little far from the city centre but as it is close to many metro lines you can make it into the heart of the city in minutes. The hostel itself is nicely decorated within an old Georgian-esque townhouse. There are plenty of showers but these are shared with your dorm and are across the hall as the dormitories are designed like small apartments, meaning an entire floor is the dorm. It is beautifully decorated blending modern and vintage styles.

Wifi is great  and the lockers are very secure, however you will need a pad lock as the lockers are wooden crates which can be rolled from under your bunk/bed. There are no cooking facilitates but as Prague is so cheap, this doesn’t matter but the hostel serves a wonderful all-you-can-eat cooked breakfast. This is something I would recommend, it doesn’t come with the room price but the cost is just under 5 euros and includes an array of exotic fruit, pastries, breads, cheeses and meats as well as great tea and coffee. While sitting at your table the chef himself will come to your table with his pan and serve you hot pancakes, omelettes, french toast etc – I loved waking up in the morning and I would definitely return here as the breakfast was a special touch.

In the evening the bar and common room has a great atmosphere. Drink is cheap and the hostel organises a city pub crawl  which starts at the hostel bar.

Great atmosphere and warm staff, nice quiet city location & a superb breakfast

5/5 

Hostels

Tips and Reviews on Hostels in Amsterdam, Brussels & Paris – Travel on a shoestring.

My trek across Europe was on a shoestring. I didn’t have much money at the time, (not that much has changed!) but I bit the bullet and went for it and the friends and memories I made changed my life. The cliches around travel are true. It definitely changes you, for the better, forcing you out of your comfort zone to explore new things. On my interrail I got to meet so many people and it’s an experience I don’t think I’ll be able to relive again. Travel with an open and positive mind and you’ll be surprised where life will take you. Be safe and have your wits about you but be talkative, friendly and put yourself out there. You’re only young once and the memories you will make, even those spent sleeping on a train floor for 7hrs – will stay with you forever!

This scrap will give eager backpackers some tips on travelling on the cheap. Giving pointers on three of the cities which have been posted on this blog already. In one of my first posts I mentioned staying in Paris in a hostel close to Bastille, a gorgeous part of Paris – fit for Vogue or an emotive movie scene under moonlight. In Brussels I stayed in the Meininger and in Amsterdam I was guest in StayOkay.

Blue Planet Hostel

Blue Planet Hostel – ParisBlue Planet Hostel

Don’t expect much from this hostel. I stayed there for 2 nights. The bed  was clean and there were warmish showers. I paid 12euros per night which included ‘breakfast’, meaning tokens for a vending machine (stocked with pain du chocolat, cartons of orange juice) and a coffee machine in the common room downstairs by reception. The reviews on TripAdvisor are not kind and for good reason. There is only one key per room, meaning I had to share a key with two others. The person who checks-in first is given the key meaning the other guests in the room must knock, waking those sleeping who had forgotten to leave the key behind at reception.

Another huge annoyance was the lack of plugs (or outlets), One plug was expected to be shared by three guests, which as you can expect was a nuisance between charging phones and cameras. It also meant we had to climb on-top of someone’s bed as the plug was mounted high up on the wall with a small shelf under it. It was ridiculous and meant someone’s bed for the night got trampled on.

There is no free wi-fi, but pubs close by have open networks which can be used. Some reviews spoke of bedbugs but my stay was comfortable and the hostel itself was not unhygienic. This hostel was extremely basic but its location was amazing as it was close to Bastille and only a 2 minute walk from Gare de Lyon metro station. For its location the Hostel was great value but the building could do with a refurbishment. I wouldn’t recommend this hostel for a long stay but if only expecting a bed for the night, the hostel was brilliantly connected to tourist sights and locations.

24hr reception. With staff that were neither rude nor friendly.

No frills & cheap – expect what you pay for in Paris.   2/5 

Address: 5 Rue Hector Malot, 75012 Paris, France

Meininger Brussels

Meininger Hostel – Brussels

You’ll see a lot of these around Europe as they are a popular hostel chain. Like the hostel in Paris, it’s located in the heart of city. With a 6 minute walk from the metro and a 20 minute walk from the central train station, the hostel is easy to find, looking out over the Canal Bruxelles-Charleroi. It’s a huge towering brick building, with its own history as the hostel itself was a former brewery.

I can’t fault it. The rooms were modern and clean. The decor resembles Ikea (which is a good thing!), the showers and bathrooms were hot, clean and functioning and private to those only sharing the room. The hostel was also very secure. Rooms were locked by individual room cards and the room cards also locked and unlocked individual lockers within the rooms. The common room and bar was fantastic (and is what attracted me as a guest in the first place). The beer garden was also a plus and the bar itself was busy at night with pool tables, TV and free and open wifi was available everywhere within the hostel.

Canal Brussells

It cost about 15euros (for a mixed dorm shared with 9 others) per night but breakfast was not included. Breakfast however could be bought in the restaurant on the ground floor at 8 euros but for its price, it was a little limited. It is best, as I did, to eat out as the hostel is situated in downtown Brussels where plenty of restaurants or cafes can be found. Laundry facilities were available but not a kitchen to prepare your own food.

24hr reception. With friendly staff and tours.

Great atmosphere, dorms and location. Brilliant value – 5/5 

Address: Quai du Hainaut 33, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Belgium

Canal Amsterdam

StayOkay – Amsterdam

I spent 3 nights in Amsterdam and I would return to this very hostel again. It was great value for money, costing just 14 euros per night for a mixed 10 person dorm. It was located right in the heart of the city along the scenic canals and was just a 20 minute walk from the central station. It’s an original Dutch townhouse but because the house is old there are no lifts and many stairs. Inside however the decor is modern and extremely clean. Bathrooms and toilets are shared with all guests along one floor of the hostel which are segregated by sex. The showers were warm and clean and there is laundry facilities but no kitchen. The hostel itself is very secure with room cards which also function as a key to individual lockers.

The price included breakfast which was great as long as you like cold meats, breads and cereals. Coffee and juice was also served and it was a self-service buffet style between 7-10am. The hostel bar was nice but a little small. It didn’t have a great atmosphere either as it wasn’t busy but the staff were lovely.

They only downfall however was that the dorms were without plugs or outlets. Meaning you couldn’t charge your phone beside you while you slept. Instead you could charge your electronics in the common room or you could hand in your phone at reception and they would charge it free of charge as a service.

24hr reception. Tours and special tourism deals on offer too.

Great location, lovely stay – 4/5

Address: Kloveniersburgwal 97, 1011 KB, Amsterdam, Netherlands