Saturday, 6 May 2017

When you're travelling and tell your friends and family you're staying in a hostel you either get one of two reactions - "oh nice they're so cheap and you'll make loads of friends!" or "how scary, have you not seen the movie hostel?". I think there's a lot of misconceptions about hostels but for people who travel a lot they know most of the time they're perfectly safe, affordable and great if you like socialising and finding new drinking/travel buddies. Last month I spent a week in Amsterdam and Berlin and stayed in hostels in both places, which was a big contrast to the 5 star hotels I was staying in India the week before! But I survived it, and I'm here to tell you all about my first experience staying in a hostel.

pink panther hostel krakow
The first hostel we stayed at in Amsterdam was called Hans Brinker, and a soon as we stepped in you could tell it was a hostel for young people. Reception on one side and a bar/restaurant on the other - the hostel even had its own nightclub underground! Which admitadly was not the most appealing when we were trying to sleep at 5am and could just hear I AM NOT YOUR HOMIE blasting through the walls. Everyone pretty much stuck to themselves in this room of 6, I was travelling with one other friend and we were adamant to make friends. Luckily the last evening a very bubbly italian guy checked in to our room (whilst we were all napping at 5pm, sorry Antonio) and we took him to see the red light district and chilled with him and an American girl at one of the cafes. 

On to Berlin, the City Stay Berlin Mitte was located right in the heart of Berlin and so it was easy to move around. This hostel did not boast its own nightclub but it had some very affordable cocktails which was all well and good with me. We stayed in a hostel mixed dormitory of 10 and we met a lovely couple from Australia who were as down for a party as we were, so off we went on a Berlin pubcrawl! You can imagine what the hangover was like the next day, germans know how to drink. 

Have I convinced you yet? To be honest, some hostel prices aren't much cheaper than apartments so I think it all depends who you're travelling with and what kind of travelling you're doing. I'm not fussy when it comes to communal showers/toilets as it's just like being in university halls (although I had the luxury of an ensuite bathroom). Lockers were provided but I always kept my important docs on me and then just trusted no one was going to steal my underwear or primark tops. Here are my five reasons why you should consider staying in a hostel. 

1. They're cheaper. Most hostels vary between £5-£30 a night, which is a pretty neat deal when you just need a place to rest you're head if you're going to be on the go all the time. 

2. They're great for making friends. If you're a solo traveller, you might even find someone who's also travelling alone and might be a. heading in the same direction as you or b. you hit it off so well that you continue your travels together. I mentioned to one of the guys in my hostel that I was a travel blogger and he happened to be a travel agent and gave me his card, so you'll never know what opportunities may arise too! 

3. They're usually in great locations. Both of the hostels I stayed in were extremely central, and Hans Brinker had a handy yellow sign outside so we never got lost when wandering through the identical canals in Amsterdam. 

4. Free Wi-Fi. Most hostels I've come accross usually come with free wi-fi, as they know travellers need to stay connected! Aside from this modern hostels usually come with all sorts of facilities including nightclubs, bars, game lounges, pub crawls etc. 

5. Local knowledge. Most of the people working at hostels are usually young travellers working part-time whilst they travel (or similar) so they're bound to know the best places to eat, drink, explore and party!

Although my hostel experiences were good, there are always going to be some dodgy ones in the pack so make sure you check out reviews first! Have you ever stayed in a hostel yourself? what was your experience like?


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  2. Glad you had a good experience in hostels. I am always too scared and if I'm staying away I like the luxury of my own space and a locked room. I have anxiety... with also social anxiety so just seems like a form of torture haha. Xxxxxxxx

  3. I've always been a bit nervous about booking a hostel, some friends have had super positive experiences at hostels and at air b&bs, so I definitely need to give them a go! I certainly agree that the free wifi is a big plus haha! Thanks for sharing your advice!

    Abbey ❤

  4. I've stayed in a mixture of hostels, air b and b and hotels whilst visiting new countries in Europe over the past couple years, and I have nothing bad to say about hostels! I stayed in the Generator Berlin Mitte back in January and we had a private room for 2, they still provided mini towels and had wifi! Although like you said, when I visited Copenhagen last September, hostels were the most expensive option, so we went for an Air BnB which was a great experience!

    Loved this post, izzy |

  5. I completely and utterly agree with everything you said on this blog post babe. Hostel's are such awesome places to stay and meet new friends from all other the world. Love that you've wrote this blog post! πŸŒΈπŸ’—✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie. x |

  6. When traveling alone, hostels have been a great experience for me. It enabled me to meet new people and 'forced' me to be more sociable. Great blogpost!

  7. Never stayed in one before so found this really interesting x

  8. I do love that they're usually in great locations and that they're cheaper obviously - I think it totally depends on what hostel you get and luckily the ones I've stayed in have always been really nice!
    Amy xx

  9. I saw another post on hostels recently, and although some of them sounded really nice I'm pretty sure they're just not for me. I like my own space too much and I don't really liked forced socialisation. Plus, I've watched far too many episodes of Criminal Minds and CSI! Ha!

  10. Very interesting! I'll admit I'm a little bit of a hotel and restaurant snob, I blame my parents! I've always been lucky enough to stay in lovely 5* hotels travelling growing up my whole life. I didn't even know what a hostel was until I was at least 18 I'm sure?!! Such a good post though, its great that hostels are becoming much trusted places to stay in xx

  11. This is a great post! One of my friends travels a lot and he regularly stayed in hostels until on his last journey he had some bits stolen from him and he had an awful experience. Whilst I think that they're great financially and great for making friends I think I'd always be way to nervous to stay in one and I much prefer privacy as well! X

  12. This was a really good post! I've always been very hesitant about hostels as you never know what they'll be like and who will be there but it's fab if you get one with friendly people!
    Emily x

  13. I've never stayed in a hostel and don't know if I ever would tbh. I don't like the idea of sleeping in a room full of strangers.
    Great post though!! Good to hear you had good experiences.
    V <3

  14. Yes! Staying in hostels is great. I've only stayed in them twice and both times I've had flawed experiences, BUT I will never rule it out as that's just part and parcel of the hostel experience. You can't guarantee a good stay any time you go hosteling, but it's great value for money, and the local knowledge like you say is great! The one I stayed in in Madrid even offered free walking tours of the city.


  15. I've travelled a fair bit and I honestly have never tried staying in a hostel before! I think now I'm single I'm quite likely to go travelling alone and I probably will stay in one because as you said, it's a great place to meet other lone travellers and like minded young people... not to mention the fact that you save a fortune in comparison to a hotel!

    Rebecca, xo

  16. Sounds like you had a lovely time, If I went travelling I would definitely stay in a hostel.

  17. I feel like hostels have a really bad rep but I've stayed in some better than hotels before, there's some really nice ones out there and I love that you posted this to help inform people!

    Hayley | x

  18. I've never stayed in a hostel but they've always seemed like great fun! Such a good read πŸ™ˆ

  19. Great post! I've never stayed in a hostel, but sometimes I wish I had because everyone seems to have such great experience of staying in them. Anytime we go on a trip me and my friends generally just rent an apartment.

    Lauren | Lauren the Daydreamer


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