quarta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2016

Are you ready to stay at a hostel?

Low-budget accomodation: HOSTELS

I had never stayed at a hostel before, but when I decided to backpack in Europe, I got the feeling that these two words always go together: if you backpack you sleep at a hostel. So I decided to give it a try and enjoy my adventure! Let's see if after reading this you'll be ready to stay at a hostel or not!

My husband and I were backpacking in Europe going to Berlin and would stay there for one night only. First I looked for an Airbnb host downtown Berlin, but did you know that there aren't any? It's forbidden, that's why you'll only find hosts some miles away from downtown. A hotel was out of the question, so I downloaded the Hostelworld app and started my research.

Since it was our first time at a hostel, we are married and not 18 anymore I had some demands for our first stay:

a. breakfast included;
b. sheets and pillows included;
c. downtown area;
d. near a subway station;
e. English spoken;
f. cheap.

So a because we were in Germany and none of us know any German to go out in the morning to buy something to eat, b because yeah the cheapest ones charge you or just don't have sheets and pillows on the beds, c and d because we only had a day there, e well, I just mentioned this above and f it's a hostel, right?, so cheap is what I want.

When looking for hostels the feedbacks is what I'm interested the most, and many of them complained about bad smell, dirty facilities and loud noise. Because of these things I set my budget a little higher. 

I found a hostel that covered all my demands and had very good reviews St. Christopher's Inn. We just wanted a cheap and comfortable place to crash; our aim wasn't a party hostel, but they also have a very nice bar for you to mingle. By the way, it's the same place they serve breakfast.

I booked via the app 2 beds in a 16-bed bedroom! We paid 16 euros each with all the perks mentioned above. Here's a picture of our bedroom, well, part of it:

As you can see, the pointy yellow arrows are showing the things that I thought were really cool. My bed was on top, my husband slept on the one behind me, and there was a large drawer for you to store your bags, but no lock, so you have to have your own.

The drape gives you privacy, the beds have pillows, sheets and a comforter. There's a tiny light at the bed for you to do your readings, and your own outlet to charge your devices. Loved it!

The way the bedroom was organized was really nice because it didn't look like there were 16 people in there. The bathroom is separated, on the hall you see signs to show you where the bedroom is for room numbers x and room numbers y, but don't mind that because since there are only two stalls, you can just look for the next one available, nobody likes to stay in line to use the restroom... For showering, only one stall, or you can go to the unisex shower, then there are more.

The hostel is quiet and people respect your privacy. It's possible to hear people on the sidewalk talking and having drinks, but that didn't disturb me. What DID disturb me was a couple who kept talking, and eating, and coughing, and calling their family on the bed right under mine! That freaked me out, but I didn't say anything to them, I was leaving the next day, so I didn't want any problems. But that's not all! Their sneakers smelt REALLY bad! Oh boy, that was the worst! I put some VapoRub on the area above my upper lip so I would smell that instead of their feet! Urgh!

Breakfast on the next day was simple, but good. It goes up to 10 o´clock, so you see many "sleepwalkers". Fruits, bread, juice, coffee, butter, cheese, jam and hazelnut cream. That was good enough to start the day!

We wanted to spend some extra time in Berlin before taking our bus, which was leaving only at night, but we didn't want to be carrying our backpacks. When we asked the receptionist about lockers, they mentioned we could use the ones next to the hostel. It was a room full of lockers, small and big. They cost 2 euros for four hours, I think, but I remember it was a very reasonable price. We used one locker for both of our bags. And you don't even have to be a guest at the hostel.

As you can see, it is possible to find a good comfortable hostel, even if you're not there to party, have a good night sleep and go on to your next destination. I don't think I'd recommend staying at a hostel for many days, I think one night only is enough, but hey, that's just me. If it weren't for the talking smellersons it would have been great, but they upset my night sleep.

Hostel, good. Experience, interesting. Travelers, some of them don't shower. Please do!

Are you ready to stay at a hostel? Have you already slept in one? I'm sure everybody who has slept at a hostel has a story to tell. What's yours?

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