Almost every backpacker has spent at least one night in a hostel. They have evolved from dodgy budget accommodation, to a cult experience – Have you even been travelling if you haven’t stayed in a hostel?
They’re cheap and you can meet some cool people. Without them, travelling would be outrageously more expensive.
Our hostel in Tallinn was only €4 a night, who could say no? The only downsides, it was located on the third floor. 1st floor was a club, 2nd floor was a cocktail bar. To enter the hostel, you had to climb up a ladder to a trapdoor in the ceiling. It was bizarre. They did not have a bed for me, so I slept on an airbed on the floor while my friends had bunk beds. One window was smashed, so they had covered it in cardboard. At 1am, dancers from the club on the 1st floor came into our room to get changed. While we were sleeping. The manager had printed a sign that said, ‘The hostel is an old building. Do not expect it to be tidy’.
But, €4 a night? Who can complain?
I stayed in numerous hostels in Sydney. One of the issues of staying in such a large city is that other tourists book their accommodation in advance, so turning up on the day and hoping for a room can be an issue. Sydney hostels can range from awesome and expensive to disgusting and slightly cheaper. A tip, don’t stay near central station. Get to the hostels near the beaches, I recommend Bondi Hostel and Avalon Beach Backpackers. A friend of mine enjoyed Bondi Hostel so much, she stayed for 5 months.
However, I stayed on George street and had cockroaches in my bed while other tourists went through my backpack. Abort. I repeat. Abort all hostels on George street.
Two different hostels in Bangkok, two very different experiences.
Hostel #1 – Approx. 3 min from Khao Son Road. The first person I meet asks me “So, do you like to get really drunk when you go out?” I won’t lie. It was good fun. The people were cool and liked to go out, the hostel organised pre-drinks and we all walked to Khao Son Road together. I spent most of the daylight hours throwing up and regretting my life decisions, but it was good fun.
Hostel #2 – On Sukhumvit 18. A much more sophisticated and chilled area of town, approx 10 min from Terminal 21. Went to clubs with free pour champagne and margaritas, did not venture to Khao Son Road once. My friend and I took salsa classes, met a larger variety of people living in Bangkok, went to expat parties and saw ‘The vagina monologues’ in the middle of a notorious prostitute suburb.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Our hostel had a room dedicated to smoking weed and drinking barrels of Heineken. It was a lot of fun, but my friend and I were the only other females in a hostel that housed approx. 60 guests.
Beautiful building on the water edge, heaps of stairs to heave your luggage up.
Singapore, The Republic of Singapore
Singapore is one of the cleanest city’s to have ever existed. No chewing gum, no eating on the street, no littering or loitering. So you would imagine that a hostel in Singapore would follow the same vein, you could not be more wrong.
Imagine a concrete building in a run down area of town, with no air conditioning, 18 people per room, and a crazy dog looked in a cage under the stairs. For $50 a night.
Singapore tip; The Holiday Inn does not check room IDs for the breakfast buffet or pool. Just act like you belong and eat all the muffins available to you.
Hostels – they’re good, they’re bad and they’re almost always ugly.
Thank you so much for reading! Please comment with any good hostels I can check out!