During my trip I stayed at four different hostels, and this was my first time staying in a hostel. I pre-booked them all on Hostel World and chose them by looking at their ratings. The first place I stayed was Clink78 in London. I got a massive shock when I walked into the room to find out how small it was. There were 4 bunk beds and about 2 metres of combined floor space. I would highly recommend looking at all of the photos before you book somewhere to see if somewhere will be suitable or not, because I was definitely wanting more room than that. As well as this, there were communal bathrooms at the end of each hall, rather than each room having one. Overall the hostel was fine and it had a great party vibe. Another thing to note is always check before you book if they have wifi in the rooms, as it is rather inconvenient to have to go downstairs to use the internet. I’m glad that this was the first place that I stayed and didn’t have anywhere to compare it to as I may have been disappointed.
My next stop was Paris and the hostel was called 3 Ducks. This place was great compared to London, much more of a chilled environment and hallelujah, an ensuite and wifi! At this hostel I chose to be in a 6 bedroom dorm, which was fine. The rooms were so spacious and each one had a toilet and a separate shower. The breakfast here was also really great, and free, as was the breakfast in London. Staying here was great as I could relax and felt like I had more privacy.
In Barcelona I stayed at Hostel One with my friend Alex. We stayed in a private room, which we thought had an ensuite, but was actually a shared bathroom, which was still great as it was right next door to our room and shared between 6 people. This hostel was so great because it had such a social atmosphere, the staff put on free dinners and sangria every night and then would take us out to party which was a really great time. The staff here were super friendly and made it a really enjoyable experience.
My last stop before heading to Salamanca for uni was Madrid, with two of my friends. We stayed at a hostel called Room007. We didn’t really have a good experience here, right from arrival we found the staff to be really rude and unwilling to help. We also found out that the hang out area and kitchen were closed for renovation, which was really disappointing because we weren’t able to cook or keep anything in the fridge. Overall this hostel was good, because it was clean and spacious, the staff just sucked. The also failed to tell us that there was a huge protest on one of the days and we even told them where we were going and they still ‘forgot’ to tell us. It was so bad. So we were really unimpressed with the hostel, as we had just come from a really awesome one.
Overall, my biggest tip is is to really research hostels before you book, as you don’t want any surprises when you arrive. Also, take the time to read reviews, don’t just pick the place with the highest rating. And don’t forget to leave reviews on Trip Advisor and Hostel World.