Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Four hostels and a hotel

When you stay in a party hostel, you make party friends.
 I had a great time with Team Oz at the Madhouse.

One of the toughest parts about travel for me is deciding where to stay.  If my mom had her way, I would always stay in nice hotels in the shiny parts of town, but that doesn't always suit my budget, personality or travel goals.  On my last three week journey I was on the move every three or four days which meant that when I wasn't staying with friends (thanks friends!), I had to figure out where I was going to rest my weary feet.  

My first hostel stay was in Vienna and the Wombats Base .  It was about a ten minute walk from the main train station and conveniently located close to a restaurant serving up some pretty tasty schnitzel.  We had a small private room with our own bathroom.  It was nice and clean, but the bathroom was really tiny, especially for people over six feet tall to have a shower and not get water all over the bathroom floor. The hostel has happy hour deals every day in their bar with 1 Euro beer so be sure to take advantage of that before you head off for the evening.  It was chilly while we were there, but it looked like the outdoor patio would be a really happening place. 

I said "so long" to my travel buddy and headed off to Cesky Krumlov for some solo traveling.  I stayed and the Hostel Postel; a really cute place just across the bridge from the main square.  It was clean, quiet and peaceful. Most people  are just stopping in for a night or two in the middle of a bigger European trip and it's a really nice place to get to bed early and recharge your travel battery. 

My next stop was Prague where I stayed at the Madhouse Hostel. I had a really fun time and did not log many hours of sleep.  It's definitely a young person's party kind of hostel.  Which means if you're in Prague to have a wicked fun time and make friends, this is a good spot to check out.  Particularly if you happen to be in your early to mid twenties, or don't mind pretending you are.  There's cheap beer in the fridge and a game of beer pong in the kitchen followed by a group outing every evening.  The rooms are dorm style, so be prepared to share.  Not that it'll matter when you stumble home at the wee hours of the morning.  

From one party city to another, my next stop was Berlin where I stayed at the East Seven Hostel.  The hostel is located in a trendy part of town with lots of restaurants and bars nearby while still being fairly quiet.  It's also really close to the subway, which in a giant city like Berlin is a big deal.  My first night there I was treated to a free dinner prepared by one of the guests who is also a chef.  It was delicious and also gave me an opportunity to meet some of the other people staying at the hostel.  

For my last stop, I treated myself to a stay at the 25 hours hotel in Frankfurt. It was so nice to finally have a room and a bathroom all to myself.  I think I just walked around in the nude for the first ten minutes I was there, I felt so free. The hotel is located just a 3 minute walk from the train station, which was super convenient.  The area can get a little sketchy however as it's really close to the redlight district and quite possibly a homeless shelter.  But, of all the hotels I've ever stayed in, this was probably the most social.  There's a rooftop bar (summer) and the guests actually hang out in the lobby area for dinner or drinks.  I'd skip the breakfast if I were you.  It's way over priced for what's offered.         

I had an enjoyable experience in all of these places.  They were all clean and friendly.  Even the party hostels were quiet in the rooms and the guests were respectful of others trying to get their rest.