Balkan Hostel Reviews: Part 1

Here’s some reviews and shit. Read at your own risk…

Athens, Greece – Zeus Hostel

Price: €9 a night

How To Get There: Pretty hard to explain as there is no starting point. The buses drop you off wherever they fancy. They dropped us off relatively close to the Omonia Metro Station so I’ll start from there…

This is a main square with multiple turnings. One of the main turnings heads towards Syntagma Square, which is one of the main tourist spots. If you are facing that road you need to go down the next road to your right. Then walk straight for 200 metres whilst looking to your right. You will see the big ass Zeus sign down one of those roads

About The Hostel: Cheap and cheerful. There was nothing special about this hostel in terms of perks, but you can’t complain about the price considering it’s Greece, and the capital city at that. There’s a little rooftop balcony where people gather but there’s no wifi there. In fact unless you are on the bottom floor (which I was) there’s no wifi in the rooms either. We had people sitting on the stairs and by our room to get some internet, especially the people who were working online.

Selling point: The guy that worked there was pretty cool. Also there’s a load of quality cheap gyros (Greek kebabs) places nearby so you don’t have to spend a lot of money here. There’s also a lot of Greek Gods painted on the walls all over the hostel if you are into the street art kinda feel to a place.

Overall Rating: 7/10, and maybe I’m being harsh because I did enjoy myself here

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Trikala, Greece – Hostel Meteora

Price: €12.50 a night

How To Get There: From the bus station there’s a €1 bus into town (the bus stations in Greece are always in the middle of nowhere…) then from there head towards the square with the bridge over the river. Then walk down the road behind you if you are facing the river (so walk away from the river without crossing the bridge) then walk from 4 minutes until you see a PC shop, then turn left and its there

About The Hostel: The volunteers made this hostel. It was a pretty standard hostel and was more expensive than the one in Athens, but I stayed a lot longer than planned solely because of the people there. Guests and staff.

Selling point: It’s a 20 minute bus ride to Meteora and the picture of the place speaks for itself.It’s not a bad hostel by any means, but there’s nothing keeping me there let’s put it that way…

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Overall Rating: 7/10

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Thessoloniki, Greece – Little Big House

Price: €17

How To Get There: This is a real fucking pain; I took the 31 bus from the station (again, in a derelict part of town) to the main road of Thessoloniki. Now THIS is where it gets tricky… You need to get the 28A bus, well at least that’s what I got told; No one knew and were all contradicting each other. In the end I walked there and it took about an hour, and it was uphill the whole way. Luckily one hostel (that was full) gave me a map of the town, otherwise I would have never have found it, so to answer this question I’m just gonna say it’s near the broken castle at the top of the hill

About The Hostel: It’s nice in terms of standards. I had a dorm with 4 of us and 2 separate rooms. I got on with the people in my room but I got the feeling the hostel itself was a very ‘clicky’ place, a place I didn’t fit in

Selling point: This is quite difficult actually. As I’ve said it’s a nice hostel with a kitchen inside the room, but the price doesn’t justify the quality for me. If it was a €10-12 place then I’d be saying how much of a gem this was. But in terms of perks there were none. I suppose you could hang your washing outside but there’s nothing that makes me say ‘oh yeah this place was great because…’

Overall Rating: 6/10

(Would have been much higher if it wasn’t so overpriced. I simply can’t justify the price for what you get)

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Sofia, Bulgaria – Hostel Mostel

Price: 24 Lev (£11.50) a night

How To Get There: Just walk straight from the bus station, following the road, for a mile. When you see the department of justice building (the place with the big fuck off lion statues…) turn right. If you somehow miss these massive lion statues then remember it’s where the McDonalds and the Burger King are opposite each other. Then walk for about 5 minutes until you come to a big intersection. Hostel Mostel is right in front of you across the intersection. The signs for the place are small though so you have to really look for it

About The Hostel: This has 150 beds. (Don’t worry, they’re not all in one room…) and they own apartments around the area where you can stay as well. Because of this there’s loads of people from all walks of life to meet here. It was a bit intimidating for me as I was a solo traveller, but as a group this place is the best place ever.

Selling point: Free dinner. So simple but so brilliant. Many hostels offer a free breakfast, but this is the only place that offers free dinner as well. All it is is some spaghetti with a tomato based sauce, but things like that are what you remember. If I was to ever open a hostel that would be one of the things I would offer. There’s also a pool table in the common room its so worn out it plays like the pool table on GTA San Andreas, but it’s still really cool to have a pool table

Overall Rating: 8/10.

It would have been 10, but my stay wasn’t as fun as others and I felt suffocated by the sheer volume of people in one place. Also the showers run out of hot water very quickly. Other than that there is a reason this place has a reputation as one of the best hostels in Europe

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Sofia, Bulgaria – Moreto Caffeto

Price: 17 Lev (£8) a night

How To Get There: It’s really far away (2-3 kms from the bus station) despite this it’s surprisingly easy to find; Just keep walking straight. Follow the road and keep walking straight. Eventually after walking past Hostel Mostel and underpasses and thinking you are f to the cucked, you will see a restaurant called ‘Golden Nero’ (Which I remembered as a wrestling fan and thought of ‘Brother Nero’…) then turn left there.

About The Hostel: It’s quite a quaint place. It’s in the middle of nowhere but its a 15 minute walk back the way you came in search of life. However the hostel itself is pretty cool. 8 beds in a room, but don’t let that put you off. There’s a nice hot shower (surprisingly rare in hostels). I literally only went there to see a friend of mine who was volunteering there, but I was glad I went there

Selling point: There’s a nice common room with cable TV (some of the channels had uncensored hardcore porn on them, those horny fucking Bulgarians… Where were these Bulgarians while I was there?!?) and a PS3 for nights in. Don’t forget how cheap it is. That’s always a bonus while you are travelling for a while

Overall Rating: 9/10

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Plovdiv, Bulgaria – Hikers Hostel

Price: 20 Lev (£9) a night

How To Get There: Walk towards the old town centre, then turn right when you get to the big old Mosque on the right (You’ll know because there’s the old stadium that was built underground right in front of you when you get to the Mosque) then walk up the hill for about 5 minutes, and Rob’s your father’s brother!

About The Hostel: It’s pretty much a hut. Not great in the cold winter months but its a relaxed place to be. This was perfect for me to finish writing my book. It’s also slap bang in the middle of the old town, so you are walking distance away from pretty much everything you want to see. There’s a free walking tour in the town that’s pretty legend-dairy. There are vegan free tours as well if you fancy…

Selling point: This will always have a warm place in my heart as I finished writing a book here, but this place has so much going for it. The chilled out vibe soon became party hostel central when I finished the book so the owners were pretty lax, which I think is important in a hostel environment. Also Valon (the manager) gave me a discount to 16 Lev (£7.50) unprovoked when I’d stayed for a while which says a lot about him.

Overall rating: 8/10

Again, would have been a ten but there were some problems, luckily for these owners they are easily fixable. First the showers are cold most of the time. Invest in an extra boiler and you’ve won at life. The other thing was the rooms were cold as it was essentially a hut and we only had 3 portable heater for the entire hostel. Buy another four or five and scatter them around the hostel. A small running cost and you are golden

 

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One thought on “Balkan Hostel Reviews: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Balkan Hostel Reviews: Part 2 | sirlewisofclarke

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