“ Address: Högbergsgatan 26 / 116 20 Stockholm / Sweden „
I stayed at this hostel sometime in June this year when myself and a friend went to Stockholm as part of our travels. We had only intended to stay for 2 nights so had booked this in advance to our arrival, but once we got there we decided we loved Stockholm and the hostel so much that we stayed for an extra 2 or 3 nights. I think we used a site such as booking.com which was simple enough.
===Where is this hostel?===
This hostel is situated in the lovely Sodermalm area of Stockholm with a very central location. Sodermalm is a very well equipped area and in just a short walk you can reach shops, bars, clubs, restaurants and the lovely waterside. If you head towards town you have even more choice and I would recommend taking a walk over the cobbled streets in search for the street that gets narrower the further up it you get - I think it was maybe a foot wide at the top? Very small at any rate! There is also the subway station very close to the hostel - I would say within a 5 minute walk which is of course very useful to go visit other parts of Stockholm such as Gamla Stan (the old town). There is also a small supermarket/grocery store just across from the hostel which is very convenient.
We stayed in a mixed dorm room with 6 beds in (however there is a variety of rooms including private ones if you feel a dorm is not suited to you). You just pay for the one bed which at the time was 175 Swedish Kroner each - about £20 with the exchange rates back then. This wasn't the cheapest hostel I had stayed in, although I stayed in one at this price in Helsinki which was just awful, but I felt this was a reasonable price for what it was. I found on my travels that scandinavia is just generally very expensive and as Stockholm is the capital of Sweden I think high prices are to be expected. I was disappointed however that I was not permitted to use my lovely sleeping bag here and instead had to fork out extra money on bed linen. This really grated on me as I resented having to pay the best part of a fiver for something that I felt I did not need. My bedding even mysteriously went missing before I had finished my stay but the staff very kindly replaced this for me without adding on any extra charges. There is also a washing machine and dryer that you can use which apparently is chargeable, however when I used it I wasn't charged a thing! I was really grateful for the use of washing as I had been travelling for some time up until this point and was fast running out of clean clothes and underwear!
I can't quite remember what time we checked in, but I do remember that it was in the afternoon some time. The reception is manned by staff up until around 8pm I seem to recall, however if you are arriving later than this it is not a problem as long as you notify the hostel prior to doing so. When we arrived at the hostel I was fairly pleased with the exterior. It didnt look spectacular by any means but it looked well maintained and tidy. Lots of wood which I liked as I feel it gives more of a traditional Scandinavian feel. Walking into the hostel we were greeted by a fresh and modern looking lobby before entering the main reception area. The receptionist was rather easy on the eyes if I do say so myself which I liked after my long trip there. He asked us for our details, quickly located what room we were in and handed us over the keys. He also took for the bed linen and gave us a lovely clean ironed set of linen.
When travelling I was always especially aware of valuables I was carrying around with me - primarily my laptop and beloved GHD straighteners - and so asked about their lockers. I was told that there were lockers in the dorm - brilliant. Except...after I was told there was a locker in my dorm, the receptionist continued to tell me that there is one key for every locker. So basically there would be no point in me having a locker as anybody could open it. This annoyed me greatly as worrying about the security of my belongings puts a dampener on everything. He did however offer very kindly to keep any valuables behind the desk with him, and that I could go get them/put them away again whenever I wanted as long as the reception area was manned. We were also given a code to get in the entrance after hours which I really appreciated - this made me feel a lot safer while I stayed here.
The room was fairly small with 3 double bunk beds in, some lockers and a small night table at the end. Unfortunately there were no windows at all, but there was a rather lovely picture where a window might have been. Personally the lack of window didn't bother me too much, but it may cause other people problems e.g. if they are claustraphobic. The beds were nice and sturdy - some places I stayed I worried the bed was going to fall apart underneath me! There was an adequate amount of plug sockets in the room for everybody to use and a fan at the end of the room. This room did get quite hot but I wouldn't say that it got particularly stuffy. I had a top bunk which I love - makes me feel a little bit like a child haha, and slept really well. The walls are a little on the thin side so noise can be heard, but this isn't an overly boisterous hostel so the noise levels were very reasonable. There were some rules here such as no alcohol to be consumed on the premises (which I found disappointing!) but this is probably what contributes to the low noise levels. This was a mixed dorm and from previous experience I have found these far better than single sex ones, and in fact my friend and I made friends with some of our new roomies! The room, although small and fairly basic was very clean, and personally I am far more concerned with hygiene than things being more luxurious.
===The lobby area and other facilities===
The lobby area has a fairly decent amount of seating/tables and is very light, spacious and airy. There is wireless available here, however it was not working while we stayed which was a little annoying as we wanted to book the next places we were headed for. Having said this, finding wireless in Stockholm is really not a problem. Almost all of the cafes we went to allowed you to use their wi-fi if you bought something. There is also a cosy seating area in the lobby next to the reception if you just fancy a little sit down. There is a communal kitchen upstairs which I have to admit I didn't particularly look at this as I always ate out and found communal areas in other hostels so off putting. I therefore can't really comment too much but I would assume there are adequate facilities should you want to cook something. As i previously mentioned there is a washing machine and dryer too. I would say that is about it on the facillities really, other than the bathrooms - which are an interesting experience! Not a great deal in the way of facilities but perfectly adequate. Breakfast is also available at the extra cost of about £5 each, but we never bothered with this and so I cannot comment on this aspect at all.
===The shared bathrooms===
If you stay in a room that is not private then you will not have your own bathroom and instead will have the pleasure of using the wonderful shared one. From what I can remember there were maybe 3 toilet cubicles, a couple of sinks, a wooden bench and some hooks. Then there were the showers which I will discuss further in a moment. Some of the locks were broken on the toilet cubicles which I found annoying - nobody likes to be walked in on when theyre in the middle of something! Neither would I like to walk in on anybody else! An awkward and embarassing moment to say the very least. Having said this the toilets and sinks were always clean enough and there was always enough loo roll provided.
Now the showers...they are something else! My first experience of the shared bathroom was an interesting one. Some of our other friends were in Stockholm at the same time of us (but in a different hostel) and we were showing them around. As we opened the door and walked into the bathroom we saw a very embarassed looking lady sprinting across the length of the room before turning the corner and heading out of sight! Nakedness seems to be a big thing in Scandinavia, which doesnt bother me as I had become rather accustomed to lovely naked saunas. However, not everybody may feel this way! The showers are not to everybody's taste, because to be quite honest, they are not private in the very slightest. If you were to walk the length of the room and around the corner, you would glimpse a lot of bums! There are two sides to the shower but no door which basically leaves you with no privacy. The only place to leave your things would be on the wooden bench near the door...which means you would get naked in the shower, to then have to walk all the way from there to the bench. Not a great experience for those not comfortable with random strangers being naked and seeing them naked. But like I said this didn't really bother me too much so I don't see the lack of privacy as a problem. However I would have preferred it if there were places nearer the other showers to put your things. Another problem with the showers were that they never seemed to be at a very nice temperature - always far too hot or far too cold, so I always seemed to have a very quick and not particularly pleasant shower.
===Value for money===
I would say that this hostel is great value for money, even though i did begrudge the extra charges for bedding when I had a perfectly adequate sleeping bag! I feel this hostel was brilliant for the money as it was basic but clean, and in an excellent location for the amenities that Stockholm has to offer. I think this is even more impressive considering how expensive Stockholm is on the whole. We thought it was such good value and such a lovely place that we put off going to Copenhagen to stay here for longer. I'm really glad we did this as Stockholm turned out to be my favourite place and I really don't rate Copenhagen in the slightest.
===Would I recommend/use again?===
I would most definitely recommend this hostel, it is definitely the nicest one that we stayed in on our travels. The staff are lovely, the facilities are adequate and the location is just brilliant. I also think that it would suit many different people as different types of rooms are availabe - just in case you want to avoid that slightly awkward communal shower! If I was to go to Stockholm I would definitely look to stay here again. Although there are some slight negatives to this hostel, overall my experience of it was just fantastic and I am therefore awarding it 5 out of 5!
Thank you very much for reading 