Boston is a great city - one of my favourites in America, but it is quite lacking in places to stay. There are cheap motels on the outskirts for those of you with cars (lucky), but very little in the centre for the cashflow-restricted. There is a YWCA fairly near the centre - women only, obviously, and I don't know what its like. As I was travelling in a mixed group we headed for the 'Irish Hostel'. This is actually two little hostels - the Beantown Hostel and the Irish Embassy (which is the one above the pub). They are in the same road, and run by the same people, but they are kinda separate. Beantown is where you check in. The check-in area doubles as a common room, with internet kiosks (broken, when I was there), and a TV, as well as a couple of couches and a payphone. There's a few leaflets lying about - good to get a buck or two off some of the attractions. I didn't get to see the rooms, but the bathroom was fairly clean. Irish Embassy was where we stayed. This is above an Irish pub (usually filled with hostel guests), and has dorm rooms of 8 people. It was a bit grottier - four metal bunk beds, and the top bed had no railing on it. It was a Coed dorm (They also have seperate dorm rooms, and the girls bathroom had three showers, a toilet, and no lock. There is no key deposit, so you don't have to worry about checking out early if you have a flight - wander into Beantown and chuck your sheets by the desk if the doors unlocked, or leave them in the Embassy if it's not. There are no lockers, but a baggage room, which opens up at 9, so if you have an early flight, just dump the stuff by your bed. Check-out time is 10, and if you don't have a reservation, you can't check in before about 10:30 or 11. It's worth turning up at 9, however, just to try and get your name down. The one thing that worried me was that we got to Beantown about half five in the m
orning, and the doors at the bottom and top of the stairs were unlocked. We wandered up to the top, where people were sleeping on the couches, with no problems. No one was on duty watching the camera. I suppose as the dorm rooms lock separately, it's not as much of a problem. Access to Irish Embassy is by a code-lock - to prevent freeloaders from returning to crash on the couches, there's a guy sitting on the stairs who checks you're on the list for that night. There's also a little grotty common room, with a TV that only picks up fuzzy infomercials, and sagging couches. It's $22 for a dorm bed, it's not that clean, but it's walking distance to the freedom trail and it's above a pub. What more do you want?