Why choose a hostel?
Except for the obvious reason that it’s cheaper, I find much more benefits of staying in hostels rather than in hotels. When I started traveling years ago, I would book a hostel for the apparent reason- It was much cheaper than any hotel. My routine when searching for the accommodation looked like this: go to Booking.com or Hostelworld- enter the city- filter lower to the higher price- press enter-chose the first hostel without checking it out- book it.
Yeah…I wouldn’t recommend that. I remember sleeping on a Christmas Eve in a hostel in some shady neighborhood in Brussels. The bathroom was full of cockroaches, and we couldn’t close the window in our room in the middle of winter. Or our eyes, for that matter. The more I traveled, the pickier I’ve become, realizing how important it is to have a nice bed to sleep in and a place where you feel comfortable. I started choosing my hostels more carefully, and now I mostly book only the top ones that can sometimes be more expensive than an Airbnb or similar price as some cheaper hotels. So why am I still sleeping in hostels?
My choice of accommodation in 90% of times are either hostels or Airbnb. What will I choose mostly depends on who am I traveling with. If I go with a boyfriend or with a group of friends I prefer Airbnb because of the privacy. If I go alone or with one friend, I will most probably choose a hostel.
The thing I love most about traveling is to meet different people from all over the world. I enjoy interacting with locals but also meeting fellow travelers, and the best place for that is, you guess- a hostel. Every hostel has a common area where you hang out after a long day, prepare dinner, or get ready for a night out. In hostels, I’ve met so many interesting and cool people with whom I would sometimes even continue my journey. Staying in a hostel, you can meet people from all walks of life, who sometimes have fascinating stories to share. Most of the hostels have organized theme nights such as karaoke night, pub crawling, sangria night, movie night or quiz night that can be so much fun!
My most recent trip was to Portugal where I visited Lisbon and Porto. In Porto, I was invited to stay in and check out this new hostel (one of the perks of being a travel blogger 😊 ) Bluesock hostels. After seeing their website, I immediately accepted the invitation. I had to see by myself is it as nice as it looks on photos! If you are traveling to Porto, I highly recommend this place. Check out why in a review below!
Bluesock hostels review
Bluesock hostels Porto is the first one in the chain of hostels, officially opened in November 2016 with new hostels soon to be opening in Madrid and Lisbon. It is located in Ribeira, the historical center of Porto. The location of the hostel is fantastic because you are only steps away from the city’s best attractions which mean you will not even need to use public transportation. The first thing that impressed me about this hostel is the building itself. It is a typical Porto building with big white stones and the wooden beams on the ceilings. They managed to maintain the original architecture and combine it with modern design and unique details. The ground floor is all in a glass which gives the building kind of a luxury touch. Although the design looks clean and simple, you will immediately notice a bunch of cute, artistic details, designed by the famous, local artist.
In Bluesock hostels you can choose from a double room, twin room, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 13 bed shared rooms, mixed and female only, depends on your preferences. They also have one suit on the top floor which is probably the most beautiful room I have ever seen. The suit has a floor-to-ceiling window which gives an outdoor feeling and brings natural light into the room. From the bed, you have the breath-taking view of the Douro river. The ceiling has one big circle window so you can enjoy the view of the sky and the stars. This room is, of course, a bit pricier, but it is a perfect choice for a couple looking for the romantic accommodation. If you ask me, it can’t get more romantic than this!
By choosing a shared room, you will also enjoy a great comfort. What I liked the best are mattresses which are so comfortable that it was hard to make myself leave the bed every morning. Each bed has a curtain so you can enjoy your privacy even in a full shared room. After a long day, you can lay down, charge your phone in one power outlet and laptop or whatever device you have in another one. Yes, each bed has two power outlets! Have I already said, it’s hard to leave the room? Each bed has a luggage space where you can safely leave your suitcase or a backpack, and if you don’t have your own locker, you can borrow one from the hostel for 3 euros which they give you back on your check out.
The breakfast is included, and it is served until 10 am. I recommend not to miss it because it is yummy! Coffee, tea, fresh juice, fruits, croissants, ham, cheese, butter and marmalade, yogurts, cereals…enough food to make you full for half of the day.
The best thing in the hostel (except for the mattresses) are their staff who are so warm and will make you feel welcomed. They will inform you about all the fun activities happening in the hostel during your stay and answer your questions with an honest and warm smile. Each morning you can sign up for a free walking tour that takes 3 hours, and you will see all the main attractions and hear a little bit about Porto history. I always recommend going on these tours on a first day because it is the best way to get to know the city.
The prices per person for shared rooms start at 16 euros for the biggest rooms up to 35 euros. For more detailed and updated prices check out their website.
As a person who stayed in all kind of hostels, I highly recommend this place to all the people who prefer hostels but also want to stay in the clean, safe and comfortable accommodation. It is not the cheapest hostel you will find in Porto, but it is great value for money deal.