So when I was in Galway, Ireland for Mothei’s graduation, I spent my last night in a hostel for the first time and I was soooooo nervous because I have read some SCARY stuff on hostels. Also, sleeping in a room full of strangers! Wowza. I was headed for the Cliffs of Moher on a day tour and since we to come back in the early evening, I needed to ensure that I secured accommodation before leaving for the day.
Air tickets and accommodation are usually the two most expensive line items on any frequent traveller’s budget so I’m always on the lookout for bargains. I try to do my bookings in advance which has its advantages (lower prices) and disadvantages (unforeseen changes – COVID-19). I spent a night at the Galway City Hostel the night before heading to Dublin where the accommodation I had booked was slightly above what I had initially budgeted for. I wanted to experience what a hostel was like since many budget travellers use them, and also to save some pennies because I had made an impromptu decision to extend my trip and spend 24 hours in Budapest. Also, I still had to go to Vienna and Lisbon.
I visited two other hostels in the area to enquire and chose this one purely from the spirit of the lady who was manning the reception. Of course, the €25 (R400) per night price was also quite attractive. The lady was very kind and patient with my MANY questions of how hostels work. She noticed I was visibly uncomfortable and she allayed my fears. The hostel has various options. You can choose a girls-only or a mixed room. The number of occupants per room also varies. So the higher the number of people in a room, the cheaper the cost is. One can also find private rooms in a hostel which will then be priced higher. I opted for a 6-bed girls only room. I was given a scanning card and instructions on how to access the place on my return.
After my day of touring, I arrived to find an empty room. Two of the bed screens (curtains) were shut signalling to me that there were people already who had booked those beds. On another bed, there was a laptop and some essentials. I was shocked that people left their valuables on beds like that. Each bed has storage under the lower deck bed where you can use your own padlock, or buy (€3) or hire one from reception. I decided on a lower deck bed and settled myself in. The girls came in one by one throughout the night but they were very considerate as they came in except one who decided that blow-drying her hair at 6am was a good idea. There were only four of us in the room.
In the morning I joined a number of other travellers at the breakfast area where the hostel provides some cereals, yoghurt, scones, fruits, juices and hot beverages. This area also has some books and computers with wifi for use. I sat by the window and enjoyed a good cup of coffee. My experience was very pleasant and I would stay in a hostel again. In the end, I realised that I was more anxious about the unknown. Perhaps those who have gone to boarding school or shared university dormitories will have less anxiety. Of course, I know there are always exceptions, but Galway City Hostel gets both my thumbs up. The hostel was spotlessly clean including the bathrooms which I was worried about the most. The staff is kind and helpful and the hostel has a very friendly atmosphere.
Galway City Hostel
Pics by booking.com
Pics by booking.com