14th June 2017

My First Hostel Experience

I stayed in a hostel for the first time ever.

I had no expectations, no fears and certainly didn’t listen to what others were telling me (including my mum, bless her and her worrying!)

But I was intrigued to experience it for the first time.

I stayed at the Plus Prague Hostel when I travelled to Prague, which was about a 15/20 minute tram ride away from the centre. I had checked it out on the website and it looked incredibly cool, so I was excited to see for myself what it was like…

Upon first impressions, the building reminded me a little bit of an American school building, except it was covered in all their logos and banners which made the building look colourful, welcoming and totally urban.

Stepping inside was one of the coolest experiences ever. For somewhere that was completely strange and new to me, I had never felt so at home. I felt like I found a place that completely matched my vibe and I was put to ease knowing that my first solo travel trip wasn’t going to be a waste.

The Plus Prague Hostel is full of modern, urban decor and offers an extremely relaxed environment. I also rather enjoyed the little Prague artwork puns that were on the walls. For when I wasn’t out wandering the city, I loved how you could just chill out in the lobby area on the (incredibly comfy) cushioned wooden sofa’s, where you could grab a drink or light refreshment from the vending machines, play some snooker, watch telly, browse the internet on the computers and there was plenty of charging sockets for you to charge your phone which I found incredibly useful!

Upon arrival, I told them I had a reservation under my name, to which they found my name, gave me a key card for my room and then gave me a paper label to which they told me to slide into the holder on my chosen bed, as this would inform the people I would be staying with that I was staying in a certain bed. It clearly labeled my name and stated when I would be checking out of the room so the people un my room were notified how long I’d be staying. Their Wi-Fi was really strong and reliable too! Out of all the hostels I stayed at on my trip, this hostel had the strongest Wi-Fi (love you, Prague).

The hostel had SO MUCH inside. It had it’s own pool and sauna, which I’m gutted that I forgot to bring a swimming costume as I would had loved to taken advantage of a quick dip! It also had washing facilities where you could do your own washing, a private gym and a beach volleyball court! There was also a super cool restaurant and bar right across from the hostel which they ran that served food and drink all day. My first night, I enjoyed a rather nice pizza and the bar was always open where I enjoyed a few cocktails on my 2nd night there along with my tour group.

The hostel also had access to hairdryers, which was SUPER handy as I didn’t bother bringing mine.

During my stay, I stayed in two different rooms as my first room was for when I first arrived by myself, the second was when I was eventually joined by my tour group. Both rooms were entirely different which is good as I could compare the two.

The first room was on the bottom floor, meaning it was quite dark. This was one of their quadruple standard ensuite rooms. Once I entered my room, no one was in and there was only one bed left which was the top bunk. I have never used bunk beds before until I stayed in this hostel, so staying in a top bunk bed was an entirely new experience for me. However, the bed was pretty comfy considering and I was near the windows which was nice, as it was boiling! Each bed came with a reading lamp, a freshly made bed with a pillow and a duvet.

I liked the idea of having two different rooms for the toilet and the shower, which both contained a sink, so there was no need to fight over anything.

Only downside to my first room was there was not a single plug socket anywhere near my bed for me to charge my phone, so I had to rely on the plug sockets in the lobby to charge my phone. Also, there was wardrobe spaces where you could lock up luggage, but unfortunately the only one that was available was right at the end and due to the position of the wardrobe, the door was stuck against the mini desk table, meaning I couldn’t open the door enough even put my luggage inside! So I had to rely (and trust) putting my suitcase on the side with a padlock on. However, the wardrobe was next to my bed so I was able to pop my luggage on top of the wardrobe as like an extra side table.

That evening, getting in at 12am to all your roommates who were complete strangers and it being too dark to even see who you were sharing a room with was a pretty odd experience! I had to rely on my phone torch to get me back into my bed and I was too nervous to go and shower, as I would usually shower at night as opposed to the morning. However, I climbed into bed, scrolled through social media for a bit and fell asleep.

Waking up to two men getting changed and ready to leave the hostel was also an odd experience. Little did I realise I was sharing with 3 men when I walked in the pitch black room late the previous night, but it didn’t make me worry one bit. It was almost the norm to wake up to 3 complete strangers who happened to be men (also for the record, I did not tell my parents this at the time – because I knew if I did, they wouldn’t sleep!)

They were nice enough though (despite having to witness my sleepy morning face) and they just made their way out of the hostel, whilst the other man who happened to be on the lower bunk to me just stayed in bed reading his books whilst I got myself showered and changed (in private in the bathroom, obviously) and all packed so I could check out of that room, go out and explore Prague and leave my luggage in the hostels luggage room ready for me to check into my new room.

I had full trust and confidence in the hostel for looking after my luggage, as they had a room where you could only have access via asking the reception to go in and out. The hostel itself had so much information scattered across their pin boards from transport links, tram times and ticket information, things to do in the city, plus lots of leaflets for attractions in the city.

After a day of exploring, I actually managed to chill out in the lobby area – I think this was my favourite part of the lobby because as silly and as cliche as it sounds, I felt like a ‘proper’ traveller!

My second room was a massive change compared to my first room. Firstly, it was bigger as I was going to be sharing with more people as this time it was one of their dorm rooms that slept up to 6 people, plus because I was the first female to arrive in my room, I was able to get first choice on the bed I wanted! So I managed to grab a lower bunk bed, around the corner and next to a wardrobe – perfect!

This bedroom was much lighter as we had a massive window bringing in lots of sunshine, plus my bed had a plug socket (hallelujah) to which I could charge up any electronics. It also made me feel more at ease knowing I was sharing with all females, as Topdeck only do single-sex rooms.

Overall, this hostel really has an added luxury to it compared to what is your standard hostel. As a first time traveller, I felt completely relaxed and didn’t feel out of my comfort zone staying here. I’d thoroughly recommend this hostel if you’re looking to come to Prague on a budget and it has everything you could possibly need.

Plus Hostels are also located in Berlin, Florence, Venice and Rome so if you happen to be travelling there, go and check out their website for details.

Have any of you stayed at the Plus Prague Hostel before? Or what was your first time staying in a hostel like? I’d love to hear your experiences!

If you have any further questions on staying in this hostel, or staying in hostels in general as a first time traveller, I’d be happy to answer anything on my Twitter.

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