Hostel experience in Spain

It’s been quite a while since I’ve spent some time in hostels. It must have been in my early twenties when I was a student and every year with couple of friends we would come to the independent film festival in Kazimierz Dolny in Poland. I think overall we did 3years in a row there and it was mostly spent in a hostel ( schronisko in Polish). But then I was with the group of friends and even if we shared a room with others, we were in majority.

This time I’ve decided to utilise hostels for two simple reasons. Going to Spain for 26 days in summer will be expensive so I really cannot afford having my own room all the time, and secondly being a solo female traveller, it might be a good opportunity to socialise, speak more Spanish and generally meet people. So let me tell you how it worked out for me.

Out of 7 destinations that I’ve chosen to visit in 4 of them I spent nights in hostels. Twice in mixed dormitory and two other times in a female only room. I think the main downsides for me were staying twice on the top bunk as I had bruises from climbing up and down on the ladder on my leg for at least a week and other one- lack of privacy in bathrooms. Being in a mixed dormitory wasn’t that bad at all as thanks to the size of the room, it didn’t feel cramped or crowded. That wasn’t the case in a female dormitory, in one of them beds were really close to each other, in the other one 6 people shared just one bathroom which is not ideal, let’s put it mildly. Also the difference was in the shelves next to your bed for charging your devices or just some valuables you want to have next to you when sleeping and with the safe boxes. In some cases it lacked the shelves at all and in some cases the safe box was so small that you could only leave just your valuables there but not the whole back pack…

Coming to the other point–socialising and speaking more Spanish… Well, let’s put it honestly, big failure on this front but I guess not totally my fault 😉 As I’ve discovered before during the polyglot conference in Bratislava last year, I’m sort of introvert – extrovert type… Meaning I won’t chat up anyone as I’m too shy but if I’m in the company of the others and they start talking to me, I’ll happily get involved in the conversation. Well, that didn’t happen here. Honestly people were like me – keeping to themselves or travelling in groups starting from 2-4 people and sticking to each others. So my Spanish lines finished on hola…I’m not complaining but when you hear stories how people socialise and have fun in hostels, well , they’re the other people, not me. I’m not too disappointed as I do prefer having a quiet time and I’m not keen on starting up conversations with compete strangers … But that’s the fact-socialising and speaking more Spanish didn’t happen.

Overall, staying in hostels is a very good value for the money, in one of them I got a deal to stay for around 12 Eur per night and it was in Granada in high season. But then again staying more than 2 nights in those were quite tiring, I felt I’m lacking my privacy and the only get away was either the bar in the hostel or the roof.

I was thinking that being over 30 would be a big deal staying in the hostels but actually it wasn’t a case at all. OK, people mostly were younger but there were few older ones as well, so I didn’t feel too awkward.

Overall, if I have to sum it up. It wasn’t a bad experience at all and I’d it for financial reasons again or just to stay in hostel in Granada which was overall the best out of them all. Maybe in the twin room then 😉 it had a great bar downstairs as well the roof one, bathrooms were very private even in the mixed dormitory and breakfast great value for its quality. And it was the one 12 Eur per night…

So, don’t be scared to use hostels, they’re generally safe, even for women travellers and you can be over 30 and not feel too awkward. The socialising part well, it’s up to your personality then…

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