Homemade Hostel, Budapest
Glittering with awards, Homemade Hostel is independently owned and situated in the heart of Budapest. A little bleary eyed from our coach journey from Slovakia, we begin our clueless yet oddly organised venture from the coach station to our accommodation. It is a short metro journey to Oktogon, a major thoroughfare in the capital, then a 10 minute walk directly to our hostel.
There is a pulley with a duck attached to the front door and I tug it with a grin, amused by the quirky yet characteristic introduction to our stay. Dimly lit, the reception reaffirms an authentic and unique feel to the hostel with squashy sofas, a nut brown coffee table and reading lamps. I immediately feel at home. The receptionist is warm and friendly, handing us over an old fashioned, iron wrought key to our private bedroom. The wall is adorned with a time-worn mirror adjacent to a rickety staircase. There is a high window overlooking the circle of balconies on Terez Krt. I jump excitedly on the bed, it feels like home away from home!
Dropping our bags to the floor, we venture out of our room to explore the hostel and its surroundings. Homemade Hostel is situated in a residential building, with 22 beds, free Wi-Fi, books/DVDs and immaculate showers. The kitchen was fairy-tale like with warm lighting, old chairs and jars of loose leaf tea and coffee available for all guests. There is a hand drawn poster advertising free dinner and cooking lessons on every alternate Tuesday. I am reminded of The Burrow’s kitchen in the Harry Potter series.
Homemade Hostel is located a short walk away from one of the busiest intersections in Budapest, Oktogon. With two days to explore the city, we joined a walking food tour through the Jewish Quarters, soaked in the famous Szechenyi Thermal Baths, and attempted to unravel the puzzles of a live escape game, Claustrophilia, situated just a 10 minute walk from the hostel. Oktogon crosses The Grand Boulevard and Andrassy Avenue and you will not be short of things to do.
All in all, Homemade Hostel is centrally located, authentic and extremely cheap. An absolute gem with a homely vibe and oozing with character, I would rate Homemade Hostel as the best hostel I’ve stayed at in Europe!
By Thidara Udomritkul from Days of Adventure (www.days-of-adventure.co.uk)