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“I spent two and a half months in this hostel. Consider this review!”

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Belfast City Backpacker Hostel
Concord, New Hampshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“I spent two and a half months in this hostel. Consider this review!”
Reviewed 18 December 2012

To start a two and a half month summer trip to Belfast, I booked a weekend at City Backpackers to get settled before finding an apartment. That weekend turned into a week, and after that week I decided to stay at the hostel for the entire two and a half months! As opposed to most reviews of the hostel, whose writers see a snapshot of what the hostel is, I have seen EVERYTHING that happens in this hostel from the different groups hosted and different situations that have arisen. For people considering staying here, read this review!

Rooms:
The rooms are very well kept. Beds are always fitted with clean with sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers. They are mopped and swept clean. Of course, depending on the room you're staying in, you have a varying amount of moving around space--some rooms are more cramped than others. I found myself in an 8 person room and it had plenty of space. In terms of storage, each room has a locker underneath the bed. I could easily fit a large bag (weeks of laundry, books, etc) and backpack in the locker (locks can be rented from the front desk).

Staff:
John, the owner, is amazing. He is always cleaning, making beds, doing laundry, and providing advice and directions to those staying. It is very clear that he has traveled extensively (ask him about it; he's got some interesting stories!) and knows what a hostel should provide. Over my time there, I saw John give someone a ride downtown, I saw him chat with a young Italian who didn't speak English though Google Translate just to get to know him, he even bought a barbeque for the hostel and multiple times bought burgers and sausages to grill for anybody staying there who wanted them. That said, he can also be the bear you need him to be. Even after being there for a month and a half, I was yelled at for making too much noise late one night, keeping up other guests. He is very willing to help in ANY way, all you have to do is ask!

Location:
It has a GREAT location. In South Belfast, it usually avoids any sectarian issues that come with the city. While on a map it looks like it might be far away from City Center, you can walk to City Hall in about 10 minutes. There are also buses that pick you up from just around the corner from the hostel to take you into town. That said, I found myself enjoying the area around the hostel the most. The Botanic Gardens are close and Queen's uni are interesting to explore. Two small local pubs just around the corner (the Botanic and the Eglantine) make for a great night out whether you are looking to go until 1am, 3am or just have a beer before bed. Great deals on weeknights too!

Things to consider:
After staying in a hostel for so long, I saw a fair mix of crowds from families of 5, groups traveling for school of 12, a pair traveling from England or Ireland for the weekend, and solo travelers across Europe, just to name a few. Some of these groups were loud, obnoxious, and kept me up late or woke me up early. Of course,THIS COULD HAPPEN AT ANY HOSTEL!! What makes this hostel different? John will work tirelessly to fix any issues you have (including quieting a long term guest if that's what it takes), the entire hostel is clean (mopped, disinfected, wiped down), it is close to downtown, but in a much nicer area than City Center, the price is very fair, finally, the hostel's reputation brings in a lot of guests who are VERY respectful. I left my computer downstairs in the kitchen almost every night I was there and it was not touched. I also never locked anything in my room. My experience in this hostel was much more akin to staying with a friend from the city. I felt very welcome and safe inside and met some amazing people.

I would, without doubt, tell you that this is the ONLY option of lodging when considering traveling to Belfast.


Mike
New Hampshire, USA

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2012

At the grand old age of 28 this was my first stay in a hostel ever and it was much nicer than expected.
A group of us stayed in a mixed dorm with en-suite and although compact the room was fine. The beds were comfortable and we enjoyed the Dr Who bed covers. A slight criticism would be that the bathroom could probably do with a slightly more thorough clean around the edges but it is a hostel, I am fussy, and it was fine for one weekend.
The lounge with big telly and kitchen downstairs were great, really clean and the kitchen was better than ours at home!!
Location is excellent, within walking distance of town, and the restaurants and bars around the university.
Similar to a previous reviewer there was one rowdy group of lads who came in on the second night and hung around the reception desk (staff member absent), but it was only a little bit of noise and certainly to be expected!
Check out is a bit early at 10am but there is no rush to get you out the door once the room has been vacated and the staff were friendly.
Oh and this place is excellent value for money!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank triplady329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derry City, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 September 2012

Booked for one nights stay in a private double room with ensuite. The room is compact but its clean, tidy, modern, has wooden floors. We had a double bed bunk bed with a sofa underneath. Again the unsuite is small but everything you need is there, its clean and looks to be recently fitted. The following morning we went down to the kitchen and had cereal, tea and toast. Its a fully fitted kitchen so if you want to make a fry/dinner etc the facilities are there. Again everything seems to be recently fitted, all clean and nicely kept.

This hostel is in a nice area, and handy to everything, pubs/shops/resturants a 5min walk and theres a bus stop at the bottom of the street to take you into the city centre (10-15min walk).
... I only have one negative, 10am is a we bit early for check out in my opinion, friends that we meet up with were staying in 2 hostels close by and they had until 11.30am to check-out of the room. Everything else was spot on though and I would definley stay here again and recommend it to friends

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jmcderry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gent
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2012

Infrastructurewise, this is a very nice hostel. It looks like it has been recently renovated. The lounge, kitchen and bedrooms are new, homely, equipped with all modern day comfort and clean. We stayed in a double room which was small, but again new and clean, with a good bed/mattress.

The problem is that this hostel attracts the wrong crowd. During our 3 day stay, it got invaded by 2 noisy groups. The first group fortunately behaved during the night, the second one did not at all. About 15 drunk and extremely noisy barbarians partied in the rooms, corridors and staircases during the night. They sat and stood drinking and smoking in the doorways and blocked the fire exits. They were shouting, running around and slamming doors all night long. We could even hear a couple making out just outside our room. Hostel staff did not intervene AT ALL. This started around 23:00 and was still going on at 02:00. By then, I had gone down to reception several times trying to find the night staff, but the desk was empty and there wasn't even a note saying who to contact in case of problems/emergency - which in itself raises questions about safety. Around 02:00, I got so fed up with the noise that I finally marched up to the main group of about 10 dead drunk blokes, barefoot and in my pajamas, and asked them to be quiet or else to move to a place where they would not disturb the guests who wanted to sleep. This helped for about 10 minutes - about the time for me to climb back into bed. Then the same thing started all over again and went on until about 06:00. Night staff again was nowhere to be found and did not intervene all night long.

Three more comments:
- the hostel is a 20-30 minute walk from the center. this is okay as long as the weather is okay, but becomes more annoying when it rains (and this is not uncommon in Belfast!)
- The price of a taxi drive from the railway station to the hostel is more expensive than the hostel states on their website - between 7 and 10 pounds.
- something the hostel does not mention anywhere: the double bed is a double LOFT bed, and you need to climb up a ladder to get into bed. no problem for us as a young and fit couple, but might be an issue for older couples or people with limited mobility.

In summary: if you are a couple, stay away from this place, and spend a bit more money on a decent B&B.

Room Tip: if you are a couple, there is only 1 good room, and that is a room in another hostel/B&B.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank LisaB936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nice, France
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2012

I stayed here for one night with my boyfriend while on a roady around Ireland. The rooms, including the lounge/kitchen/dining) are all very clean and new. I liked the place and the new owner was nice and seemed like he was trying to do the best he could to keep his customers happy. Location wise the hstel was good -close to the nightlife and food. The only thing I would like to mention wa that when I stayed there was no cutain in the bathroom meaning you really had to hide so that the neighbourhood wouldn't see you naked! Also there was a serious lack of mirrors- one good full length one in each room would keep many girls happy :) My boyfriend though the place lacked 'vibe' compared with some hostels nearer to the university, ad he is most likely right, but this will develop i think once the new owner gets settled. All in all, good place if you are looking for a quiet clean place to sleep :)

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank tearohanui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2012

This could well be the nicest hostel I've ever stayed in. It's tucked away in a beautiful, quiet street only a short walk from the city in the nicer end of town. All the good bars, cafes and restaurants of the student district are but a stone's throw away. There's a Tesco conveniently located at the end of the street as well.

It's so clean and well furnished that it's easy to forget that you're in a hostel and not a private home: the couches are plush, the range of silly duvet covers make it feel homely and less sterile, and it also boasts the nicest kitchen I've ever had the pleasure of using in a hostel. There's a dishwasher for christ's sake! I think the fact that it's so well looked after encourages everyone staying to be similarly respectful of the place. There's a really nice vibe about it.

The staff, as has been mentioned in all previous reviews, are warm and welcoming. The breakfast is your standard toast and cereal affair, but there are lots of yummy jams and the 24/7 availability of tea and coffee is a nice touch as well.

My only issue with the hostel lies with the bathroom on my floor - there's no space in the shower cubicles to put your clothes or towel, so you've got to venture naked into the room with the possibility of anyone walking in from the hall. There's also a giant window in there that faces out onto a daycare playground, making showering during the day feel kind of immoral and weird. Can one be arrested for appearing stark naked in the window above a playground full of young children? It's possible to lock the door, but in doing so you're hogging the entire bathroom so that nobody else can use the sink, toilet or any of the showers - the bathroom was locked half of the times I attempted to get in. Maybe the bathroom situation on other floors is different, who knows, but since showering is a fairly vital activity it did put a real damper on what would otherwise be a perfect stay.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank littlefang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
City-Backpacker, Manager at Belfast City Backpacker Hostel, responded to this review, 15 August 2012
Cheers for the positive review. Glad you enjoyed your stay & hopefully we'll see you again.

With regard to the bathrooms, all the rooms on the other floors have ensuite bathrooms. With regard to the bathroom on your floor, it took us a while getting a new blind sorted for the room due to the unusual size of the window in there but we have a couple of new blinds up now so hopefully it'll be less weird and there'll be a few less traumatised kids in Belfast ;)

Look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 July 2012

I stayed in this hostel for a night with 7 friends. We had a great room, very clean, modern and beds were really comfortable. The common areas were a really good place to chill out and relax (also very clean and tidy, as were the public showers/loos).

The staff were helpful and friendly and the manager John is a real legend!! We were massively impressed by the level of service and all the guys who worked here made our hostel stay really enjoyable.

Only have really positive things to say about this place. Unbelievable value. We would definitely recommend this hostel to anyone staying in Belfast.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belfast City Backpacker Hostel

Property: Belfast City Backpacker Hostel
Address: 53-55 Malone Avenue, Belfast BT9 6EP, Northern Ireland
Region: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > Belfast
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 34 Speciality Lodging in Belfast
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Belfast City Backpacker Hostel 2*
Number of rooms: 7
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