When you’re on a month-long backpacking trip throughout Europe, the last thing you want is to sleep in a hobunk hostel where you have to pay for pillows, then sheets, then a towel, then breakfast. Um, yeah right, we’re not gonna pay for all of that.
Say hello to St. Christopher’s Inn Barcelona and its restaurant-BFF, Belushi’s Bar.
When we think of Barcelona, we think of a cosmopolitan party city that’s not only cool and trendy, but…I guess, somewhat spicy. It’s a city where you can admire authentic flamenco dancing and then, down the street, fist pump to some Spanish house music “La gente esta muy locaaaa.” It’s a city where you can grab an exotic fruit smoothie in the morning, and a succulent paella plate from some beachside restaurant at night. And from our three-day stay at St. Christopher’s, it’s clear that they make sure hostelers experience this same spiciness of Barcelona before you even leave the door to explore.
If there’s one thing we can say about our three-night stay here it’s that this hostel knows how to do Barcelona right. The location is literally one minute from Plaza Catalunya and La Rambla, and our personal fav’, La Boqueria. It took us five minutes to get to shopping district Passeig de Gràcia, ten minutes to get lost in Barrio Gótico, and twenty minutes to sunbathe with the nudists near Barceloneta beach.
Upon arrival, the front desk staff hands over a quirky foldout map, packed with drawn-out walking tours made by locals, recommended bars and restaurants, local WiFi hotspots, and, well, this is unrelated, but cool fonts, too.
I don’t know about you and your travel mentality, but when Jo and I spend just a tad bit of downtime relaxing at a hostel, we start to feel guilty – guilty that we’re not still out experiencing the sounds, or smells, or vibes of a city – but when mom phone calls and WiFi breaks are needed, I don’t want to feel guilty for not being outside. St. Christopher’s Inn Barcelona offers you three outdoor terraces – not one, not two, but three! A streetside patio, a patio in between the bar and common space, and then another outdoor patio near the back of the hostel. As you see below, the latter is lined with red flowers in flowerpots (and a ladder), making it perfectly zen and perfectly stylish enough for any hosteler to brag about where they’re staying on their Instagrams.
Speaking of Instagram, something we did post was our patatas bravas, which was too delicioso not to humble brag about.
If you know anything about Spanish culture, it’s most likely that the Spanish are big on tapas. Back in New York, we tend to never sit down for a full meal anyway, so we thought we’d adjust nicely to the ideas of tapas. Our Finnish bartender, Rrrrakki (with the rolled rs) recommended this:
And for breakfast, the hostel offers a free option for those who are trying to save a buck or two, or chef-prepared breakfast meals if you’re in need or some home-cooked lovin’ or a quick hangover cure from last night’s pub crawl. For us, that meant huevos over-easy, toast, and beans…and a cup of espresso from the hostel’s machine. Ok, two.
And you’re probably still confused, “wait, I’m in a hostel, how can I get home cooked meals?” Here’s the deal: the hostel has its own restaurant, but it isn’t just open for hostel guests; it’s an actual restaurant that, of course, turns into a hot spot to pre-game and party at night.
By now, you’re probably like, yeah that’s great Damon and Jo, the hostel has a convenient location, outdoor spaces, Spanish food, and even a decent free breakfast, but that’s because it costs a lot. See, this was our first stay at St. Christopher’s. Because Jo and I always seem to put ourselves in what seems like the most misery and stress to “get the best deal,” we’d never allowed ourselves the chance to stay in a Saint Christopher’s Inn, thinking they were too far out of our price range.
Our dorm bed, which wasn’t even a dorm bunk bed, but a dorm bunker, was €14.90 a night, making it even less than that hobunk hostel we had mentioned beforehand.
Whoever designed it had the telepathic knowledge of everything a hosteler wants and needs – from the curtains and bedside lamps in each dorm bed to the bathrooms with bright green changing-space and personal shower cubbies – like, when have I ever had any of those amenities…in a hostel?
So for the first time ever, we were able to consider ourselves first class hostelers – if that’s even a thing? We never had to worry about eating stale cereal for breakfast, not having enough outlets and WiFi to connect with family back home, or having to sit in unpleasant common spaces when we came back exhausted from roaming the city. If you’re new to the hostel game, and a first-time visitor to Barcelona, this is your place. So go on now and tell your conservative parents that you’ll be safe and sound here, and that some hostels can even be better than hotels.
Calle Bergara 3
Barcelona, España 08002
[This post was sponsored by St. Christopher’s Inn Barcelona]