Hosteling in Ireland

Coming from a family with a history of strong identification with its Irish roots (I recall a St. Patrick’s Day when my dad considered pouring Jameson — or maybe Bailey’s — into his mother’s ashes and the only reason he decided that might be a bad idea was that he feared it would reanimate her), I couldn’t go to Ireland and only see Dublin. I wanted to do at least one reasonably long train ride through the countryside and really see as much of the country as possible in my five-day time frame. So my trip ended up involving three cities and two quite different hostels.

Generator Hostel in Dublin was sleek, hip, and polished, with some of the most updated furnishings I’ve seen in any hostel (power sockets — yes, plural — built into each bunk bed headboard? Yes, please!), a nice-looking bar and cafe (which I never actually tried, but it looked like everyone else was enjoying it), a spacious and comfy lobby, and a great location just around the corner from the Old Jameson Distillery and a quick walk from the Smithfield Luas stop. The front desk offered everything from towel rentals to the range of toiletries hotels always have around in case you’ve forgotten something (although, this being a hostel, those toiletries definitely weren’t free). They seemed to take a lot of care to make you forget that you were in a place where rates start at €9 a night, an illusion I was totally willing to buy into. Continue reading “Hosteling in Ireland”

Staying in Kraków

In addition to tourist-y things and the all-important list of places to eat and drink, it seemed like a good idea to do a quick rundown of some of the more practical aspects of my travel to Kraków. Really, this is mostly an excuse for me to rave about the wonderful Cracow Hostel, but I guess I can mention some stuff about costs and public transportation and whatnot that might have been useful to know before I got there.

So, to start: where to stay. Assuming you’re a poor college student like I am, you’re in luck, because Kraków is an awesome budget destination. We stayed at Cracow Hostel for £10 a night, and it was an absolute steal. The location is unbeatable – it’s right on Rynek Główny, which means it’s just a quick walk from the Kraków Głowny train station (which is where you’ll end up if you take the train to and from Kraków Balice airport like we did) as well as all the tourist spots in Old Town and Kazimierz. The super-friendly staff are willing to help you make the most of the location; one of the receptionists helped me find a good takeout spot on the first night, and another booked our Auschwitz tour for us. Continue reading “Staying in Kraków”