The first (and only) thing we wanted to do after these few animated days in the pretty student town was to have a little rest and regain our strength in our Lisbon accommodation before exploring this city of which we had heard so much about. First step: finding the building! We left the subway at the Rossio station and we walked back and fourth on the Praça Dom João da Câmara for several minutes before finally realizing that yes, this beautiful ancient building which we had admired for a while was indeed the place of our hostel, the Lisbon Destination Hostel! Although we knew it was located in the premises of a railroad station but we were far from imagining that such a beautiful and finely decorated building could be a train station! What a nice surprise! And it is even more beautiful at night, see for yourself:
So we went into this beautiful building that is the Rossio train station and went up to our hostel, the Lisbon Destination Hostel, located on the first floor. It was our first experience in a hostel and our apprehension quickly vanished. From the moment we passed through the front door, we were warmly greeted by a young, cheerful and cosmopolitan staff. It was almost like seeing old friends and moreover, we keep an excellent memory of friendly and wisecracking Pedro, the receptionist with whom we had the best time. He’s the one who, after giving us our keys, told us a nice “Welcome home” with a big smile who completed to make us feel right at home. It’s silly but this little phrase touched us and we were definitely sure that our stay at the Lisbon Destination Hostel was going to be okay. We had to go through the large living room to reach the stairs that would lead us to our room and we were simply amazed by the decoration of the place, colorful and cozy. A pool table was proudly taking center stage of the room, nearby a piano, a ping-pong table and small relaxation areas with huge cushions and hammocks. Everything is really made to stimulate conviviality and encounters and we couldn’t wait to hang out in this large room amid other world travelers. We opted for a private room with shared bathroom for the duration of our stay, in order to facilitate working evenings, and although simple, our room was really good. Clean, well decorated and it even had a small terrace that was overlooking the living room. Due to circumstances beyond our control (we actually missed our Lisbon – Sevilla night coach!), we also had the opportunity to test one of the mixed dorms which, again, was very satisfactory. They are equipped with safe that open with your the magnetic card of the room and the lower beds have small curtains, perfect to have a little privacy. As a couple, we are not fond of spending the night in a dorm but it can be just fine for a solo trip or a trip with your buddies!
Life in a hostel
This trip was also an opportunity for us to discover how life in a hostel works and were pretty damn seduced by it! The only really frustrating part was having to try several times before being able to take a shower since there were only 2 shower stalls for our whole wing on the floor (we later realized there was actually a dozen cabins on the ground floor!). The tip we can give you at this point is to take a very early or late shower, but it is far from being an exact science! And do not forget to take flip flops with you. Although the premises are very clean, it is always better to walk in flip-flops rather than barefoot. Meals are taken in the huge brand new kitchen of the hostel. Breakfast is included in the room rate and can be very copious. There is a wide choice and everything is like a self-served buffet, perfect to start the day off right. And, just like at home, everyone is supposed to serve themselves but also clear the table and do their own dishes, basic life in a community rules. For other meals, you’ll have to go grocery shopping and cook. We didn’t personally try it out but it’s obviously a very good way to save some money. You also have access to a washing machine and a dryer on site for € 7.50 ($8.4) which is what we did on our first night there. We can’t really tell if it’s the most economical solution but it was obviously the most practical one. If we had gone to a regular laundromat, we would have had to stay there for at least 2 hours that would have been wasted since we wouldn’t have been able to visit Lisbon during this time. Being able to wash our clothes and then get it back a few hours later before going to bed is a service that we definitely enjoyed!
Lastly, the large living room is meant for relaxation and everything is done to facilitate discussion among travelers … unfortunately it wasn’t really the case! We were dismayed to see all these young travelers sitting in this large room, each in their corner, staring at the screen of their mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Making it pretty difficult to start the conversation with a stranger in these conditions and we were really happy to be together at that time! We still had a very good encounter when we met the joyful Sophia, an American student who has been living in Madrid for a few months. We immediately got on pretty well and we quickly found ourselves grabbing a drink, eating out with her and ending up spending time together back at the hostel. Pedro would often join us in those moments and we would just talk about anything and laugh a lot all while sipping on a delicious €5 ($5.6) bottle of wine we had purchased there. Those are really the best memories we’ll have of the place and of our trip to Lisbon and they certainly would not have been possible in a traditional hotel.
The little perks of the Lisbon Destination Hostel
One of the best perks of staying at a hostel is the possibility to take organized tours and do fun activities along with other travelers and the Lisbon Destination Hostel wasn’t of course an exception. We tried out their Sintra tour which was pretty great Check out our review right here! Each evening, a chef comes to cook a typical Portuguese meal at the hostel for about €9 ($10), wine and bread included. It’s more or less the same price as eating out at a local restaurant, it’s a great way to experience Portuguese cuisine and it’s mostly a good opportunity to chat with other travelers, it’s easier to break the ice around a glass of wine! We’ve tasted a delicious cod gratin and a surprising chickpea salad with cilantro, so good!
The hostel also offers several activities to do during the day like a tour of Lisbon street art or a bike ride to the Belem neighborhood. We tried out the day trip to Sintra which was absolutely outstanding, we’ll tell you more about it pretty soon. Also be aware that the Lisbon Destination Hostel is part of a hostel chain. In Lisbon, there also is the Sunset Destination Hostel, with a panoramic terrace overlooking the ocean, and the Alfama Patio located in the most charming district of the capital. If you book a stay in one of these hostels, you will be given a bracelet when checking in that’ll give you free access to the 3 hostels of the chain which aren’t very far from each other. Each offers very specific activities so it’s really interesting to have access to all of these opportunities. For instance, we would have loved having the time to enjoy a beautiful sunset or a yoga class at the Sunset Destination Hostel, we will have to come back! Also, the Destination Hostel bracelet allows you to have a discount on your next booking for one of the hostels of the chain, either for you or one of your loved ones, not bad right? We also enjoyed the little eco-friendly initiatives at the hostel like using low consumption lamps, bath towels to wipe your hands in the bathroom rather than paper or their showering system that avoids waste. To sum up, we had a really nice time at the Lisbon Destination Hostel where you can faithfully and blindly go, tested and widely approved!
Largo do Duque de Cadaval 17, 1200-160 Lisbonne
Dorms start at €17.95 ($20)
Private double rooms start at 68.40€ ($76)
Young and friendly staff
Book your stay!
We were guests at the Lisbon Destination Hostel but all opinions expressed here are our own and we haven’t in any case been subject to the influence of a third party. A big thank you to Juliann who helped us set up this stay and to Pedro and Sophia without whom our stay would not have been as fun!
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