Archive for the ‘Czech Republic’ Category

Worst hostels


2010
03.05

Ideal Hostel, Barcelona
C/UNIÓ Nº 12, 08001, Barcelona

What a nice play of words. Definitely the worst hostel I’ve seen. It is filthy, unsafe and a total rip off.

Rooms: You have to walk sideways to circulate between the beds. There are no steps to climb on to the top bed. There are no fans in the room. Anybody can walk in as the locks don’t actually… lock.

Bathrooms: Oh. My. God. Communal and unisex showers. Basically it’s just a huge, dark (no lights) and filthy corner of the bathroom where anybody (guy or gal!) can walk in while you’re showering. And there was vomit on the floor for the two days we were there.

Living room: I had bought some stuff to cook dinner back at the hostel kitchen but as I started to empty my grocery bags, the kind Indian man at the reception gently told me to bugger off as the kitchen closed at 7PM. For God’s sake, who in Spain has dinner before 7PM? I argued with him and he told me to fuck off. And the staff also tried the “you don’t have reservations, we’ll charge you double the price” trick on me, which didn’t work because I had the printed receipt. Plus if you absolutely have to use the Internet, be prepared to stand for a long time as one of the computers is always off service hence the long queues and there are no seats whatsoever, even for the person actually using the computer (looking for another hostel, most of the time).

I could go on and on, but basically, just don’t stay there.

Hostel Rosemary, Prague
Růžová 5/971 , 110 00 Prague 1 - Old Town, Czech republic

Now, this is probably just because I’m not used to Czech architecture but getting to the reception of this hostel is scary. The street is very dark and off the main road. Plus, finding the hostel is hard because there’s only a tiny, tiny sign outside. Once you’ve entered the building, you have to cross a non-lighted corridor to get to the reception area and up the elevator. It just doesn’t feel safe at all.

The rooms are actually very nice, lots of windows. The bathrooms are nice too.

The only problem with this hostel is the luggage room, which is located in the basement. Perfect setting for a horror movie. No lights whatsoever, cement walls, floors and ceiling. Broken wooden door at the end of the room. Staircase actually going into the ground to what I guess would be torture chambers. It was cold and filthy and noisy with all sorts of Czech insects.

Didn’t leave my luggage there.

Please comment if you’ve had bad experiences too!

Top 10 Overrated Attractions in Europe


2010
02.20

1. Manneken Pis, Brussels

It’s a tiny little men peeing in a fountain, on the corner of a street, with hundreds of tourists in awe around it. It sometimes has costumes. When I was there, it was an orange tuxedo. Lovely.

2. Astronomical Clock, Prague

The clock is not really interesting. It’s more of a tourist trap than anything, so beware your belongings… pickpockets thrive in this area.

3. Stonehenge, England

The stones are actually pretty impressive, especially when learning how it got there. What’s not impressive is the 20 feet distance from the stones and the nearby motorway.

4. Champs-Élysées, Paris

Large busy boulevard. Too many tourists. Angry French drivers. Luxury stores aplenty. Make sure you pack a bunch of “patience” before going there.

5. Vatican City, Rome

Too much luxury in such a tiny place. Definitely worth a visit though, as long as you don’t think about world hunger.

6. The Spire, Dublin

That’s basically just a tall, metal thing in the middle of O’Connell street.  You can’t really walk past it, unfortunately.

7. La Barceloneta, Barcelona

The beach is dirty and overcrowded. Too many Asian masseuses asking around (repeatedly) for clients. The sea is filthy and cold. Just don’t rely on this spot  to  have a true “Spanish beach experience”.

8. Moulin Rouge, Paris

The Boulevard de Clichy burlesque club has nothing to brag about. It looks like something you would normally see in Vegas. Plus, tickets are very, very expensive.

9. Heineken Brewery, Amsterdam

Video simulation. €15. Enough said.

10.  The Louvre, Paris

Perfect if you want to wait hours outside, argue with non-queuing people, walk around in an overcrowded corridor and fight your way to catch a sight of the Joconde, hidden behind a glass wall and two guards.