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Travelers can agree that many wonderful countries get overlooked by the general tourist. Within many wonderful countries there are particular cities or places that end up being overlooked as well. In my opinion I feel as though Belgium is one of those countries and the city of Antwerp is another overlooked city.
Antwerp sits at the mouth of an important canal and has one of Europe’s most important ports. In antiquity the city of Antwerp was very rich. Today, the city has life through it’s fashion and shopping district. The central plaza is surrounded by glamorous buildings and another impressive cathedral of Europe. This is the focal point of the city and is exactly where you want to be when deciding where to stay.
Location of the Hostel
The Antwerp City Hostel is located in the very heart of the city. Walking out the front door of the hostel will have you situated in the central plaza. The area is teeming with bars and restaurants. Every last Friday of the month this area becomes the spot for the festival of the city. Festivals become more frequent during the summer months. Should you enjoy a drink or two and not want to walk very far back to your place then Antwerp City Hostel will be the perfect location. Be forewarned though because the proper festivities stop around midnight but people will still hangs round the nearby bars to drink and socialize.
Atmosphere & Bar
When first walking into the hostel you might be confused whether or not the downstairs bar belongs to the hostel. The bar does indeed belong to the hostel and you are free to hang out in the bar which doubles as a pretty awesome lounge. An old Citroen van was turned into a kitchen for cooking the hostel breakfasts and any meal you order from the bar. The bar itself was fashioned from what looks like old crates and a massive, gorgeous mural by a local artist decorates one the walls. Overall, it has a very hipster feel and is the ideal the place to mingle with the other guests. Should you decide to cook your own meal, another kitchen separate from bar/lounge can be used.
In the reception area, while it’s open, you are free to use their brand new wide screen Mac computers. The detail of the hostel and commitment to the aesthetic appeal of the bar shows that Antwerp City Hostel is trying to make this hostel a great place for young people to stay while visiting the city of Antwerp.
Rooms & Facilities
Your sleeping arrangements will be located somewhere between the second and fifth floor of the hostel. My experience in the 12 bed dorm room was good. The beds were bunked but there was ample space in between each set of beds. Power outlets ran diagonal to the beds so you could charge your appliances while you slept without the worry that something of value was too far out of sight. The view from the room was perfect on the fourth floor. The room is above the roofline of the other buildings, giving you a great view of the cathedral. I am unaware if the view from the other rooms gives you a similar view of the cathedral but they should give you a view out into the square instead.
Showers are found on the third floor and bathrooms are found on each level for men and women. Unfortunately, during my stay many toilets seemed to be out of order and the sinks lacked soap for hand washing. I am assuming this was not normal as the rest of the facilities in the hostel were cared for very well.
Any traveler that has made their way through a fair share of hostels will agree that lockers are a welcome amenity. Antwerp City Hostel not only had an appropriate amount with ample space to put your things but they even had extra lockers (more locker than there were beds in the room).
I personally enjoyed my short stay at Antwerp City Hostel. The building is in probably the most prime location of the city. The hostel is clean and offers its guests plenty of space in the typically crowded dorm styled room. The lounge area is one of the cooler hang out spots I’ve ever seen in association with a hostel. Access to top of the line Mac computers for your abroad internet access and a friendly staff give this place an honest recommendation.
**Special thanks to Antwerp City Hostel for my accommodation. My opinions are representative of my thoughts without bias.**