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As one of the two hostels I’ve actually been a repeat visitor to, surely I’m going to give Hello BCN a great review? I’ve stopped by this superbly located hostel just off Avinguda Paral·lel (literally 1 minute from Paral·lel Metro station) three times in the last three years – the last time around they even recognised my name when I checked in! And indeed I do have a good opinion of the place. With a great communal atmosphere, superbly clean facilities and bed rates that are pretty reasonable for Barcelona, it’s all I’ve needed whenever I’ve been in BCN. But be warned, it’s not the place to get a relaxing night’s sleep. Mind you, it’s not the city for that either… Upon strolling through the front door you’ll be greeted with the spacious reception and lounge/bar. Checking in is normally a pretty quick process, and you’ll be given your clean bed linens, some information about the hostel and your hostel/dorm key. Brilliantly, this comes in the form of a magnetic bracelet, meaning all you’ll have to do is hold your wrist up to the scanner to gain entry into the hostel, your room and also your locker! So there’s no excuse for losing these keys! Back in the lounge area, you’ll find ample seating along the back wall and dotted around in the form of various sofas and stools. Don’t be surprised to find a ping pong table out near the drinks machines too! There’s further seating – as you’d expect – along the bar too. Even with all this it can still be pretty packed at breakfast time, when complimentary juices, toasts and cereals are out on the bar for everyone. You’ll also find four PCs hooked up along the wall opposite the kitchen – take note of the card holder here too for discounts and info on various Barcelona attractions. Oh and the Wi-Fi is free to connect to as standard as well. The back corner of the ground floor also houses the kitchen. It’s not the biggest of spaces, that’s for sure, but it does a pretty good job of housing everything you’ll need. With stacks of cutlery and crockery (plastic for practical reasons), cooker, microwave and two massive fridges, you can easily stock up at the Condis around the corner and cook on the cheap inside the hostel. Just remember to do your dishes – your Mother isn’t travelling with you after all! Heading upstairs you’ll find a mini gym and lounge on the second floor. I can’t say I’ve ever used it, but it’s a nice touch nonetheless. You’ll have to head up the stairs (or take the lift) to reach your room of slumber, as the dorms begin from the third floor upwards. On the way up keep an eye out for helpful tips about BCN posted on the walls, and you can slip out to the sun terrace for some sunbathing or somewhere to hang your laundry. Inside the dorm rooms you won’t find too much of interest, except for a clean and comfortable space to lay your head and a rather large locker for each bed too. I’ve stayed in both 4 and 6 bed dorms, and both have been spotlessly clean and well air conditioned – not too cold or too hot. As mentioned you’ll have to put your own sheets on your bed of course, but hey, it’s not asking a lot. The rooms do suffer from a lack of electrical sockets though, as there’s not enough for each person in a room. You’ll find seperate male and female bathrooms located in the centre of the hall outside the dorm rooms on every floor. Each bathroom houses at least three toilets, three showers and a large sink, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to wait for long if at all. The push-button showers have always worked superbly whenever I’ve stayed, but the bathrooms can get pretty hot if all the showers are in use, so don’t expect to dry off too well in the room. The bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned daily however, which is reassuring in such an active hostel! Now as mentioned at the start however Hello BCN isn’t the quietest of hostels, as it’s very much a place for the sociable traveller. Indeed it was the scene of my first solo night of travels back in 2010, and it didn’t take long for me to find people to mingle with. Expect to see the lounge and bar areas filling with guests as night falls in Barcelona and everyone gets back in from a day of exploring, no doubt enticed by the superb value prices of the beer and sangria available at the bar and nightly bar/club tours and discounts. Just don’t expect to be heading out before midnight of course – This is Spain/Catalonia (delete as you feel applicable)! Special shout to the night reception guy too, who’s always been amazingly friendly. Especially impressive considering the amount of party people he must have had to deal with in his time! Overall I’m a big fan of HelloBCN, and I guess I have to be to stay there three times! It’s good fun, in an ace location, spotlessly clean and good value in an expensive city. The hostel is not perfect by any means, with some minor flaws that do stop it from attaining that “WOW” factor, but in the face of a lot of competition in the city, HelloBCN deserves to be highly regarded. If you’re looking for lively lodging in Barcelona I would certainly recommend it.
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HelloBCN Hostel: Carrer Lafont 8, 08004, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain