Cheap, well located hostel with a fun pub theme.
St Christopher’s Inn run a chain of affordable hostels across Europe. As well as Berlin I’ve stayed at their now defunct site in Brighton, England and the concept has been exactly the same – walking through the front doors you are greeted by a traditional British style pub interior with reception desk off to one side.
The Berlin site is right outside Rosa-Luxemburg U Bahn Station (Berlin’s metro system), or in my case about 10 minutes walk from Alexandra Platz overground rail station, if arriving from the airport. The area around the hostel is vibrant with cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. The Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower) is also nearby and a great landmark to help get your bearings when exploring the surrounding streets.
I had two stays reserved here through Booking.com, for 2 nights and then 3 nights with 3 days in between. For the first I arrived around 10.30pm and received a really friendly welcome from the guy at reception. The only hiccup came when told I’d have to change rooms on the second day, meaning I’d have to check out at 11am and check back in again to the new room at 2pm. This was a bit disappointing as I’d been looking forward to a lie-in. However, I was compensated with a complimentary breakfast for both days.
Towels are 1 euro and 4 euros for padlocks. There’s no shower gel provided so bring your own, buy a tiny bottle from reception or grab a fist full of hand soap from the sinks in the shower room.
From reception an elevator takes you up to your assigned room floor. The elevator can get busy, especially at check-out time (11am), so be prepared to use the stairs. In the room hallways murals of world landmarks remind you that you’re on holiday and patches of worn-out carpet are the first signs that the hostel sees heavy use.
An electronic keycard – deposit 2 euros – gets you into your room. My 10 bed dorm room on the first floor was clean, colorful and spacious with a couple of relaxation chairs. The bunks were basic steel frames but well equipped with reading lamp, double charging sockets and small shelf. I was eagerly anticipating a decent nights sleep until laying down on the bed and feeling a huge spring poking me in the back. I fixed this by turning around and sleeping with my head at the opposite end. In my new room the following day my mattress was made of foam and much better. Who knows how wide-spread dodgy mattresses are throughout the hostel but at breakfast the second day I overheard a guy telling his friend about not getting much sleep because of a bad mattress.
For my second stay of 3 nights I asked in advance and was given a pod dorm, having seen pictures of this type of room in the photos on Booking.com. On Booking.com there’s no option to select a pod dorm besides asking in the special request box. Pod dorms have sturdy wooden frame bunks with personal curtain. On the down-side they lack a personal shelf to put stuff and the charging socket was so loose I had trouble keeping my laptop universal adapter plugged in.
I found plenty of male, female and unisex shower rooms on both first and second floors during my stay. Be aware – not all shower rooms are created equal! My first night on the first floor I used the first shower room I came across and was dismayed by the grey, grimy, floors of every cubical, as well as the water that completely stopped for no apparent reason. Later on I saw much better showers in another room around the corner. The best by far were the unisex shower rooms on the second floor, brand new, gleaming white plastic cubicles with powerful water pressure and cool, space ship lighting.
Being a pub concept hostel there’s no kitchen facilities at all. You either eat and drink from the pub food menu – burgers, pies, curry wurst + beer, etc or eat out.
St Christopher’s Inn, thanks to the pub and bar downstairs, provides an upbeat and social environment. Like regular pubs, the hostel promotes different kinds of nights and entertainment, like the excellent comedy night at the adjacent Belushi’s Bar. While attracting mostly groups, I came across a few other solo travelers.
For a pod dorm I paid 12 euros via Booking.com. Prices vary season to season and go up dramatically on Fridays and weekends. Overall it’s very good value for money, if you don’t mind putting up with the odd problem here and there which is understandable for such a busy hostel.
St Christopher’s Inn Berlin is a fun and well run hostel with great location for transport, restaurants and attractions. Quality of beds and showers is random and luck of the draw, but made up for by affordable prices and good atmosphere. Staff is mostly friendly and responsive to problems.
Overall Score: 4/5
St Christopher’s Inn Berlin
Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 39-41, Mitte, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Have you stayed here? Anything to add to this review? Let us know in the comments below