Is there any type of accommodation that changes as swiftly as backpacker hostels? Enter a luxury hotel in 1970 and it isn’t going to be that much different from one today, but hostels these days are a different beast compared to hostels a decade ago. The Balkans experienced a huge hostel boom in the early 2010s, and Belgrade was understandably at the heart of it. But despite some of the classic hostels going out of business following the boom, there are still plenty of great budget sleepers waiting to be experienced. In fact, many spots go to great lengths to ensure the classic hostel experience (communal living, social atmosphere, awful book exchange) still exists in the Serbian capital.
‘ArkaBarka Floating Hostel’. The name is tantalising enough, right? The boats along the Danube are best known for the famous clubs and bars, but there are plenty of sleeping spots located on the shores as well. The morning cup of coffee is a big part of any hostel stay and sipping that morning brew as the river idly floats by is an experience you can’t afford to pass up.
A member of the respected ‘Balkans Best Hostels’ network, El Diablo is located on the Dorćol street known informally as ‘Silicone Valley’ (Strahinjića Bana). Although tourists heading there to see the businessmen and women enhanced by science – as promised by guidebooks – are going to be disappointed. You’ll find excellent cafes and restaurants, though, so it is definitely worth checking out. This is a hostel as hostels used to be. The atmosphere is informal, the price is low, and the nights are long for all the right reasons.