The word “hostel” dredges up some pretty negative thoughts for most people - and horror movies certainly haven’t helped! It’s a shame, really - many travellers end up missing out on affordable, social accommodation.

Hostel in Melbourne

At  Urban Central, we think hostels get a bad rap. In fact, staying at a hostel can be one of the most exciting and unique parts of the travel experience!

The key is finding the right one!

Of course, that’s easier said than done. A quick Google search brings up dozens of hostels in Melbourne alone. Just where are you meant to start?


So how do I choose the right hostel?

Hostels don’t have to be the sole domain of backpackers any more.

In fact, staying at a hostel can be one of the best decisions you can make - and not just for your wallet! The biggest draw of hostel living (apart from cheap accommodation) is the social aspect. Hostels give travellers a great opportunity to make life-long friendships with new people and they can help you find hidden gems to visit during your stay.

If you want to make the most out of your hostel stay, you can’t go wrong if you follow these tips!


1) Location matters!

Real estate agents have a mantra when talking about houses: location, location location! Where a house is relative to attractions, public transport, schools, and shops plays a huge role in determining the selling price of a residence.

And booking accommodation anywhere in the world is no different!

One of the most important things when looking for the best hostel is location.

You’re going to be doing a lot of exploring, so are the sights and sounds within walking distance? You might not have a car, so how close is public transport?

Urban Central is located in Southbank, just south of Melbourne city centre. With public transport literally on our step and the city just a few minutes away, we think our location is pretty great - it allows for easy access to the city, but also beyond, to places you might not have considered before, as well!

Some of our favourite spots outside the city include:

  • The Botanical Gardens (or “The Tan” if you want to sound like a local!)
  • South Melbourne Market
  • St Kilda and Port Melbourne beaches
  • Albert Park and lake
  • South Yarra and Richmond for great bars and restaurants


2) Dirt cheap can sometimes mean making some sacrifices

One of the big draws of hostel life is that it’s affordable - we totally get that, which is why we work so hard to keep our rates attractively low!

Many of us travel on tight budgets... that said, it doesn’t always pay to go with “dirt cheap”!

More importantly, a lot of travellers forget about the small expenses. For instance, if your hostel doesn’t offer breakfast to its guests, that means shelling out money every morning just to stay fed for the coming day.

That might seem like small cost, but added together, can build up quickly.

And what if your hostel is in a poor location? The train ride to and from your hostel every morning and evening can be another unexpected expense. Worse, what if public transport is poor? You don’t want to waste money on Ubers and taxis twice a day.


4-bed dorm


3) Look for the little extras

A good hostel offers more than just cheap accommodation - they create a complete hub, a social space where people are never at a loss for an activity to do, person to meet, or place to hang!

Some of the best little extras we offer at Urban Central include:

Free rice, pasta, tea, and coffee

This little perk can make dinner time a lot simpler - we are happy to offer these supplies for free to our guests. Enjoy whipping up a quick and cheap dinner in our kitchen (and for more tips for cooking in a hostel, check out this blog post!)

Free oBike rentals

Located just south of the city in Southbank, the tram and local bus are right on your doorstep. But should you want to hop on a bike, instead, to explore, remember to grab an oBike from us! Speak to reception.

Help planning your day

Every day, we share daily tips and activities on the whiteboard in reception. Discover a new list of things to do and events to visit in Melbourne! Whether you’re into free stuff, art, tours, food, culture, music, and more, Melbourne has something for you!

Does your hostel have a bar?

Ours does!

Bar 334, located right behind the hostel, is one of our guests’ favourite parts of their stay!

Cheap drinks, great staff, fun music, and new friends - what more could you ask for?!

Rap jumping

Rap jumping is a totally unique experience we are so excited to offer at Urban Central!

Feel like James Bond as you take a forward-facing descent and leap down seven storeys!

So, what is rap jumping? Think of it as a combination of forward-facing abseiling with bungee jumping - something that’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping! Rap jumping is offered from its permanent base at Urban Central. Watch the video below to see Gold104’s Lehmo tackle the challenge!


 4) Choose a hostel that values community and friendship

Hands down, the best thing about staying in a hostel is the lifelong friendships you can make!

There’s something totally unique about the dynamic at a hostel: they combine entertainment, comfort, budget travelling, and social activities into one!

You never know, that friendly neighbour from half-way around the world might just become a new friend for life (and may offer you a spot on their couch on your next holiday!)


Need a hostel in Melbourne?

A lot of planning goes into finding the perfect accommodation for your stay. While the decision is ultimately yours, these helpful tips can make finding the right place to stay that much easier.

For a hostel in Melbourne that ticks off all the boxes, choose Urban Central!

Located in Southbank, we are minutes from all the hustle and bustle of Melbourne’s CBD. We offer a range of different room options to suit any kind of traveller: whether you’re travelling solo, with a few mates, or an entire footy team, we’ve got the right accommodation for you!

For cheap accommodation in Melbourne, book online now!

We can’t wait to welcome you to the Urban Central family when you visit our great city! See you soon.