MONDAY, DECEMBER 02, 2019
Crazy stories from our favorite hostel staff around Budapest!
With all the crazy stories Budapest gives birth to every week, you can imagine how one could end up living and working here. Just like our team at PartyBookers, backpacker hostels are full of locals, as well as travelers who just can’t leave the city! We thought we would take a dive into the hostels and ask some questions about hostel life, living in Budapest and what people love the most about this wacky wonderland we call home. We decided to interview staff from 5 hostels around the city to find out just what it is that makes this city great, and to hear some fun (and maybe a little unsettling) stories. Warning; some of this content is pretty heavy on the imagery.
So India, you’ve been involved with the hostel industry in Budapest for 2 and a half years now and you’re obviously loving it because, well... you’re still here. I’ve been told you used to work in one of the sister hostels - Meander Hostel - and were there for around a year. Grandio must be quite a change considering the stories I’ve already heard! I’d love to hear one from you. Maybe tell me a little bit about what it is that keeps you extending your time in this city month after month...
This city has the perfect combination of art, culture and fun, with a little bit of grit in between. The architecture is gorgeous on every street and shows the history of the area, but you’ll also find stunning murals around the city showing contemporary street art.You also have incredible coffee shops, galleries and bars which are my favorite places to go on my days off.
Obviously you know I love Grandio. The gorgeous courtyard bar with lights, music, food and my gorgeous Grandio family make it so hard to leave because I’ve got everything I need here. I think my favourite part of living and working here is the afterparties in our common room, also known as the “anal room”. Everyone is so pumped and drunk after our events, you never really know what’s going to happen.
Probably my favorite story from the anal room is actually in one of our reviews. A guest walked in at 1am to find a group of sweaty men completely butt naked playing a game of lizard wrestling, which is essentially a tug of war but played with a belt tied around two of their necks. When the guest asked why it’s called lizard wrestling, he was told it was “because lizards don’t wear clothes... duh.”
So yeah, I love this place. It’s weird, wonderful and unpredictable which is why I made it my home!
Check out Grandio Party Hostel
Tuti, with every hostel comes their ups and downs, right? You’re a local here in your home country and I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of strange happenings, I mean... hostels just tend to breed weird-ass shit. Do you have a single weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in the hostel? Strange encounters, confusing requests?
So it’s happened a few times, that myself and the receptionists have gone into a room to see something weird.. We once went to wake a guest up after the boat party or a bingo bar crawl but that they did not even move. I tried to wake some of the others up, but I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried. My other two colleagues tried as well but also failed. So I was like oh my God what if he is not even alive?! I was panicking with my colleague thinking, what happens when somebody dies in a hostel? What do we do?? Well, fortunately they weren’t dead. They just got really messed up the night before. The guy and his friends were just so hungover that they couldn’t move or even show signs of life...
Check out Avenue Hostel
Snaps, you’ve been immersed in hostel life for years now, haven't you?! I’ve personally seen you working at least 3 different hostels leading hordes of drunk travelers through the streets of Budapest. I’ve worked hostels before and I know there are lots of ups and downs... I remember having huge nights out only to forget I was on reception from 8am. Cue the nightshift person waking my wasted ass up while I’m passed out on the couch and shoving a clipboard in my hand when I could barely even see. So what’s your favourite thing about living in a hostel, and what’s your least favorite?
I've been working in the hostel industry for three years now and it’s been a great time! I'd have to say the best thing about working in hostels and leading groups from hostels is the opportunity you get to meet people from all walks of life and from all over the globe. I've met countless individuals who all have something different to say and it has really helped me develop well rounded view on all sorts of different topics.
Having to get up at 8 am feeling a bit dusty from the night before is pretty hard, I would definitely have to agree with that being one of the biggest downsides to working in a hostel. But if that's the hardest thing you have to worry about it’s a pretty great life!
Check out Meander Hostel
So Adam, you’ve been an extended member of the PartyBookers family for over 5 years now, we even had a little anniversary party on your balcony the other day to celebrate it! Other than working around Wombats here in Budapest, I know you’re a big fan of music and festivals. Photos of you at these parties are constantly popping up on Facebook. But of them all, do you have a favourite festival here in Hungary? Can you even decide between them?! Maybe a favourite festival experience? Tell us everything!
I’ve always been a big fan of Balaton Sound since it's next to the Balaton Lake and it's super awesome to hang out on the beach all afternoon with your friends. But last year I went to Ozora for the first time and it was life changing. If you never heard of Ozora, it is one of the biggest psychedelic tribal gatherings in Europe and most of the DJ-s there call this festival the best in the world and I actually agree with it. Families with toddlers and dogs are coming to this hippie festival and it has an amazing magical vibe. Since everyone is extremely friendly, you don't see any arguments anywhere and you can LEARN so much from different activities and just about yourself. It's amazing. Everyone should check out the official Ozora 2018 aftermovie, because it shows you how deep this whole festival is. It is true that you have to get lost there and magical things will happen to you.
Last year I went there with a train and I forgot my sunglasses on the train so I got super pissed cause it was like 35-40 Celsius all week. So my first thing was that I wanted to explore the festival on the first day and when I go to the market place I would look for a Ray-Ban shaped wooden shade. So I knew what I want... buuut I didn't find any good looking ones so I was still kinda pissed. Next thing... we went to take a shower to freshen up before the night and there were about 50 shower cabins. Only three of them were open, so I went into one of them and there was waiting, a LEGIT pair of brown Ray-Bans. I was shocked! I waited for about 20 minutes to see if maybe the owner comes back for it and then my friend came out from the other shower who knew I was looking for these kind of shades and he was like... "Well Adam, this is what I was talking about. These kind of things are always happening here, the festival gave you these shades”.
Check out Wombats Hostel Budapest
Balter we’ve been friends for what, 3 and a half years? There was a time when we were both staying at Retox as guests before we started our jobs in this city, and I know for a fact you’ve got some pretty messed up stories from party hostel life. But of them all, what’s the filthiest, most grotesque story Retox has left you with? I’ve seen a LOT of shit in Retox, but I can’t even imagine how much you’ve seen...
You name the bodily fluid and I've cleaned it up, but hands down the worst I've had to clean up was a couple years ago. We had a Welsh rugby team of like 50 boys come stay with us - really nice guys, super messy, but nothing too terrible, that was until their last night when they lost their minds. Went to strip their beds the next morning and the first one I came too was wet, and it was like, okay they've peed the bed, which is not uncommon at Retox. And then their next bed was wet too. And the next one. And the one after that. They'd pissed in over half their beds, shat in a lot of them too. There was shit smeared on walls, they pissed in the radiators, on the curtains. We found 2 backpacks just full of human shit. We had to close down a couple rooms in the middle of summer because the smell was just soooo bad. Spent the day elbow deep in piss and bleach.
Check out Retox Party Hostel
So there you have it. Budapest is a city of fun, friends and frenzied chaos, teeming with hilarious stories just waiting to be born in the forest of Pest. If you plan on visiting this crazy and colourful city, give hostel life a go! It can be the time of your life and you’ll be armed with an artillery of crazy stories just like these. Just make sure you’re not stuck in a room with the Welsh rugby team… nobody needs to wake up to that!