Traveling on a budget isn’t a foreign concept to me. I mean, I did it for years, and I still do it to some extent. However, as I’ve grown up and earned more money in my career, the one thing I’m usually okay with slightly splurging on is accommodations. No, I’m not a girl that will stay in hotels, but I do like to usually have a private room nowadays. Saying that, since losing my job in February, I knew my trip to Portugal had to be super budget, and more budget-friendly than usual. And one of the best places to cut costs is accommodations, so I knew I would be staying in dorm rooms in hostels on this trip.
Looking for hostels to stay in I knew I wanted to avoid the most budget, party hostel options. That’s just not me anymore at 28-years-old. So I stumbled across the Independente Hostel & Suites in Lisbon because it was recommended by so many different people, and also looked beautiful, and if you’ve stayed in a hostel before, you usually know that the word “beautiful” isn’t usually the way you describe them.
The Independente was created by travellers, for travellers. The vision for this hostel was to create a place where travellers and locals could come together, with hospitality being top of mind. The space is designed to make guests feel welcomes and at home, which is definitely did for me!
Keep reading to hear more about my stay…
First off, this hostel actually is also a hotel. They offer gorgeous private rooms/suites that give you that hotel experience versus a dorm room. However, I stayed in a dorm room while there that had six beds and was mixed for female and males. There were two sets of bunk beds that had three levels – I was thankful to not be all the way at the top!
The rooms were clean, your beds came with privacy curtains, your own light and your own outlet. There were also drawers under the beds that served as lockers, but make sure to bring your own lock so you don’t have to pay to rent one.
There were multiple female and male bathrooms outside each room. Each bathroom had multiple shower stalls and toilet stalls. They were regularly cleaned and I never had an issue getting a spot in the bathroom whenever I wanted to shower, etc. I find this can be one of the biggest struggles with hostels when you’re sharing bathrooms, you go to shower and you can’t. I hate that! So I was happy to find large bathrooms that were never fully occupied, so my evenings or mornings didn’t revolve around waiting for a shower to be free, or worse, not being able to shower!
If there is one area this hostel does super well, it’s their common rooms. The interior design of this hostel is absolutely stunning, you wouldn’t even know you were in a hostel. Gone are the days of crappy Ikea furniture thrown into a building, hostels in Portugal especially were absolutely incredible, you just need to look for the right ones.
There was a common room upstairs that was off of the shared kitchen that you were able to use and store your food. There was also a washer and dryer in the kitchen for people to use. This common room was too cute! I loved the design of it and the choice of the mix-matched furniture that made the room look really modern, and not like a grungy hostel that you may think of when you think of the word “hostel”.
They also had a bar down off of the lobby, as well as a couple restaurants. Their one restaurant, The Decadente serves contemporary Portuguese food. The Insólito is their rooftop restaurant with a great view of the Baixa district. I didn’t have time to eat at either, and again, I was on a budget. However, they did offer a free morning breakfast which hit the spot and was great to fill my belly before heading out for the day.
Staff & Information
The staff at the hotel were super friendly before and during my trip. You could book walking tours and what not right at the desk and when you check-in one of the staff members will lead you on a quick tour of the hostel so you understand your surroundings and feel at home.
Overall the hostel was a great place to stay! I would definitely stay there again and enjoyed how absolutely beautiful and homey this hostel was. Have you stayed at a hostel you’ve loved? Share below which one in the comments!
Disclaimer: The Independete offered me a discounted stay in order to write about my experience. I only recommend things that I enjoyed, and think other travellers would also enjoy. All opinions in this piece are my own and 110% honest.
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