“Skopje, it is perfect,” our taxi driver told us in all seriousness as he drove us from the bus station to our accommodation. The architecture was perfect, the crime level was perfect, the people were perfect. So it followed that our hostel, Urban Hostel in Skopje’s Debar Maalo neighbourhood, would also be… well, perfect.
We were greeted by a friendly member of staff, who checked us in then showed us the lounge and kitchen before ushering us to our basement room.
This was well-furnished with a double bed, large TV and an en suite bathroom equipped with a fancy multi-spray shower. Having our own bathroom was a luxury for us after weeks of sharing, but the luxury didn’t stop there: our room also had its own kettle with cups and tea provided, and two pairs of slippers waited for our feet.
We generally went upstairs for our hot drinks, though — tea and coffee are available free of charge all the time, and the lounge and garden were nice areas to hang out in and get to know the other guests. Urban Hostel also has pleasant dorms available, each bunk bed equipped with a privacy curtain, as well as several apartments (some across the road in a separate building) for up to five people.
The hostel prides itself on its “young, multilingual staff,” and with good reason. We found all the staff members to be friendly, sociable and helpful, and every interaction with them was a positive one. This obviously influenced the atmosphere, which was friendly and relaxed.
While the wifi was generally good, the signal wasn’t strong in our room and one night it all but collapsed due to heavy use. And, like every other hostel we’ve stayed at so far in the Balkans, the curtains just didn’t block out the light from the street — my eye mask has gotten a lot of use during this trip! However, this wouldn’t be an issue in the other rooms, which have stronger curtains; the dorms are especially well provided in this area.
Urban Hostel is certainly a “perfect” choice for a hostel in Skopje, with its great, quiet location 15 minutes’ walk from the city centre, its delicious breakfast, its friendly staff and its welcoming atmosphere.