There’s nothing quite like a delayed bus to eat up your evening, and when the Skopje to Thessaloniki bus arrived at 11pm, we were ready to skip dinner and head to bed. A taxi drove us through the centre of town and dropped us at the corner of a pedestrianised street, the driver motioning us up it.
We probably looked pretty tired and grim as we walked around the stairwell and into reception, but we were given a warm welcome. The RentRooms reception had a small information area, PCs (and there was free wifi throughout the hostel), and a book swap. The young staff team on desk were always friendly and helpful with any request we threw at them – from walking directions to a takeaway coffee from the small cafe/bar. But there’s no lack of food and drink options nearby.
RentRooms is located just inside the old city walls of the lower town of Thessaloniki. That makes it super convenient to most of the city’s tourist attractions and puts it in the middle of a cafe and bar area as well. It was a 15-minute stroll to the start of our Tastes of Thessaloniki food tour, and less than ten minutes to the upper town, Byzantine museum, White Tower and bus to the airport.
Although it has two small dorms, most of the building’s rooms are private doubles with ensuite, TV and fridge; many have a small balcony with table and chairs – perfect for a glass of wine in the evening before heading out.
Each room is named after a country, like our Czech Republic room which had photos of Charles Bridge, a Prague skyline silhouette on one wall, and maps and country information framed around the place. Rooms were clean and well turned out, with beds made and towels and toiletries provided.
Breakfast was served from the civilised time of 8:30am in the cafe: tea or filter coffee, sugary fruit juice and the choice of four meals. One morning I opted for ham and cheese toasties, the next for spicy boiled sausages and an egg. Both were tasty and prepared to order while we talked with other guests.
The cafe connects with the reception and opens outdoors into a small park, and is the only social space of the hostel. Well decorated and comfy though it was, you couldn’t bring your own food and drink, and we found coffee and wine prices to be significantly higher than the surrounding bars, although not exorbitant. Because of that we didn’t spend too much time there.
Highly recommended for location and rooms: a great budget option in Thessaloniki.
[box]In November 2013, a dorm bed cost €15-18 per person, double rooms started at €51.60 per room. Book your stay at RentRooms Thessaloniki.[/box]