Peter Parkorr of TravelUnmasked
A Melbourne Metro YHA review, in what is arguably Australia’s coolest city. Are the bars better here or in Sydney? What about the street art? You’ll have to decide that for yourself, but here’s what I thought of the hostel.
The YHA Melbourne Metro hostel is in North Melbourne, just outside the city centre. It’s well connected to the rest of the city with the Queen Victoria Market and great examples of Melbourne’s breakfast and coffee culture on it’s doorstep. Most backpackers and new arrivals to Melbourne start in the city centre hostels and end up in St Kilda, so this is a nice relaxing alternative to the madness of youth found elsewhere.
Melbourne Metro has good living spaces to get comfy in when you are done exploring the city for the day. They have a cantine which serves up tasty food with options like XL pizzas for under $10, there are smaller TV rooms with books and games, and loads of space on the great roof terrace, inside and out. The kitchen is well equipped if you fancy cooking for yourself, and like all YHAs there is tons of information about what to see in Melbourne or the rest of Australia.
Rooms and bathrooms
There’s nothing flashy about sleeping and washing facilities at this YHA but it’s a very well kept hostel. The rooms are good sizes and everything is clean, fresh and working. The bed in my room was comfy and there were nice extras like an alarm clock and a clothes rack. Each bed had a reading light and rooms have big lockers to keep your stuff safe. Bathrooms were clean, they had electrical points for shavers and toothbrushes, and there was plenty of hot water. Delivering all the things you expect from a professional hostel chain.
What makes this a great hostel
This hostel is great for three reasons; how close it is to Errol Street, the quality of the staff, and the fact that it is not a party hostel or working-holiday boarding house. Many of Melbourne’s hostels are home to backpackers and working-holiday visa holders with jobs who live in dorms, which can make for an energetic mix. This hostel had a much calmer vibe, which can be exactly what the doctor ordered if you’re more interested in seeing the city than meeting other travellers. The staff here were nice and knew their stuff, which seems to be a hallmark of YHA’s in Australia. A great view of Melbourne’s CBD from the rooftop terrace is a bonus too.
Nearby Errol street is famous for it’s cafe culture. That means really good coffee even by Melbourne’s high standards, and breakfasts that you’ll want to eat three times a day. Try Twenty & Six or Auction Rooms for perfectionist coffee and mouth-watering menus. Errol‘s with longer hours was also good. A few blocks in the other direction you have Lygon Street, the centre of the Italian community here. I found an authentic aperitivo at D.O.C. for AU$20 which included a first drink and filling up on delicious Italian finger foods. Queen Victoria Market is also a great example of what Melbourne is all about.
YHA’s in Australia don’t provide free wifi, but if you join up for a year (AU$32-42) you’ll get wifi with your membership, and make back the fee quickly in room rate discounts.
Arriving into the city by bus or train, walk 400m from Southern Cross Station to tram 55 on Bourke St and William St, and head North a couple of kilometres to stop 11. The hostel is 250m away. Arriving into Melbourne Tullamarine airport, the Skybus will deliver you to into Southern Cross Station and there may also be a free hostel-drop off shuttle provided.
For getting about Melbourne in general, download the very useful tramtracker smartphone app if you have data on the move.
Melbourne Metro YHA Review – Verdict
For a great hostel that isn’t full of party animals, Melbourne Metro is for you. You’re close to the city centre and other areas like Fitzroy, full of street art and craft breweries. You might have to venture further to check out the scene in St Kilda to the South, but North Melbourne is very cool and discovered by travellers much less often.
4 to 8 person shared rooms are around £15 – £18 per person per night, available as mixed or single sex dorms. Private doubles and twins are around £47-57 per room per night. Family rooms that sleep 4, with and without private bathrooms are approx £58-47 per room per night and must include one under-18. Make sure to check the YHA’s ‘Specials’ tab for discounts and offers.
78 Howard Street, North Melbourne 3051, VIC
Check out Peter’s blog for more of his travel photos.