As January’s blizzard created havoc in the D.C. area, there was no better time to pick up and embark on an adventure in the Arctic wonderland of Scandinavia.
“What led you to this terrible decision?” you may wonder. Glad you asked. This was all courtesy of an incredibly cheap flight deal (I booked months prior, BTW) on Norwegian Airlines, a low-cost airline offering affordable trans-Atlantic flights between the US and Europe. I was able to fly from New York/JFK to Oslo, Norway; Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; and back to NY for a little over $350! This was a complete steal, considering the Scandinavian region is one of the most expensive places to vacation. To reduce expenses further, my friends and I also looked into alternative accommodations. While in Copenhagen, I was convinced to stay in a hostel, and dare I say...it wasn’t bad.
That’s because this wasn’t your ordinary, no-frills hostel. The Generator hostel brand is a very popular chain in Europe, known for its trendy décor, comfortable lodging, and fun atmosphere. Think college dorm meets boutique hotel. The Generator team’s mission is to extend affordable luxury rooms, while creating a social and cultural experience for guests. I’d say they were pretty successful in making all of this happen.
In addition to shared rooms, private rooms with en suite bathrooms are offered. My friend and I chose the latter option for our stay. The room included double beds with bedside lamps, a clothes-hanging unit, and radiator. The bathroom was pretty basic, consisting of a toilet, sink, and shower. The room was modernly simplistic in design, with contemporary furnishings and accent-painted walls. I was impressed by the cleanliness and spaciousness, two qualities I’ve heard are sometimes lacking in hostels. There was no TV in the room - I’m assuming as an incentive to go mingle - but free wifi was available throughout the hostel.
The hostel offers many cool and unique opportunities to hang out with other guests. This is facilitated through nightly events and everyone’s unifier of choice: a bar. The event activities included game nights, movie viewings and karaoke competitions. The bar sold reasonably priced drinks compared to other city bars and were further reduced during the two different happy hours.
There is also a kitchen that sells food for a late snack or dine-in option. The reception floor has a range of breakout areas made up of eclectic seating, bar games (i.e., darts, pool table), and hammocks if you’re feeling fancy. If all that isn’t enough, breakfast is served daily for an additional fee (or in a la carte style if you’re looking for a quick bite). Don’t expect a hearty American meal, but just enough nourishment by way of croissants, cereals, and eggs to get your day of sightseeing started.
Copenhagen is an extremely walkable city where almost every point is conveniently located. The Generator was no exception. Within steps of the hostel’s quarters were a host of bars, restaurants, and public transportation. If walking was too ordinary, guests had the option to get around on two wheels like a true Dane. The hostel offered bike rentals for anyone seeking alternative modes of exploration.
Overall, I had a very positive experience for my first time in a hostel. I definitely won’t be as quick to cringe at the sound of the first syllable. If you’re ever in Europe and are in need of inexpensive lodging, I’d highly recommend the Generator as a viable option to AirBnB. Check out more of my pictures below. And if my review or pictures aren’t enough to convince you, have a gander at their website, Instagram, and/or Facebook.
- Andrea Williams