Lovely hostels are a rare breed, and this is one of the few that rank in that group. I had a one-night stay (certainly not a one-night stand, as I hope to return!) at BCB last night and I left very pleased with the whole experience. I must admit I was a bit suspicious when I first arrived from the airport bus which dropped me off in Digbeth yesterday afternoon, but all my reservations vanished as soon as I walked through the hostel doors. The reception area is absolutely brilliant - it's in an old factory pub completely redone in an explosion of funky colours.
I had hoped to have a good wander around Birmingham yesterday, but Andy Murray had other plans for me - I ended up spending the whole afternoon on the hostel sofa watching all five sets of his hair-raising Wimbledon QF game against Velasco. On to the semis! But I digress...
I stayed in a female dorm in the main dorm building next door (the offices of a former asphalt company), which was pretty well-appointed. There was a second kitchen in this building and plenty of clean toilets and showers. I only have two small complaints. First, the metal bunk beds were INCREDIBLY creaky, to the point where I had a lot of trouble getting to sleep. I know it's always like that in hostels, but this level of creakiness was beyond the pale! Second, there was nothing in the way of storage in the rooms. Yes, I know this is also the hostel norm, but a little wall shelf by the bed or some sort of storage of any kind is always appreciated.
Other than these two tiny little niggles, it was a brilliant stay. I was even given breakfast in the morning, and it was far more substantial breakfast than most hostels which list it as an inclusion. There was bread for toast (white and wholemeal), butter, jam, peanut butter, apples, oranges, bananas and juice...not a bad spread! I don't know if I'll ever be back in Birmingham on my own, but if I do, I'll definitely stay at Birmingham Central Backpackers again!
It's a backpackers hostel so don't expect the local sheraton hotel. The people working here are friendly, although sometimes it seems they are in another place mentally. The bar/lobby is a nice place to hang with your friends, and when it closes at 12 the guy working there will be happy to take you and your 20 friends to a nearby shithole to drink untill 4. That's how they role around here.
Why not 4 or 5 stars? The place wasn't very clean, i know it's a hostel but when we tell you the showers are really really dirty we don't want to hear "the guys in room 7 probably did it". We hung out with "the guys in room 7" later that weekend and yeah, they probably did it. But that's not the point, only thing we wanted to hear was "i'm sorry, we'll take care of it".
Overall, a fun, drunk and heavy experience, but that's how we like it!
I popped in here to check on, only to learn that I had accidentally booked myself into a different hostel, across town! Luckily, the young man at the desk helped me through my embarassment gracefully, calling me a cab and wishing me well.
I almost wish I had been booked in here. The common areas were bustling with happy (slightly tipsy) folks sharing food and yelling at the Olympica highlights in a variety of languages. This hostel was a bit noisy but super active and fun. If you're travelling alone or looking to meet new people on your trip, I would 100% suggest Birmingham Central.
The location is amazing too, tucked into a dark corner just up the street from the HMV in Digbeth.
Will update once I've been back to see the rooms!
Birmingham backpackers is a small place but on travels its ok. They are clean friendly and safe. Everything you want when your travelling. The are very very cheap(found out from word of mouth and people giving this place a really high recommendations). They have basic rooms. They have a games room with a pool table and things to do. They are really keen to get your feedback which is good. I stayed here for one night no problem. They provide you with towels, shampoo, soap like you would in a hotel. They are located near the centre where you can go and see all the sights. They have a really big section in the reception of flyers for places to do and they let you take a map. Recommended
Fun, friendly and cheap a reasonable stroll from the centre. The area's a little run down though with empty warehouses so isolated to be walking alone here at night. Didn't see any trouble though.
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