(image sourced from Boutique Hostel Forum Zadar website. I do not own the rights to this image, it belongs to the hostel and can be found here.)
As a solo traveler, hostels are the ultimate accommodation for budget friendly sleeping, social life and safety. What I look for when booking the perfect hostel is friendly staff, awesome location and cleanliness. Boutique Hostel Forum in Zadar, Croatia ticked all of these boxes for me!
I travel solo a lot but I always get a bit nervous when choosing the right location. Safety is at the forefront of my mind (even though I’ve never had any issues!) and with Croatia being a country I new nothing about, I wanted to make sure I chose the safest hostel possible.
If Boutique Hostel Forum in Zadar is on your list of hostels to choose from but you’re not 100% sure whether you should book, let me talk you though my experience and give you a full review of this amazing hostel!
For anyone looking into hostels, price is a very big deciding factor.
I am a bit of a snob, I will admit, so I always go for the more mid-range price hostels. Not hotel prices, but definitely not the cheapest of the cheap. I find that this helps me find a good balance between comfort and affordability.
Boutique Hostel Forum is actually one of the cheapest I’ve stayed in, coming in at £18 for a night during May, obviously these prices will go up and down depending on the season and during August, when the weather is warmest, you’ll see prices increase ever so slightly to around £23-£25 per night, which is still pretty cheap!
*These prices have been taken from Hostelworld
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the location of this hostel is! Not only is it a literal 3 minute walk from the bus stop that you will probably get off at when coming from Zadar airport, but it is also right in the heart of all the action.
It is in the perfect location to take advantage of excursions like boat tours and bus tours to the national parks, but it is also a very short walk to the amazing Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. A place where you will get the absolute best sunset you have ever seen in your life.
It is also next door to a supermarket (which has everything you could need), it’s also close to shops, restaurants, there’s a cafe right outside and plenty of culture and history right on the doorstep.
As soon as I got there, which was pretty late at night, I was greeted by a lovely gentlemen (of whose name currently escapes me and I really wish I could remember because he was awesome!). I was so tired and nervous after my trip, but his energy and enthusiasm really set the tone for the whole holiday and for that I thank him eternally!
When you are travelling solo, friendly staff really do make all the difference. They help to put you at ease and give you a sense of comfort that allows you to enjoy your holiday that little bit more!
Everyone was smiley, warm and happy to help with anything you might need, whether it was booking excursions or choosing the best places to eat. I can’t rave about these guys enough!
I’m happy to say that I’ve never stayed in a hostel that’s been dirty or gross and this was no exception. Everything was clean, with house keeping popping around to the rooms every day to clean the shower and toilets, empty the bins and re-make the beds.
The main hangout areas were always clean and tidy (I’ll admit I didn’t spend a lot of time in them though as I was out 90% of the time!). As soon as you step foot into your room you notice how clean it is, nothing looks shabby or worn and it was a pleasure to stay in!
I should also mention one thing that really made me love this hostel and thats the blinds on the bunks. One thing that is super annoying, is when someone comes in whilst you’re trying to sleep and turns all the lights on.
The blinds on all the bunks gave you that extra bit of privacy and I think they were the biggest reason I had such a great night sleep every time!
The hostel has everything you need, I’m sure you’ll only be using it as a base anyhow, what with there being so much to do in Zadar!
Every room has a toilet and shower that is in your room and like I said above, cleaned daily! You also have toilets outside the rooms, should you need them without disturbing the other people in your room.
There are also vending machines in the hall that you can grab a drink or a snack from, something I took advantage of when I had an overwhelming need for a Kit Kat Chunky (yes I was hungover, don’t you judge me!).
There is also a garden that is accessible to those staying in the hostel, which is where a lot of the hostels events take place, such as BBQs and parties. I didn’t step foot in it though, I really wish I had but I just didn’t have time! When I go back (which I definitely will) I’ll be making sure to pop my head in!
There isn’t a bar in the hostel, but there is one directly below it, I mean it is literally on top of a bar! So if you’re looking for a night of delicious beer or other beverages, then you can always pay Cafe Forum a visit.
For those looking to travel on a very tight budget, there is also a kitchen where you can store and cook food, to help you save money! Like I said above, there is a supermarket close by, so you may want to stock up on some snacks and keep them in here.
I was also super surprised that every morning I woke up to a blue paper bag filled with pastries, ‘breakfast to go’ said the bag and I was so grateful! I am awful at remembering to eat when I’m travelling alone and it made a huge difference to wake up to those delicious treats every morning (especially when I woke up feeling a little delicate after a night on the wine).
Overall the hostel was pretty quiet, which as I get older is a blessing, but it still had an energy to it that I think those looking for a more electric holiday will appreciate.
They have events and get together’s in there garden area and the chill out area always had someone in there. Like I said, because the staff were so lovely, there was a real laid back and comfortable feeling about the hostel. I felt 100% safe, I felt like all of my belongings were safe and I had no problem sleeping, which is rare for me!
This hostel is one of the very best I’ve ever stayed in and for that I’m going to give it a solid 5 out of 5. That might seem overly generous, but this hostel really pays attention to the smaller details that make staying in a hostel a perfect experience.
Don’t believe that a hostel can be that good? Well here is a summery of the things that I absolutely LOVED about this place:
- Blinds on every bunk (makes a HUGE difference to sleep quality)
- Surprise breakfast
- Clean rooms
- Clean bathrooms
- 4 person rooms
- Lockers in the rooms (that don’t need padlocks!)
- PERFECT location!
- Beautiful views
- Super friendly staff
- Amazing sunsets/sunrises
- Right above a bar and cafe
- Very safe!
- 24 hr reception
- Right around the corner from the bus stop
- Next to a supermarket and the main Zadar high streets
- Air con!
I could go on and on but I won’t. I think you get the idea.
So, if you’re looking to head to the absolutely stunning town of Zadar, you should definitely look at staying in the Boutique Hostel Forum in the Old Town. I can’t recommend it enough!