Situated down suspicious looking alley in a busy area of Belgrade, one could be put off when arriving at Manga Hostel. A lonely sign hangs above the entrance to the gate you have to go through to find the hostel, a sign under which I’m sure many backpackers have questioned their choice of accommodation. You will utter a sigh of relief once you get into Manga, however, as this brightly decorated hostel, along with the staff, welcome you.
One of the things I loved most about Manga hostel was that when I asked about which area was best to take a walk around, a staff member went through a map with me and, in serious detail, showed me numerous places to see, cheap restaurants to eat in, and lesser-known parts of the city that I would have otherwise missed. This is something I appreciate so much in a hostel; the staff making the effort to settle newcomers into a city and making sure that they see the best places possible, and Manga does not fall short of this.
The rooms in the hostel are very spacious with plenty of room for backpacks around the bunk beds, and humungous lockers that could store an entire person if you wanted them to. The mattresses on the bed are extremely comfortable, and the pillows are nice and plump. No one likes it when they get to a hostel and their pillow is tantamount to a tissue. In my room, dozens of origami cranes hung from the centre of the ceiling – giving it the room that extra touch of vibe and colour.
As for the social areas, down in the basement there is ample space for relaxing and meeting other guests – including a huge TV and an ample DVD collection (which came in very handy when torrential rain hit Belgrade during my stay). The kitchen is also very well-equipped, although I think if the hostel was full there might be brawls over space issues. The dining area beside the kitchen is a great space to use for both eating and chatting to strangers.
All other essentials such as WiFi, other computers to use (in this case two), breakfast and a variety of other things such as hairdryers, are available to use for free. In addition, the bathrooms are spacious and the showers always strong. The price of a room will cost you upwards to 12 euros, so it won’t break the bank. It is the combination of all these things that make Manga hefty competition for other hostels in Belgrade.