Before coming to Melbourne I’d heard a fair bit about the edgier scenes in Fitzroy and Brunswick. North of the Yarra, these areas of the alleged “World’s Best City” are known for being artsy. Think warehouses, tattoos and underground music. I’ve only had a poke around Fitzroy and ashamedly am still yet to explore Brunswick. But from what I’ve read and from what I’ve been told, it sounds like the kind of place I might have chosen to stay.
But when we stumbled upon Chapel Street all those weeks ago, it felt right. Cool bars, great eats and 10 min train ride to the CBD and the beach, leaving felt too tough. Yet, the most important factor in the reason for staying Southside is most definitely the hostel we are staying in.
The Back of Chapel is located five minutes from Windsor train station. It’s white exterior is neighbour to one very cool, entirely graffiti-ed wall – which belongs to the Vietnamese restaurant next door. Behind there, you’ll find a whole host of impressive street art.
Aside from its exterior, the hostel itself seems to attract the friendliest of people. This really is a huge plus. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about unfriendly / cliquey backpackers in other hostels – so if you’re a lone traveler, BoC is somewhere you should definitely consider staying. Here’s some other reasons why:
- If you’re thinking of picking up a few hours work or even working full-time, but aren’t looking to stick down a bond on an apartment (like a lot of backpackers), then BoC is probably for you. The kitchen is fairly good if you’re looking to cook. The cleaner is efficient. The only annoying thing is that when the hostel is booked out – it can often be a fight for the showers. Not literally.
- There’s so much going on around Chapel. Shops, bars, restaurants – this makes it a haven for any backpacker looking for work.
- Following on from the above – because most of us work, it isn’t like rocking up to an 18-30s holiday resort, where deep house is blasting from every room at every hour, with a lot of half-naked Brits running around the place. I’ll be honest, there still is a lot of partying. But in comparison to other places, like X Base – where every night is organised fun – it’s more spontaneous.
- Word on the grapevine is that a lot of the other hostels’ backpackers are 18 year old Brits looking to get smashed, rather than explore the city and meet new people. At the BoC, I’ve made friends from Japan, N.America, France, Germany, Scotland – you name it. If you want diversity, again, this place may be for you.
- It’s relatively cheaper than some of the larger hostels and if you strike lucky with getting one of the rooms with a balcony, you definitely feel like you got more bang for your buck!
I’m venturing to Brunswick tomorrow, so we’ll soon see if I feel I made a mistake!