I have stayed in a hostel in New York City before that gave me a very bad impression of hostels in general - overcrowded rooms, dirty shared bathrooms and showers. Not so here. Jugendherberge Heidelberg is a pretty high-capacity hostel with very large and impeccably clean rooms, with in-room bathroom and shower. There is a bar (with TV for the World Cup!), seminar/conference rooms, a music room, and a few other rooms (kitchens and storage rooms) scattered around the hostel. There's supposed to be a swimming pool too but I didn't look for it. Lots of spaces to sit and chat with others. The included breakfast was probably my favorite part of the stay - a full German spread with various types of bread, great jams, hams and cheese every morning until 10am. The staff were a little overwhelmed by our group of 300 but they handled it well. They also freely provided me with plasters when I rubbed my heel raw wearing new shoes, which was nice.
Drawbacks: no free wifi - 2 EUR for an hour, and you can only use it in the lobby. It can be a little confusing to get to as the area around is mostly university research buildings and the Zoo - it's not extremely clearly marked and the entrance is a small path off the main road. The bus stop outside the hostel is currently closed but if you walk about 100m down the road, there is a "H" sign that marks a temporary stop that is serviced by the same buses. Getting to the Altstadt (touristy downtown) is about a 20 minute ride by bus.
These are really minor drawbacks in comparison to how nice the hostel is for the rates they charge per night. I'll definitely be back if I return to Heidelberg.
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