So, I arrived in Budapest without a single hostel reservation, but through some travel friends had heard of Carpe Noctem. I wasn't sure if they'd have space for me, but I made my way there, anyways, hoping for the best. Upon arrival, I talked with Charlie, and he fit me in, though I would have to change to one of the other hostels in the chain after a couple nights. That was fine.
Now, Carpe Noctem has a tremendous atmosphere. What I love is how it's a small hostel, with that intimate, small hostel feel during the day. But once night rolls around, you head out with the other three hostels in the chain, and it goes from a small, family-like feel, to a full-blown party - and do they know how to party.
Since they're in a building occupied by older residents, they have a relatively early quiet hour, which actually works out great. If you want to be up and loud, you can stay out as long as you want - no curfew, and plenty of fun to be had at the bars. But if you're ready for bed, you're assured to have nearly dead silence.
This is why Carpe Noctem gets five stars from me. I've been traveling for five months nearly, and I find I love two types of hostels: party hostels, and quiet, friendly oriented hostels. Carpe Noctem is the ONLY hostel that brought both of those together for me. I'd recommend them fifty times over, and still have more praise for them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- If you are a group of more than 4, please stop reading here and choose a different hostel; we are mostly for single or solo travelers - we recommend our sister hostels Grandio Party Hostel, Retox Party Hostel or Carpe Noctem Vitae! We don't accept groups of any kind (see conditions below). If you are a sociable or solo traveler and want to meet other people in a welcoming, friendly, and voted the most fun hostel in the world (2009) environment, please read on: Atmosphere: Do you want to...- Be a SINGLE TRAVELER or SOCIABLE BACKPACKER meeting other similarly like minded people in a friendly, lively and social atmosphere?- Go out EVERY NIGHT on PUB CRAWLS, karaoke nights, cheap drink nights, live music nights?- Be taken out by staff to cool UNDERGROUND PLACES unseen on the common traveler's route?- Be given a WARM WELCOME and a detailed introduction of the city with all the hot spots for PUBS, BARS, RESTAURANTS, CLUBS and SIGHT SEEING?- Be INTRODUCED TO OTHER GUESTS so you can instantly make friends for your travels...if not life?- Feel like you are STAYING AT A MATE'S HOUSE, chilling on bean bags and drinking free tea and coffee until beer o'clock?- Feel like you are staying in a SOCIAL place not just a bed in a room?- SAVE MONEY by taking staff recommendations for cheap places, and using the specially negotiated food and drink deals for you?- Be given all the HELP, ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE for your entire stay in Budapest and beyond if needs be?- Stay in a place that doesn't believe in hidden charges and wants to give you as much for FREE as possible?- Have LIVE-IN native English/Australian English speaking staff who have all moved to Budapest because they came and fell in love with it and are passionate to show you why? Carpe Noctem ('seize the night', for those who rightly gave up Latin just after it died) is the perfect hangout and base for single travelers and young, sociable people who want to be part of an interactive and lively hostel experience as well as maximising the city in the day time and seizing the night when the sight seeing has ended. Facilities: We are Aussies and Brits who having traveled widely and decided we wanted certain things...* Free tea and coffee, not just when you arrive, all the time (and none of this European yellow label stuff, we get PG Tips imported from UK)* Free padlock hire* Free use of lockers* Free use of electronic staff safe* Free towel hire* Free bed linen (who charges for that anyway???)* Free internet use and free wifi* Orthopaedic mattresses* Air conditioning* Electronic entry system... (no more charges for lost keys!)* Free use of skype headsets* Smoking area* Laundry service available* 24 hour check in* Very relaxed check out times (you can check out any time you like but you can never leave!)* Free use of guidebooks and book exchange available* Free use of kitchen for you to cook...or for us to cook for you!* No curfew (it's called Carpe Noctem..... so seize the night!). Location: Walking distance from: House of Terror, Oktogon, Szechenyi Thermal Baths, City Park, Andrassy Avenue, St Istvan's Basilica, Freedom Square, The Danube & Parliament - all within 10-15 minutes. For lazy travelers....public transport is in our immediate location: the blue metro (for direct metros from nepliget coach station), and yellow metro are only a few streets away; the trolley bus and tram are 1 street away and the night bus route is at the bottom of the road. We even have a direct train from the airport 2 streets away! We are just off the main road which has pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants, 24 hour shops and clubs on it so there is no need to stray far for whatever you need, yet we are located on a quiet cobbled side street so you don't have to listen to the noise from traffic. Building: We are located in a 19th-century heritage listed building. We have a very cosy and intimate set up which means it is impossible not to meet people and make instant friends. Our apartment on the top floor is newly renovated and we have added our personal touches; hand made bean bags which means you can chill wherever you want around the house, a large corner sofa to watch films on, tables to eat on or play drinking games, depending on your mood, murals of the sights of the city across most walls so you can decide what to see that day (if our 30 minute run through of everything hasn't been enough info for you!). We have a fully equipped kitchen for you to use, apart from the times when we are cooking up roast dinners, gypsy gulyas (goulash), breakfast of champions, or whatever else we think the hostel needs to prepare it for a good night out or to deal with a hangover! We are located on the top floor, and due to the status of the building we have no lift...so if you are lazy, you may be better off going to a ground floor hostel! Conditions: We are ideally suited to single travelers, or groups of two or three who wish to meet people so if you just want an isolated stay with just a bed in a room, groups who don't wish to mingle or couples who want alone time only, we are probably not for you. Regrettably and due to previous experience we can no longer accept groups of any kind (more than 4 people), nor can we take bookings for guests over the age of 40. Nor can we accept bookings for people taller than Craig. We reserve the right the refuse any bookings that fall outside this criteria. On a final note, we are from England and Australia and often miss certain things from home....if you want to bring us something from home to put a smile on our faces or potentially knock a euro or two off your stay, please email us!!!!! Carpe Noctem awards: 2010- Best hostel in Hungary, 2009- Best hostel in Hungary, 2009- Most fun hostel in the world, 2009- 5th Best hostel in the world, 2009- Best hostel in Eastern Europe. ... more less