Sculpture outside Palazzo della Pilotta in Parma (2015-07-22)

Hostelling International: European Rooms, Parma


The European Rooms in Parma is the type of hostel you either love or hate. At the end, well, actually halfway through my night there, I realized I don’t like it. But if you’re the type that likes to party and have a bunch of party friends included in your accommodation you might get a kick out of this.

Location & Getting There

The hostel is in an apartment. And I don’t mean, like I’ve seen a few times, a former apartment turned into a hostel. Nope, this is Francesco’s apartment, he’s added some lockers and about ten beds, and he sleeps in whichever is free.
That seems like a charming idea, considering also that the only other hostel in Parma is rather far from both train station and old town.
You can walk in under five minutes from Parma Centrale to the European Rooms, and the old town is about 10 minutes away (though on the other side of the train station).

Rooms & Facilities

However, it’s still an apartment: the kitchen and bathroom are tiny, it’s not fantastically clean, the shower head is broken, there is little private sphere, it’s noisy and hot.
When I first entered, I thought ‘This is different. But maybe it works.’ After all, young Francesco seems like a genuinely nice guy.
But when at 2 in the morning, after I’d just managed to fall asleep for an hour or so in the heat, pretty much all the other guests (a confused Hungarian girl and a bunch of Italian dudes/Francesco’s friends with the habit of walking around shirtless) entered my room, chatting, turning on the light, and finally ripping the fan, that was sitting in the corner above my single bed (there are also some bunks) giving me at least a bit of breeze, from the shelf so that one guy could have it by his bed — in addition to an a/c unit which was blasting cold air exclusively at his feet and the air coming in from the terasse which I couldn’t get because I was behind the open door — all the positive points the place might have had by then disappeared.
If you’re wondering about the confusing length of this sentence: I’m writing these lines on the same morning. I am cranky, tired and hot.
I should mention the stable WiFi as a plus. But then again, all the network has to cover are ca. 60sqm.

Food & Drinks

This is an average neighborhood along the main road. So you’ll find plenty of small shops and imbisses. The next larger supermarket is in Via Verdi a few hundred meters on the other side of the train station.
You can also have Signora Carmela cook you a meal for 5 or 10 euro.
Breakfast is not included in the 20 euro per night.

Do you have anything to add? Thoughts? Opinions? Let me know!

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