Of course, Venice has been on my must-see list for Italy, well Europe, even before I started traveling full-time. However, throughout the summer and up to Christmas prices tended to be very high whenever I checked, with as much as €30 for a dorm bed. So, when I found the best-rated Venice hostel, the Generator Ostello Venezia (a.k.a. Generator Venice or Ostello per la gioventù Venezia), for just €10/night I jumped at the opportunity.
Now, before booking any kind of accommodation in Venice, you must understand that there are no bridges connecting the islands (among them Giudecca, Murano, Burano, Lido) to the rest of the city. And that a ticket for the water bus (Vaporetto) costs, at least, €7.50 (1- to 7-day-tickets available). I didn’t research that before and was a bit surprised when I arrived at the waterfront…
The Generator, being part of a large chain, is as stylish as its sister houses all over Europe. Things have been thought-through and optimized for backpackers. However, this comes at the expense of some core hostelling values.
The Generator is the Hostelling International representative in Venice. So, depending on where you have booked, you might be asked to show your membership card or pay an extra €2 per night. That does not seem to apply to Booking.com bookings.
Location & Getting There
The Generator Ostello Venezia is located right by the waterfront of Giudecca island and the Zitelle Vaporetto stop, about 300m across the water from Saint Mark’s Square in a 19th-century building with high, wood-beam ceilings and thick walls.
Giudecca is a mix of an old fishing village, some 19th-century palazzi and 20th- and 21st-century housing complexes.
To get there take the no. 2 Vaporetto from the train station. Other water buses stopping here are the no. 4.1/4.2 as well as no. 16 at the far end of the island.
The guests at the hostel are mostly backpackers and students, staying here for one or two nights on a wider Italy/Europe tour.
Rooms & facilities
Generator hostels are generally large places. this one is no exception: 3 floors, 100 beds in double to 16-bed-dorm rooms.
I stayed in 7-bed-dorm no. 104. It is spacious and quiet, with a high ceiling, a view of the garden, double plugs and private light in each bed, large locker trunks, air-condition and a semi-private ladies’ bathroom, as it is separated with an extra fire door from the main hallway. The only complaints I had were: the main light is bright and most guests don’t understand that they have their own bed light; the last two feet of wall to the adjacent room below the ceiling are made of single-pane glass, which means that the room picks up some of the noise from next-door.
The cleaning crew rotated through the hallways and bathrooms throughout the day. So showers and toilets were clean most times. The beds are equipped with proper duvets/duvet covers.
The large stylish common/bar/dining area with comfy sofas (and a bed…) in several semi-private corners is the perfect place to hang out, read, have a drink (Aperol Spritz: €2.50 during happy hour…) and meet other travelers. A TV and a pull-down screen broadcast sports and other events.
WiFi works well throughout.
Food & Drinks
Breakfast is not included in the room rate. Upon arrival, you can buy coupons for the buffet breakfast for €4 instead of €4.50. But I wasn’t convinced by simple corn flakes, machine coffee (and not the good barista machine), the usual rubbery croissant, toast, and jam plus plain yogurt and tinned fruit. If you are looking for a hearty meal in the morning you can also order eggs and an English (neither is included in the buffet).
I prefer heading to one of the numerous bars for a great coffee and a pastry.
The coffee bar, with real barista coffee, snacks, and sandwiches, is open all day long, alcohol is only served from 5 pm, with a happy hour from 6:30 to 8 pm.
For dinner, look no further than the hostel: burgers, pizza, pasta and weekly specials for €5 to €12.
Quality is good and prices are reasonable, if not lower than in the bars and restaurants around.
Not only is there no kitchen available, there is a sign asking clients not eat anything they didn’t buy at the hostel.
There is a supermarket on Giudecca, about 200m to the left when leaving the hostel, by the Redentore Vaporetto stop.
Not convinced by the Generator Hostel Venice? Browse my accommodation reviews or find other accommodation on booking.com: