My opinion on this one is about as split as it gets: on the one hand the unbeatable price and the great staff made me feel right home at the Siena Hostel; at the same time I got bitten by bed bugs, which is a big no-no-no.
But let’s begin at the beginning…
Location & Getting There
Of the three accommodations I stayed in in Siena, this is the one furthest from the historic center (~2.5km) but closest to the train station (<2km with barely any climbing). Having learned from my past struggles, I opted to take the no. 36 bus from the city center there. After a fifteen minute ride from Piazza Gramsci, it dropped me off right in front of the hostel.
The environment around the hostel is a mix of old villas, new developments, and the Siena McDonald’s, wedged between two main roads.
Since it is the only hostel in town, you’ll find the usual mix of budget travelers here: from Christian youth groups to backpackers from overseas to business travelers on a budget and students.
A single room with shared bathroom, breakfast, and WiFi at the Hostel Siena is only €23.50 a night (found on booking.com). And as a matter of fact, that’s the room rate, so sharing between two this rate is well below most dorm prices in Europe. There are also special rates for long-term stays.
Single rooms are in fact doubles (with two single beds). So there is enough space. Plus there is a large closet, a fold-away table with one chair. The heating is centrally controlled and serves as air condition unit in the summer. That’s a huge plus in the Tuscan heat.
The shared bathrooms are large with enough facilities not to have to rush in the mornings, slightly run down but clean enough.
Laundry can be done on request, and there are also a few lavandarie all over town.
There are several common spaces: the breakfast room with a TV and billiard table as well as lounges on each floor and a terrace to sit outside in the summer.
The WiFi was good enough to stream movies in my room.
I stayed in room 106, in the bed closer to the door and after four nights there, with an increasing number of very itchy bites on my arms, my hands, and even my face, I can longer ignore the fact that the room was infested with bed bugs. The girl at the reception reacted brilliantly when I gave her the news: first, she apologized, then she offered a free extra night in another room, and finally she gave me some ointment for the bites. I also saw her inform the other staff, so hopefully, they’ll have the problem fixed before anyone else stays in 106.
Food & Drinks
Breakfast is included in the room rate and consists of the typical sweet Italian fare plus a little more: croissants, bread rolls, jams, Nutella, three types of cereal as well as coffee and juice. On weekends you can also choose a ciambella (donut) instead of the croissant.
If you are looking for snacks, there are two vending machines in the lobby.
Regarding cooking your own food, the Siena Hostel is a bit limited: there are a microwave and a kettle at the guests’ disposal, but no cutlery or dishes. The nearest supermarket is the Coop (10 minutes to walk: leave the hostel through the back gate, turn left onto Via Napoli, at the end walk up the stairs, cross the small park; it’s on the other side of the building). But you can also go to the large PAM supermarket by the train station.
Across the street from the hostel, you’ll find a pizzeria selling a slice for €1.70. It’s not brilliant, but I have had worse.
There are also a few restaurants along the main street to the left and right of the hostel.
So there you have it: The Siena Hostel is quite a good budget bet if you can make some amends.
Not convinced by the Siena Hostel? Browse my accommodation reviews or find other accommodation on booking.com: