Recently, some friends and I went on a trip through Northern Europe, mainly through Latvia, but also to Sweden and Denmark. We bookended our trip in Riga on the weekends, but during the week we took a Tallink ferry to Stockholm, and then we flew to Copenhagen.
Arriving in Copenhagen at 8:15am on a Thursday morning required us to leave for Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport at an even more ungodly 4:30am. Once in Copenhagen, we took our luggage on the train several stops towards the Generator Hostel, where we would be staying.
Stepping out of the Copenhagen Metro at the Kongens Nytorv station, it was but a 7-minute walk over cobblestone streets that took us past the Kongens Nytorv (“King’s New Square”), Copenhagen’s largest square, before reaching the massive, industrial-style building that is Generator Hostel on the Adelgade street. Generator immediately feels welcoming, with its signs all over speaking about itself in the first person (“When it comes to Great Dane’s, I am the greatest.“) and the energetic buzz of dozens of backpackers eating breakfast emanating from the dining area opposite the reception.
We were quite early, as check-in time wasn’t for several more hours; however, the hostel has a useful room for guests like us wishing to let some weight off their shoulders, and the staff kindly allowed us to throw our luggage in there so that we could go wander the city until check-in time. As we were about to head out, a guy with a clipboard came up to us and asked us if we’d like to join his 3-hour walking tour, and we happily accepted; though the free walking tour of Copenhagen is not affiliated with the hostel, Generator is large and prominent enough to attract such attention, adding to the convenience of the place.
Upon getting our room card, we went up to our 8-bed dorm on the elevator. The room had four bunk beds, as expected, organized into a 2x2x2x2 pattern along the length of the room on one side, while the other side of the room offered two showers, a sink and mirror area between them, and a separate toilet, quite sufficient even for the busiest of times – and every dorm has similar installations.
Related Read: A Danish Word the World Needs to Combat Stress: Pyt
The beds are comfortable and firm, and you are provided with a blanket, a blanket cover (for free, something that I’ve had to pay for at other hostels), pillow, and pillowcase. The bunk beds are surprisingly sturdy, as I immediately noticed how the metal frame did not creak and groan as I climbed to the top. At the head of every bed, built in to the headboard frame, are 2 electrical outlets and a reading light, a small luxury that goes a long way and that spoke volumes of the numerous features that Generator has to offer. Generator sets the bar high.
The in-dorm showers and toilets are immensely convenient, but I woke up at the crack of dawn and wanted a shower, not knowing how loud the sound might be for my fellow dorm mates and not wanting to arouse them; fortunately, on each floor are more public showers and baths, for just this idea. I was able to take my time and not fret about waking my friends and the others in this 3-toilet, 1-shower, co-ed facility adjacent to my room. Remember to bring your own towel, though you can also pay to borrow one from the front desk.
Dining Area & More
The dining area is located on the second floor (I’m American, perhaps you’d refer to this as the first floor; it’s the one above the ground level), opposite the reception area. There is ample stool seating to one side, which seemed to be a popular staging and waiting area for guests no matter what time it was. Going past the seating area you get to the breakfast buffet area on the left, followed by the cafe where you can pay for the breakfast (using little plastic chits obtained at check-in) or order something off their menu.
The morning breakfast is a simple affair, though the energy with all the other guests might make it seem a bit chaotic; simply give the guy/gal behind the counter your breakfast token, and have a go at the small but sufficient buffet. Breakfast is a relatively inexpensive (for Copenhagen) DKK 75 (~$13/£8), and is served each morning at the café from 7am to 11am; if you pay for the breakfast in advance, that is, at check-in, I believe that they knock off about DKK 10 or so. The buffet items are mostly of the cold variety and include such things as rolls, jams, yogurt, sliced deli meats and cheeses, cereals and milk, coffee, tea, and some juices.
Aside from breakfast, food can be purchased throughout the day at the café, with a dinner served between 5pm and 9.30pm every evening. After the café is a small bar, and like any regular bar, there are happy hour times as well as special nightly themed activities, such as “Ladies Night” and so on. Drink prices are not bad, and knocking back a few beers at the hostel might be a frugal pre-game plan before venturing into the exorbitant prices of the real Scandinavian world outside.
Continuing past the bar, the room opens up into a massive lounge area, replete with islands of cushioned couches in a magnitude that can only be compared to the living room/salon department of a giant furniture warehouse. Some are positioned around a television, while more are simply facing each other to accommodate groups of guests wanting to rest outside of their dorm.
Behind the large common lounge area are some computer terminals. And on the window side of the lounge area, extending all the way back towards the dining court, is an outdoor patio area where one can smoke or get some fresh air (probably not concurrently); chairs and “sun loungers” are set up to relax on outside.
This hostel seems to have totally redefined the term, as it is a far cry from the traditional backpackers’ hostels made popular decades ago. In addition to the hotel-like dining options and myriad amenities, Generator seems to have its mind set on feature overload. Some of the other great items on offer are:
- 24-hour laundry
- 24-hour reception
- Large luggage room under the watchful eye of the receptionists, perfect for stowing belongings
- Private lockers, store some smaller items in a locker for a small fee; bring your own padlock
- Forgot something? Purchase some key essentials, such as a towel or toothpaste, if you forgot to bring it, and even buy some souvenirs there, like a postcard
- Free wi-fi building-wide, as well as some computer terminals which can be rented on an hourly basis should you require internet but not have a computer or smartphone with you
Generator Copenhagen has some decent prices all around, when you consider prices elsewhere in this expensive city; a bed in the 8-bed mixed dorm starts as low as $30/night (~£19). Numerous private rooms are available, varying in price based on whether you choose a Single, Double, Triple, Quad, Family Room, or 6-Person.
One of the most important attributes to consider for any potential accommodations is its location, its proximity to the city center and the many sites that one would like to visit; Generator of Copenhagen got it just right. The hostel is located in a prime spot, right off the Kongens Nytorv station, which is a visually-pleasing 7-minute walk away over cobblestone streets. The M2 Metro line that goes all the way to the Copenhagen Airport can be taken at this station, and the airport is about 20 minutes away. Even nearer is the station’s namesake, Kongens Nytorv (“King’s New Square”), Copenhagen’s largest square, which has many great cafés and restaurants on its perimeter; the square doubles as the end point for that aforementioned walking tour, and a meeting point for an affiliated pub crawl.
Just as close is the large Nørreport Station, Denmark’s largest train station; this terminal is about a 7- or 8-minute walk from the hostel, and has Metro lines, S-Trains, and intercity trains all stopping there, perfect for if you are coming from or going to another city in Denmark or Europe by rail. Rosenborg Slot, the popular renaissance castle, is a pleasurable 10-minute walk which takes you through the Rosenborg Palace Gardens. In the opposite direction, about 12-minutes from the hostel, you can walk to Amalienborg, the must-see palace which is serves as a residence for the Danish royal family.
Related Read: Hotel Review: Victory Hotel, Gamla Stan, Stockholm
gen·er·a·tor noun \ˈje-nə-ˌrā-tər\:
something that produces something; especially, a machine that produces electricity (Merriam-Webster)
Generator is quite an appropriate name for this hostel, and for several reasons. Like the literal definition of the word, it definitely produces something, though it leaves the options open for interpretation as to exactly what it can produce for you; for us, it generated some new friends, great opportunities (like that aforementioned walking tour), and an inviting feel. If you choose to use the more specific, electricity-producing definition of a generator, this still fits; the energy from the moment we arrived until the time we checked out was quite electric indeed, and it’s atmosphere is captivating and appealing – let’s say, perhaps, electromagnetic.
It does everything right, and the only thing that I can say that was remotely not-awesome was the fact that it has so many perks, perhaps too many, if you can fault such a thing; its myriad amenities and in-house activities, such as its bar with happy hour, communal lounge space with games and a television, etc. might leave the less-inclined traveler staying at Generator to skip out on all the sights and sounds that the great city of Copenhagen has to offer outside. However, I guess Generator shouldn’t be faulted for that; after all, these generous options are the guest’s prerogatives.
Generator tries to be the coolest kid on the block in the hostel world, and I believe that it succeeded. Its location and cost are hard to beat, the rooms are clean, and the whole thing is just feature-packed. I’d definitely stay at Generator again on any future trip to Copenhagen, and I’m excited that they have several other Generator hostels in other great European cities, such as Berlin and Venice, for me to try. I can’t speak for the rest of them, but if they follow the same practices and strategy, I’m sure they’ll all be just as popular and successful.
Generator Hostel Copenhagen | Adelgade 5-7, 1304, Copenhagen, Denmark | Phone: +45 7877 5400 | Fax: +371 67454572 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: generatorhostels.com | Check-in time: 14:00 | Checkout: 10:00 | All Major Credit Cards Accepted
*Disclaimer: This stay was comped by the hostel in return for a written review on this site; however, I tried my best to remain unbiased and honest in my summation of this stay.
Related Read: Riding the Overnight Tallink Ferry, Riga to Stockholm