English Français Español Italiano Deutsch 日本語 Português

Agora Youth Hostel

Check all of the
booking sites at once!
 
Description & Photos

Hostelz.com's Review
Agora Youth Hostel is an alternative hostel in the centre of Catania right near the colourful morning fish market. The rooms are incredibly hot during the summer and stuffy with inadequate cooling (just ceiling fans), squeaky bunk beds crammed into rooms where there are loads of holidaying young Italians who come in late and usually end up sleeping more than one to a bed. But it is a cheap place to stay and they do have a bar.

The bathrooms are small and often dirty as there are not enough to cater for everyone. They have made some efforts with bright paint around the place but it still remains grungy. Downstairs they are doing renovations and it is quite spacious. There are computers with internet connections, a nice lounge with TV, and a small kitchen plus some useful tourist information. The restaurant/bar attached is a great place to get food at night for as little as eight euro for huge plates of risotto or pasta. It has funky music and is used in the morning also to serve the breakfast -- bread, cereals, coffee, tea, etc., which is adequate and self service.

The major drawback about the entire hostel and the bar is that not a single member of the staff seems to care about actually serving their customers. There is definitely a feeling that you are an inconvenience to all of them and that the least you bother them the better. It is hard to actually get any service at the table and the staff at reception often do not even bother to check you in. For example they may just indicate where your room is and how you find sheets.

In any case, it is the cheapest option in Catania and if you are on a budget then perhaps also the only option. The hostel is about a 20 minute long walk from the station, do get a bus to the duomo from where it is just 5 minutes through the fish markets. Alternatively if you arrive by bus from another town, ask to be let off near the fish market.

by Jo
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
December 2005

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Map
Location/Contact
How is Agora Youth Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
80%
75%
87%
88%
80%
75%
Hostels.com  
83%
75%
85%
95%
85%
80%
HostelBookers  
84%
80%
90%
90%
85%
84%
HostelsClub  
78%
63%
83%
88%
77%
Gomio  
78%
77%
91%
60%
80%
83%
Average  
81%
71%
84%
90%
82%
80%
Agora Youth Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
4   Good stay We stayed here 2 nights and it was really good. The location is very close to the main square and the food/fish market. The staff are friendly and helpful and great for suggestions. The only bad thing is breakfast is very basic, but that's not a major issue.  , age 30, Australian ()
4   Cleanliness and Wifi could be better, everything else is good The floors in the dorm rooms need to be mopped thoroughly as you cannot walk bare foot in the dorms. The wifi is switched off after 8pm and is slow. I had a cold shower on one of the mornings. However, the staff are helpful and friendly. The hostel has a courtyard out the front where they play live music and is popular with locals. There is selection of movies also. I have been staying here for years and, although the facilities are in urgent need of an upgrade, I would stay here again.  , age 33, Australia ()
2   Cold showers, grimy facilitites -- gross but a lot of fun This hotel was fairly gross and the showers were perennially cold! But sitting on the balcony in the sun, eating fresh peaches from the market below, and hanging out in the bar made this pace casual, unrestricted, and pretty cool overall. Got a really cool room of girls from all over the world and we just went out and had a great time -- met some US girls from the navy base and went to an outdoor nightclub that was something out of Wham! Club Tropicana video!!  , australia ()
4   Bad first impression, but I gave it a shot and would go back When we first arrived in the summer of 2008 we were unimpressed. It seemed dirty, but for lack of (reasonably priced) alternatives we stayed. The rooms turned out to be ok. The showers -- ice cold. The staff were really friendly and helpful though. The hostel is nicely situated right by the "fish market" -- which, by the way, offers much more than just fish. Put together a great lunch from what you can get there. I miss that place! There are also lots of cheap eats around the place. In regards to the pub, it got really lively at night. the crowd spills out into the square and its a good place to have a couple drinks after a long day. When it was time for me to hit the hay, the noise didn't bother me much and I slept quite nicely. Overall, I had fun at this place and loved the access to the market. I would stay here again.  , Canadian ()
1   Awfil This place is awful. The place was rather dingy and dirty, extremely hot upstairs and very loud as the windows and doors must be kept open to prevent totally roasting in the extreme heat. Then the outdoor restaurant they run is packed and very loud. You aren't going to get any sleep because of the heat or music and noise. The desk staff was gruff and not helpful at all. I stayed there exactly two hours and left, hitting the streets being prepared to sleep in a park rather than this dump. Do yourself a favor, save up your money, and pay a little more to stay someplace else. I've never ever left a negative review even when they deserved one. This place broke the camels back.  , USA ()
5   Fabulous, vibrant, friendly Either I have really low standards, or a lot has changed since some of these reviews were written. The bathrooms were cleaned everyday, and were spotless. The rooms were hot, but the fan and big windows helped a lot. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, even drawing maps of weird bits of Catania for us! I loved our stay here, and wouldn't hesitate to stay here again!  , United Kingdom ()
5  April 2005: For someone who doesn't like cities, I loved Catania and the Agora Hostel. After reading the reviews I thought I should bypass Catania but I'm glad I didn't! The hostel is friendly (as Italian men are always!), and you may see Carlo there. It's relatively spacious for being in the center of the city. Saturday evenings are a classic. Go out for the passagiata (walk, excuse the spelling)and you'll forget that cars rule Sicilian cities. There are people everywhere. Great gelati and restaurants by the castle (mind your language, i.e. speak Italian). The bus to Etna leaves at 8:15 a.m. (a must-do, though don't expect to reach the top or see anything as mountain weather can be shocking!) Directions, from the bus/train station: follow the railway bridges all the way to the hostel (easy-peasy!) Depending on where your room is located, you'll either get no sleep (if you're over the bar), partial sleep (by the railway) or a great sleep (neither), so it's a gamble. Happy hour is until (after) 11 p.m. if that's your poison, the laundry and showers ARE clean and powerful, and breakfast is what it says it is! But go there, and make the most of a fascinating city and its surrounds.  ()
1  It smelled really badly of fish, and the staff were useless as they never listened to me and swore in the corridor.  ()

Have you visited this Hostel? Rate it and post your review here.