Staying at the Ryba is like staying with your hip auntie. The owner, Jalka, is very friendly and her efforts to communicate and make you feel comfortable override her difficulty with the English language. If you're a dog lover, you'll have fun pampering her aging but sweet dog. We felt perfectly at home here.
The location is perfect, right on the shore of the Vltava River and just a five-minute walk to the town square. The restaurants and pubs near the hostel are frequented by the locals, so if blending into the local scene is what you had in mind, then this is the place to do it.
The hostel has two dorm rooms with free-standing beds (not bunks) and a private double. The clean, comfortable, and sunny dorms are decorated with bright red lacquer nightstands and shelves. Ours had a view of the river. Several reading lamps are available and can be moved from bed to bed. The bathrooms were also very clean. The common room is very cozy with a fireplace, sofa, and armchairs. An antique cabinet is filled with games and some books.
Our favorite part of the hostel was the large kitchen, perfectly set up for a diverse crowd of travelers with two separate tables for eating and preparing meals. The kitchen is equipped with all the essentials -- stove; oven; fridge; electric teapot; and all the plates, pans, and utensils that you need. The shelves are also stocked with every spice imaginable, and although breakfast is not included, not a day went by when we weren't offered homemade soup and/or cake. The only downside, if you're not a smoker, is that smoking is allowed, and the owner does like to sit in the kitchen and smoke while she watches TV, which you are welcome to watch as well.
If you like it here long enough to stay a week, your seventh night is free. We enjoyed our stay here, and would definitely come back again. Although there is no online booking for this hotel, you can make a reservation by sending an email to Jalka's daughter who speaks English rather well, and she will pass the information on to Jalka and send you a confirmation. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the bus terminal, walk downhill to the main road and turn left at the gas station. Continue on the main road to the first traffic light. Turn right at the traffic light and follow the road into town all the way to the town square. Standing in the square with your back to the tourist information office, you will see a narrow alley between the buildings next to a store called Pasaz. Go through this alley and then do a dogleg (quick right, quick left) and continue straight ahead and walk over the bridge. As you are crossing the bridge, if you look across the river to the right, you can see the back of Hostel Ryba (it has a sign). After you cross the bridge, turn right on the first street. This is Rybarska Street. The hostel is several buildings down on the right and is well marked. There is a sign telling new arrivals to use the riverside entrance. You'll have to continue straight ahead to the end of the building and walk around to the river. From the train station, you'll probably want to take a taxi, because it is very far, but if you walk, go downhill all the way to the town square, and follow the directions above.
by Barbara Pavlik
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.