The Riverhouse Backpackers



Description's Review

The brother and sister team of Abi and Charlie will welcome you to The Riverhouse Backpackers. This wonderful hostel is right in the centre of Cardiff, and has many facilities to make your stay comfortable.

The Location

The location is perfect for exploring Cardiff -- on a quiet street, right across the river from Millennium Stadium, and only a five-minute walk from Cardiff Castle. There is easy access to the bus and train station (ten-minute walk) and also to the Megabus stop (fifteen minutes). The baycar is available near Cardiff Castle if you want to explore Cardiff Bay. All of the main nightlife is only a short walk away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The four- and six-bed dorms are new and in excellent condition. Twin privates are also available. Lockers are provided in each room, and reading lights and locks are available for a small deposit. There are a lot of stairs to climb, including to get to the bathrooms. The bathrooms are very clean, with some having a sink, toilet, and shower. There are separate showers on the lower floors as well. The shower is very good, and some have a ledge for keeping items, and all include hooks and a small area to change.

Common Spaces

The hostel has a new, clean, and fully-equipped kitchen (including laundry machines). There is an adjacent eating area with chairs and tables and a small TV. Breakfast is served in the morning, and consists of breads, cereals, juices, tea, and coffee. There is also a TV room with a larger TV, which has an internet computer offering access (for a fee) and also books. Free Wi-Fi is available. There is also an outdoor garden in the back where people can drink and smoke. The hostel has mostly younger guests but also a few older ones. Many of the guests are a bit quieter, so at times it can feel a bit dead for atmosphere.


The hostel lives up to its reputation as being the best place to stay in Cardiff. It's nice, comfy, and clean -- and the owners care quite a bit about keeping the hostel at a high standard. The hostel is also kept quite secure, with CCTV cameras in the main common areas and at the door. It's the perfect hostel for all types of travelers.
by Neel Shah Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "The Riverhouse Backpackers" at 59 Fitzhamon Embankment.)


59 Fitzhamon Embankment, Cardiff, Cardiff, Wales
51.478529, -3.185510 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+ 44 (0) 7855 05 05 08, +44 (0) 2920 399 810
+ 44 (0) 2920 765 111
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93% Guest Reviews

Best hostel I've ever stayed in so far!
Staff was really friendly and helpful. Breakfast was fantastic! Dorm rooms and bathrooms were very clean. Nice interior design, free wifi and there were lots of books, magazines and dvds to read from/watch. I can tell that they put a lot of love and effort in this business! Overall very cozy, organised and cheap hostel. I wished I could have stayed longer, just because I felt so comfortable staying there. Will definitely come back.
Age 22, Germany
First hostel stay but this place was wonderful! Great breakfast, very clean, very friendly!
Lovely stay
I loved this hostel. Its a beautiful building which is always spotless and feels like a second home. The facilities (showers, tv, wifi) were all excellent and always working to perfection. Breakfast was healthy, hearty and delicious and the owners Charlie and Abi were always around to help with whatever questions or concerns you may have, or even just to have a chat. The rooms are light and airy, and have plenty of room for bags and belongings despite appearing small. If you have a chance to stay in this hostel, do it!
Age 22, Australia
Friendly staff, really nice and clean hostel
I had a fantastic time in Riverhouse Backpackers. The staff was really helpful and friendly. The showers perfect, like no other hostels I've been in. Can't beat the location -- it is minutes walk from every important places in Cardiff. Great selection of films too. I was supposed to spend only three night but booked an extra night. Checking out will definitely be a difficult moment.
No customer service, rude staff, reception is NOT 24 hours as stated
After a nightmare trip to get to Cardiff, I arrived at this hostel at about 3am. After buzzing a few times with no answer I resigned myself to the fact I was probably going to have to sleep in the doorway. But finally, on my one-last-try a sleepy voice answered rather rudely "Yes what is it?" I stated that I was after a bed for one for the night and, in a high pitched and accusatory tone, she said that she already told me no when I was here a few hours before (??). I said, puzzledly, no I've never been here before but she said that they were full and told me to leave. This is despite the fact I had actually stopped on the way over to check online that the reception was 24hours and that there was still availability (on the internet it said there was over 20 dorm beds still free). I stood there a little shocked and she stated over the intercom again that I had to leave immediately. I asked if she could tell me where another hostel was and she told me again to leave. Thankfully there is a hostel almost next door who was more than happy to take my business. Chatting to my roommates in the morning I mentioned what had happened at the Riverhouse and they said they had the exact same experience a few nights before, but they arrived at midnight.
Clean and well-run with gracious hosts, one heck of a breakfast!
I've stayed in dozens of hostels and rarely do I find a gem. Most of the time I'm content with the trustworthy but slightly boring HI/YHA brands but every once in a while I'll go afield based on recommendations. Riverhouse is an example of this. The reviews were beaming, the location was much better than YHA for a tourist on foot with a BritRail pass, and there was a promise of free wifi. Suffice to say that after my stay there wasn't a positive metric that they didn't excel at. I was there for five nights and when it came time to leave, I hesitated. Very, very rarely does this happen. I was very pleased with my experience and can heartily endorse this hostel. If I return to Cardiff then I have no doubt where I'll stay. Recommended!
Travis Good
Nicest homey atmosphere!
This is definitely one of the nicest hostel I've been to! Great family staff, always ready to give you tips, to help you out, or just to share a nice cup of tea. The hostel is spotlessly clean, very modern, and comfortable. Breakfast is fabulous, facilities and showers are perfect. It is close to the center and to anything in Cardiff. What more can I say? You just feel like staying there as long as you can!
Hospitable, home-away-from-home atmosphere.
Spent a total of five nights at the Riverhouse, treated to the lovely hospitality of both Abi and Charlie. Native to the area, they were excellent at giving directions and little hints and tips. The area was out of the way enough to be quiet, but still convenient to everything, about a five minute walk from the bus/train station(s), ten to fifteen minutes to Cardiff Castle, and within throwing distance of the Millennium Stadium. A fifteen- to twenty-minute walk got us to great shopping on Queen Street, and thirty-five minutes spent hoofing it got us to Cardiff Bay/Mermaid Quay (though I'd recommend a bus for £1.20). It was also a few minutes' walk away from the market on Sundays, with a variety of vendors selling produce, pastries, tea, and food. The rooms were clean and neat, the bathrooms were clean and private, and I never had to wait in line to access one of them. Kitchen was well-stocked with plenty of dishes, pots, and pans, and the dining area was ample enough to allow people to sit. Lounge got a bit crowded sometimes, but was well-equipped. Free wireless internet allowed convenience of access, but having stayed on the top floor, the signal was a bit weak up there (and on that note, be prepared to climb a lot of stairs). This was my first stay in a hostel and it couldn't have been better. Will definitely return here on my next visit!

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