Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal, Montreal

529 Reviews
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Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal Reviews

Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal is an artists haven and the only hostel you will find in Montreal right in the heart of Old Montreal.

The Location

The hostel is located on Rue Saint Pierre near Rue Saint Paul. From the street you will just see a red flag with the hostel's name on it and a plaque on the building. The location is great if you want to be in Old Montreal and are prepared for the tourist prices on eating out and shopping, which can be a little expensive -- but the main downtown area is only about ten minutes' walk away so you still have many options nearby.

The closest metro station is Square Victoria Station, which is only a few minutes walk away. The train terminal is also only about fifteen minutes away and the buses stop further away, so taking the train or bus to the hostel is recommended. Free parking around the hostel is impossible, so you would have to pay to park in one of the private lots/garages. The hostel also has a front door that is only locked between 1 and 7 a.m. so during the rest of the time anyone can pretty much climb the stairs up into the hostel rooms without any problems.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel both offers dorm and private rooms. Two of the dormitories (Blue, with twenty beds, and Orange, with ten beds) are an open-door affair; these rooms do not have a locked door and other rooms in the hostel are accessed from these rooms. They also face the street, so you get a lot of traffic noise and the floors are very squeaky, which means sleep is almost impossible. These dorms have lockers under the bed for your luggage but it is recommended you leave valuables with reception. There are also smaller four- and six-person rooms with a door as well as private rooms from single occupancy to family-size rooms. No matter what room you choose, keep in mind they only take cash.

The bathrooms for each floor are just off the main dorm area and there are a few shower and toilet options. The bathrooms could do with a bit of a check of cleanliness during the day, as on our arrival they did not look particularly clean.

Common Spaces

There is just one open common area on the first level which includes reception, lounge area and kitchen, which looks like it could be a great social area in the evenings although everyone appeared to just be speaking French when we stayed there. A book exchange and board games are also available. There is also a computer with a thirty-minute time limit and Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel although it could be somewhat erratic out of the common area. Breakfast is available for an extra charge (included in the cost of a private room), which can be purchased all you can eat or by item; it appears to be a simple organic continental breakfast and not worth the prices charged.


This hostel has a good vibe and mission, as it is also an art space and suits that free and environmentally friendly attitude. If you are not comfortable with a little bit less luxury or a laid-back attitude then you should probably look elsewhere. If you come knowing this, then you should enjoy your stay here.


Sexual harrassment, sorry to say

though i have been sexually harassed by 'the night security' staff on two separate occasions (5 years apart), i still actually like this hostel. the loc, the beautiful kitchen, the free coffee/tea, the basic cleanliness. i don't feel much love for the staff however, as you can imagine. i am not a fashion model or an actress, so why the 'unwanted sexual interest'? the individuals seemed to have emotional, social (and alcohol) issues. also you must understand that this hostel is in a very french (albeit beautiful) neighbourhood. so bring your french dictionary.


Good, Cheap and a lot of FREEs

this hostel is just amazing! FREE coffee & tea, FREE internet (PC & wireless), a lot of FREE food, and a great kitchen with a lot of FREE spices! staff was very friendly and the place is clean. ok the dorm can be a bit noisy, but that was no problem to me. Unbeatable in price: 20$ a night (+2$ once only if you don't have a sleeping bag for sheets). I had a great time and made a lot of friends!

Timon (21, Switzerland)

Affordable, great location, friendly, nice common room

i enjoyed the hostel. my sister and i stayed in the rose/pink room -- a girls only dorm which only had six beds and a locking door. I would suggest requesting a dorm room that has a locking door rather than the open type rooms they have. Not that I was worried at all about safety, but having the extra privacy and ease of mind about luggage was great. the common room is well equipped and a cozy spot to hang out.



this place was great. good location so you can get pretty much anywhere you want, especially (of course) all over old montreal, which is at its prettiest a few blocks southeast of here along the water (a great place to see the sunset if youre into that). the breakfast is not free but its GREAT and not expensive. you can cook whenever and people are always doing so (but dont worry about being able to, we never had to wait). the guy at the front desk was really nice. we also stayed in the private "red room," which was great. the color-themed rooms really make it nice. definitely recommend this hostel


I stayed here recently and felt very uncomfortable around the checking-in guy -- he was very pervy and made unwanted advance towards me. I had booked for five nights but only stayed for one. Horrible horrible place, stay anywhere but here.


The best thing about the Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal is the location - but that's also the worst thing about it. As the name suggests, it's located in the heart of old Montreal. Right outside the hostel is a street with a few boutique shops and several nice (but pricey) restaurants, and horse carriages clop by at all hours. The streetfront location makes the hostel noisy at night, mostly from cars going by over the cobbled streets. For quick or cheap eats you'll need also to go elsewhere in the city. The nearest metro stop is a fairly easy five minute walk away.

On the plus side, the atmosphere of the place is charming. The entire hostel is carefully and artfully decorated. The main common room is a large "great room" combined with an open kitchen area. It's a space that's as beautiful, warm, and comfy as you could ever hope to find in any hostel. The hostel is very social, with the common room often becoming packed with people at night. Some people may find it to be a little "clicky," as groups of people form. It can be hard to find your niche, and depending on the crowd; some nights you might feel like an outsider if you don't speak French. There is one free internet computer, but be prepared for a long wait.

The rooms are painted in color themes and the bunk beds are made of sturdy solid wood. There is one private room, but it's perpetually booked very far in advance. Bathrooms are self-contained and clean. There's a continental breakfast available, but unlike some hostels, it costs extra and isn't much of a bargain. So do sheets. So while the hostel is cheap, there's no extras for that money. While the kitchen/lounge is inviting and friendly, there could be more planned activities/tours to create the type of community atmosphere that the place is going for.

This place has a few other downsides - when you first enter, there's a steep staircase to lug your luggage up before you even get to reception, and then further up to your room. Unlike most hostels, credit cards are not accepted at all -- it's strictly cash only. Safety also isn't the number one priority here; while the front door requires a code between 1:30 and 7:00 in the morning, the rest of the time anyone can come in and go up the stairs without needing to pass any security or being seen by the front desk. Some dorms, like the "Big Blue," don't even have a door, so people can come and go unimpeded. There are wooden lockers under the beds (bring your own lock or borrow one from the hostel), but the hostel still recommends that you keep valuables at the reception desk.

Catherine George

Twenty beds in a room. awesome. really friendly people and staff. great character -- one big room with kitchen, books, desk, internet. awesome place. slightly different but great. no tv though (missing hockey). one of the better ones on my trip for sure, and in the most spectacular place in montreal.

daniel h

More reviews...


The Backpackers of Old-Montreal was born after a meeting between an Australian and a French Canadian... in a youth hostel in Vancouver, Canada. Now, married and proud parents, they have not however left the travelling world behind.

These two hard-core travellers have since become, may we say, "alternative business people". They invested all their savings and tenaciously found the necessary finance to kickstart the project. They set out in the streets of the Plateau Mont-Royal, a trendy neighborhood of Montreal in search of old furniture, doors, chairs, tables, etc... They then found the ideal building, a 3-storey building built in 1875 and unoccupied for 20 years. But the building was in very bad shape, so Bruno, Angela and "friends of the project" started the make-over. Their renovations lasted 6 months; the floors, the original stone walls and beams are revamped, and a new color treatment is given to every wall. Since its opening in March 96, dozens of people have collaborated on the project under different circumstances. One of the most important contribution is the loan of paintings and the creation of a superb mural in one of the dorms from well known contemporary artist Raymond-Paul Martin.

If the owners are away, it's surely because they're travelling...
Backpackers of Old Montreal, built by travellers...for travellers...

Location and Contact




Address: 358 Rue Saint-Pierre, Ville-Marie, Montreal (Montréal), Quebec, Canada

Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Alternative Hostel of Old Montreal Montreal (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: +1 (514) 282-8069
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Solo Traveller



Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Bike Rental

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage

24 Hour Security

Air Conditioning

Board Games

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Entirely Non-Smoking

Evening Entertainment



Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Live Music/Performance

Lounge Area

Meeting/Banquet facilities

Movie Library/Rental

Credit Card Payments


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