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 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.
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.