Hostel California




The Review

Hostel California is the cheapest hostel in Milan. Or is it? Although cheaper than most of the competitors, customers should beware of the hidden charges. In addition to paying a per nightly city tax, guests are also charged with a nightly linen fee. Aside from this issue, guests at this hostel largely get what they pay for in a city that's otherwise quite expensive.

The Location

Hostel California is located on the eastern side of Milan. It is not strictly central, and anyone wanting to explore by foot should expect to walk for about an hour to get to Milan's main tourist attractions, such as the Duomo. However, it is only about a ten-minute walk away from the Pasteur subway station, which will put you on the M1 line that will get you directly to these attractions in a matter of minutes. Single and daily tickets for Milan's public transport system are also quite cheap, so the distance is no big obstacle to exploring the city.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms at Hostel California range in size from three- to fourteen-bed dorms. The hostel also offers eight- and twelve-bed female dorms. The rooms here vary in quality quite significantly. The twelve-bed female dorm is very dirty and has old, squeaky bunk beds with no ladders. It also features a double bed, which is a bit awkward if you and a stranger are stuck sleeping in it together! The room also lacks individual power points and the lockers available come in varying sizes. Other dorms, however, come equipped with individual power points and, although the bunks are still old, they at least have ladders for easier access.

The dorm rooms in this hostel come with en suite bathrooms. There are also a couple of extra toilet/shower rooms on the first floor. The bathrooms are not kept especially clean and a majority of the time seem to lack toilet paper. The shower head in the twelve-bed female dorm can only be used while sitting down in the bath because of some architectural quirks, but most the other showers seem to be standing ones.

Common Spaces

The hostel has a decent-sized common area with tables and hard chairs as well as a TV, which is usually playing movies and TV shows dubbed in Italian. The room also has a drinks vending machine and coffee machine. Although it advertises on the website that there is a kitchen, this is solely for the use of hostel staff and guests cannot use it. Therefore guests do not have access to even a microwave or kettle for boiling water. If you ask nicely, however, you may be allowed to store a couple of items in the fridge. Guests can order beer, coffee, and breakfast from the kitchen/bar located in the common area.


Hostel California is hardly luxurious, but if you are in need of somewhere cheap and don't plan on doing any cooking while you are at the hostel, then it is perfectly adequate. Just beware of those pesky hidden fees!
by Cat MacGregor Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
12-bed female dorm
Common area
Cafe / bar


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Hostel California" at Via Lambrate, 18.)


Via Lambrate, 18, Milan, Lombardy, Italy
45.489926, 9.225697 (accuracy not guaranteed)
None (if you know the URL of their website, tell us and we'll add it)
0039 39318979 12
+39 02 87394968
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How is Hostel California rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
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58% Guest Reviews

Bad Joke
I am not used to luxury and I knew I could not expect much from a 14 bed dorm, but the staff was so unfriendly that I would not sleep there again. When we showed our booking voucher to the guy he didn't even know what it is and had to search our booking for quite a while. Then we had to pay 23 Euro and just had a 50 euro bill and he didnt have enough change and was helpless. he said he couldnt accept it or that we have to go and change it NOW. I said to him that I will give him the money after I had my italian Pizza (in a chinese Pizza restaurant). After a discussion he accepted. The little lockers for the personal things were 2 euros, so we didnt want them. Too expensive everything! He gave us a map, showed us where we were, where the station is and where you can go for shopping. Culture doesn't seem that important ... WTF ... so we did everything without unfriendly advice. NEVER ever again.
Age 23
Worst place I have ever seen
Inconvenient location, rude staff, dirty and disgusting bathrooms and kitchen, dangerous bunk beds without rails or bars on the side and broken ladders, noisy, unsafe, hidden costs that are not included in the price but are compulsory upon arrival. A nightmare for non-smokers, since smoking is allowed in the common rooms. Stay away!
Age 30, Germany
Cheap but with hidden costs
There were some mandatory hidden costs, that are not specified on booking price. I don't know why booking sites allow them to deceive customers. So I expected to pay the mandatory blanket tax, but there was also a city tax. So the final price for the bed was almost double as advertised. The bed from first night was near a window that cannot be closed completely so I was forced to sleep fully clothed, with my head covered and the Jacket over the blanket. Even this way I woke up with red and swollen eyes. They couldn't change my bed for next days, but I got lucky cause a big group wanted the whole room so I was moved after all. Some showers are missing heads. But you can find a better one on public area. The kitchen was not the cleanest I ever seen, but peoples tend to meet there in the evening and try to have a good time. Even the staff smoked in the kitchen, so sometimes the smoke was too much, even when some tried to eat breakfast. The spirit was really great. But around 11 pm, the owner came every night to lock the kitchen and get us out. After that, you don't have any chair to sit if you have to spend some time online. Maybe just on the stairs. Wifi can be reached on the closest room(s) from reception and on upstair kitchen. On the first room I stayed it didn't worked. Maybe when you make the reservation you can send an email to hostel to ask for a bed in a room with wifi, if you need to stay late in the night. The location is not so great, because you need to walk 15 minutes to the closest metro stations. There are two at almost the same distance. The good point is that there are some supermarket near, on the road to metro, and also some cheap eats (turkish and other fast foods) around, where you can save some money comparing to central eateries. I cannot recommend this place.
Overall a very poorly managed hostel.
This hostel was extremely dirty. The tub had not been cleaned in a very long time and the kitchen had dirty dishes and garbage on the counters. The dorm room was very hot with no ventilation. The staff were not helpful and spent most of their time smoking in the kitchen. I would not recommend this place and never return.

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