City Hostel




The Review

City Hostel is centrally located on one of the brightest and most colourful streets in downtown St. John's. Colourful in this case refers to what is locally known as "Jelly Bean Row" -- blocks of wood-sided houses in every colour imaginable.

The Location

The hostel is quite easy to find and parking is street only. There is no public transit to/from the airport and the hostel does not offer pickup; however, the cab ride is reasonably affordable. From the hostel, it is a short walk to the famous George Street, home of the best-known and best-loved pubs in St. John's (and the place to go if you are to be "screeched in" as an honourary Newfoundlander), a short walk (uphill) to The Rooms and other tourist attractions, and a short walk (downhill) to the harbour.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms each have four beds and are well spaced; private rooms are an option as well. The hostel is a series of small floors that are stacked up many levels. There is no elevator, so it is not a friendly option for those with mobility issues or large suitcases. Lockers are available, however not in the room; bring your own lock. Each room has a deadbolt and each occupant has a key. There are multiple hooks located in the room for hanging wet towels or wet rain gear. Bedding and towels are provided.

Bathrooms are single-occupancy spaces that contain a shower, toilet, and sink. They are located on nearly every floor. In high season, locating a toilet or shower could be a matter of timing, however in low season it isn't a problem. There is enough space in the bathroom to keep belongings and change. It is clean enough that shower sandals are an option, not necessity.

Common Spaces

There is a large, well-equipped kitchen for guest use. Beside the kitchen, on the bottom floor is a TV/sitting room with a number of comfortable chairs, a book exchange, and a single computer for guest use. Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel. Like Newfoundlanders themselves, guests at the hostel are also friendly and it is a good place from which to plan excursions as well as to meet others.


Overall, this is a friendly, clean, and well-located hostel that is a great base for any excursions in and around the St. John's area.
by Gillian Hoyer Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "City Hostel" at 8 Gower Street.)


8 Gower Street, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
47.570871, -52.702294 (accuracy not guaranteed)
None (if you know the URL of their website, tell us and we'll add it)
+1 (709) 754-4789
+1 (709) 754-1570
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How is City Hostel rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
(264 ratings)
(24 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
(6 ratings)
HI Hostels
(7 ratings)
79% Guest Reviews

I stayed at City Hostel in November. I was staying a week, and made my reservation with Visa and then used debit to pay the majority of the charge on arrival with debit. Had a great stay, and an awesome trip and raved about it when I got home. A month later, however, they charged my credit card for the amount I already paid with debit. I contacted them and they claimed to put a refund through (they claimed this has happened several times in the past) but the refund never happened. I tried contacting them again and there was no response. Now I am in the process of putting a claim dispute in through Visa, but in the meantime I am out $200 and it seems city hostel could care less. I am thoroughly disgusted with their lack of concern, especially since lets face it, most of us go to a hostel because we are not exactly rolling in cash. I will never stay there again, but if you do stay there, keep your receipts!!!!
Nice atmosphere, good location, laid back staff
city hostel is a good choice for travelers who want to get in contact with other guests. In the kitchen and living room, making plans for trips is easy and you feel more at home than in hostels with huge professional kitchens. I loved the free Internet access and the computers provided as I did not bring my own laptop. the six-bed female dorm had its own bathroom and showers. The only reason why I chose four stars is the dusty floor and the charming but chaotic kitchen equipment. Walking downtown is fast, but the hostel lies in a very quiet street. A Dominion supermarket is close by -- St. John's is rather expensive for backpackers' budgets! I would stay there again.
Marietta Leiber
Most of the staff were nice but one gentleman was very grumpy. For the most part it was clean but very disorganized. We went to the location specified on their website and no one was there! There was a note on the door saying to walk about four large blocks to their main location. It would have cost them nothing to actually mention that in their email. It also seemed a bit expensive for what you got and the charges did not match what they had quoted via email. Some of the links on their website do not work and all of the website only refers to their secondary location. All in all a disappointment.
Excellent hostel experience
I stayed in the City Hostel for two weeks this May. The rooms, bathrooms, and kitchen were clean, and the staff always friendly and helpful. They helped me arrange two hikes along the East Coast Trail and were full of useful information (local attractions, directions to grocery store). The wireless internet worked (a rare thing, in my experience), and when the toilet broke one night, a plumber fixed it first thing the next morning. Overall, City Hostel is a friendly and clean hostel in a great location (in a great city!) -- what more could you ask for?
Cheap price for amazing location, and a clean, nice spot to stay.
I stayed at this hostel for six nights. It was well kept, obviously slightly old (most of the buildings in downtown St. Johns are though, at least in the area it is in, which is very central), but extremely clean. Could do with a few touch ups (some paint here and there, the faucets were sort of iffy, the shower took a minute or longer before the water would come out full stream), but a very good place to stay. The owner was very kind, I arrived past the closing time of 5 p.m., and I called and was let in with five minutes through the back. He was scarce for the next day or two, but once around proved to be very accommodating. The location is amazing, as I said before, only a minute away from the water, and many stores all along duckworth and water street. One day I even walked up to Signal Hill, which was a trek, but very doable from the location. The internet was slow, but with a five-minute walk to three cafes (hava java, chatters, and mocha), faster internet was easy to find if you have a laptop. There was a computer in my room, but I don't know if they all had computers. My only complaint is there wasn't a place to meet other guests, besides maybe the cafe downstairs, which is open to the public as well. I would definitely come back though, a very nice place to be.
Wonderful hospitality!
Staying at the City Hostel made my visit to St. John's and area a wonderful experience. All the staff are very helpful in providing information, whether it be modes of travel, things to see and do, or places to eat. Both hostel locations have all the amenities, even internet, but it is the people that made my stay enjoyable.
The only one like it!
From the minute I arrived in St. John's I was taken care of. Dave picked me up from the original location and took me to the other one. The hostel is newly renovated and is kept clean. There were clean sheets, blankets, and towels for everyone. I needed info about St. John's the next morning to budget my time and Dennis was there to tell me all the places he thought that I would like. Every single one was enjoyable. If there was anything needed they were willing to go the extra mile for you. The tours are customized and as long as no one else is on a different one, you can pretty much chose your destinations, may it be a ten-hour drive around the Irish Loop. It is the most amazing place I have ever been to. They do more for you than a five-star hotel would.Thanks guys. You made my five-day stay in St. John's the best vacation I have ever had.
City Hostel is an unassuming hostel located between two restaurants on the corner of Duckworth and Prescott -- across from the Tim Horton's is the easiest way to give directions! Only a small sign lets you know you're in the right place, and even then, you're likely to be greeted by a locked door with no one on the other side. Call the phone number listed on the sign on the door to get someone to actually come down to street level and meet you. The rooms are all upstairs. The service is rather lackadaisical. The "office/lounge" is occasionally converted to a dorm room when everything else is full, so it's not unusual to see the manager sitting on the stairs or in the hallway with a wireless laptop and a smile. It's often hard to find someone in charge when you have a question. We actually had to go out of our way to track down a hostel employee on our last day so that we could pay for our room! However, this laid-back attitude is typical of St. John's. We came to love it, especially when the staff cheerfully let us check in early after we came stumbling half-comatose off a sleepless sixteen-hour ferry ride from Nova Scotia. They also let us help ourselves to delicious snacks baked daily by the owner's wife for the hostel guests. One area of the service that is not at all shoddy is cleanliness. The rooms, common area, and bathrooms are all new-looking and meticulously clean (although the shower floor was a little gross -- bring your flip flops). The cost of a room includes freshly-laundered sheets smelling of fabric softener (while we love the scent, it's a bit much for those with fragrance or detergent allergies), towels, soap, and free internet access (when the lounge is available). The central location is fantastic -- an easy crawl from George Street, and right next to one of the best restaurants in town, the Bagel Cafe. While there are clearly a few kinks to work out in its day-to-day operations, City Hostel is an excellent place to stay in St. John's.
Christina Tinson

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