Gibraltar is very British, with policemen in British uniform, English signs, the British pound is the currency and British armed guards! If you're arriving in Gibraltar from the Spanish side, you'll notice the immediate changes in language, police uniforms, road names, and the like. It's very surreal how quickly everything changes. Arriving from Spain is the easiest and cheapest option and often fits in better for those traveling through Spain also. To fly to Gibraltar, it is very expensive and the flights are relatively limited.
As it's a small country, there are limited Gibraltar hostels; there are also a few guesthouses and bed-and-breakfasts for lower-end budgets. It's recommended to book your accommodation -- especially your chosen hostel in Gibraltar -- quite far in advance as Gibraltar is an up-and-coming destination and is gradually becoming more popular on the tourist trail. Your chosen hostel in Gibraltar will place you very close to the Main Street as well as the bus station (which is the easiest and cheapest way to get to Gibraltar from Spain). Staying in Gibraltar allows you to have more time here, as opposed to the day trips offered from the Spanish side. Your Gibraltar hostel has great facilities and promises a good atmosphere. Gibraltar is gradually becoming more and more popular on the tourist route for those traveling extensively through Spain, so it's a perfect place to stop for a while and it's also very different than being in Spain.
Staff at your hostel in Gibraltar will speak English and Spanish, and it's an exceptionally easy place to get around. For those that are British and those that speak English as opposed to Spanish, the road signs, information boards, and menus are all written in English first! It's a tiny country but with character like none other -- there's an eclectic mix of Spanish, Gibraltar, and British nationals. Lots of people commute to nearby Spain for work and it's literally a stone's throw away.
You have to walk over the runway to get to/from Spain. Unfortunately, once you cross the border, the lower prices of Spain don't continue. It's not crazily expensive compared to other countries and the Basque region, if you're traveling around Spain. Gibraltar is certainly not cheap for accommodation or food. However, it's exceptionally cheap for alcohol, cigarettes, and perfumes due to its duty-free status.
Obviously the most famous and iconic thing about Gibraltar is the infamous rock, which is obvious from miles away, and you can easily get lost in its shadow whilst exploring Gibraltar. You can get a cable car to the top of the rock to see the well known Barbary Apes, which will attack you if you have food! And of course, it's worth the journey to the top to look down over the whole of Gibraltar and nearby Spain.
As already mentioned, Gibraltar is tiny -- it's a beautiful and nice place to stay for a few nights at least. It has all the basic facilities and amenities that any city/town would have and it's exceptionally safe. There are a few things that might seem a little strange for a whole country -- such as there are only a few petrol stations and only one big, main supermarket -- but because it's small, it doesn't take too long to get anywhere!
Hi, I'm Shakesley,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Gibraltar hostels. Welcome.