A fresh and trendy backpacker favorite
Generator Stockholm is one of the new, cool hostels that redefine the idea of the affordable stay. Located just a few minutes from the central station, this hostel attracts a varied crowd that is generally on the younger side.
All opinions are my own. I paid for this stay in full and had checked out before revealing that I wanted to review it. If you book your stay through a link in this review, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Generator Stockholm at a glance
Right off the bat, this hostel gives off an international vibe. For example, the staff didn’t speak Swedish when I checked in. At first, the house seemed to be full of people fresh out of college. But the clientele hanging out at the lounge and bar area to watch the World Cup included all ages. At breakfast, it became evident that Generator Stockholm hosted quite a few business travelers as well.
The hostel has 233 rooms of different types – anything from dormitories to double bedrooms and family rooms. You can also rent an entire dormitory (six beds) if you are several people traveling together.
The Location – minutes away from shopping and the Central Station
Generator Stockholm is located right in the middle of Stockholm’s city center. The hostel’s part of the street is quiet, but a few minutes away you have the Central station with its access to trains, subway, buses, and airport shuttles. Five minutes in the other direction, there’s a host of pleasant cafés, restaurants, and bars. Last but not least, Generator Stockholm is around the corner from Stockholm’s shopping district.
The Reception – cheery chalkboards and polaroids
From the polaroids of beer pong champions to information scribbled with chalk on blackboard walls, Generator sets an informal tone from the start. The staff kept a relaxed attitude and international vibe, speaking mostly in English. Check-in is after 14:00 and check-out before 10:00.
The wall next to the reception is full of recommendations for what to do in the area. You’ll find leaflets on museum exhibitions, free guided tours of the city, and other events. If you feel like discovering the city by bike, the reception has several bikes to rent. You’ll also find a convenient shop here, selling anything from flipflops and toiletries to Polaroid cameras and souvenirs. You can also buy detergent and tokens for using the washing, and drying machines in the hostel’s laundry room.
The Room – thought-through room but too hot bed
I booked a bed in a six-people dormitory for women for 307,13 SEK, private bathroom, breakfast 85 SEK, staying 19-20th of June 2018. Bed linen is included in the price, towels rented for 50 SEK.
The dormitories have private bathrooms, meaning one bathroom for six people. It was clean and fresh, despite four roommates already having checked in. I would have liked more hooks for hanging towels. You need to bring all hygiene articles (including soap) or buy them in the reception’s shop.
The locker is a wooden box on wheels under the bed. Unfortunately, it was very squeaky, both when rolled in and out and when closing the lid. You need a padlock to lock the box (you can buy one at the front desk). Apart from finding a few hairs in my locker, I don’t have any complaints about the cleanliness of the room.
There is an electrical socket, a USB-socket and a bed light, as well as a narrow shelf alongside the head of the bed. You’ll also have a side pocket and two hooks on the side of the bed.
Beds in dormitories are covered by plastic mattress protectors and half-made upon arrival. The room was well aired and of a comfortable temperature when I was going to sleep. However, the bed got very warm, and I woke up a couple of times during the night, which I blame on the mattress protectors trapping the heat.
The Facilities – relaxed living room-style lounge
The lounge and bar area on the ground floor serves as a natural gathering point for guests. There were also another bar and club in the building, but they were not open during my stay. The lounge had plenty of board games and tables with charging possibilities both through regular sockets and USB outlets.
There is also a luggage room with large and small lockers (25 SEK for a small, 50 SEK for a large, for 24 hours).
Let’s talk about the food policy. Guests are not allowed to bring their own food to the hostel, and there is no communal kitchen. While I appreciate the difficulty of keeping a kitchen clean in an 800-guest hostel, this rules out Generator for those who want to prepare their own food. However, there are plenty of eating options nearby, and the hostel offers food in the bar area.
Eating – turning service failure to weirdest upsell ever
In the evening, I’m starving and order pescado frito for 130 SEK and a beer for 39 SEK from the bar in the lounge area. Ten minutes later, the server comes and tells me that the kitchen is out of pescado frito, but I can order something else. While the bar was pretty full, most people were only having drinks, so I don’t understand why it would take so long to realize and communicate this.
The server recommends a burger or a pizza instead. I choose a cheeseburger for 155 SEK. He informs me that I can get the burger and a beer for 155 SEK – their World Cup special offer. Bemused, I ask him if I can’t just have the burger instead, as I already bought a beer (and thus paid more than 155 SEK).
It will be 155 SEK for the burger, whether I want an extra beer or not. But he’s courteous and somewhat apologetic the entire time. ”I don’t want you to think I’m trying to get you drunk, but this is a good deal…”
This might be the weirdest upsell I’ve ever faced. After trying to negotiate, I settle for paying 25 SEK more and got another beer. At least he asks if I want the beer now or later.
I get my burger 15 minutes later, served with a “sorry for the inconvenience.” The presentation is appealing, with and a generous serving of crispy fries. The brioche bun’s grid marks are black enough that I don’t want to finish it. The name ”The Big Cheese” is fitting when it comes to portion size – it is a good sized burger, with a juicy medium-rare patty.
Unfortunately, the cheese itself is barely visible, and I can’t blame that on the triple cooked onions. The burger is decent but hardly full of personality. If only there was a bit more cheese and the bun wasn’t as black, it would be great instead of good. As it is now, I’d be a bit annoyed to pay 155 SEK if I didn’t get a beer with it.
The Breakfast – great breakfast deal if purchased in advance
Do you want more than a croissant and a coffee for breakfast? Then the breakfast token for 85 SEK is good value for money. You need to buy this the day before or at check-in. The breakfast token lets you choose one meal off the menu and a coffee, tea or juice. I had ”Eggs any style” (regular price 95 SEK) and a coffee (regular price 25 SEK). For a proper breakfast, the 85 SEK token deal is difficult to beat. There were plenty of smaller options such as sandwiches and sweet treats as well.
I eyed the charred grill marks with suspicion, but they were on the right side of too burnt. Scrambled eggs and bacon was excellent, and the thin pesto-like spread on the toast made me understand why my roommates had raved about the dish. The breakfast arrived after around 10 minutes.
Who should stay at Generator Stockholm?
The rooms are good value for money – some of the cheapest and freshest in Stockholm. It is clear that they’ve put effort into the hostel. It shows in the little details – Space invaders on an arcade machine, walking tours, or plenty of charging outlets.
The location is perfect for those who want to be close to the Central Station or have the shopping area around the corner.
While the young 20-30-something crowd is in the majority, it attracts any ages. As long as you don’t need access to a kitchen or eating your own food, this is one of the best of the cheapest yet comfortable options in Stockholm.