It has been exactly one year since I came to Serbia for the first time, I did mostly what a regular tourist would do. By the end of my stay, it felt like I knew the city too well to do the exact same things the next time I visit. So I started preparing my second trip looking for unusual things to do in Belgrade. Then suddenly I came across the first floating hostel in Europe: Arkabarka.
The hostel is located around 20 min walk from Belgrade city centre. At first, I was worried it might be too far but no. Distance didn’t feel like an issue for three reasons: a bus stop is located under a minute walk from the hostel, walking is very pleasant around the area by the Danube and Sava rivers and crossing Brankov bridge is rewarding with a stunning view. On top of that, the staff is very friendly!
The highlight of this hostel is that it is floating on the Danube river. It is an unusual concept which has awarded ArkaBarka with a spot on Europe’s Famous Hostels. And I could see why. The reception is very well maintained and is very cute looking. The view from the terrace is breathtaking with a direct view over War Island where more than 150 species of birds reside. As I stand on the terrace and I look right and left, I could see parts of New Belgrade but overall inside the hostel there is a total disconnection from the hectic city life. But again, the most amazing thing is that the area is still alive too!
People use the green space nearby to go running or walking, Yugoslavia Hotel is a short walk with its groovy dinners and restaurants, also a Casino! Zemun is not far at all… I was lucky to arrive on a sunny day to Belgrade so I took advantage of the weather to go on a bike ride using the hostels bike. They are free to use! I went on a 30-minutes ride and it was not disappointing again.
I stayed at room number 7 and it was directly facing a great view from the window. My stay in this room also included breakfast kindly prepared by the staff on the day and other features but the most unexpected thing was a mini-sauna! Yes, that’s right. I would not expect a mini-sauna in a regular hostel at all… But even less expected on a floating hostel. It was really funny when I discovered it.
During evenings and anytime of the day actually, I hang out with the staff who are really friendly and welcoming. I had great conversations and we discovered so much in common! Overall, it was quite a special stay and that’s what I look for when I’m travelling. Now, I’m sure that this is the most unusual hostel in Belgrade.
Disclaimer: I accepted a complimentary stay at Arkabarka to provide my honest personal opinion about my own experience on this article.