The First Hostel in Salzburg – an Insider’s Review of the Yoho
When looking for budget accommodation in Salzburg, you will come across the Yoho hostel. You notice that the Yoho stands out from the competition. Are you wondering if the Yoho is the best hostel in Salzburg? In this article is a detailed Yoho Hostel review. I will tell you about my connection to the hostel, why the Yoho stands out and why it’s your best choice, and the only hostel that has actual hostel spirit in Salzburg.
I have been working in Salzburg tourism for years. I met thousands of people, and I am familiar with each of the accommodation options available. As you will see in the next section, I have a long history and a deep connection with the Yoho. I have no interest, however, in advertising the hostel. I want you to benefit from my experience and to provide a guide for your stay.
My Relationship with the Yoho Hostel in Salzburg
I began working in tourism as a Rikscha driver. I loved meeting people and taking them around my hometown. The bike taxi was the first job I loved. Before that, I was only working to save money and travel again. In winter, there are no Rikschas, but I desired to keep working in tourism. That’s why I applied for hotels and hostels and ended up at the Yoho.
I worked as a night porter but soon became a man for all business. I stopped working full time, five years later, when I attended tour guide school in 2012. However, I am still working at the Yoho part-time now in 2020.
People don’t work at hostels for the money. People work at hostels because they are passionate about it. Because they like to meet people and, in most cases, because of the bond they form with their colleagues. I spent part of my life at the hostel and met some of my best friends there. The Yoho is a part of my life and will be a part of my life, even if I quit.
Why I Consider the Yoho the Best Hostel in Salzburg?
You already know, I am biased. I have been working for the Yoho for years. However, I don’t get paid for writing this article and I wouldn’t write it as a favor. I write about the Yoho because I believe that if you are looking for hostel spirit, it’s the best and the only choice when looking for accommodation in Salzburg.
The Yoho was founded 40 years ago. Hostels were not popular yet, and the Yoho today is one of the oldest hostels in Europe. I mean hostel in the way we know them today: backpackers, party people, and adventurers. I am not talking about youth hostels were school classes stay during their excursions and not about the members of hosteling international, an association much older than our idea of hostels today.
When I began working at the Yoho in 2012, the Yoho was the only real hostel in Salzburg. In the meantime, other options became available, but all of them are big German chains and lack the spirit I would want from a hostel. In Salzburg, only one Yoho provides what I would be looking for, and it’s family business.
When you check into the Yoho, you will notice the 40 years it existed. It’s not perfect, and that’s its charm. There are currencies from all over the world on the walls in the bar, writings on the walls in the basement, not an exact style but traces of decades and countless stories told by staff and guests alike.
My Review of the Yoho Hostel
You might wonder what Yoho means. Well, the Yoho for a long time was the only and is now the oldest hostel in Salzburg. Yoho means youth hostel. Who would have guessed that? Yoho, the international youth hostel Salzburg.
Where is the Yoho Hostel located in Salzburg?
If you are a backpacker, Yoho is in the best area. It is located between the train station and the city center and walking distance from either of them. From the Salzburg train station, the hostel is 10 minutes and from Mirabell 5 minutes walking. The hostel is the perfect place if you have limited time but also a great base if you stay for several days and make day trips. All the buses either leave from Mirabell or the train station.
What rooms are available at the Yoho? What are they like?
There are 186 beds at the Yoho hostel. It’s big. Most of the rooms are 4-bed and 6-bed dorms. The two 8-bedrooms are the cheapest beds in the hostel. Among the several private rooms, there are some creative constructions. A triple room with a double bed on the bottom and a single bunk bed on top or a four-bedroom with a double bunk bed.
There is only one single room, and if you don’t book ahead of time, it’s probably unavailable. The single room is small. I would choose a dorm over the single room or make it the double ensuite, the fanciest room at the Yoho hostel.
How are the rooms at the Yoho Hostel equipped?
Every dormitory is equipped with lockers. The lockers work with the same keycard as the door. You don’t need a padlock. Lockers are big enough and most suitcases and backpacks will fit in the locker.
The wifi got an upgrade in recent years and now works well in every room. The only complaint I often hear is that there are not enough sockets for everyone.
Are sheets, blankets and towels included in the price?
Sheets and blankets will be on your bed when you arrive and you don’t have to remove them when you checkout. The price for a bed includes sheets and blankets. Towels are not included. For a towel there is a fee of €1,- and you have to leave a refundable deposit of €5,-. It requires the same deposit to borrow adapters and umbrellas but there are no fees for that.
How checking in works at the Yoho Hostel?
To check into the Yoho Hostel, you have to fill in a guest form upon arrival. It requires personal details like your passport number and your address, your arrival date, and a signature. This guest form is for the city government, and you would have to fill it in anywhere you stay in Salzburg.
After filling in the form you pay, receive your key cards, and the receptionist will be happy to answer your questions before you go to your room. There is always someone at the front desk. You can come back anytime to ask if questions come up. Don’t forget to grab a map. The Yoho city map is beneficial when exploring the city. Much better than the map from the tourist information.
Now, when you are facing the reception, the elevator is to your left while the stairs are on your right. In case you are on the second or third floor, and your luggage is heavy you might want to take the elevator. The elevator only goes to the upper floors. If you have to use the luggage room before check-in or after checkout, you have to carry your luggage down the stairs into the basement.
Is the reception open 24 hours? Is there a curfew?
The reception is open 24 hours. 365 days a year. There is always someone at the reception. No curfew. If you booked your room online, you can check-in anytime. It doesn’t matter which time you specified when booking. With the online booking, the hostel uses your details as a security. In case you don’t show up, the first night will be charged from your card. Therefore you can check-in whenever you want. Even at 5 am and without prior notice.
Is there a bar at the Yoho Hostel?
There is an infamous bar at the Yoho. Parties don’t happen every night. It depends on the audience and the dynamics of the group, but from time to time, it can get crazy. The Yoho bar is an excellent place to be. That’s where it’s easiest to meet people in the evenings. The bar stays open, depending on the people but the latest until 2 pm.
What you should make use of is the two happy hours, from 6 pm to 7 pm and from 10 pm to 11 pm, and the dinner from 7 pm-8.30 pm. It’s the cheapest beer and the most inexpensive Austrian food you find in Salzburg. The food is the best price-value (not the best quality), but the beer is Stiegl, the most popular beer in Austria and it’s €2,- for half a liter during happy hour.
Is there dinner available at the Yoho?
After the first happy hour from 6 pm to 7 pm when the beer is only €2,-, from 7 pm to 8.30 pm you can get the cheapest Austrian dinner you can find in Salzburg. During these times, there is also a free salad buffer available to everyone. No matter if you ordered dinner or not. To save even more, you could prepare simple food on your own and enjoy the free salad with it. If you order dinner I can recommend the Schnitzel.
Is there a kitchen at the Yoho hostel? Can we cook our own food?
There is a kind of kitchen. A kettle, a microwave, and a fridge but no stove or oven to cook real food. Not what I would call a kitchen. The refrigerator can store your food, and the microwave can microwave it but no actual cooking. The kettle is handy, and there is tea for free. Furthermore, there is often the coffee from the breakfast still available in the afternoon.
Is there food available when the kitchen is closed?
From when the bar opens until it closes, there is pizza available. When the bar is closed, the only option for food is the Korean instant noodles you can buy at the reception and the two vending machines in the lobby. The vending machines are more for sweets than snacks, but the Korean noodles are available at the reception 24/7.
Does the Yoho Hostel offer breakfast?
There is a free breakfast included in the price, which is only toast, coffee, butter, and jam. If you want a premium breakfast, you pay €3,50 if you pre-book the breakfast the day before either at the reception or at the bar. If you just show up for premium breakfast, it costs €4,-. Premium breakfast at the bar is available from 7.30 am to 10.30 am while the free breakfast is only available from 7.30 am to 9.30 am.
Can I do my laundry at the Yoho hostel in Salzburg?
The Yoho hostel offers laundry facilities. Washing machine and dryer. To do your laundry, you have to get tokens from the reception. Each of the tokens is €2,50. €2,50 for washing and €2,50 for drying so in total it’s €5,-. There is no possibility to hang clothes, no way to save €2,50 on drying. Once you get your tokens, you head downstairs where you find not only the washing machines and the dryers but also lots of writings on the wall.
Is there a luggage room at the Yoho Salzburg?
There is a luggage room in the basement. You get the key for the luggage room from the receptionist. The luggage room is safe, and there is CCTV, but it’s shared among almost 200 people, so make sure not to leave valuables like a passport or laptop. You never know.
There will also be coin lockers available if you want to store valuables. A coin locker costs €1,- for closing it once. Whatever you leave in the locker you can leave it forever for as little as €1,- but once you open the locker, the euro will be gone. Therefore, make sure you got everything organized, closing the locker.
Is it true that they screen the Sound of Music every night?
Incredible, but true, there is a screening of the Sound of Music movie every single night. 365 days a year. The movie starts at 8 pm in one of the common rooms. You could order a drink or dinner and have it while watching the movie.
Even if you are reading this but not going to be a guest at the hostel and want to watch the movie, you are welcome. Just show up, grab a drink, and watch the Sound of Music together with the other guests. If you want, you can let the reception know that Gerhard told you, you can come and watch the movie. But even without that, it wouldn’t be a problem.
An Insider’s Guide to the Yoho Hostel
What room to choose when staying at the Yoho?
If you want a lot of space, choose a six-bed male or female with shared bathrooms on the floor. This should get you room number 103 for the male six-bed dorm or 203 for the female six-bed dorm. These rooms are spacious; the beds are solid and arranged for maximum privacy.
The cheapest rooms are always the eight-bed mixed dorms with a shared bathroom. The only more affordable room would be the lucky punch special offers on Hostelworld for a four-bed mixed dorm, but they have limited and random availability.
If you choose a double room, book one of the two ensuite double rooms with balcony. They are the most luxury rooms and feel like hotel rooms. They are far superior to all the other private rooms.
That being said, most of the rooms are 4-bed and 6-bed dorms, and differences are minor. Whatever room you book, you will have a locker, a bed, and I am sure you will have a comfortable stay.
How to sightsee when staying at the Yoho?
To explore Salzburg while staying at the Yoho hostel, grab a city map at the reception. You first head to Mirabell gardens, walk through them and look at Mozart’s residence before you cross the river to the other side where most of the sights are. On your way back to the hostel, you walk up Linzergasse. By doing so, you visit the historic area of the city from leaving the hostel until you return.
In case you join one of my tours, the meeting point is next to the main bridge before crossing the river. Coming from Mirabell and facing the Makartsteg, the lock bridge, you turn left and walk over to the main bridge. That’s where the spirit of Mozart, the meeting point for my tour, is.
Is the Yoho Salzburg a party hostel?
The Yoho bar is where everything is happening. The bar can get wild but doesn’t always, and if there is a party depends on the guests, the mood, and the moment. Some nights the bar gets loud enough for the neighbors to call and tell us to stop whatever is going on, other nights the Yoho bar is the perfect place to chill, have a beer and a chat with other guests or one of the passionate bartenders.
The bar is the place to be if you want to meet people. In case there is not much going on at the bar, and you are longing for a party, I recommend making use of the second happy hour from 10 pm to 11 pm and then head to town for more nightlife. Ask the reception for recommendations on bars and clubs!
How to do your laundry at the Yoho hostel?
To not lose your token, you first have to put your clothes into the dryer, close the door, and then put your token into the machine. Otherwise, you lose the token. In case you lose your token, ask at the reception for another one. They already know what happened. Know that washing and drying will take about 1,5-2 hours, and you have to move your clothes from the washing machine to the dryer in between.
By the way, the detergent is in the machine and added. That there is detergent without bubbles may surprise you, but it’s true. There is detergent without bubbles.
Is there parking available at the Yoho? Where to park when staying at the Yoho?
There are no parking spots at the hostel, but there is the Wifi garage around the corner, and the reception has discount cards for the parking. With the hostels, discount card parking at the Wifi is €12,- instead of €15,- for 24 hours.
You are wondering why the parking is called Wifi? Wifi, in that case, has nothing to do with the internet. Wifi is the name of a school for adult education, and that’s where the parking belongs to. That’s the school where I, for example, got my license to guide.
When you enter the parking, you get a ticket. To apply the discount when you leave the parking, put the parking ticket you got from the Wifi garage first. It will show the price of €15,-. Then you put the ticket you got from the Yoho receptionist, and it will reduce the cost to €12,-.
On-street parking in front of the hostel is also possible. On-street parking is free on the weekends and at night from 7 pm to 8 am. Saturdays between 8 am and 4 pm, you would need a parking clock and are only allowed to stay for three hours, but that’s nonsense. No one checks. I don’t guarantee anything, but I never met someone who had a problem with parking on the street on Saturday.
If you stay only a few hours or if most of your stay is during the night or on the weekend, it might be cheaper or even free to park on the street.
Can you buy the Salzburg card at the reception?
Maybe you read my article on the Salzburg card and know that I am a fan. The Salzburg Card is a flat rate for all the tourist attractions. If you want a 24-hour card, the 24 hour Salzburg card is available at the Yoho reception. The price is the same everywhere. If you want 48 hours, 72 hours, go to the tourist information! For more details on the card, read my complete guide to Salzburg cards!
How to book the Sound of Music Tour when staying at the Yoho?
You can book the Sound of Music tour and other tours operated by Panorama tours at the reception. Don’t book the tour beforehand on the internet! Instead of €45,- online or at the Panorama tour office, it’s €40,- at the hostel and Panorama tours only offers hostel pick up if you booked at the hostel. The Sound of Music tours never sells out, which means you can get your ticket at the front desk until 8 am until the receptionist calls the tour company to tell them how many people to pick up.
Can I rent a bike while staying at the Yoho? Is the bike rental recommended?
Bikes are available for rental at the Yoho hostel. They cost €10,- for a day which is the best bike rental rate you get in Salzburg. Consider, however, if you need a bike. The fortress which is the furthest you would go to the old town is 20 minutes walking. Other places like the Untersberg cable car require a bus. You can plan a bike ride to Hellbrunn palace in the south or other places but there is no need for a bike if you only want to explore the old town.
Does the Yoho have a postbox and stamps?
There are stamps available at the reception, and there is a postbox. In case you don’t care when the postcard arrives, leave it at the reception! Otherwise, I would recommend you leave the hostel, cross the street and walk to the left and around the corner. Around the corner will be a yellow post box. That’s where the reception brings the postcards.
Does the Yoho hostel in Salzburg offer jobs for travelers?
There are no travelers, no volunteers working at the Yoho. In Austria, getting a work permit is difficult, so no point in applying for a job if you are just passing by. Most of the people working hostel are students and ex-pats, but still, there are people from 15 to 20 nationalities working for the Yoho. You can check them out when you enter the hostel. There is a staff wall.
How to book the Yoho Hostel?
The best way to book the Yoho hostel is Hostelworld. If you book the hostel on the hostel’s website, you will be charged €1,50 booking fee which is not deducted from the price. On Hostelworld, you pay a down payment that will be deducted from the total amount due on arrival.
Booking.com is another option, but I prefer Hostelworld. Booking.com doesn’t require a down payment, but you will anyway need your credit card details. They offer virtual payment; however, the city tax of €1,50 is always extra. Therefore Booking.com wouldn’t make your check-in faster or easier. Upon arrival, you pay at least the city tax.
Can I book the Yoho Hostel without a credit card?
On Hostelworld, your booking will be fixed, and you can check in anytime. In case you don’t have a credit card to book your room, you could write an email or call. Via email or on the phone, however, you can only make temporary bookings. That means you will have to check-in before a particular time. Therefore book on Hostelworld, if you can!
Conclusion and Links to the Hostel
The Yoho is your best choice if you are staying in Salzburg and are looking for hostel spirit. The alternatives are youth hostels with school groups and families or huge hostels that are part of German chains and opened in recent years. They might be better organized or equipped but lack the heart and the soul of the Yoho Hostel.
Links to the Hostel
The following links are affiliate links. By using them, you can support the free walking tour Salzburg at no extra cost for you.
Yoho International Youth Hostel Website
Yoho International Youth Hostel on Booking.com
Yoho International Youth Hostel on Hostelworld