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As avid travelers, we've done our fair share of overnight stays in hostels- from $3 hole-in-the-walls in central China to high-end lodge-esque accommodations dedicated to hikers in Patagonia. Whenever we need to travel economically, we look toward shared dorms and private rooms at hostels in order to meet our travel goals.
One thing that always bothered me about the Pittsburgh hotel scene is that we never had a hostel to call our own- until now.
South Side Traveler's Rest is what we would call the first true Pittsburgh hostel, and all we have to say is its about time!
I recently was invited to the hostel for an overnight stay and wanted to share a bit more about this hidden gem in the South Side.
South Side Traveler's Rest is a Comfortable Hostel
At its core, South Side Traveler's Rest ticks a lot of boxes for us.
First, there is the location. While the hostel is located in a current industrial area of South Side, this section of the neighborhood is undergoing rapid changes with the industrial businesses moving out and commercial spots moving in. Couple that with an easy walk to downtown on foot (25-30 minutes to Market Square), the nearby Monongahela Incline, or bike access on the GAP Trail and you have the makings of an interesting spot for a hostel.
You probably won't go out of your way to this part of the city if you're staying elsewhere (most dining and entertainment options in the South Side are a 10 minute walk away at a minimum), but when you are staying here the location makes a fair bit of sense for a budget hostel- especially for those who visit without a car (although if you have one, even better).
Second, there are the rooms. One of my biggest pet peeves is staying in a hostel with uncomfortable beds, but the room options here will give some nearby hotels a run for their money for bed comfort. My private room with shared facilities was fairly quiet throughout the night (however, the hostel was not busy during my stay), and only at about 7 am did I start to hear a little noise from the industrial spots nearby.
I'd expect more noise in general when the hostel is quite busy, especially in shared dorms (its the nature of the game), but the hostel owners put in a lot of effort to insulate the building from noise which I can always appreciate.
Then there are the amenities. The hostel has a decently sized kitchen on-site for those wanting to cook their own meals in-house (including a stocked spice shelf which we can fully appreciate), ample coffee from local roaster La Prima, a rather large common area nearby to meet fellow guests, and many amenities unique to bikers including storage and repair kits are perfect for those hitting the trails.
But above all else, what really sets South Side Traveler's Rest apart from the rest are the owners– Pittsburgh natives turned travelers who stayed in many hostels around the world and saw a need for a similar spot in their own city (with all the best aspects of their favorite places).
I spent most of my visit hanging out with them in the common area, talking Pittsburgh, sharing stories from the road, and it felt like I was in any hostel in any city in the world talking to travelers I had just met about our likes, dislikes, and cool things to do in the area.
It just so happened I was only a few blocks away from my house the entire time.
When it comes down to it, Pittsburgh sorely needed a budget hostel, and South Side Traveler's Rest is filling that niche nicely. The beds make for quite cost-effective accommodations for solo travelers and rivals many Pittsburgh Airbnbs in the city for couples and larger groups.
I'm looking forward to watching this one in the coming years, as I can foresee South Side growing around the hostel (and not the other way around), which will make this one prime for more and more travelers as the weeks and months go by.
South Side Traveler's Rest is located at 27 S 6th Street in South Side. The hostel does not have on-site parking, but street parking was available during my early 2019 visit for no charge (at your own risk). For those visiting with a car, we recommend reconfirming prior to your visit to avoid potentially having to pay at Station Square.
Looking for things to do in Pittsburgh once you get here? Click the previous link to get some ideas!