As you may have noticed, I’ve just spent a week in beautiful Croatia! I’ve wanted to go for over a year now, and last month I just thought, well, I’m in Europe now, so why not?? So I booked myself a cheap flight, googled Zadar for a place to stay and asked a few travel blogger friends. The answer I got back? Drunken or Lazy Monkey! So I went with Lazy, because it’s new and I was feeling a chilled week more than a party week….. though I did party. hah.
So, What’s The Monkey About?
Drunken Monkey was set up by friends Chris (English) and Kyle (Canadian). Both travellers themselves and both with experience in the hospitality industry. They knew what they wanted to create, they just didn’t know what to call it. SO, one night in a bar in Split, they put the question to a group of drunk backpackers. What do we call our new hostel? This was where The Drunken Monkey Hostel was born, with a beer in one hand and a shot in the other no doubt. The Lazy Monkey Hostel, however, was only born at the start of this Summer. Only a few months old, The Lazy Monkey Hostel is far more chilled than his older brother. However, the pair co-exist happily just 4 minutes around the corner from each other. So you can choose to either party or chill. I chose to chill!
How Do I Get There?
It’s a 5 min walk from the main bus station in Zadar to the Lazy Monkey Hostel. The bus goes straight from the airport and costs 25kr. The main bus station is the first stop. Ryanair fly directly into Zadar from several European cities. Check out all my tips for flying Ryanair here. You can also get buses from the major cities such as Spilt and Zagreb. You can get a taxi to the Lazy Monkey Hostel from Zadar airport, but don’t pay more than 140kr (£14). In fact, you can probably get a taxi for 100kr (£10) if you do some haggling.
What About The Rooms?
I was staying in the Gorilla dorm room which has 8 beds (4 sets of bunkbeds). The room is big, clean and bright. The rooms are cleaned daily and the bathrooms are checked every hour during the day. The Gorilla dorm is ensuite and the water is always warm. The doors are keycoded so it’s very secure. There are also lockers in the rooms if you feel the need to lock your valuables away (I didn’t). There’s plenty of space for bags and belongings to be spread out without making the room feel cramped. ALSO, there’s plenty of power points and great wifi in the room.
The beds are comfortable and the room temperature is good. There’s a heater in the room also as it can get a bit cold at night at the end of the season. It’s a fairly chill hostel so there’s not much noise after 10 and it’s easy to sleep (I didn’t want a party hostel this time, I’m tired). There’s a large communal kitchen and a small Konzum supermarket just across the road so it’s easy to save money and cook. There’s also a bar in the hostel, though you’re welcome to bring your own booze. I recommend trying the Monkey Punch, it turns every night into an adventure.
There are also 4/6/10 bed dorms and private rooms available in the Lazy Monkey Hostel. Prices change depending on what month it is. You can find them in detail here.
What Is There To Do?
The hostel is only a 20 minute walk to Zadar, or you can get a taxi for 30kr (£3). Zadar itself is a lovely little walled town right on the water. The most amazing thing about Zadar is that it is home to the famous sea organ. What’s a sea organ I hear you ask? Well….. basically a set of pipes, like an organ, that make beautiful music when the waves move them. Not only that but the waves also control a unique light show called Greetings To The Sun or Sun Salutation right beside the sea organ. There is one large solar panel and several neighbouring smaller ones that light up at night in bright patterns and colours that change according to the motion of the sea. SO BEAUTIFUL.
The Lazy Monkey Hostel also organises it’s own trips in their van “Betsy”, to the nearby national parks. For example, Krka and Plitvice. They also have a trip to their own “Secret Waterfalls” that they discovered themselves. While I was there Betsy was out of action but they arranged a trip for me through a friend of theirs so I still got to see Plitvice. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.
If you want to be lazy you can go watch a film on the projector screen in Drunken Monkey or hire a bike and go for a cycle. You can also spend the day at the beach by the Tequila sunrise bar. It’s only 5 minutes from the hostel and there are plenty of rocks to jump from. The water is clear and warm and so salty that you barely have to work to float.
What Did I Really Think?
I LOVE places run by people that love travel and have travelled themselves. I especially love when you can walk into a place and meet the owner and have a chat and just feel at home. The Lazy Monkey Hostel has this. Chris and Kyle were always around to answer any questions or even just to hang out with the guests. One of my favourite things in this hostel is the giant colourful world map on the wall in the chill out area. Definitely had a photo shoot there, as you saw above. No shame.
This hostel has such a laid back vibe, which makes for a really good atmosphere to get to know your fellow travellers (I met some GREAT people), sight see and even get some work done (maybe that’s just me). I’d definitely recommend it to friends. You have the option to party if you want, but no obligation. You can get some sleep or you can stay out all night. It’s the perfect balance. As they say in the hostel, “we are not a party hostel, but we are a social hostel. ” Perfect.