A stay at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen with kids

Generator Hostel Copenhagen Denmark affordable holiday with kids

On our trip to Denmark, we spent four nights at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen. Prior to the trip, I did quite a bit of research on where to stay and which type of accommodation to use. Copenhagen has a good selection of hotels, hostels and self catering apartments. I opted for the Generator due to its central location. It had positive reviews online and seemed like good value for money.

design details in bedroom at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen

Design details at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen: youth hostels are changing.

If you’re used to traditional youth hostels where you stash your food in a communal fridge and hope that it’s still there the next day, you’ll be in for a surprise at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen. This is a new breed of hostels: part hostel, part hotel. The Generator is a sociable place with plenty of communal space and there’s a relaxed and informal vibe. You can stay in a private en-suite room or a dorm and there’s a laundry room for washing clothes. You can’t self cater which is tricky if you’re trying to save money in an expensive city like Copenhagen. However, the Generator serves a good value buffet breakfast as well as catering for lunch and dinner. There’s a supermarket round the corner to stock up on food for the rest of your day.

Accommodation at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen

There are dorms (mixed and female only), double rooms, and family rooms at the Generator. You can even book a private six bed en-suite room making it a particularly appealing option for larger families or groups of friends. We booked an en-suite family room which had two single beds pushed together plus a set of bunk beds. It was a spacious and light room with big windows overlooking rooftops (we were on the top floor of six). There was no noise from adjoining rooms or corridors despite the hostel seeming pretty busy during our stay in April.

While we were in Copenhagen it was quite warm during the day but the temperature dropped to zero at night. However, our room remained quite hot each night so we needed all the windows open (there’s a fan for summertime, no air-con). The Saturday night revellers were out on the terrace below us until the early hours which might disturb some people but we were so tired it didn’t bother us. The terrace was fairly quiet for the rest of our stay and no doubt if you request a room elsewhere in the building this might not be an issue.

room with a view sunset copenhagen denmark

Room with a view

Our room had a separate toilet room and separate shower room and the sink was in the bedroom area. The furnishings were stylish and looked new. Several shelves contained books, a plant and a few decorative objects, definitely a step up from a traditional hostel. There’s a full length mirror and there are two large lockers under the bunk (which require a padlock), the lockers were commandeered by our boys as a particularly appealing play space, our valuables went elsewhere. The room was cleaned each day which surprised me, I’d expected to be left to our own devises. Although amusingly, the boys’ messy beds were left unmade while ours was made up, a subtle note to our children perhaps…

The communal space

The first floor of the Generator Hostel Copenhagen is given over to various communal areas including a large outdoor terrace and a covered petanque area. There are spaces to socialise in with shuffleboard, table football and darts and there are spaces in which to be alone: plenty of comfy furniture where travellers can curl up with a book and a coffee or beer. There are also a couple of TVs showing sport.

Communal youth hostel space Denmark

Communal area at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen

I’ve been out of the hostel world for too long it would seem so I was impressed and horrified in equal measure to discover the Generator has an app for meeting other residents. Do we need an app for that? Surely you can just make eye contact with someone? There are also USB charging points everywhere so that everyone can always have everything fully charged. Next to the reception you’ll find lockers for hire in case you have a late flight and need somewhere to store your luggage (it’s only a 10 minute metro ride to the airport).

The ambience

We arrived at around midday on a Saturday when the hostel was pretty quiet. Check in is a civilised 2pm so we spent an afternoon exploring the city before returning to the Generator for an early dinner as we were quite tired after a 5am start in the UK. The food is crowd-pleaser stuff: burgers, chips, pizzas and so forth.

We ate at about 6pm by which time the bar area was heaving with groups of men at the start of their night out. I guess the Generator is such good value that groups of local non-residents (of all ages) use it as a bar. What had been a pleasant communal space earlier in the day became a full-on drinkers bar by the evening so I didn’t feel particularly relaxed letting the boys (aged 5 and 7) out of my sight. On the other nights it was noticeably quieter with a more youthful clientele. During the day there were lots of students from all over the world along with a good mix of families, couples and solo travellers, which gave the hostel a more appealing vibe.

The staff

The staff are young, patient and friendly (even when they’re asking an unsuspecting youth if he’s paid for his breakfast). They speak such perfect English that I had no idea whether they were Danish or from an English-speaking nation. The reception desk is manned 24/7 and bike hire, tours and other travel arrangements can be made there.

Youth hostel information board

Information board at the hostel

Location of the Generator Hostel Copenhagen

The Generator has a pretty unbeatable location. It’s a 6 minute walk to Kongens Nytorv metro station (15 minute journey direct to the airport) and an 8 minute walk to Nørreport train station where you’ll find direct trains to Malmo in Sweden (journey time around half an hour).

We only used public transport for the airport and for a day trip to Malmo. Otherwise we walked or cycled everywhere. Nyhavn is 10 minutes walk from the Generator while the National Museum of Denmark and the Tivoli Gardens are both a 20 minute walk from the hostel.

Nyhavn Copenhagen Denmark

Nyhavn is just 10 minutes walk from the hostel

Just around the corner from the Generator you’ll find an Aldi supermarket where we stocked up on fresh bread, cheese, ham and fruit for lunches. You also have Kongens Have park just a 2 minute walk from the hostel which is perfect for families needing a green space to let off some steam.

Where to eat and drink near the Generator Hostel Copenhagen

There are many, many brilliant places to eat in Copenhagen: we barely scratched the surface. The food at the Generator is fine if you’re after a quick bite to eat. Here are a few places near the Generator which we sampled:

We really enjoyed the Bridge Street Kitchen: it consists of a range of street food kiosks selling hotdogs, curry and smørrebrød, the Scandinavian open-faced sandwich and much more. I loved this concept as we could all eat something different but sit together al fresco at the communal tables. We had Sunday lunch at Bridge Street Kitchen and enjoyed listening to a Blues band playing nearby. Bridge Street Kitchen is conveniently located just over the Inderhavnsbroen (inner harbour bridge) from famous Nyhavn and it has toilets so it’s a very family-friendly spot. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the hostel.

We didn’t eat at Nyhavn but it’s such a pretty area that we did find ourselves there on more than one occasion as it works well for an evening aperitif and / or ice cream stop: great for keeping all members of the family content. Vaffelbageren on Nyhavn makes its own waffles and has a very good selection of ice cream. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the Generator.

Vaffelbageren, Nyhavn Copenhagen Denmark

Popular Vaffelbageren, Nyhavn

We enjoyed coffee at Illum. I wouldn’t normally think to visit a department store when I’m on holiday but I took the advice of Erin from Oregon Girl Around the World and visited the top floor cafe for coffee with a view from the terrace (complete with blankets for cooler days). It’s about 8 minutes walk from the hostel.
Illum, Copenhagen Denmark

Illum: perfect for coffee

We discovered a great little Italian restaurant on our last night, La Vecchia Signora, which serves sensibly priced pizzas and pasta. It’s only a five minute walk from the Generator.

Our verdict

We paid 3,850 Danish Krone for our 4 night stay in April 2019 (room only) for a 4 bed en-suite family room, this equates to approximately £110 per night.

The hostel is a good value, very central family friendly place to stay in Copenhagen. We would definitely stay at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen again. Please note, this is not a paid review.

Have you stayed at the Generator Hostel Copenhagen? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Find out about the best things to see and do in Copenhagen with kids: including playgrounds, museums and day trips out from the city.

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This post is linking up to the May edition of #FamilyFriendlyStays
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25 Comments

  1. 1st May 2019 / 8:40 pm

    Having recently reacquainted myself with a hostel for a family stay I must say I am very impressed by the look of this one and the location seems amazing. #familyfriendlystays

    • 2nd May 2019 / 11:29 am

      I think my family will be going to a lot more hostels from now on. And Yorkshire is top of my list so I’m looking forward to reading your review.

  2. 5th May 2019 / 9:04 am

    This looks great! An avid fan of Youth Hostels for many years now, we have quite recently discovered the similar Meininger group of hostel/hotels, and really like the idea. Generator looks a bit funkier than Meininger, but it’s a pity that there is no self-catering facilities; this would be particularly important for us in an expensive city such as Copenhagen. Still, we’ll definitely be checking this out – thanks for the tip!

    • 5th May 2019 / 8:59 pm

      I’d definitely like to try the Meininger group, it sounds good. And I’m keen to try a few more hostels in the UK, they seem to be having a bit of a makeover at the moment.

  3. pigeonpairandme
    8th May 2019 / 10:18 am

    Wow – an app for meeting other guests. The world really has changed! This sounds very reasonably priced for Copenhagan. We’re hoping to travel there at some point soon, so I’ll bear it in mind!

    • 9th May 2019 / 2:09 pm

      Yes, staying in a hostel is a good way to keep up to speed on how travel works for the younger generation.

  4. 14th May 2019 / 4:29 pm

    This is a great option – I spent ages looking for somewhere to stay in Copenhagen last October (we never went, but it’s still very much on the bucketlist! Loads of great tips and things I’d like to know about a place before I stay there! #familyfriendlystays

    • 14th May 2019 / 10:52 pm

      I spent a long time looking too: everywhere was so expensive! Really glad we stayed at the Generator, such a great location.

  5. TraveLynn Family
    17th June 2019 / 7:06 pm

    Haven’t hostels changed so much over the past years? This place sounds perfect for families visiting Copenhagen and a great location too. #MondayEscapes

    • 17th June 2019 / 10:23 pm

      Yes haven’t they just! I’m keen to try a few more now to see how they compare.

    • 17th June 2019 / 10:24 pm

      The location was pretty unbeatable. It was nice not having to rely on public transport to explore the city.

  6. 18th June 2019 / 12:09 pm

    That sounds fantastic – Denmark is on my list and I think reading a review like this would change my husband’s thoughts of Hostel stays. He has 1 experience of a YHA in Cornwall sometimes and assumes that they are all similar. It also looks really family friendly (apart from a Saturday Night!) #MondayEscapes

    • 18th June 2019 / 8:45 pm

      It’s certainly very different to a lot of hostels I’ve stayed at over the years! It’s great to have an affordable option like this in an otherwise expensive city.

  7. 20th June 2019 / 12:55 pm

    Fantastisk! That’s Danish for fantastic. Happy you found the view (and the coffee) at Illum’s Rooftop! Good to know that the Generator is a good spot for families and budget travelers – I will add it to my list of recommendations when people ask before coming to visit this fine city. Danes do hostels well – and we’ve stayed a few in other parts of Denmark. Efficient, clean and accommodating usually. Cheers from here. Erin

    • 20th June 2019 / 1:49 pm

      We loved Denmark! And I really enjoyed reading some of your other tips. You’ll be referred to in my future posts about what we got up to!

  8. Clare Thomson
    20th June 2019 / 2:04 pm

    That’s a very reasonable price, Annabel and it’s good to see that you didn’t need to sleep in a dorm. I haven’t stayed in a hostel since I was in Italy 20 years ago. I think I should start discovering them again with the kids. #farawayfiles

    • 20th June 2019 / 2:29 pm

      It had been a similar hiatus for me. Looking forward to trying out a few in the U.K. now.

  9. 23rd June 2019 / 3:38 pm

    I admit I’ve never stayed in a hostel in my entire life, but I think this might be one I would consider. I actually never knew, until I started blogging, that there was such a thing as a family hostel. I alway thought they were for people 25 and under. Copenhagen is a place I dream of going, so maybe thats the place I discover staying in a hostel? #farawayfiles

    • 24th June 2019 / 11:17 am

      There are some utterly brilliant hostels out there, give them a try! We’ll definitely be using them more now that I’ve rediscovered them.

  10. 25th June 2019 / 8:15 am

    You know, I would never consider booking a hostel with kids but youo’ve introduced me to a new concept. And in somewhere like Copenhagen where it can get a little expensive this seems like a great idea! Thank you for the info. #farawayflies

    • 26th June 2019 / 11:24 am

      There are some really great hostels out there, it’s definitely worth investigating some in the destinations you’re travelling to.

  11. 30th June 2019 / 10:32 pm

    I have never thought of booking a hostel, but what a great idea. Copenhagen looks absolutely beautiful its definitely on my ever growing list !! Thanks for linking up to Monday Escapes 🙂

    • 1st July 2019 / 6:48 am

      It’s amazing how so few families use hostels, we’ll definitely be trying them for more city breaks in future.

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