• pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece

Curse of the Pink Palace in Corfu

After 24 hours of travel and sleeping on lawn chairs, we got off the ferry in Corfu.

The van from our chosen hostel, the Pink Palace, awaited us. “Have a shot of ouzo! You must!” said the way-too-cheerful-for-6AM Greek man. Drinking was the LAST thing I wanted to do, but Greeks have a way of making it impossible to say no to alcohol. That was the start of me remembering hardly anything about the beautiful island of Corfu. The windy road up to the hostel was the last I would see outside “the palace”.

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greecePeople actually argued over who got to sleep on lawn chairs

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greeceView from our balcony; I almost always handwash my clothes

The Pink Palace

The staff at the Pink Palace makes sure there is absolutely no reason to leave. The Hotel California of Greece. Usually, one of the first things I do when I arrive somewhere I’ll only be staying a short time is plan how I’ll be leaving & to where.

The goal was Croatia. Should have planned a little better, because we found out that it would cost us 100 euro and a layover in Bari, Italy… wasting a day of our trip. It was looking like our only option until someone mentioned a “weekly” ferry to Albania. (I don’t believe that a ferry only goes once a week, but this was what everyone kept telling us.) We chose the cheaper option of ferry to Albania, the only place people wrongly warned us not go, and planned to hitchhike to Croatia. Once plans were settled, the party started.

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece Horrible little ferry “the dolphin” we booked out (caused some serious sea-sickness) 

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece

The 20 euros a night was a steal considering all that was available. The hostel is located on a peaceful strip of the Ionian Sea. Along with some Swedish friends, we tried to swim to an island in the distance, which turned out to be just a rock, duh, hoping to find a hippie commune like on “The Beach”. Unfortunately, we had to turn back, gasping for air on the rocky beach.

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece

All day was happy hour. Drinks were free… so were t-shirts. I don’t know if it’s because we were girls, or if boys got free drinks too. When dinnertime rolled around I could barely stand up. A deliciously free dinner each night in a reception hall, followed by prom… or it might as well have been. Lots of Grease and ABBA. The place cleared out as couples went home together until only Megan and I were left on the dance floor (champs). Before I knew it, I was seasick and drunk on a tiny little ferry to Albania, wondering where the time went.

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greecedance party working off the all-you-can-eat calories

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greece

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greeceEveryone I’ve met that went to Corfu has been to the Pink Palace; it’s ranked all over the Internet as one the best party hostels in Europe. And it didn’t disappoint. The problem was, everything was so accessible and free that we never wanted to leave. I never saw the town in Corfu or tried any local restaurants. When Greeks ask if I’ve been to Corfu, I might as well say no, as I never left my hostel. My advice if you visit is stay at the Pink Palace and party your ass off, then check out and stay at a hotel in town to get the local experience.

click to book a room at the Pink Palace Corfu

pink palace, corfu, hostel, party hostel, travel, backpacking, greeceasking ourselves what just happened…



About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Christine December 27, 2013 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Aw, this made me laugh! I lost a week of my life in the Pink Palace in 2007, it was so much fun! The DJ there actually brought me and my friend into the town for the day, so we were lucky to get to see something outside the pink walls!

    • Rachel December 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      i’m happy someone can relate! lucky that you got to get into town though.

    • Andy December 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

      Hi Christine,

      I actually believe I was that DJ…. eventually left July 2009 !!

  2. Justin March 19, 2014 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Sounds like the Pink Palace has kept to its roots and hasn’t changed much, albeit some cosmetics.
    I was there way back in 1992 & your story has a very familiar ring to it.
    We too, never ventured outside the Palace, other than going back to the Port when it was finally time to leave.
    I went back to Corfu in 2000 and managed to steer clear of the PP and instead hung with the locals and took in all the sights the beautiful island had to offer.
    Awesome to see your generation enjoying what the world has to offer, living in the moment and gaining experiences that are life & personality changing.
    There’s not too many days, I dont wish I was still living that life

    • Rachel Jones March 19, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

      It’s a tricky place getting people to stay there the whole time! I’d love to go back and a friend of mine in Goa is from Corfu, so I’m hoping to go with her sometime and see it from a local’s view like you got to do.

  3. Pascale (The Happy Voyageur) February 10, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    This is brilliant! I’m looking to visit Greece again in May this year because I loved my time over there so much last year. I’m looking at Corfu and I don’t think I can resist at least one night at the Pink Palace. Thanks for sharing!

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