A Definitive List of the Best Hostels in Europe
There’s a stigma attached to the word “hostel;” the image that it conjures is usually one of a damp, dank, darkened room with questionable locks. Perhaps there’s mold in the air and flickering lights, probably some suspicious characters working behind the front desk. Not to mention the risk of bed bugs, which is, in a word, high.
Okay, so they’re not the most luxurious or dare I say, safest of accommodations. But they’re cheap! And the best any student or traveler on a budget can hope for, right?
Wrong. Hostels are a multi-million dollar facet of the travel world and as they have grown in profitability, they have majorly amped up their appeal to meet the demands of an international guest sector. Many have amenities and decor that would rival pricey boutique hotels and host a range of security measures to boot.
Traveling on a budget shouldn’t be a compromise between comfort and tapping out your wallet. If you’re planning on traveling somewhere, chances are there’s a hostel to suit all your needs. Better still, if you’re planning on visiting Europe, there’s a bangin’ hostel waiting for you.
Read on and get going!
Bedbox Hostel, Athens
If you’re a budget traveler looking for modernity, an awesome location, fantastic staff, and a cheap check-out bill, search no further. The Bedbox, fresh off of winning a spot in Hostelworld’s annual HOSCAR awards for most popular hostels worldwide, is a sleek, clean option for the thrifty traveler with an eye for style. Boasting free cancellations, laundry services, and a position in the heart of the city, Bedbox is one of the highest rated hostels in the world, for good reason. Go get your Greek on, and after you’re done, come back to the Bedbox for a peaceful rest (togas not included).
Kabul Party Hostel, Barcelona
Backpackers and budgeters come from all different backgrounds and demographics. The one similarity? In general, frugal travelers love. to. party. And let’s not kid ourselves, you’re not going to Barcelona for the peace and quiet anyways, are you? Fun lovers and penny pinchers around the world have found a home for themselves at Kabul, the very first hostel in Barcelona, and they have made a reputation for themselves as one of the best party hostels in Europe. Kabul is typically booked out a few months in advance though, so plan ahead and party on!
Hostel One, Prague
After you’ve exhausted yourself letting loose at Kabul, come for a mellow stay at Hostel One in the beautiful city of Prague. Hostel One is typically one of, if not the cheapest hostels in the area and their defining feature is their calendar of in house social events. There are free family dinners every single night. Let me say that again: each night you stay in Hostel One, you have free dinner. Now, that’s what I call budget traveling. They have a patio, garden, and terrace to choose from for relaxing and meeting fellow travelers, and when you do decide to put your party shoes back on, members of the staff will lead you to a local club and rave with you! Solo travelers never fear, there’s a family of adventurers waiting for you in Prague, at Hostel One.
The House of Sandeman, Porto
If that title sounds familiar, you are a fellow budgeter with expensive taste. Named after one of Portugal’s most popular port wine brands, Sandeman, The House sits just atop their wine cellars and is perched on one of the idyllic hills of Porto overlooking the river Douro. Just 5 minutes from the Porto Historic Centre, The House is at the crossroads of culture and fun. Every dorm has its own bathroom and custom furniture designed with the distillery’s port wine barrels in mind. And just because you know I’m a fan of free food, I can’t forget to mention the complimentary breakfast. For the fancy-frugal, there’s no better place to lay your head.
Budget traveling can be an exhausting, uncomfortable experience or it can create some of the best memories you’ll ever make. Nowadays, the choice is truly yours. There is (literally) a world of options out there for travelers of any price point and style sensibility to choose from and with picks as good as these, you may decide to travel for the accommodations alone.
If you have any favorite hostels we missed, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and remember, Travel Safe and Travel Covered!
Alexa Lieberthal is a professional actress, singer, and writer from Boston, MA. Though her passions are many, and range from fitness to Star Trek, the biggest of all is travel. Alexa is based in NYC, but has spent the past 4 years exploring and performing in places all over the world, including Western Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and the U.K. Most recently, she spent two years seeing the world by working aboard AIDA Cruises, singing and sailing and savoring the earth. The next place on her travel bucket-list is Berlin, Germany! You can follow Alexa's adventures on Instagram @ny.see and her website areneeact.com.