Information To Hostels in Europe

Hostels are presumably one of the best kind of lodging for backpacking/finances vacationers in Europe.

  • They’re cheap.
  • They’re positioned in each European metropolis.
  • They’re stuffed with different younger vacationers.
  • They make it straightforward to satisfy different vacationers.
  • There are a variety of glorious hostels since competitors between hostels has grown significantly over the previous 10-15 years.

Sadly, hostels are fairly unusual within the US, so many Individuals are completely clueless about them and have a variety of misconceptions (I do know I did). This entire information to hostels in Europe will cowl all the things from hostel fundamentals to suggestions for selecting an amazing hostel.

Backpacking By Europe? Take a look at our in-depth information to The Greatest Journey Backpacks for recommendations on selecting your good bag. You may also need to learn our Europe Packing Record for Males and Europe Packing Record for Girls.

Hostels 101: All the pieces You Want To Know About Hostels in Europe

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Inquisitive about hostels? Hold studying.

What Is A Hostel?

Hostels—typically known as “youth hostels”—are the bastions of finances vacationers. They’re much like resorts aside from the rooms (dorms) are crammed with sufficient bunk beds to deal with anyplace between 4-40 folks. In a hostel, you solely hire the mattress so that you’ll be sharing the room with a bunch of fellow vacationers. Clearly, privateness is proscribed, however the low value and thriving social scene greater than make up for the negatives.

Many hostels even have female-only rooms however most rooms are unisex.

We recommend poking round Hostelworld to get sense of what varieties of hostels are on the market.

How A lot Do Hostels Price?

The nightly worth to e-book a hostel mattress begins round $15+/night time (in Jap Europe) and $30+/night time (in massive cities in Western Europe)—however don’t be stunned if you happen to see beds going for $60+ night time in fashionable cities.

The worth depends upon the dimensions of the room (the most cost effective beds are within the rooms with the most individuals), the situation of the hostel, the facilities, the competitors from different hostels on the town, the stock left, and some different elements.

I feel I normally paid a median of $40/night time in Western Europe ($15/night time in Jap Europe). Take into account that I normally opted for the most cost effective room out there.

For reference, a personal room with 2 beds can value anyplace from $70 to $150+/night time.

Causes To Keep In A Hostel

Hosteling is the easiest way to satisfy tons of fascinating folks from everywhere in the world. You’re surrounded by like-minded vacationers who all share a love of journey and a love for having enjoyable. It additionally makes assembly different vacationers tremendous straightforward — which is additional nice for solo vacationers.

Hostels are additionally normally positioned within the coronary heart of town, so that you’re near all of the motion.

And hostels are low-cost — so you may journey even longer.

Who Stays In Hostels?

There’s a variety of people that keep at hostels.

Most hostel-goers are younger vacationers between 18-30 (some hostels solely permit company between 18-35 years previous). However I’ve met a 70-year-old Australian who was touring for six months and I additionally see a variety of households touring collectively.

Naturally, hostels appeal to a really worldwide crowd so that you’ll be surrounded by folks from everywhere in the world.

From my expertise, there are at all times plenty of Australians and Kiwis who’re touring for 9+ months at a time. There are fairly a number of Individuals who come over for 2-3 weeks, or who’re learning overseas someplace in Europe. I’ve met a handful of South Africans and some French.

There may also normally be a handful of people that reside within the hostel for a few months at a time — these are normally college students doing short-term research for jobs.

Hostels are additionally fashionable for European bachelor/bachelorette get together teams — which might truthfully get actually annoying since they have an inclination to get obnoxiously drunk. That’s why I normally search for hostels that don’t permit these teams to e-book (many will state this within the hostel guidelines).

Options Of The Greatest European Hostels

Steel House Copenhagen Hostel | Couches

There are a variety of nice hostels in Europe, and there are simply as many horrible ones. I’ve compiled a listing of options that you need to bear in mind when trying to find a hostel.

24/7 Checkin/Reception

Steel House Hostel Copenhagen Review | Lobby
Reception desk

Each hostel has a check-in desk. That is the place you pay, get your key, and obtain all of the essential details about the hostel. Make sure you ask for a map. Some hostels don’t have 24/7 reception, and it normally isn’t an enormous deal… till your prepare/flight is late and also you attempt to test in after reception closes. Then you definately’re caught on the lookout for a brand new hostel.

TIP: The folks on the entrance desk normally have one of the best thought about what’s going on within the metropolis. They’ll be capable of advocate one of the best issues to do/see round city. It’s useful to present them an thought of what you’re involved in doing. Questions like “what are some low-cost eating places?” or “I’m on the lookout for a enjoyable nightclub, any suggestions?” are so much higher than “So… what issues ought to I do right here?” The purpose is: don’t count on them to plan your keep for you. Or you may take a look at our Europe Metropolis Guides!

Dorm Rooms & Personal Rooms

best hostels in Krakow
Dorm Hostel Rooms

There are typically two sorts of rooms out there in hostels — commonplace dorm rooms and personal rooms.

Hostel dorm rooms are nearly universally crammed with a number of squeaky bunk beds (I’ve even seen three-level bunks). Dorms can vary from small rooms with two bunk beds to giant rooms with 20+ bunks. From my expertise, the commonest rooms normally have 4-6 bunks.

Normally, the most cost effective rooms can have essentially the most quantity of individuals so count on to pay extra if you need a room with fewer strangers (and snorers).

Most dorm rooms are unisex however loads of hostels supply female-only rooms.

Private room | Steel House Copenhagen
Personal hostel room w/ balcony

Many hostels at the moment are beginning to supply non-public rooms for individuals who need extra privateness however nonetheless need the hostel vibe. More often than not non-public rooms are meant for one or two folks. Nonetheless, we’ve seen a variety of non-public rooms for teams of 3-4 folks (these are for households or associates touring collectively).

Safety and Lockers

Beneath the mattress lockers
Lockers, shower, and bathroom. Steel House Copenhagen
Lockers (left)

Every hostel has its personal model of safety. Some require a key/buzzer/secret knock to enter the constructing. Most hostels at the least require a key to enter the dorm rooms.

Most dorm rooms have lockers. These are normally positioned underneath the mattress however some rooms have cabinet-style lockers. You usually have to produce your individual lock. I simply lock up any valuables and depart my backpack on the mattress.  I’ve by no means had any issues with theft — apart from, nobody needs a bunch of soiled garments.

The hostel will in all probability have a room for storing your baggage for if you first arrive (in case your room isn’t prepared) and if you’re trying out. These rooms can vary from a locked storage room monitored by CCTV to an open space on the ground with a pile of baggage.


Lockers, shower, and bathroom. Steel House Copenhagen
Lockers, bathe, and loo.

Hostel loos could be tremendous good or actually horrible. Every hostel has a unique setup relating to showers and bogs. More often than not every room has its personal rest room. This implies the room of 8 folks may very well be sharing one small rest room.

Some have giant community-style loos with a number of sinks and a number of non-public bathe stalls.

Some showers require you to push a silly button each 30 seconds for the water to work and a few are operated by pulling on a sequence.

I’ve even stayed in a hostel the place you needed to stroll by the kitchen and thru the out of doors courtyard (not enjoyable within the winter) to get to the bathe.

Actually the worst

Absolutely the worst is the bathe/rest room combo. I need to dance on the grave of the one who thought this was a good suggestion. Principally, there is no such thing as a separation between the bathe, bathroom, and sink. The whole room will get moist and it is a ache within the ass attempting to dress when each inch of the room is roofed in water.

Lounge/Chill Out Room

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The higher hostels have comfortable lounge rooms the place folks can go relax and meet different vacationers. Quite a lot of these rooms can have an enormous TV (normally with satellite tv for pc channels), DVD participant with a bunch of DVDs, books, board video games, and massive couches (usually adorned with hungover Australians). This can be a good spot to satisfy different folks and trade journey tales. That is additionally the place you’ll discover all of the folks glued to their smartphones (I’m loads responsible of this).

Some hostels even have cool rooftop bars/terraces that at all times appeal to folks so it’s an amazing place to satisfy different vacationers.

Kitchen & Eating Room

Copenhagen Steel House Hostel | Kitchen
Huge kitchen

A hostel with a pleasant kitchen is a godsend. I attempt to completely e-book hostels with kitchens — even when it prices a bit of extra — as a result of it can save you a lot cash by cooking your individual meals. Hostels with good kitchens are additionally way more social, because it provides folks an opportunity to actually work together with one another.

TIP: A good way to make associates is to prepare a meal and have everybody chip in a number of euros. I feel I met all my finest journey associates within the kitchen.

The most effective kitchens have all the things you’ll have to cook dinner a meal; stoves, ovens, microwaves, fridges, sinks, utensils, cups, plates, and just about anything you may want. Don’t count on any kitchen to be tremendous clear as a result of they get a variety of use, and the hostel employees normally don’t get pleasure from cleansing kitchens.

Breakfast (Hopefully Free)

Quite a lot of hostels have free breakfast. Don’t get too excited as a result of it’s normally fairly meager — nevertheless it’s free, so no matter. Nearly each breakfast consists of generic cornflakes, white or wheat bread (w/ jam, peanut butter, some yummy chocolate unfold, & butter), orange juice, milk (room temperature), tea, and occasional. In case you’re fortunate, you’ll get a croissant. I’ve been to a couple hostels the place the breakfast isn’t free and it normally prices so much for what you get.

Hostel Bar

Bar + folks = on the spot associates

If you need a hostel with a energetic social scene, you then’ll need to discover one with a bar. The beer costs at hostel bars are normally fairly reasonably priced and typically it’s one of the best deal on the town. And consuming within the hostel is safer than wandering the streets drunk after an enormous night time out.

The bars do get a bit noisy, so that you may need to e-book a hostel with out a bar if you happen to’re a light-weight sleeper — or don’t get pleasure from drunk folks.

The Hostel’s Vibe

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A chill however not a celebration hostel
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Extra of a “resort” vibe

Each hostel can have its personal persona so that you’ll need to learn the opinions to get a way of what sort of hostel it’s.

For instance, some hostels have a celebration environment (full with a bar) so it’s nice for assembly folks nevertheless it in all probability isn’t an amazing place for gentle sleepers. Take a look at my information to one of the best get together cities in Europe if you wish to discover locations with get together hostels.

Different hostels really feel extra like a resort and typically there isn’t a lot of a neighborhood really feel so it’s not an amazing place to satisfy different vacationers.

And different hostels have a energetic environment with out turning into a celebration.

Free WiFi/Computer systems

Free WiFi is just about commonplace in hostels however test the opinions as a result of WiFi can usually be spotty in a variety of hostels — particularly within the rooms.

Quite a lot of hostels may also have computer systems with web entry however they normally cost you to make use of them.

Washing Machines

Laundry at Steel House Copenhagen Hostel

In case you’re a long-term traveler, a washer is a superb luxurious. Hand washing your smelly socks (and belief me, your socks will stink) is rarely enjoyable, so having a machine do all of the work is a miracle.

Nonetheless, most hostels don’t have washing machines so don’t count on this.

Good Location

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Staying in a enjoyable neighborhood makes your keep higher

The hostel’s location can have a huge effect in your hostel expertise. It’s way more handy if you happen to’re positioned close to the sights/bars/golf equipment/grocery shops/public transportation/McDonald’s.

That stated, you may usually get monetary savings by staying in a hostel that’s positioned exterior town or at the least away from town heart.

Enjoyable Extras

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Numerous actions
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Hostel bikes for hire

Some hostels actually go above and past to ensure their visitor have a good time. I’ve seen free group dinners, a free welcome drink, free strolling excursions and pub crawls, concert events, yoga, joyful hours, and extra.

Boutique Hostels

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Sure, it is a hostel.

The newest growth within the finances lodging world is boutique hostels — which really feel extra like funky boutique resorts than a hostel. These hostels are typically a bit of costlier than conventional hostels however they usually have higher-end facilities like nicer kitchens, exercise rooms, nicer beds/furnishings, and different extra.

Learn how to Discover A Nice Hostel In Europe

Because of the Web, reserving a hostel is extremely straightforward. Websites like Hostelworld assist you to learn previous opinions of different vacationers so you may choose the standard of the hostel earlier than you e-book it.

I e-book all most hostels by Hostelworld as a result of they are the most important web site they usually have essentially the most hostel opinions/neighborhood base — and the location is tremendous straightforward to make use of. Merely enter your journey data and the location gives you a listing of outcomes. Every hostel is rated by fellow vacationers, so that you’ll get a fairly good thought if the hostel is value reserving. You too can see movies, photos, facilities, and instructions. You e-book your reservation by paying 10% of the overall cost (by credit score/debit card), and you then pay the rest of the cost on to the hostel if you arrive. It’s tremendous straightforward.

Hostelworld can also be good as a result of it means that you can filter your search outcomes primarily based on worth or ranking. I normally take a look at the highest-rated hostels first after which discover one in my worth vary. However you may at all times filter primarily based on worth alone if you happen to’re on a strict finances.

By doing a bit of homework, yow will discover some really superb hostels.

Extra Useful Hostel Ideas

  • Write detailed directions on the way to get to the hostel from the prepare station/airport/wherever you’re coming from. Getting misplaced sucks and a few hostels could be powerful to seek out.
  • E book hostels forward of time in the course of the busy season — particularly in the summertime as a result of they’ll promote out.
  • Carry earplugs and a sleeping masks. There’s sure to be one one who snores tremendous loud if you’re in a room of 12 folks. He’s in all probability the identical jerk who turns the lights on when returning to the room at 4 am. He’ll in all probability brush his tooth and depart the water operating the whole time too. And I guess he hates puppies.
  • Renting a towel from a hostel is so much higher than carrying your individual smelly moist towel round in your backpack. Not all hostels supply towels for hire so I recommend shopping for a particular quick-drying journey towel simply in case.
  • I at all times wish to e-book hostels that solely permit folks 18+. Giant college teams usually hire hostels for varsity journeys. 50 center schoolers operating round isn’t remotely fulfilling. I additionally like hostels that don’t hire to bachelor/stag events as these teams usually get belligerently drunk.
  • Learn the hostel’s insurance policies. Some solely settle for money, some have a lockout interval (normally between 11 am-4 pm) for cleansing, and a few actually have a curfew.
  • Some hostels cost for linens. I’ve by no means encountered this however I’ve needed to pay a refundable deposit on sheets.
  • I’ve by no means met a entrance desk employee who didn’t communicate English pretty effectively.
  • Many hostels have pub crawls and the guides know the place to get the most cost effective drinks. This can be a nice option to meet different vacationers.
  • If you wish to meet different vacationers you then might need to make an effort to speak to different folks.

The Greatest Hostels in Europe By Metropolis

Listed below are a number of of one of the best hostels within the most-visited cities in Europe:

Hostel Packing Recommendation

Staying in hostels poses a number of distinctive packing challenges so I’m right here to assist by recommending a number of of my must-have objects. Take a look at my Hostel Packing Record for the total listing however under are absolutely the requirements:

James Feess
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