8 Unforgettable Hostels That Made My European Experience Incredible
Plus, they’ll save you a ton of money!
* Re-published from a time circa 2016 *
Since starting a new life of perpetual travel, I’ve found myself in quite a few hostels around Europe.
As a matter of fact, I’ve spent the good part of a year in different hostels throughout the continent.
I love hostels as much as any open-minded 20-something does. You meet some of the coolest people you’ll ever encounter in hostels.
Not to mention the amount of money you will save by staying in hostels will enable you to stay out on the road longer.
To my point, hostels are one of my favorite things about traveling.
Older travelers have told me, eventually, you grow out of the hostel-stage of traveling. They say everyone does.
Well, at this point, I can’t imagine that day. I’m still loving the unique interactions. The instant bond you form. And the closeness you feel from the inclusion — it’s magical.
Meeting ten strangers in the kitchen while cooking dinner is just another night. And making memories by going out after dinner; that’s what I love about hostels.
I like that your experience in a city can hinge on your hostel experience.
Yet, with every good hostel, there is a hostel that may not be as good.
You will have varied experiences at each hostel. Just because one person has a bad experience at a hostel doesn’t mean it’s a terrible hostel.
I’ve stayed at plenty of hostels with a lesser rating on Hostelworld. Even lesser than other hostels in the same city. And, yet, I’ve enjoyed my stays. It’s all about timing and the people you run into on the way.
So, without further adieu, I bring you the top 8 hostels in Europe that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.
8. Nightingale Hostel and Guesthouse — Sofia, Bulgaria
Very affordable accommodation — less than $7 per night with free breakfast and in the heart of the city.
I met a few friends from Brazil and they ended up staying at my flat in Malta later in the year. Then, I stayed at their flat in Budapest afterward. This is the power of hostel connections.
7. City Backpackers Hostel — Stockholm Sweden
Affordable price (to Sweden’s standards), $22 per night. Access to free pasta at all times of the day. Inexpensive breakfast. Even free long-board and ice skate rentals. Great environment and very clean.
6. Kabul Party Hostel — Barcelona, Spain
One of the most happening hostels in the world. Kabul will always lead to a good time.
It’s affordable (less than $10 per night). Plus, it includes free breakfast, dinner, and a half-an-hour of free beer every night.
Not to mention it puts on a party atmosphere (as the name suggests) and an excellent pub crawl.
5. Sunflower Hostel — Berlin, Germany
Cheap hostel (less than $10 per night) on the East side of Berlin. It’s within walking distance of almost every attraction in Berlin. It offers free breakfast and a solid atmosphere.
I met a lot of cool people at the bar in their lobby.
4. Hostel Beauty — Rome, Italy
Located near every one of Rome’s millions of attractions, this hostel is a great choice for your stay. Also, the rooms are very spacious and quiet.
3. Hostel Croydon — Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere in Amsterdam hostels is weird. Croydon is no exception.
There’s no room for common spaces or kitchens, but if you get lucky, you’ll end up in a room with excellent people. Less than $20 per night and on most nights it’s only about half that price.
2. Goodbye Lenin Hostel — Zakopane, Poland
Up in the Tatra Mountains of Zakopane was one of my all-time favorite hostel stays. It looks more like a log cabin than a hostel and can only be reached by a wee hike.
It’s in a perfect location to escape the busy cities of Europe and leaves you feeling immersed in nature.
The staff were all so friendly and will even go on hikes with you if you want them to! I was invited to an all-staff barbeque while staying at Goodbye Lenin. I highly recommend this hostel to anyone traveling through Zakopane.
1. 360 Hostel Barcelona Arts & Culture — Barcelona, Spain
One of the greatest hostel experiences of my life was at 360 Arts & Culture.
I became close to so many people from all over the world in a matter of days. Not to mention, this hostel is cheap.
It offers free dinners every night. All-you-can-drink pub crawls every night. And free traditional Spanish events such as tapas baking workshops.
I’ll never forget the moments I had with friends I met in this hostel. It’s a prime example of being in the right hostel at the right time.
All these hostels have one thing in common; a great and friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of things to look for in a hostel. But, in the end, the main concern should be to find a hostel you feel comfortable in.
Hostelworld reviews are an excellent resource for this if you are booking in advance.
Note: Your experiences at hostels are very independent. Both upon whom you meet and the time you are visiting a particular place.
That is why, although I had great times at these hostels and made memories that will last my whole life, I know my opinion of these hostels are biased.
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*** This is an honest assessment of the hostels I’ve experienced. I receive no affiliate commission for promotion. Please, if you’re ever traveling to one of these cities, do not hesitate to stay at any one of these places. ***