Since starting a new life of perpetual travel, I’ve found myself in quite a few of the best Europe hostels . Matter of fact, I’ve spent the good part of a year in different hostels throughout the continent. I love hostels just 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 rather than hotels that will enable you to stay out on the road longer. Simply put, hostels are one of my favorite things about traveling.
I have heard that I will eventually grow out of the hostel-stage of my travel life – everyone does, apparently. Well, at this point, I can’t imagine that day. I’m still loving the unique interactions you have with every person you meet in your hostel; the instant bond you form and the closeness you feel because of the inclusion – it’s magical.
Becoming friends with ten strangers in the kitchen while cooking dinner together and making some of the best memories of your life going out with them after dinner; that’s what I love about hostels. I like that your experience of a city can literally hinge on your hostel experience.
However, with every good hostel, there is a hostel that may not be as good. You will have different experiences at every hostel you stay at and just because one person has a bad experience at a certain hostel doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a terrible hostel. I’ve stayed at plenty of hostels with a lesser rating on Hostelworld than others in the same city but enjoyed myself at them thoroughly. 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. . .
Top Europe hostels you MUST stay at:
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. Met a few friends from Brazil and they ended up staying at my flat in Malta later in the year and I stayed at their flat in Budapest, too (international connections work so strangely).
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 offered, and even free longboard 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. Affordable (less than $10 per night) and includes free breakfast, dinner, and a half hour of free beer every night. Not to mention 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 within walking distance to almost every attraction in Berlin. Free breakfast and solid atmosphere. I met a lot of cool people here at the bar in their lobby.
4. Hostel Beauty – Rome, Italy
Located near literally every one of Rome’s million attractions, this hostel is a great choice for Rome. In addition, 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 rooms or kitchens, but if you get lucky, you’ll end up in a room with excellent people that become friends by the end of your stay. Less than $20 per night and on most nights it’s only about half that price.
2. Goodbye Lenin Hostel – Zakopane, Poland
This hostel 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 busy cities of Europe and be immersed in nature. The staff is all so friendly and will even go on hikes with you if you want them to! I was invited to an all-staff barbecue while I was 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, offers free dinners, an unlimited pub crawl every night, and free traditional Spanish events such as how to bake tapas workshops. I’ll never forget the moments I had with friends I met in this hostel. It’s a prime example of being at the right hostel at the right time.
All of these hostels have one thing in common; a great and friendly atmosphere. In the end, there are plenty of things to look for in a hostel, but 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 that, as I said, your experiences at hostels are very independent 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 that my opinion of these hostels is biased.
It’s important to say that I did not receive any benefits from hostels I mentioned in this post and the list is an honest assessment of the hostels I’ve experienced. Please, if you’re every traveling to one of these cities, do not hesitate to stay at any one of these places.
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