Hostel Hunting in Europe

As I spent 7 months travelling through Europe on and off, I have stayed in my fair share of hostels. I know the idea of staying in a hostel is absolutely horrifying for many (say, most of my gal pals at home), but some hostels are truly awesome and they can be a great way to make your dollar spread further when travelling.

I get a lot of friends asking me for hostel recommendations when they're planning their Europe trips. To hopefully help others and just for my own future reference, I've decided to make a definitive list of the hostels I have stayed at (that I remember). I've also included a short little opinion, or review if you may, to give you guys an idea of what's good and what's not. The hostels are in alphabetical order by city for your reading pleasure. You're welcome.

Global Village Hostel, Belfast

Advertised as "the hostel that couldn't care less", we really didn't have high hopes for this hostel. Finding a hostel to stay in (within our AUD $30/night budget) in Amsterdam had been a huge challenge for us.

Surprisingly, Hans Brinker ended up being pretty great. There was nothing too horrific that we found although the bathroom could have been a bit cleaner. The best part of this hostel, for me, was the bar downstairs. The bar itself boosts the hostel's score by two points, from an average '5' to a solid '7'.

A small hostel with everything that you could possibly need! The rooms were clean and there was a spacious lounge room and kitchen downstairs. They even ran nightly events which were great for meeting fellow travellers!

My only gripe would have been the bathroom situation, but even then I'm just nitpicking. There could have been more shower facilities but I think there were some upstairs, which I didn't explore.

Not the cheapest in Barcelona but I wouldn't be surprised if it is one of the nicest! The Rodamon had everything that you could have wanted from a hostel, including a lounge area and a kitchen. There's even a nice outdoor terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meals.

The bathrooms are communal, but I definitely prefer communal bathrooms at hostels over private ones per room.

This hostel was small and cozy, but boasted everything that you would need. I particularly loved the downstairs lounge and kitchen area as it was a great place to socialise with fellow travellers and play a game or seven of beer pong.

The only criticism that I have is that the bathrooms could have been a little cleaner, but in saying that they weren't necessarily filthy. I'm just a little bit of a bathroom snob. The hostel also isn't the newest place but that adds to it's charm.

I absolutely loved this hostel! The decor was gorgeous and the rooms were spacious, clean and the beds were super comfortable. Best of all, there was a little nook by your bed to store your personal items. The hostel even has its own bar and brewery!

I would have given this hostel a 9 if it wasn't for their annoying wifi. The wifi works, except you had to log in every 15 or so minutes and the login page would sometimes not load. This hostel also lacks a kitchen which could be a deal breaker if you are planning to cook meals during your travels.

I still can't get over how good the location of this hostel was! It was only a minute walk away from Alexanderplatz! The hostel was super clean and spacious, with probably the nicest bathroom that I've ever used in a hostel. It honestly felt like a hotel and even had a lift (score!). My favourite part though was the downstairs bar area which was lively every night and served a killer pizza.

However, this hostel doesn't have a kitchen so if this is something that is important to you, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

This apartment-turned-hostel was super small and cosy. There were two bedrooms that had been turned into dorms and the rest of the place just had the features of any average apartment, including a kitchen, lounge area and two small bathrooms. The staff were so incredibly nice and helpful, with one of the guys even offering to show us around for the day!

The small size of this hostel could be both a deal maker or a deal breaker. Because it's so small, there are less people to meet and interact with but it is definitely easier to bump into someone and strike up a conversation.

I know so many people who had the most amazing time at this hostel and it's really highly rated on sites such as TripAdvisor but I honestly HATED it. Retox has the reputation of being one of the craziest party hostels in Budapest and that is something that I was actually looking forward to. Unfortunately, it is possibly one of the filthiest places that I have ever stayed at, and I've stayed in some pretty horrific places. The whole place smelled like literal shit because the toilets were placed IN the dorms without doors.

On the social side, the hostel does organise great events such as boat parties and alcoholympics nights but we visited during low season so there wasn't really anyone else staying there at the time. I wouldn't let me put you off staying here though. Read the reviews and decide for yourself, because it seems like I'm one of the exceptional few who didn't enjoy my stay here.

I loved this hostel! The five of us got a private room which was spacious and comfortable, and there were cats! The rooms were beautifully decorated and the hostel has a rooftop terrace that was amazing for relaxing with tea and which boasted gorgeous views.

The hostel does have cats that roam around and can often end up in your room somehow though so if you're not a cat or animal person, this place may not be ideal for you.

This hostel was so adorably cute! I fell in love with the decor as soon as I walked in. Getting there was another matter though. It took us a while to find it cause the entrance is actually in the back of a souvenir shop! I'd highly recommend this hostel. The facilities were great and delicious breakfast was served every day.

The bathroom was clean, the rooms were spacious and the lounge area was great for socialising. Did I mention that this hostel is just adorable? Probably the cutest hostel that I've ever stayed at.

You can definitely find cheaper hostels in London but Safestay was extremely comfortable and clean. I can't comment too much on it because I was barely there but I was thoroughly impressed with the cleanliness and spaciousness of the rooms.

The only thing you have to prepare yourself for is the flood of purple that you will be seeing. Everything in the rooms are purple, it's inescapable...

I have so many good memories at this hostel, spending nights sitting on the rooftop terrace with complimentary Moroccan tea, biscuits and shisha. The decor was absolutely gorgeous and the staff are so hospitable. The hostel runs daily cooking classes too but unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to do one.

The hostel did have some downsides though. The lighting in the bathrooms were super dark which bothered me a little and we did also think we saw a cockroach in our room...

This hostel definitely wasn't the fanciest one that I've stayed in but at the same time, it was one that was good enough. There was a kitchen, you get served breakfast, the communal bathrooms are clean and the toilet stalls are huge (not sure why this is important but I was surprisingly impressed).

My only real gripe with this hostel was that the wifi in the area that we were staying in sucked! To send a simple Facebook message, I had to sit in a certain spot in the dingy, kind-of-really-damn-terrifying stairwell (second floor, between room 212 and 214 just in case you find yourself in the same situation).

It wasn't the newest or cleanest of hostels that we stayed in but had everything that you could possibly need. The rooms themselves were a little dreary looking but not necessarily bad, just what you'd expect from a hostel.

The bathroom, however, was nice and clean and that is always my top priority. The staff were super helpful and there is a lounge and kitchen. The lounge was always lively and a great place to meet fellow travellers.

I'm not the biggest fan of this hostel. It wasn't necessarily bad but it was a little run down. For a hostel, it has everything that you could want including a lounge, kitchen and back terrace which was nice to sit and have drinks at. Compared to other hostels, however, it wasn't the newest or cleanest.

There were two showers in our 8 person dorm, though, and there were only 4 people staying in it so it was nice and quiet.

This hostel was a super last minute booking for us as the one we had booked fell through. The greatest part about this hostel is it's close proximity to Vienna's main train station, Wien Hauptbahnhof. Along with that, the hostel was clean and had all the facilities you'd need from a hostel.

What bothered me a lot, though, was the dodgy wifi. Wifi didn't work in rooms and only in the downstairs lobby area. I really like my wifi so I was't too happy with that.


I highly recommend looking at each hostel's individual website to see if their prices are better than those listed on websites such as Hostelworld or Hostelbookers. The prices listed on a hostel's private website are often cheaper than those third party websites and it will be more beneficial to the hostel as well because third party websites charge a huge commission fee.

You will notice that I haven't listed all of this cities that I visited in this post because I also stayed in quite a few Airbnb's and did a weekend of couch surfing. Airbnb is brilliant, especially if you're travelling with a group so I would recommend that you explore that as an option as well!


Post a Comment