Best (and Worst) European Hostels: 2009
Europe's cheapest beds are in hostels! There are more than 2,000 hostels all over Europe and many are destinations in themselves. You can sleep in a castle (Britain or Germany), on a cutter ship (Stockholm), or in an Alpine chalet (Switzerland). Except in Germany's Bavaria region, most hostels welcome travelers of all ages. English is widely spoken by staff and guests and it can be a great way to meet people from around the world.
Which are your favorite European hostels and why? And which were not so great and why?
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Nice Hostels and Cam
Rick Steves recommended the Ulysse Deluxe Hostel in Sorrento. We got a 2 bedroom/2 bath unit for 70 euros. It was VERY nice. Again, I was glad to have Rick's book with me. It was the nicest hostel we stayed in. We stayed at a camere in Pienza called Il Falco above a resturant that Rick recommended that was very adaquate. Both were very good. The tiny town was very picturesque.
collinsville, ok USA Sun 12/27/2009
sleeping accommodations in Luxor, Egypt
Luxor, Egypt: Happyland Hostel. We as a family of 4 highly recommend this hostel. The owner, Mr. Mahmoud Ibrahim, is helpful and friendly and speaks English. His place is clean and is within walking distance to many sights. The price is very reasonable. The breakfast which is served on the terrace is exceptional. His employees are friendly. We highly recommend that tourists try the Happyland Hotel! Perhaps Rick Steves' team can visit Mr. Mahmoud Ibrahim.
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada Tue 12/22/2009
The Newgrange Lodge Hostel in Ireland is in beautiful farm country, but its more plush than any cheap hotel. They have a friendly and helpful staff, a substantial "continental" breakfast, super-comfy beds, and its 2 minutes from Newgrange Visitor Center (the reason most people stay). There are several beautiful indoor and outdoor common areas for meeting helpful travelers, 2 computers and WiFi for free use, and a babbling brook outside the front door! Bus Eireann stops there, but get groceries in Drogheda or Donore if you plan to cook in the kitchen (open until 10 pm) Beer, soft drinks and Pringles are available on-site:-) Dorms for 15 euro and privates start at 22. Excellent value!
Traverse City, MI USA Sat 11/28/2009
Great Hostel in Paris!
The hostel Jules Ferrie, right off Rue Republique was a great experience! It was my first experience in Europe and I met a bunch of people from all over the globe! The staff were great, the facilities clean and the price right, 22 euros, with breakfast. Metro was two blocks away, making hitting the sites easy as pie. Or.. quiche'??
Chicago, Il USA Thu 11/19/2009
Hostel in Aljezur Portugal
I discovered a new hostel in Aljezur, Portugal, just 15 miles north of Lagos. It is called Amazigh Hostel. Wow, that places is more like a hotel than a hostel. Has dorms and privates, free brekky and wifi/internet, and is cheap (15€ lowest) Aljezur is great, some of the best beaches in Europe and the best surf. Its a little surf community there.
Birmingham, UK Thu 10/22/2009
I spent 2 months travelling all over Europe and the BEST hostel i've stayed in to date is the Langholmen Hostel in Stockholm. It's built into an old prison wing with the other wings acting as upscale hotel rooms. Big private baths, nice beds, tv's, amazing breakfast, and it's all alone on a big island. It's a little hike to old town Stockholm and the newer part of town but it's a beautiful walk to and from (or subway ride).
MI USA Tue 10/20/2009
View on hostels from an older guy
This is written from Europe and at this point I have stayed in perhaps 6 or 7 hostels in France, England and Ireland. As a 63 year-old traveler my experience might be useful to some of the older travelers. I've slept by myself in large dorms and with my wife in doubles, shared toilets showers with men and women a third my age, and stepped over lost souls crashed on the floor in the hallway. This has all been in pursuit of affordable travel.
With apologies to Rick, I don't think I have the fortitude to stay at the Young and Happy Hostel in Paris. The staff were first rate and the breakfast was, well, pretty typical of a hostel: cereal, juice, roll. But our private room (2 single beds) and the shared showers and bathrooms were unimpressive, especially compared to most other hostels at which I've stayed. As we were in the Latin Quarter (by day a delightfully vibrant and engaging place; by night little more than an extended fraternity party held on cobblestones) the street noise was substantial. When it finally died down around 2 am the silence was soon interrupted by garbage trucks and shopkeepers making preparations for the new day. It was there that I first used my ear plugs (don't leave home without them). The internet fee wasn't a deal-breaker, but it's always nice to get free WiFi.
In contrast, the Kinlay House in Dublin and its namesake, the Kinlay House in Galway, were model hostels. Great locations (Kinlay Dublin was really a beauty), free WiFi, pretty classy double rooms in both cases, again above the street but quieter streets. Bathrooms bigger, shower stalls larger and sheets and towels included in the bargain. Still hordes of young people acting like I did when I was 24, but friendly and helpful on the whole.
I feel less conspicuous now as an older traveler amongst the younger folks even though there are usually only a sprinkling of folks my age. My discovery is that no one really cares too much.
Deming, WA USA Mon 10/05/2009
Nice to read your post Leaf
I was 64 in 2005 when my daughter and I visited 8 countries in 8 weeks. The majority of our nights were spent in hostels. Not once did we feel out of place.
We plan to go to Portugal, Spain and Italy next year and also plan to stay in hostels. I am doing the planning now. Nice way to save money.
CA USA Mon 10/05/2009
Hostal Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain was simply the best place we stayed during our 3 week trip to Spain last month. It was btw 50-55 euros and that covered a 3rd floor room with a large balcony and very large bathroom. The guest lounge had a (slow) but free computer and the staff was very friendly and spoke limited English. Even after walking all around Toledo, we decided our hostal was in the best location - central yet quite. Definately ask if one of the 3rd floor rooms with a balcony is available. We had no reservations and got this room on-the-spot for two nights in mid-September. Definately take Rick's advice and stay a night in Toledo so you can get lost is the skinny streets by yourself.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 10/04/2009
Hostal Gran Duque in Madrid was really great excluding the very hard bed. But, if that doesn't both you, I'd definately recommend this hostal. It was 70 euro a night (resonable for Madrid, I think) and the rooms were very comfortable and charming. The hostal was secure (24 hour staff to buzz in). You do have to climb 3 flights of stairs. Metro is easily accessible (Opera or Santo Domingo stations)but you can also pretty easily walk to major sites like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor and Gran Via. We noticed the hostal sign while we were out walking and made a reservation for the following two nights, no problem. Guest lounge with free and pretty fast internet access.
And if you're dying for a whopper, there is a Burger King down the street :-)
Seattle, WA USA Sun 10/04/2009
Venice's Youth Hostel - Bad!
Don't stay at Venice's Youth Hostel (Ostello Venezia) which is listed in Rick Steves' Italy book. Tons of bedbugs, dirty beds, gross showers, unfriendly staff.
Atlanta, GA USA Fri 09/25/2009
Great value in Rome!
I highly recommend staying at Carlito's Way Hostel in Rome, Italy. We booked under the name Carlito's Way and ended up staying in the hostel part of the Hotel des Artistes. Great fun, great people. Great value! Clean & well located near Termini.
Atlanta, GA USA Fri 09/25/2009
Friendly Fun Franks in Riga, Latvia has to be hands down the friendliest hostel in Europe. Probably not for those who want a quiet place to relax, but if you are looking for fun, nightlife, an on-site 24 hour bar, and the best staff you can imagine, check it out. Very cheap as well. Organized walking tours, pub tours, and more to keep you busy. Large kitchen, plenty of computers and access to a printer. Located on Novembra Krastmala right on the border of the Old Town, just a few minutes from the bus and train station, bus from the airport stops right outside.
Fayetteville, AR USA Mon 09/21/2009
Swiss Alps Hostel
Lauterbunnen Valley hostel was excellent. They have private rooms with share bath which is no prob. save lots of swiss francs and is very clean and friendly, cook or make your own breakfast and use thier computer (no charge).
USA Sun 09/20/2009
Salzburg, Austria Hostel
One of the nicest Hostels we've ever stayed in was the Justizgebaude in Salzburg, Austria. The Hostel has a separate wing for families and couples which was just added within the past three years. Wonderful buffet breakfast in separate dining room from the young people. Rooms were very modern and clean. Bar and other refreshment in the lobby. Very helpful staff of young people. This is a HI hostel, but also part of a youth and family hostel organization in Austria. Easy to reach by bus or car. Cost might be higher then you might expect for a hostel, but most accommodations are high in Salzburg.
Nisswa, Minnesota USA Sat 08/15/2009
Residenza Il Villino Florence, Italy
My wife and I spent four nights at Il Villino. This was the second stop on our three city tour of Italy. This was one of the recommended hotels from the trip planner we used (Slow Travel).
We definitely recommend this hotel. Our hosts (Sergio & Elisabett) were very kind and always helpful when we needed anything.
The room was perfect. We were served a very nice buffet breakfast each day. There was wireless internet available for my laptop. While in Florence, we were able to walk to everywhere from the hotel (except we used a cab to and from the train station because of our luggage).
The day we left, we forgot to return the room key when we checked out. We only realized our mistake when we got to the train station. I called the hotel, and Sergio offered to come right over on his bicycle to get the key. Less than ten minutes later, there he was.
Should we ever make it back to Florence, we will stay here again.
Haymarket, VA USA Thu 08/06/2009
In Krakow, Elephant on the Moon Hostel is a great place. Laid back place, clean and has the feel of a friend's house. Staff is great.
Young of Yith
USA Sat 07/18/2009
Albergue Juvenil Castillo de San Servando, Toledo, Spain
Had a great stay at Albergue Juvenil Castillo de San Servando in Toledo, Spain. Clean, modern hostel in former fortress just outside the old town with an amazing view. The swimming pool and garden made it tough to leave.
Washington, D.C. USA Fri 07/17/2009
Hostal Neutral, Barcelona, Spain
Last November, I stayed at Hostal Neutral in Barcelona, Spain. It came recommended by Steve. What a great place, clean friendly staff. Absolutely great location, on the Las Ramblas..highly recommend it
Southfield, MI USA Fri 07/17/2009
The Castle Steps
We just went to Prague and wanted to stay in a nice area. We got a great deal for June at the Castle Steps Hotel. www.castlesteps.com.
We booked a cheap room that was supposed to share a bathroom with the next room. The pictures looked great and we got free internet and breakfast. When we turned up the hotel wasn't full and they automatically upgraded us - we got a bedroom, living room and small kitchen!
Best thing was we had a small balcony overlooking a park and to say we were in the centre near the castle it was so peaceful. Wonderful.
Austin, Texas USA Mon 07/13/2009
accommodation in Spain
We stayed at Hotel Ronda & were delighted by its peaceful & historic location, its quality etc Bonito!
Ronda, Spain Thu 07/09/2009
Love the place in Berlin
We find a nice Apartment in Berlin.
The web. comfort-apartments-berlin.com
and better price then a *** Hotel. The Apartment was in Mitte...next tu Kudamm
and Metro line....was a great time...Ron and Judy
Ron and Judy
Vacaville, CA USA Thu 07/09/2009
Best Hostel is Euro Hostel in Glasgow, Clyde Street. Clean, well organised, close to the city centre.
Oban, Argyll UK Mon 07/06/2009
Worst Hostel is Ernst Reuter, Berlin, Germany. Dirt, in dangeurs location, changing prices to double higher than promised. I will never more use it.
Oban, Argyll UK Mon 07/06/2009
Blades Hotel in London
This hotel did not work for my 21 year-old daughter and I. Upon our arrival, we were left standing at the locked entry door while the receptionist (who saw us waiting!) continued to vacuum. Another guest let us in and it seemed to deteriorate from there. Looking for the reservation, admonishing my daughter for not taking the luggage instantly upstairs. Her tone was rude and sarcastic. We never heard, "Welcome" or even a simple, "Hello." Bed & Breakfasts are our favorite and this one was not what we have come to expect. We will not be recommending this hotel to our friends who frequent London. The Holiday Inn Select just down the street were gracious, kind and even said, "Hello, welcome to our hotel."
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA Sun 07/05/2009
Hotel in Rome
I heartily recommend the Hotel Lancelot in Rome. It's about 6 blocks from the Colleseum. It's a vintage but very well cared for building and the staff are first rate. They went out of their way to be helpful and gave us very useful hints. A continental breakfast is includeed and it really is a big step above the typical coffee, juice and rolls. If you book there, request a room wiht a balcony - very quaint and nice views of the city.
Milwaukee, WI USA Tue 06/30/2009
Hostel 99 is really great in Cesky Krumlof
Per your books' advice, I decided to stay in Hostel 99 during my weekend trip to Cesky Krumlof. It was my first time staying in a hostel, and I must say I loved it! The manager James is really helpful, everything is really clean, and the hostel restaurant serves up some of the best food in town. Plus I met some great people, and its only a 5 minute walk to the main square. I came by myself and stayed in a 3 bed room, and I felt totally safe. Stay here!
Austin, TX USA Mon 06/29/2009
the best and worst hostel
If you're in Rome I recommend staying at the best western hotel Canada.
boise, ID USA Wed 06/03/2009
Hotel Cervia Roma
Hotel Cervia Roma was great. Our middle school class travled to Italy, and our first stop was Rome. The hotel was clean orginized and well put together.
Boise, Idaho USA Wed 06/03/2009
I recently stayed at Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark in A'dam, NL. I highly recommend it. Others in my 20 bed dorm were respectful of the quiet-time rules, breakfasts were great, transportation and museums conveniently close. This was my first experience traveling alone but it turned out great!
Yorba Linda, CA USA Sun 05/24/2009
Greg Tom Hostel in Krakow was a fantastic place to stay. It is beside the train station and right outside the old town wall. They offer free breakfast, free dinner, free laundry and free wifi. Friendly staff that offer great advise, and the place is clean. When I was there, there were people from all ages and everyone felt welcome.
Canada Sun 05/17/2009
Hostel U Melounu in Prague
This was a terrific hostel located on the south side of town. It is in a quiet neighborhood on a cobblestone street. The staff was very friendly and helpful (24 hour reception). Breakfast was standard fare of breads, cereal, juice, and coffee. We were in a private room (10 B) that was very nice, but the other room (10 A) was small with just enough room for two twin beds and space for a suitcase. There was a nice courtyard in the middle of the complex where one could sit and relax. We really liked lodging away from the busyness of Prague; so pleasant to return home in the evening to a peaceful place. The metro was a 6-7 minute walk away but we rarely took the metro, choosing instead to walk everywhere. We were probably about 25 minutes to Old Town and we did walk home from the castle - about 45 minutes. We stayed six nights and met people from all over the world. We would stay here again!
Battle Creek, MI USA Mon 05/11/2009
The Blades Hotel in London
Good location. Walking distance from Pimlico Station and the bus station. Nice neighborhood. Kevin was very resourceful (and witty).
Nick and Jessica Chavez
Grand Prairie, TX USA Mon 04/27/2009
Danyhouse, Florence - Amazing!!
Hey all, i have just arrived back in the uk from visiting friends in florence and I stayed at a fab hostel called 'danyhouse' (altho no-one seemed to know why it was called this!). The guy who runs the place is an amazing cook , he cooks everynight for the guests and it's 'delizioso!!!'. It's a party hostel so not for those who like a cup of tea and an early night, but felt compelled to write something here cos i had such a blast with the guys there and am defo going back in the summer hols! it's cheap and basic and a little far from the centre (took me about 15 mins to walk to the centre) but if your on a budget like me then i cant recommend this place enough!
Liverpool, UK Fri 04/17/2009
The Castle Steps Hotel Prague
The Castle Steps is a great place. Right in the very centre near, surprise surprise, Prague castle. We went as a backpacking journey around Poland, Hungary and the other usual suspects and we booked a room with a shared bathroom as it was better value for money. When we turned up they had upgraded us and we got an apartment for all four of us with all the trimmings including a kitchen. The weather was great, the staff were mainly from the states and breakfast was included for us every morning. If you look hard enough you find these gems.
San Diego, CA USA Wed 04/15/2009
Eurohostel in Glasgow, Scotland
EuroHostel in Glasgow: I stayed in Euro Hostel in Glasgow, Scotland. It was clean. The price was really reasonable. It was right in the middle of the town centre and close to public transportation. There is a club on the first floor so it is rather loud at night.
Grays, Essex UK Mon 04/13/2009
The Circus in Berlin
I highly recommend The Circus hostel in Berlin. It's in the heart of the city, right around the corner from a subway station, and very clean and chic.
USA Mon 04/06/2009
Spend a little time doing research!
Hello all, I've stayed in hostels often enough to say research is key. Get as much info as you can. Using google images search will get you interesting pictures of hostels you want to go. Compare prices also when booking online! I use hostelsclub.com cause they're cheaper than hostelworld and they give away free nights in Venice. Check out blogs too. The best reference is from someone that has the same interests as you.
Montreal, Canada Wed 04/01/2009
Old Prague Hostel
We stayed at the Old Prague Hostel for 5 days at the end of July and beginning of August 08. There were 5 of us in a "family" room, my husband, 78 my cousin 72, hush, she lies about her age, my Slovak daughter-in-law, grandson 11 and myself 74. The location was great, we had a large room to ourselves with our own bathroom, lockers and bunk beds. All clean.
But the noise was terrible. The street noise was loud, shouting rang through the night into the small hours of morning. And then the rubbish collection began. What a clatter they made, it seems they need to collect every morning about 4:30. However nothing could keep us from enjoying that wonderful city, and I'd never opt to stay outside of the center. [My grandson was disappointed because there was cigarette smoking everywhere, except the hostel.]
In twenty five years of traveling this is the only time your suggestions have not been right on.
Oh, if anyone is going to Budapest they should not mess the New Your Cafe.
Thanks, I'm sure I'll be in to pick your collective brains again. Marie
Hansville, WA USA Wed 03/18/2009
Apartment in Berlin
My brother and I stayed in Berlin at Friedi's Bed and Breakfast. The owner, Beate Richter, has two locations. One is a guest room in her own apartment (staying with her family), and the other is an entirely private apartment. We stayed in the private apartment..it was amazing! It has a full kitchen, a huge bathroom, and a large living room/bedroom with two twin beds. It was so nice to have all that space after sharing a tiny room in London. It's incredibly clean and modern as well. It's in a residential area only a 5 minute walk to the the train station, and has a grocery store and a few restaurants and shops close by. It was nice to have the fridge handy for the groceries we bought.
I highly recommend Friedi's Bed and Breakfast. It's very affordable and a nice treat on a tiring holiday.
CANADA Fri 02/20/2009
Berlin, Krakow, Prague, Budapest
Berlin: The Circus (at Rosenthaler Platz, Mitte) - U-bahn station and tram stop just outside the hostel - clean hostel and great beds - take the free Berlin walking tour!
Krakow: Mama's Hostel - located right in Old Town just off the Main Square - showers were slightly below average though - popular and a great place to meet other backpackers - Internet was free but slow computer/access
Prague: Czech Inn - location not the best but also not too bad (~10 min walk to Metro, tram stops closer but why wait and not walk?) - possibly the best showers (huge shower heads that pour water but need to push the button every time) - possibly the nicest and most stylish hostel (along with Miss Sophies) - great bar that also serves some pretty good food
Budapest: Homemade - like many other hostels in Budapest (also stayed at Art Hostel), it was small and essentially just a flat in the city which also gave it a very homely feel - no bar, of course, but go to Szimpla Gardens! - great laundry service and your clean clothes are returned in a cool suitcase at your bedside nicely folded - cool interior design - free Internet (only 1 desktop and 1 laptop)
Note: My trip was from late April to June 2008.
Los Angeles, CA USA Wed 02/11/2009
Hostel Miguel, Nerja Spain. They were amazing.Priced very fair.My girlfriend and I went in october and stumbled across this place by accident.The english couple that run it are extremely helpful and personable.Great location also.Extra thanks for charging my camera battery.
Mukilteo, Wa USA Fri 01/23/2009
Hostel in Finale Ligura
The castle hostel in Finale Ligura is wonderful. Great view, very comfortable, great food, lovely town and beach.
Canby, OR USA Wed 01/21/2009
The best hostel I ever stay in was HOSTEL ELF in Prague..The rooms are spacious, easygoing staff, incredible cheap and there was always someone to talk to..I met really interesting people there and the commom room is always full of travellers..They have open beer garden and sell beer for less than 1 Euro..Definitelly party hostel which fits to me..:-))
Toronto, Sun 01/18/2009
Porto - Guest House Douro
Guest House Douro is a place with style and uniqueness. I was the first guest to stay in this place and I had to say this place provided me with the most memorable experience in my Portugal trip.
Unlike other European hotels which are usually old and outdated, Guest House Douro is modern and posh and yet blends in very well with its neighborhood. this place also has its characters and you can feel that from its design, furniture, witty use of colours and lightings, owners put their heart and soul to it and I just totally fell in love with this place. Situated along the river front forming part of the 17th century architecture, Guest House Douro was converted from an old 17th century building, the room I stayed has a small balcony and a gorgeous river view, it is tastefully decorated with classic modern furniture, bed is very comfortable with very nice bed sheets. The curtain in my room is purple violet in colour hanging in front of the white wooden window frame. I had such a romantic time staying in the room enjoying the quietness and overseeing the river at night.
Owner is a very sweet friendly couple from Canada. I had such a wonderful dinner with them on the 1st night (they brought me to a very secretive place of good value - go check with them for dinner places !!!) and during my stay, they had made a lot of good recommendations to me on places to visit and wine cellar tour. Breakfast was a great surprise to me, the dining room though small is very posh and uniquely decorated (owner Carmen has a very good eye), Joao her husband served me with a very delicious fruit plate and a plate of parma ham and cheese (it came with both strong and mild taste cheese) !!!
I have to say, if you are looking for some elements in your trip which is more than just sightseeing, if you are looking for a bit of personal touch in the place you stay, this Guest House Douro which is of excellent value is the place to be.
HK Tue 01/13/2009
Stayed at the Budget Backpackers.. Great value for money-nice beds, great breakfast & full kitchen to cook. Located well in the sight of the Royal Mile for one to roam in Edinburgh. ONe tip however - if you are not travelling light and coming via bus, maybe take a cab - or ask for perfect directions.
Bombay, India Sat 01/10/2009