Best (and Worst) European Hostels
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.
Inn on Dingle Peninsula
We discovered a great B&B on the Dingle Peninsula when all the Steve's recommended inns were booked. The Old Anchor Inn in Annascaul is a rare find. Brian and Beata offer super clean, well equipped rooms, a cozy public living area with movies, books and maps, a delicious breakfast including fresh fruit platter, and options other than bacon and eggs. They offer in house laundry service, bike rentals, packed lunches, evening pizza or Irish coffee. If you stay longer than one day, they can help you plan a beautiful hike that will make your trip to Dingle more than just a driving tour. Annascaul is home to Antarctic explorer Tom Crean whose pub, the South Pole, still stands just across the street from this B&B serving good meals and now hosting an upstairs gallery of sculpture by Jerome Conner.
Camas, WA USA 09/23/2013
St Paul's hostel London
This is more of a warning about the London hostel St.Paul's. We had a booking there since early this winter. Last week I got an email from them stating the hostel was not avaiable for my booking but they would be glad to "try" to transfer my request to another London hostel. I was floored by this treatment and in 30 years of traveling it was a first to be told a reservation was not going to be honored 3 short months before the trip. It completely ruined my trust in hostels, which by the way had become our preferred way to stay. All of Rick Steve's suggestions have been excellent until this. I'm deeply disturbed by it. I know it might have been easier to be flexible and to let them "try" to rebook else where, but we had specific reasons to be in the area of St.Paul's. We cancelled our trip, luckily we hadn't purchased airline tickets yet.
South Windosr, CT USA 06/10/2013
Hostal Grau, Barcelona
The Hostal Grau will be a great place to stay when the renovation is completed. The location is superb if you want to be close to the center of the city, and the owners are wonderful. In early May 2013 we had a reservation at Hostal Grau but, unfortunately, the renovation was still in progress and we were unable to stay. The owners took care of us by booking a comparable room at a very nice hotel close by. We were satisfied with the substitute and we were especially impressed with the owners who communicated with us frequently throughout the process to ensure that everything was going smoothly. They even had a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered at our arrival at the other hotel. These are wonderful people going through a difficult renovation and handling it very well. We visited Hostal Grau one day and they gave us a tour. It is going to be fabulous when completed. I especially applaud theirs efforts in building "Green" and achieving LEED's certification for environmental sustainability. I look forward to our next visit to Barcelona and I will surely stay at Hostel Grau.
Bainbridge Island, WA USA 06/03/2013
Thank you for all the great ideas. I lived in Germany many years ago (usaf) but have never stayed in a hostel. My daughter and I are going next summer after her graduation and this helps much. Thanks again.
Prescott, AZ USA 12/29/2012
hotel 4 dauphins aix en provence
hotel 4 dauphins in aix en provence is in a great location i would not recommend it if you want fresh air in your room and can sleep through street noise at all hours.
allentown, pa USA 10/08/2012
Balestrand Hostel, Norway
The Balestrand Hostel that Rick recommended in his book was wonderful. Beautiful location and a private bathroom in our 4-bed room made it feel like a hotel. Great for families too, as it has two kitchens and large community areas. The best hostel we've ever stayed in!
Savage, MN USA 08/07/2012
Hotel Los Tilos Granada, Spain
Hotel Los Tilos in Granada Spain.
I took the advice from this message board and booked the hotel for two days the end of Feb, 2012.
This hotel was great! Very basic hostal for a very low price. The room was spotlessly clean, the bathroom fairly new, plenty of hot water, excellent wifi in 4th floor room 404. Small, but adequate sized room and bed for one person. Breakfast buffet was basic, but a wide assortment to fill any breakfast appetite. The manager honored the "Rick Steves show travel book for free breakfast" even though I had lost the book a few days before in Madrid. I did have to make it clear to him I had the book, but had lost it a few days before visiting Granada, but he did grant me the free breakfast. Hotel is centrally located in the old town, just a few minutes walk to anything you need. Hotel very quiet as it is located on a pedestrian plaza. I highly reccomend this hotel.
Branford, CT USA 03/08/2012
Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof - Interlaken Switzerland
I can't say enough good things about this hostel. It was perfect for our family of 3 (incl a 4 yr old). The facility and rooms were new, clean and efficient. They provide tokens to use the coffee machine and washer/dryer. There are private family dorms, with en suite WC/shower are available. The sleep quarters are very quiet, but common areas are open and friendly. The beds are very comfortable, and best of all.. they have a toy room! We stayed in several nice hostels in Switzerland on our trip, but this one was the most family friendly by far. Also, Interlaken is a nice jumping off point for the Berner Oberland.We hope to stay there again.
Saint Paul, MN USA 03/03/2012
Hotel La Roseraie Chenonceau
This was a very pleasant, comfortable hotel just a stone's throw from Chateau de Chenonceau. The hoteliers were very kind and helpful in providing information regarding touring in the Loire Valley and in Paris. The restaurant at the hotel served great dinners although we found better places for breakfast.
I am a fan of hostels
I traveled around europe for almost 3 months last year almost 100% in hostels. The best I thought were Ostello Gallo D'Oroin in Florence, Hostel Brikette in Positano. Residence Santa Croce in Venice- right across the Grand Canal from the train station .Jetpak Hostel in Berlin- great location in East Berlin and new. STF Fridhemsplan in Stockholm. Shelter Jordan in Amsterdam was dirty but great staff and a very safe place to stay. Youth & Family Guesthouse in Salzburg has a great location but way to many children and horrible dorm rooms. I found most places on hostelworld.com. Great Website.
Minneapolis, USA 12/31/2005