Last Updated: 03/03/20 | March 3rd, 2020

I’ve been staying in hostels in Europe for over twelve years. I’ve probably stayed at close to a thousand by now. Some were wonderful; others I couldn’t leave quick enough.

Some have stood the test of time while others have long since vanished. The hostel scene is very popular and established in Europe, and the growing “luxury” hostel trend that incorporates more amenities (and higher prices) for travelers.

Hostels today aren’t the hostels you found ten years ago. They are way nice and offer a lot more amenities!

Having been visiting Europe for so long, I’ve stayed in dozens upon dozens of hostels around the continent. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Europe are:

  1. Location – Cities in Europe are huge and it can take some time to get around. Pick a place that is central to the sites and nightlife you want to see. All the hostels listed here are in central locations.
  2. Price – In Europe, you really get what you pay for, so if you go with a really cheap one, you’re probably going to get a hostel that is small, cramped, and doesn’t offer great service.
  3. Amenities – Most hostels offer free Wi-Fi and many include free breakfast, but if you want more than that, be sure to do your research to find the hostel that best meets your needs!
  4. Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly! They can make or break a hostel!

To help you plan your trip, here is my list of the hostels in Europe that I like the most. If you don’t want to read the longer list below, the following hostels are the best in each category:

Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Sophie’s Hostel
Best Hostel for Families: Generator
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: Goodnight Hostel
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: Generator
Best Hostel for Partying: Greg and Tom’s
Best Overall Hostel: Kabul or The Flying Pig

Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Europe:

Price Legend (per night)

  • $ = Under $20 USD
  • $$ = $20-30 USD
  • $$$ = Over $30 USD

 

1. Generator Hostels


The Generator is a hostel chain with locations throughout Europe. I’ve stayed in a few of their locations but Dublin and Copenhagen are my favorites. The hostels have great bars and restaurants, clean showers, comfortable beds, laundry services, and highly competitive rates. My only complaints are that the Wi-Fi is often slow and they charge for breakfast, but having stayed in a few of their locations, I’d surely stay in others. (They also have karaoke at their Copenhagen location.)

Generator Hostels at a glance:

  • $
  • Great place to meet other travelers
  • Modern, clean design
  • Lots of common areas for relaxing and mingling

Beds from 17 EUR ($19 USD), privates from 89 EUR ($97 USD).

—> Book your stay at Generator Hostel in Dublin!

—> Book your stay at Generator Hostel in Copenhagen!
 

2. City Backpackers (Stockholm)


I stayed here years ago and recently returned when my tour group was in Stockholm. The place was just as amazing as I remember. They still have a very nice café and an outdoor eating/sitting area. Their beds and pillows are still super cozy and comfortable, plus they have a huge kitchen, common room, sauna, and laundry facilities. And you can’t turn a corner without bumping into a public computer. City Backpackers was and still is one of the top hostels in Europe.

City Backpackers at a glance:

  • $$
  • Organizes tons of events
  • Lots of free perks (free coffee/tea, free pasta, free sauna)
  • Social outdoor patio for relaxing and meeting people

Beds from 18 EUR ($20 USD), privates from 66 EUR ($72 USD).

—> Book your stay at City Backpackers!
 

3. St. Christopher’s (Barcelona)


Located right near La Rambla, everything about this place was brand when I last visited. I really love the curtains on the dorm beds and the gigantic bar/outdoor area next to the hostel. In general, I really like the St. Christopher’s brand. They offer fun, clean, sociable, and modern hostels all over Europe.

St. Christopher’s at a glance:

  • $
  • Huge bar/outdoor common area makes it easy to meet people
  • Fun, social atmosphere
  • Privacy curtains so you can get a decent sleep

Beds from 16 EUR ($17 USD), privates from 113 EUR ($123 USD).

—> Book your stay at St. Christopher’s!
 

4. The Flying Pig (Amsterdam)


This is still one of my all-time favorite hostels. The facilities here are standard and the price a bit expensive, but I love the atmosphere. While this hostel is popular with travelers looking to chill and smoke, the bar area gets very busy at night with people who don’t want to get high. The staff here is what really makes this place special. They hang out with guests, are experts on the city, and are always helpful.

Moreover, this hostel has some of the comfiest beds and fluffiest pillows of any hostel I’ve ever stayed at. The Flying Pig has three locations in the city (uptown, downtown, and the new beach location), and I prefer the uptown location because it’s smaller and easier to meet people.

The folks behind the Flying Pig also run Winston’s, another hostel. That place has a great bar and is next to a rock club that showcases a lot of good local musicians. Tell Allen I say “hi!”

The Flying Pig at a glance:

  • $$
  • Great place to meet people
  • Super fun and social atmosphere
  • Bar on-site

Beds from 20 EUR ($23 USD).

—> Book your stay at The Flying Pig!
 

5. Goodnight Hostel (Lisbon)


I stumbled across this hostel in Lisbon (mostly because it was super cheap), and I’m really glad I did. Conveniently located downtown, they offer free dinner and sangria, and they organize nights out. There’s a small common area, and the showers had amazing water pressure. This small hostel becomes very intimate and makes it easy to meet fellow travelers. This was one of the best hostels I stayed at during 2013.

Goodnight Hostel at a glance:

  • $
  • Organizes lots of activities (pub crawls, walking tours)
  • Free breakfast
  • Intimate atmosphere makes it easy to meet people

Beds from 12 EUR ($13 USD), privates from 47 EUR ($51 USD).

—> Book your stay at Goodnight Hostel!
 

6. Skanstull (Stockholm)


My second favorite hostel in Stockholm after City Backpackers, this place was remodeled in 2013 and has a brand-new, larger kitchen and common area. They really did a good job, and the kitchen is one of the nicest I’ve seen in a hostel in a long, long time. The hostel is quite small overall, but that provides a close-knit setting for getting to know other travelers.

Skanstull at a glance:

  • $$
  • Huge kitchen for cooking your own meals
  • Cozy atmosphere (it’s a smaller hostel so it’s easy to meet people)
  • Recently renovated so everything is clean and new

Beds from 20 EUR ($22 USD), privates from 78 EUR ($85 USD).

—> Book your stay at Skanstull!
 

7. Gallery Hostel (Porto)


This “luxury” hostel in Porto, Portugal, is probably one of the best I’ve ever stayed in and is definitely a new addition to my “all-time favorite” list. It’s not the cheapest in Porto, but this hostel/art gallery features home-cooked Portuguese food, a backyard, free after-dinner drinks, a game room, and friendly staff committed to making sure everyone gets to know each other. The art on the walls is from local artists and is for sale (for those not traveling on a budget). I loved the nightly dinners they organized the best.

Gallery Hostel at a glance:

  • $$
  • Delicious communal meals
  • Great place to meet people
  • Free drinks

Beds from 27 EUR ($29 USD), privates from 94 EUR ($103 USD).

—> Book your stay at Gallery Hostel!
 

8. Hostel Mostel (Bulgaria)


This hostel has locations in three cities in Bulgaria (Sofia, Plovdiv, and Veliko Tarnovo), and they all follow the same principles: comfy beds, free breakfast, free dinner, free beer, free shots, a pool table, and free, fast Wi-Fi. I honestly haven’t ever seen a hostel offer so much free stuff to travelers.

Usually everyone stays at all the Hostel Mostel locations, so you run into the same people frequently. I found them booked up a lot, so book in advance if you want to stay here.

Hostel Mostel at a glance:

  • $
  • Social atmosphere so it’s easy to meet people
  • Lots of free perks (free drinks, free breakfast)
  • Organizes lots of activities

Beds from 8 EUR ($9 USD), privates from 24 EUR ($26 USD).

—> Book your stay at Hostel Mostel Sofia!

—> Book your stay at Hostel Mostel Veliko Tarnovo!
 

9. Kismet Dao (Brasov)


Probably the best hostel in Romania, it had a great backyard to relax in, a fairly decent breakfast (Frosted Flakes!), a large and clean kitchen, comfy rooms, and a huge common area. I didn’t like the showers, as there wasn’t a lot of privacy (think gym style) but overall, this place is social, in a good location, and checks all the right boxes on meeting a traveler’s needs.

Kismet Dao at a glance:

  • $
  • Chill backyard for relaxing and mingling
  • Great place to meet other travelers
  • Free breakfast

Beds from 12 EUR ($13 USD), privates from 30 EUR ($33 USD).

—> Book your stay at Kismet Dao
 

10. The Yellow (Rome)


The Yellow is just a fun hostel. There’s no common area, so everyone hangs out in the bar downstairs. People come here to socialize and party. It’s a loud hostel in that respect, but since the party is separated from the main area, you don’t really hear much in the rooms. They have great security, high water pressure in the showers, comfy beds, and decent enough Wi-Fi. They also run walking tours throughout Rome.

The Yellow at a glance:

  • $
  • Bar on-site makes it easy to meet people
  • Party vibe
  • Organizes lots of activities

Beds from 9 EUR ($10 USD), privates from 36 EUR ($39 USD).

—> Book your stay at The Yellow
 

11. Tallinn Backpackers (Tallinn)


This hostel in Estonia is for those who want to party, which I didn’t really do while I was there. But I still found the hostel to be wonderful because the beds were comfortable and the staff really put an emphasis on getting the guests get to know each other and interact. They do a nightly pub crawl, before which everyone gets together in the large common area (which they shut down at 11pm, so people who don’t want to go out can get some sleep).

Tallinn Backpackers at a glance:

  • $
  • Social party hostel
  • Great place to meet other travelers
  • Organizes lots of activities (like a nightly pub crawl)

Beds from 11 EUR ($12 USD), privates from 72 EUR ($79 USD).

—> Book your stay at Tallinn Backpackers!
 

12. Central Station (Kiev)


Not so much a hostel as a series of apartments in the same building, Central Station is a true hostel’s hostel. It’s got gigantic dorm rooms, a few showers, a tiny kitchen, and a little common area. It’s mostly the spirit of the place that makes it cool: activities every night, really friendly staff, and that tiny space that forces everyone to socialize and meet each other, not just sit behind their computers.

Central Station at a glance:

  • $
  • Organizes tons of activities
  • Lively social atmosphere
  • Super friendly staff make it easy to socialize

Beds from 9 EUR ($10 USD), privates from 24 EUR ($26 USD).

—> Book your stay at Central Station
 

13. Greg and Tom’s Party Hostel (Krakow)


I came here on the strength of a friend’s glowing recommendation. What I liked about this hostel was that on the one hand, there’s a strong focus on taking full advantage of Krakow’s lively nightlife.

On the other hand, they have two separate buildings, so if you want quiet at night, you can stay in the non-party building. They offer free breakfast, they cook you a meal every night (salad, potatoes, pasta, or meat), they have Nintendo Wii and Playstation, and there’s a large movie collection. But what I loved the most was the massaging showers. It was the best shower I took in months.

Greg and Tom’s Party Hostel at a glance:

  • $
  • Great place to meet people
  • Lots of free perks (free breakfast, free video games)
  • Separate building for non-partiers so you can get a good sleep

Beds from 14 EUR ($15 USD).

—> Book your stay at Greg and Tom’s!
 

14. Kabul (Barcelona)


Kabul is tied with The Flying Pig (see next hostel) as my favorite hostel in Europe. It attracts travelers who are looking for a good time. This isn’t a quiet hostel where people go to bed. If you come to hostel, be prepared to party.

They have a lively common room area and organize nightly outings. The dorms are very clean, the beds comfy, and the showers high pressure. But what makes Kabul so wonderful is the downstairs common area. The common area takes up a whole floor of the building and comprises a café, bar, tables, internet kiosks, and a pool table. Here travelers eat, play pool, drink, and hang out – and the people here want to hang out. It’s a good hostel for a solo traveler because everyone here wants to make friends. The hostel is booked out weeks in advance, especially during summer, so don’t book last minute!

Kabul at a glance:

  • $$
  • Lively party atmosphere
  • Organizes lots of activities
  • Really easy to meet people

Beds from 26 EUR ($28 USD).

—> Book your stay at Kabul!
 

15. Archi Rossi (Florence)


They had me at breakfast. I’ve never been to a hostel that had a menu for breakfast. You can get eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes- the works. It’s not the normal European bread and coffee breakfast that makes me sad in the morning. It’s a full-on hearty breakfast! More than the food, the hostel has character. You can sign your name or draw on the wall, their kitchen is a size of a cafeteria, and they have a great outdoor garden where you can kick back with a bottle of wine! And did I mention they have a full breakfast?

Archi Rossi at a glance:

  • $$
  • Amazing breakfast
  • Laid-back outdoor garden for relaxing and mingling
  • Great place to meet people

Beds from 25 EUR ($27 USD), privates from 55 EUR ($60 USD).

—> Book your stay at the Hostel Archi Rossi!
 

16. Francesco’s (Ios)


With a view like this, how could you not like this place? There’s a pool here, kitchen, very clean rooms, and comfy beds. The owners are super friendly and accommodating, the porch area is a great place to make new friends, and every night they have a hostel get together so everyone can meet people (free shot included). They also organize pub crawls (because it’s Ios and everyone comes here to party). It’s also the most centrally located hostel on the island so it’s easy to walk home…even if you’ve had one two many drinks!

Francesco’s at a glance:

  • $$
  • Communal events every night
  • Pool
  • Convenient location (you can walk everywhere)

Beds from 25 EUR ($27 USD), privates from 55 EUR ($60 USD).

—> Book your stay at Francescos!
 

17. Snuffel Backpacker Hostel (Bruges)


Close to the city center, this hostel is located in a very old building which means the rooms are small and it’s pretty inconvenient to take a shower as you have to go downstairs and then into the back courtyard. However, they have a back courtyard, free wi-fi, an amazing selection of Belgium beers (watch out for the 13% alcohol ones!), and bikes.

Snuffel Backpacker Hostel at a glance:

  • $$
  • Convenient location in the city center
  • Bar on-site makes it easy to socialize
  • Social backyard courtyard for relaxing and meeting people

Beds from 21 EUR ($23 USD), privates from 54 EUR ($59 USD).

—> Book your stay at Snuffel Backpacker Hostel!
 

18. Castle Rock (Edinburgh)


Located near the Royal Mile and (you guessed it) the castle, this hostel is gorgeous. The building is old so you get beautiful wood interiors, stone staircases, and a very “old” royal feel. It’s like being in an old mansion. The common area features pool tables, T.V., newspapers, and free wi-fi. They organize events, dinners, and the staff is really nice.

Castle Rock at a glance:

  • $$
  • Organizes tons of events
  • Spacious common area makes it easy to relax and mingle
  • Beautiful interior design

Beds from 19 EUR ($21 USD), privates from 98 EUR ($107 USD).

—> Book your stay at Castle Rock!
 

19. Sophie’s Hostel (Prague)


This more upscale hostel in Prague is one of my favorites. The room is quite modern with lovely bathrooms, comfy beds, and incredible water pressure. The bar is always lively, they serve a large breakfast, run lots of events, and the staff is super friendly, helpful, and knowledgable.

Sophie’s at a glance:

  • $
  • Organizes tons of events
  • Great place to meet people
  • Delicious breakfast buffet

Beds from 7 EUR ($8 USD).

—> Book your stay at Sophie’s Hostel!
 

20. Hostel Blues (Bratislava)


Located in Slovakia, this awesome hostel is incredible staff, a great breakfast, huge common area, is centrally located, and really clean dorms and bathrooms. I had a lot of wonderful nights here. It’s a funky hostel with nice art on the wall. They have good kitchen area too!

Hostel Blues at a glance:

  • $
  • Huge common area so it’s easy to meet people
  • Amazing breakfast
  • Convenient central location

Beds from 15 EUR ($16 USD), privates from 54 EUR ($59 USD).

—> Book your stay at Hostel Blues!

***

So there you have it: my current favorite list of the best hostels in Europe. Europe has thousands of hostels – and god knows I feel like I’ve stayed in all of them but only a few dozen are follow the guidelines that make a hostel truly great. These ones go out of their way to provide stellar services and make their guests feel welcomed and at home.
 

Get Your In-Depth Budget Guide to Europe!

My detailed, 200+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff found in other guidebooks and gets straight to the practical information you need to travel and save money while backpacking around Europe. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, on and off the beaten path things to see and do, non-touristy restaurants, markets, and bars, and much more! Click here to learn more and get started!
 

Book Your Trip to Europe: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

  • World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Europe?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Europe for even more planning tips!

Photo credit: 1 – City Backpackers, 2 – Generator Hostel, 3 – City Backpackers, 4 – St. Christopher’s Barcelona, 5 – Flying Pig, 6 – Goodnight Hostel, 7 – Skanstull, 8 – Gallery Hostel, 9 – Hostel Mostel, 10 – Kismet Dao, 11 – The Yellow, 12 – Tallinn Backpackers, 13 – Central Station, 14 – Greg and Tom’s Party Hostel, 15 – Kabul, 16 – Archi Rossi, 17 – Francesco’s, 18 – Snuffel Backpacker Hostel, 19 – Castle Rock, 20 – Sophie’s Hostel, 21 – Hostel Blue’s

Europe
02.08.2018 / Europe / hostel / hostels
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