Traveling in Europe doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Hit the road with your favorite backpack and spend your nights at one of the many hostels in Europe. Chances are you will come away with new friends and a better understanding and appreciation of the cities you’ve visited. There are tons of different hostels in Europe and staying in them is part of the whole backpacking experience. Finding the most popular and unique hostels can be just as exciting as seeing some of Europe’s best attractions.
Morag’s Lodge Hostel – Scotland
Sleep in the shadow of Nessie at the Morag’s Lodge Hostel in Loch Ness. It’s only a few minutes walk from that famous lake and a favorite of backpackers and independent travelers. The hostel offers dorms and semi-private double and twin rooms, most with en-suite bath. The TV lounge is a throwback to the 1960s with its collection of colorful beanbag chairs. Bikes are available to rent, the perfect way to explore the lake area and nearby Inverness, rumored to have at least one whiskey distillery.
Avalon House – Dublin
In the heart of vibrant, multi-cultural Dublin is Avalon House, a hostel sitting in the former schoolhouse of George Bernard Shaw. Dublin Castle, St Stephen’s Green and the Grafton Street shops are just a few blocks away. Located on the southern end of Dublin, Avalon House is open around the clock, offers bike rentals, wireless Internet access and has an onsite tourism desk offering tickets and information. The Avalon House is one of the most popular places to visit in Ireland and should definitely be on your list of places to see.
St Christopher’s Inn – London
Considered one of the best hostels in Europe, St Christopher’s Inn grabbed the Best Budget Accommodation Title in London in 2008. It offers an onsite bar named Belushi’s featuring spinning DJs and karaoke nights. The bar has a license to stay open until 4 am and tends to stay lively until the wee hours of the morning. No curfew or lockouts are imposed and wireless Internet access is included in the rates. The Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Globe Theatre are a few blocks away.
St Christopher’s Inn – Paris
Located in the 19th District of Paris and adjacent to the Bassin de la Villette, this is one of St. Christopher’s newest hostels. It sits where the Canal St-Martin connects to the River Seine and has three different Metro routes within walking distance. The signature Belushi’s Bar is onsite, as well as a sauna, cyber café and wireless Internet access. An onsite travel desk offers information about the city and day tours to Giverny and Versailles. The desk will also arrange pub crawls and bike rentals. Stopping at St. Christopher’s Inn is one of the best things to do in Paris.
Alessandro Palace & Bar – Rome
This recently renovated hostel offers private bathrooms in all rooms as well as environmentally friendly heaters and air conditioners. Located a few blocks from the Termini, Rome’s transportation center, Alessandro Palace & Bar is an easy choice for backpackers. The hostel features an onsite pub with inexpensive drinks and hosts weekly pizza parties. With a 24-hour reception desk, you won’t have to worry about a curfew or lockouts. Wireless Internet access is available.
Circus Hostel – Berlin
The completely renovated Circus Hostel sits in the Mitte district in central Berlin. The basement Goldman’s Bar offers a place to dance, entertain your friends with a bit of karaoke singing or watch a sporting match. On street level, the Circus Street Café offers an all you can eat breakfast daily until 1 pm. An onsite travel desk offers tickets for tours and special events. The desk can help with transportation tickets as well as bike rentals. Some rooms are wheelchair accessible. There are no curfews and no lockouts.
Kabul Youth Hostel – Barcelona
Another of the most popular hostels in Europe is the Kabul Youth Hostel in Barcelona’s trendy Plaza Real district. Step outside the door and visit sidewalk cafes, the artsy Gaudi Houses and the city’s beaches. Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, the unfinished signature cathedral of Barcelona is only a metro ride away. An onsite travel desk can help you plan everything from a bike tour to a kayaking adventure on the Costa Brava. Open 24-hours a day, the hostel offers wireless Internet, complimentary breakfast and a large outdoor terrace overlooking the city.
Oasis Backpacker’s Hostel – Sevilla
Spend the night in a renovated Andalucian building when you visit Sevilla, Spain. Indulge in tasty tapas, both onsite and in nearby tapas bars, take in a Flamenco dancer’s show or just relax with some of the region’s fine wines. Take a dip in the roof-top swimming pool and get a tan on the adjacent terrace. Breakfast, wireless Internet and welcome drink are included in the rate. No curfews and no lockouts so rent a bike and go exploring without worry.
Oasis Backpacker’s Mansion – Lisbon
Only steps from Lisbon’s Bairro Alto is the Oasis Backpacker’s Mansion. The big yellow house has a commanding view of the river and bridge at Miradouro de Santa Catarino. It offers wine tasting parties twice weekly and a Portuguese night where for a small fee you can drink all the Sangria you can handle. An onsite travel desk will arrange surfing safaris, including boards, all equipment and transportation. The kitchen is gourmet quality, breakfasts and wireless Internet are complimentary and there is no curfew.
Hostel Ruthensteiner – Vienna
Only a three-minute stroll from the Westbahnhof Train Station, the Hostel Ruthensteiner sits in a building that has been standing since the early 1800s. The property is in the center of the city, and within easy reach of the Palace Schoenbrunn and countless bars and restaurants. Two private gardens flanking the hostel provide a bit of peace and tranquility. The onsite Ottakringer Beer Bar lets you sample the local brew and listen to a live jam session. Offering complementary wireless Internet and a staff that combined speaks eight languages, this is also the first smoke-free hostel in Vienna.
For more information about staying in hostels and hostel etiquette, check out these two articles: