When backpacking and staying in Athens, we recommend booking into one of local hostels – but the question is which one? To make things easy for you we have compiled a list of the best and most affordable hostels around Athens. Especially important when you’re travelling around Europe on a budget. Most hostels will take anyone without a reservation, if you intend on backpacking through Europe during the peak season it’s a good idea to make your reservation about 30 days in advance. It’s always good piece of mind to know that your accommodation is taken care of before you arrive in Athens.
The traditional way to rest while backpacking in Europe is to stay in a hostel. They are an affordable and safe way to meet like minded travelers and experience the culture of whichever country you’re visiting. Your standard hostel will feature showers, social interaction, and rooms with several bunk beds. One of the chief reasons people choose to stay in hostels is their low cost, some of them running as low as $10 per night. Today we are going to look at everything you need to know about Hostels in Europe.
What To Expect
Most hostels are composed of dorm rooms containing multiple meds, shared restrooms, and a kitchen/cooking area. Also common are social areas, laundry facilities, tourist desks, and rooms with internet access. Hostels are a stretch from Hotels in that they don’t contain a maid service, bedspreads, tv’s, or telephones. However, you can look for all the amenities of modern life in your hostel’s common area.
Things To Consider
Are the sleeping quarters co-ed or single sex? Females, especially those traveling alone will want to look for hostels with female only rooms. Besides the safety they provide, female rooms are usually cleaner, quieter, and more comfortable.
If you’ll be relying heavily on public transportation then where your hostel of choice is located should play a big role in your decision. Make sure to choose a centralized spot to ensure that you won’t be struggling to get around during your stay.
If you’re one of those peoeple that prefer a private restroom then you’ll have to make sure wherever you’re staying has those on offer. Despite what you may think, a shared restroom really isn’t that bad. In fact, a bathroom in the room can be annoying as many times your roommates can be loud and keep you awake at night.
Booking, Reserving, And Paying
Most backpackers choose to make reservations at one of the reputable online hostel bookers. Not only will this allow you to make an informed decision about the place you are staying, but in some cases it will help you save significantly. When checking in to a hostel, you may be asked for a key deposit or they may ask you to leave your passport at the desk as a security measure. No worries, just leave them some collateral and get on with your business. Hostels are usually locked at night and have a strict curfew. Make sure you get back before it, or you risk being left out in the cold.
Below are the two most popular sites for booking your hostels online:
Enjoying Your Stay
Part of the experience backpacking through Europe is the opportunity you get to meet other travelers. Staying at a hostel is the best way to meet fellow backpackers, exchange stories, and even find out about a new destination. Staying in a hostel can be an intimidating experience for a first timer but as soon as you’ve done it once it becomes quite fun. Don’t be shy, other backpackers are some of the most friendly and knowledgeable people you’ll get the chance to meet on your trip.
Youth hostels are one of the most popular and affordable ways to sleep while traveling through Europe. They are the most notable form of lodging for people traveling on a budget, and if you’re thinking about a trip backpacking through Europe, you should definitely consider staying in a youth hostel. They will allow you to save money while also experiencing the incredible history and culture of whichever country you’re visiting. There are thousands of hostels in Europe, many of them conveniently located in any destination that you may choose to explore.
When sleeping in a hostel, there are certain guidelines that everyone should follow to make it an enjoyable experience for all parties involved. If you’ve never stayed in a hostel or even if you have, read through our hostel etiquette tips to ensure you don’t upset the wrong person. Follow these tips and you’ll surely be remembered as the friendly traveler who kept quiet and cleaned up their mess, rather than the annoying person who kept everyone awake at night.
Be Quiet – Once the clock hits about 10 or 11 at night, try to be considerate of others who are trying to sleep.Think about the people you’re rooming with and if you’re going to talk, do it outside.
Don’t Turn The Lights On – This tip goes hand in hand with being quiet. If it’s late at night or early in the morning, keep the lights off. Some people have trouble sleeping with the lights on, so please don’t disturb.
Keep Your Clothes On – As common sense as this sounds, keep your clothes on. We all get it, you’ve got a six pack, but not everyone wants to see you walking around all day with your shirt off. Or for those of you who like to sleep in the nude…don’t do it at a hostel. The last thing I want to see when I wake up is someone’s junk hanging out like a Bavarian beef steak.
Keep The Kitchen Clean – This is one of the most disgusting and annoying things to deal with when staying in a hostel. Wash your dishes when you’re done and make sure you do it properly. Nobody wants their trip cut short due to a food born illness, so be respectful and clean up after yourself.
Keep Your Cellphone On Silent – There is nothing more aggravating when you’re trying to sleep than the constant ring or buzz of a cellphone. If you absolutely need to have your cellphone with you, then at least practice common courtesy and keep it on silent.
All in all, the most important thing that needs to be said about sleeping in a group setting is to be considerate of others. Surprisingly enough, many people decide to drop all their manners when staying in a hostel. Maybe because it’s a cheap form of lodging, or maybe they are just always like that. No matter what, it’s one of the most annoying aspects of hostelling. Common sense and courtesy goes a long way to keeping people happy, so practice both of these and you’ll be sure to have a good experience.
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: