More of My Favorite Hostels in Europe

Ages ago, I wrote a post about my favorite hostels in Europe. Since then, I’ve slept in a lot of new and amazing hostels around Europe. Here are some of the best:

The Bulldog (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Though The Flying Pig is one of my favorite hostels in the world, a great Amsterdam alternative is The Bulldog. It’s located right in the heart of the red light district and has a great bar, friendly staff, and the oldest coffee shop in the city. While I thought the lack of a common area detracted from the overall sociability of the hostel, the pub that takes its place offers great meals and cheap drinks. The dorm rooms are very clean, spacious, and contain their own showers.

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. And it’s only 8 euros per night Usually backpackers stay at all the Hostel Mostel locations once, so you run into the same people frequently. I found them booked out most of the times I tried to stay last minute, so I recommend booking in advance. This hostel was my favorite during this six-month trip through Europe.

Kismet Dao (Brasov, Romania)

Probably the best hostel in Romania, this hostel 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.

The Yellow (Rome, Italy)

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.

Tallinn Backpackers (Tallinn, Estonia)

This hostel is for those who want to come to Tallinn and 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, and before then 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).

Euphoria Hostel (Tallinn, Estonia)

Because I like to book things last minute, I had to switch hostels a lot during my stay in Tallinn. While Tallinn Backpackers is a great place for the party scene, Euphoria is perfect for relaxing. Owned by some hippies, this place has a relaxing feel. There’s a lot of colorful art on the walls, bean bag chairs, soft music, and a quiet atmosphere. It was a good change from Tallinn Backpackers. Plus, I really enjoyed the fact that the owner’s band plays a free concert every week.

Central Station (Kiev, Ukraine)

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, 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 forcing everyone to socialize and meet each other, not just sit behind their computers.

Greg and Tom’s Party Hostel (Krakow, Poland)

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.

Honorable mention: Wombats (Vienna, Austria), Hostel Blues (Bratislava, Slovakia)

Now that I’m done with my trip through Europe, I’m not sure when or if I’ll ever swing through as such an ardent backpacker again. But as I continue to explore Europe and stay in hostels, I’ll keep adding to this list.

  1. I know this probably isn’t your area of expertise, but do you have any suggestions for hostels that are family-friendly? I know most hostels cater to the young, single (poss. married) crowd backpacking across Europe, but a few do have family rooms at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.

    • Tracey

      My 18yo daughter and I stayed at the Hostel Archi Rossi in Florence. It was perfect! Close to train station, very reasonable (cheaper than anywhere else we stayed in Italy–around 50E/night), and the room was like a hotel room with private bath. Full hot breakfast (variety of choices cooked to order) and free pizza/pasta dinner. There were couples (of all ages), school groups and families who were there at the same time. I would definitely stay there again and have recommended it to many others since I was there in 2010.

      • Mike

        Let me say I don’t know this hostel. Please take that into account. However, I would never recommend a hostel that has school groups. As a teacher and traveler, it is neither sensible to have kids around unknown travelers, nor is it nice for those traveling. They are two different types of guests with very different needs, and normally hostels that allow both are not traveler-focused (nor very trustworthy in my personal opinion).

  2. Thanks for the recommendations. Even after all of the travelling I have done over the last 6 years, I’m yet to do a backpacking trip through Europe. One of these days!

  3. The Yellow is one of my favorite places ever, mostly because it holds a lot of memories for me. I’ve never actually stayed there but I spent a lot of time at the bar when I lived in Rome due to the cheap drinks and great people from all over the world staying there. One of my good friends even met her boyfriend there 2 years ago. I was glad to see it on the list!

  4. I stayed at Tom & Greg’s in Krakow but not the party hostel. You room looked nicer than mine. I also stayed at Wombat’s in Vienna (the city one). That was was OK but the wifi was horrible.

  5. Jackson

    Tallinn Backpackers was probably the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in. Such a fun atmosphere, very easy to meet people, and – best of all – super cheap, with comfy beds and free linens. And an ensuite sauna (which I didn’t actually use, but still!)

  6. Ciara

    Stayed in most of those hostels and Greg and Toms and Tallinn backpackers definitely stand out because of their organised activities and friendly atmosphere, liked hostel mostel and kismet dao too but more because of their facilities than for meeting people

  7. Micah Child

    I’ve stayed at the Bulldog as well. The in room showers are a big plus and nice! Helps you avoid having to walk to through an entire hostel & kitchen to in nothing but a towel because you forgot your key in your room (but that’s a story for another day 😉 )

  8. Great post, I am helping a friend plan their travels in Europe and will definitely be sharing your blog! I am anxious to return to Estonia & I’ll keep your suggested hostels in mind! Thank you for a great blog with great content!

  9. One of the things I noticed last winter in Europe – that as a couple, hostels were expensive, as we wanted a double not a dorm (though not an ensuite). Unless you are actually going to use the cooking facilities I generally found it cheaper to stay in cheap hotels/guesthouses whatever they called it locally.

    Obviously less English spoken, and more likely to run into locals – but for me that’s kinda the point.

  10. Holly Jane

    Great post, thank you. Which Wombats in Vienna did you stay in? Do you recommend one in particular, or do you happen to like the chain?
    Many thanks1

  11. Sam

    Hey Matt,
    I’m hoping you can give me a bit of travel advice… I’m having a bit of trouble deciding between hostels, and cities (!) in Italy, my original plan was to go to archi rossi in florence in january, but then some friends said they didn’t really enjoy florence that much, and they’d rather go elsewhere perhaps rome… and now i’ve read a few bits on here and other websites and I’m totally stuck! any suggestions that you think would sway me either way? it would be much appreciated!
    Sam X

  12. Dara

    Iv had the pleasure of staying in quite a few of these hostels. particularly I would recommend Tallinn Backpackers which I have stayed in three times and Greg & Toms which I have stayed in twice. I have stayed in other hostels in Tallinn and Krakow also but these were head an shoulders above the rest. Really enjoyed The Bulldog in Amsterdam also.

  13. Annie

    My favorite hostel has to be Happy Seven in Gdansk. the beds are sooooo comfy!! I’ve stayed there twice and the second time- just before christmas, my flight got cancelled and I had to find a room urgently, I had the whole room for myself. At one time the electricity went out and we had to take showers by candlelight. The bathroom looked like a spa. Good times!

  14. Lawrence

    Bucharest is also a nice town for pubcrawl in the city’s bars of the romanian capital. We stayed at Trianon Hotel that is pretty well situated close to Cismigiu park and the Romanian Palace of Parliament.

  15. For all Split Croatia travelers whether backpackers or not should consider to stay in Design Hostel Goli&Bosi (Naked&Barefoot). Cheap and stylish hostel in the middle of the old town.

  16. I also recommend Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel – right in the middle of the Old Town of Bucharest, Romania and Pura Vida Beach Hostel & Bar on the beach of Vama Veche in Romania.

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