My 13 Favorite Hostels in Europe

Bunk beds in a dorm at the City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm, Sweden
Last Updated: 5/21/24 | May 21st, 2024

I’ve been staying in hostels in Europe for over 15 years. I’ve probably stayed at close to a thousand by now. Some were wonderful; others I couldn’t leave fast enough. Some have stood the test of time while others have long since vanished.

Unlike hostels in the US, the hostel scene in Europe is very popular and established. In fact, there’s a growing boutique hostel trend that incorporates more amenities for travelers who want more than just bare-bones accommodation.

In short, hostels today aren’t the hostels you found ten years ago. They are way nicer, cleaner, and offer a lot more amenities and activities.

To help you plan your trip, here is my list of the best hostels in Europe. 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: Hostel Mostel
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: Goodnight Hostel
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: City Backpackers
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:

1. City Backpackers (Stockholm, Sweden)

Outdoor Lounge at City Backpackers in 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. It’s my go-to hostel whenever I’m in the city.

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 23 EUR, private rooms from 68 EUR.

Book here!


2. St. Christopher’s (Barcelona, Spain)

Dorm room in St. Christopher’s Barcelona
Located right near Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare, La Rambla, I really love the curtains on the dorm beds and the gigantic bar/outdoor area next to the hostel. The mattresses aren’t super thick, but the beds are cozy pods, so you can actually get a decent night’s sleep (they have lockers too, so you can keep your stuff secure).

In general, I really like the St. Christopher’s brand. They offer fun, clean, social, 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 23 EUR, private rooms from 226 EUR.

Book here!


3. The Flying Pig (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Bar at 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. It may not be the cheapest hostel in the city, but the showers are good, and the pillows and beds are super comfy. There are charging points by each of the beds too.

The Flying Pig has three locations in Amsterdam (uptown, downtown, and the new beach location). I prefer the uptown location because it’s smaller and easier to meet people.

The Flying Pig at a glance:

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

Beds from 30 EUR, private rooms from 180 EUR.

Book here!


4. Goodnight Hostel (Lisbon, Portugal)

Common room at Goodnight Hostel in 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 dinners during high season, sangria, and 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.

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 34 EUR, private rooms from 103 EUR.

Book here!


5. Gallery Hostel (Porto, Portugal)

Luxury lobby of Gallery Hostel in Porto, Portugal
This “luxury” hostel in Porto, Portugal, is probably one of the best I’ve ever stayed in and is definitely on 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. I loved the nightly dinners they organized the best.

The art on the walls is from local artists and is for sale (for those not traveling on a budget). The beds have very thick mattresses and the rooms have lockers to store your stuff. There are lights for each bed as well and some beds have small dividers for extra privacy.

Keep in mind that sometimes they have a two-night minimum.

Gallery Hostel at a glance:

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

Beds from 36 EUR, private rooms from 101 EUR.

Book here!


6. Hostel Mostel (Bulgaria)

Common room in Hostel Mostel in Bulgaria
This hostel has locations in two cities in Bulgaria (Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo), and they all follow the same principles: comfy beds, 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
  • Organizes lots of activities

Beds from 8 EUR, private rooms from 25 EUR.

Book here! (Sofia)

Book here! (Veliko Tarnovo)


7. The Beehive (Rome, Italy)

The bunk beds in the Beehive hostel in Rome, Italy
Run by Linda and Steve for the past few decades, this is one of the less corporate hostels in the city. It’s a great place to meet other people and be social as they organize events each night, such as quizzes and happy hours (they also do pizza nights). The hostel also offers a WhatsApp group so travelers can message each other about plans. There’s both an indoor lounge and an outdoor courtyard, two fully equipped guest kitchens, and the showers have really nice water pressure. They offer fresh bagels every morning from Monday-Thursday as well.

The beds and pillows are comfy, though there are no privacy curtains in the dorms. While it’s a social hostel, it’s not a party hostel so it’s easy to get a good night’s sleep here. The hostel also has female-only rooms. It’s located near Termini (the main station) so it’s easy to access. Just note that they don’t have 24/7 reception so you can’t arrive late.

The Beehive at a glance:

  • Two guest kitchens
  • Very friendly staff
  • Organizes weekly events

Beds from 42 EUR, private rooms from 83 EUR. HostelPass members get 10% off

Book here!


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

Front desk in Greg and Tom's Party Hostel in 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 and Playstation consoles, 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 dinner, free video games)
  • Separate building for non-partiers so you can get a good sleep

Beds from 26 EUR.

Book here!


9. Kabul (Barcelona, Spain)

Exterior of Kabul Hostel in Barcelona Spain
Kabul is tied with The Flying Pig 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 this 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 have good 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 36 EUR, private rooms from 99 EUR.

Book here!


10. Archi Rossi (Florence, Italy)

Cafeteria area with many long tables, art on the walls, and arched windows at Archi Rossi hostel in Florence, Italy
This hostel has character. You can sign your name or draw on the wall, their kitchen is the size of a cafeteria, and they have a great outdoor garden where you can kick back with a bottle of wine!

While the bunks are basic metal bunks, the mattresses are decent and there are lockers for your things.

Archi Rossi at a glance:

  • Laid-back outdoor garden for relaxing and mingling
  • Great place to meet people
  • Convenient location near the train station

Beds from 27 EUR, private rooms from 58 EUR.

Book here!


11. Francesco’s (Ios, Greece)

Pool with deck chairs and view of white houses on hills in the background at Francesco's hostel in Ios
With a view like this, how could you not like this place? There’s a pool, 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 too many drinks!

Francesco’s at a glance:

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

Beds from 21 EUR, private rooms from 45 EUR.

Book here!


12. Snuffel Backpacker Hostel (Bruges, Belgium)

Interior courtyard with tables and chairs at Snuffel Hostel in Bruges
Close to the Bruges 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 28 EUR, private rooms from 72 EUR.

Book here!


13. Castle Rock (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Cozy common room with leather couches, big armchairs, a communal table, and tall windows at Castle Rock in Edinburgh
Located near Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile and (you guessed it) the castle, this hostel is gorgeous. The building is old, with beautiful wood interiors, stone staircases, and a very historic royal feel. It’s like being in an ancestral family mansion. The common area features pool tables, T.V., newspapers, and free Wi-Fi. They organize events, dinners, and the staff is really nice.

While the bunks don’t have curtains, the mattresses are decent and there are plenty of outlets to charge your devices.

Castle Rock at a glance:

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

Beds from 25 EUR, private rooms from 127 EUR.

Book here!



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 follow the guidelines that make a hostel truly great, going out of their way to provide stellar services and making guests feel welcomed and at home.

For more hostel suggestions for each city, click here to check out my list of the best hostels in each destination!

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Book Your Trip to Europe: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

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 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:

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?
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