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22 Best Hostels Around The World Not To Miss On Your Travels
Jul 24, 2014 by MaxA relaxing atmosphere, preferably with hammocks littered around the place, a big courtyard with lots of loungers, an abundance of flora and even more hammocks, a kick-ass balcony which contains incredible views over the city or lake, clean bedrooms that smell like washing powder, hot showers, an endless selection for (free) breakfast, a huge, modern bar area where the night kicks into fifth gear and a good crowd. Throw in a swimming pool, pool table, free coffee and a fast WiFi and you may just have yourself the perfect backpackers hostel. Hostels play a very significant role in most backpackers' travels and it's safe (I think) to say that a lot of time is spent in them, regardless of their amenity levels. Most hostels around the world barely scratch the surface of this idyllic list, but for those that tick the majority of the boxes, well they need to be acknowledged. The list below is an homage to some of the best hostels around the world that the trip.me team and I feel receive the recognition and dissemination they deserve. While not to everybody's taste and partly down to personal experience, these hostels, in our eyes (and many from the reviews), eminently excel in the backpacker circuits.
Gallery Hostel - Porto, PortugalGallery hostel is my favorite place on earth. The high ceilings in the room, the balcony overlooking the city, the art collection, the glass floor in the entrance looking down to a canvas, the cool indoor/outdoor glass box smoking area, the port/wine bar and the nightly entertainment (Fado nights are especially entertaining here). Gallery hostel also has a great location in the city. Turn left out of the hostel and you will hit some main shopping highstreets, turn right (my usual) and you will walk down to one of the most beautiful parks in the world. It has incredible flora and fauna and views overlooking the entire city and the picturesque River Douro.
Plus Berlin - Berlin, GermanyWith a stunning entrance and hallway I fell in love with Plus Berlin the minute I entered. Then I got to the hotel-like swimming pool, the huge, decorated garden courtyard, the comfy bedrooms and the opulent bar/restaurant area and it was immediately placed in my top 10 hostels before I even spent the night there. A quality hostel.
Ostello Bello - Milan, ItalyYou can only really expect expensive hostels from a city like Milan so don't be put off by the 35 euros price, this hostel is sensationally Milano cool. The sun-drenched balcony/roof-terrace area oozes with character and style and the boutique interior decor mirrors the high-streets of stylish Milan.
ArkaBarka Floating Hostel - Belgrade, SerbiaBalconies over the river Danube says enough. This floating hostel is an exquisite example of modern boutique hostels, and for it to come at a price of 16 euros, set next to the beautiful central park of Belgrade is an absolute winner.
A Venice Fish - Venice, ItalyAs far as hostels in Venice go, there aren't any, apart from 'A Venice Fish'. This hostel, in the heart of the Jewish quarter, contains a great atmosphere and it's perfect for 20 somethings looking for both a cultural visit to Venice and a few drinks in the evening. The balcony is a real draw and the prices are good for central Venice.
Oasis Hostel Franchise - Spain and PortugalLike the Loki franchise in South America, the Oasis franchise, in Portugal and Spain, merges great comfort with great prices. Having grown in popularity since their beginning 10 years ago, Oasis now have an extensive list of cities that includes Lisbon, Malaga, Granada, Seville and Toledo. All of them are equally homely, equally atmospheric and fun and all of them are very central in their respective cities.
Yogis Guesthouse - Jodhpur, IndiaPossibly the only hostel I liked (not a huge hostel culture in India) on my travels through India and arguably one of my favorite hostels in the world. Full of character and obviously great colors, this 500 year old Haveli is located in the heart of Jodphur and contains spectacular views of the blue city and the majestic Mehrangarh Fort from it's relaxing roof terrace. A true gem in India.
Hanoi Backpackers Hostel - Downtown - Hanoi, VietnamIn the heart of the old quarter of Hanoi comes the latest of the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel franchise and it's seriously good. Any hotel/hostel based in the frenetic old quarter is bound to be bustling, full of character and very noisy but Hanoi Backpackers runs at a totally different pace. A party atmosphere is encouraged by its perpetually open large front doors, the swathes of young foreign tourists, the large bar and communal areas and Hanoi's rowdy streets. On the non-party side, the rooms are great and the pool table/t.v room that leads out to the balcony is also met with a relaxing atmosphere. Great hostel all-round.
Chengdu Lazybones Backpacker Boutique Hostel - Chengdu, ChinaOur travel operations expert Tom McDougall proclaimed this to be his favorite hostel in China, claiming he "could live there". A dead cert to get on any accommodation list. Tom said it was a notably clean and comfortable hostel with great prices and an unrivaled atmosphere. Activities here include table-tennis, pool/snooker and lots of chill-out areas to take full advantage of the book exchange.
Top Banana - Phnom Penh, CambodiaRelatively controversial hostel on the list considering the bedrooms in this hostel aren't all that nice, however the all-in-one lounge-bar-restaurant-wifi-books-communal area-balcony space really results in an inimitable atmosphere, particularly when inevitable Cambodia thunderstorms crash down.
Sunflower Hotel - Hoi An, VietnamDespite the 'hotel' title this place certainly gives off more of a hostel atmosphere than that of a hotel. The extra clean and spacious rooms, along with the luxurious garden and pool area validate the hotel title but with the hostel prices and atmosphere I would say this is one of Vietnam's best hostels.
SOUTH / CENTRAL AMERICA
Residencial Bolivar Hostel - Santa Cruz, BoliviaThe leafy courtyards are accompanied by the alluring hammocks, the free breakfast is awesomely fruity and the bedrooms are just fine. A very homely and comfortable hostel, just beware of the toucans that perch in the most hidden spaces.
Milhouse Avenue - Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWhat Residencial Bolivar in Bolivia has in chillout courtyards, Milhouse has in party atmosphere. That said, Milhouse doesn't lack in comfort. It's reminiscent of a Parisian mansion, with wonderful high ceilings, beautiful wooden floors and incredible city balconies.
Hostel Paudimar Campestre - Foz do Iguaçu, BrazilFamous for her majestic Iguaçu Falls, Foz do Iguaçu also boasts a collection of top hostels. Hostel Paudimar Campestre steals the limelight, however, with its array of fun activities on offer, its low price, its option of camping and its poolside bar. The football pitch tends to draw a lot of tourists, looking for that bit of Brazilian inspiration before heading east to Brazil's mega-cities, whilst the vast camping grounds, seductive swimming pool and pool-side bar seal the deal.
Musicology Hostel - Bogotá, ColombiaFor me Musicology had everything, the quirky stairways, the leafy courtyards with strange wall murals, the mandatory courtyard hammocks, the busy hostel bar and most importantly the communal movie room in the attic to cure those incurable Bogotá hangovers. Musicology is all about partying and lounging so don't expect too much sleep here.
The Bearded Monkey - Granada, NicaraguaPerhaps it's the fervent charm of Granada that sways my opinion with this hostel, however this quaint, friendly hostel mirrored Granada's splendor with its dreamy courtyard and warm character.
Los Amigos Youth Hostel - Flores, GuatemalaHome to the beautiful Mayan ruins of Tikal, it was important that Flores had a decent backpackers hostel. This unveiled itself to us in the form of the excellent party hostel 'Los Amigos Youth Hostel'. Eminently missable from the outside and excitingly jungle-like on the inside, this hostel always has a good atmosphere and prepares you well for your Tikal adventure.
A few more great hostels in South / Central America that deserve a mention...Hostel Lao - Mendoza, Argentina A very chilled out hostel with lots of hammocks in the garden, a nice swimming pool and most importantly, a huge book exchange cabinet. Tranquilo Backpackers - San Jose, Costa Rica This is a very homely hostel in the heart of San Jose with great communal areas. There is a large t.v lounge room with many comfortable bean-bags and duvets, a large central hallway with hammocks, computers and lots of tables, but for me it was the relaxing garden atmosphere that made this place so special. Loki Hostels - Bolivia and Peru The word 'Loki' spread very fast as I was travelling South America and I ended up staying at all 4 of their hostels at the time (since opened one in Salta, Argentina). The draw and hype of the Loki hostels is high and for me they were some of the best hostels I stayed in, particularly the one in Mancora, Peru which felt more like a resort that a hostel. The Loki in Cusco is incredibly fun and the one in La Paz is an exceptionally nice building. The only one I wouldn't go back to was the Loki in Lima which lacked atmosphere and character, however, great job all round, Loki! The Adventure Brew Hostel - La Paz, Bolivia With exceptional views overlooking the beautiful bowl-like city of La Paz, the Adventure Brew hostel is a great place to chill and absorb the quirky city skyline. As implied by its title, this hostel is also a brewery, with some fantastic beers on offer and a great top floor bar. Dreamer Hostel - Santa Marta, Colombia As a top-rated on Hostelworld, Dreamer hostel is one of the best hostels in northern Colombia. Somewhat of a party hostel, Dreamer still manages to maintain its relaxing charm as the courtyard hammocks and luxurious pool pass on a languid atmosphere. A great hostel.
What great hostels have you been to? Let us know in the comments below...