News Budget travel: 12 of the best hostels in Europe

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Budget travel: 12 of the best hostels in Europe

On a backpacking trip through Europe? Maybe you just fancy a cheap city break? These are some of the best hostels for partying, sightseeing and getting to know London, Paris or Berlin – whether you’re a new solo traveller or seasoned in the art of hostel stays.

1. Generator, Dublin

This chic city base is located in the emerging district of Smithfield Square, within easy swigging distance of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. It’s a short walk south to the Liffey river and beyond that, the vibrant area of Temple Bar. There’s no need to go out for a drink just yet though; settle into a leather Chesterfield beneath the chandeliers made from old Jameson bottles in the hostel bar, where you’ll also see specially curated art pieces. Shared rooms sleep 8, 6 or 5 (or female only 6 or 10, one of which even has a jacuzzi), while the private rooms are available as singles, doubles, triples or quads. Standard rooms are en suite, premium rooms also have complimentary toiletries and snacks. For more on what to do in Dublin, see our video guide.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €13*

Average price for one night in a private room: €66

Book this hostel in Dublin

2. Plus, Berlin

You won’t believe the range of facilities at this Berlin hostel. Indoor swimming pool? Check. Sauna? Check. Free yoga? Check. All rooms are en suite, there’s free wifi throughout and bike hire is available at reception – there’s even a pleasant courtyard garden where you might just find a fellow traveller strumming away on the guitar. For €7 per person you can feast on the all you can eat breakfast and there are German and Italian meals served nightly, as well as cocktails in the bar. Dorms sleep no more than 6 and have large lockers and a hairdryer; some are female-only. Private rooms are single, twin, triple or double and come with air conditioning as standard. Check out our locals guide to Berlin to start planning your trip.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €16

Average price for one night in a private room: €66

Book this hostel in Berlin

3. Flying Pig Uptown, Amsterdam

This is a hostel that’s all about the vibe: friendly, relaxed and oh-so-Amsterdam. Located right beside the tranquil Vondelpark but still within easy walking distance of the main sights of the city, the Flying Pig makes a great base for exploring. It also has a lively bar with drinks deals, theme parties and open mic nights. Rooms sleep from 4 to 14 people and some of the dorms have queen-sized bunks, suitable for couples or friends to share – and split the cost. Private rooms are doubles or twins and some are en suite. There’s a kitchen for whipping up your own meals and a separate smoking room too. Take a look at our guide to find the top 10 things to do in Amsterdam while you’re here.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €18

Average price for one night in a private room: €87

Book this hostel in Amsterdam

4. Flamingo Hostel, Krakow

Just a few steps from Krakow’s main square, Rynek Glowny, this cheeky, fun hostel has bright decor in the communal areas and rooms and a rare facility indeed: free breakfast! There’s also an in-house cafe and bar with regular live music and karaoke, free movies shown on the big screen and free internet access. Dorms are all mixed and sleep 6, 10 or 12, while private rooms sleep 2. The reception desk can also help out with day trips and tours. For more on Krakow see our guide to the eight top things to do.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €8

Average price for one night in a private room: €34

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5. Wombats, Munich

Just steps from Munich Central Station and offering a free drink on arrival, Wombats makes a great first impression. Although there are some 300 beds here, quality hasn’t been compromised for quantity and rooms are pastel-painted with wooden floors, comfy beds and sturdy lockers. The womBar is the place to party, with pool tables and dancing until late every night, while the onsite kitchen means you can save on eating out. There’s free wifi on the ground floor, a 24-hour reception (who will issue you with a tailor-made city map) and laundry facilities too. Find out what we think are the top ten things to see and do in Munich here.

Average price for one night in a dorm: Dorms from €19, mixed and female-only

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6. St Christopher’s Canal, Paris

Not many hostels can boast a waterfront terrace overlooking the Canal St Martin, not to mention both free unlimited wifi and free breakfast. But this purpose-built hostel in the heart of Paris isn’t like other hostels. Facilities are faultless, from the lifts, secure lockers and electronic security, to the self-service laundry, chill-out room and online check-in in the 24-hour reception. A free walking tour of Paris is included, as well as 25% off food and drink in the downstairs Belushi’s backpacker bar and restaurant. Beds have curtains for extra privacy and are fitted with power plugs and reading lights, while some of the private rooms have en suite bathrooms. Been to Paris before? Read our tips on making the most of your second time in Paris.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €16

Average price for one night in a private room: €62

Book this hostel in Paris

7. Plus, Prague

How could we leave this one out, with its indoor pool and sauna, gym, bar with live music and beach volleyball? Dorms sleep 8, 6 or 4 and all beds come with private reading lamp, fleece blankets and pillows, while double and triple private en suite rooms also have a wardrobe and desk. Wifi is available throughout and the fitness centre has three rooms of weight training and cardio equipment. Stay in for dinner at the Opera bar and restaurant (open daily from 6pm) for the creative theme nights and wicked cocktails, or head out into Prague to sample the city’s infamous nightlife. Ready for a drink? Check out our recommendations for the best bars in Prague.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €6 (€8 for female-only)

Average price for one night in a private room: €48

Book this hostel in Prague

8. Hostels Alessandro, Rome

This is the grand dame of the Rome hostel scene but it’s far from showing its age. All rooms, from dorms to doubles, have en suite bathrooms equipped with hairdryers, there’s air conditioning throughout (very welcome in summer) and a basement bar and lounge with drinks deals. You’re just a five-minute walk from Termini Station here, meaning all of Rome’s sights are within easy reach, as is the airport and destinations further afield. Dorms are cheery, with terracotta floors, bright walls and yellow curtains, and sleep 4, 6 or 8, with doubles, twins and triples for those seeking a private room. On a budget? Don’t spend a penny in Rome with our guide to the best free things to see and do.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €19

Average price for one night in a private room: €74

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9. Langholmen, Stockholm

You won’t forget a stay here in a hurry. This is a converted prison (once Sweden’s largest) and signs point "to the cells", which sleep 2-4 people and retain many of their original features, including the high windows and concrete walls. However, the prison lifestyle’s changed a bit: outside you’ll find a beach (the free wifi even stretches out here) and one of Stockholm’s most attractive islands, criss crossed by jogging and hiking trails. Some cells have been knocked through to create shared dorms (beds all have their own light and locker) or you can book a single, twin, triple or quad with en suite shower and toilet. Get the scoop on the best things to do in Stockholm before you go.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €26

Average price for one night in a private room: €62

Book this hostel in Stockholm

10. Generator, Venice

Yes, it’s these guys again. But you’ll see why: Venice’s Generator hostel is housed in a beautiful converted grain house which sits on the waterfront of the Giudecca and has pristine Fantini mosaic flooring, elegant Rubelli textile curtains, a Murano glass clown chandelier and an artisan stone fireplace. All at hostel prices, not to mention the fact that even the dorms come with sea views and en suites. Shared rooms are fixed and female-only and sleep up to 16, while private doubles, twins and quads come with hanging space, a desk and power showers. Premium rooms add complimentary toiletries and snacks. Enjoy Venice on a budget with our guide to the best free things to do.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €16

Average price for one night in a private room: €38

Book this hostel in Venice

11. Smart City Hostels, Edinburgh

However many people you’re travelling with, this clever hostel has the room for you. From dorms sleeping 4, 6, 8 or 10 to private twins, triples, quads and even a 6-sleeper, rooms are simple but chic, with bright details and comfy bunks. There are even special rooms for stags (the man cave) and hens (the girly VIP room) – though this of course means that quiet nights are not to be expected here! There’s a 24-hour reception, optional late check outs, a bar serving food non-stop from midday to 10pm and free wifi. The location is unbeatable too: just steps from Cowgate’s pubs and a short walk from Waverley train station. Watch our video guide to 24 hours in Edinburgh for some trip inspiration.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €12

Average price for one night in a private room: €61

Book this hostel in Edinburgh

12. Maverick Hostel, Budapest

Some hostels simply don’t look like hostels – and this is one of them. A palatial building made up of pillared hallways, floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping staircases, dorm rooms sleep 5, 6 or 10 without a bunk bed in sight. You can also bag an en suite room for 1-5 people and the walking tours, luggage storage and wifi are all complimentary. There’s also a book exchange, a DVD library and, for an extra fee, a laundry and airport pickups. Fancy a spa? Read our guide to the best thermal baths in Budapest.

Average price for one night in a dorm: €10

Average price for one night in a private room: €36

Book this hostel in Budapest

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*Prices correct at time of publication (February 2017).

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