15 Awesome Hostels for Backpacking Europe

15 Awesome Hostels for Backpacking Europe

Welcome to the new generation of hostels: The 5 Star Hostels. Hostel accommodation has vastly improved over recent years and you can now find high-quality hostels at budget prices all over Europe.

To tell you more about this new trend in backpacking Europe, I’ve recruited the Hostelgeeks, an independent review site that only writers about the worlds best hostels , “The 5 Star Hostels“. Here Anna and Matt give us a glimpse of the best backpacker hostels in Europe.

If you are looking for the best hostels in London, this guide by Emily Luxton should help. For some great party hostels in Thailand, read this post.

Here at Hostelgeeks we certify hostels based on transparent criteria such as eco-friendliness, design, uniqueness, social character, and staff. For each destination, we only show you the number 1 hostel. Simple as that. We do all the legwork for you to pre-select your smart hostel picks all over Europe.

Additionally: We get big discounts to the greatest hostels in Europe for our community. Launching in January 2017, the new eBook features big hostel discount for hundreds of dollars!

Together with Janet we are proud to introduce you to a selection of 15 outstanding hostels across Europe. The old continent is a backpackers paradise, and hostels can take a big part in your travel experience. So, sit back and take notes for your next backpacking trip around Europe:

1. It’s raining hang gliders: Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof

Ever heard of the small town of Interlaken in the heart of Switzerland? So have many backpackers, and the reason is simple: Interlaken is the sports capital of Europe. You can go skydiving, canyoning, hang-gliding, paragliding, kayaking, hiking, meme James Bond, … the sports activities are almost endless.

And here comes the best part: We found a 5 Star Hostel and perfect base for you in Interlaken. The Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof is a high-end hostel with everything you need. A cosy hostel vibe, a big, fully-equipped kitchen, high-speed internet to upload your adventure shots, and a super helpful team to help you with anything. And, especially important after an activity-filled day: super comfy mattresses to have a goooooood night sleep!

BTW, We at Hostelgeeks even got our readers a 5% discount for this cool hostel in Interlaken. You can find the discount code at our review of Backpackers Villa.

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2. Sheldon Cooper loves it: Train Hostel in Brussels

Sleep in an old train cabin from the 70s. The Train Hostel in Brussels is a unique hostel with a train-concept all round. The experience begins with the building which is simply impossible to miss. Why? There is a train wagon on top of it! Two old train lights decorate the entrance.

Recycled train materials have been used in the interior design, from lamps, cabins, former uniforms, seats and everything related to trains. The hostel could easily be a museum in itself. Funnily enough, the actual Train Museum is right behind the garden.

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3. Reinvention to reception and an own App: Valencia Lounge Hostel

The intimate boutique hostel Valencia Lounge Hostel developed two game-changers. When booking your stay, you just need to download the hostel app. Your smartphone is the key to Valencia Lounge Hostel and your own room – simple as that!

The payment and check-in is done before you actually set foot in the hostel. So, that leaves the receptionist with less work, right?! At Valencia Lounge Hostel there is no reception desk. The receptionists welcomes you n the lounge and thanks to the new gained time, you now have a local friend there, happy to introduce you to Valencia and its secret spots. We love this!

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4. The oldest 5 Star Hostel in the world: Hostel Ruthensteiner

Hostel Ruthensteiner opened its doors back in 1968 as a student residence. During the Cold War and Prague spring, many intellectual refugees fled from the Czech Republic. Hostel Ruthensteiner gave shelter to the refugees while they were applying for visas in the United States and other countries. Today, those refugees come back with their families and they show where it all started: At Hostel Ruthensteiner.

As well as an interesting history, Hostel Ruthensteiner offers a super comfy, family-like stay. The team has a deep passion for music, so make sure you join the spontaneous music jam sessions! Last but not least, check out the garden area. The giant garden furniture is handmade by the owner, pieces of art in themselves.

And talking about giants, let‘s hop over to Dresden in Germany….

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5. A Giants Room: Lollis Homestay in Dresden, Germany

Lollis Homestay is a genuine backpacker hostel with a unique interior. Yes, there are no TV’s, and the common room is super social, you might not want to leave again. And yet, it is the design of two of their hostel rooms which makes Lollis Homestay stand out again. In the first room, they have taken an old DDR car, and turned it into a bed. So, yes, you can literally sleep in a car in a hostel!

Here comes the giant part; in the second room you shrink! In the Giants Room you will find a huge, long sofa, that seats two people. There is a giant table with a double bed on top. The two giant chairs are your ladder to climb up.

6. Karaoke and fashion shows: Mosaic House in Prague

Mosaic House in Prague has everything you could wish for and need from a 5 Star Hostel. You can stay in a quality dorm for a budget price, or a full suite with a terrace and views of Prague castle. Mosaic House offers a wide range of accommodation for every budget.

And the travelers all come together. The main common area comes with a big stage so you can show off your karaoke skills, listen to concerts by local bands, or even attend a fashion show. Mosaic House puts a lot of effort into their events, so make sure you check out the black board!

If you prefer relaxing and having a chat with fellow guests, the second common area is your place to be. There are comfortable sofas, a gigantic map with local secrets about Prague, and different games you can play like table football.

7. Mama’s breakfast: Wallyard Concept Hostel in Berlin

A hostel with character and personality! Wallyard Concept Hostel has Berlin written all over it. The hostel comes with a 100% Berlin attitude and vibe, which makes it one of our favorite hostels in the world.

The name “Wallyard“ is simply a combination of wall and backyard. The hostel lounge faces an enormous private patio. Instead of a green backyard, there is a huge wall behind. The ultra stylish hostel lounge comes in patina-design. With concrete walls, comfortable sofas, quirky chairs and tables, and popular Edison lamps hanging from the tall ceiling; the interior of Wallyard Concept Hostel is so easy to enjoy all day long. Of course this is a great place to start the day with Mama’s breakfast, and end the day with a cold drink from the fridge. And yes, seriously, the mother of the two owners prepares the breakfast for you! Wallyard, you’re fabulous!

8. Caring Character: Superbude Sankt Pauli in Hamburg

Would you like to experience Germany outside the Berlin-box? Hop on a train and head to Hamburg. The so-called pearl of the North is a beautiful city with two 5 Star Hostels to stay at. Located next to the most famous district of Sankt Pauli, the Superbude Sankt Pauli comes with a unique charming and caring character. The staff is here to help, and it feels like you are visiting a friend.

Wheelbarrows have been turned into chairs, two macs are free to use, and the whole hostel is a black-and-yellow design heaven. At reception you will find complimentary bread and a big glass of Nutella! Have a snack on the house and say thank you on Facebook!

9. Minimal design, maximum effect: Hektor Design Hostel

The breakfast itself is an experience. On your left hand side you have Mr Business Man, and on your right hand side a basketball team. Hector Design Hostel is the very first 5 Star Hostel in Estonia. Due to its high-end quality and wide range of options, from cheap beds to cool private rooms, you can find many different kind of travelers.

From the outside, Hektor Design Hostel is a big, ominous-looking building while the interior design is kept minimal. You can relax at the in-house sauna, work out at the gym, read a book at the library and have coffee at the café bar – all that inside the hostel!

10. Inside-outside: inBox Capsule Hotel in Saint Petersburg

Home in the center of glorious Saint Petersburg, there is the only 24-bed sized InBox Capsule Hotel. This 5 star rated adds so much luxury to so little space, it is just impressive. The modern bunk beds are pod-style capsule beds with their very own A/C ventilation, lights, and plugs.

The ambient at this accommodation are also easy to enjoy. It is a perfect hostel for the solo-traveler looking for a tranquil, yet social quality-hostel on a budget. Highly recommended: The 5 o’clock tea every Saturday! Cheers!

11. Newspaper Hostel: Backstay Hostel Ghent in Ghent, Belgium

Golden from the outside, yellow from the inside! The Backstay Hostel is located inside the former editorial offices of a local, socialist newspaper from the 30s. The abandoned building was turned into one of the most stylish hostels in Europe with unique facilities, and cool events. Find your inner poet at the bloggers room. You can either use the computer or take the old typewriters – functional and ready for your inspiration!

The bar is open for locals and travellers, giving it a special vibe. An interesting detail is the bar desk itself. Do you see the print letters? Those were original print letters from the socialist newspaper, reused as stylish decoration. Well done, Backstay!

12. Luggage-desk and traveler design: CUBE Hostel in Leuven, Belgium

The CUBE Hostel is a well-known hostel among students and travelers, and it may be even better known than Leuven itself. Just a short ride away from Brussels, in little Leuven you can enjoy a beautiful European hidden gem and vibrant student life without the big crowds of tourists.

We are huge fans of CUBE Hostel as it has the perfect spacial distribution and facilities. You can cook in a fully-equipped kitchen and have pancakes in the morning. The café is the perfect place to mingle with locals, chat, have a drink and socialize. Downstairs you can find a real in-house cinema, equipped with Netflix, playstation and a Nintendo Wii. After a day full of culture, and hostel life you can go up to your room, close the door and enjoy a great night‘s sleep.

13. From the beach to the bar: STAY Hostel in Rhodes, Greece

We come back from the beach, and walk with our sandy feet right into the hostel bar. Rhodes island itself is a dream destination, especially when you combine it with STAY Hostel. The design is a mix of fresh and upcycled elements. Enjoy the homemade welcome lemonade at the in-house bar, or watch a movie in the own hostel cinema. Or maybe you’d prefer a massage on the roof-top terrace?

Stay Hostel Rhodes has it all.

14. Small Paradise: We Bologna

The We_Bologna combines a students residence with a hostel. We enjoy the atmosphere here as it is cosy and open. You can have a drink with the students or fellow hostel guests in the garden. The 5 Star Hostel in Bologna is an orange-anthrazite colored Oasis, and a perfect base to explore the food capital of Italy.

Also, you can take a fast train to Florence for a day trip. This is what we did. When you book your tickets with Trenitalia in advance, you can score some really good deals.

15. Charming Lybeer Hostel in Bruges

The only non-5 Star Hostel in this list is Lybeer Hostel. However, we are big fans and we wanted to introduce them to you. The charming Lybeer Hostel in the heart of famous Bruges is located in a newly renovated building. Back in the days, the building was a heren-huise (a gentlemen’s home). The dorms are Japanese-styled pods, adding the luxury of privacy to the dorms. You can join Belgian beer tasting and free walking tours, and if you’ve the energy left, a pub crawl takes you out to get to know the bars in Bruges.

So, this is your perfect spot for a hostel in Bruges.

Summary:

So, did you take note? These 15 awesome 5 Star Hostels are perfect for backpacking Europe ….and they are just the beginning! Follow the Hostelgeeks journey on Instagram here or check out their website for more deals and reviews.

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2 Comments

  1. February 13, 2017 / 7:18 pm

    This changes my view of hostels. They are lovely. We did stay in a really nice one in Berlin. We had a family room with our own toilet (we had our kids with us). I don’t think it is the one you mentioned here. You found some fabulous choices. I do think I would get claustrophobic in the box, but the others would all be a great choice for us.

  2. Nora
    February 14, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Hi~ We stayed at Hostel Ruthensteiner a couple of years ago and would absolutely agree with your recommendation on this list. We snagged one of their fantastic and spacious apartments, which had a fully equipped kitchen AND its own washer and dryer! (That never happens…LOL) But the staff was really the highlight….everyone was so friendly and helpful. And the selection of beer and beverages was wonderful as well!