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10 hip hostels around the world

Written by 13 August 2011 24 Comments

The days when the word “hostel” made you think about travel bums cramped up in tiny bunk beds with dirty showers, are over. This is the age of the travelette, where backpacking in heels is no longer an oxymoron, and the hostels are hip and fresh. Nowadays the gap between these low budget accomodations and certain boutique hotels can be very slim, providing you with a high quality stay AND a full wallet. So, for your inspiration and budget travel plans, here are 10 of the hippest hostels in the world.

1. Ostel, Berlin (Germany)

Berlin is considered on of the coolest and youngest destinations of Europe, and Berliners know how to be retrocool. Ostel takes you back to the East Berlin of the Seventies and Eighties with its old-fashioned interior. It is located close to Ostbahnhof, just a short walk from legendary clubs like Berghain and a bus-ride away from the trendy district of Kreuzberg.

• from 15 EUR for a dorm bed
• from 33 EUR for a single room
• from 54 EUR for a double room

2. Travellers House, Lisbon (Portugal)

Ranked as the best hostel in the world by the Hoscars Award (something like the Oscar’s for hostel), a list that speaks kindly about the Portuguese hospitality with 3 Lisbon hostels topping the list, this hostel is definitely worth a visit.  Located in a 250 years old building in Baixa, Lisbon’s central and old area, this hostel by and for travelers provides you with great advice and chill out possibilities. Two of my other personal hostel favorites in Lisbon are the Rossio Hostel and Oasis Hostel.

• from 30 EUR for a single private room
• from 54 EUR for a double room
• from 18 EUR for a dorm bed

3. DanHostel Copenhagen City, Copenhagen (Denmark)

Europe’s biggest 5 five star design hostel is located in the Danish capital. The Danish are known for their great style, and this hostel is no exception with its inspiring furniture design. With a great view and within walking distance to the biggest tourist attractions, this is the place to be. If you’re looking for something more intimate, Copenhagen Downtown is a good alternative.

• from 88 EUR (~66o DKK) for a private room
• from 18 EUR (~135 DKK)  for a dorm bed

4. Miss Sophie’s, Prague (Czech Republic)

Last time I went to Prague, I stayed at the 2nd shabbiest hostel I’ve ever been at. Reading about Miss Sophie’s hostel I’m sure I’m not going to make the same mistake again, and this will be my preferred stay. Located in an old 19th century building in the heart of Nove Mesto with minimal interior design, the dorms here are only shared with five other people making it cozier than the typical packed dorm.

• from 55 EUR (~1390 CZK) for private apartment
• from 46 EUR (~1150 CZK) for a private room
• from 15 EUR (~410 CZK)  for a dorm bed

5. Equity Point Centric hostel, Barcelona (Spain)

Photo: Carlos Lorenzo

Situated in a refurbished Modernist building next to Plaça Catalunya and The Ramblas you have a spectacular view of modernist architectural masterpieces and tiny boutiques around the corner. Perfect if you’ve come to Barcelona to enjoy Gaudí’s architecture and the busy streets of Barcelona.

• from 28 EUR for a dorm bed
• from 124 EUR for a private room

6. Lub*d hostel, Bangkok (Thailand)

In the words of the owners: “We’ve been working very hard to create an accommodation where we combine the ‘explorative spirits’ of a hostel with the ‘quality’ aspect of a premium hotel.” According to the reviews it seems like they have succeeded in creating a heaven for those who want to combine style, comfort and a tiny budget.

• from 7 EUR for a dorm bed
• from 22 EUR for a double room

7. Peking International Youth Hostel, Beijing (China)

I fell in love with the pictures of this charming Beijing hostel. It is close to evering hot and happening, so if you wanna go to galleries, museums and the Forbidden city – this is your place. The five star luxury hostel’s garden looks like the perfect retreat.

• from 10 EUR for a dorm bed
• from 50 EUR for a double room

8. The Gershwin Hotel, New York (USA)

The Geshwin is one of those hotels that also offer hostel services and bunker beds, a bit on the expensive side for a hostel, but still affordable. The building is a 13-storey homage to Andy Warhol and all things pop art and is located just of the 5th avenue. If you need some extra closet space, you might consider staying in the “model floor”, especially designed for those who are trying to make it as models in the big apple.

• from 44 USD for a dorm bed
• from 129 USD for a double room

9. Goli + Bosi, Split (Croatia)

A picture is worth more than thousand words, and in this case I found 1000s of reasons to go to this fantastic hostel in Croatia. Watch and enjoy! The hostel space itself is designed as a hybrid of a japanese pill hotel and an old european department store and is located in the historic centre of Split.

• from 21 EUR for a dorm bed
• from 60 EUR for a single room
• from 70 EUR per person for a double room

10. Stay, Los Angeles (USA)

Stay is a hotel/hostel hybrid close to Hollywood. The concept design hostel is created for the modern savvy travelette. If you’re looking for convenient accommodations for the hip and spend thrifty traveler, this is the place for you.

• from 35 USD for a dorm bed
• from 55 USD for a queenbed/twinbed room

If hotels are more your thing, check out these 6 amazing hotels or these 5 unique hotels for a different experience. What is your favorite hostel in the world?

Kathrine Opshaug Bakke Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.

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  • nina said:

    Funny thing about “Miss Sophie’s” is, that they have a sister hostel called “Sir Toby’s” in Prague! I wonder if they offer a “Dinner for one” ;)

  • jack said:

    Yup, stayed in the Peking Youth Hostel, and I have to say that it was one of the nicer hostels I’ve seen…

  • Seattle Dredge said:

    Awesome list :D They all look great!

  • Josh said:

    Perfect timing! I was just looking for hostels in Beijing! Peking Youth Hostel looks awesome!

  • Sophie said:

    Well, I can’t not check out Miss Sophie’s :)

  • A Lady in London said:

    Great list! I love the photos, too.

  • Timothy C said:

    Awesome list – thanks for sharing! I’ve stayed at the Peking International Youth Hostel as well. Great place.

  • mumun said:

    Wow, I guess you can travel backpacking in style. Oh how we love the modern world. Thanks for the list. I think I’m gonna check a few of these out should I have the chance. Sweet list!

  • Don Faust said:

    Very cool. I’ve never stayed in a hostel before, but it looks like I could stay in these.

  • furikuri travels said:

    These are amazing- I wish I had known about the one in Prague back in June! Will def keep these bookmarked for future reference xx

  • kathrine said:

    Glad you all liked our list :) I’m always looking for cool hostels when traveling, and hope to visit all of these hostels eventually!

  • Jeff said:

    I stayed in Rossio House 4 years ago and it deserves the awards that it gets. It was a great place to stay in Lisbon.

  • kathrine said:

    I also love Rossio Hostel, Jeff! Great staff, location and atmosphere:) Lisbon scores pretty high when it comes to hospitality and great hostels.

  • Claire said:

    Those look really great! Will have to write down a few of those for future reference.

  • Ryan said:

    I’ve been to Stay numerous times in LA, I really dig it…and I’ve scored rooms for $20 before! LA’s best Diner is located a short walk away Nickle Diner!

  • brooke said:

    I stayed at the Travelllers House and LOVED it. I highly recommend staying there!

  • Leah said:

    Another awesome hostel is Aloha in Berlin near Rosa-Luxembourg Strauss bahn station. Absolutely amazing, friendly atmosphere. I developed a family-like relationship with everyone there! They are a smaller independant hostel, but the best hostel I’ve ever stayed at!

  • Brooke vs. the World said:

    I would highly recommend adding “Soul Kitchen Junior” from St. Petersburg to this list! It is amazing. Did a post recently full of photos over on my blog if anyone wants to check it out!

  • Candice said:

    I have stayed in the Point Centric hostel in Barcelona. It is a great hostel and in a great location. I am going to keep your recommendations in mind next time I get on a plane:-)

  • Charles Rahm (@DWJustTravel) said:

    What a great inspiring list of hostels. Peking International youth hostel looks absolutely stunning and certainly nothing like the hostels I used to stay in! I definitely hope to try at least one of these hostels during my next trip. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jeff said:

    Don’t forget, its not just the decor that makes a hotel hip… its the people who run the place and that’s what draws the right kind of fellow travellers! In Budapest, we have one of the best, Csaba at Aboriginal Hostels!


  • Steve said:

    i stayed at lub.d in bangkok a few years back. loved it! haven’t stayed at any of the other ones in this list yet…

  • Dale said:

    We travel for the most part to find great architecture and design, so our having not stayed at any of the these amazing looking hostels really bums us out :(

  • Brooke said:

    I stayed at the Travellers house in Lisbon and loved every moment of my stay. The staff were beyond friendly, and they offer some great tours to Sintra for about 20 Euro, and offer great tips on local food and drink. I know that I’ll be staying there as soon as I head back there.

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