When you think of a hostel, you might envision a dumpy old hole in the ground with dirty water and slow wifi. If you’ve been to some of the cheaper hostels, you know what I’m talking about. While this is a reality for a lot of hostels, there are some pretty decent, might I even say, impressive hostels out there.
Now, you might assume; “the better the hostel, the less money in my pocket.” While I can not say this statement is entirely false, it indeed isn’t 100% true either. As a general rule for the society in which we live, usually higher quality = higher charge. But when it comes to hostels, this is not always the case. You could pay more for the worst hostel in one country and pay less for the best hostel in another. It all depends on where you go (and sometimes how well you can charm the staff).
Asia, Europe, Africa, The Americas, The Middle East. North, South, West, and East. Heck anywhere above or below the equator has good hostels just hiding in plain sight!
So without any more delay let’s take a look at some cool hostels on planet Earth!
1 – Castle Rock Hostel – Edinburgh
If you’ve been to Edinburgh, you’re probably familiar with the Edinburgh Castle. Castle Rock Hostel is conveniently located right next to it, with full with views of the Castle all around the hostel! Slightly medieval with a side of modern, Castle Rock is sure to bring you back to the middle ages.
Art fills the room along with laughter and cheer. Magazines line the walls, gold curtains hang from the ceiling, and classy furniture covers the floors. Knights in shining armor greet you throughout the building, and much more is in place to give you the old royalty feel (no peasants to fetch you mead, though). So much elegance fills each room you’d swear you accidentally wandered into the fortress next-door!
2 – ClinkNOORD – Amsterdam
ClinkNOORD has a relatively more modern taste than Castle Rock. You are taken to a more present-day, yet somewhat old-timey Dutch theme. Stunning features from the original building built in the 1920’s remain to add a bit of history to the atmosphere.
A gorgeous atrium, a café, a self-serving kitchen, and many social areas around the hostel are there to make you feel at home. Come for the food or the atmosphere or even to trade a book at the hostel book exchange, whatever the reason, you won’t leave disappointed.
3 – Athens Backpackers – Greece
Said to be the best hostel in Athens and when you look at the stats, it’s easy to see why. Reviewers have stated that Athens Backpackers accel at everything from their public kitchen, room size, and style, to their cleanliness, staff, and events.
The Athens Backpackers roof bar hosts frequent parties for guests at the hostel. Attend at night to see the Acropolis glowing in the spotlights at one of the best views in the city. Post morning hangovers from the party can be treated with a lovely breakfast of eggs, toast, jams, coffee, and tea entirely on the house.
Day trips periodically run to popular tourist destinations in and around Athens such as Delphi at astonishingly low costs. They’ve won a boatload of awards for their superb hostel flavor and continued to dominate the travel hospitality industry in Athens.
4 – Ostello Bello – Milan
Named the Second Best New Hostel Worldwide at the 2011 Hoscars, Ostello Bello has a 9.8 out of 10-star rating on Hostelworld.com. It’s cheap, clean and conveniently located only a couple of hundred meters away from iconic landmarks such as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Santa Maria Della Grazie, Duomo Square, and more!
The staff is filled with experienced travelers and locals alike that have an excellent overview of the city and can point you in any direction you wish to go. With the metro practically next door you’ll have the freedom to explore anywhere in the city with extensive knowledge of the area than any other traveler not staying at Ostello Bello would not have.
5 – Lub D Phuket Patong – Patong
The beautiful island town of Patong on Phuket Island is home to one of the most prestigious hostels in Thailand. Lub D has a New age vibe to its increasingly enjoyable atmosphere, but that by no means limits the diversity of backpackers that wander through the area.
As typical with the diverse nature of hostels, this place rules when it comes to room diversity. There are rooms for all shapes and sizes here from private rooms to beach style dorms to office-like spaces for business travelers and more! If you’re super picky when it comes to the room style or you want to have the satisfaction of sleeping in a hotel environment while paying a hostel rate this place is for you.
If you’re visiting Thailand, check out this 3-week Thailand Itinerary!
6 – USA Hostels Ocean Beach – San Diego
Trippy designs and portraitures of peace and love line the outside of the building. Glowing with hippie flavor, you’d swear this hostel came right out of Woodstock. The exterior of the building matches the atmosphere inside. Within the lounge area, you’ll find friendly faces playing music together and chatting up positive conversations.
The rooms have a college dorm feel to them but are spacious and comfortable enough to make you feel like your on vacation and not at school. Take part in weekly events such as Yoga classes and beer pong tournaments or catch some waves at the beach only two blocks away!
7 – Pariwana Hostel – Cusco
One of many things Peru is famous for is their architecture. In ancient times Peru was bustling with cities built primarily with stone and ceramic materials. Those buildings did not survive, but some structures such as Machu Pichu and others remain. Pariwana Hostel is one of these buildings. Or at least that’s the image they like to portray themselves as.
This blast to the past by no means indicates them as a first hostel, though. There are still plenty of places throughout the hostel that offers a modern taste to the so confused building of history. Beautiful art decorates the walls, elegant furniture furnishes the rooms, and everything from plumbing to free wifi creates a modern ambiance when desired.
So ditch those crummy hostels you found last minute at the visitor center and only settle for the best. The unique hostels in the world are just waiting to be discovered, and now you have the know-how to find them. Good Luck!
This post has been contributed by Josh Rushford
Josh Rushford is a freelance blogger for hire and the author of Natural Nomadics, a blog that combines travel and self-development into a potent brew of unlimited potential. Read his blog for inspiration, entertainment, or to help you achieve your travel dreams!