Long gone are the days when budget traveling meant sacrificing comfort. If you know where to go, it’s easy to enjoy an amazing city and cushy surroundings for affordable costs by staying in a hostel. In fact, the cities listed here are known to cater to backpackers and flashpackers (long-term backpackers) with their inexpensive yet appealing accommodations that will help you cut corners.
From private singles to 10-bed dormitories, hostels have options for every preference. Sure, the fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms may be shared, but what was once considered bare-bones-style sleeping quarters are now extraordinary ways to travel solo or in a group, while expanding your social circle. This list is only the tip of the iceberg.
As if its welcoming environment, old-European architecture and savory cuisine (and wine) weren’t enough, Lisbon is also home to some of the best bargain accommodations worldwide that will have you feeling at home. In fact, Home is the name of their most popular hostel. This 200-year old building offers spacious bedrooms with airy windows, a desirable location in the city’s historic center and the highly sought-after Mamma’s dinners, cooked by the hostel owner’s very own mother.
Have you never visited Portugal’s capital before? Allow the city’s hostels’ crews to show you around! Most of these locations also organize group walking tours and pub crawls.
St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg, Russia certainly holds the intrigue of many as a place to visit, with its long history, gorgeous palaces and bright parks. The dollar to ruble conversion rate is pretty nice, too (at the time this was written, $1 equals 66.91 rubles).
Soul Kitchen is hands down one of the best hostels in the city and the luxury suite is truly one of a kind. Forget the typical dormitory experience in this single room; the wooden bed, private shower and fireplace seem to be the epitome of comfort and romance. This is a great place for couples who are looking for a unique twist to their St. Petersburg hostel experience.
If you’re looking to visit Asia, why not travel off the beaten path and visit Taiwan? The capital, Taipei, is ready for you. Not only are the signs oftentimes translated in English, but exploring the city is easygoing on the American dollar.
Night markets, the mixture of Chinese and Japanese culinary influences, and natural beauty are only a few reasons to visit. And don’t forget their many backpacker-friendly lodgings. Star hostel is a green, minimalist, and clean spot in the city center, but Meander is where to go if you want to feel the city’s heartbeat. It’s location is surrounded by shopping centers including markets, bars, and restaurants.
Progressive. Sustainable. Trendy. These words describe the top hostels in Berlin, as well as their vibrant city.
At EastSeven, enjoy a private garden, wooden decks, a BBQ area and hammocks. Circus is a bright, colorful spot located upstairs from their own microbrewery, and Generator Mitte is the place to go if artwork, including string sculptures, call your name.
Cape Town, South Africa
The travelers have spoken, and some of the best hostels in the world are located in Cape Town, South Africa. Although it’s not like we needed yet another reason to visit; the inexpensive price tags, mountains, sea, exotic flora and unique fauna are all reasons in themselves.
B.I.G is an accommodating location that has been labeled one of the best hostels in the world. Are you someone who travels with your canine BFF? The good news is that B.I.G is pet-friendly. It also has a pool, garden, and South African-style BBQ areas called Braai.
The Backpacker and Amber Tree Lodge also offer gorgeous rooms, many amenities and luxurious furnishings that have earned them both much recognition.
Queenstown, New Zealand
This is a destination for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. Hiking, bungee jumping, jet boating, paragliding, and skiing are just a couple of activities that draw people to the land under ‘The Land Down Under’.
Adventure Hostel is a small to medium-sized lodging that is located centrally and offers a number of pre-organized nightly activities, water and ski gear rentals, storage for your personal gear, and a heating/cooling system in each room to keep you comfortable regardless of the season.
Absoloot Value seems to stand up to its name with a number of raving reviews, while Nomads Hostel is a location that may tempt you to stay put for a while. In fact, the perks of Nomads include both mountain and lake views, a cinema, sauna, fireplace in the lounge and ski gear storage.
In true Barcelona-fashion, these hostels have something for everyone. A few are located in the middle of the city, neighboring shopping centers and nightlife, while others are located in quieter neighborhoods. These accommodations cater to the reasons why tourists visit this popular Spanish city, like eye-popping buildings, lively party scenes and the sun-soaked Barceloneta beach.
Sant Jordi is one designer hostel which attracts the party-minded, complete with a roof-top pool and club themed common areas. Conversely, Mediterranean Hostel is in the middle of a residential neighborhood, where guests can enjoy their afternoon siesta in peace. Expect eclectic artwork, modern or bohemian furnishings (depending on the location), and engaging staff who are excited to show you their lovely city.
*A major resource for finding quality hostels worldwide is HostelWorld, a website that connects you to thousands of properties in over 170 countries with the click of a button. Their Hoscars page (a tribute to the top picks for a range of superlatives) showcases customer favorites, from year to year.