Our Top 5 Hostels in Europe

On January 16, 2014 by Oren and Cassie

As budget travelers, we’re always looking for the best accommodation at the best price. Our travels around Europe included a mix of Couchsurfing and hostels through Italy, France, Spain, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Austria. Hostels are EVERYWHERE in Europe, and sometimes it’s hard to decide which one to choose. To help make your planning easier, we decided to highlight our top 5 hostels for you.

5. Gigi, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy – Your visit to Italy is not complete without visiting Cinque Terre on the country’s west coast. While the five towns have become more touristy (and more expensive) in recent years, they still maintain a unique feel that makes them special. The big decision is which town to stay in while you’re there. We opted for the less touristy town of Riomaggiore. There are various rooms for rent along the hill. Simply check hostel websites. This is much cheaper than a hotel. The room we rented was very nice and we enjoyed exploring all of the towns during the day and returning to this quieter town (and room) at night. Gigi included a stove so we could cook. Everything in Cinque Terre is on a hill, so get ready to climb!

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A homemade meal at Gigi’s in Riomaggiore.

4. Fallon’s B & B, Kinvara, Ireland – Forget hotels and motels. Ireland is all about B & Bs, although some are pretty expensive. We stayed in plenty of hostels, but when comparing prices, if a B & B rivaled hostel prices, we always opted for the B & B. We often found the budget-friendly places in smaller towns. We chose Fallon’s because it allowed us to explore the small Irish town of Kinvara, while being close to Galway on the west coast. This B & B is run by an older local woman who is super sweet. Her grown daughters come in the mornings to help with serving breakfast. She treated us like family.

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An incredible night sky over Kinvara.

3. Wombats City Hostel, Vienna, Austria – This was one of most organized hostels we stayed in. The hostel company has multiple locations in Vienna; we stayed at Naschsmarkt. It had a huge, cozy wifi-connected reception area, a bar, and a full breakfast for about 4 euro. Our favorite aspect of this hostel is that they offer a free tour of Vienna (three days a week). We love free tours and were extremely surprised that this hostel offers the only free tour in the city. It ended up being one of the best free tours we took in Europe.

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This WW2 monument is a stop on the free tour from Wombat’s hostels.

2. Alcazar Hostel, Cordoba, Spain – To us, this place was a small paradise in Andalucia. Located directly across the street from Cordoba’s most popular attraction, the Mezquita, this hostel was the perfect place for us to stay. The hostel only offers private rooms, but it does so at a fantastic price. (Great budget option for couples!) Because of our central location, it was easy for us to walk to all of the main sights in the city. There aren’t a lot of extras here, but sometimes a warm bed, excellent wifi, and an intimate setting are just what you need.

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Across the street from the Hostel Alcazar.

1. Groove Hostel, Budapest, Hungary – Think laid back, helpful, and yes, groovy. We originally had booked another hostel in Budapest and changed to this one last minute. And we were so happy we did. This was our favorite hostel in Europe. We were only going to stay for three nights and ended up spending almost a week here. Unlike some other hostels, this was fairly small and intimate. The staff was very friendly, offering endless tips and advice about what to see in Budapest. They also had several discount deals which were available to visitors. We loved the calm vibe.

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We got this view on a recommendation from the Groove Hostel.

It’s important to tell you that we were NOT sponsored by or invited to stay at these hostels. We paid full price, and these are our own opinions. Hopefully this list of our top 5 hostels will help you decide where to lay your head when you start your travel journey!

-C.K.

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One Response to “Our Top 5 Hostels in Europe”

  • Loved no. 2 — for all the obvious reasons. I hope Nepal goes swell -ly, and that you’re keeping a fine eye on Thailand. xxx

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