Recently, I replied to a tweet asking for reasonably priced places to stay in London. I asked if she would consider a hostel, to which she replied no as she was going to be staying on her own. This made me realise that a lot of people seem hostels to be ‘unsafe’ and would never consider staying in one. When I’m planning a trip away, hostels are always my first choice of accommodation. However, I don’t see a lot of blog posts about hostels, people only really seem to post about hotels. I thought I’d share the places I’ve stayed and why I think you should give hostels a go.
You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that hostels cost a lot less than a hotel room. Have you ever looked for a last minute room in London before? I was in a situation last year where my best friend and I needed somewhere to crash after a gig. Our original plans fell through two days before, so hotel prices were extortionate. We were talking £200+ for a room between us. We had a look at hostels and got a bed each in a mixed dorm at St Christopher’s Shepherds Bush for £15 each. Bargain!
If you travel solo a lot like I do, then hostels can be a great way to meet people and make friends. When I first went to Amsterdam in 2015, I stayed in Hostelle which is a female only hostel. I went for an 8 bed dorm room and stayed there for 3 nights. On my first night, I got talking to a couple of girls in my room. One was from New Zealand and the other was from New York, so they were people I never would have met normally. We were all on our own and we decided to go and get some space cake and visit the Reijksmuseum together the following day. I didn’t keep in touch with them, but I have great memories of our adventures in Amsterdam.
Hostels are usually conveniently placed near the popular attractions. The hostel I stayed in when I was in Luxembourg was right next to Casemates Du Bock and one of the hostels I’ve stayed in in Paris was opposite Gare du Nord. I think it’s better to stay in a hostel near the places you want to go to rather than find a cheaper hotel that’s further out.
Where I’ve stayed
YHA London St Pancras
YHA London Central
YHA London Thameside
St Christopher’s Inn Camden
St Christopher’s Inn Greenwich
St Christopher’s Oasis
St Christopher’s Inn Shepherds Bush
Igloo Backpackers Hostel & Annexe
Russell Scott Backpackers Hostel (I wouldn’t recommend!)
St Christopher’s Inn Canal
St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Youth Hostel Luxembourg (review here)
Hostel Bratislava by Freddie (I wouldn’t recommend! I got a private room for £15 a night, but the hostel was dirty, smelled bad and there were men sleeping on sofas just outside my room, which made me feel unsafe)
As you can see, I’ve stayed in a great range of hostels across Europe. I would definitely stay in all but two of them again (the ones in Leeds and Bratislava) and I have had a lot of great experiences. I usually book all of my hostels through Booking.com which is ideal for me, as you get free cancellation and you don’t have to pay until you get to the property.
Hostels vs Hotels
Although I do really like the luxury of staying in a hotel every now and then, hostels are so much more convenient. The fact that they are a lot cheaper than a hotel means that I have way more money in my travel budget to spend on food or sightseeing. I managed to do three cities in three countries (Krakow, Budapest and Bratislava) over a week for around £250 including flights and other travel expenses. It really is worth staying in a hostel if you are looking to travel on a budget, it doesn’t make the experience any worse, in fact I think that it can make it a lot better as you’re put together with other people who are doing the same thing.
What were your opinions on hostels before you read this post? Would you consider staying in one?