The Top 10 Best Hostels In The World

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The Study Abroad Blog’s list of the world’s best hostels

Booking hostels is an important part of the trip planning process. Just because they’re less expensive than their hotel counterparts doesn’t mean they have to be low-quality, and in fact, a good hostel can add a huge boost to an already awesome trip. Judging by my own experiences, and thanks to a little help from the reviews over at Hostelworld.com, here are the top 10 best hostels in the world for student travelers.

1. Wombats – Germany & Austria

Wombats is my favorite hostel chain in existence, and the standard by which I will judge every other hostel. Taking home 5 Hoscars (Hostelworld’s Hostel Oscar Awards), it looks like the rest of the traveling population agrees.

Their hostels in different locations offer a fully-stocked bar, an amazing all-you-can-eat breakfast (which I can vouch for), and even hammocks and bean bags in their glass-roofed courtyard. The rooms were huge, had a connecting bathroom, and in Munich we even had out own terrace.

The Wombats in Munich (where I stayed) is just 10 minutes’ walk from the Oktoberfest and most sights in the city center, as well as near the U-Bahn and international trains at the Hauptbahnhof. Wombats also offers/arranges tours of both the city and attractions nearby. They aren’t sponsored by the chain, but the tours we went on were great, and a lot cheaper than if we had found tours on our own.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 87%
Security 89%
Location 95%
Staff 91%
Atmosphere 87%
Cleanliness 89%

Check out Wombats on Hostelworld.com

2. Pop Inn – Rome

The Pop Inn, actually isn’t statistically the best hostel on anyone’s list, but I’m putting it on here because the staff at the Pop Inn were probably the most accommodating and knowledgeable staff I’ve ever come across. They wrote down all the bus routes and schedules, the two underground routes, good places to eat, attractions to see, and places where students usually hang out.

My favorite part – again, revolves around breakfast! Although this time, instead of a breakfast buffet, Pop Inn actually gives you a voucher for a croissant and coffee/ cappuccino from a travel café/diner just down the street.

Note: The drop off point for the Terravision shuttle bus from both airports into the city is right in front of Pop Inn.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 72%
Security 77%
Location 87%
Staff 78%
Atmosphere 71%
Cleanliness 73%

Check out Pop Inn on Hostelworld.com

You may also want to check out The Yellow hostel, which won the 2012 Hoscar for most popular hostel in Rome.

3. Flying Pig – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Flying Pig shines in two areas. First is its location. The hostel entrance is in Amsterdam’s busiest shopping street with easy access to some of Amsterdam’s best clubs, pubs, and coffee shops. It’s also just a short walk to the infamous Red Light District.

Second is its lounge and bar area. The lounge has great pillow chairs for mingling or relaxing, as well as a smoking area and pool tables in the bar. The Flying Pig serves some of the best priced beer in Amsterdam, and stays open until 3am every night.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 90%
Security 88%
Location 97%
Staff 91%
Atmosphere 90%
Cleanliness 79%

Check out the Flying Pig on Hostelworld.com

Tip #1: As new and modern as some of these hostels are, linens will probably be lacking the normal cleanliness and comfort of your dorm room bedding. Remedy this problem with a Cocoon Silk TravelSheet!

4. Peking International Youth Hostel – Beijing, China

Hostelworld guests rated Peking International Hostel the most popular in Beijing at the 2011 Hoscars. Well-known for having clean rooms and spacious common areas (somewhat of a rarity in Beijing), there’s also a great bar and a rooftop/terrace restaurant. It’s also just 25 minutes’ walk from the Forbidden City and only 12 minutes’ walk from Beihai Park.

Having lived close by for almost a year, I can personally vouch for the PIY hostel. It’s located in a historic area of Beijing called Nanluoguxiang, which is filled with shops, galleries and cafés. While it’s recently become touristy, it has a lively nightlife and is only a short distance to just about every historic or tourist site in Beijing.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 94%
Security 90%
Location 94%
Staff 91%
Atmosphere 92%
Cleanliness 92%

Check out the Peking International Youth Hostel on Hostelworld.com

5. Barnacles Temple Bar House – Dublin, Ireland

Winner of the 2013 Hoscar Award for most popular hostel in Dublin, the Barnacles Temple Bar House has state of the art facilities, superior comfort and a relaxed and friendly vibe. It’s not necessarily known to have the most homely environment, but the staff is friendly and helpful, and security is great as well. One thing that does increase the comfort factor – all rooms are ensuite (they have a bathroom).

The best part about Barnacles has to be its location in right in the middle of the Temple Bar district, a major cultural center by day, and nightlife area after dark. While it can be a little loud during the night (I can confirm this, although how can you be angry about the loud sounds of people having fun?), it just means you’ll have to partake in the nighttime festivities as well, or at least buy some ear plugs.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 81%
Security 88%
Location 97%
Staff 89%
Atmosphere 81%
Cleanliness 82%

Check out Barnacles Temple Bar House on Hostelworld.com

6. Hostel One Paralelo – Barcelona, Spain

One of the newest hostels in city, Hostel One Paralelo took the Hoscar for the most popular hostel in Barce. Among other features, Hostel One features thick, comfy mattresses, and instant, long-lasting 24hr hot water. Located near Paralelo metro station, it’s convenient to the center of Barcelona and within walking distance of Plaça d’Espanya, La Rambla, Plaça Reial and of course, the beach.

It may have a bit of an unfair advantage seeing as it was built in 2011 (nothing says new hostel like a patio with Jacuzzi and BBQ), but regardless, Hostel One Paralelo has some of the most positive reviews that I’ve ever seen on Hostelworld. Even more impressive than the Jacuzzi is the staff which prepares free, improvised Spanish- and Italian-style dinners every night.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 98%
Security 97%
Location 94%
Staff 99%
Atmosphere 99%
Cleanliness 97%

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