The Top 10 Best Hostels In The World

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

Wombats Hostel Germany AustriaBooking 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%

Check out Hostel One Paralelo on Hostelworld.com

7. YHA London Oxford Street – London, England

With a description on their website that includes “this is a busy city center hostel, so families might prefer other locations”, you can bet the YHA Oxford Street is ideal for study abroad students and student travelers. While YHA may not have the frills that other top hostels on this list have, it gets major points for cleanliness, a helpful staff, and a great location right next to Soho.

Situated in London’s West End, you can take it easy and hit up a mix of cafes, pubs, cinemas, and boutiques all within a 5 minute walking distance of the hostel. And if you’re looking to do some intense site-seeing, London’s major attractions including the London Eye, London Dungeons, Parliament and the Tower of London are easily accessible via the tube, with Oxford Circus station just up and around the corner.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 85%
Security 93%
Location 98%
Staff 89%
Atmosphere 84%
Cleanliness 92%

Check out the YHA London Oxford Street hostel on Hostelworld.com

Tip #2: Always bring/pack a combination lock. Unlike at college where you can leave your door unlocked and dorm room stuff out in the open without too much worry, your passport and wallet are probably your most valuable possessions when you’re traveling and should be locked up in the hostel-provided locker.

8. Charles Bridge Economic Hostel – Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge Hostel PragueTaking the Hoscar for the most popular hostel in the city of Prague, the Charles Bridge Economic Hostel was recently remodeled and offers both mixed dorm-style rooms, and fully furnished apartments. All the rooms are equipped with a kitchen and TV, and everything from towels to toilet paper is included in the price.

The best part? Drumroll…Location! Prague is a pretty small city, with most of the action centering on the Old Square and Charles Bridge. Judging by its name, you know you’ll be staying right at the Charles Bridge, right in the heart of the city. From there, you can get to any important Prague monument by foot, on either side of the river, in just few minutes.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 91%
Security 93%
Location 99%
Staff 98%
Atmosphere 91%
Cleanliness 82%

Check out the Charles Bridge Economic Hostel on Hostelworld.com

9. St. Christopher’s Paris – Paris, France

Unfortunately for Paris very few hostels rank into the high 80’s or 90’s, so an overall rating of 83% was still good enough to earn St. Christopher’s the 2013 Hoscar for the most popular hostel in the City of Light. Newly built, it’s one of the most modern backpacker hostels in Paris, and claims to be the benchmark for a new generation of hostels.

The location, surprisingly, isn’t its strong point, but St. Christopher’s gives you plenty of reasons to hang right around the hostel. All guests receive a 25% discount on food at the on-site restaurants, plus great discount deals on drinks in the Belushi’s Bar. And a bonus for the ladies, a female-only floor called ‘The Oasis’.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 85%
Security 88%
Location 71%
Staff 86%
Atmosphere 86%
Cleanliness 84%

Check out St. Christopher’s Paris on Hostelworld.com

10. Bounce Sydney – Sydney, Australia

Having been voted the ‘#1 Hostel in Australia’, ‘Most Popular Hostel in Sydney’, and been listed in ‘Top 10 Large Hostels in the World’, Bounce Sydney won more awards at the 2013 Hostel Awards, with the exception of…Wombats! Needless to say we’re rounding off the Top 10 Hostels in the world for study abroad students with a hostel that exceeds in just about every category.

Another new and modern addition to the hostel community, and they’re conveniently located opposite Central Station. Every room has air-conditioning, and the hostel itself is fully equipped with high-speed WiFi internet, a secure key card system, huge lockers, three lounge areas, and a rooftop terrace and BBQ area looking right over the Sydney skyline.

Hostelworld User Rating:
Character 90%
Security 96%
Location 94%
Staff 91%
Atmosphere 89%
Cleanliness 96%

Check out Bounce Sydney on Hostelworld.com

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