I have always loved staying at hostels over Airbnb, in most cases! If you’re traveling in Europe, I think hostels are the way to go. There are so many great aspects of hostels that you just don’t get when you rent a place all to yourself. If you’re like me and you crave making connections while you travel, and feeling a sense of community with your fellow travelers, then you should definitely stay at hostels in Europe.
Hostels are almost always the cheaper option when you’re researching where to stay. By saving money in this department, you’ll have more money to play with when you’re actually exploring the city! This is especially true if you’re only travel with a couple other people. With a smaller group it might be harder to split the cost of a rental, or find something with the right number of beds. If you stay at a hostel, you won’t have that problem!
Only There to Sleep and Shower
How much time do you really spend in the place you’re staying anyways? My answer is usually not much. I wake up and leave to explore the city pretty early, I might come back in the middle of the day for a rest, to charge my phone, and to change. Then it’s off to explore again, and I might not return until very late, just to collapse in bed. So if you’re not spending a lot of time there, why waste money on a place? But, I do have to say that I’ve had some of the best showers of my life at hostels. You definitely won’t be skipping out on quality when you book a hostel over an Airbnb.
Hostels have all the amenities you need. Often if you book direct (my advice is to always book direct with hostels), you’ll be rewarded with free breakfast! In addition, hostels have just about everything a traveler could need at their front desk, either for rent or for purchase. I usually travel with my small travel towels, but if you forget yours the hostel will make sure to provide you with one. In addition, many hostels have community kitchens for use, and some have bars or restaurants located within them too! Some hostels will give you a free welcome drink, or a coupon to use for food.
It is in the hostel’s best interest to make sure everything is clean and orderly, otherwise they’d be slammed with bad reviews. I have found almost every hostel I’ve stayed at in Europe to be very clean, especially the bathrooms. Just check the reviews before you book a place to see what fellow travelers are saying.
Hostels are usually very centrally located. What I also love, is that every hostel has very specific instructions on their websites about how to reach their doors when you arrive from the airport or the train station. This was especially helpful when I studied abroad and didn’t have cell service! Times have changed but I still find it very important to be able to easily find where you’re staying in a city that’s unfamiliar to you. It will ease your travel worries. Then, once you arrive, it’s easy to get around to the main attractions and great restaurants when you’re centrally located at a hostel.
Free or Discounted Tours
Hostels often offer free or discounted tours. Many hostels offer free walking tours of the city for their guests. Take advantage of this, because it will give you a great lay of the land when you first arrive! A lot of hostels also offer discounted tours for their guests as well, to museums and other notable places in the city they occupy. Not only can they recommend the places you should definitely visit, but they can also help you get there and experience them in the best way possible.
Some would argue that they’d rather stay in a cool Airbnb then some hostel. Well, I’m here to break it to you that a lot of hostels are super trendy and as stylish as any boutique hotel or well-designed Airbnb. Some of my favorite hostels have been places that I couldn’t get enough of, and wanted to photograph practically every corner. One such hostel was the Generator in Venice. It’s views across the lagoon of Piazza San Marco are incomparable, and it’s interiors were beautiful and moody, just like the floating city itself.
You can meet people! I don’t know why I saved this for so far down the list, because this is probably the number one reason I stay in hostels in the first place! I absolutely love the natural connections you can make with people from across the world when you stay in a hostel. It starts with the front desk staff, who are always fun and welcoming and ready to answer any questions! From there, you have your temporary roommates if you’re staying in a shared room. I have had the best conversations and met people from all over the globe at hostels! I think my favorite though, was the Australian girl who was studying to be a pastry chef at our Paris hostel. She left us homemade croissants and bread!
Staff Recommendations and Advice
The staff can offer you recommendations and advice. Need to know what time to leave for the airport in the morning? Need to reserve a taxi for that ride? Need directions to a museum or landmark? The staff will definitely have you covered. They can also recommend their favorite places to eat, or watch the sunset. Having staff at the front desk (usually 24/7) is something you should definitely use to your advantage! They’re always friendly and outgoing people, too.
Private Accommodations Available
You can choose private accommodations, or stick to your gender in a larger shared room. I always book female-only rooms, but that’s just my preference and what I find to be more comfortable. If it’s available to you, you can even choose smaller rooms or a private room, so that you have privacy but still maintain the community atmosphere of a hostel.
Have you stayed at hostels in Europe? Comment below which ones have been your favorite!
Featured Image Source: https://theartfuleveryday.com/2018/07/27/a-smooth-hostel-arrival/
Images via theartfuleveryday.com and @theartfuleveryday on Instagram.
Maggie is the blogger behind The Artful Everyday, a travel and lifestyle blog dedicated to living intentionally and finding beauty in the ordinary. She loves the idea that we get to escape our normal lives when we travel, and that it allows us to be more open to the world and its cultures. Maggie lived in Florence while studying abroad, then was an au pair in Rome last fall. She is very passionate about traveling in Europe, especially Italy, and living abroad. Maggie studied Interior Design at the University of Minnesota, but is currently pursuing a career in writing.