There are many ways one can travel throughout Europe. It all depends on what type of budget you are working with. Europe is filled with gorgeous five-star hotel/resorts that anyone would be lucky to stay. Unfortunately, that is not feasible for every avid traveler, myself included. During my time of planning my backpacking trip, I heavily relied on the site Hostel World. I came across this site during my time studying abroad in Florence, Italy. It is the best site that I have found when it comes to finding and booking hostels. No matter where you are going, you can search the local hostels, have them filtered by ratings and read the reviews from fellow travelers. It is the equivalence of yelp but for hostels. The prices are budget friendly and vary on the type of room you end up booking. Not all hostels are jam packed rooms of 16 bunkbeds, a few, you can book singles or doubles along with requesting your room to be a specific gender. Either way a hostel is a great way to book your stay in different countries, it gives you the opportunity to meet other travelers and make life-long friends.
Throughout all of my travels, I have yet to stay at a hostel that I did not feel comfortable or safe. When deciding, I made sure I thoroughly read the reviews of each hostel before officially booking. As a female solo traveler, I wanted to prevent any dangerous situation as much as I could. I’ve heard my fair share of hostel horror stories that resulted in my determination, to not let that happen to me. During my travels there was not a single hostel that I wasn’t pleased with, a few left a more positive impact on me than others, but that can happen with any stay. Overall, I was a very satisfied customer with my stays and the booking process through Hostel World.
Days that I look back on my backpacking trip I always imagine how different it would have been if I stayed by myself in hotels or booked my stays on Airbnb. I have no doubt that it would have still been an amazing experience but I wouldn’t have met the people that I did. When staying in a hostel, you bond with your bunk/roommates, because more often than not they are traveling alone too. You immediately have a travel buddy whether it’s just for the day exploring the city or for a few days traveling to a different city together. The majority of hostels also hold events for all their travelers ranging from pub crawls, walking tours or mixers. By staying at a hostel, you immerse yourself in a completely different atmosphere compared to hotels or Airbnb. I hope someday I’m able to travel Europe in style,and stay at five star hotels. But for now, I will enjoy my time staying at five star hostels and connecting with fellow travelers from all over the world.
*Below are my reviews of the hostels I stayed at during my backpacking trip.
1. Belfast, Ireland: Vagabonds Hostel
Vagabonds was the first hostel I stayed, and it was a great place to start out my backpacking excursion. It was easy to get to from the train station and I was immediately welcomed by warm smiles. Every morning they served a continental breakfast that consisted with a wide range of fruits, breads, jams, and cereal. The hostel was within walking distance of everything I needed from my bus tours, town center, and amazing restaurants. It is definitely a backpacker hostel and was filled with young travelers, but that made it all the more exciting for me.
2. Edinburgh, Scotland: High Street Hostel
Edinburgh was one of my favorite cities where I traveled. I am still longing for the day that I get to go back there. The city was absolutely enchanting and there’s so much more I want to see. High Street Hostel was a contributing factor to my amazing time in Scotland. It was located in the heart of the old town giving me plenty access to everything that was on my sightseeing list. The architecture of the hostel blew me away, the way it was designed reminded me a little of Harry Potter. I’ve been an avid Harry Potter fan since the first book came out, so I was over the moon when I first walked in to High Street Hostel. There was a wider variety of travelers at this hostel than the one in Belfast. If you are on a budget and find yourself in Edinburgh I highly recommend staying at this hostel.
3. Prague, Czech Republic: Hostel Santini
Oh Prague… I still have dreams about this city and hoping that one day I find myself aimlessly wandering the streets again soon. Whenever I find myself going back to Prague I will without a doubt stay at the same hostel. This was no ordinary hostel, upon arriving I felt like I was walking into a luxurious hotel. Hostel Santini prides themselves on being pristine and upscale. I may have stayed in a room with 7 other girls in bunkbeds but the hostel was exquisite.
4. Vienna, Austria: Wombats City Hostel
Vienna is a city that I definitely feel I’d like to visit again. This was not one of my favorite cities on the trip but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. The hostel I stayed in was definitely a standardized European hostel for backpackers. It did the job in giving me a place to stay, but it was jammed packed with travelers far younger than me. I would never give up the experience, but I will definitely stay at a different hostel the next time I find myself in Vienna.
5. Budapest, Hungary: Wombats City Hostel
No this isn’t a typo, I stayed in the same hostel in Budapest. Wombats City Hostel has quite a few different locations throughout Europe. The one in Budapest was located in a central area, and the price was unbeatable for my budget. It was the same experience as Vienna, but I still had a fabulous time. Budapest blew me away as a city, and I’m so glad I added it to my trip at the last minute.
6. Barcelona, Spain: Casa Gracia Hostel
Barcelona was the last stop on my trip, and I certainly went out with a bang. Casa Gracia reminded me of the hostel I stayed at in Prague such as they were both pristine and high end along with staying within my budget. I was blown away by the beauty and decor of the hostel along with all the amenities it offered. The next time I find myself in Barcelona I will not hesitate to stay here again.
Have you ever stayed at hostels during your travels?
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