Hostels have a certain reputation, and it’s not always a positive one. They are (one of) the cheapest ways to travel, the haven of backpackers worldwide. You live in close quarters with strangers and can spend weeks eating breakfasts of toast, orange juice, and, if you’re lucky, cornflakes. Sometimes hostels can live up to this reputation and be cheap and dirty, but with a little bit of research, and some luck thrown in, you can find some truly unique hostel gems. Here are some of my favorite hostels that I’ve stayed in.
Loch Lomond, Scotland
This hostel is located in a 19th century castle that sits on the site of Robert the Bruce’s hunting lodge. It lives up to the castle moniker, feature a grand central staircase and a dining room with a vaulted ceiling. The hostel sits near the town of Luss, close to the banks of beautiful Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Great Britain by surface area.
The hostel I stayed in while touring Florence was a redone traditional villa. Still sporting its bright yellow paint with white trimmings and set in manicured gardens, you can imagine the days when this magnificent house belonged to a wealthy Italian family. While it is outside of the city, you trade convenience and location for the overall experience (and with no increase in price!).
While the hostel I stayed at in Mainz wasn’t particularly remarkable, it was fully modern, cheaper than staying in Frankfurt (our main destination) while still be close to public transport, and boasted a full breakfast (fruit, meat, bread, granola, etc.). I would definitely recommend it!
The worst hostel I’ve ever stayed in
Now, to be fair, this hostel in London, England, was only 8 pounds per night, so you can’t expect too much. And it was across the street from a tube station. However, the thing that made it so terrible was that it was so strange. Rather than have communal shower rooms, they had a shower in the corner of each bedroom (even in 10-bed co-ed rooms). It made it very awkward to shower and change, but I suppose worse places exist.
What great hostel finds have you stumbled upon? What was your worst hostel experience?