The 10 best rated hostels in Europe
Thursday 1, July 2010
Staying at a hostel doesn’t always mean having to sacrifice quality and comfort; there are many hostels across Europe whose service and standards easily rival the conditions of a four star hotel.
Whether it’s a city stay in one of Europe’s capitals or a breath of fresh air in the countryside; from Spanish Valencia to the Swiss city of Interlaken, through Krakow and Dublin; trivago.co.uk has found the best hostels Europe has to offer.
Here are the ten best rated hostels in Europe, ranked in order according to the ratings given by travelers from the trivago travel community and other review sites.
1. Hostal Pizarro (Madrid)
This small hostel is located in the heart of Madrid in the Chueca district. This well-maintained building once served as a newspaper publishing house, and now holds seventeen guest rooms. The rooms can accommodate up to 3 beds and are brightly decorated with colourful lamps and bed sheets. Two modern lounges give visitors access to Internet and television, and guests can get to know each other here or simply relax a little before heading out for an evening on the town. The Chueca district is famous for its bars, pubs and clubs, and this makes Hostel Pizarro an excellent place from which to explore the city’s nightlife.
2. Superbude (Hamburg)
Superbude lies behind the golden facade of a former printing factory in Hamburg’s Hammerbrock district. Upon entering the building, guests are met with a warm, relaxed lounge and reception. The hostel features innovative design ideas, such as converted chairs made out of old beer crates and wooden pallets reupholstered as sofas, both of which reinforce the hostel’s trendy image. Six floors hold the hostel’s 74 double rooms and four-bed shared ‘stalls’ after which the hostel is named. A special highlight is the fact that each floor is decorated in a different colour. The hostel’s ‘Kitchen Club’, with its self-serve refrigerators, is a popular meeting space in the morning before guests begin their day. From Superbude, it’s only a short trip by public transport to the city’s biggest attractions, such as the Reeperbahn and hill district.
3. Home Backpackers (Valencia)
The Home Backpackers hostel is situated in the Barrio del Carmen, the historic heart of Valencia. It features bright, colourful, six-, eight-, twelve- or sixteen-bed rooms. The fully equipped guest kitchen gives visitors the option of preparing their own meals, and a two hundred foot terrace on the hostel’s roof offers a commanding view of the city’s rooftops. Guests can socialize and swap stories in the stylish lounge and Internet corner. With many tapas bars and pubs in the nearby area, there is no lack of choice for the evening’s entertainment.
4. The Secret Garden (Krakow)
The Secret Garden is a charming hostel located in the historic Kazimierz district of Krakow. The hotel’s namesake theme also applies to the design of the building, with guests sleeping in the ‘fruit wing’ or ‘herbs wing’. In line with this theme, rooms have names rather than numbers, and each room is decorated in a particular colour – for example, the green Mint Sorbet and Apple Pie rooms. The Secret Garden is a great place from which to begin exploring the Polish city of Krakow. The banks of the river and Wawel Castle are within easy reach, and the hostel also rents out bicycles for longer excursions. The purple-coloured lounge has full internet access and a wide selection of movies that play nightly.
5. Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof (Interlaken)
The Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof hostel in the Swiss canton of Bern offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and forests. The two hundred year old chalet was renovated over the course of a year and features 50 stylish rooms with up to seven beds. Some rooms have a panoramic view of the 4000-metre-high, snow covered mountains. Paragliding, rafting, bungee jumping and a rope park offer adventurous guests a chance to discover the wilder side of the Swiss Alps. In the evening, visitors can make use of the hostel’s music room, equipped with a piano and guitars, or alternatively socialize in the onsite bistro bar.
6. Czech Inn (Prague)
The Czech Inn design hostel in Prague is a stylishly restored building from the 19th Century. Specially chosen antique furniture serves to contrast between the traditional and modern elements of the house’s design. With its central location, the Czech Inn hostel is an ideal starting point for a sightseeing tour through the city and along the Vltava River. St. Vitus Cathedral and the Charles bridge are not to be missed, and the hostel’s staff have a list of recommendations for those with a little more time to spare. The hostel’s bar features cheap drinks and is a popular meeting place for Czech locals, giving visitors a great opportunity to get to know Prague’s inhabitants and try one of the Czech Republic’s famous beers.
7. JUFA Steinach am Brenner (Steinach)
The JUFA Steinach am Brenner hostel can be found on the outskirts of the Steinach village in Germany. Its rooms can accommodate between two and five beds each, and are quite spacious by hostel standards. The hostel features a well equipped gym and climbing wall – perfect for guests looking to push their limits – while table tennis and billiard tables are available for those seeking a more relaxed afternoon. Outside, the picturesque scenery of the Tyrol region is especially suited for hiking and mountain bike tours. During the summer, day trips to nearby Innsbruck or Italy are an excellent idea. In winter, guests can take advantage of the six ski lifts located right in front of the hostel to gain access to the 23 kilometres of downhill slopes of the Bergeralm mountains.
8. The Times Hostel (Dublin)
The Times Hostel is located in the trendy Temple Bar district of Dublin, near Trinity College and close to the town’s landmark Spire – a 120 metre high monument in the form of a metal needle. The hostel’s warmly decorated rooms are spacious and comfortable. The hostel’s staff organize a daily tour of the bustling Temple Bar district, giving guests an insider view of the city, and are an excellent source of helpful tips and information on the city and Irish culture. On weekends, they offer guided tours of local Irish pubs and nightlife. The pancake breakfast – a Sunday specialty – is the perfect remedy after a long night on the town.
9. Palmers Lodge (London)
The Palmers Lodge Hostel in Camden is located in an old Victorian building in London’s Swiss Cottage district. High ceilings and large windows, dark wood paneling and ornate parquet floors all bring to mind the former elegance of this magnificent building. The hostel offers 34 large rooms with up to 14 beds, and its proximity to bus and metro stations makes it very easy to get around the capital. There are many shops, pubs and restaurants in the vicinity, and if that isn’t enough, the hostel’s Chapel Bar has great local beers and music.
10. Ostello della Giovetu (Volterra)
The Ostello della Giovetu hostel is located on the outskirts of the town of Volterra, in a valley between the Era and Cecina rivers. Formerly a Franciscan convent from the 15th Century, this hostel has charm written all over it. The well restored rooms are modern, but small traces of the building’s historic legacy have been preserved. The monastery’s original arches and wall decorations exist alongside modern lighting and furniture, creating an interesting contrast between past and present. The hostel’s convenient location gives guests easy access to the whole of Tuscany – the cities of Pisa, Florence and Siena can all be reached in under an hour, and the sea is less than 30 minutes away.
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