This will be a 2-part series about good and bad hostels we’ve stayed in around the world. Since I like to start with good news, the first part will discuss the good, the great, and the awesome places we’ve slept! The second part, well, you’ll have to read about that later.
For me, some of the most essential makings of a good hostel are security and cleanliness. I can deal with lots of people in the room and the occasional bone-rattling snorer, but I can’t deal with dirty bathrooms and sketchy locks on the door.
That being said, here are some of my favorite hostels so far!
Casa Al Sur Terraza in Málaga, Spain
We stayed in a private double room at Casa Al Sur Terraza for 28€ per night, and it even included a balcony. We did have to share a bathroom with the other rooms on the floor, but I never once had to wait.
Some of my favorite features of the hostel included a rooftop terrace with an incredible view of the city, a great lobby area with a refrigerator stocked with a variety of beer and bottles of water that you pay for on the honor system, and a fully equipped kitchen you could make use of whenever you wanted!
It was only about a 10-minute walk to the city center, too, which made it that much better for us.
Home Lisbon Hostel in Lisbon, Portugal
If you look at the Hostelworld ratings of Home Lisbon Hostel, you might not believe them at first. It boasts a 98% positive rating with nearly 3,700 reviews – I can’t even begin to explain how that happens because it literally never does.
Of course, we HAD to stay here while in Lisbon to see for ourselves, and holy cow if that wasn’t the truth. Upon arriving, we were greeted by an awesome staffer who not only answered all of our bumbling questions with a smile (and in excellent English, I might add) but also offered us a shot of Ginginha, a local cherry liquor, to get the party started. He also taught us a few important words in Portuguese, like “hello,” “thank you,” and “beer.”
For 10€ per person per night, we stayed in an 8-person dorm, which usually means crappy bunk beds and insane fluorescent lighting, but these bunks were made from a gorgeous dark wood and felt like they wouldn’t actually self destruct upon climbing into the top bunk. Each bunk included a personal outlet and a reading light, which made me feel much less guilty for wanting to turn the main lights out around 10 p.m. when I was tired and wanted to sleep! (For those of you who don’t know me well, I’m 90 years old at heart and like to go to sleep early.)
There were tons of bathroom stalls and showers (in separate rooms, even), so I never had to wait. AND I even felt like I didn’t need shower shoes (of course, I still wore them, but even to feel like I might not need them is like finding the Holy Grail).
Home Lisbon has a stellar happy hour with many offerings every night, including beer for 1€. It also has Mamma’s Dinner, which includes soup, an entree, and a dessert, all for 10€. Also, Mamma is just the cutest.
Old Kings Füssen Design Hostel in Füssen, Germany
When we took a weekend trip with our friend Katie through the Alps, we decided to stay overnight in Füssen, which is the closest, decent-size city to Neuschwanstein (Cinderella’s Castle). We assumed Old Kings Füssen Design Hostel would be like any regular hostel and a huge tourist spot given it’s proximity to Fairytale Land, but it really surpassed my expectations!
The small building is supposedly 500 years old, but the inside is as boutique-y as it gets. There are only 5 rooms in the whole place, each decorated and furnished in a different style. We again stayed in an 8-person dorm with a shared bathroom, but since the name of our room was “King of Africa Dorm,” it kind of made up for the fact that we were among strangers.
Also amazing was that the girl’s bathroom was decorated like a princess suite, with a giant pink chandelier and color-changing lights embedded in sink’s faucets.
And on top of all of this, the woman at the front desk, who used to be in an emergency health profession, was awesome to talk to and really helpful. It really does make a huge difference when the staff at a hostel are great!