The new generation of hostels has officially landed! If luxury travel is your jam but you don’t have the budget, then it’s about time you met the boutique hostels. They’re authentic, full of personality and often locally or family-run. Whether it’s a city break you are after, a traveller’s treat, or a home away from home, we have picked a handful of the best hostels in this diverse continent to give you a flavour. But remember, once you go boutique you won’t go back!
1. Casa Kessler, Barcelona
This casa is chic, charming and has earnt singing praise from our customers who gave this beaut a 9.4 rating. The hostel is in a renovated Art Noveau building with a glorious mezzaine, intricate mosaic floors and murals on ceilings that you could literally stare at all day. Their philosophy is “comfort combined with a personalised service”, words we all love to hear! What.a.dream.
2. Lavender Circus, Budapest
As hostels go, this bohemian abode in the centre of Budapest is pretty special. It sits in a 19th century building with vintage furniture and trinkets scattered throughout, giving you that feeling that you’ve just stepped into an eccentric traveller’s home! Each room has been designed individually by graphic designers, painters and sculptors. There’s always free coffee and tea in the common room and the lovely Lavender staff organise Hungarian dinner parties where you can chat to fellow explorers over a Hungarian pálinka! You can choose from 2 bed apartments from €19/per night, or book a private room for just €15/per night!
3. Wallyard Hostel, Berlin
Well helloooo, sexy! Can you believe this is edgy concept hostel is… a hostel?! The décor screams urban jungle meets Berlin hipster, and there’s a swanky lounge, art saloon, café, bar and sunny backyard to boot. You can sleep in a dorm or upgrade to a private for just €25, which beats hotel prices to the curb. Why go Waldorf when you can go Wallyard?!
4. Cocomama, Amsterdam
This is Amsterdam’s first boutique hostel – a tall building converted from an original brothel with an old school glamour feel. It’s ideal for couples and lone travelers who want a family-type atmosphere, and downstairs there’s a kitsch garden and kitchen area where they have film and ‘Tight Ass Tuesday’ nights where guests can dine together for as little as €3. If you want somewhere with warmth, character and a purring (very cuddly) hostel cat named Joop, Cocomama is your kind of hostel 😉
5. Soul Kitchen Hostel, St Petersburg, Russia
This hostel is next level stuff! It’s located right by a canal, near the hermitage and St Isaacs cathedral. It’s all about personal touches and food and drink made with love here. The owners regularly bring in a Russian chef who cooks traditional 3 course dinners, the cleaner makes apple pie every morning (make sure you are up early as its VERY popular!!) and there’s fresh coffee every day to help yourself to! On top of all this special treatment the staff love to show you around with trips to flea markets, and a bar crawl starting with a local shot of chill sauce, cherry syrup and vodka. Zazdarovje!
6. The 3 Ducks Boutique Hostel, Paris
After 30 years in the biz, this hostel has earnt its sound international rep. Its ten minutes’ walk from the Tour de Eiffel, and housed in a former 18th century coaching inn which was renovated last year. 3 Ducks not only looks the part, but it also has the social factor nailed. There’s a lively courtyard with a hostel bar open ‘til 2am every night, and free breakkie (if you make it!) in the morning to reminisce over last night’s debauchery!
7. Living Lounge Hostel, Lisbon
A multi-award winning, 9.4 rated hostel run by four Portuguese artists – what more could you want?! The interiors are magnificent with each room freshly painted and decorated by local artists, and the location is purrrrfect for exploring the city. However our favourite part Lisbon Lounge Hostel is that you can get fed and drunk every night with their three course dinner *PLUS WINE* for just €9 – that’s £6.70, people!
8. KEX Hostel, Reykjavik, Iceland
The people of Iceland are known for their quirky humour, which explains why this hostel is named after the Icelandic word for “biscuit”! Lol. Kex is a hostel, bar, restaurant and jazz club all in one, but also in the centre of Reykjavik with nightclubs aplenty and a “mind-boggling” array of coffee houses! If you’re after a hostel with style and personality, Kex is the one.
9. Sir Toby’s Hostel, Prague
Come in, come in, make yourself at home – is the vibe you feel when you walk in to Sir Toby’s. It’s burrowed in the trendy area of Holesovice and has that cosy vibe with an air of ye olde gentleman. You can enjoy a classic board game on the velvet armchairs in the den-like common room, a BBQ in the courtyard or head down to brick cellar pub where you can meet other travellers over a spot of beer tasting or crepe making. What a gem!
10. Cube Hostel, Belgium
Retro, colourful and funk-AY, Cube hostel has damn well earnt its 9.4 rating. For starters, the location is ludicrously central, right in the heart of Leuven, Belgium’s ancient capital. The historic university gives the town a youthful and creative vibe, plus lots of cheap bars and cafés on your doorstep. There’s pleanty of bonding activities in the hostel such as baking sessions and movie nights in their eleven seater cinema! We totally dig their “Come as a guest, leave as a friend” motto – or we could just never leave and live in Belgium forever?!
11. The Blue Hostel, Rome
Blue Hostel is a hostel escapism in its classiest form. It’s spotless with drop-dead-gorge interiors, and each room is graced with an en-suite bathroom, LCD TV, air-conditioning and minibar (sold!). It may look like a hotel, but you get the bonus of the friendly local staff and traveller crowd you normally find in hostels. Plus they have the fittest bathrooms of all time…
Of course boutique hostels aren’t just limited to Europe, stay tuned for more boutique hostels worldwide…