The ultimate guide to hostel rooms – from pod beds to private bungalows!

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Thinking about staying in a hostel, hey? Well you came to the right place. For some first timers, browsing through the different hostel room types and preparing for what to expect can be a bit tricky. You may be unsure if you’ll have the room to yourself, or if you’ll be sharing with a bunch of soon to be friends. To help, we’re here to show you all the weird and wonderful hostel room types out there – way more than just your average bunk! Think ultra-sleek pod beds, luxury double bunk beds, hammocks, cabins, huts… you can even sleep on an airplane!

Types of Hostel Rooms

  1. Dorm rooms
  • Mixed dorm (all genders)
  • Female only dorm (women only rooms)
  • Double bed dorm rooms (shared rooms with double beds)
  • Pod/Capsule dorms (more privacy in a shared room)
  • Dorms with hammocks
  • Dorms in converted planes, trains & automobiles
  • Prison cell dorm rooms
  • Alternative dorms: huts, cabins & treehouses
  1. Private rooms
  • Twin rooms (private rooms with two single beds)
  • Double rooms (larger private room with 1 bed)
  • Private cabins
  • Private bungalows
  • Themed private rooms

1. Dorm Rooms

hostel room types, dorm room at generator hostel in rome

Generator Rome, Rome Italy 

Dorm rooms have multiple beds, are typically cheaper than private rooms and can be shared with people who aren’t travelling together. When you book it will be clear whether you’re booking between an all-gendered mixed dorm or a female only dorm. Rooms generally accommodate four to twelve people on average, but this varies between hostels.

Most beds in dorms are bunk beds. These can be two or three-tier depending on the room. Unless you are booking a double room, chances are you will be staying in bunk-beds. Lots of hostel bunk beds have curtains or covers for privacy, so look into this when you’re booking. Most dorm rooms will also have a locker to keep your belongings in. More modern hostel dorm rooms have charging stations and a light.

Some dorms are en-suites, meaning that they have a bathroom in the room that you would be sharing with the other people in your dorm.

Mixed dorm

Mixed dorms are dorms that welcome all genders.

Female only dorm

A lot of hostels provide female only dorms, which are perfect for solo female travellers who want to get to know similar-minded explorers! Take a look at our best hostels for solo female travellers here.

Types of dorm rooms

Sure, there are simple bunk bed dorms, but hostels are getting more creative by the minute! There are loads of different types of dorm rooms, see some funky ones below…

Pod/capsule dorms

hostel room types, girl sitting in a pod in a dorm room at galaxy pod hostel

Galaxy Pod Hostel, Reykjavik Iceland

Inspired by Japan’s famous capsule hotels, pod dorms are becoming increasingly popular in hostels and they add that extra layer of privacy and style. You can even get themed space pods, with some that include TVs and multicolour lighting!

Dorms in planes, trains and automobiles

hostel room types, girl sitting on a bed in a plane cockpit at Jumbo Stay STF hostel

Jumbo Stay STF, Stockholm Sweeden 📷@taylorcooperband

Yep, you can even sleep in the cock pit of a plane at Jumbo Stay STF in Stockholm, or a former train at Train Hostel in Brussels, so you can even travel in your dreams!

Double bed dorm rooms

hostel room types, double bed dorm room at King Kong Hostel

King Kong Hostel, Rotterdam Netherlands

If you need an extra dose of luxury, you can always indulge in a double bunk bed that some hostels offer. King Kong Hostel in Rotterdam has a premium female only dorm with custom-made double bunk beds and block out curtains. Ahh, the life…

Alternative dorm rooms: huts, cabins, trailers and treehouses?

hostel room types, lucky lake hostel cabins and trailers

Lucky Lake Hostel, Amsterdam Netherlands

Fancy sleeping a little differently? Staying in cabins or tree houses can really bring you closer to nature. Kadir’s Tree House in Olympos will make you think you’ve gone back in time! In Budapest, Backpack Guesthouse/Shantee House welcomes you to stay in their Mongolian Yurt tent in the Summer.

There’s even groovy trailer park hostels in Amsterdam like Lucky Lake Hostel, and Ghent in Belgium has the quirky Treck Hostel (we promise, they’re definitely not trailer trash)!

Dorm rooms in caves

hostel room types, homestay cave hostel, goreme turkey

Homestay Cave Hostel, Goreme Turkey

Caveland in Santorini will elevate your stay to a transcendent level. Pink hues and beach views all the way! If you’re keen to see the mountains of Cappadocia, there are many cave hostels in Goreme, like Homestay Cave Hostel.

Dorms with hammocks

hostel room types, hammocks at casa loma minca in minca colombia

Casa Loma Minca, Minca Colombia

Do you really want to save a penny and don’t mind sleeping in the great outdoors? Well in Casa Loma Minca in Colombia, you can stay in a budget-friendly hammock. It’s a perfect way to combat the South American heat and it’s a great travel story to share with friends and family! You’ll find hammock dorms in hostels all over the continent.

Prison cell dorm rooms

hostel room types, prison cell dorm rooms

Despite the spooky setting, converted prisons are becoming a super popular place to stay. Hostel Celica in Ljubljana has some stunningly converted dorms. If you’re up for it, HI Ottawa Jail Hostel in Canada is allegedly the most haunted hostels in the world…

Hostel on a boat!

It’s no surprise that you can sleep on a boat in Berlin, with Eastern & Western Comfort HostelBoats offering dorm rooms literally on the seafront!

How many beds are in a dorm room?

hostel room types, dorm room with bunk beds at freehand los angeles

Freehand Los Angeles, Los Angeles US

Rooms generally accommodate four to twelve people on average but this varies between hostels.

What type of bed will be in your room?

hostel room types, dorm room at avenue Hostel with bunk beds

Avenue Hostel, Budapest Hungary

Most beds in dorms are bunk beds. These can be two or three-tier depending on the room. Unless you are booking a double room chances are you will be staying in bunk-beds.

What is an ensuite room?

hostel room types, en suite bathrooms at Jo&Joe Paris Gentilly

Jo&Joe Paris Gentilly, Paris France

Ensuite rooms include a private bathroom for your room. This generally includes a sink, shower and/or bath. Unless stated otherwise, all other rooms will have a shared bathroom.

2. Private rooms

Twin rooms

hostel room types, twin room at lub d hostel in siem reap

Lub D Cambodia Siem Reap, Siem Reap Cambodia

A twin room will have two single beds. This is a great option for friends or those travelling in a group.

Double rooms

hostel room types, double room at home lisbon hostel

Home Lisbon Hostel, Lisbon Portugal

A double room will have a double bed. Depending on the hostel it might have a private bathroom and amenities like a TV and balcony.

Pod hostels have double beds that are basically private rooms but without the extra price! CityHub Amsterdam is the futuristic capsule of your dreams with LED changeable lighting, a built-in speaker system and comfy bedding.

Types of private rooms

There are not many rules when it comes to private rooms, so you could end up staying somewhere really wild! Here are some ideas…

Private cabins

hostel room types, private cabins at skywalker hostel


Private cabins are a romantic option for you and your SO. Stay under the stars in a private cabin at Skyewalker Hostel in Scotland’s Isle of Skye.

Private bungalows

hostel room types, private room in a bungalow at good vibes bungalows in Gili Trawangan

Good Vibes Bungalows, Gili Trawangan Indonesia

If you’re a Tarzan-type traveller, then we think you’d really like Good Vibes Bungalows in Indonesia. Their jungle bungalows aren’t just romantic, they’re super unique!

A money vault

hostel room types, a private room in a money vault at St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town,

St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town, Edinburgh Scotland

St Christopher’s Inn Edinburgh Old Town is a former Royal Military Tattoo office, and has a private room hidden secretly inside an old military safe!

Themed private rooms

hostel room types, a beatles themed private room at Baby Lemonade Hostel in St Petersburg Russia

Baby Lemonade Hostel, St Petersburg Russia

At Baby Lemonade Hostel in St Petersburg, it’s 60s galore! There are Pink Floyd, The Beatles and David Bowie themed rooms to choose from. Book your stay there to really feel the flower power.

Lavender Circus Hostel in Budapest literally puts you in the pages of a fairytale picture book, as their walls are covered in drawings straight out of a story!

If you’re up for a really wacky stay, Die Wohngemeinschaft in Cologne offers private rooms with completely different themes, including space, Hawaii and nautical. You won’t find anything else like it!

What amenities are included in your booking?

hostel room types, pool at white rabbit hostel in siem reap

White Rabbit Hostel Siem Reap, Siem Reap Cambodia

Amenities in hostels vary depending on where you stay. For large groups it’s important to check out what you can and cannot use, as some hostels have special group policies. While some hostels include breakfast in your booking price, others do not. If you would prefer to eat all your meals at the hostel, then the great news is that a lot of hostels have an on-site restaurant, which can be more cost and time efficient during your stay. And plenty have their own backpacker bars which are nothing short of legendary!

Bed linen and towels are included in some hostels as part of the price, while others will charge you extra for this. Other amenities offered by hostels include free Wi-Fi, a common area, luggage storage area, laundry facilities and on-site restaurants and/or bars.

But as you’ve probably seen, hostels are taking extra to the next level. Sant Jordi Hostel Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has its very own indoor skate rink! Or if you want to unleash your inner kid, Hub New Lisbon Hostel has an indoor ball pit!

Hopefully this guide can help you find your way in the crazy world of hostels! Explore our website and blog to become a backpacking expert before you depart on your life-changing trip!

Ready to start your adventure? Book a hostel now!

Keep reading:

🌟 99 unusual hostels you’ll never want to leave

🌟 21 eco-friendly hostels perfect for the sustainable traveller

🌟 Staying in a hostel for the first time: what you need to know

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