Incredible Hostels To Stay In Around The World, According To Travelers

Nothing quite compares to the hostel experience, whether you're backpacking with friends, solo traveling, or a digital nomad. From boozy bar crawls and historic walking tours to creative cooking classes, hostels provide an affordable, safe space to form truly meaningful connections and spark potential lifelong friendships. Yes, there can be downsides — maybe the world's worst snorer stopped you from sleeping, or you walked up to find an army of bed bugs in the sheets ... But for every shady experience (cue a list of hostel red flags you should avoid) there are a handful of positive ones, with some head and shoulders above the rest.

To be given the title of a truly "incredible hostel," an establishment needs to offer something unique, whether that's an iconic location, fancy facilities, or exemplary service. And that's exactly the criteria we've worked towards when putting this article together. Of the hostels included below, some come from personal experience, while others have been recommended by globetrotters on Hostelworld and In fact, only those with a rating above 8.5 out of 10 were admitted. Lastly, prices are given as a general guide here, but these can vary from season to season.

Now that that's done, prepare to banish your fears of dingy dormitories and tired bedspreads, and replace them with dreams of designer pods just steps from the beach, and tranquil treehouses set at the foot of a lake.

Frendz Hostel — El Nido, Philippines

When it comes to a picture-perfect location, you can't go wrong with the tropical paradise that is El Nido in the Philippines. And Frendz Hostel, perched handily in the center of town, should be your go-to spot. It features a gorgeous rooftop pool with dazzling views of limestone cliffs and crystal clear waters, as well as daily events and food nights — perfect for meeting others and settling into island life.

With free WiFi, air-conditioned rooms, reading lights, privacy curtains, hot showers, large lockers, laundry services, free towels, and a restaurant on-site, we're struggling to find anything wrong with the place. The helpful team at Frendz is also on hand to run through the various tours and activities on offer. With a 9.3 rating from over 800 reviews on Hostelworld, Frendz really does live up to its hype. In fact, the place is so well-loved that it gets booked out months in advance, so reserve your spot ahead of time to avoid missing out, especially if you're after a private room! The average price for an 8-bed mixed dorm is $23 per night, and $80 per night for a private ensuite.

Gallery Hostel — Porto, Portugal

Its old-world charm and status as the ultimate European food destination have attracted you to Porto. But an eclectic art scene is what will make you fall in love with this celebrated city. And where better to admire the classic blue and white azulejo tiles than in Gallery Hostel? This restored 19th-century building doubles up as a boutique hostel and an art gallery, neatly tucked away in Porto's art district.

A summer terrace, warm and friendly staff, free WiFi and a towel, self-catering facilities, security lockers, air conditioning, free breakfast, and a common room, make this the perfect base for your trip. Not to mention daily walking tours for meeting other travelers. Although it's not cheap, Gallery Hostel gets a huge 9.6 rating from over 1,000 reviews on Hostelworld, with guests citing its "hotel-like feel" and "amazing breakfast" as key draws. Expect to pay somewhere around $47 per night for a 6-bed mixed dorm bunk, and $136 per night for a private ensuite room.

Wake Up! Bondi Beach — Sydney, Australia

Now it's time to hop over to the Land Down Under, and straight to a city with a glorious harbor, and that famous Opera House ... But it's the dynamic pocket of sun and sand, east of Sydney's center, that we're focusing our attention on. Welcome to one of the most spectacular beaches in Australia: Bondi. Choppy waves, saltwater sea baths, palm-tree fringed shores, and cool, breezy beach cafés are the perfect ingredients for another incredible hostel — this one's called Wake Up! Bondi Beach.

Although clean and tidy, the rooms are fairly basic, but the breathtaking views of pristine sand and turquoise waters from its rooftop terrace more than make up for it. A team of friendly staff, complimentary yoga classes, sturdy lockers, self-catering facilities, and free WiFi go a long way, too. So much so that Wake Up! Hostel has a 9.2 rating from over 2,000 reviews on Hostelworld. You're looking at $46 per night here for a bunk in a 6-bed mixed dorm, and $116 per night for a private room.

Chili Kiwi Lakefront — Pucón, Chile

Into your adventure sports? You'll know all about Pucón. White-water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and kayaking are just some of the activities you can look forward to, but you might be wondering where you should base yourself ... Look no further than Chili Kiwi, perched right at the edge of picturesque Lago, Villarrica. Voted the number one hostel in Latin America in 2017 and 2018, you're in for a really good time here.

Its lakeside location is the stand-out offering, but Chili Kiwi does the basics very well, too — we're talking free WiFi, plenty of bathrooms, heating for when it gets cold, along with hot showers, secure lockers, a bedside reading light, self-catering, laundry facilities, and a cozy common room. If you needed any more convincing, a 9.7 rating from over 2,000 reviews on Hostelworld doesn't lie ... and it's reasonably priced. Expect to pay around $23 per night for a 4-bed mixed dorm bunk, and $56 per night for a double room in a treehouse.

Generator — Stockholm, Sweden

From the glittering lakes of Pucón to the city often referred to as "beauty on water," Stockholm is a world away from Chile. IKEA and ABBA may be what first spring to mind, but the "Scandinavian capital of cool" is also home to charming streets, quaint cafés, rich architecture, the world's longest art gallery, and a buzzing nightlife scene. Check out Generator Hostel for all your accommodation needs — it's similar to its sister branches across Europe, but with key Nordic nuances. Think bright communal spaces with bold designs (even the lifts have something funky going on), and a laid-back feel to dorm rooms.

Generator's location means you can walk to Central Station in 12 minutes, although bike hire is also available. It's wheelchair friendly, provides free WiFi, and all the usual features we've come to expect from the most incredible hostels. But its very own nightclub, set of meeting rooms for working, and PlayStation access give this hostel elite status — it has an 8.7 rating on Hostelworld, with over 4,000 reviews. For a 6-bed mixed dorm bunk, expect to pay $23 per night, and $75 a night for a private double room.

M Montreal — Montreal, Canada

Looking for a taste of French culture in North America? Montreal's your guy. It's artsy, cool, and well worth a few days exploring. Montreal-style bagels, captivating museums, and charming neighborhoods don't hurt, either. But when it comes to accommodation, M Montreal will truly spoil you. It's set in a historical building that's both freshly remodeled and fun, with rooftop jacuzzis the stand-out feature, and big screen cable TVs in every room coming a very close second.

The in-house bar puts on different events each evening — karaoke anyone? Not to mention live music and comedy nights. All of this means you're bound to bump into lots of other interesting travelers during your stay. The bunks at M Montreal also come equipped with privacy curtains and a reading light, and you're given a free towel at check-in. Over 7,000 guests have reviewed this spot on Hostelworld — and it has a whopping 9.3 rating to prove it. Expect to pay $98 a night for a private room, and $33 per night for a 6-bed mixed dorm.

Savage Hostel — Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao may be the smallest of the Samui–Pha–Ngan–Tao trio, but it's gaining in popularity. Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, it's buzzing with travelers and nightlife but still manages to hold onto its laid-back nature. If this slice of paradise is on your list, don't pass up the opportunity to stay at Savage Hostel.

It's smack-dab in the center of everything — just a few steps from Sairee Beach — with countless restaurants, dive schools, cafés, and pharmacies nearby. Did we mention its plush suites (perfect for couples), and designer pods instead of dorm rooms? You'll get a privacy blind, your own personal locker built into the bed, and the comfiest linens. All of this, plus an on-site restaurant, a rooftop swimming pool (complete with a bar-lounge) offering sublime views over the island, a free towel, superfast WiFi, air conditioning, and plenty of chill-out zones. With 926 reviews it gets an 8.8 rating on, and for around $20 per night in an 8-bed mixed dorm, we can see why. Unsurprisingly, a deluxe suite will set you back a little more — around $95 per night, with $62 per night for a private room.

Ecomama — Amsterdam, Netherlands

Olive-green canals, captivating scenery, and mouth-watering stroopwafel are just some of the features that make Amsterdam the city break destination of dreams. Not to mention its vintage-filled shops and world-class museums. Whether you're exploring Amsterdam alone, or with a group of friends, you can't go wrong with Ecomama Hostel.

Based in the heart of the city, Ecomama puts sustainable and conscious living at the forefront of everything they do. Almost all of its materials are fairtrade, and there's a book exchange, bike rental service, laundry facilities, free board games, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Not to mention plenty of house plants, a large common area, rope swings, a garden space, and lots of natural light to make this the coziest spot around. Other travelers love it, too — Ecomama gets an 8.9 rating on Hostelworld, with over 3,000 reviews. We're back in Europe now so prices are a bit steeper — for a private ensuite room, it's $140 per night, and for a single bunk in a 12-bed mixed dorm, you'll need to part with $38 per night.

Freehand — Los Angeles, United States

Home to Hollywood glitz and glamor, Los Angeles is often referred to as the "Entertainment Capital of the World." But overlook its miles of gorgeous coastline, rugged mountains, and cultural, creative side at your peril. The "Five Peaks" hike is just one of many incredible off-the-beaten-path ideas for your trip here, but where are you going to rest your weary little head? That's where Freehand comes in, one of the coolest hostels in the United States.

At the heart of Downtown LA, based in the city's Commercial Exchange Building, it offers something for every type of traveler. Picture spacious suites and premium shared dorms designed by none other than New York-based studio, Roman and Williams. Add to this a rooftop pool and bar, a 24-hour fitness center, free towels, air conditioning, security lockers, and hot showers — Freehand has everything. Its rooms are fairly affordable, too — around $34 a night for an 8-bed dorm bunk, and a premium city-view room will set you back around $122 per night. It's no surprise that Freehand commands an 8.6 rating on Hostelworld, with over 1,000 reviews and counting.

Adventure Queenstown — Queenstown, New Zealand

What do snowcapped mountains, bungee jumping, and Lake Wakatipu all have in common? The thrill capital of the world — Queenstown. There's no end of adventures to throw yourself into here, although zip lining, hiking, and alpine skiing are some of the most popular.

This resort town has plenty of accommodation options too, but nothing comes close to the family atmosphere of Adventure Queenstown. Its balcony — with jaw-dropping mountain views — is one of the best spots to sip a drink in the sun. The fully-equipped kitchen, with everything you might need (including a slow cooker and salad knives), is another showstopper. But privacy curtains and plenty of storage mean this spot covers all the basics, too. With a huge 9.6 rating on Hostelworld and over 2,000 reviews, it really is the place to be in Queenstown. Expect to pay around $37 per night for a 6-bed mixed dorm bunk, and $112 per night for a private room.

Begadang — Gilli Air, Indonesia

We're back in Southeast Asia now, but this time it's the blinding white sands, turquoise waters, and spellbinding volcanoes of Indonesia that draw our attention. More specifically, the island of unspoiled paradise — Gilli Air. It's minimalist, with a focus on laid-back living, yet buzzing in all the right places.

When it comes to Gilli Air hostels, Begadang is your number one. The word translates literally to "staying up all night talking," making it the perfect spot to meet new people. Dive into its glass-tiled mushroom pool, take in the glorious sunset view from its beachfront bar, and enjoy one of the most restful night's sleep you've ever had in its private bamboo bungalows, two-story chalets, or plush dorm rooms. Hot showers, air conditioning, and superfast WiFi all come as standard, as well as a free towel at check-in. Begadang's impressive 9.1 rating on Hostelworld is no surprise to us, with over 2,000 reviews. It's also super affordable — a 3-bed-mixed dorm room comes in at $13 per night, with a private two-story family chalet costing around $32 per night.

Che Tulum — Tulum, Mexico

From one spectacular coastline to the next, the pristine sands and cobalt-colored waters of Tulum make it a great spot for a romantic getaway. But its archaeological ruins, art museums, tombs, temples, and the Caribbean Sea manage to lure all kinds of travelers here.

Sound like a bit of you? Che Hostel should be your jumping-off point. With a much-lauded social atmosphere, it's one of the best spots in Mexico for connecting with people, thanks to karaoke nights, beer pong championships, and themed parties. Its central location means you're never far from Tulum's cultural offerings, with an on-site pool ready and waiting for you to cool off afterward. A perfect WiFi connection and plenty of coworking areas (with free coffee) make this hostel a digital-nomad-friendly one, too. What's more, it gets a solid rating of 8.9 on Hostelworld, thanks to 3,000 reviews, and guests citing its location and safety as the biggest draws. For a private room, you'll be paying around $170 per night, with roughly $30 per night for an 8-bed mixed dorm bunk.

The BIG — Cape Town, South Africa

Often dubbed the crown jewel of South Africa, Cape Town is a lively city, set amid a dramatic coastline in the shadow of Table Mountain National Park. Its brilliant blue waters, complex history, and rich cultural diversity draw in throngs of visitors every year, each hoping to take in all that the "Mother City" has to offer.

For the best accommodation in Cape Town, look no further than The BIG. Its super cozy common room, artsy touches on blinds, bed linen, posters, and ceramic utensils give it a real "home away from home" feeling ... Something that's increasingly hard to find when traveling. Its outdoor pool is tricky to ignore in the South African sunshine, too. Oh, and did we mention you get free breakfast, and Netflix on the TV in your room? Located in Green Point, The BIG is in the thick of everything — just one reason for its incredible 9.6 rating on Hostelworld, with over 500 reviews. Expect to pay around $115 per night for a private room, and roughly $32 a night for a 3-bed mixed dorm bunk.

UNPLAN — Shinjuku, Japan

A city within a city, Shinjuku is technically a ward of Tokyo, but a tourist destination in its own right. It might not hold the first spot on your list for Japan, but its blend of soaring skyscrapers, the country's busiest train station, countless ramen stands, and subterranean malls, make it well worth a visit. When you're here, be sure to check in at UNPLAN.

You'll be rewarded with the classic capsule-style beds we've come to expect from hostels in the "Land of the Rising Sun," plus a super sociable atmosphere, complete with an outdoor rooftop terrace, a sauna, meeting rooms for guests who need to work or study, and a women's-only floor for those who prefer extra privacy. This is yet another "free breakfast" hostel (yay), with an on-site restaurant and bar for all your other foodie needs. UNPLAN gets a solid rating of 9 on Hostelworld, with more than 900 reviews, and will cost you around $37 per night for a mixed-dorm bunk. But expect to pay $265 per night for a private room with your own bathroom.

Party Hostel Kabul — Barcelona, Spain

With months of endless sunshine, mouthwatering tapas, modernist masterpieces, and the rapid-fire rhythms of flamenco, there's nowhere quite like Barcelona. Whether you plan to take in the architectural marvel of the Sagrada de Familia, or dance the night away in edgy Catalan bars, this city is sure to get under your skin, with Hostel Kabul right at its center.

As one of the best party hostels in Europe, it's famed for its incredible atmosphere, stunning views from the rooftop terrace, and happy, friendly staff. Did we mention the free walking tours during the day, and barbecues on the roof at nightfall? Oh, and it has your air conditioning, hot shower, free breakfast, and storage locker needs all sorted, too. Located around the corner from Las Ramblas, it's an incredible spot to make new friends for life, but if you're looking for peace and quiet in the city, this probably isn't the hostel for you. With a whopping 9,000 reviews on Hostelworld, it has a very healthy rating of 8.9, and a range of affordable accommodation options — around $37 per night for an 8-bed mixed dorm bunk, and $54 per night for a private twin room.