This Iconic European City Is Known For Having A Handful Of The World's Best Hostels

For decades, hostels have been the go-to accommodations for young travelers adventuring around the European continent on a tight budget. Originally the idea for youth hostels was conceived by a German elementary school teacher who created a "wandering school" in which he would take students on trips in nature around Europe in the early 1900s. The idea really took off and soon hostels were springing up all over the continent. As airline travel became more accessible in the 1960s and '70s, international travel became more popular and hostels began opening in major cities around the world.

Nowadays, hostels aren't just for young people and budget travelers. Many function more like boutique hotels that are ideal for solo travelers of all ages looking to make new friends on their vacations. Instead of dingy dorm rooms, hostel guests can often expect posh accommodations and amenities like co-working spaces that are perfect for digital nomads. Designated youth hostels still exist, but there are plenty of hostel options to suit every type of traveler, even those who enjoy refinement and luxury. The trendy city of Lisbon in Portugal is ideal for short getaways, and it is home to some of the world's top-rated hostels. Some hostels in the city rival even the best hotels when it comes to location, decor, and activities. Even if you've never stayed in a hostel, consider booking these unique lodgings during your trip to Lisbon if you're looking for a fun-filled stay.

Lisbon is an affordable and fun European getaway

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe and has been inhabited since 1200 B.C. It's full of winding cobblestone streets and historic architecture. Much of the city was destroyed during a horrific earthquake in 1755, but a few remnants of the early Medieval and Gothic buildings remain. The Castelo de São Jorge, dating back to the 11th century, is one of the oldest buildings still standing. The city is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making it ideal for history buffs.

Many travelers are drawn to the city for its rich history and culture, but plenty also visit Lisbon in order to experience its world-famous parties. It's one of the best places to visit in Europe if you enjoy a lively nightlife scene. Of course, the party doesn't wait until after the sun sets. There are plenty of daytime clubs if you want to get the party started early, and many bars and clubs stay open until sunrise every night of the week. Whether you want to dance until dawn or spend the evening sipping on Portuguese wine in a cozy bar while listening to the sounds of traditional Fado music, it's clear that Lisbon is a city that knows how to party.

The combination of things to do, low costs, and great nightlife have made Lisbon an extremely popular destination for backpackers, gap-year travelers, and budget travelers, all of whom favor hostel accommodations over pricier hotels and short-term vacation rentals.

Lisbon's award winning hostels

The city is full of unique hostels to choose from. According to HostelWorld, there are over 50 hostels scattered throughout the city. Among them, you'll find some of the best hostels in the world. For 22 years HostelWorld has held the annual "Hoscars" (Hostel Oscars) in which they rank hundreds of hostels around the globe. Lisbon's hostels have ranked highly over the years, and in 2024 two won awards.

Yes! Lisbon won awards in several categories including Best Medium Hostels, Best Hostel in Portugal, Most Popular Hostels, and Best Hostels in Europe. The hostel is centrally located, so you'll be able to walk to many of Lisbon's best sightseeing opportunities and activities. The dorm rooms feature bunks with privacy curtains and lockable storage drawers. Private double rooms are available if you want the hostel experience but prefer having space to yourself. You'll be able to meet other travelers at the onsite bar and lounge and attend free walking tours, pub crawls, and other events offered by the hostel.

Home Lisbon won under the category of best social hostels, so it's a great place to stay if you're looking to make new friends. The hostel is centrally located in a beautiful 200-year-old building. Enjoy free tours and activities as well as big group dinners prepared by "Mamma" — the owner's mom. Choose between private double rooms and dorms. Before a long day of sightseeing grab a coffee and a pastry at the onsite cafe.