If you are into staying in hostels, this post is for you! I’ve curated a list of the world’s best hostels, the best hostels for backpackers, and hope to help match you up with the best hostel for your travels.
If you don’t know what a hostel is, please read this page – what is a hostel?
Top Hostels in the World
This list of the top hostels is updated through 2023 and I’ll do my best each year to update this post, so please add this page to your travel bookmarks and also don’t hesitate to get in touch should you want any personal recommendations.
I’m also making lists of areas that cater to hostels, as you can see on the pages below, so feel free to check those out if you are heading to any certain area in specific.
Now, let’s get in with my list of the best hostels!
Unveiling the Best Backpacker Hostel
I’ve been to over 50 countries and am jonesing to get to 100 in the next three years. Needless to say, I’ve stayed at a few hostels! Some have been so awful that I wish not to talk about them, but I’m not going to sour the mood today and talk about them, rather let’s focus on the best hostels in the world.
Serious tip of the cap to Nomadic Matt for making this his top pick. Colombia is a place I’ve been over a dozen times and after doing the AirBNB thing, I was ready to dive into a hostel. Since he put this one #1 on his list, I had to try it. I was NOT disappointed and it ended up being my favorite hostel as well.
Los Patios brings themes to the world of hosteling, as each floor has a different vibe making it unique. You’ll be enamored with the surrounding mountains which gives Colombia a very peaceful mystique. Inside this hostel you’ll find a work space, rooftop bar, gym, and a garden with herbs you can use. Additionally, they have a Spanish school and communal kitchens. Medellin has quite a few hostels, but to me, this is the one that really vibed with me.
Inside the hostel you’ll find that you get privacy in the form of a curtain, and to be frank, the private rooms are on par with hotel rooms. I found the bathrooms to be very clean and the beds were on par with a traditional hotel, so nothing was skimped here. You’l also enjoy free coffee, tea, drinks at happy hour, and even parties! You can even take part in tours or rent a bicycle to cruise around the city. Huge shout out to Miguel who was a great help in guiding me around Medellin!
Located in the bustling beach town of Tamarindo I bring to you the best packpacker hotel you will find in Costa Rica, a place that many people who contribute to our website are enamored with.
(Read Tim & Michelle’s latest Costa Rica Trip report if you want a more elevated experience that does not include hostels.)
If you are a raging party goer just looking for local women, the beach in Costa Rica you want to visit is definitely Playa Jaco. However, if you want a party experience with a great beach town and vibrant surfing community, this is the beach town for you.
This surf hostel is in the heart of Tamarindo, and I was there enjoying the jacuzzi pool while listening to howler monkeys. What an experience!
Don’t just take my word for it, this was also Lonely Planet’s pick of the best hostel in Tamarindo, so let’s get into all that they offer.
- Five minute walk from one of the top surfing beaches in Costa Rica
- Town includes restaurants, bars, and discos
- Partnered with Good Vibes Surfing School
- Private or group lessons in surfing
- Bilingual staff
- Free WiFi
There are two mixed dorms on premises. One has 8 beds and one has 12. Each one features air conditioning, private bath and shower, and oversize single beds. There are also two private rooms available that can sleep up to four. Each room I saw was maintained properly and had local art on the wall which created a nice local vibe.
The staff was ultra friendly and helped me not only get on a surf board, but get to know the town. Overall I made many friends here. Pura vida!
If you are looking for a hostel in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik, this could be the one for you.
You’ll get the ability to not only experience the magical city of Reykjavik, the countryside, and the coastline all in one central location close to it all. Dalur HI hostel caters to people looking to enjoy a lounge area, patio, garden, and even a small cafe. You can count on meeting people from all over the world during your stay here.
Located in Laugardalur Park, this hostel is adjacent to the national sports stadium as well as the largest thermal pool and spa in Iceland. You can opt to walk 30 minutes to the city center and take in all of that Reykjavik offers, or hop on a bus and be there in just under 10 minutes.
Dorms offered are either mixed or female only and decorated in a typical Nordic fashion like the rest of Iceland. I found the beds to be comfortable and relaxing, especially during those cold winter nights. The showers were hot, which is a must in Iceland after a long day exploring in the balmy temperatures.
Much like everything from the airport, to the city streets, this hostel was impeccably clean. Iceland is one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever been to.
Moving on to one of my favorite cities of all time, Barcelona! Onefam Sants is the highest rated hostel in all of Spain, and let me tell you, it’s well deserved!
With so much to see and do in Barcelona, you need a good location that allows you to walk to about anything. Onefam Sants fits the bill in the respect that it allows quick access to the line 5 which takes you to a bucket list destination, La Sagrada Familia. The staff is uber friendly and the hostel offers a free communal dinner each night which is a nice added bonus.
Note: there is an age limit for this hotel. It’s 18-45 years old and it caters to a party crowd. Read my bio and you’ll know why I chose to stay here.
I had to add this to the list even though I haven’t stayed here. It ranked #1 on the worlds best hostel list by none other than HostelWorld.com. I dove in to see what all the fuss was about, and here are my findings.
Billed as a “social hostel,” and not a “party hostel,” I was immediately intrigued. The focus here is to meet fellow travelers through daily activities organized by the hostel itself. This includes sight seeing, attending local fairs and festivals, as well as concerts. They also show you around neighborhood bars (right up my alley) and then gather to enjoy food together at the hostel. Located in an area famous for bars, restaurants, and cafes, the hostel is steps away on a quiet street, so you get the best of both worlds. Every room has a separate toilet, sink, and shower.
Again, the hostel stresses meeting people and being social, but it added a funny quip about late night beer pong and other shenanigans and recommended their sister hostel, the Madhouse Prague.
On that note, I’m about to go ahead and start planning a trip to Prague!