PREIKESTOLEN FJELLSTUE: NORWAY
I’m writing about the Pulpit Rock hike in Norway again?! Seriously Bethany, shut up about it already.
Anyway, in my post all about the hike I talked a little bit about where I stayed, but it’s just amazing. Sitting in the lounge, watching the sun set (which didn’t happen until around 10:30PM) and journalling about my delightful hike was worth the absurdly overpriced food.
You could use the word run-down to describe the youth hostel portion of the facility, but I prefer to use the words rustic and charming.
YOHO INTERNATIONAL YOUTH HOSTEL: SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
They play the Sound of Music every night. In Salzburg.
HOSTEL ANDROMEDA: GHENT, BELGIUM
I stayed at this hostel on what is objectively the worst trip of my life – I got norovirus, I had the worst sore throat of all time, I hit my head, I broke my phone and I hurt my back. However, the trip still has so many great memories, and one of the coolest places I stayed was in Ghent, Belgium – my favourite city in Belgium!
When I saw that sleeping on a houseboat was an option on Hostelworld, I couldn’t pass it up. It was so cool to actually stay on one of the canals, and Hostel Andromeda has so many ecological initiatives that make it even better. I’ll admit the place was kind of creepy when I stayed there because it was the middle of off-season, but at least I got a whole dorm to myself! 10/10 for experience.
MOSAIC HOUSE: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
Another highlight from the trip of mishaps. Honestly, I spent most of my time in this hostel’s bathroom (thanks norovirus) but let me tell you, it was the nicest hostel bathroom I’ve ever seen. Mosaic House is a dirt cheap hostel, but with the design savvy of a boutique hotel and a really nice bar that I didn’t get to experience. The staff here were so great – my mom emailed them to ask if they could see whether I was alive, and one of them very kindly did so – and I’d love to go back here and actually enjoy the facilities.
PERUGIA FARMHOUSE: PERUGIA, ITALY
I’m currently writing an entire post about Perugia, which involves such dramas as being robbed. Most of it centres around the hostel I stayed at, which had the most amazing community feel and farm animals. The word paradise has never been so applicable, and every time I’m talking to someone who is travelling to Italy, I urge them to go to Perugia with the sole purpose of staying at this hostel.
Read more about Perugia here
VILLA FRANCESCATTI: VERONA, ITALY
Verona was a completely unexpected highlight of my summer in Italy. I went to see an outdoor opera (it was amazing) but was blown away by everything else that I discovered. I even fell in love with all of the Romeo and Juliet-themed attractions. One of the best parts, though, is the fact that I got to stay in a sixteenth century villa.
The gardens are beautiful and authentic and the villa itself feels magical, so I spent most of my time in the hostel exploring and muttering to myself in Italian about how pretty it was, and probably seeming crazy to my fellow guests.
HOSTELSUN B&B: BRUNICO, ITALY
I went to this place because I saw a lake, Lago di Braies on Instagram, and knew I had to go. An au pair friend went before me and recommended this hostel for the friendly and outgoing owner, who had dogs. Obviously I booked it immediately.
I had been sweltering hot for my entire time in Italy, and getting into the mountains was the greatest relief I’ve ever felt. It was so perfect and quiet here and I sat on my private balcony drinking Hugo, my favourite Italian alcohol and looking out at the view. So peaceful, and that wasn’t even the best part – that was Lago di Braies! Highly recommend making your way up to the very unexplored Italian Dolomites.
LAKE COMO HOSTEL: MENAGGIO, ITALY
I booked this hostel because it was basically my only option. It was way above and beyond what I expected! In my post about Lake Como I described what an incredible and luxurious time I had in this place. The view was more than I could ask for and everything about my weekend here was just impeccable. If you want to feel rich but still stay in a cheap hostel, look no further.
CHEERS HOSTEL: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Me and my sister fell in love with this place immediately and talk about it constantly. Obviously, the highlight is the fact that the sweetest golden retriever ever lives there – his name is Zaman and he has his own Instagram account (@cheerszaman). But the terrace with a view of the Blue Mosque, the wonderfully kind staff whose names I still remember (a rarity considering how many hostels I’ve stayed in), and the unbelievably central location are what really took this place over the top. We could have stayed for weeks!
GOODMORNING HOSTEL: LISBON, PORTUGAL
When my friend Erika and I got to Lisbon, we were tired. So to be honest, not much sightseeing happened here. We did a hop-on hop-off bus tour (#tourists), went out to the beach at Cascais, and walked around a little bit, but otherwise…a lot of lounging occurred. We were overjoyed to learn that the hostel had an extraordinarily comfortable movie room with tons of DVDs to choose from – we watched Juno one night and it was lovely to take a break.
The breakfast is what stands out most in my mind – I ate Nutella waffles every morning and we had spirited discussions about politics and life and travel with the staff and fellow guests.
KISMET DAO HOSTEL: BRASOV, ROMANIA
As another illustration that yes, I do have a problem, this hostel is on here because I liked the dog that lived here. Her name was Zara and we spent a lovely morning hiking up Mount Tampa. By spent a lovely morning I mean I was dragged up the mountain by a dog who didn’t speak my language or care to listen to me. But anyway, it made me feel very local to walk my dog up a mountain, enjoying the first sunshine in days.
Also, at this hostel you get a free beer every night – more if you walk the dog. The greatest hostel feature I’ve ever encountered.
PURA VIDA SKY BAR & HOSTEL: BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
I feel like a lot of these hostels are on here because of one thing, while the rest of the facilities were just adequate. Note to self: if I ever open a hostel, it needs some sort of fancy thing that people will remember and talk about. At Pura Vida, it was the Sky Bar – a rooftop bar with one of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen. I don’t have any pictures, because I’m an idiot, but here is one from the hostel website.
They had killer mojitos and the Australian girl from my dorm room who I forced to be my friend was great company. A rooftop terrace always seems to make a place stick in my mind.