Our Top 5 Hostels Around the World

Like hotels, there’s a huge range of accommodations that cater to backpackers and budget travelers, varying in type and quality. A lot of the hostels we’ve stayed in have been nicer than the hotels! Along the way, we’ve figured out our preferences:

  • Clean
  • Small
  • 4-bed dorm room or private room
  • Central location and/or near public transport
  • Good-to-great reviews
  • Not a “party hostel”

After more than 9 months on the road, here are our top 5 hostels around the world.

City Circus Athens

Athens, Greece
http://www.citycircus.gr/

STAYED: 
April 2014, in a 4-bed dorm room

COST:
$28 USD per person per night

LOCATION: 
Walking distance to everything. Great bars and restaurants – right there.

WHY WE LOVED IT:
This is funny given the fact it’s a hostel but the beds were among the most comfy we’ve slept in – we didn’t want to get up! Incredibly helpful staff. Amazing (free) breakfast includes delicious Greek yogurt with toppings and freshly baked bread. Cute décor in a historic building.

Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki

Tokyo, Japan
http://www.khaosan-tokyo.com/en/kabuki/

STAYED: 
January 2014, in a 4-bed dorm room

COST: 
$32 USD per person per night

LOCATION: 
In the vibrant, convenient neighborhood of Asakusa; steps away from the Sensoji Temple, great ramen shops; walking distance to two different subway lines.

WHY WE LOVED IT: 
It’s very Japanese. Guests are given slippers to wear (no shoes allowed) and the living room (common room) is decorated in the Japanese style with low seating. Friendly atmosphere without being a “party hostel.” The staff put a lot of effort into organizing social events. The beds are big and comfy (wooden, not metal). 

{video: Our room at Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki hostel}

{video: The living room at Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki hostel}

Hostel Uppelink

Ghent, Belgium
http://www.hosteluppelink.com/

STAYED: 
June 2014, in a 6-bed dorm room

COST:
$32 USD per person per night

LOCATION: 
Outstanding location directly on the most picturesque and popular canal.

WHY WE LOVED IT:
Ridiculously spacious room. Historic building with tons of character. Very friendly staff. Great (free) breakfast buffet. Huge bathroom/shower facility that easily accommodates a busy hostel. Shower stalls even have an attached changing area.

Incredible view from our dorm room.

Our dorm room window as seen from the outside.

View of the building at night.

Watson’s Way Backpackers

Marlborough wine region, New Zealand
http://www.watsonswaylodge.com/

STAYED: 
January 2014, in a private twin bed room (shared bathrooms). We had booked a dorm room but they gave us a free upgrade to this room.

COST:
$31 total per night

LOCATION:
Central location to visit the wineries. Drive or rent bikes from the hostel.

WHY WE LOVED IT:
The owners are so sweet and helpful – it’s run by an older couple who have been running the place for years but looking to sell soon (so get there while you can). Large kitchen and common area where you’ll find lots of travelers cooking and hanging out. Comfortable, friendly vibe. A few spots for campervans and an area to tent as well.

Demani Lodge

Zanzibar, Tanzania
http://www.demanilodge.com/

STAYED: 
August 2014, in a top floor bungalow with double bed (shared bathrooms)

COST:
$39 per night including breakfast (A bed in the dorm room would have been $18 per person)

LOCATION:
Not in town (Paje) but a quick taxi or bike ride away. Across the street is one of the most beautiful and unique beaches we’ve seen. This is the place to go kite-surfing as well, if interested. 

WHY WE LOVED IT:
Incredible staff genuinely invested in making your stay enjoyable. Friendly, fun and relaxed vibe. The food is great and fairly priced. Good drinks at the bar too.