Hostel Recommendations - Stay here, avoid there!

Staying in a hostel can be quite intimidating if you’ve never done it before - but fear not, most hostels are very clean, private and secure.  They’re often what make budget traveling so easy. All hostels are incredibly affordable and most even include things such as free breakfasts and airport/port pickups. I’ve put together of a list of every hostel I’ve ever stayed at (that I can remember, at least!) and a few things on why I do or do not recommend them. As always, take the ‘do nots’ with a grain of salt as everyone’s experience is different. I have always booked on and have never had an issue. Hope this helps you pick an awesome hostel!


Kex Hostel (Reykjavik, Iceland) – Recommend! Kex is a great little hostel with private bathrooms and a cool, edgy interior. It’s in a fairly good location and they help you book tours right on site.

Four Courts Hostel (Dublin, Ireland) – Do not recommend. You might love this hostel if you are looking for an all-night party scene but the bathrooms are uncomfortable, the beds are uncomfortable and the Wi-Fi doesn’t work most of the time.

The Horse & Stables (London, England) –Recommend! A very ‘English’ hostel on top of a pub/restaurant. I personally loved the feel of it. The rooms are spacious and it’s only a short walk away from the London Eye and Big Ben.

Atlantis Hostel (Krakow, Poland) – Recommend! The beds are comfortable and every bed has its own plug/light (a great detail when it comes to multiple-day stays).

JBN Hostel (Chur, Switzerland)- Recommend! I believe this is the only hostel in Chur, so thankfully it’s a good one. The staff is great, the kitchen is great and the rooms have very secure lockers.

Il Seicento (Tirano, Italy)- Recommend! One of my all-time favorite hostels. Again, it’s the only hostel in Tirano and it’s a little hard to find but once you get there you’ll never want to leave. When I stayed there it was run by a single woman who was always making tea and gardening. She has a roof-top garden facing the mountains (where I took many naps) and a bunch of bikes that you can use to go into town. The rooms are bathrooms are comfortable as well.

PLUS Camping Hostel (Florence, Italy) – Recommend! More of a camping site than a hostel but you can get free-standing cabins, which is what I did. It’s in a great location and they serve the BEST cappuccinos.

Maison de Alexandre (Rome, Italy)- Recommend! Also stretching the definition of a ‘hostel’, Maison de Alexandre is quite literally Alex’s house. You can book one of his three rooms through hostelworld and he runs it just like a hostel. It is in a great location and the rooms/bathrooms are spacious and comfortable.   

Villa Manos (Santorini, Greece)- Recommend! A great hotel-style hostel. Not in the best location but the villa itself makes up for it.

Las Musas Hostel (Madrid, Spain) Do not recommend. My negative experience with this hostel has more to do with the roommates we had than anything else, but I still don’t think I’d recommend this one. It’s in a sketchy part of town, not very clean and the rooms are uncomfortably set-up.

Urban Garden Hostel (Lisbon, Portugal)- Recommend! This is an eco-hostel located just a few minutes away from the main subway station. They have a very laid-back style, huge beds and communal dinners. All their rooms have sexual innuendos names.

Hostel Natura Cancun (Cancun, Mexico)- Recommend! They are the only hostel on the hotel strip of Cancun - meaning the only hostel right next to the beach! All others are a bus ride away. It’s a great little hostel. The rooms are a bit crammed but the showers are private and it has a great roof-top patio.

Guacamundo (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)- Recommend! The hostel in itself is just okay – there’s no air-conditioning during the day (not great because it’s always blazing hot in Playa) and no hot water (doesn’t really matter because it’s always blazing hot in Playa), but it has a great atmosphere and a great staff. It’s also perfectly located.

Kokopelli Hostel (Lima, Peru)- Recommend! With the exceptions of the bathrooms, this hostel is pretty good. The beds have curtains to give you privacy, the bar is always lively, they serve the best pizzas and they’re in a pretty good location. However, consider yourself warned on the bathroom situation.

Backpackers Family House (Lima, Peru)- Recommend! This is one that I recommend because there’s not really anything bad about it, but you can probably find better. The rooms and bathroom are fairly outdated, BUT there’s free breakfast and it’s in a good location.

Sol de Huacachina (Ica, Peru) – Recommend! Also one of the best hostels I’ve stayed at. It’s small, private, clean and modern. Veronica, the woman that owns it, plays music in the front yard all day and makes you a delicious breakfast every morning. It’s also right next to Huacachina so it’s perfectly situated for anyone wanting to visit the desert oasis.

Islander Hostel (Florianopolis, Brazil) – Recommend! A fairly small hostel with great rooms and staff. The kitchen is super well equipped and the roof-top patio has an awesome vibe. It's located in Barra da Lagoa which is super convenient for visiting all of Florianopolis.    

Selina Hostel Manuel Antonio (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica) – Recommend! This hotel-made-hostel has a great vibe. They have 3 pools (almost unheard of!), amazing views and daily yoga classes. There's also live music almost every night and the staff is incredibly friendly. I stayed in the 8-bed dorms and they were honestly incredible comfortable.

Selina Hostel San Jose (San Jose, Costa Rica) – Recommend! As far as the options in San Jose go, this is a good one. It was quite deserted when I was there but it has a great atmosphere and great dorms. There's a bunch of graffiti all over the place and a great breakfast for $5.

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