The best hostels in Europe

Telegraph Travel
Generator Paris Hostel boasts an open-air rooftop bar.

An expert guide to the best hostels in Europe, including the top places to stay for backpackers and those looking for cheap hostels, in locations including London, Paris and Amsterdam.

London

Safestay Holland park, london

Safestay Holland Park

Kensington, London, England

7Telegraph expert rating

Located midway between Holland Park Road and bustling Kensington - it’s rare to look out of your window in London and see only trees: quite a few dorms and rooms here do so. There are three sections: East Wing, the Grade I-listed remainder of the 1605 mansion otherwise obliterated during the Blitz; Annexe A, a 1950s hostel building newly clad in concrete with a rather cool corrugated-iron extension on top; and Annexe B, also 1950s, this time a long, low, red-brick building. Huge windows in the dining and leisure areas overlook the garden and fishpond, and there’s lots of outdoor seating. Read expert review From £6 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Kensington

Wombat's City Hostel, London, England, United Kingdom

Wombat's City Hostel London

The City, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

Wombat’s is in a great location for exploring many of London’s top attractions as well as its back streets, situated close to Tower Hill and Tower Gateway underground stations. In public areas, guests will find deep, cushioned benches with a Moroccan vibe (perfect for lounging), mix-and-match metal chairs, rugs and a warm wooden finish, providing a cosy atmosphere. Dorms and rooms feel crisp and clean with white furniture, white bed sheets and finished with wooden flooring. Read expert review From £21 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in the City of London

Generator London hostel, Russell Square, London

Generator Hostel London

King's Cross, London, England

8Telegraph expert rating

In a quiet mews off Tavistock Place, just north of Russell Square, and within walking distance of Covent Garden and the British Museum. The style is bold, contemporary and fun, from the check-in area that could easily pass for the entrance, to the bar that features graffiti, murals, and the front-end of a Routemaster bus emerging from the wall. A reclaimed, warehouse feel pervades, with plenty of exposed brickwork and ventilation pipes, stainless steel and concrete, and furnishings and fittings made from recycled materials. Read expert review From £18 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Covent Garden

Amsterdam

Ecomama, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ecomama

Amsterdam, Netherlands

8Telegraph expert rating

The hostel is centrally located a few minutes’ walk from the Waterlooplein flea market, as well as the Jewish Museum, and only 15 minutes from the Dam. It's decorated with individual flair: painted jelly moulds on the wall, an indoor teepee that serves as a cinema lounge, work by local artists (some of them staff) and more. There’s lots of space to hang out and relax: comfy nooks and chairs and sofas around a communal cooking area. Environmental concerns are paramount. Read expert review From £29 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

StayOkay Amsterdam Vondelpark, The Netherlands

StayOkay Amsterdam Vondelpark

Amsterdam, Netherlands

7Telegraph expert rating

StayOkay is five minutes’ walk from the main museums, the nightlife hub of Leidseplein and tram stops. The hostel's interiors are bright, breezy and cheerful. Colours are bold, and there is ample public space (equipped with sofas and comfy chairs). The mood is easygoing and lively, and there is none of the harder edge, noise (and often seediness) encountered in some of the Red-Light District hostels. Breakfast is exceptionally good for a hostel, with organic bread, fresh fruit, cheeses, juices and more. Read expert review From £24 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Amsterdam

Paris

Les Piaules hotel, Paris

Les Piaules

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

Les Piaules is in the cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Belleville in northeastern Paris, a three-minute walk along boulevard de Belleville. Three French chaps – Damien, Louis and Mathieu – are the entrepreneurial energy behind this uber-contemporary hostel, which has quickly become tagged as Paris’ plus belle. Les Piaules is a hip hangout and overnight hideaway with industrial edge and a wonderful sense of humour. Functional ‘dormitories’ sleep four to eight guests, but it is the double rooms with en-suite bathroom that stand out. Read expert review From £23 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

Generator Paris, Paris, France

Generator Paris

Paris, France

8Telegraph expert rating

Set in the 10th arrondissement, steps from the Colonel Fabien metro station and a 15-minute walk from Gare du Nord for the Eurostar (about seven minutes by cab). Generator Paris has a subtle farm-themed interior, featuring a stable-like passageway and the statue of a large white cow against a wall of greenery, alongside earthy tones and wood furnishings. The building’s light-gold façade, studded with LED lighting that illuminates the exterior at night, and its industrial style lobby, with a giant light-bulb sign set above a metal-studded counter, offers an urban, cinematic look. Read expert review From £21 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Paris

Berlin

The Circus Hostel, Berlin

On buzzing Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte, the hostel is close to plenty of drinking, shopping and dining opportunities. Circus definitely screams “backpacker” at you as you walk in, but it’s not all Jackass movies in the communal room and 3am parties – Circus has a bit more charm and is better quality than many establishments associated with the term. The vibrant red walls help keep everyone upbeat though, as does the on-site bar (Goldmans) and atmospheric café. There’s even a small fitness area and bicycle rental is available.

Read the full review: The Circus Hostel, Berlin

The Circus Hostel, Berlin, Germany

The Circus Hostel

Berlin, Germany

8Telegraph expert rating

On buzzing Rosenthaler Platz in Mitte, the hostel is close to plenty of drinking, shopping and dining opportunities. Circus definitely screams “backpacker” at you as you walk in, but it’s not all Jackass movies in the communal room and 3am parties – Circus has a bit more charm and is better quality than many establishments associated with the term. The vibrant red walls help keep everyone upbeat though, as does the on-site bar (Goldmans) and atmospheric café. There’s even a small fitness area and bicycle rental is available. Read expert review From £18 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Berlin

Prague

Sophie's Hostel, Prague, Czech Republic

Sophie’s Hostel

Prague, Czech Republic

8Telegraph expert rating

Miss Sophie’s is on a quiet street in Prague’s New Town. Although outside of the busy city centre, it’s still well located.The hostel occupies a 19th-century Art Nouveau building but has been decorated with a fresh, modern design courtesy of Czech architect Olga Novotná. Think bright, breezy colours, vintage furnishings and artworks by local artist Zora Mazáčová. The hostel offers dorms, private rooms and apartments. The breakfast is a talking point. Read expert review From £12 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Prague

Croatia

 

Hostel Swanky Mint, Croatia

Swanky Mint Hostel

Zagreb, Croatia

9Telegraph expert rating

On the busy shopping street of Ilica (trams only, no cars), just a 5-minute walk from Zagreb's mainsquare, and a 15-minute walk from the train station is this cool but unpretentious boutique hostel. It has a quirky industrial look, with raw concrete, brickwork, exposed pipes and steel I-beams, softened by the use of chipboard and mismatched up-cycled furniture. The terraced garden at the back has outdoor tables, and is a popular meeting place for Zagrebian students as well as hostel guests. Read expert review From £20 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

Portugal

Gallery Hostel, Porto

Gallery Hostel

Porto, Portugal

9Telegraph expert rating

Rua de Miguel Bombarda is right in the heart of Porto, in the art district, 15 minutes away from the airport. Housed in a building which dates back to 1906, this family-owned hostel was converted in 2011 by a local architect who has successfully inserted simple, modern needs within century-old elements. Staff here go the extra mile. A free, 90-minute daily walking tour takes you to the main monuments and sights of the city. There is a winter garden for smokers, a cinema room with DVDs and a library with two computers for general use. Read expert review From £19 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Porto

Iceland

Kex Hostel, Reykjavik

Kex Hostel

Reykjavik, Iceland

8Telegraph expert rating

Nestled along the harbour-front, Kex Hostel offers great views of Mount Esja across the water and decent proximity to shops, nightlife and restaurants. The hostel has blended the building’s industrial heritage with a knowing retro-aesthetic by peppering it with vintage furniture and the occasional found object. Gym & Tonic, a multifunctional hall styled like a boxing gym, can be used for everything from conferences to film screenings. Read expert review From £28 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Reykjavik

Montenegro

Old Town Hostel, Kotor, Montenegro

Old Town Hostel

Kotor, Montenegro

8Telegraph expert rating

This 13th-century stone building makes an impressive venue for a hostel. Spread over several floors, its rooms have exposed medieval stonework, tile floors, wooden beds and subtle lighting. Most of the upstairs dorms and rooms have exposed stonewalls, and you can feel the centuries of history they have absorbed. All the main attractions, including the Cathedral and the hillside Fortress of St John, lie nearby. From here you can also explore the villages that line the shores of the Bay of Kotor, known as Europe's southernmost fjord, as well as Budva (15 miles away) and Montenegro's best beaches. Read expert review From £15 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

The best hotels in Montenegro

Slovenia

Celica Hostel, Slovenia

Celica Hostel

Ljubljana, Slovenia

9Telegraph expert rating

Repainted in cheerful reds and oranges, this former prison was conceived as a boutique hostel by Slovenian architect Janko Rožič. Leading a group of 80 local and foreign artists, he renovated the building, turning the cells into bedrooms and creating welcoming communal spaces. Next to the hostel stands Metelkova, an autonomous social centre with galleries, studios and bars staging alternative cultural events Read expert review From £20 per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com