Hostels and Budget Accommodation in Northern Europe
Types of Accommodation For the purposes of this article, we'll include the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in this region. Other European countries can be found in other regions including Southern, Western, and Eastern Europe.
Northern Europe covers a large number of countries, with some of the most popular travel destinations being the UK and Ireland. In general, this region is an expensive area to visit, even by European standards. Countries like Norway and Sweden are notoriously among the most expensive places in Europe. The United Kingdom is also particularly expensive. Still, there are a variety of budget accommodation options in these places. Hostels are a popular option with young backpackers and students, who are looking to save as much money as possible while experiencing as much as they can. Hostels usually offer social and fun environments at an affordable price, which appeals to backpackers and young independent travelers. If a hostel isn't your style, then you'll also find some budget hotels and guesthouses in Northern Europe. If you're traveling as a couple and plan to stay in a private room, prices in hostels and budget hotels can be somewhat comparable. The main difference between these two options is that typically hostels offer kitchens and common areas where it's easy to socialize with other guests. Hostels are known for their social setting, so if you want a more quiet and private environment, then a budget hotel may be more your style, but if you're on a particularly tight budget, having access to a kitchen can significantly cut down on costs as you'll be able to cook many of your own meals and restaurants in this region are notoriously expensive.
Major Hostel Chains
Generator HostelsGenerator Hostels is one of the larger hostel chains in Europe. The chain offers guests a variety of social activities and the prices are competitive. The company has been around since 1997 and it continues to grow as a fun option for budget travelers. You'll find hostels in cities such as London, Dublin, and Copenhagen, as well as elsewhere in Europe.
St. Christopher's Inn St Christopher's Inn is another famous hostel chain in Europe. The hostel began in London in the mid 90's and today it is located in at least eight different countries. Each hostel is partnered with a Belushi bar where you can buy affordable food and drinks. The combination of bar and rooms make this a social and fun place to stay for young travelers who want to have a good time.
Traveling Alone Northern Europe is a popular travel destination with independent and solo travelers. It's not hard to get around many of the countries and it's relatively easy to meet fellow backpackers. In some countries, independent travelers find renting a car to be the best option, but other countries offer excellent transportation systems. If you're traveling by yourself, the most affordable accommodation option is usually a dorm in a hostel. The size of the rooms can range from just a couple of beds to dozens of bunk beds. Prices are usually lower in the larger rooms, but the noise is predictably louder. If you're hoping to meet other travelers, look for a hostel that organizes activities for guests, has a lot of common space, and has a kitchen, as meal time is a common time to meet fellow guests.
Looking for a Party Some travelers head to Northern Europe specifically for the nightlife. In larger cities like London, you'll find no shortage of bars and clubs that draw large crowds. It is not hard to find hostels that cater to young backpackers who are prioritizing the nightlife scene. "Party hostels" often have nightly pub crawls, on-site bars, and music. If you're looking for a good night's sleep, then these hostels are best avoided, but if your goal is to hit all of the best bars and clubs, then these hostels are for you.
Dorms vs Private Rooms In general, hostels in Northern Europe usually offer both dorms and private rooms. Dorms usually have bunk beds for guests and a shared bathroom that may or may not be attached to the room. In general, dorm beds are the cheapest option for solo travelers. It's also not uncommon for small groups of friends to fill a whole dorm room.
Private rooms appeal more to travelers who have a companion with them. Some rooms have twin beds while others have double beds. Both shared and private bathrooms may be available, but rooms with private bathrooms are typically more expensive. Do note, that just because you're in a private room, it doesn't always mean you'll escape the noise of a social hostel. If a peaceful setting is your priority, you might do better in a private hotel room.
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