Hostels and Budget Accommodation in Southern Europe
Types of Accommodation For the purposes of this article, we'll include Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra, Italy, Albania, Malta, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Greece and Macedonia in this region. Other European countries can be found in other region articles including Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe.
Southern Europe covers a large number of countries, with some of the most popular for travel being Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. In these more popular countries, you'll find no shortage of backpackers and budget travelers. Hostels are a popular option with young backpackers and students, who are looking for the most affordable places to stay. Hostels usually offer social and fun environments at an affordable price. If a hostel isn't your style, then you'll also find plenty of budget hotels and guesthouses throughout Southern Europe. If you're traveling as a couple and plan to stay in a private room, prices in hostels and budget hotels are often about the same. The main difference between these two options is that many hostels offer kitchens and common areas where you can hang out meet 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.
Major Hostel Chains
Generator Hostels Generator Hostels is a large chain in Europe withh a few hostels in Southern Europe, specifically in Spain and Italy. However, in general, this chain is more common in other regions in Europe. The chain offers guests a variety of social activities and the prices are competitive. The chain has been around since 1997 and it continues to grow as a fun option for budget travelers.
Equity Point Equity Point is another European hostel chain with locations throughout Europe including hostels in Lisbon and Barcelona. Equity Point caters to a young crowd of independent travelers. The hostels are often centrally located which make them a good and affordable option in larger cities. The hostel chain has been around since 2011 and they continue to grow in popularity. Despite their focus on independent travelers, group bookings are available.
PLUS Hostels PLUS Hostels is another popular chain with locations in cities such as Florence, Rome, Venice, as well as other countries in Europe. These hostels are known for their high quality facilities and unique amenities. Some hostels even have pools, saunas, restaurants, bars, or fitness rooms. In general, these hostels cater to independent travelers of all ages.
Hostel One Hostel One is a growing hostel chain with three locations in Barcelona, two locations in Seville, and other locations elsewhere in Spain and Europe. These hostels are ranked as some of the favorites in Europe and they usually receive h3 reviews for quality facilities with a fun environment.
Traveling Alone Independent travel and solo backpackers are a common sight in Southern Europe. This is a relatively easy region to navigate on your own and it's not hard to meet other travelers with similar interests. 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. The price of a bed is often 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 Southern Europe specifically for the nightlife. Cities such as Barcelona are known for the nightlife scene, which attracts young travelers from around the world. It is not hard to find hostels that cater to these crowds. These "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 Most hostels in Southern Europe offer both dorms and private rooms. Dorms usually have bunk beds for guests and a shared bathroom and, 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 companions with them. Some rooms have twin beds while others have double beds. Both shared and private bathrooms may be available, but 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 quiet is a priority for you, you might do better in a private hotel room.