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Staying in a hostel on vacation can save you a lot of money, but will it dampen your experience? The first time I booked in a hostel in Europe, I wasn’t sure what would happen as I had only stayed in hotels. I’m here to tell you all about what European hostels are like. And of course, to figure out, should you stay in a hostel?
First up! While in Dublin I stayed at the Generator Hostel, this place was a real treat! I’d give it an A-, only because the wifi was limited in the rooms and we could hear the music from downstairs late at night. The beds were comfy, security was top notch, and it was in a prime location in Dublin’s city center! All the things you should look for when picking a hostel. The breakfast wasn’t much to write home about but there’s a grocery store right across the way as well as a few cafes so you’re not short on options.
I booked a bed in the female suite at the Generator Hostel and met some amazing ladies there. Some were backpacking thru Ireland, some just on a solo trip like myself. We wound up becoming a sort of band of travelers, which made the trip even better! Not that I can, or the hostel, guarantee that you’ll get along as swimmingly as I did with my hostel mates, but there’s always a chance. Tip, Brazen Head is an excellent place to eat nearby! Good food and cheap!
YHA London Central Hostel
If you’re looking for a hostel in London look no further than the YHA London Central Hostel! This place is the Ritz Carlton of European hostels and cheap to boot! I give it an A+, the only thing I disliked is that the wifi didn’t work in most of the rooms, but it did work in the main lounge. I stayed in a female suite here as well. The beds are comfy, the room was clean, and there’s plenty of activities for visitors. Everything from pub crawls to walking tours are available.
My favorite thing about it was that they served pretty good breakfast and pizza; they also do drinks. Make sure to ask about discounts on London attractions, I saved a few pounds that way. It’s incredibly close to everything as well, guess I should have known that by the name! I walked nearly everywhere. The picture above is of the main room on the ground floor. Security is the top priority here! YHA is located in London’s media area so if you’re into film and television like I am it’s an added bonus. I would definitely recommend a YHA hostel, as they are the best hostels in London and definitely my favorite hostel in Europe.
Young & Happy Hostel
This youth hostel in Paris was pathetic by comparison of the previous two. I stayed at the Young & Happy hostel and it was anything but. I basically booked it because it sounded like a halfway decent place and had a decent location. None of the places I researched sounded like a winner. (Edit: I have since searched out of curiosity and it seems like there are now more options available than when I went. So if you’re looking for a cheap hostel in Paris I’d advise not picking this one.) This time I stayed in a private room since my Aunt requested it. To begin, the walls are paper thin, you can and will hear everything. Hopefully, you’ll be lucky enough to have quite neighbors, unlike me.
There is a small spiral staircase to the rooms, no elevator so be careful going up and down. This is more common for European hostels and hotels as a general note. The showers have one button, on, so if it’s hot, it’s hot, if it’s cold, it’s cold. There was a night that they ran out of toilet paper, not fun. The bathrooms and showers were pretty dirty from everyone tracking in dirt from their shoes which is understandable. But they should have someone checking the bathrooms at a regular interval to clean up and maintain the bathrooms.
Our room faced the street, which was nice for a view, but not so nice when the glass didn’t muffle any of the sound. On my last night there the fire alarm went off at 12:15 am! Ugh! On a small good note, the staff was nice and they did include free breakfast, the only hostel I stayed at during this trip that did. However, management needs to put some money into this place to improve necessities. Of all the hostels in Europe I’ve ever stayed at, it was the worst. So again, if you’re looking for a cheap or backpacker hostel in Paris, France, look somewhere else.
A Review of European Hostels
So, did I answer your question? Should you stay in a European hostel? Really it all relies on the individual place for me. Obviously, the hostel in Ireland and England I had much better experiences in. France, not so much. So make sure to thoroughly research before booking. To find out how, visit my how to pick a hostel for your next vacation post. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.