Your Guide to all of the Different Types of Hostels

Your guide to all of the different types of hostels

Hostels are an affordable and sociable way to travel around a new destination and meet friends and like-minded individuals. Although many people view hostels as places for budgeting backpackers under 35, they can actually cater to travellers from all walks of life and age ranges looking for a more laid back and community-driven vibe from their holiday accommodation.

The other concern that some people may have about staying in hostels is questions around safety. When you’re staying in a dorm room and leaving your stuff while you explore the city, how can you guarantee that it’ll stay safe? 

Well honestly, you just have to be sensible. Exactly as you would be when you’re walking around with your bags in a touristy place. Don’t leave all your valuables out on your bed if you’re not there, don’t be rude and disrespectful to your dorm-mates or their stuff and you’ll be great. Most hostel dorm rooms have individual lockers for each bed, you just need to bring your own lock with you, buy or rent one from reception. 

Now we know that hostels are safe and suitable for everyone, but what different types of hostels are there and where is best for you when you’re travelling around Europe on a budget? Let’s find out!

Here is our list of the best different types of hostels in Europe

Party hostels

Sant Jordi Hostels Rock Palace
Photo: Sant Jordi Hostels Rock Palace

Party hostels are probably the most popular and well known style of hostels. These are massively popular with younger travellers who are interrailing and experiencing their first taste of travel. If you’re looking to get some well needed rest before a flight or a long day, safe to say this style of hostel is probably not for you.

If you enjoy hanging out with new people, spending time in the hostel bars and taking advantage of hostel-run bar crawls around the city, then European party hostels are definitely the spot for you. 

Some of our favourite party hostels are: Sunset Destination Hostel, Sant Jordi Hostels Rock Palace and YellowSquare Rome.

Solo traveller hostels

different Types of Hostels
Photo: Hostel One Batlló

If you’re travelling across Europe on your own, it can be daunting to turn up to a hostel full of families or groups, so there are quite a few hostels that are tailored more towards solo travellers. They still retain the social aspect that hostels are known and loved for but they run more events and tours geared towards solo travellers.

Excursions and tours can be expensive if you’re on your own so by offering this as a perk of the hostel, you not only get to meet other solo travellers but get the opportunity to enjoy all the city has to offer.

Some of our favourite solo traveller hostels are the Hostel One properties.

Family-friendly hostels

Selina Manchester
Photo: Selina Manchester

Although there are plenty of solo travellers, young groups and couples that frequently stay in hostels, that doesn’t mean that families aren’t welcome. Hostels are a great, affordable and central option for families to be right in the thick of the action without having to spend a fortune.

Many hostels have multiple occupancy private rooms suitable for families and there are family-specific hostels across Europe. If you want to be staying in a great location and spend your money on experiences rather than accommodation, family-friendly hostels are a perfect solution.

Some of our favourite family-friendly hostels are the Selina hostels.


different Types of Hostels
Photo: The Beehive hostel

Increasingly, travellers are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint, and are trying to mitigate the effects that their adventures have on the planet. This has resulted in hundreds of eco-hostels springing up all across Europe. These eco-hostels have an emphasis on sustainable products and methods of running the hostel including solar power, water recycling systems, reusable and plastic free products and much more. 

These eco-hostels are particularly popular in coastal cities and locations where the effects of climate change are scarily apparent. They’re also appearing in more landlocked cities as councils are making active attempts to make their cities greener. 

Some of our favourite eco-friendly hostels are Ecomama and The Beehive.

Backpacker hostels

Photo: DREAM Hostel Prague

Backpacker hostels are a classic and have a lot in common with solo traveller hostels. However they might have guests that are staying a bit longer. On the whole backpackers will travel for an extended period of time across many countries. This kind of travel is a really popular way of exploring Europe on a budget.

In backpacker hostels you’ll probably notice bigger lockers in the dorm rooms and a lot more kit that’s unpacked. Some people live in hostels while they’re trying to find work and permanent accommodation in a new place, so there’s a lot of crossovers here. The great thing about these kinds of hostels is that there’s a community feel between the long term travellers, backpackers and the hostel staff. 

Some of our favourite backpacker hostels are the City Circus Athens Hostel and DREAM Hostel Prague.

Adventure hostels

Selina Porto
Photo: Selina Porto

If you’re looking to do something a little more wild and crazy during your European trip, then adventure hostels might be your home away from home. What characterises these kinds of hostels is normally a big, impressive tour desk with tons of great discounts. 

This is a great option for thrill seekers who are looking to do something exciting without spending a fortune. There’s the added benefit of staying with like-minded adventurers that might want to split the cost of tours or come along for the ride.

Some of our favourite adventure hostels are the Selina hostels and Generator hostels.

There are Different Types of Hostels for Everyone

There really is a different type of hostel for every kind of traveller. Especially if you’re on a budget travelling around Europe. Hostels are the perfect place to meet new people, discover secret tips and hacks for exploring a new city, or simply lay your head down and grab some Zzz’s, without breaking the bank. Hostels aren’t just for the under 30 budget backpacker in your life – they’re for everyone! So why not book one for your next trip today?

P.S. – if you want to save even more on accommodation at the best hostels in Europe, you can save up to 25% with our Hostel Card and get loads of extra perks like free breakfast and drinks! 


What is a hostel?

A hostel provides self catering accommodation that can be booked for short-terms and long-term stays. The main difference between a hostel and a hotel is that hostels offer private and shared accommodation options. 

Who stays in hostels?

The amazing thing about hostels is that they provide a community atmosphere, dorm rooms and privates, and a wide variety of amenities for everyone. They cater to every type of traveller and holiday-maker. Whether you’re travelling solo, with a group of friends or a partner, there are different types of hostels for everyone!

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2 Responses

    1. Hi Jeffrey, thanks for your comment! Every hostel page has details on what the hostel offers (outdoor adventures, a bar, cosy couples rooms etc) as well as the overall vibe, that’s under “atmosphere”. You’ll be able to see if a hostel is more relaxed or great for parties. Hope this helps.

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