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10 Truly Awesome Hostels You’ll Never Want to Leave

Making hostels your preferred lodging option is an economical choice—but it doesn’t have to mean putting up with seedy digs or a lack of amenities.

The Best Hostels in the World

These awesome hostels offer amenities ranging from ball pits to rooftop views and pools. Here’s where to find them, and why you may never want to leave once you check in.

Caveland Hostel: Santorini, Greece

[st_content_ad]Santorini‘s cliff-nestled architecture and historic wine culture come together in one of its most awesome hostels: Caveland. This former winery’s cozy, cool rooms are carved into Santorini’s ocean-facing cliffs.

The property also boasts an outdoor pool and unforgettable terrace view, and breakfast is included. Caveland’s “hidden gem” reputation will have you feeling at home on one of the most-visited Greek isles.

The B.I.G: Cape Town, South Africa

Who says you have to take a pricey safari to experience South Africa? Do Cape Town like a local at a top-rated hostel, instead.

Ranked the best hostel in all of Africa by HostelWorld’s Hoscars, The B.I.G in Cape Town looks more like a chic hotel than a hostel, and has its own pizza oven and pool to keep you busy when you’re not wandering the city. Clean rooms, a spacious kitchen, and rental bikes will help you feel like a local—and downtown is just a short walk away.

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Bambuda Lodge: Bocas del Toro, Panama

Another winner of a HostelWorld Hoscar, Bambuda Lodge is ranked the best hostel in all of Panama—probably thanks to its bar-adjacent waterslide that will take you on a 150-foot ride to the ocean.

Even if you’re not into booze-induced waterslides, Bambuda has plenty more to offer: It’s a short walk from town, includes great views, and has plenty of hammocks to relax in on the terrace.

HUB New Lisbon Hostel: Lisbon, Portugal

There’s a lot to choose from in busy Lisbon when it comes to hostels, but only one has its own ball pit. Get the best of the Portuguese capital’s historic sites and thrilling nightlife by staying close to Bairro Alto, where bar-lined streets come alive with music and crowds after sunset each day.

HUB New Lisbon is also ranked one of Lisbon’s best hostels, and it might have something to do with the ball pit, its location near plenty of high-end eateries, and events the hostel organizes like bar crawls. Pay a little bit more for your own spacious double room to feel like you’re staying in a hotel without the hefty price.

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Lunar Surf House: Adagir, Morocco

The best hostel in Morocco and the second among the best hostels in Africa according to the Hoscars, the Lunar Surf House is exactly what it sounds like, but maybe not what you’d expect of Morocco: a surfing getaway.

Run by an Australian couple, this hostel will put you in touch with nature and Moroccan culture. Enjoy traditional Moroccan meals and tea on the roof, sign up for surf lessons, head to a local hammam, or book a tour to the Sahara Desert—all led or recommended by locals.

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The Hat: Madrid, Spain


Steps from Plaza Espana, The Hat brings its own charm to the tourist-frequented side streets of Madrid‘s historic city center and is one of the Spanish capital’s best hostels. The seven-floor property offers clean rooms and a relaxing atmosphere, including a roof deck you can enjoy from breakfast to late at night, a basement social area to meet other travelers before organized tours, and a spacious lobby that feels like a hotel’s.

Plus, it’s right next to famed San Gines Chocolateria so you can indulge in 24-hour churros con chocolate. Ranked the fifth-best large hostel in the world by HostelWorld’s Hoscars, The Hat packs value, style, and fun.

Mountain Hostel: Gimmelwald, Switzerland


You can’t beat a cheap room with a luxurious view. Mountain Hostel, located in Gimmelwald‘s World Heritage-recognized Jungfrau region, is a backpacker’s paradise that overlooks the Swiss Alps and feels like a ski lodge.

Enjoy the included breakfast before hiking the heart of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and settle in with a pint to warm up after a day of exploring. Mountain Hostel might be the most economical way to experience the grandeur of the Swiss Alps.

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Memory Hostel: Da Nang, Vietnam


Thanks to its tile-coated interior and a rooftop view of one of Da Nang‘s most iconic sites, the Memory Hostel might better suit some Vietnam visitors than an average run-of-the-mill hotel. Enjoy food or cocktails at the rooftop bar for a front-row seat to the city’s massive Dragon Bridge, which breathes fire on weekends.

Bumbles Backpackers: Queenstown, New Zealand

For the best of both worlds, Bumbles Backpackers is just steps from central Queenstown and offers water-front mountain views that make you feel like you’re staying in the great outdoors. Rent a bike to fit in a variety of sites, or hang out near the glass windows of the spacious common room to meet some fellow travelers.

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Bus Hostel: Reykjavik, Iceland

Minimalist rooms and a charming common-area and bar make Bus Hostel a hub for backpackers and low-maintenance travelers in pricey Reykjavik looking for the best hostels. It’s just a short walk to public transit and the famous Hallgrimskirkja, the country’s largest church.

Take advantage of the on-site car rentals to explore your natural surroundings, and warm up with a cocktail after a day of exploring.

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

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