Europe is a backpacker’s paradise. As so many countries lie in such close proximity, the cultural experience is constant and varied. Hostels are great ways to accommodate your travels – cheap, central and sociable. Several hostels in Europe are renowned and famous, but some are pretty overrated. Many are left forgotten when they shouldn’t be. These are the hidden gems, found in the natural beauty of individual countries.
What are the hostels in Europe that you really should experience?
- Plitvice Backpackers Hotel, Croatia
If you are traveling Croatia, you will probably visit Plitvice Lakes. Wooden walkways navigate a series of stunning waterfalls. The lakes are truly beautiful – dramatic and spectacular. Plitvice Backpackers hostel is snuggly hidden among hills on the outskirts of the park. Small and charming, this is a family run house with a warm atmosphere. The owner is kind enough to give you a lift to and from the lakes. The top rooms are converted attics, as rustic as their setting, with a balcony looking out over the green landscape. You can sit on the outside terrace and watch the sunset sinking in the distance.
- The Treehouse, Austria
Found in the small village of Gurenau, this is a mountainous haven and one of the top hostels in Europe for outdoor adventurers. It promotes itself as the real Austria, and you can see why. In the summer, the surrounding mountains are ideal for hiking – finding secluded lakes and reaching incredible heights. Skiers come here in the winter to embrace the slopes that form on snowy peaks. The hostel will even supply ski clothing for free. This wooden house offers peace, quiet and the endless natural beauty of Austria.
- Raasay House, Scotland
On the Isle of Sky lies Raasay House. This is the cheapest manor house you will ever stay in. It is also as accessible as you can find on a remote Scottish island – close to the ferry port. It is an impressive building yet available to all, backpackers and families alike. The island is popular with those who have been lucky enough to visit it. They promote its rugged, stunning scenery – filled with old fishing towns and ancient castles. This is raw, wild Scotland and the hostel provides a great view of it.
- 7 Fells Hostel, Finland
As hostels in Europe go, this is possibly the furthest north you can stay, accommodating you in the remotest of areas. It’s the perfect place to begin a hiking trail, or return to in winter nights to relax by the fire. In the heart of the northern landscape, it is classic Scandinavian architecture – a log cabin style interior and equipped with a sauna. Not only is it an exceptional location, but the hostel also promotes environmental awareness. Exclusively eco-friendly, all waste is recycled, all electricity is green and all hot, warming cups of tea are organic!
- Sobe Pri Lovrizu, Slovenia
Based in the village of Drenica, this hostel on the Slovenian border hosts impressive views of the surrounding mountains. Another family run business, its roots are tied up in the local nature and community. You can get to know the owners and their friends. Locals are friendly and happy to offer advice and stories to travelers. Rivers popular for kayaking and rafting flow nearby. Blissful peace and untouched air, all this quiet provides the perfect opportunity for activities that embrace natural beauty.
- Agrotourism Matusko, Bosnia
Between national parks and near to the sea, its location makes this one of the best hostels in Europe. However, the true appeal is the building itself. Built into a stone house, it stands solidly in the rugged landscape around it. Yet the interior is soft and welcoming. The outside area consists of a terrace and a row of tables looking out over the garden. Animals roam outdoors – ducks, chickens, even donkeys. Inside, there is a room with a slanted roof room – wooden benches line the walls, draped in various blankets and decorated by rustic Bosnian artifacts. The owners invite you to use the BBQ and are free to suggest the best local meats and vegetables to cook.
- Heradsskolinn Hostel, Iceland
This hostel is a perfect stop for those doing the renowned cyclical Iceland route. Located in the southwest, on Laugarvatn Lake, this hostel is surrounded by raw natural beauty – ideal from which to watch the famous northern lights. Past the lake, the space around the building is barren and extensive but protected in the shadow of an Icelandic mountain. Its interior is clean, white and minimalistic. But creative – musical instruments are scattered around, and bookshelves line the walls. Horses outside add the whole rustic atmosphere. This place provides a lovely opportunity just to sit and be – and know that you are in one of the most spectacular hostels in Europe.
- Villa Gjecaj, Albania
Located in Thethi, Albania, a national park village, this hostel is immersed in nature. A spacious garden offers a truly amazing perspective of the dramatically beautiful mountains. In the evening, you sit here and watch river streams flow down the cliff face. The next day, you can hike this alluring scenery and experience it first-hand. Untouched and underrated, the whole country is quieter than most of Europe. This place is especially remote and secluded – filled with peace, tranquility, and potential.
- Yablanitsa Mountain Huts, Bulgaria
This hostel is the definition of a getaway – no Wi-Fi, no noise, no bustle. Totally secluded, the unspoiled routes of these mountains are unique. And, this is one of the most unique hostels in Europe. The huts lie deep within the landscape, watching down over the village beneath. By staying here, you can be as immersed as the buildings. Sustainable and self-sufficient, the hostel provides its own farming produce and homemade condiments. The buildings are all built ecologically. There is a fire for the winter months and a swimming pool for the summer.
- The Ginger Monkey, Slovakia
Small and sociable, The Ginger Monkey was set up by backpackers and knows what a good hostel needs. It has all the things you might want – including an exceptional location. Set high in the Tatras Mountains, it celebrates all things natural, local and communal – like walking the hostel dog Wally in the stunning natural beauty. Although remote, nearby restaurants serve traditional Slovakian food for a taste of culture. One of the greatest hostels in Europe for the potential of traveling, train routes are well connected to numerous surrounding countries.
There are many various paths to take across Europe. Often, capital cities and classic landmarks are the guides to lead you. Yet less trodden routes can be better ones to follow – noiseless and peaceful. If you are more into cities, perhaps this list is not for you. These hostels are in stunning natural locations, full of beauty and chilled out vibes. They are in the heart of their countries – more hidden and perhaps the most beautiful hostels in Europe.