When looking for a place to stay while backpacking through Europe, young, frugal travelers should always consider European Youth Hostels.
Hostels are pretty much ubiquitous in Europe these days. Every touristy city and every stop on the backpacker circuit will have at least a few youth hostel options for you to choose from. It can be tough to choose because, as any seasoned backpacker will tell you, hostels can range from run down shacks with prison showers to budget resorts with their own bars and restaurants. You never really know what to expect in a European youth hostel unless you do some research.
You really have three options for finding a good European Youth Hostel. You can use your guidebook recommendations, you can use a website like hostelworld or hostelbookers, or you can rely on the recommendations of other backpackers.
Being the adventurous, roll-with-the-punches, risk-taking type of guy that I am (I made an illegal U-turn today), I prefer the last option. Relying on recommendations from your fellow backpacker may not always lead you to paradise, but at least you’ll get to meet someone new, and really become a part of the backpacker scene. I’ve spent weeks at a time, drifting from hostel to hostel with groups of other backpackers who either knew, or thought they knew the best places to go. Regardless of what European youth hostel we ended up in, it was always good time.
For more on European Youth Hostels, check out our Youth Hostel Reviews Section.
Next week: Hosteling in Helsinki!