10 Chic Hostels for the Budget Traveler
When you hear the term hostel, what probably probably comes to mind are visions of dingy backpacker dens, where sleeping in your clothes is recommended and sharing a bathroom with 20 other weary travelers is the norm. Though you might have put up with them in your youth, there's no longer a need to in many major cities. A number of innovative "hosteliers" have reinvented the wheel, creating a more, stylish elevated experience without the inflated price tag. Redefining inexpensive lodging, the following 10 inns feel more like boutique hotels than the scary youth hostels you remember. Featuring thoughtful interiors, luxurious amenities, and stylish bar and dining options, these are the places to stay when traveling on a budget.
Where: Mexico City, Mexico
Nightly rate for a shared room: $13 and up
What you’ll love: A vibrant scene and multiple common areas make socializing at this sleek and colorful hostel no problem. In addition to the low rates, for an extra $3, you can guarantee your own private bathroom.
What we love: The rooftop pool and lounge will make you feel like you’re at a luxury hotel.
Learn more: Downtown Beds
Where: Chicago and Miami, U.S.A
Nightly rate for shared room: $27 and up
What you’ll love: Situated right in the heart of both cities, these stylish bohemian-inspired spaces offer both private and shared room options. The Miami outfit boasts a pool and on-site bar and restaurant while the Chicago location is in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.
What we love: Designed by Roman & Williams, the spaces are chic, yet approachable.
Learn more: The Freehand
Where: Venice, Italy
Nightly rate for a shared room: $17 and up
What you’ll love: This stylish chain of hostels has locations in many European cities, but we’re especially charmed by the chic interiors and high-style essence of the Venetian outpost. Close to Piazza San Marco with a happening social scene thanks to DJ sets and a gorgeous bar, this is the place to stay when looking for a cross-section of culture and fun.
What we love: The stylish but authentic interiors of the hostel are the perfect combination of modern style and old-world flair, plus the shared dorms have views of the sea.
Learn more: Generator Venice
Where: Marrakech, Morocco
Nightly rate for a shared room: $12 and up
What you’ll love: Stunning views of the city are matched with authentic interiors in this traditional space. A heated swimming pool is great for relaxing and the traditional Moroccan dinner offered by the hostel is a convenient way to get some local flavor.
What we love: In addition to the swimming pool, bar and restaurant, this hostel also offers spa services from manicures and pedicures to massages and henna application.
Learn more: Equity Point
Where: Lisbon, Portugal
Nightly rate for shared room: $17 and up
What you’ll love: Located along the Tagus River, a selection of rooms have balconies overlooking the water while the hostel’s bar, restaurant, and beer garden make for the perfect place to hang out and converse with locals and fellow travelers alike.
What we love: The historic building boasts soaring ceilings and windows, inlaid wood floors, and exquisite moulding details.
Learn more: The Independente
Where: Milan, Italy
Nightly rate for a shared room: $31 and up
What you’ll love: This charming Italian hostel is in a prime location just steps from Milan’s famed Duomo and in close proximity to the city’s nightlife and shopping. The hostel also offers musical instruments like guitars and keyboards for guests to use at their leisure.
What we love: The sunny terrace with tables, chairs, and hammocks is the perfect place to recharge after a day of sightseeing.
Learn more: Ostello Bello
Where: Reykjavík, Iceland
Nightly rate for a shared room: $37 and up
What you’ll love: Though the hostel has a relatively large capacity at 142, there are plenty of amenities to go around from the café and bar, heated outdoor patio, gym, guest kitchens, and free WiFi.
What we love: Located in a converted factory, the hostel’s décor features found objects and furniture giving the space a vintage-industrial vibe. Plus, the spacious outdoor patio is just begging to host extended conversations.
Learn more: Kex Hostel
Where: Cape Town, South Africa
Nightly rate for a shared room: $17 and up
What you’ll love: The bright and cheery space has a pool, bikes for rent, and clean kitchens for guest use as well as barbeque facilities.
What we love: The streamlined simplicity of the rooms and common areas provide a peaceful environment and relaxing escape.
Learn more: The B.I.G
Where: Florence, Italy
Nightly rate for a shared room: $54 and up
What you’ll love: Indoor/outdoor swimming pools, a sauna, seven different room types, and close proximity to both the train station and tourist attractions make for a convenient and relaxing stay.
What we love: Each room, both private and shared dorms, has its own bathroom.
Learn more: PLUS Florence
Where: Madrid, Spain
Nightly rate for a shared room: $33 and up
What you’ll love: In addition to the restaurant and soon-to-be-completed rooftop bar, the hostel also boasts a movie theatre and clean, bright-white design with vibrant pops of color.
What we love: The women-only dorms come complete with hairdryers and vanities, a luxury in any hostel.
Learn more: U Hostels