Hostels don’t have to be run down, uncared for, dingy places, full of grungy students and a bolt hole for travelers heavily constrained by budget, as these classiest hostels in Europe prove. Top hostels offer excellent facilities in great locations and you certainly won’t feel you’ve made the wrong decision by not booking a hotel room. Just take a look at some of the classiest hostels in Europe.
1 The Burren Hostel, Lisdoonvarna, Ireland
If you love the communal hostel environment but wish it was a little classier, then visit The Burren Hostel of Lisdoonvara, Ireland. This spa town is surrounded by some of Ireland’s most renowned natural beauty, such as the Burren region and the stunning Cliffs of Moher. This previous 3-star hotel was renovated and turned into one of the classiest hostels in Europe, with beautiful and clean facilities, all en-suite rooms, a self-catering kitchen and a fine dining room. You’ll feel very much at home in the stunning 130-bed hostel and can enjoy everything from their free Wi-Fi and laundry facilities to their super cozy lounge, with a stone fireplace to warm the chilly Irish nights.
2 Plus Florence, Florence, Italy
First of all, the views from the terrace bar in PLUS are worth paying a bit more. Few hostels have such stunning views of their cityscapes. And Florence is a city you’ll want to take in. With its stunning Italian architecture and renowned artistic masterpieces, the entire city is a regular open-air museum. PLUS includes huge offerings that you won’t likely find at the average hostel, with a cafe onsite, an indoor pool, a pool table, a terrace bar, a travel desk, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and a flat screen TV in every room. Just a short walk from the central train station, PLUS checks all the boxes on the requirements list of Europe’s classiest hostels.
3 Mosaic House, Prague, Czech Republic
After an extensive renovation, Mosaic House recently reopened in November 2013. Prior to, it had already established a reputation as one of the classiest hostels in Europe, with a design edge nearly unparalleled when it comes to hostel environments. The en-suite bathrooms, non-smoking environment and award-winning eco-friendly features make Mosaic House ahead of the pack. The hostel provides uber-comfy beds for the travel-weary and rain-headed showers for the travel-stinky. Centrally located, you can walk to Prague’s best attractions, or simply take a break from country-hopping by using the free Wi-Fi as you lounge around the garden or common room.
4 Cocomama, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Voted “the best in the Netherlands” in the 2011 Hoscars, it's plain to see why Cocomama is one of the classiest hostels in Europe. This boutique hostel in the centre of Amsterdam is a renovated brothel (actually Amsterdam’s most famous brothel), and the monument now houses one of Amsterdam’s most famous hostels. Offering up a large garden, which you can partake in as you wish, the place screams class, with its beautiful high ceilings and sparkling chandeliers. You would never know that its cleanly polished rooms used to see such sin, as each are styled in a different elegant Dutch theme. Cocomama also prides itself on professionalism, and you’re not likely to find such quality and attentive staff anywhere else.
5 Deco Hostel, Krakow, Poland
A visit to Krakow should include a stay at Deco Hostel. This highly hip hostel is filled with luxury Art Deco-style rooms. A short walk from the Market Square, this modern hostel is set against a historical background. All rooms offer en-suite bathrooms, and the common room is commonly used, as it’s stuffed over with over-stuffed couches. This is one of the classiest hostels in Europe, located in one of its most under-rated cities – two very nice surprises in one hit!
6 Living Lounge Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal
The Living Lounge in Lisbon is alive with art. With each individual room designed by local artists, your luxury hostel stay in Living Lounge will give you a taste of Lisbon culture. The super accommodating staff has been known to go above and beyond, booking early morning taxis or serving special breakfasts for their guests. The stylish and comfortable rooms aren’t the only place where you can kick back in the hostel. The lounge offers the creature comforts of home, and you can cough up 9 Euros (~$13) for a three-course dinner, served nightly in their dining hall.
7 Circus Hostel, Berlin, Germany
Offering free weekly tours – like their popular history and art tours – as well as weekly events – like trivia nights or “drink your way around Germany” virtual tours – the Circus Hostel in Berlin is a full circus of activity. With its fantastic location, offering transportation stops right out the door, you can either run amok around Berlin or enjoy a night in at the hostel’s own Katz & Maus, two-floor bar, café and lounge, which serves up special drink offers as well as a brilliant all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
Are you impressed by the classiest hostels in Europe? Would you consider one instead of a hotel?