Best Hostels in the World (Ultimate & Ongoing List)

spellbound travels best hostels in the world

As someone who’s travelled to 35+ countries (mostly solo & on a budget), I know a thing or two about hostels! So I’ve compiled a list of the best hostels in the world and will continue to update it as I travel to new countries. Let’s jump in!

Best Hostels in Oceania

I spent 1.5 years in Australia and a month in New Zealand. However, I was mostly living in a shared house in Australia (apart from some travels from Melbourne), so I didn’t stay at many hostels in Oceania.

Best Hostels in Australia

Australia has a big backpacking community which means that it’s not hard to find a good hostel. However, it’s fairly pricey, especially during the summer months (December – March)!

MOM Darwin (📍Darwin):

Hostel Rating = 7.5/10

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this hostel. I booked it last minute and it was the cheapest one I could find in Darwin. With that being said, it didn’t disappoint. Dorm rooms start at $20/night, it was in a great location (close to the beach), had a beautiful pool and was really special. I met plenty of people looking to do day trips to Litchfield NP and Kakadu NP.

Best Hostels in New Zealand

I spent a month or so travelling around New Zealand in 2019 with Kiwi Experience – a hop-on, hop-off bus. Since Kiwi Experience set up the hostels, I don’t remember most as being very memorable. I think it’s safe to say that most hostels in New Zealand will be pretty good. I’ll update this list when I get back to New Zealand one day.

Best Hostels in Asia

Asia might be home to some of the best hostels in the world! You definitely get great bang for your buck and can stay in really unique places without spending more than a few dollars a night. Asia (especially South East Asia) is used to tourists so they’re properly equipped with great hostels and it’s the perfect place to start your backpacking journey if you’re scared to travel alone.

Best Hostels in the Philippines

Hostels in the Philippines are a little pricey compared to other parts of Asia but 100% worth it. They usually include breakfast in the price which is a huge bonus.

Outpost Beach Hostel (📍El Nido):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

So I didn’t technically stay at this hostel BUT I spent most of my time here. I stayed at a cheaper hostel that’s now closed but dorm rooms are only about $20/night. They have many different activities, boat hopping tours, etc., happening every day, it’s super social, located right on the beach and has UNREAL views of the sunsets. The only downside was that I got food poisoning from the food there but to be fair, I ordered a fresh salad, so I kind of had it coming.

*PRO TIP: The water in El Nido is notorious for contamination so avoid fresh food at ALL COSTS *

Hop Hostel (📍Coron):

Hostel Rating = 9.5/10

This might be the best hostel I’ve ever stayed at. If you’re planning a trip to Coron, everyone will recommend Hop Hostel to you. With that in mind, it gets booked up SUPER quickly during high season so you need to plan a little in advance to book a room. It’s known for having the best sunset view in Coron so their 2 day minimum stay shouldn’t be a problem!

Frendz Resort & Hostel (📍Boracay):

Hostel Rating = 9/10

Frendz is a really fun hostel and only $13/night. They have family dinners (free din) twice a week and do fun games in the evenings so that people can mingle and get to know each other well. It’s also located right behind the beach so it’s the perfect location.

Mad Monkey Cebu City (📍Cebu):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

Mad Monkey is a chain of hostels around the world and they’re usually pretty good. This one in particular had a pool, pool tables and a great open space to mingle with people. The rooms are also super clean and there are lots of spots to store your things safely in lockers. Most people travel through Cebu to get to islands so it’s a great place to stop off for a night. And at only $10 for a dorm, you won’t find much better!

Chief Mau Moalboal Cebu (📍Moalboal):

Hostel Rating = 8/10

If you want to visit Kawasan Falls or other waterfalls in the area, this hostel is the place to stay. The rooms are nothing to write home about but they have a cozy communal area and serve great food. Oh, it’s also down the street from the beach which is another plus.

Best Hostels in Vietnam

Vietnam might be in competition with the Philippines for the best hostels in the world! It’s such a hotspot for backpackers so you can pretty much count on every hostel being great but here were the ones I stayed at. Sadly, a lot of them have now closed (due to the pandemic) so I could only find a few.

Central Backpackers Hostel (📍Phong Nha):

Hostel Rating = 8/10

This hostel had a really great mix between chill and party vibes. There’s a pool, which is great because it can be super humid in Phong Nha and lots of space to mingle with other travellers. They host game nights most evenings and it’s generally a really fun spot.

Green Mountain Homestay (📍Ninh Binh):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam, you NEED to visit Ninh Binh! It was probably my favourite spot in the country because the views are amazing. This homestay is only $10/night for a dorm but they have beautiful private rooms for only $35/night if you’re travelling with someone. They have bikes you can use to get around and explore and the food is great!

Best Hostels in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is such a special place and it’s always the country I mention when people ask me what places have stood out amongst my travels. The locals are incredibly friendly and the food is amazing. You’ll also never get bored with beaches, mountains and so much more at your fingertips!

JJ’s Hostel (📍Mirissa):

Hostel Rating = 10/10

I didn’t think a 10/10 would be possible but I think JJ’s did it. I couldn’t think of a single thing wrong with this hostel. It was clean, affordable ($10/night), had aircon in the rooms, free breakfast, a pool, yoga classes and is down the street from some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. It was also super relaxing because it was away from the main strip of hotels. It certainly makes the cut for the best hostels of the world.

Ella City Reach Hostel (📍Ella):

Hostel Rating = 8/10

Ella is another spot you must visit when you’re in Sri Lanka. Most people take the train from Kandy to Ella (or vice versa) and end up staying at a hostel in Ella. Ella City Reach Hostel was small but cozy and had a beautiful view of Ella from above. The main downside is that you have to walk up a massive hill to get to the hostel so if you have a big backpack with you, it’s not a lot of fun.

Best Hostels in Cambodia

Cambodia definitely isn’t as popular amongst tourists as Vietnam or Thailand but they still have some pretty great hostels!

Onederz Hostel (📍Siem Reap):

Hostel Rating = 9.5/10

Onederz is definitely the best hostel in Cambodia. I stayed at 4 different hostels when I was travelling there and it was by far the best. It has big, clean rooms, a rooftop pool and plenty of common space on the main floor. They also serve great food at the hostel, especially for breakfast.

Nest Beach Club (📍Koh Rong Island):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

This is another hostel I didn’t stay at personally BUT spent a decent amount of time at. I was staying just down the beach but that hostel no longer exists. Nest was definitely a party hostel so if you’re not super keen on drinking every day, it might not be your cup of tea. With that being said, it’s right on 4K Beach on Koh Rong Island – one of the most beautiful spots in all of Cambodia. Watch out for the sand flies though, as they kind of ruined the entire experience for me.

Best Hostels in Europe

You can’t really compare European hostels to the hostels in Asia because you’ll never get the same quality for such a low price. However, you can still find some pretty good ones if you’re travelling on a budget!

Best Hostels in Greece

I’ve only stayed at a few hostels in Greece but they were both pretty good!

Athens Hawks (📍Athens):

Hostel Rating = 7.5/10

This hostel has the best view of Athens from their rooftop! It’s also in a good location, the rooms have a decent amount of space and the common area is massive. People were social but it was definitely a young crowd (mostly 18 year olds traveling for the first time) and I’m suspicious that I got a few bed big bites from the one night I stayed there.

Cocoon City (📍Chania, Crete):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

If you’re thinking about doing some island hopping, you should definitely explore Crete. Cocoon City was the perfect place to stay when I was there for a week. They have two really great kitchens to use, a pool and it’s in a good location (close to the bus station and not far from the old town). They also do a great job of organizing tours and have a WhatsApp group that you can join so you can meet new people and split car hires if people want to do day trips together.

Best Hostels in France

Beware – hostels in France are not cheap! At least not during the summer months. I’d definitely suggest sharing an Airbnb with someone but if you’re travelling solo, here’s a hostel I’d stay at again.

Central Hostel (📍Bordeaux):

Hostel Rating = 7/10

Central Hostel just made the cut for the best hostels in the world. Although it didn’t blow me away, they had a lovely common area on the main floor. The rooms were super tight and cramped but they had good lockers and curtains for privacy. I met a few really friendly people at this hostel but it wasn’t as social as others I’ve stayed at.

Best Hostels in Montenegro

Montenegro is certainly an underrated country and one that I’m so happy to have visited. There are many hostels in Kotor but I only stayed at one and it was so good that I kept extending my stay and ended up there for 3 weeks!

Pupa Hostel (📍Kotor):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

I won’t lie to you, Pupa Hostel is nothing special at first glance. It seems like a pretty standard hostel with a small kitchen on both floors but it’s all about the people here. The staff are great and make it such a unique stay. The dorm rooms are also fairly big (despite the large number of people in one room). Curtains surround each bed providing a good amount of privacy.

Best Hostels in Africa

I think because Africa isn’t as well travelled as other parts of the world, they don’t usually have amazing hostels but it definitely depends on the country you’re visiting.

Best Hostels in Egypt

Having only spent 5 days in Egypt, I only experienced one hostel but it’s a memorable one!

Holy Sheet (Cairo):

Hostel Rating = 7.5/10

Holy Sheet is right in the centre of Cairo and super easy to get to on a short Uber from the airport. The rooms were pretty roomy and beds were quite comfortable. They also had a small common area where people often share meals together or just hangout to escape the heat. The main reason why I’ll never forget this hostel is because it’s where I met my boyfriend Sam 🥰

Best Hostels in Tanzania

Tanzania hostels weren’t too impressive but I ended up finding a few decent ones.

The Slow Leopard (📍Dar es Salaam):

Hostel Rating = 7/10

The best part about this hostel is the common area. It’s a restaurant during the day and a bar at night. It has a very relaxed vibe and it’s super easy to meet new people at this hostel. The rooms, on the other hand, didn’t have much going for them. They were just okay in my opinion. This hostel is a good place to stop for a night if you’re catching the ferry from the main land to Zanzibar.

Your Zanzibar Place (📍Paje):

Hostel Rating = 7.5/10

If you’re looking for a place by the beach, Your Zanzibar Place is a good spot. You definitely live the island life at this hostel with mosquito netted beds, open air rooms and sand as your floor. Paje is great if you kitesurf but I wasn’t amazed by the beaches there. I’d recommend going to Nungwi if you’re planning a trip to Zanzibar.

Best Hostels in South Africa

If you know me at all, you’ll know that I can’t shut up about Cape Town. It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever travelled to and will definitely be back to visit someday. They definitely have some of the best hostels in the world.

Never @ Home – Kloof St (📍Cape Town):

Hostel Rating = 9/10

This is another hostel that gets points for the staff! I loved this hostel as well because they had a great common area, kitchen, back garden and views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, depending on what side of the building you stay. It’s really affordable and also attached to a cafe/bar, making it really easy to socialize with other travellers. They only lose points for no aircon because the mosquitoes can get bad in the summer with the windows open.

Villa Viva (📍Cape Town):

Hostel Rating = 8.5/10

Villa Viva has more of a homey feel than the other hostels I’ve stayed at but they only have two dorm rooms – one for women and one for men. The common areas were great and they’re unique compared to most hostels. It is in a slightly more sketchy area of Cape Town though, so that’s something to consider.

Best Hostels in North America

Anyone who’s tried travelling through North America will tell you that it’s not exactly a backpacking place. There aren’t many hostels but I’ve stayed at a few in the US that weren’t too shabby!

Best Hostels in the USA

Hostels in the USA can be fairly pricey for a dorm room ($50+) but if you’re travelling solo, it’s still the cheapest option.

ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel (📍Pacific Beach, San Diego):

Hostel Rating = 8/10

The best thing about this hostel is that it’s right on Pacific Beach! It’s got the best location and a few spots to hangout and meet new people. The kitchen is small but not many people cook so it’s easy to make food from there. The rooms weren’t great but you won’t be spending much time in your room anyway when you can join in on beach activities!

The Beach Waikiki (📍Honolulu):

Hostel Rating = 7.5/10

Honolulu is beautiful and definitely worth visiting. This hostel doesn’t really stand out but they had a nice rooftop kitchen and seating area and I made a few good friends when I was there. The manager was great and gave me detailed instructions for the Stairway to Heaven hike which was amazing!

On the Hunt for the Best Hostels in the World

This isn’t the end. My solo travel days aren’t quite over yet so I’ll be adding hostels to this list every few months. In the meantime, I share my everyday adventures on Instagram and TikTok and will be back shortly with another blog!

Cheers and happy travels,

Amy xx

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