Best Hostel Chains in Europe and the World

Best Hostel Chains in Europe & the World (+ Promo Code for Selina Hostels)

Curious to know more about hostel chains in Europe and around the world? This guide was designed with you in mind, dear traveller.

Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for dedicated work spaces, or a long-term traveller that’s hopping around Europe, this guide covers ALL the best hostel chains you need to know.

From budget hostels to luxury boutique hostels; it’s all here.

Read: Full Guide to Hostels in Europe – book smart, stay safe, have fun.

In case you’re travelling further than Europe, we’ve also made a concise list of the greatest international hostel chains in destinations such as India, USA and Oceania.

The best hostel chains Europe that we cover in this article are:

Also in this guide:

Note: Selina Hostels and Hotels is actually primarily based in the Americas, but they do have a few hostels in Europe. We teamed up with Selina Hostels to bring the Hostelgeeks Community more unique hostels and experiences. If you love the 5 Star Hostels, you will love Selina! Jump to Selina Hostels section to find out more.

Psst! Hostelgeeks readers also receive an exclusive 5% Discount on all Selina Hostels worldwide.

Best & Largest Hostel Chains in Europe

Ok, let’s jump in and discover the top hostel chains in Europe that span across major and must-see cities in many great European countries.

In this collection we’ve picked out the most popular and highly rated hostel chains which are ideal for a wide range of travellers types. Anyway, keep reading – everything you need to know about each chain is here.

Just for fun: Did you know the biggest hostel in the world (or at least in Europe) is Danhostel Copenhagen City? They have 1000 beds under one roof!

Here is a map with an overview of each of the hostel brands listed in this guide. They’ve been colour coordinated to make it easier for you.

Note: Some hostel chains have more than one hostel in a city. We’ve only pinpointed one hostel per city on the map.

Generator Hostels


Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dublin, Hamburg, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Venice, Washington DC, Miami


Generator Hostels offer an affordable luxury and social experience, with all properties boasting an onsite bar, cafe/restaurant, chill-out areas and a wide array of room types, from shared to private, luxury to budget.

This is a hostel-hotel hybrid experience, best suited to solo travellers, couples and groups.

Also, Generator knows how to party. Newly opened hostels tend to have a launch party, and many locations offer regular themed parties. You’re sure to have a good time here.

Fun: Generator London is deemed one of the best party hostels in the world.

Here are some of our “Best Hostels in” guides which include a great Generator Hostel as our #1 recommendation:

To get a really good overview of this European hostel chain, read our full guide to Generator Hostels.

Here you can view and compare prices per night of all Generator hostels in one place.

Our favourite Generator hostel? It has to be Generator Rome. Housed in a 19th century building, with big, bright modernised spaces and a swanky bar and restaurant; this hostel is ideal for solo travellers and groups of friends.

Book Generator Rome here

Generator Rome, one of the top Generator Hostels in Europe Generator Paris is one of the best hostels in Paris, France

Hostel One


Barcelona, Budapest, London, Madrid, Porto, Prague, Seville


Hostel One, or H1 as they’re also known, is a hostel chain that’s best for younger solo travellers that want to meet lots of people and get involved in fun activities.

In general, Hostel One accommodations have a backpacker hostel feel, with homey design and a cheaper price tag. Many hostels have an onsite bar and offer free family dinners to bring people together.

Sungate One in Madrid is our third choice when it comes to the best hostels in Madrid.

We also love Hostel One Prague as a top backpacker choice – find out more in our best hostels in Prague guide.

Our favourite Hostel One? It has to be Sungate One in Madrid. It’s a small, intimate hostel that’s full of family & social vibes. Backpackers will surely appreciate the free breakfast.

Book Sungate One here
The Best Backpacker Hostel in Madrid: Sungate One Madrid
Sungate One

Hostel One Prague one of the best hostels in Prague

a&o Hotels and Hostels


Berlin, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Graz, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Prague, Vienna, Aachen, Weimar, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Munich


a&o Hostels offer an inexpensive choice for the budget-conscious traveller. What’s more, they are all very well located in each destination. As this is a hostel-hotel hybrid, you can expect a huge variety of rooms. Not only is it a good option for solo travellers and backpackers, but also for families, schools, business people and associations.

Facilities and rooms reach hotel standards, with a no-frills design. There is a 24-hour bar in all of their hostels.

We’d definitely recommend this hostel chain if you care more about doing your own thing and exploring the area, whilst enjoying a comfortable hostel with an affordable price tag.

Looking for a big hostel? It’s possibly the biggest chain in the world with +28,500 beds!

Read: 3 Best Hostels in Frankfurt including a&o Frankfurt Ostend as #2.

Our favourite a&o Hostel? We stick with a&o Frankfurt Ostend because of the great choice of rooms to suit every traveller type, and the dedicated work spaces for digital nomads. It’s also located in a central area very close to the main areas and sights.

Book a&o Frankfurt Ostend here
a&o Frankfurt Ostend is one of the best hostels in Frankfurt, Germany
a&o Frankfurt Ostend

a&o Frankfurt Ostend is one of the best hostels in Frankfurt, Germany

Plus Hostels


Berlin, Florence, Prague


Is this a hostel chain? Yes, but also a restaurant, gym, rooftop, pool, spa, pub and co-working space! Simply put, this is a hostel, but Plus.

Whilst the above facilities are found at EVERY Plus Hostel, each accommodation has even more social spaces. For instance, the hostel in Florence has two swimming pools!

What’s great is that Plus offer both shared and private rooms. We particularly enjoy the female only dorms as they have added perks such as large en-suite bathrooms and big fluffy pillows.

Female solo travellers and digital nomads will love this European hostel chain.

Our favourite Plus Hostel? Plus Florence is our top choice for female solo travellers, party animals & backpackers. They offer SO many amenities: swimming pool, bar-cafe-restaurant, sauna, terrace… need we say more?

Discover why PLUS Hostel is part of our top 3 in our full guide to the best hostels in Florence.

Book PLUS Florence here
Plus Hostel one of the Best Hostels in Florence, Italy
PLUS Hostel

Plus Hostel one of the Best Hostels in Florence, Italy

Wombat’s Hostels


London, Budapest, Munich, Vienna


Wombat’s is a successful hostel chain that welcomes more than 300.000 travellers every year! It’s an affordable accommodation that also works as a travel community.

Some facilities that are found in every hostel are an onsite WomBar, breakfast, free WiFi and shared kitchen.

Happy Hour at the WomBar and unique dorms with a maximum of 8-beds creates a perfect atmosphere for solo travellers.

Want to party? Discover great Wombat’s party hostels in our complete guide to the best party hostels in the world.

Side note: Flying Pig Hostels in Amsterdam are also another good option for partying.

To make it easier, check out a full list of all Wombat’s Hostels here.

Our favourite Wombat’s hostel? Wombat’s CITY Hostel Munich, without doubt! It’s a 10-minute walk from Oktoberfest and everyone gets a free welcome drink. There’s a bar, hammocks and a lovely glass-roofed courtyard with trees filling the space.

We’ve chosen Wombat’s CITY Hostel Munich as our #1 hostel for the best hostels in Munich.

Book Wombat’s CITY Hostel Munich here

St Christopher’s Inn


London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cardiff, Bruges, Prague, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Bath, Newquay


Easily the best youth hostel chain in UK and Europe is St Christopher’s Inn. These guys operate 20 incredible youth hostels in 10 of the most popular and liveliest cities on the continent.

Attached to every hostel is a Belushi’s bar or traditional British pub. A central location is also a guarantee.

It really depends which hostel you book, but in general, solo travellers & couples are suited to this hostel chain.

Our favourite St Christopher’s Inn? St Christopher’s Inn hostel at The Bauhaus, part of the best hostels in Bruges, is a wonderful example of what to expect. Think free walking tours, beer tasting and bike hire.

Book Bauhaus Hostel here

St Christopher's Inn Berlin, Germany is one of the best party hostels in the world St Christophers Inn Gare du Nord is one of the best hostels in Paris, France


London, Amsterdam


It’s no secret that we at Hostelgeeks are big fans of Clink Hostels. We’re so impressed with their convenient locations and stunning design in fact, that we’ve awarded two of their hostels with 5 stars!

Actually, the 3 best hostels in Amsterdam are all owned by Clink!

Get ready for:

  • Long and Mid-term accommodation options
  • Events & onsite hostel bar
  • Super central locations

Coming soon: Brand new hostels in Dublin and Lisbon!

Here’s a little overview of the two 5 star hostels in Amsterdam…

Cocomama is an oasis for female solo travellers, set inside a former brothel and offers its very own red light district tours.

Both the interior and exterior design is beautiful. We also love the Holland themed rooms and free pasta nights that are held within an all-round easy-going atmosphere.

Read our full review of Cocomama to find even more reasons to book.

Book Cocomama here

Boutique Hostel Amsterdam - time to get up?

Ecomama, the funky eco-friendly sister hostel, is cozy, quirky, conscious and superb for solo travellers. Oh, and coffee lovers.

It’s up-cycled interior offers concious living in the heart of the city. Not only that, but the cosy social vibes and luxuriousness of a hotel make it perfect for solo travellers.

Here’s our full review of Ecomama not to be missed.

Book Ecomama here

Quirky girls room at Ecomama Hostel Amsterdam

MEININGER Hotels


Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, UK


As you can see, MEININGER Hotels is one of the world’s leading chains with +14,700 beds spread across their hostels. It’s easy to hop around Europe staying only in MEININGER Hotels if you really enjoy them.

This accommodation blends the best of hotels and hostels to create an atmosphere to suit groups, families, backpackers and school classes.

MEININGER surely includes some of Europe’s famous hostels.

Our favourite MEININGER Hostel? MEININGER Hostel Salzburg City Center offers a superb panoramic view from the hostel terrace, a trendy design and array of room types. There’s also plenty of games to keep you entertained.

We’ve chosen MEININGER Hostel Salzburg City Center as the #1 hostel in our guide to the best hostels in Salzburg. Have a read to get a better idea of what to expect.

Book MEININGER Salzburg here

Meininger Vienna Downtown Franz in Vienna, Austria.

MEININGER Bruxelles City Center is one of the best hostels in Brussels, Belgium
MEININGER Bruxelles City Center

Safestay


UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium


Safestay hostels have a focus on having good access to the city, and fun social events and tours to keep you entertained.

This is also a really good place for digital nomads to settle down, especially as they offer great CoLive packages in both private and shared rooms. You can choose a short or long-term stay at affordable rates. CoWorking spaces & Wifi included!

Our favourite Safestay hostel? We love Safestay Warsaw because of the laid-back atmosphere and stategic location, surrounded by great bars and nearby historical monuments.

Read: 3 Best Hostels in Warsaw & why Safestay Warsaw is our number 1 recommendation.

Book Safestay Warsaw here
Safestay Warsaw is one of the Best Hostels in Warsaw, Poland
Safestay Warsaw

Safestay Warsaw is one of the Best Hostels in Warsaw, Poland

Looking specifically for Hostel Chains UK?

Whilst many of the aforementioned hostel chains in Europe include cities like London, you may wish to explore more of the UK whilst enjoying a hostel lifestyle.

Check out YHA England & Wales. YHA hostels Europe is a charity with over 150 properties in these two countries alone. They’re open to backpackers, couples, families and schools.

FYI: YHA stands for Youth Hostel Association and is a charity NGO, not a hostel chain. Still, we think they are definitely worth mentioning.

A membership is also available which can be used in all YHA hostels and gives you 10% off every stay.

Our favourite YHA England & Wales? It has to be YHA Liverpool Central because of its lively amosphere and cool design. This hostel also has male-only rooms alongside female-only dorms. The licensed bar & Strawberry Field Cafe are certainly highlights.

Book YHA Liverpool here

YHA Liverpool Central is one of the best hostels in Liverpool, UK

YHA Liverpool Central is one of the best hostels in Liverpool, UK
YHA Liverpool Central

How about hostel chains in Spain?

TOC Hostel & Suites is a hostel chain only found in Spain, with one hostel in Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Madrid. The design is fresh and the suites are wonderful for travelling couples. There are upcoming hostels in other parts of Spain, so keep an eye out.

Toc Hostel Seville is one of the 3 best hostels in Seville, especially for couples. This hostel gives a great overview of what you can typically expect.

Alternatively… Oasis Backpackers Hostels is another option and is more than just a bed. Book your stay here if you’re into roof terraces, bar crawls, open mics etc. Their hostels can be found in major Spanish cities as well as Portugal.

EXTRA: Selina Hostels and Hotels


Mexico, USA, Central America, South America, Europe, Isreal


Let’s cut to the chase here; we’ve teamed up with Selina Hostels to bring the Hostelgeeks community even more unique accommodation and experiences around the world. In fact, readers also receive an exclusive 5% discount on all Selina hostels worldwide!

This is an upscale hostel experience, with each property focusing on CoWorking spaces, organised activities, plus in-house bar-restaurant.

They spread over a whopping 60 locations around the world, and whilst they’re mostly found in the Americas, they also have some hostels in Europe and Israel.

Get to know Selina better:

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We’ve got you an exclusive 5% promo code for Selina Hostels and Hotels on all reservations. This discount code is valid for purchases made during 2021.

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Discount Code: HOSTEL-GEEKS

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Here is handy map pinpointing ALL Selina Hostels to give you a better idea of where in the world you can enjoy these incredible hostels.

Selina Manuel Antonio one of the best hostels in Costa Rica

Selina Jaco one of the best hostels in Costa Rica
Selina Jaco in Costa Rica

International Chains

Whilst we’re at it, we thought it important to at least include a quick overview of the best international hostel chains available for travellers.

Here we’ve included the most popular destinations for backpackers, plus hostel chains that have more of a party vibe.

Hostel chains USA

Our top choice when it comes to USA hostels is easily Selina Hostels and Hotels.

Freehand is another hostel-hotel hybrid with a stunning design. Find their hostels in North America in these cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.

In fact, Freehand New York City  is one of our 5 Star Hostels! It’s positively gorgeous, with innovative design, award-winning food and a community driven atmosphere. Enjoy live music, workshops and a choice of over 300 rooms!

Discover all Freehand hostels here.

Tip: A great Hostelling International (HI) hostel in San Diego is HI San Diego – Downtown. HI is one of the not-for-profit youth hostel companies.

Book Freehand NYC here
Freehand New York City is one of the best hostels in New York, USA
Freehand New York City

Hostels chains Australia

Depending on your style and the area of Australia you’re exploring, will depend on which of these four hostel chains you choose:

  • Nomads – 28 locations around Australia & New Zealand
  • YHA Australia – Budget accommodation in major cities (charity, not chain)
  • Base – Internships & work and travel packages
  • Mad Monkey Hostels – Excellent beach locations

Our guide to the 34 best hostels in Australia includes some of these chains in more detail.

Hostel chains in South East Asia

Starting with one of the most popular destination in SEA, the top hostel chains in Thailand are:

  • Lub D – CoWork, onsite restaurant-bar, events & privacy-led dorms
  • Slumber Party Hostels – PARTY(!) in 8 locations across Thailand

Note: The above chains also have hostels in other parts of South East Asia.

We’d also like to mention Mad Monkey Hostels here. Many of the hostels have a party vibe, plus city, beach & adventure destinations.

Have a look at all 57 best hostels in Thailand which takes a closer look at Slumber Party & Mad Monkey.

Hostel chains in India

Zostel is the biggest and best backpackers chain in India (and Nepal). They have more than 30 hostels spread across the country, including hotspots and lesser know areas. They are a wonderful retreat from what can be overwhelming India life.

Check out the super cool Zostel hostel as part of the best hostels in Delhi.

Hostel chains in South America

Loki Hostels have hostels in 6 locations across South America: Buenos Aires, La Paz, Cusco, Lima and Mancora.

The highlight is definitely nightly themed parties and a welcome drink to help settle you in.

Our guide to the best hostels in La Paz includes more info about the local Loki Hostel.

One great thing about Nomads Hostel and Bar is their Rooftop pool
Nomads Hostel and Bar

How to book hostels?

Ok so by now you’ll have likely chosen your favourite hostel chain to visit on your travels. So, what’s the best way to book your desired hostel(s)?

You can book all almost all hostels on the major booking portals like Hostelworld and Booking.com.

We wrote a complete guide on the best hostel booking sites with all its pros and cons that’s really worth a read.

Also, here are 15 essential tips for booking hostels including great booking hacks.

Map with ALL Hostel Chains

Here is a map with an overview of each hostel chain. They’ve been colour coordinated to make it easier for you.

Note: Some hostel chains have more than one hostel in a city. We’ve only pinpointed one hostel per city on the map.

(Use this link to view the map in a new window.)

What’s next? More powerful info:

Now that you have a good idea about hostel chains in Europe, make sure you check out these helpful guides:

Don’t forget to have a look at all 5 star hostels in Europe whilst you’re here – you won’t be disappointed!

We’ve put together a conscise guide to the 21 best hostels in Europe, too.

Any questions? We are here for you, simply drop us a line!

Happy hosteling,
The Hostelgeeks

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A complete guide to the absolute best hostel chains in Europe and the world + 5% promo code for Selina Hostels