It costs a fortune to visit these top travel destinations around the world, so saving on accommodation here might be a good idea. Cheap hostels may not be in the majority in these megapolises, but they're most definitely out there. These cities have a great selection of budget rooms that don’t have luxury touches in exchange for great rates. Here's our pick of the best unusual and designer hostels around the world.
St Cristopher’s Hostel (Barcelona)
In a city obsessed with football, sun, sand, sea and Sangria, a place to chill out and relax with friends is always welcome. That's what St Christopher's Inn in Barcelona offers to the guests as well as the prime location of the facility - easily accessible from the airport, and within easy striking distance of the city's biggest attractions.
The location of St Christopher’s Inn, Barcelona puts you on La Rambla in seconds – a street full to the brim with cafés, restaurants, markets and street performers by day, and rocking by night with the best clubs, and nightlife in the city. A short walk down La Rambla will take you to the harbor and then onto the Barceloneta beach where you’ll find sculpture, sunbathers, nudists and everything that makes the city so vibrant, and eclectic!
Beyond the beach, St Christopher’s Inn, Barcelona is the perfect backpacker base for seeing Gaudi’s famous La Sagrada Família, the Parc de Montjuïc, the Picasso museum, Park Güell, Barcelona Football Club, the beautiful old town district of El Raval and the Mercat de la Boqueria - one of Europe’s biggest and best fresh food markets.
Mojo Hotel (Cape Town)
Mojo means charisma, magic and talent. You'll find all of that and more in Cape Town and at Mojo Hotel Sea Point. They have created a place full of the spirit and vibrancy of Cape Town, from the murals on the walls to the property’s communal spaces. Mojo Hotel Sea Point offers a variety of funky rooms to suit most people's needs and budget, including self-catering deluxe studios, cozy crash pads on the roof terrace with sea or mountain views, interior rooms with the basics, and spacious dorms. The property has free high-speed Wi-Fi, luxury mattresses, percale linen, international plugs, and digital laptop safes or lockers. The coffee bar serves up delicious artisan coffee and tasty bites. They have an awesome 2,000sqm rooftop terrace that has stunning sea and mountain views.
Mahjong Hostel (Hong Kong)
The Mahjong is Hong Kong's hippest hostel, centrally located in an authentic Hongkie neighborhood, superbly connected by over 30 bus routes to the city's hustling bustling attractions, and just a stone's throw from its renowned mountain & coastal charms. All buses stop right outside The Mahjong - the hostel is located just 10-15 mins from Tsim Sha Tsui & Mong Kok, and only 25-30 mins from Causeway Bay & Central. The Mahjong neighborhood is a foodie's paradise and still the best kept secret amongst locals. So come stay there and experience Hong Kong as the locals do! The first and only hostel in Hong Kong to have a large social lounge and custom built bunk beds/pods that maximize privacy with personal light & electric sockets, keycard security locker, and privacy screen. Thick 6' hotel grade mattresses and fluffy pillows guarantee you a good night's rest. Designer touches around the hostel showcase Hong Kong heritage and culture.
King Kong Hostel (Rotterdam)
This is the best award winning hostel in Rotterdam, chosen by Hostelworld best Dutch hostel. Set on a lively street, this contemporary hostel is a 3-minute walk from both the Eendrachtsplein subway/tram station and fine art at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Featuring free Wi-Fi, the trendy mixed and single-sex dorms come with suite bathrooms, bunk beds, lockers and charging stations. Private rooms add flat-screen TVs, sitting areas, mini-fridges and/or sleeping lofts.
A breakfast buffet is available for a surcharge. Additional amenities include a shared kitchen, a bar, a terrace and a lounge, plus a 24-hour shop and a cinema room with popcorn. Guided city tours and bike rentals are offered.
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In hip Soho, this colorful hostel is a minute's walk from shopping on Oxford Street and 5 minutes from Tottenham Court Road tube station.
Modern accommodations range from simple private rooms to airy, 16-person dorms with bunk beds. All have free WiFi and shared bathrooms.
There's a bright lobby and a trendy bar-lounge serving food, including breakfast. Other amenities include a computer room and a game room with billiards, plus lockers and towel rental.
Book and Bed (Tokyo)
Book and Bed, a new Tokyo hotel, has created the sort of space that is impossible to leave. It is a cheap and cheerful dorm with a difference: guests’ bunk beds are hidden behind library shelves filled with 1,700 books in Japanese and English.
Sandwiched between Teppanyaki and Chinese hot pot restaurants in Tokyo’s north-western Ikebukuro area, Book and Bed was once a Japanese-style izakaya pub. Now, thanks to the Suppose Design Office, Hiroshima-based architects, it is an “accommodation bookshop”.
The blurb on the website explains: “There are no comfortable mattresses, fluffy pillows nor lightweight and warm down duvets.” Instead guests are invited simply to read themselves to sleep.
Generator Hostel (Copenhagen)
Generator Copenhagen is smack-bang in the center of the city, just off the Kongens Nytorv Square. The hostel is housed in a Philippe Starck development and it's a hub for travelers and locals who are drawn by custom-designed furniture and an expansive bar and café. Inside Generator Copenhagen, Tim Bjorn illustrations, intricate lighting, the large outdoor terrace and pétanque court make it an oasis in the heart of the city.
3 Ducks hostel (Paris)
The 3 ducks hostel is housed in a former 18th century coaching inn considered to be a historical monument and is protected by Les Batiments de France as such. Founded in 1987, the 3 ducks is the oldest private hostel in France. These almost 30 years of serving millions of travelers around the world have earned the 3 ducks its international reputation for its lively and friendly atmosphere.
In April 2014, after two years of extensive work The 3 ducks has been rebuilt thanks to the restoration of the external facade under the direction of the Vieux Paris building commission, and a complete renovation of the interior in collaboration with a renowned French architect and two graphic artists.
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Free from the corporate stuffiness of the big chains, you’ll find these options listed above offer way more than you’d expect. Best of all, avoiding world capital’s five star and boutique hotels means you’ll have more dosh left over for sightseeing, shopping, dining and partying.
Photos: Hostels' official web and facebook pages.