The Top Hostels In Europe Host Many Travellers

Hostels are not a very popular means of lodging here in North America and constitute only 9% of total hostel numbers worldwide (which numbers 15,700). In Europe, however, hostels are hugely popular. There may be three main reasons why hostels in North America are not bigger. Cultural differences in lodgers is the main factor cited by U.S. hostel owners. The second is a general lack of awareness about hostels- what they're all about, who stays in hostels, where hostels are located, and so on. The third factor thought to be a prevalent reason why hostels are not bigger "on this side of the pond" is the sharing aspect- the sharing of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and lounge areas with complete strangers. This makes a lot of people in the United States uneasy.

For a bit of clarity, hostels are short-term, low-cost means of lodging where guests may rent a dormitory bed, sharing institutional privileges with other 'hostelers'. As backpacking and biking are huge all across Europe, backpackers and bikers really enjoy the typically laid-back atmosphere of the hostel, as well as the camaraderie and kinship they feel with others of their own ilk. These lodgers truly appreciate meeting people from all over the world; to forge friendships, share stories and travel ideas, and other such bonding times. If you have a European trip in mind and would like to check out why hostels are so popular across the continent, check out:

1 - Clink261 - London

Once a Student Union, they feature a well-equipped kitchen and quaint lounge area, a nice space to gather and talk about the London sights seen that day. For guests that fancy a drink or two, they only need to head on over to Clink261's sister hostel's ClashBAR, just a few minutes walk away. Seated in a prime location, central King's Cross, this hostel is well connected to the underground. Featured are mixed and female-only dorms and private rooms.

2 - Cocomama - Amsterdam

This is a boutique hostel that provides the comfort and luxury of a hotel and the budget and atmosphere of a hostel. Rooms here range from 6-bed dorms to private doubles. Some bathrooms are shared, as is the dinner table. Guests gather in the common room or private garden and utilize the fully-equipped kitchen at any time. This is a very interactive hostel, with staff enjoying the organization of such events here as drink nights, movie nights, games nights, and family dinners.

3 - PLUS Berlin - Berlin

This is one of the newest and most dynamic hostels in all of Berlin. Lodgers can choose from two-, four-, or six-bed dorms, all with free Wi-Fi. They also provide private hotel rooms. Location is a major draw here, as PLUS Berlin is in Friedrichshain, perhaps the "hippest" neighborhood downtown that has bars, arty cafes, paraphernalia shops, music, and one-off shops selling vintage clothing. Major amenities here are very resort-like and include a swimming pool, sauna, laundromat, Opera Bar and Restaurant, and their quaint inner courtyard garden oasis.

4 - Living Lounge Hostel - Lisbon

This is boutique-style living on a budget. dorms are spacious and decorated in colorful themes. Private rooms are also available. This hostel features an on-site bar, personal lockers, 24-hour security, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, shared bathrooms with hot showers, sheets provided, reading lights. Featured here is a luxury lounge and a garden room indoors. They are happy to provide day walking tours and night pub crawls.

5 - Le Regent Montmartre By Hiphophostels - Paris. 

This is a rock 'n' roll-themed hostel located across from the Sacre-Coeur. They feature nightly events, and have an in-house bar. Rooms and dorms here have a personal touch, with plants in many locations. They offer single, double, or twin rooms. Also available are triple rooms, family rooms, and female-only or mixed dorms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi and laptops on loan, a gameroom, and a relaxation room.