Hostels can be some of the most entertaining places in the world; lots of like minded travellers, all in the midst of what they will probably remember as the best time of their life, enjoying every second, making friends and having fun – and all under one, often rather hectic, roof.
Of course, not all hostels are alike; depending on your needs it’s possible to find the perfect one for you. While some, the like ones I’ll go on to introduce you to below, thrive on connecting travellers and being sociable, while others have a more relaxed vibe. Some are known for their proximity to attractions or airports and others for their kooky or character filled interiors.
The bottom line is that choosing a hostel is kind of like choosing your friends, you want to make sure you choose the best ones, the ones that will compliment your own personality and help you make your trip everything you hoped it would be.
To help, over the next few weeks we’re going to be introducing you to some of our favourite hostels around the world and this week we’re starting with our choice of the best hostels for socialising and meeting people. If you’ve stayed in any of our choices below, add a comment to the comments box below and share your experiences/reviews with other would be travellers.
Our choice of the best sociable hostels around the world
Ashanti Lodge – Cape Town
A home away from home – and a pretty fancy one at that. Ashanti Lodge sports a communal pool and bar area where there are constantly plenty of backpackers chilling out, mingling and enjoying the South African sun.
In the evenings, they stoke up the BBQ and bring out the beers for a gathering of travellers that can turn into a massive party. The hostel is in a great location right near the V&A waterfront, with all the facilities you need for a happy stay.
Great for: That holiday vibe. Who wouldn’t be happy chilling by the pool with a beer and a beast of a burger in hand? Any one? Nope, thought not.
Milhouse – Buenos Aires
The perfect base for making friends and making plans; Milhouse perfectly combines its aim to be one of Buenos Aires’ best hostels with its status as a cool hangout in its own right.
It’s the base from where a enormous number of travellers plans their Latin America adventure, so is a great place to meet those who are nervously (and excitedly) starting their trip in South America. As you travel the continent you’ll constantly hear of people who had met at Milhouse.
There are activities every day of the week, late night parties with resident DJ and walking tours of Buenos Aires on offer for guests too, so take advantage!
Great for: Getting out and about! The hostel has weekly tickets for gigs, football matches, and other big sporting events in Argentina.
Hangout – Singapore
Hangout is the hostel to stay at in Singapore. In a city state as swish as Singapore the accommodation has a lot to live up to – and it certainly does. It’s fresh, clean and stylish and best of all it’s cheap!
Great for: Facilities. Super smart and chic – when it come to hostels, this is definitely one of the best there is. Pool tables, free tea and coffee, free WIFI, and a terrace with deck chairs and shower pool.
Gilligan’s – Cairns
Gilligan’s is the mother of all souped up hostel experiences, meet hordes of new best friends in paradise. Chill in the day on the shores of the beach artificial beach area, play some volley ball, enjoy a cold beer or two and hang out listening to live music in the evening.
There’s also tonnes of late night venues right on your doorstep including the notorious Woolsheds, only a stone throw away, where you can dance on tables to your hearts content and then stumble home in just a few minutes.
There’s a lot of love from our Travel Experts for Gilligan’s too:
Will Chapman, STA Travel Cambridge – So it’s your first night in Cairns and your about to start your epic trip down the East Coast, you’re sunbathing on a sandy beach with palms overhead and a zip line that crosses the water with a bar 10 metres away…..where are you? Oh yeah the centre of Cairns in Gilligan’s Backpackers!
Caroline Hoyle, STA Travel Manchester Deansgate – Gilligan’s has a great atmosphere and for anyone travelling on their own it’s a great place to meet other backpackers as it’s very social.
Cristin Craig, STA Travel Glasgow Byres Road – Gilligan’s hostel is basically where it is happening in Cairns. It is a great size and perfect way to meet people and socialise.
Fiona Pollock, STA Travel Victoria – Gilligan’s is definitely more than your standard hostel. It very much has a resort feel with the pool for relaxing at during the day, on sight bar and balconies from the rooms and dorms. Also, it’s in the perfect location right in the heart of Cairns, the lagoon, shops, restaurants and bars are all within very close walking distance.
USA Hostels – Los Angeles
Just 2 minutes walk from the glitz, glamour and let’s face it, craziness of Hollywood Boulevard, USA Hostels has a huge, communal lounge area to chill out and meet other travellers. Every day the hostel hosts a new activity, whether it be a walking tour of LA or late night bar crawl and, get this, free pancakes for breakfast every morning! That beats the usual toast and margarine combo that’s for sure.
Great for: Bring in the centre of the action! USA Hostels is just 2 mins from Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards you’ll have the very best of LA right on your doorstep.
Wake Up – Sydney
Wake Up is a bit of a legendary stop on the Aussie backpackers circuit. The hostel has positioned itself, not just as a place to stay, but as an all encompassing ‘travel experience’ and you know what? They definitely deliver.
For years, excitable young people start their Australian travel adventure at Wake Up as a way to meet fellow backpackers and use it as a central base to get out and explore Sydney.
Great for: Late night fun! No, not that kind, well, maybe that kind if you’re lucky, but I was thinking specifically about Side Bar – Wake Up’s notorious hostel bar dedicated to great tunes and cheep beer! If you book through STA Travel you get loads of vouchers for savings in the city as well as a free drink in Side Bar too.