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Tina
Los Angeles

Tina from Los Angeles asked

Are hostels safe in Europe ? What are they like?

When in Rome...and all over Europe, my friends and I are looking for ways to save money on room and board. We're all recent college graduates who have never been to Europe and are thinking about staying in hostels. We are traveling to different cities -- Rome, Ibiza, Prague, and Barcelona -- for about 3 nights at a time. 

Are hostels safe? Are there better alternatives?

Also, any food/beach/activity suggestions for Rome, Ibiza, Prague, and Barcelona would be appreciated!

Thank you! :)  

Europe   Prague   Barcelona   Rome   Ibiza

8 Answers
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answered first by
Isabele from Ibiza

Hi Tina, when I travel, so many times I stayed in hostel and I have no problem. In Rome, Barcelona and Ibiza, when I go with my friends, usually we rent an apartment because it's cheaper than a hostel, you can find apartments to rent in Airbnb or Homelidays and it's safe.

In Ibiza one of the most know beach is Playa De Las Salinas, it' a beautiful beach, but the most beautiful are the "calas" for me Aguas Blancas, in the North of the Island, it's magical, also Cala Comte and Cala Salada...in 1 day you can visit 2 differents calas there. To go out at night, the Puerto De Ibiza is so funny to drink something with your friends and meet people, and also the many boites there like Pacha Group and Ushuaia parties. In Barcelona you can visit Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Camp Nou (Barcelona Stadium), La Rambla and Gothic Quarter (these are an area to visit), Museu Picasso and La Pedrera (a Gaudí built). In Rome the Trastevere zone is so amazing to visit, don't eat in the touristic places because it's expensive and not good (I really it so bad in this city). Prague I've never been there.


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Tina
Isabele, thank you so so much! Your answers are so incredibly helpful! I'm adding all of these new places to my itinerary now and am looking into Airbnb! You're right, it's much more affordable to rent an apartment for all of us! Thank you so much for your help! And we'll be sure to avoid those touristy restaurants :)
 
 
 

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  1. Rome (city)
  2. Barcelona (city)
  3. Ibiza (attraction)
  4. Playa De Las Salinas (attraction)
  5. Aguas Blancas (restaurant)
  6. Cala Comte (attraction)
  7. Cala Salada (attraction)
  8. Puerto De Ibiza (attraction)
  9. Pacha Group (hotel)
  10. Ushuaia (attraction)
  11. Basílica de la Sagrada Família (attraction)
  12. Camp Nou (attraction)
  13. La Rambla (attraction)
  14. Gothic Quarter (attraction)
  15. Museu Picasso (attraction)
  16. La Pedrera (attraction)
  17. Trastevere (neighborhood)
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answered by
Gordon from Ojai

It has been quite a while since I stayed in hostels in Europe, but my experience throughout was usually pretty good.  Another option is Couch Surfing. People often forget about it as a resource, but I have met people that traveled for months without ever having to pay for a room.

In Barcelona there are two spots that I would recommend as musts. The first is Casa Batlló this place is just really fun to walk through, the color and forms are just great.And the second is La Rambla, which is an outdoor marketplace, which has a ton of great food.

In Rome I really liked walking through Villa Borghese Gardens. It was surprisingly quite for being in the middle of the city and a nice break from everything.


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Tina
Gordon, thank you so much! You just opened my eyes to the world of Couch Surfing! And I will definitely be adding your suggestions to my itinerary - these photos are beautiful and hard to pass up! Thank you again!
 
 
 

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  1. Barcelona (city)
  2. Casa Batlló (attraction)
  3. La Rambla (attraction)
  4. Rome (city)
  5. Villa Borghese Gardens (city)
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answered by
Jahn from Barcelona

Hi Tina!

First of all it is a great thing you travel to the old continent! A lot of adventures waiting for you. 

If you traveling on a shoestring it is always an option to book hostels. I personally prefer Airbnb, as you stay with locals that directly share tips for the city with you. You will always know about the hosts, because there is reviews of fellow travelers that stayed at these locations. If the place has no reviews, hands off!

If you want to go for a hostel in Barcelona... I suggest Casa Gracia (GGL maps Link). It is central, clean and has an amazing staff...

Food at Barcelona: Check out La Bodegueta (GGL maps Link) for some classic Barcelona Tapa experience.

Beach: If you want to go SUP at the beach, check out Marc's page: SUP Barcelona - sorry it is in Spanish, but you may use google translate.

If you need a free tapa guide, you can download that on my page: #BCN - by locals

If you like the freebie, consider buying the eBook, many activities and all the classics are in there... 

I am closing with a Park de la Ciutadella picture. You need to chill out in that inner city green are at least once.

Have fun everywhere! Jahn from Barcelona

Parc de la Ciutadella


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answered by
Francisco from Philadelphia

I've been to all those cities that you have mentioned and stayed at hostels in all of them.

EVERY hostel we've been or heard of is really safe. The issue is mainly about confort, and not leaving your things out for the opportunist.

But if safety is your worry, I would say that in general there is no problem.

Hostels tend to be more pricy in the center areas of the city, but while I would not recommend paying for the most expensive one, I would really recommend you to spend a couple extra bucks for great location.

It comes in very handy to be able to return to the hostel for a quick shower because you were invited to a party or whatever the reason.

Great resource for travelers if you have not experimented with it yet is wikitravel. Tons of useful tips and resources.


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Tina
Thank you so much, Francisco! You know, I hadn't even thought about my belongings and leaving them there. That's definitely something to take into consideration. I just stopped by wikitravel and it's amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.
 
 
 
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answered by
Joshua

Just like you can't say "all motels in the US are equal," you can't say all hostels in Europe are equal. With this said, I'd suggest checking out HostelWorld.com. Or, you can look around for hostels online, and call them up yourself. You an sometimes save money this way.

Last year, I did my own trip through Europe. Instead of going with hostels, I used Airbnb.com. That place is amazing. Basically, people put their spare bedrooms, full apartments, or even full homes on there for rent. Sometimes, you find hostels or bed and breakfasts on there, too. Personally, I loved using Airbnb because I made some good friends and felt more secure. The prices are even comparable to hostel prices--if not a bit less sometimes. It all depends on where you want to stay in each city.

A few tips for both hostels and Airbnb: (1) Always check lots of reviews. (2) Don't simply go with a place because it looks like. (3) Always contact them before making a reservation. (4) with Airbnb, you can have friends write references for you. Since a lot of Airbnb is based on trust, getting a few of those will be important. Then, after each stay, leave a review for the host and they'll leave a review for you. It'll help you both with hosting or staying in the future.

The only city on your list I've been to is Rome. I got my own tiny apartment for $33 a night! The place is about 20min from the vatican and 45min from downtown (where many of the ruins are). This is a link to the place, and no I'm not getting any commission or affiliate fee for giving you this: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/332687

H
appy travels! Stay safe! Have a fantastic time!


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Tina
Joshua, thank you so so much for all of your advice! You're absolutely right about checking the reviews and making all calls/emails before hand. AirBnB seems like a better option for me and my friends since we will be traveling with laptops and cameras. And thank you so much for going out of your way to link me to the apartment in Rome. I'll definitely be booking that! :) Take care! Cheers!
 
 
 
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top answer by
Megan from Los Angeles

Hostels are definitely the way to go when you want to stay cheap in Europe. I stayed in hostels in Prague, Paris, Berlin and London and I never had a single problem. Hostels are a great place to meet fellow young travels and make friends from all over the world. The first night may be a little intimidating but after that you will be fine. You will probably even wonder what you were so worried about.

I cannot speak for the other 3 cities you are going to but, definitely check out Hostel Prague Tyn This was the best out of the hostels I stayed at in Prague. They had free breakfast, sandwiches and wifi. The rooms and bathrooms are modern and clean. It also has a very central location. When I stayed there in November it was 8 Euro a night. It will probably be more when staying in the summer. The receptionist was super kind and was from America so English speaking wasn't a problem. She also gave us tons of suggestions for things to do or places to eat. 

Also the A&O City Holesovice Hostel Prague was nice. It was cheaper at 6 Euro a night but definitely on the outskirts of the city. It is worth a few euro more a night to stay close to the center of the city. Prague is a beautiful city I hope you enjoy your time there and the rest of Europe. 


http://www.hostelpraguetyn.com/

http://www.aohostels.com/en/prague/


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Tina
Hi Megan! Thank you so much for your help! I just checked out those two websites and the hostels both look so clean and the location is amazing! I'm so relieved that you have no complaints about the hostels, my girls and I are getting more excited every time we hear that people enjoyed their stay in a hostel! Thank you again for your response! Take care! :)
 
 
 

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answered by
Mario from Rome

Yes! Of course maybe it could not be a great idea to stay in a very cheap hostel near the central station (for example), but these advises are valid anywhere...
don't worry and enjoy your trip


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answered by
America

Ibiza and Barcelona are definitely happening places; big parties, beautiful beaches and old architecture, but if you are going to come to Spain and want the best of both worlds, you got to come to Majorca

 The infrastructure is very modern, and the city is beautiful and very easy to travel. In the summer, you can go to Magaluf, which is the British side of town, and party with the 20,000 Brits that blasts the beach clubs ‘n night clubs every day, or go to El Arenal, same thing except all German.

Yes, got to watch out for tourist prices. So if you want to visit the best Hostels and restaurants you stick to the Spanish side of town as your base, Palma de Mallorca. Old architecture, tourism from all over, unique stores and superb food ‘n wine in outdoor cafes.

My advice; to avoid tourist prices on stores and restaurants, get off the main roads and into the old passageways of Palma. You’re in for something good.

Mallorca currently ranks as #1 tourist destination from Germany and the UK.


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  1. Majorca (island)
  2. Magaluf (attraction)
  3. El Arenal (attraction)
  4. Palma de Mallorca (attraction)


   
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