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What is a Hostel?

Hostel Definition by hostels and Travellers

There is a big difference between Hostels and Hotels. It’s not just this small “s” which confuses people from time to time. But what exactly is the difference between these two types of accommodation? Is it just the well-known and common reason of “price difference”, or the dormitories sharing the sleeping room with other people from around the world?

To find a well-fitting and universally valid Hostel definition can be very complicated. Simply because the fact every hostel is a unique creation by its own. It is different in their ambient, in their facilities, and in their style and design. Last but not least every hostels is a one-of-a-kind as they are most of the time a creation of experienced backpackers and travelers. Those hostelowners developed over the time theirphilosophy of the perfect accommodation for travelers and backpackers. asked for you Hostel owners and managers from all over the world “What’s a hostel?”. And here is what they say!


Germany: Backpacker Penthouse Osnabrück

“A Hostel is not any random accommodation, it’s a attitude towards life. You can equate a Hostel with the meeting and communication with several different people. No matter the age, the gender, the ideology, or the skin color – in a hostel its the openness, and curiosity that counts. In a Nutshell: Hostels are cool!”

Cathrin Eszbach – Backpacker Penthouse Osnabrück

Italy: M&J Hostel Rome

“A Hostel is a Hotel with a “S”. Not just a place to sleep. S is for share a room, the bath, ideas, food, drinks, travel tips, experience, bed etc. The “S” stands for social, meet people for all over the world and socialize in a nice comfortable ambiance with a nice atmosphere.”

Mario Gallo – M&J Place Hostel Rome

USA: 40 Berkeley Boston

“Some may think of a hostel as just an affordable place to sleep at night so you can spend your time and money enjoying your surroundings. In my opinion, a hostel is so much more than just a bed. It’s a home away from home where culture-conscious travelers can meet other like-minded explorers, make new connections, and have access to a porthole into the local culture & community they’re visiting.”

Bria Schecker – 40Berkeley Boston

Rwanda: Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel

“Hostels are the ideal place to start exploring any city or country from. Hostel guests benefit from affordable rates, a wealth of information about what to see and do, interesting people to hang out with from all over the world and a unique and diverse atmosphere. Hostels put the fun and buzz back into traveling without emptying your pocket.”

Sam Boarer – Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel

 Spain: Room007 Ventura

A Hostel is a place to live experiences, to meet people from other countries, a meeting point for national and international travelers, a place with a unique environment and atmosphere ”

Room007 Ventura

USA: Hostelling International New York City

“A hostel is the most intimate way to travel. By sharing your most personal space with total strangers – where you sleep, where you eat, and where you relax. You open yourself to creating lasting relationships with new-found friends. Hostels come in all shapes and sizes, from 672 beds in New York City to 15 beds on the California coast, so get out there and start exploring!”

George Finn – Hostelling International New York City

Basically you can say without a doubt: Hostels are social! Traveling from city to city, country to country the experience is getting more and more in visiting sights, speaking to other people from different areas of the world maybe even in several languages.

Last but not last this type of accommodation is interesting especially for Solo Travelers. Hosteling is the perfect choice to get in contact with other travelers. No surprise the Solo Travel Blogger “Girl about the Globe” loves staying at Hostels.

“A hostel is a place of comfort, an oasis of friendliest within the unknown. It’s a place to meet, a place to be guided and a place to make bonds that will last a lifetime.”

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