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So what exactly IS a hostel?

A hostel or youth hostel is essentially a form of accommodation that offers reasonably priced, shared accommodation to travellers in either private or dormitory rooms. The majority of hostels around the world are independently owned and many of these have their own bars and restaurants.

Many hostels are located in remarkable buildings - hostels can be found in such locations as on a boat on the River Danube in Hungary, on a farm in Ireland, in a former prison in Canada or in a listed Victorian building in London

Hostelworld.com offers instant online reservations at all of these as well as thousands more throughout Europe and other continents around the world.

What to expect in a hostel?

  • Most hostels offer private rooms and dormitories. Private rooms are usually singles, twins or doubles and some properties also offer triples.

  • Dormitories vary in size from hostel to hostel, but generally range from 4-bed dorms 20-bed dorms. Most dormitories have bunk-beds though some offer a selection of bunks and regular single or double beds.

  • Most hostels offer some en-suite rooms which mean you have your own private bathroom in your room. This will generally consist of a toilet, wash-hand basin and shower. Standard or non en-suite rooms involve sharing communal shower / toilet facilities which are usually located not too far away on the same corridor.

  • Many hostels have a self-catering kitchen where you can cook your own meals and some even have their own restaurants, cafe and bars.

  • Almost all hostels offer lockers, either free of charge or for hire so that people staying in dormitories can lock up their valuables. These are either provided in the dorms or in a separate area.

  • Some hostels have curfews or lock-outs, though this is becoming less common - always check the hostel micro-site on hostelworld.com before you book.

  • Almost all hostels provide linen, though some do impose an extra hire charge - again, check the micro-sites for individual details.

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