Travel

12 Incredible Hostels Every Traveler Should Visit In A Lifetime

These places are destinations all on their own.
01/17/2017 12:48pm ET

You travel on a budget, but you’ve abandoned grimy, noisy hostels for the cheapest of Airbnb stays. Or maybe you’ve always assumed hostels are dark, sad places packed with sweaty backpackers, and skip them altogether.

You shouldn’t.

From tree houses to former universities to veritable nightclubs, hostels come in all sorts of vibes and venues. Great ones will enhance your travel experience in addition to saving you money. And though guests tend to be on the youthful side, most hostels will allow you to stay at any age.

Here are 12 truly cool hostels for your must-stay list (prices rounded):

1
Book and Bed (Kyoto, Japan)
Book and Bed Kyoto
You'll bunk in a bookcase at this cozy hangout in bustling Kyoto. Choose from one of 5,000 titles and get your read on in a cozy nook or the larger lobby. The hostel has a another location in Tokyo, too.
2
The B.I.G. (Cape Town, South Africa)
Hostelworld
. A pool, steam room, barbecue and garden are just the beginning for this cozy gem, where rooms come tricked out with paper lanterns and sunny balconies. The residential neighborhood location still puts you in striking distance of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
3
Kadir's Tree House (Olympos, Turkey)
Head to this tree house colony on Turkey's forested southern coast for boat trips, canoe expeditions and deep-water rock climbing in the clear blue water. You can stay in a bungalow instead of a tree house, but don't miss out on the property's three bars and Pizza House, open till 4 a.m. nightly.
4
Alfama Patio (Lisbon, Portugal)
Hostelworld
A rooftop terrace is the centerpiece of this hangout that feels "like coming home to a family," according to a Hostelworld regular. Relax in a hammock, savor an in-house barbecue, or join a group tour of local street art.
5
MET A Space Pod (Singapore)
Get a taste of the capsule hotel trend in these futuristic sleeping pods, which come with built-in charging stations, TVs and safes. Should you need to escape your tight quarters, the "space-themed boutique hostel" has a gaming station and 24-hour snack bar, and it's right on the river.
6
Lavender Circus (Budapest, Hungary)
This vintage hangout's impeccably outfitted kitchen looks like something out of a dream: Join in frequent Hungarian cooking parties, then retreat to your room to find hand-drawn doodles instead of wallpaper. Unlimited tea and coffee? Yes please!
7
Circus Hostel (Berlin, Germany)
Hostelworld
Only in Germany would your hostel have its own microbrewery in the basement. Indulge in a pint or try the breakfast buffet before heading out on a free walking tour of Germany's most hipster city.
8
Soul Kitchen (St. Petersburg, Russia)
This Pinterest-worthy spot is nestled in an elegant Neo-Baroque apartment building from the 19th century. You walk mere feet beyond the front door to St. Isaac's Cathedral, but with common rooms this charming, you won't want to leave.
9
Generator Amsterdam (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
This former university building employs an old lecture hall as its common area and a boiler room as its secret after-hours bar. There are bikes to rent for canal rides and rooms with calming views of nearby Oosterpark.
10
Miami Beach International Hostel (Miami Beach, Florida)
Hostelworld
If this place looks like a nightclub, that's because it basically is: Dance parties, DJs and concerts cause the line to stretch down the block at night. Head to thebeach a couple blocks away or up to your well-appointed room for a break from the South Beach action.
11
Railway Square YHA (Sydney, Australia)
Hostelworld
Situated right next to Central Station, Railway Square YHA offers rooms in train sleeper cars. The hostel is just a 15-minute walk from Darling Harbour and a 10-minute drive from Sydney Harbour Bridge.
12
Jumbo Stay (Stockholm, Sweden)
Hostelworld
Guests at Jumbo Stay spend the night inside a converted Boeing 747-200. The hostel boasts 33 rooms with 76 beds total, as well as a cafe. Jumbo Stay is about 40 minutes away from top sights like the Vasa Museum, Djurgården and the open-air Skansen Museum.