Many travelers and visitors opt to stay in hostels in Italy instead of hotels or renting a property. Staying in a hostel is very different to other types of accommodation and although you shouldn’t expect to enjoy the same standards as a hotel, the prices are significantly lower and the atmosphere is friendly and fun.
Generally, most guests in hostels are young backpackers and seasoned world travelers. However, in recent years, digital nomads and other remote workers have made the hostel a mainstay of their lifestyle.
Of course, hostels are also useful if you’ve moved to Italy as an Expat and are still in the process of arranging a permanent address. Staying in a hostel will save you money while you search for an apartment and give you plenty of opportunities to meet new friends.
The Cost Of Staying In A Hostel In Italy.
One of the main advantages of staying in a hostel is the cheap price of a bed. The cheapest hostels in Italy have prices that start from around 25-40 Euros per night. You’ll usually be sleeping in a bunk bed in a shared dorm which can have anywhere from 8 to 30 people in it.
The average price for a hostel per night is roughly 40-50 Euros per night although you should expect prices to fluctuate through the year. For instance, during the summer months and over the Christmas the prices will be a lot higher than during the winter months.
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Some hostels will include free breakfast and Wi-Fi in the price while others will charge separately for these and other facilities such as laundry. Many hostels offer discounts if you book a bed on a weekly or monthly basis.
Many hostels are not listed on the popular booking sites. So you will have to directly book through their website or by contacting them.
What Is A Hostel In Italy Like?
Most hostels have large shared dorms, some of which are sex-segregated while others are mixed. They also have private rooms available which are popular with couples.
In a hostel, you will normally have access to shared bathroom and shower rooms as well as a kitchen and laundry facilities. Many hostels also offer small rooms with bunk beds with private bathrooms. There will also be a communal room with a TV and sometimes you’ll have access to computers, games rooms, a swimming pool, a bar and other amenities on site.
There is a huge variation in the hostels in Italy and so it’s worth doing a little research before you book yourself a bed. Modern hostels are far more luxurious and much better maintained than they used to be and so in many cases they are very comparable to a mid-range hotel!
In fact, in many cases, they have far more facilities on-site and, with the exception of sharing a dorm, they can really feel like a home from home. Hostels in Italy have a great atmosphere which is laid back with hand-painted murals on the walls and retro lounges to relax in.
All modern hostels have good Wi-Fi so you can Skype home and check your emails anytime. Some hostels charge between 1-5 Euros per day to use the Wi-Fi but mostly it’s free for guests. You can also make use of lockers in the hostel to store your things and keep them safe while you’re out.
Hostels often have bars, eateries and a shop on site for their guests as well as communal areas where you can meet other guests or put your feet up after a day of sightseeing. Hostels might put on themed nights in the bar or other communal spaces and may put on dance lessons, karaoke and host DJs to entertain their guests.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Staying In A Hostel?
There are a few disadvantages of staying in a hostel in Italy:
- Staying in a hostel is certainly fun but it’s not always a great option if you need to get an early night!
- Sharing a room with other people can sometimes make it hard to get a good night’s sleep if other guests are snoring or getting back late after a night in the local bars.
- If you want to meet a lot of local Italians and discover an authentic side to the country you might be disappointed if you’re staying in a hostel. This is because it can be quite an insular community of tourists and travelers which although nice to be involved in will get in the way of experiencing the real culture of Italy.
The Best Hostel Chains In Italy.
Over the years I have enjoyed staying in hostels all over Western Europe. In my view Europe has some of the best hostel chains in the world.
Ostello Bello is one of Italy’s best hostel chains and has hostels in Milan, Florence, Rome, Genova, Naples, Palermo and Assisi. Ostello Bello are a favorite chain among seasoned hostellers and provides a great atmosphere, a friendly bar and good overall facilities for their guests.
The hostel chain was founded in 2011 and has won several awards in the last decade. Ostello Bello’s hostel on Via Medici in Milan won the prestigious Best Italian Hostel award. Located right beside one of Milan’s main nightlife districts, the Colonne di San Lorenzo, it’s a fantastic choice for visitors to the city who want to party late into the night as well as sightsee!
In 2014 Ostello Bello Grande came 4th in the Best Large Hostel awards and was voted the 10th best hostel for solo male travelers. However, all of Ostello Bello’s hostels are top rate and provide high quality accommodation in a friendly atmosphere at very competitive prices.
With hostels in Bologna, Milan, Turin and Venice, the Combo Hostel chain is a great choice for travelers in Italy. The hostels combine good accommodation and a friendly social atmosphere at a very reasonable price.
Combo hostels are quite unique in that they not only provide a bed for the night but they also have a bar, restaurant, arts and events spaces and even their own radio station! It’s an ideal place for solo travelers who want to meet other backpackers and with regular events and exhibitions you never quite know what you’ll find when you arrive.
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The hostel chain puts a real emphasis on shared social spaces and encourages a fun atmosphere. All of the hostels in the chain are centrally located which makes it convenient for sightseeing in the city; but with so much going on in the evenings you’ll be looking forward to getting back for the night!
YellowSquare really has a remarkable story behind its founding. In 1999, a few friends decided to get an apartment and sublet the beds. The venture was such a success that they decided to establish a full-blown hostel. The rapidly growing popularity of the YellowSquare hostel meant that it was only a matter of time until they had opened hostels in Rome, Florence and Milan.
The YellowSquare hostels are famous for their parties although they are also a favorite among digital nomads and backpackers from all over the world. Each hostel has great facilities including a laundry room, a restaurant, events spaces and a number of dorms. The prices in the YellowSquare hostels are very competitive and with great city center locations it’s the perfect place to rest your head during your travels.
The Europe-wide PLUS Hostels chain is one of the top players in the industry and offers its guests an experience that is hard to match in any hotel. Their Italian hostel, located in Florence, has superb facilities including a pool, saunas, a restaurant, a bar, and even a gym! This European chain is relatively new to the Italian market but judging by its success so far you can look forward to more popping up around the country.
The chain has a good selection of private and shared rooms. You can choose to stay in a large dorm or, if you prefer, you can opt for a twin, triple or family suite. There are also female only dorms available which is often a good choice for female solo travelers.
As one of the top hostel chains, Generator is really blurring the lines between a traditional hostel and a modern boutique hotel! With hostels in central Venice and Rome, it’s a great choice for the chic traveler who loves to combine art with everyday life. The hostels have their own private bars, a cafe, luxurious lounges and chill-out areas as well as a good choice of rooms, including both private suites and shared dorms.
Generator Hostels are the perfect combination of a stylish hotel and a low cost hostel which makes them very popular with solo travelers, couples and groups of friends. The hostels also host frequent parties in the evening so it might not be the best place for families with young children!
Hostels Are Great Fun And Make Travel More Affordable.
One of the biggest drawbacks of travel is the high cost of accommodation and, especially for solo travelers, the difficulties involved in meeting new people while you’re on the road. However, hostels are the perfect solution to both of these common problems! When you stay in a hostel you’re bound to meet other travelers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere while saving money on your accommodation.
Modern hostels are very different from what they used to be. In the past, hostels often had a bad reputation but their standards have seriously improved in recent decades. In fact, in many cases, you’ll find much better facilities in the average hostel than you have in a 2 or 3 Star hotel.
Therefore, if you’ve never stayed in a hostel before it’s something you should certainly try next time you’re visiting Italy. Every hostel has its own unique atmosphere and since there’s always so many people coming and going you never know who you might meet.