Family-Friendly Hostels: Affordable Lodging in Europe

  • 01 of 03

    Family-Friendly Hostels Can be A Great Choice

    Villa Saint Exupery Gardens, Nice, France. Photo courtesy of
    ••• Villa Saint Exupery Gardens, Nice, France. Photo courtesy of

    Many families would love to take a trip to Europe with their kids, but fear that the trip will be astronomically expensive.

    But a wonderful thing about travel in Europe is that budget-style travel is entirely respectable. Budget lodgings come in several types, and one of the time-honored ways to find cheap sleeps is to stay at what were formerly called "youth hostels". Hostels today have grown up and while certain hostels do still cater to the youth crowd, many welcome a diverse clientele including families.

    Often, hostels are housed in buildings with history and character. For example, the Villa Saint Exupery Gardens in Nice (pictured above) is a converted monastery, located in a safe and quiet residential area. Families can book private rooms with en suite bathrooms, and the hostel offers a free baby-sitting service.

    Continue to more Good points about family-friendly hostels

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Family-Friendly Hostels: Good Points

    A&O München Hackerbrücke, Munich, Germany. Photo courtesy of
    ••• A&O München Hackerbrücke, Munich, Germany. Photo courtesy of

    In addition to the obvious benefit of low price, family-friendly hostels offer a number of nice features.

    • Character buildings: as noted and pictured on the previous page, often hostels are located in character buildings, such as former monasteries.
    • Friendly ambiance: it's expected at hostels that guests will be friendly to new acquaintances. For many fans, the conviviality is a main reason to stay in a hostel. The casual friendly atmosphere can be great for families with young kids.
    • Typically, communal breakfasts are offered, and optional dinners are offered too at some hostels. Dinners can be a nice way to socialize with other guests.
    • Kitchen conveniences: hostels typically have a shared kitchen where guests can keep milk and food items in the fridge. Hostels often have laundry facilities, too.
    • A hostel may have board games, a playground, or a kids play area inside, as shown above.

      See more advantages of staying at Family Hostels, at
    Continue to Points to keep in...MORE mind about family-friendly hostels
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Family-Friendly Hostels: Points to Keep in Mind

    Lisb’on Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo courtesy of
    ••• Lisb’on Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal. Lisb’on Hostel, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo courtesy of
    • Many hostels have "family rooms" and some of these may even have a private ensuite bathroom. However, more often, families should expect to find dorm-style bunk beds. Also, pricing will be by the bed, and not by the room (which is typical in general of European hotels, unless you are staying at an American-style hotel that has pricing by the room.)
    • Don't be afraid of the idea of shared bathrooms. The bathrooms will very likely be spotless, and you can check recent visitor comments online to be reassured that the place you're considering meets your standards about cleanliness.
    • Check to make sure that bed linens are supplied. (In the old days at hostels, this was not assured.)
    • Hostels typically have locations that can be easily reached by travelers.