If you’re researching how to do an upcoming trip on a budget, you’ve likely come across the phase party hostel during your research. So, what, exactly, is a party hostel, and how can you stay in one?
A party hostel is like any other hostel, in that it has dorm rooms, it’s cheap, and it attracts a younger crowd of travellers, Party hostels, however, are aimed at backpackers who want to experience the nightlife in a place, as well as the cultural and historical sites.
Party hostels cater to this by offering all kinds of fun experiences for their guests. You’ll often find a bar or a pub built into a party hostel, the hostel activities will generally revolve around pub-crawls or nightlife-based excursions, and they’re also fantastic for meeting friends.
They’re not so great if you’re looking for a peaceful night’s sleep.
How Can You Tell if Somewhere is a Party Hostel?
The easiest way to find out is to take a look at the reviews on sites like HostelBookers or HostelWorld. By looking at what previous guests have written about the hostel, you’ll gain a good idea into the type of crowd it attracts. Even if nobody explicitly calls it a party hostel, if you see frequent complaints about noisy guests staying up all night, or many mentions about party-based excursions, this will usually give you a heads up that it’s a party hostel.
How Can I Find a Party Hostel to Book?
Sadly, the major hostel booking websites don’t allow you to categorize your searches by type of hostel, so you won’t have much luck there.
Instead, I recommend heading to Google and searching for the top party hostels in the city you’re going to. Once you’ve found one that sounds good, check out the reviews on HostelBookers to check it’s not a dump, and then you’re good to go!
Alternatively, you can simply browse the listings of hostels to see if any of the hostels mention things like having a bar, running pub crawls, or encouraging wild nights among their guests.
What are the advantages of staying in a party hostel?
There are many!
Party hostels are great for solo travelers, as you don’t have to work as hard to make friends. Everyone’s there to have a good time and are much more open to spontaneous friendships. If you’re feeling lonely on your travels, party hostels are a fantastic way to meet people. Most party hostels will have a bar on site, so often all you need to do to make friends is turn up, grab a drink, and smile at a stranger. It really is that simple.
Party hostels are also great for showing you a side of a place that you often won’t read about in the guidebooks. If a party hostel doesn't have a bar on-site, they'll likely be running pub/bar crawls around the city that'll give you an insight into the local nightlight scene. You’ll be able to see how the locals live by heading to the same clubs and bars as they do. This will give you a more authentic insight into what life is like in the city in a way that you wouldn’t otherwise gain from hanging out with tourists around the tourist sites.
And, of course, if you like to party when you travel, this is an excellent option for you. Making the decision to stay in one could be that simply -- want to let loose and enjoy your time in a new city?
Stay in the most fun hostel in town!
And the disadvantages?
There are also many disadvantages!
If you’re not a huge partier, you’re probably not going to be a fan of party hostels. I’ve stayed at party hostels when all I’ve wanted to do is sleep and ended up miserable. Nobody likes to be that person sat on a dorm bed on their laptop in silence while everyone else gets ready for a fun night out, and travelers staying in party hostels aren't going to be silent if they think you're being boring.
If you don’t drink, you might struggle to be around so many intoxicated travellers at once. Let’s face it: if you’re sober, drunken people can be really annoying, and in party hostels, almost everyone is going to be drinking. Some sober travelers are fine with this, while some are exasperated by it -- you'll know what kind of traveler you are, so keep this in mind when you're considering staying at a party hostel.
If you’re feeling burnt out and tired, you’ll struggle to sleep at night from the noise, so it’s best to steer clear of the hostel. This is especially true if there’s a bar the hostel, as you’re likely to have to put up with loud music throughout the night. As always, check the reviews to see if any travelers comment on the quality of sleep they received -- if anyone talks about loud noises, it's best to steer clear.
Whether you’re a big partier at home or on the road, try out a party hostel on your travels. You’ll either think it’s the most fun you’ve ever had, or say never again! Either way, it’s a fun new experience to have while you’re travelling the world, which is what the aim of your travels should be.