As I walked into the Generator Hostel in Copenhagen, I looked around at all the people in the common area. There I could see singles, friends, couples and families. A thought ran instantly through my mind. How many families have never considered staying at a hostel because of pre-conceived notions that hostels are all about parties and singles?
How many families have travelled less because they have to pay more for hotels? How many opportunities to connect with other travellers have been lost? The chance to share experiences, chat about tips and meet others
In this article, you will find some great hostels for families in Europe. These family-friendly hostels have been tested and stayed at by the travellers below. You will find recommendations for family hostels in Germany, England, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Orkney Islands and Portugal. These kid-friendly hostels will help put your mind at ease about this type of accommodation and save you some money on your holiday!
Basecamp Hostel, Bonn, Germany
Basecamp Hostel is located inside a huge warehouse in Bonn and is the coolest place to stay with kids that we have ever found. So cool, we diverted a few hundred kilometres from our route in order to stay there, towing our own little caravan.
Inside the building, as well as outside, are a choice of thirteen vintage caravans, four Airstream Trailers, two sleeper carriages from old trains and a number of other funky sleeping quarters. Each one themed differently and a great laugh. Even the dining area and the facilities are themed. The whole building is heated and when we stayed mid-winter, it was very
My first choice on entering was ‘Drag Queen’ but it was already booked (admittedly, it only slept two but the three of us were more than happy to squeeze in if we could have). I sent the girls off to choose their favourite, they returned eventually to announce they wanted to stay in the gorgeous old flower power, Kombi Van. It sleeps three, so that’s where we slept for the night.
Find things to do in Bonn with Get Your Guide
Families can stay together in the Basecamp ‘Tour Bus’ which has eight beds, an Airstream Trailer that sleeps up to four or a variety of other options including a pop-up camper trailer, complete with toys for the little kids.
Contributed by Jane at Wicked Walkabouts
The Generator Copenhagen Denmark
The Generator Copenhagen will forever change the way you look at a hostel. Yes, to be honest, our room was small with a private bathroom. We had 2 sets of bunks and 4 suitcases spread out over
The blankets were warm enough to keep the Danish winter cold weather at bay. The shower had good heat and excellent water pressure, with room to get changed. Our towels were clean, big and fluffy, which our girls were very impressed about.
We were impressed with the sign on the door that stated that making noise in the hallways at The Generator Copenhagen would not be tolerated so please use the communal area that is staffed 24 hours a day. Staying in hostels with kids could work and did work for us. The communal area was amazing with meals, drinks, games, big screen tv’s and much more to keep you entertained and engaged with other guests. For
Contributed By Rebecca Wyld at Wyld Family Travel
Stayokay Family Hostel – Dordrecht Netherlands
On our recent family visit to The Netherlands, we planned a great family weekend in de Biesbosch, an inland delta and nature reserve near the city of Dordrecht. We were 5 adults and 3 children aged between 6 and 17 years. We stayed in a Stayokay Family Hostel and were very pleasantly surprised by the rooms, the service level. The location was absolutely fantastic because it was inside the National Park. The rooms all had 1 double bed and a bunk bed so each room could sleep 4 people. Our rooms had private bathrooms, a toilet and we choose to have all linen provided. We just brought our own towels. Wifi is available throughout the premises on a complimentary basis. Breakfast and dinner are served buffet style but there’s also a small A la Carte Menu which we preferred.
We enjoyed the spacious terrace from where we looked onto the water. The hostel has bicycles for rent including small bikes for kids which was great The National Park’s activity centre is in walking distance. We booked a canoe trip and a ‘fluisterboot’ trip to enjoy this great Dutch National Park. Stayokay is a chain of great hostels all around The Netherlands
You can find them in very special and iconic buildings like the Cube Homes in Rotterdam. In Amsterdam, there are 3 Stayokay Hostels that are all beautifully located, one even near the Vondelpark which is the most famous park in The Netherlands.
Contributed by Jessy Lipperts from Planet Pilgrims
Camping 3 Estrellas – Barcelona Spain
Camping3 Estrellas is a campsite with dorm rooms near Barcelona airport. Though technically classed as part of Barcelona city, it lies on a sleepy beach called Gava. It is a beautiful long beach, with lovely sand and calm waves making it perfect for family travellers.
Camping3 Estrellas has its own access to a private part of the beach, making it much safer than those open to everyone. The campsite and hostel both have access to a private swimming pool and restaurant facilities. Our small dorm room had two bunk beds, so could sleep four people for around £5pp per night.
The dorms share a bathroom with other dorm rooms, but you usually book out a whole room when you pay so your family has a safe area to sleep at night. Each room can be locked, but they also have lockers for you to safely store your belongings. outside of the dorm
There is a children’s hospital nearby, which we had to find out when Travis got really sick and was taken in an ambulance. It is easy to get a local bus from the city and it is easy to get a taxi to the airport too.
Contributed by Natasha Meldrum at Meldrums on the Move
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Chalmersquoy Hostel – Orkney Islands
Westray is one of the Orkney Islands and accommodation is expensive, especially when travelling with kids. We decided to stay at Chalmersquoy an independent hostel on the island of Westray as it gave us a bed and
Booking a family room we had everything we needed. Ensuite shower room and a fully equipped kitchen for breakfast and evening meals without the fuss of a B&B.
It was exceptionally clean and the owners made you feel welcome from the moment you arrived. They had plenty of maps and ideas for adventures and given t
My boys were made to feel welcome and given the small size of the hostel, there weren’t any big noisy groups. This made it the perfect hostel to stay in especially given the beachfront location with seals and sand on the doorstep.
Contributed by Suzanne Easton
The 5 Reasons Hotel and Hostel in Nuremberg, Germany
The past August, me, my husband, my 16-year-old daughter plus her good friend (also 16) went on an epic family road trip that touched six countries. We stayed in an apartment, a pod hotel, several regular hotels, and a hostel.
I think the hostel may have been my favourite place to stay out of all of those.
The 5 Reasons Hotel and Hostel in Nuremberg, Germany was just perfect for us. We reserved a reasonably priced family room on Booking.com. It had a private bathroom, small kitchen area, and four single beds arranged in a large open room. We had a great view over the ancient city walls and with windows on either side we were able to get a cross-breeze during the recent European heatwave.
The place was clean and tidy and the beds were comfy. There were cupboards between each pair of beds (there were two beds on each side of the room) and more than enough outlets. This is especially good when you are travelling with teens.
Out the back there was a nice terrace which we took advantage of to play cards. Of course, this is where the smokers hang out, but there was always a breeze. The bar served alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, so everyone was happy.
I would happily stay there again.
Contributed by Theresa Ladner from Adventures in middle aged travel
Find things to do in Nuremberg with Get Your Guide
The Dragon – Krakow Poland
The Dragon was the first hostel we ever stayed in. Our friends booked the accommodation so we were a little weary about staying in a hostel with kids. The Dragon is a little different to some setups you will find, The Dragon is located across multiple floors in an apartment building.
You will find 2 rooms on every floor with a shared kitchen and bathroom. You enter through a locked door into the kitchen area then your bedroom is accessed off this area. Your room is also lockable.
You will find the office and breakfast area located on the ground floor. The office has tourist information and can organise all types of activities for you. We stayed in a decent size room with a queen size bed and a set of bunks that were comfortable. Located close to the middle of the city and all transport options.
Find things to do in Krakow with Get Your Guide
Contributed by Mark Wyld from Dad Life Travel
Loulé Coreto Hostel – The Algrave Portugal
If you are looking for somewhere to stay to enjoy the many attractions of the Algarve without the resort prices, the Loulé Coreto Hostel is a great choice. Just 30 mins drive from both Albufeira and Faro this hostel is well located for popular resorts and beaches on the Algarve.
There are a variety of private rooms and dorms. We stayed in the quadruple room, perfect for a family of four with twin beds and a bunk bed. The rooms are light and brightly coloured with lots of opening windows, wooden floors and high ceilings.
Shared bathrooms have a shower, toilet and sink in one room. There were three, one each for male and female and one shared with a bath which was handy for smaller children. Everything was spotlessly clean during our stay. The hostel feels very secure and was quite peaceful when we stayed.
Communal areas included a small reading room, well equipped kitchen, lots of dining space and a larger living area with TV. There is also a roof terrace. Free Wifi was included and worked well. Parking is on the street but not difficult to find.
Within a block of the hostel we found a delightful patisserie for breakfast. Supermarkets, restaurants and bars aren’t far away.
Contributed by Kim Black from Backpacks and Sun Hats
Looking for family activities on the Algarve? check Get Your Guide
Albergue Juvenil Bustiello – Oviedo Spain
When summer arrives, one of our favorite places to explore is Northern Spain. The Asturias Region has been a family favorite for several years now, due in part to our experience at Albergue Juvenil Bustiello near the city of Oviedo. Built into an old schoolhouse, Albergue Juvenil Bustiello has unique private rooms and a great breakfast.
For example, our room had five beds (2 bunk beds and one single) on two floors, with stairs to connect. The cafeteria where breakfast is served has plenty of kids seating. The true reason to visit this hostel, however, is the couple that runs it.
Dulce and Pruden were warm and considerate hosts, who love to share their knowledge of the area. Dulce makes many of the breakfast items herself, such as cakes, a Spanish-style tomato spread and a delicious apple jam. She often makes balloon animals for the younger kids, and when she noticed my daughter’s love of the local gooseberries, she began to add more to her plate. Her and Pruden’s recommendations in the area became some of our fondest memories in Spain: from hiking trails to cider-soaked meals in Oviedo. My only regret is that we can’t go back sooner!
Contributed by Jason Jenkins from An Epic Education
The Barn Hostel – Vik, Iceland
Last winter we spent exploring Iceland with kids. While being there for two months, we tried different accommodations. Starting from renting a house finishing on hotels and hostels. And one of our favourite places was Hostel, The Barn. The Barn is located in the south of Iceland just off the ring road 4 km away from the famous Reynisfjara black beach. It’s a perfect place to plan stop during a road trip around Iceland. Our four stayed in a family room, which compromised of four double bank beds.
The beds were so big that an easily eight-person family could stay in such a place. Our girls loved the beds, as they had plenty of space for them to play. I did as well as they were very comfy and we had good rest after the long hike to Sólheimasandur Plane Wreck. The entire hostel even called the Barn and look very simple from outside inside is design in a modern way with a great fully equipped kitchen (supermarket is 7 km away in Vik) and dining area. Downstairs had a cool bar and comfy lobby area.
Ania from The Travelling Twins
The Y in Basel Switzerland
We’re new to hostelling with kids, but it turned out to be a great way to save money during our family gap year. We had an
We were only staying in town for one night so we just needed a simple, affordable place to stay – which can be tough to come by in pricey Switzerland!
We loved everything about our stay at the Y. While the main building has traditional dorm-style rooms, the adjacent building (listed as STAY@) offers suites that are perfect for families.
Ours had two bedrooms (parent room with a big bed and the
When school was done, we had full access to the Y’s spacious and lively common area – and we took full advantage! The kids played pool while us grown ups enjoyed a beer and watched World Cup soccer – it doesn’t get more European than that. There’s even a fantastic playground just one block away.
In the morning the common area was transformed with an extensive cold breakfast that included fruit, grains, meats and cheeses. We didn’t use it, but there’s a large commercial kitchen with plenty of space for everyone to prepare their meals. We only had a brief stay in Basel, but we would definitely return to the YMCA!
Looking for things to do in Basel, check out Get Your Guide
Contributed by The Family Voyage
Brighton YHA England
Brighton YHA could not be in a better location. Situated a stone’s throw from the seafront and a short walk from Brighton’s shops, bars and restaurants Brighton YHA is the perfect base for families to explore the city without little legs having to walk too far! The bedrooms are bright, light and spacious with bunk beds each made up with the YHA bright green linen. Family rooms come with en-suite bathrooms which feel more like hotel suites than a hostel.
Communal facilities include cafe area and bright, airy lounge space…the kids loved the table football and were welcomed by other guests. The facilities and rooms exceeded our expectations and the location could not have been more central. I would highly recommend using Brighton YHA as a family base for exploring the city… if you book out of season you can find a family room for 4 for as little as £45 / night!
Looking for fun in Brighton, see what Get Your Guide has to offer
Contributed by Zoe Holland from Juggling on Roller skates
Meininger Berlin Central Station
The Meininger Berlin Central is ideally located for visiting the central sights of Berlin. It is a short walk to the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate and to venture further afield, bus tours start from right outside the hotel. It is adjacent to the river, a lovely spot for evening walks or a beer at a riverside bar.
It is a perfect choice for train travellers as it is just metres away from Central Station (which is also a handy resource for bakeries, groceries and bars). The location is quiet and there is little traffic or noise at night from outside.
The hotel has a friendly reception, a popular bar and a small, well-stocked kitchen for self-catering or you can choose to eat at their in house restaurant. WiFi is strong, and free, throughout. The hotel is popular with youth groups but attracts all ages due to its fantastic location and low prices.
As a family of five, we had to have two rooms but the hotel was accommodating in placing us near to each other. The rooms were small but clean and a private bathroom was a surprise for the budget price we paid.
Contributed by Sinead Camplin at Map Made Memories
Another great YHA England and Wales location. Bath is in a great location for exploring the city, particularly when you are using public transport. It brings you within a mile of the major attractions, like the Roman Baths, Royal Crescent and the famous Sally Lunns bakery.
A short bus ride in the other direction, and right next door to the University of Bath where some of the UK’s Olympians train, there’s the American Museum, which is another fascinating place to visit.
The hostel itself is Bath through and through. It’s a former mansion made in Bath stone with original mouldings depicting Roman characters inside.
YHA Bath was refurbished in 2018 and the communal spaces feel modern and light with wall art inspired by the cityscape.
Even before we set foot through the door, it had a family feel. Throughout our stay, we saw other families in the dining room and bar, and the only noise from the hall and other rooms was of kids chattering.
The four people, private room in which we have stayed would have cost just £79 a night – bargain!
Contributed by Claire at Tin Box Traveller
About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband, traveler, and chief destination marketing manager at Wyld Family Travel. Having been to over 35 countries worldwide he knows a thing or 2 about traveling with kids and now traveling with teenagers. He has been writing first-hand, expert travel guides on this website for over 6 years and has featured on numerous other popular well-known websites. When he is not talking, dreaming, or planning travel he can be found working in disability support.