While hostels have historically had a reputation as dirty, undesirable places for broke backpackers, that’s not always the case. Hostels have always served as bustling social hubs. The best ones in cities like Berlin, Paris, Miami, and beyond have killer nightclubs, pool bars, historic watering holes, and even breweries on site.
Whether you’re planning your next trip and searching for accommodations with nightlife, or just looking for a cool spot to post up with a pint, here are 10 hostels around the world with bars that are destinations in and of themselves.
Bonus: When it comes time to crash, there’s likely a bunk bed available somewhere on the premises.
The Circus Hostel
Berlin is known worldwide for its nightlife, but some of the coolest clubs are nearly impenetrable, with hundreds of hopefuls lining up in hopes of gaining access every night. At The Circus, however, there are no velvet ropes, mile-long lines, or stone-faced bouncers to bribe. Instead there’s a cool basement microbrewery where you can stroll in and grab a stein filled with über lecker pilsner, amber ale, or one of the other beers brewed on site — plus wine, cider, cocktails, and shots. Prost!
Firehouse Hostel and Lounge
Located in an 1885 fire station, Firehouse is one of Austin’s hottest spots (sorry). With Prohibition-era cocktails, an eclectic mix of live music acts, an intimate speakeasy vibe and a downtown location just steps from Sixth Street — Austin’s most (in)famous bar strip — it’s not just popular with visitors but likely to be full of locals as well.
(Plus you enter through a hidden bookcase and, come on, it doesn’t get much cooler than that.)
Sobe Hostel and Bar
If you’re partying in the city where the heat is on, all night on the beach ‘til the break of dawn… well, you might be listening to Will Smith’s “Miami”… or hanging out at Sobe. The breezy hostel is located two blocks from the beach and within easy walking distance to the neighborhood’s hottest clubs, but given the cool and casual onsite watering bar slinging what it claims are the cheapest drinks in South Beach, why would you leave? After all, with those savings, you might just be able to stay another night.
London, United Kingdom
Here’s some punk-rock history for you: In 1978, The Clash were accused of shooting pricey racing pigeons and stood trial in London.
No word on the verdict, but fast-forward 40 years, and today you can have a pint in that very courthouse, which has since been converted into a hostel with a bar named for and inspired by the band. Located in the basement of the Clink78, ClashBAR offers pool competitions, drink specials, trivia, karaoke, DJs, live music and all the rowdy action you’d expect for a bar named for legendary British rockers. (No drunk pigeon shooting, though.)
St. Christopher’s Inn
If you’re staying at St. Christopher’s Inn, you don’t have to go far to get your music, beer, and food fix. Voted Paris’s best hostel as well as the best hostel in France by Hostelworld, St. Christopher’s sits atop Belushi’s, a backpacker bar with TVs, DJs, burgers and two-for-one drink specials. There’s also a waterfront terrace where you can sit down with a glass of wine and cigarette, Parisian-style, plus an underground nightclub where the party continues into the wee (or oui) hours of the night.
Los Angeles, California
Full disclosure: Freehand isn’t strictly a hostel. It’s a hotel that offers some hostel-stye shared rooms. But the bar’s so good it demands to be included.
Broken Shaker — a James Beard Award finalist and “one of America’s best cocktail bars,” according to Eater LA — is situated on the roof of the Freehand. It offers beer, wine, and refreshing cocktails made with made-in-house elixirs, plus a rooftop pool designed to help you beat the Los Angeles heat. And because you’re in L.A., we imagine you can enjoy it all practically year-round.
(Fun fact: Freehand also has locations in Miami and Chicago. A Broken Shaker is coming soon to the Freehand in NYC. We suggest you go for the hat trick.)
An “experience and design-led” hostel in Stockholm’s city center, Generator is a space with the exact sleek, clean look you’d expect from the country that gave us IKEA. More interesting, though, is the bar, which Generator has dubbed the “gleaming jewel in [its] Nordic Crown.” Named for a Swedish artist and mystic, Hilma is a hip cocktail-bar-cum-tattoo-shop featuring DJs and dancing and drawing crowds who come to eat, drink, and, yes, get inked. What, did you have a better idea for a Swedish souvenir?
Gilligan’s claims to be the “ultimate experience in budget backpacker hostel accommodation,” but one look and you’ll find it hard to believe it’s budget. Picture an open-deck bar, set beside a sparkling lagoon-style pool, where you can catch the game — any game — on one of the many plasma TVs, mingle with swimsuit-clad visitors from around the world, or just snag a drink and a spot to sunbathe by the water. Given the resort feel, if you didn’t book Gilligan’s on hostelworld.com, you might think you were at a five-star hotel… but, you know, one with bunk beds.
The Pink Palace
If your vacation goal is to party all day and all night, look no further than The Pink Palace, a festive island hostel decked out in a hue rivaling that of Barbie’s dream house. The pastel palace offers you three options to get weird on site: the 24-hour Reception Bar, The Beach Bar — featuring direct beach access, a massive jacuzzi, and food outlets — and Palladium Nightclub, a sprawling, neon-lit space where nightly events range from toga parties to pajama bashes. And if you want to take the party to the water, there’s also the Pink Palace Booze Cruise, where you can snorkel, cliff jump, beach hop, and, of course, “get wild and crazy.”
Just remember: WWDD? (What would Dionysos do?)
“Not just a hostel, but a lifestyle” is how The Yellow describes itself. It also notes that “loud is the new black,” so you better believe this lifestyle is a rowdy one. Along with the standard bar fare (burgers and beer), The Yellow Bar has live-performance action rivaling any standalone venue, featuring an eclectic mix of acts ranging from rock bands to burlesque dancers, fire breathers, and magicians. Oh, and there’s also The Arcade club “if you’re inclined to cheeky behavior and crazy shenanigans.” As for what exactly that entails… well, we suggest you head to Rome and find out.