So when I’m trip planning, I always google “best hostels” or (admittedly) “best party hostels” and I see the lists that everyone puts up. I’ve stayed in a few of the popular ones and I have to be honest…they weren’t always my favorite. To each her own, but these were the ones that I loved the most:
1. Sant Jordi Alberg in Barcelona, Spain
Sant Jordi is a hostel chain in BCN and there are 6 of them spread out through the city–each with a different vibe. I’ve stayed in 4/6 of them, and while I admit that Sant Jordi Sagrada Familia was the nicest, I think this one is the best in terms of atmosphere.
A typical day here:
There are people generally hanging out in the lounge during the day, watching TV or BS-ing about the night before. If you feel like going to Barceloneta, grabbing tapas, or hopping on a tour bus then you’ll have your pick of people to go with (seriously, this place is great for solo travelers). If you go to the main kitchen around dinner time, someone will (almost always) be cooking something amazing and this person will (almost always) force you to have some. Then after dinner, people will start drinking some wine or a few beers and a crowd starts to gather. Someone will initiate a drinking game and half the room will get into it. On the other side, people are pulling chairs over from the dining room and sharing Don Simon sangria. Everyone is friendly, and anyone can join in–all you have to do is sit down and say, “So where did you go out last night?”
At 11, a staff member will come around and say, “SANT JORDI LET’S GO!” The entire hostel will leave and you’ll meet up with all 6 Sant Jordi hostels. First everyone goes to a bar, then you skip the line for a club and go in for free.
And they do that every single night.
I’ve met the most amazing people every time I stay here. The staff go out of their way to make you feel at home. One of them told me the absolute craziest stories and I can’t repeat it on here. But seriously–ask them what they’ve seen. The veterans have seen it all.
2. The G Spot Hostel in Lisbon, Portugal
I said this in my review on Hostelworld, and I’ll say it again: This is the most comfortable I’ve ever been in a hostel. If you’re ever in Lisbon and you’re traveling alone, want to make friends and have a good time, this is beyond a doubt the best place to go.
I arrived here hungover as hell after staying at Sant Jordi Alberg with the plan of checking in and going to bed. Nope.
When you check in, they ask you to choose a song that they blast for everyone. Then as I was getting the tour, Nick, the owner, came over and introduced himself and invited me out to a free concert in the park with the hostel. He was so friendly that I didn’t know he worked there–let alone that he was the owner–until days later. We went to the concert, and the G-Spot staff packed us food and wine. Then they had a cheap all you can eat BBQ, and afterwards commenced $5 unlimited beer and sangria. Then the drinking games started. We played king’s cup while other people played beer pong and on a dare, one guy got up on the reception desk and did a COMPLETE striptease. Then somehow this human pyramid (pictured above) began…
…and ended. THEN the pub crawl started.
It was a rough week (trivia, Mustache Mondays). Although we paid for the BBQ that day, the hostel usually gives a free family dinner (with wine) and there’s free breakfast every morning (it goes well into the afternoon too, because who are we kidding here).
Also: queen size beds. QUEEN SIZE BEDS FOR EVERYONE. My roommates and I would put our backpack on one side (despite the storage under the bed) and just starfish on the other side. Pure luxury.
3. Rising Cock Hostel in Lagos, Portugal
I’ve stayed at this place two summers in a row and there’s no denying that this hostel is epic. If you’re partying in Lagos, it really is THE place to stay.
The whole goddamn hostel piles into the lounge/outdoor area at night (after sleeping in said location, or at the beach, all day) and plays drinking games and blasts music until around midnight, when people start heading out to the bars (3 Monkeys anyone?). There’s a booze cruise held twice a week (during the summer anyway–not sure about the off season) and while it can be pretty pricey, in my opinion it’s worth it. The boat takes you along the cliffs, blasting music the whole way, while a “no drinking with your right hand” rule is strictly enforced and drinking games commence. A small boat comes and takes a few people at a time to see the grottos and everyone jumps (flops) into the water to swim in the meantime. You stumble back a few hours later, nap, and rally to go out that night.
Try to roll out of bed on time so you don’t miss Mama’s crepes and lemon tea (my mouth is watering). If you sleep in, it’s okay–“Mama takes care of you.”
This was just a small list to start, but keep an eye out for other hostel round-ups ;). If anyone has any other suggestions feel free to comment! I’d love to hear about more.