So if you’ve read my blog for a while, you can tell that I have a slight obsession with Barcelona.
Between this year and last year, I’ve stayed at a total of 10 Barcelona hostels. Here are my top 4. Note: I love party hostels and I tend to travel solo, both of which factor into my totally, 100% biased reviews.
1. Sant Jordi Alberg Hostel–I’ve already written about this one here, but so far it’s been my favorite hostel–ever. Every time I’ve stayed (and it’s been quite a few times), there’s always been a strong feeling of community with the travelers that stay there. I’d say this place is tied with Hostel One Paralelo for the best hostel for solo travelers in BCN. It would be hard NOT to meet people. There are two common areas: one is great for reading and taking a hungover nap, while the other is more social (it starts to get really packed before the hostel goes out together). At around 11, you meet people from five other Sant Jordi hostels for a wild night out. This happens every night. That’s probably my favorite part about it, but it also has a great location: it is right by Plaza Catalunya, close to 2 metro lines, directly across from a supermarket, and right next to an ATM. The balcony and the high-pressured hot showers are pretty nice, too.
2. Hostel One Paralelo–The staff are really what make this hostel so amazing (plus the jacuzzi, the outdoor area, and the free family dinners don’t hurt either). You walk in and immediately they take your bags for you, ask if there’s anything you need, get you coffee, and actually take their time to give you detailed advice about where to see in Barcelona. They ask about you, and in turn share a little about themselves, and it’s all genuine–they’re not doing it because it’s their job, they truly enjoy getting to know people. When I was there, whenever Angel (the owner) would start cooking dinner, everyone would gather around the dinner table to help him. If he noticed any solo travelers sitting by their lonesome, he would grab them and introduce them to the group (in a way that somehow made it NOT awkward). He always encouraged me to bring people from my Spanish class over for dinner. If you stay here, make sure to head down the street to “Nasty Mondays” at the Apolo–so much fun! If Angel can take you, even better–you’ll probably skip the line.
3. 360 Hostel Barcelona–This hostel is maybe 2 blocks away from Sant Jordi Alberg, and is probably the most aesthetically pleasing out of all of them: there’s a chic lounge by the entrance, followed by the reception and a row of computers, and straight back is a large kitchen with plenty of tables and chairs. There are private bathrooms with showers (there was never a line) and downstairs there’s a fun bar and hang-out area, usually where the night gets started. This place is fun, clean, and has a great location–close to Plaza Catalunya and Arc de Triomf. The staff are sociable and took everyone out during the nights that I was there.
4. Kabul Backpackers Hostel–Everyone’s heard about this hostel; it’s pretty much infamous. When I was planning my first trip to Europe, I depended on Europe’s Famous Hostels to find places to stay since I wanted fun, sociable hostels. This was one of their hostels, and I had heard stories about it from other travelers–it seemed as though everyone had stayed here. The crazy hostels aren’t always the cleanest though, and this place was pretty dirty. The rooms were cramped, the bathrooms/showers were gross, there were no outlets in the rooms, and the staff were rude. BUT I still had fun–drank in the common room/bar area, went out all night, made friends with people who I’d meet again in Spain the following year, stayed out in the halls till the early hours BSing with other travelers, and even saw a guy walk completely naked through the hostel in the middle of the morning like it was totally normal. This isn’t my first choice for coming back, but I’d stay here again. Also, the location–right in the middle of Placa Reial off La Rambla–is the best out of all the other hostels.
If you’re traveling on your own, you can’t go wrong with any of these places. Same goes for any of the Sant Jordis. And if you end up there, make sure you tell them I said hi!