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I travelled around Europe and Asia on my own – here are my top 10 hostels to stay in for solo backpackers

A British traveller has shared the top ten hostels she stayed in while backpacking through Asia and Europe.

Kara, who goes by @okay.kara.travels on TikTok, is a full-time content creator who makes videos about budget backpacking. 

In a recent video, seen by more than 40,000 people, she took viewers through her list of favourite places.

She explained: ‘I do a big mix of solo travel and travelling with my partner Luke, so this is a great mix of a bunch of different types of hostels.

‘Also this is no particular order because I could not pick a number one hostel ever.’

Kara, who goes by @okay.kara.travels on TikTok , is a full time content creator who makes videos about budget backpacking

Kara, who goes by @okay.kara.travels on TikTok , is a full time content creator who makes videos about budget backpacking

Ostello Bello, Italy 

First on Kara’s list is the first hostel chain she ever stayed in – Ostello Bello hostels in Italy.

She told viewers: ‘It’s a chain of hostels that they’ve got all around Italy and I stayed here in Florence, in Lake Como and in Milan and I love them all.

‘They give you a free drink upon arrival, they have a bunch of events on and it’s really really social.

‘The only thing to mention is as you can probably see from the bad quality of these videos is I did stay there in January 2022 so I do apologise in advance if this has changed.’

Banana Tree Hostel, Vietnam 

She continued: ‘Another hostel that really sticks out to me is Banana Tree Hostel in Tam Coc in Vietnam.

‘This is a really well known hostel among so many backpackers travelling in Vietnam and it’s basically a must-visit because so many people spend so long here.

In a recent video , seen by more than 40,000 people, she took viewers through her list of favourite places she's stayed and what she loved about them

In a recent video , seen by more than 40,000 people, she took viewers through her list of favourite places she’s stayed and what she loved about them

The solo travellers top ten hostels

Ostello Bello, Italy

Banana Tree Hostel, Vietnam

Bunk Hostel, The Netherlands

Stone City Hostel, Albania

Fuse Hotel, Vietnam

OneDerz Hostel, Cambodia

Central Backpackers, Vietnam

Jasmine Hostels, Vietnam

Dreni Guest House, Albania

Sanga Hostel, Laos

Chillax Hostel, Thailand 

‘The hostel itself is comfortable and really tidy with a pool outside and a gorgeous view – but the main attraction is that these karaoke buses park themselves in the car park every singe night which is the best and most fun I’ve ever had.’

Bunk Hostel, The Netherlands 

Up next on the top ten list is somewhere the travel pro stayed with her partner.

She loved it so much that they returned a few days later to stay for longer. 

Kara revealed: ‘It’s called Bunk hostel and it’s located in Utrecht in The Netherlands – it’s basically a renovated church. It’s got such cool décor.

‘The first time we stayed here we stayed in a pod room, so it’s like a double bed pod and the hostel was really comfortable.

‘The second time we came back we stayed in a private room and it was a tiny little room, but honestly so quaint and so darling and we really loved it.

‘They’ve got all sorts of fun events going on that makes it really fun and social – we adored Utrecht as a a location as it is but this made the stay even more special.’

Stone City Hostel, Albania 

The TikToker moved on to Stone City Hostel in Gjirokaster in Albania – she stayed there with two friends and ‘absolutely loved it’.

She said: ‘I’d heard about this hostel over and over again and it definitely did not disappoint.

‘The bunk bed rooms are really comfortable and the common rooms, indoors and outdoors are gorgeous – the owners and the staff honestly cannot do enough for you, they’re so so friendly.

‘On the first night, the owners actually made us a family dinner. It was like £6 I think from memory to pay for it but you got to try such unreal Albanian food.’

However, she warned that it does get fully booked far in advance but ‘it’s definitely worth being quite organised because it’s such a gem’. 

Fuse Hostel, Vietnam 

Going back to her time in Vietnam, the TikToker added: ‘Another hostel that really sticks out for me in Vietnam was Fuse Hostel in Hoi An, Vietnam.

‘When we stayed here back in March it had actually only been open for a month or so, so everything was brand spanking new.

‘I’ve spoken to a few friends who have stayed there since and they said it’s still just as amazing and actually even better because they’ve got so much more organised and so much going on’.

She told viewers: ‘We stayed in the Old Town one and in the beachside one so I highly recommend both but the Old Town one specifically was great because it’s a fantastic location, right next to everything you need to be next to in Hoi An.

‘We stayed in a gorgeous private room here and joined in with so many social activities, especially their bar crawl and pub quiz.

‘It was genuinely so much fun and me and my team actually won the competition and won a free round of drinks which just made the night even better.’

OneDerz Hostels, Cambodia 

Another hostel chain on the list is OneDerz Hostels in Cambodia.

Kara explained that it was the only place she stayed in while in the Asian country as they ended up ‘trusting and loving it’.

She said: ‘There’s one on Koh Rong Sanloem which is literally on the beach and is genuinely stunning.

‘There’s one in Kampot which has a gorgeous pool and is in a great location and there’s one in Phnom Penh which has a rooftop pool.

‘They don’t have their own personal events so it’s not necessarily the most social of hostels but it was just really trustworthy, clean, gorgeous, simple rooms that we really enjoyed.’

Central Backpackers, Vietnam 

Kara continued: ‘The next one I’m going to talk about is Central Backpackers in Phong Nha. 

‘We stayed in a private room here but I did see that the dorm rooms are very comfortable as well.

‘It has a pool with a gorgeous view of the cliffs behind it and every single night they have free beer for like an hour and it’s so much fun and so social.

‘I have really great memories of Phong Na because of how amazing this hostel was and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s visiting that area’.

Jasmine Hostels, Vietnam 

The final Vietnam-based hostel to make it to the top ten is Jasmine Hostels.

Kara revealed: ‘I couldn’t ever make this video without mentioning Jasmine Hostels in Ha Giang – they are the famous hostel chain that does the Ha Giang Loop.

‘The majority of backpackers doing the Ha Giang Loop will book it through Jasmine Hostels and honestly everyone loves it, it is such good fun.

‘My recommendation for Jasmine Hostels isn’t for the hostel itself in Ha Giang, it’s kind of for the hostels you stay in on the tour’.

Dreni Guest House, Albania 

Nearing the end of the video, the travel pro talks about Dreni Guest House in Theth, Albania.

She gushed: ‘If I could have, I would have stayed longer than I did already. I would love to extend our stay here because everything was perfect.

‘The rooms are so quaint and cute, we’re in like a little cottagey[sic] log house room, I just loved it.

‘They set a fire every night for you to sit around there with a gorgeous view of your surroundings and every night you have dinner included in your stay so you get a three course Albanian meal for such a reasonable price – the food was amazing.’

Adding: ‘The way you have dinner on a big table with other people means it’s really social and you get chatting to people super super easily – the owner’s sons set up a DJ booth every night so everyone has a bit of a party and it’s just hilarious.’

Sanga Hostel, Laos 

If you’re planning to stay in Pakse, Laos, the TikToker recommends Sanga Hostel. 

She advised: ‘The shared rooms are massive and the beds are so comfy cause even a year later I can remember how comfortable the bed was and how much I enjoyed my nights sleep.

‘The lady who owns it is so lovely and she couldn’t do enough for you, she helped us organise the rest of our travel throughout, gave us tons of recommendations of things to do, helped us out with bike hire and so much more.

‘We got breakfast included every morning and we actually ended up going there for dinner as well cause we really enjoyed the food.

However, she revealed that the one downside is that there isn’t a common room and the restaurant is ‘kind of tiny so you don’t really have much room to meet people other than in your dorm room’.

Although, she said it was fine, they still met people and made it social.

Chillax Hostel, Thailand 

Finally, Kara talks about Chillax Hostel in Khao Sok, National Park Thailand. 

She told viewers: ‘Khao Sok National Park is really famous for being able to stay on the lake overnight, but you do need to stay in the town itself the night before and after so you can connect with public transport.

‘In Chillax Hostel, the rooms are really bog standard, it’s quite a small quaint hostel to be fair but the private rooms we stayed in were really, really nice and we really enjoyed them.

‘The staff were super helpful and they helped us book the Khao Sok National Park tour.’

Adding that again there was no common room, but ‘the social aspect comes from the National Park tour that you do through the hostel.’

Fellow travellers were quick to agree with the list, writing: ‘Just left Sanga hostel yesterday and absolutely loved it! The manager was the loveliest, totally agree’.

Another added: ‘Can confirm I went to Ostello Bello in Milan and Como in August 2023 and it was equally as fab!’

Others thanked the TikToker, penning: ‘So informative, thank you!’ and ‘This is great I needed hostel recommendations for SE Asia thank you’.

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