Top 10 Favorite Hostels for Older Solo Female Travelers
Not all hostels are created equal. If you are like me – a 30-something, solo female traveler – then you may have higher standards for your budget accommodation. But fear not, there are many great hostels for women around the world to keep you on budget and having fun! Safety and comfort are my top priorities when looking for a place to stay. Here are my top 10 favorite hostels around the world for solo female travelers.
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1. Steel House, Copenhagen
Steel House is just 5 minutes from Tivoli Gardens and the Central Station. This was one of my first hostel stays during this #adultgapyear and I was so impressed with the amenities! While the 4-bed female dorm is fairly small, it has an ensuite bathroom, privacy curtains and great big lockers for your bags. The property offers a huge, shared kitchen, fully stocked for cooking your meals, which is a big money saver in an expensive city. Steel House offers a movie theatre, indoor swimming pool, a café & bar and weekly yoga classes.
2. Meininger Venezia Mestre, Venice
Meininger Venezia Mestre is technically outside of Venice, just one stop off the island in Mestre. It’s located less than 5 minutes from the train and bus station, making it a great location to easily get to the island of Venice. The property feels more like a hotel than a hostel with a bar and café on the ground floor. It does offer a smaller kitchen for guest use and a continental breakfast for additional cost. I loved the size of our 6-bed mixed dorm (it was HUGE) with separate rooms for the toilet and shower ensuite. The property has an elevator (which can be rare in Italy) and central A/C.
3. Stranger Tides Hostel, Kotor
While located in Dubrota, just outside Kotor, if you have a car, Stranger Tides is perfect for a few days in the area, or to use as base to explore Montenegro at large. By the water, it feels more like stepping into a local’s home. Built more than 1,000 years ago, it offers a full guest kitchen (which I used each day) along with a wonderful courtyard. The pier is great for sunsets and watching all the cruise ships come and go. Sandra is an amazing host. I would definitely recommend this hostel for your stay in Montenegro!
4. The Central House Istanbul Galata, Istanbul
The Central House Istanbul Galata is in the Beyoglu district, which is near Istiklal Street and Taksim Square (the modern side of Istanbul). If you are a solo traveler, I felt this location was safe for women and the 24-hour front desk was a nice feature. The 6-bed female dorm offered privacy curtains, under the bed luggage storage and ensuite bathroom. I enjoyed the second-floor lounge, though people tended to keep to themselves.
5. St. Christopher’s Edinburgh Old Town, Edinburgh
St. Christopher’s Old Town is centrally located and close to the airport bus. The property has a sports bar in one of the buildings, which was a great place for a nightly beer and offers hostel guests a discount. The staff were very helpful and available around the clock. The property is adults only. The 8-bed female dorm felt spacious with privacy curtains and underbed storage. There are bathrooms down the hall, but you must keep your keycard with you to use facilities.
6. The Hat Madrid, Madrid
The Hat Madrid is a great meeting place in Madrid. They offer free sangria, and the rooftop bar was wonderful. They also partner with sister locations for a nightly bar crawl, so if you are looking for a livelier stay, this place is it! It’s not the party hostel though, so it is quieter at night. The bunks don’t have privacy curtains, so consider staying in a female-only dorm if you are a solo female traveler. The location is great, near Plaza Mayor and the La Latina District.
7. Main Square Hostel, Zagreb
The Main Square Hostel is in a great location, just off Ban Jelačić Square. They offer laundry service (the staff washes and folds for you). The elevator was down when I stayed, so it was a 3-floor walkup. The mixed dorms were very clean and offered a privacy curtain and ample locker storage. There were bathrooms down the hall with multiple shower and toilet stalls (separate gendered). While the hostel didn’t offer social activities, the free breakfast and game room made it easy to meet people.
8. Hostel DEN, Tokyo
I was looking for a place not too far from Tokyo Station and on a direct line to the Haneda airport and found Hostel DEN, a great little hostel. It’s close to a couple of public transit lines and offers clean rooms with a friendly staff at a very affordable price. They provide a clean towel and bottle of water upon check-in and free beer from 7-8 pm each night. It used to be an office building, so it’s a little bland, but the beds are comfortable for Japan and include privacy screen, light and plugs.
9. Dayin International Youth Hostel, Shanghai
Dayin International Youth Hostel is perfectly located along the Nanjing Pedestrian Street, just 20 minutes from The Bund. They offer free laundry (self-serve) with a large drying room for guest use. The property has plenty of lounge spaces and offer beers and a coffee café. Dayin is close to People’s Square metro station. The 6-bed female dorm was nice with privacy curtains and luggage lockers. There are bathrooms on each floor offering lots of separate toilet and shower stalls, hair dryers and plenty of sinks for use.
10. SnapStay, Hoi An
SnapStay was perfectly located in the Old Town, only 10 mins to the river. The owner, Ernest, goes above and beyond to create a welcoming environment and bring travelers together. There is a group What’s App with daily events, including cooking classes or lantern making (for an additional fee) or complimentary language classes, happy hours and travel advice. He offers a travel guide in house, so can help arrange transportation to nearby Da Nang or My Son Sanctuary. Loved the large lockers and private beds in the mixed dorms.
Bonus Location: 14 Leoni, Salerno
Technically, 14 Leoni is not a hostel, but rather a guesthouse. However, the price point was budget friendly and provide direct access to the beach. The family-run property had a nice terrace and wonderful breakfast. I stayed in a private room with sea view and enjoyed leaving my shutters open to hear the ocean waves. It’s a little outside of town, but only half a mile to the train station for easy access to Naples or the Amalfi coast.
Pro Tip – I recommend booking with free cancellation, in order to offer flexibility. If you have never been to a region, especially in developing countries, I recommend booking only the first 1-2 nights at your accommodation. Sometimes you arrive and realize the reviews weren’t honest. Sometimes you arrive and realize the location isn’t as great as you expected. Or even the vibe is dull and there are no others around to meet. If I’m staying somewhere for 4-5 nights, I usually only book the first couple of nights in my hostel. This gives me a chance to check a place out. If I like it, I can extend my stay. Bonus, you usually get a cheaper nightly rate if you extend your stay through the hostel directly. If not, you’re free to move elsewhere. Note: You should take care during high vacation seasons. If you are in an area with limited budget accommodations, it may not be advantageous to “wait and see.”
Hope you get to stay in one of my favorite hostels around the world on your next trip! Staying on a budget doesn’t have to mean roughing it. It also doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a wonderful stay, sometimes with some very nice amenities. Comment below with your next travel plans! I’d love to hear about them.
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