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What Is It Like To Sleep In A Hostel


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Cicily Carranza



When it comes to accommodation options for travelers, hostels have become increasingly popular in recent years. Unlike traditional hotels, hostels offer budget-friendly and sociable environments for those looking to explore new destinations while mingling with fellow travelers. The experience of sleeping in a hostel can be quite different from staying in a hotel, offering a unique and memorable adventure for those willing to give it a try.


Hostels provide more than just a place to sleep; they offer a vibrant and communal atmosphere that fosters connections and interactions among travelers from around the world. Whether you’re a solo traveler looking for companionship or a group of friends wanting to meet new people, a hostel can be the ideal choice for your accommodation needs.


By opting for a hostel, you not only save money but also gain access to valuable insights from fellow travelers who have explored the same destination. You can discover hidden gems, off-the-beaten-path attractions, and insider tips that may not be easily found in guidebooks or online resources.


In this article, we will delve into the unique experience of sleeping in a hostel. We will explore the different types of hostels, the amenities they offer, and the advantages and drawbacks of choosing hostel accommodation. Whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or simply seeking a more communal travel experience, read on to discover what it’s like to sleep in a hostel.


The Hostel Experience

Staying in a hostel offers a dynamic and immersive experience that is quite different from a traditional hotel. Hostels are designed to foster community and create a social atmosphere for travelers. As soon as you step into a hostel, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant and energetic environment.


One of the defining features of a hostel is the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow travelers from all over the world. It’s not uncommon to strike up a conversation with someone in the common area and end up exploring the city together or sharing stories and travel tips over a meal.


Hostels often have communal spaces, such as lounges, kitchens, and dining areas, where guests can socialize and interact. These spaces serve as a hub for travelers to gather, exchange stories, and plan future adventures. It’s a fantastic opportunity to create lasting friendships and forge connections with like-minded individuals.


Moreover, many hostels organize social events and activities like pub crawls, city tours, and cooking classes, providing further opportunities to engage with other guests. These events not only enhance the sense of community but also enable travelers to experience the local culture and nightlife with a group of newfound friends.


While hotels usually prioritize privacy and seclusion, hostels focus on fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences. However, it’s important to note that not all hostels are the same, and the level of interaction can vary. Some hostels are more party-oriented, attracting a younger and livelier crowd, while others maintain a quieter and more relaxed ambiance.


Despite the focus on socializing, hostels also offer spaces where guests can retreat and have some personal time. Dormitory-style rooms, which we will discuss in more detail later, provide a private spot for rest and relaxation. Additionally, many hostels have designated quiet areas where guests can unwind and have some peaceful moments.


In summary, staying in a hostel provides a unique and enriching experience where you can meet fascinating people, share stories, and create memories together. The communal atmosphere and social activities make it an ideal choice for travelers seeking a vibrant and interactive travel experience.


Types of Hostels

Hostels come in various types, each offering a different atmosphere and catering to different types of travelers. Understanding these different types can help you choose the hostel that aligns with your preferences and travel style.


1. Party Hostels: These hostels are known for their lively and energetic atmosphere. They often have on-site bars, organize pub crawls, and offer a vibrant social scene. Party hostels are popular among younger travelers and those looking for a lively nightlife experience.


2. Boutique Hostels: Boutique hostels focus on providing a stylish and design-oriented atmosphere. They often have trendy interiors, unique themes, and modern amenities. These hostels offer a more upscale feel while maintaining a social environment.


3. Eco-Friendly Hostels: For travelers who prioritize sustainability and eco-consciousness, eco-friendly hostels are a great choice. These hostels implement environmentally friendly practices, such as using renewable energy, recycling programs, and eco-friendly products.


4. Backpacker Hostels: Backpacker hostels cater to budget-conscious travelers who prioritize affordability over luxury. These hostels offer basic amenities, shared facilities, and dormitory-style sleeping arrangements. They are popular among solo travelers and backpackers.


5. Family-Friendly Hostels: These hostels are designed to accommodate families and provide a safe and comfortable environment for parents and children. They often have private family rooms, kid-friendly amenities, and facilities suitable for family travel.


6. Luxury Hostels: Luxury hostels offer a higher standard of comfort and amenities compared to traditional hostels. They may have private rooms, stylish interiors, and additional services like on-site restaurants or spa facilities. These hostels provide a more upscale experience while still maintaining a social atmosphere.


It’s important to research and read reviews to find a hostel that matches your preferences and travel needs. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and the atmosphere you desire to ensure a memorable and enjoyable stay.


Dormitory Rooms

One of the defining characteristics of hostels is the availability of dormitory-style rooms. These rooms typically consist of bunk beds and are shared among several travelers, creating a budget-friendly accommodation option.


Dormitory rooms vary in size, ranging from small rooms with four to six beds to larger rooms with up to twenty or more beds. The number of beds in a room can affect the level of comfort, privacy, and noise within the space.


While dormitory rooms may not offer the same level of privacy as a private hotel room, they provide a unique opportunity to connect with other travelers. Sharing a dormitory allows you to interact, exchange travel stories, and possibly make new friends who can enhance your travel experience.


It’s important to note that most hostels provide amenities to ensure comfort and convenience in dormitory rooms. These amenities may include personal lockers, reading lights, power outlets, and curtains or dividers for added privacy.


To enhance your experience in a dormitory room, consider the following tips:

  • Bring earplugs or headphones to drown out any noise that may occur.
  • Pack a sleeping mask to block out any light in the room.
  • Respect the quiet hours to maintain a peaceful environment for everyone.
  • Use your personal locker to secure your belongings.
  • Be considerate of others when entering and leaving the room during sleeping hours.

While dormitory rooms are a cost-effective option and foster a sense of community, they may not be suitable for all travelers. If you prioritize privacy and personal space, you may opt for a private room in a hostel, which offers more seclusion while still allowing you to enjoy the social aspects of hostel life.


Overall, dormitory rooms in hostels provide a unique and budget-friendly option for travelers seeking a communal experience. They offer the chance to connect with like-minded individuals, share travel stories, and create lasting memories.


Common Areas

One of the key features of hostels is the presence of common areas, which are shared spaces where guests can socialize, relax, and interact with one another. These areas serve as the heart of the hostel, fostering a sense of community among travelers.


Common areas in hostels can vary in size and amenities but often include comfortable seating, communal tables, and entertainment options such as board games, books, or televisions. These spaces are designed to encourage guests to mingle, strike up conversations, and form new connections.


Common areas provide a space for travelers to share their experiences, impart travel advice, and exchange stories. It is not uncommon to find travelers from different parts of the world engaging in lively conversations and learning about each other’s cultures and backgrounds.


These areas also serve as a great spot to plan future adventures. Travelers often gather to discuss itineraries, exchange tips on must-visit attractions, and even organize group outings. The common area can be a breeding ground for spontaneous trips and new friendships.


Additionally, common areas often have communal kitchens where guests can prepare their own meals. This is not only a budget-friendly option but also provides an opportunity for travelers to bond over shared culinary experiences. It’s a chance to swap recipes, try new dishes, and collaborate on group meals.


The atmosphere in common areas can vary depending on the hostel. Some hostels may have a more relaxed and cozy vibe, perfect for quiet conversations and introspection. Others may be livelier, with music playing and the sound of laughter filling the air.


Overall, common areas in hostels play a vital role in fostering a sense of community and creating an inviting social atmosphere. They are a hub where travelers can come together, share experiences, and form connections that enhance their travel journey.


Bathroom Facilities

One of the essential aspects of any accommodation is the bathroom facilities, and hostels are no exception. While hostels typically offer shared bathroom facilities, the quality and cleanliness can vary from one hostel to another.


Shared bathrooms in hostels usually consist of multiple toilet stalls, showers, and sinks. It’s important to note that these facilities are shared among all guests staying in the hostel, so it’s essential to be considerate of others and maintain cleanliness.


Some hostels may have ensuite bathrooms, where a private bathroom is attached to each dormitory room or private room. This option offers more convenience and privacy compared to shared bathroom facilities.


In terms of cleanliness, many hostels strive to maintain a high standard of hygiene in their bathroom facilities. They often have cleaning schedules in place to ensure regular maintenance and cleanliness throughout the day. Some hostels even have staff dedicated to keeping the bathrooms tidy and stocked with necessities such as toilet paper and hand soap.


However, it’s important to keep in mind that the level of upkeep may vary depending on the hostel’s size, budget, and the number of guests. It’s advisable to read reviews or ask for recommendations to ensure you choose a hostel with clean and well-maintained bathroom facilities.


For those concerned about privacy, some hostels offer individual shower stalls with curtains or partitions for added seclusion. This allows guests to have a more private experience while using the shared bathroom facilities.


When staying in a hostel, it’s important to be mindful of other guests and minimize your time in the bathroom, especially during peak hours. This allows everyone to have fair access to the facilities and reduces any potential inconvenience for others.


Overall, while shared bathroom facilities are a common feature in hostels, the cleanliness and maintenance can vary. It’s essential to research and choose a hostel that prioritizes hygiene to ensure a comfortable and pleasant bathroom experience during your stay.



Hostels understand the importance of security and take measures to ensure the safety of their guests. While security practices can vary from one hostel to another, many establishments prioritize the well-being of their visitors.


One common security feature in hostels is the use of key cards or key codes to access the building and individual rooms. This restricts entry to authorized guests only and helps maintain a secure environment within the premises.


Additionally, hostels often provide lockers or storage facilities where guests can securely store their belongings. These lockers are typically located in dormitory rooms or common areas and can be locked using personal padlocks. This allows guests to have peace of mind when leaving their valuables behind.


In terms of individual room security, some hostels offer private lockers within the dormitory rooms. These lockers provide an added layer of protection for guests who prefer to keep their belongings close to them while they sleep.


Many hostels also have security cameras installed in common areas and entrances to monitor any suspicious activity. This not only deters potential intruders but also provides a level of reassurance to guests.


Staff members in hostels are trained to be vigilant and approachable, ensuring that they’re available to assist with any security concerns. They can provide guidance on local safety practices, recommend trusted transportation options, and address any questions or issues that guests may have.


It’s important for travelers to take their own precautions to enhance their personal security. This includes safeguarding personal belongings, using the provided lockers, and being mindful of their surroundings.


Overall, while hostels cannot guarantee absolute security, they make significant efforts to provide a safe and secure environment for their guests. By following the recommended security practices and choosing reputable hostels, travelers can enjoy their stay with peace of mind.


Noise Level

Noise level is an important factor to consider when sleeping in a hostel, as it can greatly impact the quality of your rest. Hostels are known for their communal atmosphere, which can sometimes result in a higher level of noise compared to traditional hotels.


One of the primary sources of noise in hostels is other guests. With multiple people staying in the same dormitory room or sharing common areas, it is inevitable that there will be some level of activity and chatter. This can be particularly true in party-oriented hostels or during peak travel seasons when the hostel is at maximum capacity.


While some hostels have designated quiet hours, it’s essential to understand that complete silence cannot always be guaranteed. The level of noise can depend on various factors such as the behavior of fellow guests, the layout of the hostel, and the thickness of the walls.


To minimize the impact of noise on your sleeping experience, consider the following tips:

  • Bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to drown out any unwanted sounds.
  • Choose a hostel with private rooms or ensuite bathrooms if you prefer a quieter environment.
  • Read reviews and do research to find hostels that prioritize quiet and peacefulness.
  • Communicate your preference for a quieter atmosphere to the hostel staff, who may be able to accommodate your request.
  • Be respectful of other guests by keeping noise levels to a minimum during quiet hours and being mindful of your own actions.

It’s important to remember that hostels are social environments, and some level of noise is to be expected. However, by taking the necessary precautions and selecting the right hostel, you can still achieve a comfortable and restful sleep.


When booking a hostel, consider reading reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the noise levels and the atmosphere of the property. This will help you make an informed decision and choose a hostel that aligns with your preferences.


Ultimately, the noise level in a hostel will vary depending on the specific hostel and the mix of guests during your stay. While it may not always be completely silent, embracing the communal atmosphere and connecting with fellow travelers can be a rewarding part of the hostel experience.



When it comes to sleeping in a hostel, privacy is one aspect that differs significantly from staying in a hotel. Hostels are known for their communal environment, which means that privacy might not be as abundant as in a traditional hotel setting.


In dormitory-style rooms, privacy is limited as you will be sharing the space with other travelers. However, hostels often provide individual beds with curtains or dividers that offer a certain level of privacy within the sleeping area. These curtains or dividers create a personal nook where you can have some alone time and block out external distractions.


Some hostels also offer private rooms or semi-private pod-style beds. These options provide a higher level of privacy as they allow you to have your own space with minimal or no roommates.


It’s worth noting that even in private rooms, the overall hostel environment can still be communal. Common areas, kitchens, and bathrooms are typically shared among guests, so it’s important to be mindful of other travelers’ presence.


While hostels may not offer the same level of privacy as hotels, they have their own advantages. Staying in a hostel allows for social interaction and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world. The communal atmosphere can create a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences that may not be as prevalent in a hotel setting.


To enhance your privacy during your stay in a hostel, consider the following tips:

  • Choose private or semi-private accommodations if privacy is a top priority for you.
  • Use curtains or dividers provided in dormitory-style rooms to create a personal space.
  • Utilize personal lockers or storage facilities to keep your belongings secure.
  • Respect the privacy of others and refrain from entering or using someone else’s bed or personal space.

Ultimately, the level of privacy you experience in a hostel will vary depending on factors such as the hostel’s layout, the type of accommodation you choose, and the behavior of fellow guests. By keeping these factors in mind and managing your expectations, you can find a balance between social interaction and personal privacy during your hostel stay.



One of the highlights of sleeping in a hostel is the opportunity to socialize and connect with fellow travelers from all over the world. Hostels are known for their vibrant and communal atmosphere, making them a haven for those seeking social interaction during their travels.


Whether you’re a solo traveler looking for companionship or a group of friends wanting to meet new people, hostels provide the perfect setting to engage with like-minded individuals. From the moment you step into the hostel, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a diverse group of travelers, each with their own unique stories and backgrounds.


Common areas, such as lounges, kitchens, and communal dining areas, serve as hubs of social activity within the hostel. These spaces foster a sense of community where guests can come together, share experiences, and forge connections. Engaging in conversations, exchanging travel tips, and swapping stories become a common occurrence in these communal spaces.


Hostels often organize social events and activities, creating further opportunities for socializing. These events may include pub crawls, city tours, cooking classes, or game nights. Participating in these activities allows you to interact with other guests, form friendships, and create shared memories.


The social environment of a hostel also facilitates the exchange of valuable insights and information. You can learn about hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions from fellow travelers who have explored the same destinations. This shared knowledge adds a unique dimension to your travel experience and allows you to discover things you may not find in guidebooks or online resources.


It’s important to keep in mind that socializing in a hostel is entirely optional, and you can choose the level of engagement that suits your preferences. If you prefer a quieter, more introspective experience, you can still enjoy the communal atmosphere of the hostel without feeling obligated to socialize extensively.


However, if you’re open to meeting new people and embracing the social aspects of hostel life, sleeping in a hostel can offer unforgettable opportunities for connections and friendships that can last long after your trip ends.


Costs and Budgeting

One of the biggest advantages of sleeping in a hostel is the cost-effectiveness it offers for travelers, especially those on a tight budget. Hostels generally provide affordable accommodation options, allowing you to allocate more of your travel budget towards other experiences.


The cost of staying in a hostel varies depending on factors such as the location, facilities, and the type of accommodation chosen. Dormitory-style rooms are typically the most economical option, with prices varying based on the number of beds and the level of privacy provided. Private rooms in hostels may be slightly more expensive but still comparatively cheaper than traditional hotels.


When budgeting for your hostel stay, it’s important to consider additional costs that may arise. Some hostels may charge extra for amenities like towels, linens, or breakfast. It’s advisable to inquire about these additional charges upfront and factor them into your budget.


While hostels provide cost savings on accommodations, it may also be possible to save money on meals. Some hostels have communal kitchens where guests can prepare their own meals, which can significantly reduce dining expenses. Additionally, many hostels offer free or discounted breakfast options, further contributing to your budget savings.


Budgeting for other expenses, such as transportation and activities, is also crucial when planning your overall travel budget. By saving on accommodation costs through staying in a hostel, you can allocate more funds towards exploring attractions, trying local cuisine, or engaging in memorable experiences.


It’s important to note that while hostels offer budget-friendly options, the cheapest may not always be the best choice. Consider factors such as cleanliness, safety, and the amenities provided when selecting a hostel. It’s advisable to read reviews and seek recommendations to ensure you find a hostel that offers a good balance between affordability and quality.


To make the most of your budget when staying in a hostel, consider the following tips:

  • Research different hostels in your destination and compare prices to find the best value-for-money option.
  • Take advantage of free amenities provided by the hostel, such as Wi-Fi or communal areas.
  • Utilize the communal kitchen to prepare your own meals and save on dining expenses.
  • Plan and budget for additional costs, such as towels or breakfast, to avoid unexpected surprises.
  • Consider staying in a mix of hostel and hotel accommodations to experience a variety of travel styles while managing your budget effectively.

With careful budgeting and thoughtful planning, sleeping in a hostel can be an excellent way to maximize your travel budget and allocate your funds towards the experiences that matter most to you.


Tips for Sleeping in Hostels

Sleeping in a hostel can be a unique and rewarding experience. To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Research and read reviews: Before booking a hostel, take the time to read reviews from previous guests. This will give you insights into the cleanliness, atmosphere, and overall experience of staying in a particular hostel.
  • Bring earplugs and an eye mask: Hostels can be bustling places, and having these items can help you sleep better by reducing noise and blocking out light.
  • Consider a private or semi-private room: If privacy and a quieter environment are important to you, opt for a private room or a semi-private pod-style bed. This will provide you with more personal space and minimize disturbances from other guests.
  • Use personal lockers: Take advantage of the lockers provided in dormitory rooms or common areas to securely store your belongings. It’s always better to be safe and keep your valuables locked away.
  • Respect quiet hours: Many hostels have designated quiet hours during which guests are expected to keep noise levels to a minimum. Respecting these hours helps ensure a peaceful environment for everyone.
  • Bring a towel and toiletries: Some hostels charge extra for towels or may not provide them at all. It’s advisable to bring your own travel towel and essential toiletries to avoid any additional expenses.
  • Be considerate of others: Remember that you are sharing spaces with fellow travelers. Be mindful of your noise levels, cleanliness, and general etiquette to create a positive experience for everyone.
  • Utilize communal areas: Take advantage of the communal areas in the hostel to socialize, meet new people, and exchange travel stories. These spaces are designed to foster connections and create a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Stay organized: Keeping your belongings tidy and organized will not only make it easier for you to find what you need but also help maintain a clean and clutter-free environment within your sleeping area.
  • Be open to new experiences: Embrace the communal nature of hostels and be open to meeting new people. Engaging with fellow travelers can lead to valuable friendships, shared adventures, and a more enriching travel experience.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your hostel experience and ensure a comfortable and memorable stay. Remember that hostels offer a unique opportunity to connect with other travelers and create lasting memories, so embrace the communal spirit and enjoy your time in the hostel.



Sleeping in a hostel provides a unique and vibrant experience for travelers looking for budget-friendly accommodation and a chance to connect with like-minded individuals. Hostels offer a communal atmosphere, where socializing and sharing experiences become part of the adventure.


From dormitory rooms to common areas, hostels create spaces that foster connections and create a sense of community among travelers from all over the world. The opportunity to meet new people, share stories, and make lasting friendships is an invaluable aspect of the hostel experience.


While hostels may not offer the same level of privacy and quiet as traditional hotels, they make up for it with the opportunity to create priceless memories and gain insights from fellow travelers. Whether you’re a solo adventurer, a budget-conscious traveler, or simply seeking a more social travel experience, sleeping in a hostel can be an enriching and memorable choice.


Remember to do your research, read reviews, and choose a hostel that aligns with your preferences. Be prepared with earplugs, an eye mask, and a towel to enhance your comfort. Respect quiet hours and communal spaces, and be open to new experiences and connections.


By embracing the communal atmosphere, utilizing the provided facilities, and being considerate of others, you can make the most of your hostel stay. Enjoy the vibrant social scene, share stories, and embark on shared adventures with fellow travelers from around the globe.


Sleeping in a hostel offers not just a place to rest your head, but an opportunity to become part of a diverse and dynamic community of travelers. So, pack your bags, be open to new experiences, and get ready for an adventurous and social journey in the world of hostels.