Bath + London


In between my homestays I took a week to travel, spending time in England and Barcelona!

City: Reigate

How Long: 3 days


I stayed with my friend Tony, who I met two years ago in a hostel in Barcelona. So while his parents are super generous I don’t think I can recommend staying at their house :). Reigate is about a 30-minute train ride south from London.

Where to Eat:

Well, we mostly ate at his house, so again I probably can’t tell you to show up there! But we did have a great sandwich in Brighton, where we visited for the day. Before visiting Windsor Castle, we ate lunch at The Carpenters Arms, a pub that has a tunnel that used to run from below the pub into the medieval Castle. Food was good and it was fun to see a piece of history with the tunnel. Also, we stopped for some tea and desserts after going to Windsor Castle at Madam Posh. It was yummy but nothing to write home about.


AJ’s burger at The Carpenters Arms

What to do:

We essentially had two days to sight-see and we made the most of it. The first thing we did was participate in a local 5k run right near Tony’s house! It was the first race I’ve done since my marathon and it was super fun to be back in that environment. It makes me want to sign up for another half-marathon when I get home! After a lovely breakfast at Tony’s house we headed out on the road. Our first stop was South Downs National Park and Seven Sisters Country Park, which houses the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff. It was super cool and the cliffs were incredible. Definitely not a lay out in the sun kinda beach as instead of sand there were pebbles. Tony did find some pebbles that had been made from the brick in the houses above the beach, which was cool.

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The Cliffs

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Sitting on the beach

After a walk around the cliffs, we took off for Brighton, a big beach town directly South of London. I really liked it! So many cool shops and restaurants.We walked past the Royal Pavillion, an exotic palace that was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. It felt so out-of-place as it was built in the visual style closer to that of India and China, rather than Central Europe or England. Also there is a long pier which is home to an amusement park with rides, attractions, and an arcade. We managed to be at the end of the pier at sunset, which was stunning. Also we saw two swimmers without wetsuits on swim to the end of the pier and back… in February.

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The beach

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The Royal Pavillion

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The sunset over the pier as we were leaving

That night we ate dinner with his parents again, which was so fun. I really enjoyed hanging out with them. His mom and I ended up staying up late chatting about anything and everything—Including Trump/Brexit. Super interesting talking to people about their opinions and thoughts; it’s actually one of my favorite things about traveling.

We went to Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s homes, on our second day. We met up with AJ and Henry, two of the other guys from the Barcelona weekend 2 years ago. I usually end up meeting up with the three of them when I am anywhere near London! We purchased our tickets (student rate: 18.70 pounds) and began walking the castle grounds. Despite seeing my fair share of castles on this trip, this one is a must-see. It’s one of the bigger castles I’ve been too and the rooms we got to go through were incredible. Definitely some cool history in this castle and the Queen was actually there while we were. Surprisingly I was not able to schedule a meeting with her… After saying goodbyes to Tony, AJ, and Henry, I took off on a train to Bath!

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Windsor Castle

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Windsor Castle


Tony, Me, Henry, & AJ

Overall thoughts:

I really enjoyed my weekend exploring England by car (Thanks Tony!) It allowed me to see a bunch of new places that normally would have been tough to see all in two days. I also absolutely loved staying with a local British family! I kept telling Tony that if an American were to imagine a stereotypical British couple that his parents would be it. They are the most lovely, kind, generous couple. They made me a roast the first night I arrived, filled with potatoes, carrots, and chicken. Most importantly, they drank so much tea. To me that’s about as British as it gets 🙂

City: Bath

How Long: 3 days


I really enjoyed my stay here. There seemed to be a lot of people staying here long-term (as it is cheaper to stay in a hostel than renting an apartment, especially for those only working in Bath during the week), but everyone I met was super nice and friendly! Great guest kitchen and there was common room with sofas, tables for eating, and a tv. The lockers were small so I couldn’t store my whole bag in the locker, which is always a bummer. But I was able to just put my valuables in the locker and lock it with my padlock. The staff was all super nice. Absolutely would stay here again.

Where to Eat:

I mostly ate at the hostel, having bought groceries to save money, but I did go to one café in Bradford-on-Avon called Coffee, etc. It was delicious. I had a deluxe hot chocolate and yummy sandwich. If you end up in the quaint town, I would absolutely recommend this place. However, there definitely seemed to be no shortage of cute, more upscale restaurants that were out of my price range, so don’t be afraid to explore other options.

What to do:

Bath is not all that big so to start I went on a walking tour to get a comprehensive understanding of the history of the city. Obviously the Roman Baths were a big part of the city’s history. The water was thought to heal all types of diseases so royalty from all over would come to the baths to heal their ailments. Also the architecture is very important to Bath. It is all made from Bath stone. Because the whole town is essentially built with the same stone, it is stunningly cohesive. I really enjoyed my time just walking around the town. Also the Abbey is not to be missed.

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Bath architecture

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The Abbey

Because Bath is fairly small, I decided to use a half-day to take a train two stops down to Bradford-on-Avon. It is a small town right on the river, as the name suggests. Its population is less than 10,000 people. There isn’t much to do other than take a walk through the hilly town with stops at the Saxon Church and Holy Trinity Church. I ended up walking along the river to the next train stop towards Bath to enjoy the sunny day as it wasn’t that far. After enjoying my three days in Bath, I was off to London.


Clearly a very old building 🙂


The bridge in Bradford

Overall thoughts:

I really liked Bath! It was fun to see a smaller British city as opposed to London. Obviously it was still touristy, but it felt much more local than London. The architecture is beautiful and I absolutely loved just wandering the city. Definitely recommend a visit to this city and if you have an extra half day, Bradford on Avon is worth the time!

City: London

How Long: 1 day


I stayed at The Walrus Hostel. My sister stayed here and recommended it to me! Overall great hostel. Beds were comfortable (although the pillows were not very good) and the lockers were big enough to fit my bag. Small guest kitchen. There’s a bar downstairs that locals seem to frequent as well. I only stayed here one night and wish I could have stayed longer. The bathrooms weren’t the cleanest I have ever seen but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. You need your own padlock here or you can buy one. Definitely would stay here again!

Where to Eat:

I was only here one night, but I met up with Henry for drinks at The Southwark Tavern. It was right by the London Bridge and clearly a popular place. It was definitely a British pub. We sat at a table downstairs where there were all these small alcoves. It gave it a more private feeling and allowed you to actually hear what people at your table were saying. I really liked this place! After drinks I headed back to the hostel and grabbed some food from a supermarket on the way.

What to do:

Essentially all I did was meet Henry for drinks because I arrived in the late afternoon and left early the next morning for my flight to Barcelona!

Overall thoughts:

Well this was a quick trip in London, so now major thoughts about this specific stay in London–but I love London, and hope to move here at some point, even for just a year or two.



Hostels/Airbnb Reviews

A list of all the places I have stayed over the past 2 years! I will update it as I keep traveling 🙂


Vienna– 7/10 The hostel itself is great. Tons of fun people, and there’s a bar within the hostel. There’s a guest kitchen and a 4.5 euro breakfast option. Good security lockers in the room and comfy beds. However, unfortunately it is fairly far from the city center so it takes 40 minutes to get anywhere (walking). I just find that I prefer to be able to walk right from the hostel to where I want to go without using public transit, which is why I rated it 7/10. I would try to find a hostel closer to town if I came back to Vienna, but if I couldn’t find anything closer that looked good I would stay here again.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mostar– 10/10 This place is incredible!! The owner, Miran, was an incredibly nice man who is extremely knowledgeable about the history of the region, as he had grown up there and actually lived through and fought in the Bosnian War. I learned so much from him. The hostel had small lockers in each room to store valuables but not big enough to store your whole bag, but I found everyone at the hostel to be very friendly and nice so I wasn’t worried about anyone stealing stuff from my bag. There was free breakfast and often at night Miran would BBQ so there was a free dinner sometimes. Small kitchen, but food is so cheap you will want to experience the local cuisine. They also offered a great tour of the region (don’t miss this tour). Highly recommend this place!!


Dubrovnik– 7/10 I had very mixed feelings about this hostel. The beds were comfy and had individual plugs and lights, which is always appreciated. Small lockers for valuables in the room. Guest kitchen and common room were available for use. BUT the staff were sorta of rude and the staff wake you up every morning. The shower always flooded the entire bathroom, which is gross. The kitchen was quite small so only one person could really be cooking at one time. It wasn’t as social as I would have liked. I would not stay here again.

Plitvice Lakes National Park– 10/10 This hostel was GREAT. I was in a 10 person room and there were large locker under the bed (my favorite type because it’s so easy to just grab what you need!) Nice guest kitchen and plenty of bathrooms/showers. There was a common room with plenty of seating. My favorite part of this hostel was all the board games they had!! Tom, Sam and I played Settlers of Catan on our table while others at the hostel played other games, and others still were playing guitar and singing. Such a fun scene. Would absolutely stay here again!

Split– 5/10 While the facilities were for the most part adequate as there was a guest kitchen, nice sized lockers, and a common room, but my experience here was ruined by the staff. They were unavailable, rude, and seemed annoyed to help me whenever I had questions. Also there were not enough showers/bathrooms. The beds were also super squeaky so whenever someone turned over the whole room could hear it. Also, security was sorely lacking, as a girl turned up around midnight, somehow got into the hostel and crashed in the bed above me, without having a reservation. There was no staff around to stop this so I think she just left in the morning and the staff were none the wiser… Would not stay here again. Would definitely not stay here again. However, if they got better staff I would consider it.

Zagreb– 7.5/10 This was a larger hostel with two separate bars that were filled with both locals and guests staying at the hostel. It also had a common room attached to the guest kitchen, which was just for guests. I did find it a little hard to meet people but that is to be expected at a larger hostel with a bar in the building. The beds were comfy and the lockers were big enough to hold my backpack. I will say that the staff were spectacular! I was sick and asked for extra blankets and they were happy to help me. They also made sure the heater was working. I just felt they consistently went above and beyond! Might stay here again if I couldn’t find a more homey hostel.

Czech Republic

Prague– 9/10 Great hostel, very social. I don’t think there was a kitchen but Prague is so cheap that eating out wasn’t a big deal! There was a bar downstairs where I met a lot of people. Lockers were under the bed and spacious. Generally I found the hostel clean. The only annoying part of the hostel was its location. It felt a bit far from the city center and you have to take public transit to get there. Despite that, I would absolutely stay here again.


Copenhagen– 10/10 WOW Cannot say enough good things about this hostel. Had really great beds and storage lockers underneath. Great location. It was easy to walk to anything you would want to see. There was not a bathroom/shower in the room, but there was a sink. There was a guest kitchen and free dinner each night if you were there early enough to grab a coveted seat. The absolute best part about the hostel was the common area/bar. The vibe was so friendly and everyone mingled with everyone. It was so easy to make friends and socialize. One of the nights I was there, there was a live guitar player who took requests, which was super fun. There was a happy hour where you could get two ciders for the price of one. One of my favorite hostels and I absolutely look forward to going back.


Tallinn– 8/10 Great location as it was right outside the walled in Old City. It was a perfect location and was easy to get to from the bus I took from the Tallinn Airport. The rooms itself were fairly basic but had everything you needed. The only issue I really had was that the lockers provided in the rooms were too small to fit my bag so I had to remove my valuables from my bag instead of just being able to put all my stuff securely away. I tend to find that people don’t go through your stuff though so I wasn’t too worried about people stealing my clothes. The hostel had coed bathrooms but this wasn’t an issue for me. The hostel also had a kitchen so I prepared most of my meals there. There was a bar attached to the hostel which had some activities most nights. Overall the hostel was fairly empty, meaning it wasn’t very social which is tough on solo travelers. But I don’t think this is the hostels fault, it was more a by-product of it being January in Estonia. Not exactly prime time for travel in Estonia!


Helsinki– 6/10 The room was fairly basic and the bathrooms were TINY, but not really an issue for me. There was a kitchen so I was able to save money by buying groceries and cooking for myself because Finland is SO expensive. Because I was there in winter there weren’t many guests and there wasn’t much social interaction at the hostel, but I bet it would be better in summer. There were lockers. Good location. I possibly would stay here again but I would have to look at the other options before I decided.


Paris– 6/10 This was a large, chain type hostel, which I don’t like as we know. Very hard to meet people as it’s impersonal and this type of hostel tends to attracts groups. Location is horrible as it’s far from everything. Definitely would not stay here again.

Paris– 4/10 This was one of those huge chain hostels that feel very impersonal and is very hard to meet people. This hostel did have a free breakfast if you book directly through their website. The beds were comfy and had a curtain for privacy in addition to personal plug and light. However, I was here with my sister and when we showed up to our 10 person room, we were the only girls. Usually this wouldn’t be an issue but 3 of the guys were very creepy towards us and spoke very little english, however what we could understand was that they were all from Paris. BUT why are you staying in a hostel in Paris if you are from Paris?! Anyway Ellie and I barely slept and did not have a good time here. Would definitely not stay here again.

Paris– Airbnb 10/10 This was the cutest, little apartment in Paris in the 3rd Arrondissement, which is a great neighborhood. I will reiterate that it was small… but it had everything you needed and it was cozy. Very modern and white. There were two full beds (futons) but only separated by a curtain for privacy so only stay here with people you are very comfortable with! Absolutely would stay here again! Loved everything about this cute little apartment!

Paris– Airbnb 10/10 I stayed here with my parents and absolutely loved its Parisian charm. Up-to-date without losing its historic nature. Great location near Notre Dame and the 6th Arrondissement. Tons of great restaurants nearby. Overall would absolutely stay here again.

St. Malo– Airbnb 7/10 This Airbnb was super cute and within the walled in part of St. Malo, which is exactly where you want to be. Had everything you needed, although the bed was a full so not exactly great for sharing with someone you don’t know as well. I was with my sister so this wasn’t a problem. The only issue we had was the wifi was horrible and at times altogether stopped working. When I emailed our host he took hours to respond. Normally this wouldn’t be such a huge deal (I can live without wifi for a couple of days guys…) but I had scheduled an interview and needed access to reliable wifi to be able to skype. Unfortunately this meant I missed my interview. But other than the wifi issue this place was a great find!


Berlin– 5/10 This was a large, chain hostel, which I don’t like. Very hard to meet people as it’s impersonal and this type of hostel tends to attracts friends traveling in a group. There is a communal kitchen. Good location. Beds were comfy. I would not stay here again.


Mykonos -10/10 I stayed Orpheas Rooms hotel and it was GREAT. It was reasonably priced and we had two separate bedrooms as I was with a friend. The location was perfect and close to everything. The shower was AMAZING, we both had never seen anything like it. It had like 4 different water spouts and was piping hot. We also had a little patio with a table and chairs where we spent hours playing cards and drinking wine. Definitely recommend a stay here!

Santorini– Airbnb 10/10 We stayed at an airbnb that was literally carved into the cliffs. It was accurately described as a cocoon. It was on the small side but had everything you needed. The best part of the airbnb was the incredible patio that offered chaise lounges to view the incredible sunsets every night. The bathroom was spacious and there was a tiny kitchenette. The bed was comfy and there was also a table with two chairs. Really enjoyed this special airbnb.


Budapest– 10/10 Stay here if you end up in Budapest!! Smaller hostel which meant everyone all hung out together, and you sort of became like a family by the end of your stay. I met so many people at this specific hostel that I am still touch with today; someone of whom I have met up with when I visited their home town! Guest kitchen and the hostel also had cheap group dinners. Every night there is a planned activity such as a pub crawl or karaoke night. This hostel is part of a family of 5 hostels so each of the night activities is open to all five hostels so you end up meeting a bunch of other people from the larger sister hostels but when you want to go home and sleep you get to go home to your quiet room. Would love to stay here again!


Reykjavik– 7/10 This hostel did not have a super social vibe, but I was here with a friend so it mattered less. There were a lot of older couples and school groups that stayed at the hostel while I was there. Good location close to downtown Reykjavik. Clean facilities and guest kitchen. There was an expensive buffet breakfast, which I would recommend skipping and finding a cute cafe instead.


Dublin– 6/10 It was a big hostel so that sometimes made it feel more like a hotel. Great location (Close to Temple Bar, on the river, and close to bus stations). Free breakfast of cereal and toast. The hostel had a kitchen that was open for guests to use. There were showers and toilets in the room. The most frustrating thing about this hostel was that the rooms had no security lockers in them, even though the website said they did have them. Instead, the hostel offered security lockers in the lobby but they cost money. I had to spend 14 euros to store my electronics the four days I spent in Dublin. Would not stay here again.

Galway– 10/10 Overall a great hostel. Close to restaurants, bars, and shopping. The hostel was clean and had a kitchen that was open for guests to use. Free breakfast of cereal and toast. Security lockers in the room. Keycard access to room. Wifi was good. Very easy to meet people. There was an organized dinner at a restaurant close to the hostel. Would stay here again.

Tralee– 2/10 Did not like this hostel. The room was a little dirty and there was only one shower and toilet (which were in the same room) for 9 of us. This meant anytime someone was taking a shower, no one could use the restroom. From the start the staff was rude and unhelpful. When I booked hostels I made sure they mentioned having security lockers and this hostel basically didn’t. What they offered was a tiny locker that barely fit my computer in a hallway downstairs from the where the rooms were. Very inconvenient. I asked the staff to help me print my boarding pass, they stared at me blankly and said they didn’t have a printer. When I asked what other travelers had done in the past, they said they didn’t know because they were both new. Would never stay here again!


Florence– 10/10 So I say this is Florence, and the hostel is listed under Florence hostels.. but in reality it’s pretty far outside of Florence. It’s about a 30 min bus ride to the center. BUT, this place was a gem. Felt like you were living in an Italian Villa, complete with an olive and fig orchard. You were allowed to literally pull the figs off the trees and eat them… SO yummy. This place was great. The Place had free breakfast. Met some nice other travelers. I think I remember it used to be a hospital but not 100% sure. No lockers, but felt fairly safe. Definitely recommend this place if you don’t mind be a little in the Tuscan countryside 🙂

Florence– Airbnb 10/10 Stayed here with my dad and we felt like Italian aristocrats. The owner’s nephew manages this place and told us it has been in the family for something like 5 generations. So cool. Definitely not modern or up to date amenities, but it would be a shame to remodel this place. We loved all of its charm. Also the location was out of the touristy areas and rather in a more local area of town. Great restaurants and bars, but still walking distance to all the touristy stuff you would want to see. It’s also very spacious and can sleep up to 8 people I think. Would absolutely stay here again.

Ischia– Airbnb 8/10 This Airbnb operated more as a B&B so there were other guests at this  B&B. The room was large and beautifully decorated. I really liked the location as it was in a small town and about a 5 min walk to the beach. Free breakfast in the mornings. There was a small pool, but I can’t imagine why anyone would use it when the Mediterranean is 5 min away. Would definitely stay here again.

Naples– Airbnb 1/10 AVOID THIS AIRBNB LIKE THE PLAGUE because I got bed bugs here and have read other reviews on airbnb that they also got bed bugs… This airbnb was super sketchy and my friend and I only booked it because it was last-minute and cheap. It felt like there were 10 other people at this airbnb, which is probably illegal, and like I said sketchy. Skip this airbnb!

Rome– 6/10 I stayed at Hostel Alessandro Downtown and it was not my favorite, but only because it was very big, which means it is difficult to meet people. The kitchen was only available after breakfast. The common room was too big so people ended up sitting alone at different tables instead of all close together. The rooms were big, but the lockers were a little janky. Some worked and some did so I was a little paranoid that it would be easy to break the locks (luckily no one did). Anyway, I wouldn’t stay here again.

San Gimignano– 9/10 This was such a cute place in a such a cute town. This was definitely not a hostel… more of a B&B but no breakfast. Very quaint and old. Felt like you were living in another era… even down to the beds which felt like they are from the 1800’s. Despite the hard beds, this place was great!

Sestri Levante– 10/10 This was a literal castle… I think that makes me a queen. Stayed here with my dad and it was awesome!! It’s been completely renovated and retrofitted into a hotel. Right on the coast near the Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Santa Margherita. Amazing views overlooking the Mediterranean. Can’t recommend this place enough… although don’t know when I’ll be able to afford to come back.


Luxembourg– Airbnb 8/10 My sister and I stayed in this Airbnb, which was just a room in someone’s apartment. Because we were only there for one night and had to leave at 6am the next morning we didn’t even see anyone at the apartment. Very basic and reasonable for an expensive city. There are probably better spots than this in Luxembourg, but this fit our needs quite well.


Kotor– 3/10 I stayed at Montenegro Hostel 4U and had very mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the facilities were great- Big rooms, big lockers, nice bathrooms, and good kitchen/common area. There were kayaks and bikes available to rent and it was right on the water. HOWEVER, this hostel had the most aggressive organized drinking I had ever seen. I mean it’s one thing for the staff to encourage people to socialize and drink, but it’s another to pressure a kid into drinking so much that he had to go to the hospital. I found the staff to be sexist and too involved with getting people to drink. When I would say that I was fine drinking water, they seemed to be upset and continually asked me to drink alcohol instead. Despite the aggressive staff, I did meet some awesome people here! I would not stay here again.

Ulcinj– 9/10 I stayed at Hostel Pirate and it couldn’t have been more opposite to my hostel in Kotor. It was so relaxing and because Ulcinj is not very big, there wasn’t much to do at night so all the guests would drink beer and just hang at the hostel. I had a great time meeting new people and playing cards. The rooms were nice and the lockers were big enough for valuables. A large guest kitchen and common room were available for use. Also the staff were super awesome, helpful, & generous. ALSO as a bonus there was a Belgian Shepard and the house cat had just had kittens!!!! I would absolutely stay here again.


Bergen– 7/10 The facilities were sufficient but there was nothing special about this hostel. I did not really meet anyone at this hostel and there was not much of a social atmosphere. There was a guest kitchen. The location was great and super close to everything. Ensuite bathroom. Bergen is small though so I am not sure how many other hostels there are to choose from. Would stay here again, but mostly because the lack of other options. I might look into airbnb if I were to ever be back in Bergen.

Oslo– 7/10 This was a hotel that had rooms with bunk beds, so it definitely didn’t feel too much like a hostel. Not too social. Nonetheless, I still met a lot of people in my room and at the free breakfast in the mornings. There were security lockers, but you needed a padlock. The rooms were clean and filled with a lot of light. There was not a bathroom/shower in the room, but there was a sink.


Krakow– 10/10 Great sized lockers. Guest kitchen. Free breakfast and free dinner. Free laundry. Great location. Every night there were organized social activities and it was super easy to meet people. Nothing to complain about! I HIGHLY recommend this hostel 🙂


Porto– 10/10 Another great hostel! The beds were comfy, free breakfast, and great location! Super social, even when I was there in October. Good seating in a communal area to meet people. I went on a great pub crawl there. Would definitely stay here again!


Bled– 10/10 I would highly recommend staying here if you ever get to Lake Bled. It was 5 minutes from the lake and 1 minute to the bus station. The hostel itself has a great communal kitchen and common room. There are big lockers in the room, but you needed your own padlock because sometimes they run out. The only annoying thing was that sometimes all the bathrooms were full (right before bed + in the morning) but overall wasn’t that big of a deal. It was super, super easy to meet some amazing people, and the staff were very helpful. Would absolutely stay here again!

Ljubljana–  8.5/10 At first, when I arrived I feared it would not be that social, but I found some awesome people at this hostel! There was a good kitchen/ common room and plenty of bathrooms and showers. It was about a 15 minute walk to the center of town, but it’s a lovely walk along the river. The lockers were good-sized and the beds had personal sockets for charging devices. I would stay here again.


Alicante– 7/10 Cute hostel and very cheap. Storage lockers available and there was a breakfast available for 3 euros. Great location. I was only here for a night so I can’t remember whether there was a guest kitchen. There seemed to be a friendly vibe, but like I said, I was only here for a night and didn’t get to experience the whole hostel for everything it had to offer. There were good-sized lockers. Would stay here again.

Barcelona– 10/10 This is my favorite hostel in the world. Seriously. It was also the first hostel I ever stayed in! I have stayed here 4 separate times and each time has been awesome! I have met some of my favorite people here and had some of my favorite memories. I don’t know how but the hostel has created such a social, friendly vibe that only seems to draw in good, interesting people. Theres a communal kitchen as well as 4 euro hostel dinners. There are fun pub crawls every night with the sister hostels. The staff is super friendly. The rooms are really dark, which is great after a late night of drinking. The lockers are large and activated by your key card that gets you into the hostel and your room. Anyway STAY HERE if you are going to Barcelona.

Granada– 8/10 I only stayed here one night and was with a friend so we didn’t get the full social experience here but did end up meeting a group of girls that we went out for dinner with. The beds were comfy and the lockers were big enough to store both my friend’s stuff and mine in the same locker (but this was a weekend trip from Barcelona so we both only had a small bag with us). Not sure if there were kitchen facilities as we didn’t use them. No free breakfast. Would stay here again.

Madrid– 8/10 This was a great, social hostel which is perfect for solo travelers. I met a lot of people at the hostel and we spent the days exploring the city and the nights going out with the whole hostel on the organized pub crawls. Guest kitchen. Cheap group dinners at the hostel, which was great for meeting people. Lockers were on the smaller side, but when I was there I just had a small backpack, which fit. Great common area attached to the kitchen.

Valencia– 7/10 Nothing really stood out at the hostel but I was traveling with a friend so we mostly stuck to ourselves and we only stayed for one night and left early the next morning. There were good-sized lockers. No free breakfast. Bed was comfy and there was a guest kitchen. Would stay here again.


Stockholm– 7/10 Cool hostel. Only spent a day here but it was good. There was a guest kitchen and breakfast was served in the morning although not free. There was a bar next door with a shared patio with the hostel. There was a reasonably priced bike tour put on by the hostel. It felt very modern and sleek. Needed a padlock for the in room security lockers. The room was very dark though because it was in the basement. The bathroom/shower was far from the room. One odd/interesting thing about this hostel was that you were not allowed to wear shoes inside so you had to take them off before going to the room.

Stockholm Archipelago– Airbnb 10/10 What a great find this was. On an island in the archipelago, we stayed in a one-room structure in the backyard of an adorable Swedish couple. The structure had bunk beds, a little kitchenette, a breakfast table, and a dresser. Also, outside there was a table with four chairs. There were two bikes that we were free to use. We did have to go into the house to use the bathroom or shower, but this was not an issue. The house was about a 5 minute walk to a small beach and about a 15 minute walk to a larger beach. Just stunning. Would definitely stay here again!

The Netherlands

Amsterdam– 8.5/10 Really liked this hostel! Close to restaurants, bars, canals, the train station, and shopping. The hostel was clean and had a kitchen that was open for guests to use. Free breakfast of cereal and toast. Security lockers in the room, but you need your own padlock. Keycard access to room. Ensuite bathroom. Wifi was good. The only downside was I happened to stay in the room right above the hostel bar, which would play loud, bass heavy music until 2 am. With earplugs, it was manageable though. Because I was with a friend, I did not really test out the social scene within the bar so I am not sure how easy it was to meet people. We did meet some lovely people in our room. Would stay here again.

United Kingdom

Bath– 8/10 I really enjoyed my stay here. There seemed to be a lot of people staying here long-term (as it is cheaper to stay in a hostel than renting an apartment, especially for those only working in Bath during the week), but everyone I met was super nice and friendly! Great guest kitchen and there was common room with sofas, tables for eating, and a tv. The lockers were small so I couldn’t store my whole bag in the locker, which is always a bummer. But I was able to just put my valuables in the locker and lock it with my padlock. The staff was all super nice. Absolutely would stay here again.

Cardiff– 7/10 More social atmosphere, with a great outdoor seating area. The hostel had a kitchen that was open for guests to use. There were security lockers in the room but the guy at the front desk said that they didn’t have the keys for them………. so that was unhelpful. Luckily he found a key to a locker in the lobby area that I could use. Not a great solution, but at least my electronics and passport were safe. The location was a bit far from the city center and I would not have wanted to walk back alone at night. The one night I went out I had to take a 5 pound taxi ride home. Would stay here again.

Cardiff– 6/10 Location was great. Right on the river and close to the city center, but at night it was not all that safe to walk back along the river. It was very difficult to meet people, but I’m not sure whether it was the vibe of the hostel or whether it was just the people who happened to be staying at the hostel at the time. Free breakfast of toast and cereal. Oddly, there were only 2 security lockers in a room for 6 people. Luckily I was the first person to arrive so I picked one of them, however, if there had not been one available when I arrived I would have been pissed. The hostel did not feel that clean. The shower and bathroom were on a different floor which was inconvenient. Room was accessed by key card, and my locker was accessed by a key. Would not stay here again.

Edinburgh– 10/10 Loved this hostel! Really central location. Close to the Royal Mile and it’s literally next to the Grassmarket area, which has tons of restaurants and fun bars. The hostel has restaurant and bar inside it, which is convenient and cheap. It also makes it fairly easy to make friends. Wifi was good. No free breakfast, but a cheap breakfast was available to purchase from the restaurant. There was a kitchen for guests to use. Keycard access to room, but needed your own padlock for the security lockers. Fairly clean hostel. Staff was super friendly and helpful. There was toilets and showers right outside the room. Would definitely stay here again.

Edinburgh– Airbnb 10/10 Once again stayed here with my family so this is not the normal budget traveler’s digs. This place was right on the Royal Mile and was beautiful. Super cozy for our stay in the cold winter. Great kitchen and super comfy beds. This place is definitely 1st class. Would definitely stay here again if it was in my budget!

London– 5/10 Felt like a hotel rather than a hostel. Very difficult to meet people. The only common area was in the bar, which was dark and created a tough atmosphere to meet other travelers. Close to a tube station. No free breakfast. The hostel had a kitchen that was open for guests to use. Security lockers and room accessed by same key card. Would not stay here again.

London– 9/10 My sister stayed here and recommended it to me! Overall great hostel. Beds were comfortable (although the pillows were not very good) and the lockers were big enough to fit my bag. Small guest kitchen. There’s a bar downstairs that locals seem to frequent as well. I only stayed here one night and wish I could have stayed longer. The bathrooms weren’t the cleanest I have ever seen but it wasn’t that big of a deal for me. You need your own padlock here or you can buy one. Definitely would stay here again.

London– 8/10 I stayed at Astor Hyde Park while in London for the final time. I booked super late so there weren’t many options left, but I ended up getting one of the last beds at this hostel. This place had large under the bed lockers and an en suite bathroom. There’s a large guest kitchen and two great common areas for socializing. Also the hostel is right next to Hyde Park!! Definitely recommend a stay here.