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Casa Garcia

Hostels aren’t just for students and backpackers anymore — quite a few can hold their own against pricier boutique hotels, boasting hip décor and private rooms, at more affordable costs to boot. No matter what your age, these seven hostels will make all grown-ups forget that they’re on a budget.

Casa Gracia — Barcelona, Spain
A mix of chic and traditional, Casa Gracia takes its name from Gracio Barrio, the bohemian neighborhood of art galleries and terrace cafés in which the hostel is located. Private rooms with ensuite bathrooms begin at $75, based on double occupancy, but superior options can run more than $100. Don’t miss the Paella dinner on Thursday nights that includes sangria (€8, or about $9.50).


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Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage — London, UK

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Palmers Lodge

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Once the home of Samuel Palmer — the man behind British biscuit company Huntley & Palmer — this London hostel features elegant stained glass, thick carpets, and a grand oak staircase. It’s a quick five-minute walk to the underground metro station and a short ride to London’s major attractions. In the evening, lift a pint at the onsite pub or take advantage of the hostel’s discounted theater ticket program. For a more boutique experience, opt for a private room with ensuite bathroom for $58. Bonus tip: Palmers Lodge also manages another hostel in London, Hillspring, and one in Croatia, Zagreb.

Kex Hostel — Reykjavik, Iceland

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Kex Hostel

Yet another hostel with a biscuit connection, the Kex Hostel was once a factory producing the baked treat — “kex” actually is the Icelandic word for biscuit. Today, it has a bit of a Steam Punk feel with salvaged materials and contemporary touches. Although the private rooms (with shared bathrooms) are a bit pricey for a hostel $100, it’s still half what you’d pay at Hotel Borg or the Grand Hotel Reykjavik. Plus, you’d be right next door to the free Living Art Museum.

One80 — Berlin, Germany

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One80

Located near the large public square Alexanderplatz, One80 exudes a hip, playful vibe. Guests are invited to step into the hostel’s photo booth for a free souvenir or tag along on its nightly pub crawl. The hostel also has a “trade a gig for a bed” program that allows musicians and other performers to exchange a gig for a free night, so there’s always live entertainment. While a four- to six-person room with a private bathroom can go for roughly $20 per person, a private double room is just over $100, or $50 per person.

Maverick Hostel — Budapest, Hungary

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Maverick Hostel

A renovated Habsburg mansion, the Maverick Hostel is less than 15 minutes by foot to most of Budapest’s tourist attractions, including the Castle District — but the real draw is the price. A double room with private bath and cable TV is $50, though you can save a little more with still-sophisticated, bunk-less dorm rooms for $13 per person.

Gallery Hostel Porto — Oporto, Portugal

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Gallery Hostel

Boutique hotels don’t have anything on Gallery Hostel Porto. This intimate hostel has its own art gallery with regularly changing exhibits by local artists, and staff conduct free walking tours of Oporto and its art district. If you’d rather explore Portugal’s second largest city on your own, the hostel is an easy walk to galleries, fine dining, and the nightlife on Bombarda Street. Rooms with private bathrooms begin at $75, based on double occupancy.

Six Degrees — Jakarta, Indonesia

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Six Degrees

Admittedly, Six Degrees caters to backpackers, but its $22 private rooms with shared bathrooms make it a great option for budget-minded travelers who want to stay in the heart of Jakarta. Check out the private garden on the roof, the perfect place to relax in a sun lounge chair on a lazy afternoon. It’s not uncommon for staff to throw barbecues there for hungry guests on the weekends, either.

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