Will Hatton was born in a small, grey town in jolly old England. I am a Adventurer and entrepreneur and travelling the world for 9 years. My aim is to inspire people to ditch their desks and hit the road; I truly believe that travelling has the potential to change lives. If you want to travel the world on a budget or to truly get off the beaten track; this is the place for you!
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most impressive and untouched archipelagos found anywhere on the planet.
The islands’ remoteness, abundant biodiversity, and historical importance all come together to make one hell of an adventure travel destination since Charles Darwin first stepped foot on the Galapagos Islands more than 180 years ago.
Now, the Galapagos Islands are NOT a budget travel destination.
Whilst it is possible to visit the Galapagos on a budget, there is simply no ultra-cheap way to experience the islands, which is exactly why I bring you this in-depth guide on the best Galapagos tour companies.
Short of sailing on your own boat, the best way to get the most out of your Galapagos travel experience is to book some sort of a Galapagos tour.
Now, I am the first person to raise my eyebrows when I hear the word organized tour, but some of the world’s most remote regions require tapping into outside forces.
I review the best Galapagos tours, including budget tours, liveaboard trips, luxury tours, and more, so you can find the right trip suited for your budget and style.
Every Galapagos tour company is different. This includes the activities they offer and the accommodation quality. Prices fluctuate like the ocean tides and each Galapagos tour company carries its own distinct vibe/style.
Below I cover the best Galapagos diving liveaboard trips, budget Galapagos tours, Galapagos camping tours, Galapagos luxury tours, boat cruise tours, and more.
The goal of this guide is to shine a light on the Best Galapagos tours so that you can spend less time researching and more time getting stoked for your Galapagos trip.
For most travelers, we predict the most important factor to consider when choosing the best Galapagos tour comes down to price. Galapagos tour prices range from $600-700 at the low end to an appalling $10,000-12,000+ (for just two weeks!) on the luxury end.
The next factors to consider are the activities/focus/itinerary of the tour. Some tours are very “cruise” heavy, meaning you spend lots of time sailing on the ocean around the islands. Other Galapagos tours are very scuba diving focused. A majority of Galapagos tours are mixed adventure trips. This means they offer activities like day hikes, camping, diving, and cruising, as well as historical and cultural components.
After you dial in your Galapagos tour budget, you can then start to sort through the various itineraries/companies to find your perfect match.
The Galapagos tour game all comes down to what you like to do and how much you willing to pay for it.
Finding the right Galapagos tour comes down to your budget and what you want to do.
Best Galapagos Tours: Company Breakdowns
Below I highlight my top picks for the best Galapagos tour companies.
Each company I highlight has something special to offer. Remember there are LOTS of Galapagos tour companies out there. I DO NOT cover shit tours, ecologically unethical tours, or companies with poor reputations for customer service.
A visit to the Galapagos Islands is bound to be a highlight of your life and I want to make sure the tour company you choose meets your expectations in order to help make your Galapagos dream a reality.
For scuba diving fanatics, few experiences can compare to a Liveaboard trip in the Galapagos. The waters around the Galapagos islands a protected marine reserve.
Protections have been in place for decades and the results are obvious. Ecosystems are intact. Abundant wildlife is thriving. The scuba diving is EPIC.
Liveaboard trips are great for fully immersing yourself in the world of scuba diving for a week or more. The boat you stay on goes to places that day trip scuba diving operators cannot. Basically, staying on a Liveaboard boat is the equivalent to staying at a luxury hotel. The food is amazing, the accommodation is top tier (for a boat), and you can expect multiple scuba dives every day of the trip. It’s a beautiful thing.
There are cheaper liveabaord-style Galapagos tours out there, but none with the same track record of excellence as the Liveaboard company.
Ever wanted to scuba dive with playful sea lions? A Galapagos Liveaboard trip is your chance.
What is the Best Galapagos Tour Offered by Liveaboard?
Many of the Galapagos Liveaboard tours are much the same in terms of the itinerary (though they do have different itineraries). The main differences in price reflect the size of the boat, how many occupants the boat can serve, and the duration of the tour.
The cheaper Liveaboard tours are often 4 days or so, and can accommodate up to 50+ people. A crucial thing to note is that the cheap Liveaboard trips do NOT include any scuba diving. They are for pleasure cruising and snorkeling only. Scuba diving Liveaboard trips are more in the $4000-6000 range.
One of the best Galapagos Liveaboard tours for scuba diving is the Central Archipelago tour aboard the Humboldt Ship ($5400, 8 days/7 nights).
The Humboldt takes divers to the best dive sites of the Galapagos to discover Galapagos sharks, hammerheads, turtles, schools of tuna, manta rays, whale sharks and white tip sharks.
The boat offers 8 air-conditioned, double cabins with an ocean view, TV/DVD, private bathrooms and showers. The 7 member crew goes out of their way to ensure guests are comfortable. Guests can relax in the air-conditioned salon, the covered back deck, and a sundeck with Jacuzzi. All in all, this is a pretty high-end tour we’re talking about.
For people who are serious about experiencing some truly once-in-a-lifetime scuba diving whilst living the high life, Liveaboard Galapagos is where it’s at.
Good, you are still with me! If the prices of the above Liveaboard Galapagos tours nearly lead you to stop reading this article, I have. a tour company that will be music to your ears.
Terra Diversa is one of the best Galapagos tour companies for budget scuba diving trips. They cost significantly less than Liveaboard trips. That said, the overall style of the Terra Diversa tours are much different indeed.
First of all, you will not be based on a boat. This company runs its tours from a base on one of the islands. You still get to do loads of diving, just without all of the #shiplife luxury and moving around.
Every day of the tour you visit a different dive site and then return to “base camp” in the afternoon. Terra Diversa is an excellent option for backpackers lwho want to go scuba diving in the Galapagos without spending $5000 each.
Surrounded by masses of fish.
What is the Best Galapagos Tour Offered by Terra Diversa?
It’s a six-day land-based tour with its base camp on Santa Cruz Island. You’ll enjoy six dive immersions at dive sites throughout the surrounding area. Divers can expect to pack in lots of quality dive time at the most important sites near Santa Cruz Island.
Because this is essentially a bare-bones tour, there are additional costs involved. Whilst your accommodation, breakfast, light lunch, diving costs, and transport around the Galapagos are covered, several important components are not.
Your flight from mainland Ecuador is not included. Entrance to the Galapagos National park is not included ($100). Dinner and booze are not included. When you start adding up the costs, you are easily looking at another $1000, if not more.
Bearing all of this in mind, Terra Diversa tours offer great all-around value for backpackers interested in a Galapagos scuba diving trip.
Seafaring iguanas in the ocean around Santa Cruz Island.
Best Galapagos Budget Tour for Under 30 Backpackers: Intrepid Travel
Price: $1460- $2000
# of Days: 9
Main Activities: Hiking, snorkeling, beach chilling
Are you a backpacker between the age of 18 – 29 keen to discover the magic of the Galapagos? I have found the perfect tour for you.
Intrepid Travel offers affordable budget tours for younger backpackers. They have an age cut off to ensure the vibe stays youthful, highly energized, and open to debauchery without the possibility of offending older paying guests (my speculation).
The Intrepid Galapagos tour really keeps you on the move. The tour begins and ends in Quito (in the Andes), so in total you have six days to explore the islands.
The main activities for this Galapagos tour are hiking, chilling the F out on the beach, island hopping, and snorkeling (sometimes with sharks).
A cool aspect of this tour is the fact that you are traveling with like-minded backpackers your own age. As a kid, I use to go on trips with my parents and once I was stuck on a tour bus full of people over 70 years old for two weeks. You don’t want that.
The Galapagos Islands are full of beautiful wild places to explore. Photo: Buddy Burkhamer
What is the Best Galapagos Tour Offered by Intrepid?
I am covering their budget tour here because 1) It is one of the cheapest around and 2) Intrepid tours are a whole lot of fun.
Like the Terra Diversa tour listed above, you need to be aware of what’s included and what’s not.
The Intrepid Essential Galapagos tour covers your transportation (including flights), 5 breakfasts, hostel accommodation, and activities like hiking and snorkeling.
What’s not included: All meals except for 5 breakfasts, entrance fee to National Park ($100) and port fee ($10), and activity add-ons.
I am not a fan of all the meals guests need to pay for, but the tour does include your flights which is a huge saving. Plus you get a few days in the fantastic Andean city of Quito. Exploring the Andes and the Galapagos on one trip? Hell yes.
The Intrepid Essential Galapagos Itinerary. Photo: Intrepid
Another company doing badass Galapagos tours with younger backpackers in mind is G Adventures. Like Intrepid, G Adventures offers up various Galapagos tour options for reasonable prices.
Several G Adventure Galapagos tours offer up a good mix of activities, including camping and hiking. Outdoorsy types will love all of the nature-based activities.
I like G Adventures as a company for several reasons. They offer the maximum enjoyment level at some of the lowest prices around. Perhaps even more importantly, they take pride in their solid environmental track record. Far too many companies that operate in South America couldn’t care less about environmental ethics.
The world has a plastic problem. We’ve all seen horrifying images of the Great Pacific garbage patch and overflowing landfills, and if you haven’t, well, one Google search will paint the gruesome picture. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to embrace sustainable travel and reduce your plastic footprint.
Traveling the world often allows us a first-hand glimpse of just how catastrophic the world’s piling plastic problem is.
From the rubbish-filled beaches of India to the mountains of plastic on the streets of the Bangkok night market… the plastic problem is real, and it is destroying the earth.
Photo: NOAA Marine Debris Program.
With more and more backpackers hitting the road each year, the impacts of non-sustainable travel are felt across the globe.
The single-use plastic culture is a major contributing factor. Remember, every plastic bottle and bag you use will sit in a landfill and float through our oceans until it is broken down into micro-plastic pieces we inevitably digest.
On any given travel day, you are confronted with choices. Many of us don’t think twice about using a plastic fork or buying a bottle of water when we need to. Sometimes, the only practical option is to buy that 1-liter bottle of water.
We all need to drink and I get that, but as we barrel towards the peak of the plastic age, it is more important than ever to pivot towards sustainable travel and actively strive to reduce our plastic footprint.
Below I cover tips and tricks for how to embrace sustainable travel and reduce your plastic footprint. Unable to decompose, plastic is perhaps one of the most urgent issues humanity faces. Until our politicians ban plastic outright, it is up to us to make responsible choices…especially when traveling to parts of the world ill-equipped with the resources to manage plastic waste.
Reducing your plastic footprint doesn’t take much effort, and in time, a little effort becomes routine… and healthy, sustainable travel routines are a beautiful thing to behold indeed.
Now, let’s take a look at the best ways we backpackers can reduce the amount of plastic we consume on the road.
Top Tips for Reducing Plastic Consumption While Traveling
1. Travel With a Refillable Water Bottle
Carrying your own water bottle is a great way to reduce (or eliminate) day-to-day plastic water bottle purchases. In addition to upping your sustainable travel points, you save a ton of money over the course of a long-term backpacking adventure.
Have you seen those 5 oz plastic water bottles that only give you a few sips of water at best? They make me want to scream. They are truly pointless, a waste of money, and thrown away within seconds of opening them.
If you are a hiker/runner/or trekker, you know how important it is to always pack a water bottle. Do the planet a favor and pick up a tough travel water bottle. Refillable water bottles are not only sustainable travel tools, but they are also perfect for everyday use when you are at home as well.
For every Active Roots water bottle sold, they donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an awesome initiative aimed at educating people on the risk of single-use plastic and helping to clean up our oceans.
2. Pack a Water Filter
A water bottle AND a filter. Bam!
In many parts of the developing world, we westerners can’t drink the tap water. To do so would condemn us to days of sickly torture and hours of sitting on the toilet. So, we need to buy filtered water (in plastic bottles), yes? Wrong!
You do have options! Pack a water filter for every travel adventure. There are so many awesome travel water filters on the market. I have used a Steripen and a Life Straw, both of which work great (and have never resulted in me getting sick from bad water).
It may take a little extra effort to use a water filter, but once you integrate a filter into your daily routine, it becomes quite normal. This is how we become more sustainable travelers. A little bit of effort goes a long way.
3. Don’t Eat Airline Food
Look at all that plastic shit!
Airlines package their meals in an appalling amount of plastic. Plastic wrapped food. Plastic wrapped cutlery. Plastic cups. Plastic straws. Plastic wrapped everything! To think about the amount of plastic waste generated by airline companies on a daily basis truly is mind-boggling.
These airline practices are unacceptable. So what can you do about it? Everyone has to eat, right? True, so bring your own food! Make sandwiches at home. Pack your own snacks and fruit. Buy food before you go to the airport. Travel with a little food storage box that you will use it more than you think.
Do everything within your power to avoid consuming the plastic ridden meals provided on flights.
And frankly, airline food is disgusting. Even if it was wrapped in a way that promoted sustainable travel, airline meals are one of the least ideal food choices available.
Not only is packing your own food on a plane great for the planet, but it’s also much better for your health. Let’s try to avoid getting sick before we land, shall we?
4. Carry Your Own Cutlery
You have options.
You are now starting to see a common theme. Items that you use on a daily basis all have plastic-free alternatives! Carry a pair of travel chopsticks, a spoon, fork… or…wait for it… a camping spork! Maybe you have a stick that you have carved into a scooping feeding shovel—whatever your preferred utensil of choice is, pack it and put it into use.
There is simply no reason why anyone should use plastic cutlery. We have all become complacent in the culture of single-use plastic as a means of convenience.
Sure, plastic forks can be super convenient sometimes. But if you plan ahead and change your habits, packing a pair of chopsticks just becomes normal.
5. Avoid Plastic Containers when Buying Street Food
Using reusable coconut bowls in Malaysia; a land where they love to use plastic.
Street food vendors looooove plastic. Plastic containers are the easiest vessel for them to dish out their delicious food to you, the hungry customer.
In Asia in particular, street food vendors account for a staggering amount of plastic waste backpackers are likely to consume. Don’t get me wrong. I am a street food addict. Eating cheap, tasty street food is one of my favorite parts of traveling. That said, with every bowl of Pad Thai you buy in a plastic container, you are directly becoming part of the problem.
The solution? Travel with your own camping bowl or food box. I have been traveling with some kind of bowl for a few years now. It might sound weird (and street food vendors will look at you as though you’ve lost your mind), but having your own bowl is a great way to combat plastic consumption!
Unable to order street food in Malaysia without plastic-guilt, I bought a bowl for about $2 made from a dried coconut. I still have it today, actually!
There are endless options out there for bowls. Whether it is a light-weight titanium camping bowl or part of an old coconut, each time you break it out you will be contributing to a more sustainable travel world.
6. Don’t Use Single-Use Hotel/Airbnb Shampoo Bottles
Yeah, you know the ones…
We have all walked into a hotel room bathroom to find an array of shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel waiting for us. Whilst this may seem like a nice gesture on the part of the hotel, single-use shampoo bottles are one of the most common plastic waste items found in the ocean.
An alternative to liquid soaps and plastic containers, shampoos, and conditioners all together is to buy them in bar form. Thats right, shampoo in a bar! Plus, shampoo bars will never leak in your bag!
7. Shop at Farmers Markets (Bring your own Bags)
Don’t defile these tasty fruits by putting them into a plastic bag!
Farmers markets take many forms around the world, but they all have one thing in common: abundant fresh fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese, and a boatload of other delicious products. Often, these markets feature vendors selling stuff free of plastic packaging. Hurray!
Unfortunately, the person selling you that fresh fruit will inevitably put the goods in a plastic bag. Buzzkill. To combat this chronic plastic bag usage at markets, simply bring an empty bag with you (such as a day backpack.
The good news is that most farmers/outdoor markets in the USA, Europe, New Zealand among many others have banned the use of plastic bags at markets altogether.
Places in South East Asia, South America, etc are still catching up in that regard. Bring your own bag with you, load up on awesome fresh produce, and reduce plastic packaging from your hostel cooking night shopping list.
8. Stop Buying “Travel Sized” Everything
These things suck!
Whilst I get that airport security regulations significantly limit what sort of toiletries one can bring on a plane, you should still seriously reconsider buying travel size products. A tiny “travel size” tube of toothpaste doesn’t even last a week. That means that after only a handful of tooth brushings, you chuck the tube in the rubbish.
If stopping with the travel size stuff means you just have to buy a tube of toothpaste when you land, so be it. You can buy toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant everywhere!
9. Purchase Beverages in Glass Bottles instead of Plastic
Thankfully, beer comes in glass, not plastic.
Really have a hankering for a Coke or Iced Tea when traveling? I know the feeling. When possible, avoid buying drinks that come in plastic bottles. This is the same principle as the single-use water bottle problem. More often then not, shops sell cold beverages in glass. If they don’t, think twice about whether or not you really need that soda.
The next best option is aluminum cans, which can also be recycled.
10. Carry your own Head Phone/Ear Buds
Your own headphones will always be 100% better than the airlines’ headphones.
Ah, the airlines again…
On long-haul flights, airline companies distribute low-quality, uncomfortable earbuds that people use once and then throw away. In this day and age, most travelers carry their own earbuds and don’t rely on the airlines in order to watch a movie in flight. However, without fail I still see dozens of people take them from the flight attendant on every single long flight I take.
The airline earbuds are doubly problematic because they come plastic wrapped and are themselves plastic. Do yourself a favor and invest in some high-quality badass headphones and never think about using airline earbuds again.
Welcome to the ultimate backpacking Auckland travel guide!
When most backpackers think of New Zealand, images of hobbits, volcanoes, wild mountains, untamed beaches, and sheep farms usually come to mind. Whilst it is certainly true that New Zealand offers all of these things and more (though hobbits are debatable), the city of Auckland will likely be your first stop in the country.
The first time I landed in Auckland I had done very little research, and I had no idea what to expect. I half assumed Auckland was a small town, and the main activities consisted of drinking beer and hanging out at the beach.
I discovered right away that Auckland is indeed New Zealand’s largest city and a bustling metropolis full of awesome things to do.
Auckland is New Zealand’s main economic vein in addition to the country’s hotbed of diversity and culture. For backpackers just arriving into New Zealand, it is the perfect place to prepare for an extended New Zealand backpacking adventure.
This Auckland travel guide highlights the best travel tips and budget hacks to rock your Auckland travels without spending a fortune in the process. Learn how to enjoy Auckland on the cheap and like a local!
Get the inside information on Auckland’s accommodation for backpackers, suggested city itineraries, an Auckland daily budget, the best things to do in Auckland, awesome hikes, nightlife, the best islands around Auckland, and much, much more.
Knowing the real cost of backpacking in Auckland is crucial to planning your budget.
Auckland can be a very expensive city and if you’re not careful you easily find yourself spending way more cash than intended. Likewise, it is relatively simple to experience Auckland without spending a boat-load of money.
There are plenty of free things to do in Auckland, so unless you are staying at hotels, going to the bars every night, and eating out at fancy restaurants, you should find it easy to backpack Auckland on a budget.
That said, visiting New Zealand is not like backpacking in Nepal. If you want to visit Auckland on a total show-sting budget, it is possible to do so on $25- 40 USD/day (or less!), but to do so you’ll need to utilize budget hacks like Couchsurfing, cooking your own food, and walking everywhere. You must actively work to not spend money.
$40-80 USD/day is a reasonable budget to embrace. With this budget, you can get a hostel dorm bed, use public transportation, eat out, visit an island, and drink a beer or two at the end of the day.
Average Daily Backpacking Costs in Auckland (prices are in USD):
Bus from Auckland Airport — City Center: $11.75 one way
Ferry to Rangitoto Island: $21.50 return
Sky Tower entrance fee: $19
Porkpie (or veggie pie) from a bakery: $3-4
Dinner in a mid-range restaurant:$15-30 per person
Meal at a cafe: $8-15
6-pack of decent beer from the shop: $12-14
Flat white coffee from a cafe: $2-3
Beer at the bar: $5-7
Walk to Mission Bay: Free!
Backpacking Auckland Budget Tips
Whilst backpacking Auckland it is important to consciously stick to your intended budget. You need not be overly paranoid about it, but a couple of bad decisions regarding where you sleep or have dinner could shatter your budget faster than a stone smashing through a window.
Locals living in Auckland will tell you that the city has gotten ridiculously expensive in recent years. A small apartment in the Auckland CBD can cost upwards of one million bucks $NZ!
Luckily for backpackers, we are not looking to buy apartments.
You are going to spend some money during your Auckland visit; there is no getting around that. The goal is for you to have an awesome time backpacking Auckland without leaving you penniless upon journey’s end.
Below I cover my best Auckland travel hacks to maximize your experience whilst keeping your backpacking costs as low as possible.
Auckland is a super fun city and can easily be enjoyed on a budget.
Backpacking Auckland Travel Hacks
Eat at restaurants with lunch specials: Many restaurants in Auckland offer up some kind of deal for lunch. Dinner is always going to be more expensive anyway. If you do plan on going out for a meal, seek out a spot for lunch that has a promotion on offer.
Drink cheap beer: If you must go to a bar, go during happy hour. Likewise, most hostels offer discounted beer at happy hour too, though I think it’s pretty lazy to buy beer from the hostel when you could buy it cheaper at the supermarket.
Take the Bus/Public Transportation: When you can’t walk, buses are the best option for geting across the city. Buy a day pass instead of buying tickets individually.
Hang out at the Beach: Hanging out at the beach is free!
Walk: The CBD of Auckland can easily be explored on foot. Likewise, you can walk to many other cool neighborhoods from the CBD if you are motivated to do some urban hiking.
Cook your own food: If you are staying at a hostel or an Airbnb that has a kitchen, try and cook at least one meal per day (or all 3). If you don’t feel like cooking, then go to the grocery store and arm yourself with sandwich fixings so you can make food easily. $10 spent on sandwich materials can feed several people multiple times.
Couchsurf: If you can swing it, staying with a local for free is an obvious bonus to cutting down your biggest cost, accommodation.
Check out this article for a complete list of my best travel tips for backpackers.
Some of the best things to do in Auckland are free anyway!
Where to Stay in Auckland
In the event that a Couchsurf host isn’t available or you just want your own bed for a night, you are going to need to book a hostel. Because so many travelers have been backpacking Auckland over the years, there are plenty of kick-ass hostels to choose from.
Whilst prices of hostels in New Zealand are a far cry from what they are in Asia, they are still the cheapest accommodation for backpackers in town. Thankfully, hostels in Auckland are not as expensive as they are in Europe or the USA.
There are many hostels in Auckland to choose from, but Fat Cat Travellers Community is at the top of the list because this isn’t your typical hostel.
Fat Cat is located about 30 minutes from the city center (which means it is not ultra-convenient), but a couple of nights here is bound to be an Auckland highlight… Why?
Well for starters, Fat Cat is a place where you can learn about sustainable living in a beautiful setting. Perhaps even better than its cool hippy vibe are the delicious meals. Not only do you get an awesome breakfast, but also a super tasty/healthy vegan dinner… for free!
There is always interesting stuff happening at the Fat Cat Travellers Community. If you’re keen, you can work a bit on the farm or catch a workshop or two. Social issues, peace, and the environment are usually on the workshop menu.
Really, you won’t find another place in Auckland with such a welcoming vibe. Be careful, you may find it hard to leave Fat Cat!
The best party hostel in Auckland isn’t actually in the city either. For one of the best backpacker party spots around, head to Hekerua Lodge Backpackers on Waiheke Island. Enjoy stunning beaches, fishing, and a hike or two by day and a some cold NZ beer by night.
This hostel offers a pool, sauna, steam room, and plenty of social activities like yoga classes and pizza nights. If you manage to catch a fish, you can fry it up in the well-equipped kitchen.
Waiheke Island is a world away from Auckland city, but also close enough if you want to pop over for a day of urban exploring.
Finally a Auckland city hostel! If you are traveling solo to Auckland, Queenstreet Backpackers is a spot you should know about. They have reasonably priced single rooms where you can get some needed rest.
The free breakfast is a big plus since not many Auckland hostels offer free breakfast! Catch the happy hour special at the cool on-site bar and meet some new friends to explore the city with.
The two kitchens at Queenstreet ensure that you won’t be waiting for ages for your crack at the stove. Queenstreet Backpackers is clean, the staff are friendly, and it’s an all around good place to meet fellow travelers. Check it out!
Unlike most cities in the world, the top things to do in Auckland don’t revolve around visiting historical sites dating back centuries. As a country, New Zealand is not very old, and definitely lacks in the antiquities department.
However, you can be sure that there are plenty of other fun activities to do in Auckland. In my opinion, you can see “the best” of Auckland in two or three days.
The series of islands located just off the coast of Auckland are not to be missed even if you only have three days to visit the city and its surroundings.
Here is my list of the 10 top things to do in Auckland to fire up your inspiration…
1. Hike up Mt. Eden
To get to grips with the city, one can make the easy climb up Mt. Eden (a volcano). You can actually walk to it from the CBD, but I recommend catching the bus to the beginning of the trail. There are stunning views of the city and harbor from the top of Mt. Eden, a fine sunset spot indeed.
The view from Mount Eden. Photo: Alan Collins
2. Hit up the thrift shops
Thrift shops (or op-shops) are all over Auckland. You can score some truly good deals at low prices. If you plan on making a grand tour of New Zealand, then Auckland thrift shops are great for stocking up on essential bits and pieces you may be lacking. K Road has the best op-shops in town.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of hiking trails in America; every state has a seemingly endless variety of amazing routes to discover, so you can imagine how difficult it is to narrow down a list to the 25 best hikes in the US.
The USA is a hiker’s dream country for many reasons. America is absurdly diverse and contains virtually every type of landscape within its borders: deserts and mountains, rainforests and thousands of miles of coastline.
To help you make sense of America’s greatest footpaths, I bring you this epic guide to the 25 best hikes in the USA!
From the Grand Canyon and the lava fields of Hawaii to the Rockies, Tetons, Smokies, and the Sierras, America’s hiking trails take you through every type of terrain and climate. It’s no wonder that millions of people from the US and around the world hit the trails each year.
I’ve explored countless states (and 2,000 miles+ of trails) in search of the best hiking trails in the USA. This guide is the result of my hiking and research.
Below, I’ll cover some of the best classic hikes in the USA as well as lesser-known hikes of equal value, but less fame. From challenging day hikes and multi-day missions to long-distance epics, there is a trek for every type of keen hiker on my list.
Now, let’s get to know some of the best hikes in the US…
What to Pack for the Best Hikes in the USA
Every adventure begins with the right gear. Frankly, without proper equipment, hiking isn’t that much fun. If you have ever had an ill-fitting pair of hiking shoes or a sleeping bag that doesn’t actually keep you warm, then you know what I am talking about.
Not only is owning the right gear important for comfort and fun, but it is also essential for staying safe in unpredictable weather patterns and harsh natural environments.
The best hikes in the USA are found in remote, wild, and potentially dangerous environments scattered throughout the country. The first step for any hiking trip is to assess the gear you own and what gear you may need to buy.
We at the Broke Backpacker are very passionate about quality backpacking gear. Our team has spent countless hours testing and reviewing the top outdoor equipment on the market.
Below are a series of gear reviews that will put you in touch with everything you need to have a successful and comfortable (and safe!) hiking adventure.
Choose the Right Gear to Tackle the Best Hikes in America
Best Hiking Trails in the USA: Find Your Adventure in 2019
1. Lost Coast Trail, California
Morning on the Lost Coast. Photo: Wendy Seltzer
Length: 24.6 miles (39.6 km)
Best time to hike: All year, Fall is best.
The Lost Coast Trail in Northern California is often forgotten about. Why? Well, because it is kind of lost. Logging companies tried and failed to build a road through here. Instead, Highway 1 cuts inland from the coast into the windy coastal hills and redwood forests. Few people have even heard of the Lost Coast.
Fun fact: This section of coast running from Northern Mendocino into Humboldt county is the largest undeveloped coastline in the USA outside of Alaska!
This nearly 25-mile hike can be walked either direction (north-south or vice-versa) starting from Mattole Beach or Black Sands Beach near Shelter Cove.
For those keen for an even longer hike, the southern section of the Lost Coast Trail runs to Usal Beach some 30+ miles south of Black Sands Beach. Most people tend to stick to the Northern section though.
The Lost Coast trail winds its way along barren, misty stretches of beach and forest. The tide schedule must be factored into the hike and it is recommended that hikers carry bear-proof canisters.
A misjudgment in the tide schedule could literally mean the end for you. There are a few miles of the trail that are impassable at high tide, so do your research.
This hike is one of the best hikes in the USA because of its unique and remote location in a state of nearly 40 million people. I love it out here!
2. Tonto Trail, Arizona (Grand Canyon National Park)
The landscapes within the Grand Canyon are indeed as grand as they come… Photo: Chris Lininger
Length: 70 miles (113 km)
Best time to hike: Spring, Fall, Winter (avoid July and August, you will melt.)
For those who really want to experience the Grand Canyon from within the Canyon itself, the Tonto Trail is an awesome multi-day trek to make that dream a reality.
The Tonto Trail is officially classified as a South Rim Hike and runs from Garnet to Red Canyon.
Water can be an issue on the Tonto, especially in the summer. Suitable water sources include Hermit Creek, Monument Creek, and Garden Creek— but remember (very important!) you MUST filter or treat the water as it can be laden with heavy metals/unpleasant bacteria.
The backcountry campsites found along this route must be reserved via a wilderness permit with the Backcountry Rangers Office.
Enjoy spectacular views of the Colorado River and the endless sea of massive red rock canyons!
3. Trans-Catalina Trail, California
Yep, buffalo live here!
Length: 38.7 miles (62. km)
Best time to hike: All year, (Summer is HOT AF)
Usually, I wouldn’t touch Southern California with a 10-foot pole for the best hiking trails in the USA list (ok, Joshua Tree is awesome and some other spots are too). That said, the Trans-Catalina trail is worth knowing about.
Catalina Island is some 22 miles south of the mainland and couldn’t be more different than mainland Southern California. Well, at least the rugged interior of the island is a world away from traffic/people-ridden So-Cal.
The hiking can be intense as it is pretty exposed throughout the whole route. I do not recommend tackling this hike in the summer.
I did it in August and it was a poor choice indeed. I felt like I was melting and probably approached heat-stroke on several occasions. At the same time, I had the time of my life spotting buffalo, camping on secret beaches, and soaking in the dramatic desert-island landscapes.
You can really walk this hike at your own pace. If you tend to be a slower hiker or you are hiking it in the heat of the summer, consider taking 4 days to complete the hike.
4. Mount Katahdin, Maine
Views atop Mt. Katahdin.
Length: 2.4-9 miles (depending on where you start/end)
Days: 1 (8-12 hours)
Best time to hike: Summer
Mount Katahdin is the legendary peak where Appalachian Trail thru-hikers either begin or end their epic journey.
The hike up Katahdin may not be very far in terms of distance, but as you can see from the time-on-trail – 8-12 hours – it is a tough nut to crack. The juice is worth the squeeze, however; an ascent of Katahdin offers up sweeping views in all direction from the state of Maine’s tallest mountain.
The trail is mercilessly steep and slow going in places along the so-called Knife’s Edge trail. With the right fitness level, the hike is an absolute pleasure rewarded by the epic scenery found at the top.
5. Kalalau Trail /Napali Coast, Hawaii
Length: 22 miles (35.4 km)
Best time to hike: All year
I am not the first to dub the Kalalau Trail one of the best hikes in the US. The Napali Coast on the Hawaiian island of Kauai is one of the most breathtaking places found on planet Earth. The landscapes look like something straight out of Jurassic Park and Avatar (oh wait, they were filmed here!).
The Kalalau Trail is blessed with stunning beach scenes, waterfall swimming opportunities, rivers— all of which are framed by the mountains in the backdrop.
This trail is rugged, remote, and requires some advanced planning. The camping permits need to be applied for months in advance. Rainstorms can come suddenly with the intensity of a flash. Hikers have been swept away when mellow creeks turned into raging torrents.
The Kalalau Trail can be done as a day hike to Hanakapi’ai waterfall, but to really get the essence of what the Napali Coast is about, you should tackle the whole trail.
Come prepared, and you will leave with the memories of a lifetime.
6. The Wave, Arizona
Watching the sunrise over The Wave is incredible! | Photo by Ana Pereira
Length: 5.2 miles (8.3 km)
Days: 1 (2-4 hours)
Best time to hike: All year
Instagram may have made The Wave even more famous than it already was. True. But, this magical landscape of swirling red sandstone in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is not to be missed.
But…wait for it…
Because of the overwhelming popularity of the site, the Bureau of Land Management limits foot traffic to 20 people/day. Yup. 20.
You’ll need a stroke of luck to get the permit, but if/when you do, you can be certain that you are about the tackle perhaps the best desert day-hike in the USA. Be sure to pack plenty of water as there is none available on the trail.
7. Cracker Lake, Montana (Glacier National Park)
Glacier National Park is one of the least visited and most dramatic national parks in the USA…
Famous for years as a backpacking destination, Australia still packs a punch as a prime place to travel. Beautiful beaches, dramatic desert outback, cool laid-back cities, plenty of surfing, plus the largest coral reef in the world – it’s definitely got a lot going for it.
But in recent years Australia’s got… well, pretty expensive. So what do you do as a backpacker on a budget? Where do you stay? Surely you can only get gross accommodation on a budget these days…?
Nope. You can travel Australia relatively cheaply. So we’ve helped you by listing the best hostels in Australia not only by category but also by city, to make it super easy for you to find the best hostel for you.
This is your one-stop guide for backpacker hostels in Australia!
So book your time off work, get yourself a guidebook and scroll down to see some of Australia’s best hostels…
NOT the capital of Australia; with its sparkling beaches, shining city, and landmarks like the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, this is the city that attracts people to explore Australia. Modern and fun – and glitzier than most others across Australia – Sydney has a poppin’ nightlife and a great surfing scene as well as nearby national parks packed full of interesting nature. A good place to base yourself as a new arrival to Oz.
Bounce Sydney is our pick for best overall hostel in Sydney in Australia
Bar & Restaurant
Located right next to the central station, this top hostel in Sydney gets top marks for convenience – getting around the city is SO easy from here. Combine really good vibes with the staff that create a homely atmosphere easily earn it the title of the best overall hostel in Sydney.
If you want to party here, go ahead and party. But it’s also quiet enough that you can just find a space to chill out if you want that; 3 communal lounges AND a separate TV room make it easy to do either. PLUS a rooftop terrace, which is pretty sick. And when it comes to the kitchen, well, is 8 fridges enough?!
Mad Monkey Backpackers is our pick for best party hostel in Sydney in Australia
Common Rooms (loads)
Oh, here we go… Mad Monkey, Sad Monkey, Weird Monkey, whatever. Always something to do with a monkey with party hostel names, isn’t it? But this one IS good. It’s run by a great bunch of staff who make it easy to meet new people, chat, mingle, etc. Great for socialising, basically.
It’s also the best party hostel in Sydney because it’s reaaaally close to the bars and restaurants and the other assorted nightlife of the city. There’s a free breakfast too, so you can exorcise that hangover as it haunts you in the morning. Oh, also there’s a games room with… guitars, Netflix, all that sorta stuff to keep you entertained.
Bondi Backpackers is our pick for best hostel for couples in Sydney in Australia
Literally (and we mean LITERALLY) seconds to Bondi Beach, this is a great place to have a great time with your boy/girlfriend/etc. Think palm trees, sand, rooftop cocktails – this is living your best life together, Bondi style.
From the rooftop of this Sydney backpackers hostel, you can see the beach. It’s pretty much an amazing view. With that and cool things like surfboard hire, wine and cheese nights and all that shebang, you can rest assured that this is the best hostel for couples in Sydney.
Sorta the rival to Sydney, Melbourne is like its cooler, more laid-back, slightly hippified wayward sibling. At the same time, this cosmopolitan city is crazy about sports – it’s part of what runs in the blood of the city; they’re passionate about AFL football, horse racing and cricket, to name just a few, and have many buildings dedicated to them. Liberal and with a number of kooky subcultures, plus packed with cool cafes and trendy eateries, this is the capital of cool.
Hub Hostel Melbourne is our pick for best overall hostel in Melbourne in Australia
Smack bang in a thriving, trendy suburb of the city, staying at our best overall hostel in Melbourne means being surrounded by cool places to eat, drink and shop (if your backpack space allows you the pleasure). Located right by a city tram stop, getting around and further into the centre is simple.
Another plus point is that it’s set inside a heritage building, which is pretty cool: it means this Melbourne backpackers hostel’s got high ceilings, whitewashed walls, sun-dappled garden – perfect for a few beers.
Base St Kilda is our pick for best party hostel in Melbourne in Australia
If you wanna stay where all the nightlife happens, then stay here. This top hostel in Melbourne comes packed with a fun atmosphere where a load of awesome people congregate to drink and make merry. And we think that sounds like fun.
As with many good party hostels the world over, staff are on hand here to make sure everyone has a great time. The bartender will mix you up your fav cocktails, too. Basically, it’s the best party hostel in Melbourne because, well, it’s awesome. Silent discos, foam parties, the odd comedy night – it’s literally poppin’!
Nomads St Kilda Beach is our pick for best hostel for couples in Melbourne in Australia
This cool Melbourne hostel is not only set in a 150-year-old heritage building, it’s also got brand new beds, USB points, privacy curtains, you know – all the good stuff. But there’s also some pretty nice double rooms on offer here: great for couples, ’cause you don’t wanna stay in a dorm, right?
Enjoy your FREE continental breakfast with your other half every morning before taking a stroll to the BEACH a couple of minutes away. Or, you know, hop on the tram and zip into town to explore. You can see why it’s the best hostel for couples in Melbourne. Sounds a couples retreat!
This city is a big ol’ holiday resort city. It’s definitely the place to go for holiday fun – and works as a very decent jumping off point to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef. But it’s more than that. Hot and humid, the city still has a soul; it’s a friendly and laid-back city with a slow pace. It is decidedly geared towards tourism, however, with many souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes – I mean, we’re not complaining!
Travellers Oasis is our pick for best overall hostel in Cairns in Australia
Outdoor Swimming Pool
A great mix between a party hostel and a place to unwind, our top pick for the best overall hostel in Cairns has a welcoming atmosphere that will make most people feel comfortable and at ease. It’s newly decorated and has tropical gardens with an outdoor pool.
Besides swinging around on a hammock all day long, this oasis for travellers puts on a couple of social nights a week and is located pretty much right next to Cairns central station. Less than 15 mins to the Lagoon (the most lively area of town), it’s smaller than most other Cairns backpackers hostels, but that just means it’s more personal.
Munich is a city that wears many hats. It is famous for its incredible architecture, rich history, diverse art, cultural scene, and, of course, its raucous and rowdy annual Oktoberfest.
We wrote this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Munich because this is a large city and some neighborhoods are better suited for visitors than others.
Moreover, Munich is more expensive than other German cities, so you want to pick the best area in Munich for your budget.
In this article, we break down the best neighborhoods in Munich by sharing our top picks and some hidden gems, so you can quickly find the area in Munich that best suits your travel style and interests.
Whether you’re looking for the hottest clubs, most chill pubs, greenest parks or the best museums, we’ll discuss it all below.
Keep on reading for more information on our picks for where to stay in Munich.
Wombats City is our top choice for where to stay in Munich for travelers on a budget. It’s central enough in Munich – just a short walk from Old Town – that you can explore the city with ease. You’ll be well connected to public transit, restaurants, and bars.
Best of all, this fun and funky hostel has a great social atmosphere, laundry facilities, and relaxing hammocks. It’s our top pick for the best hostel in Munich, as well as where to stay for Oktoberfest since you can walk to the festival grounds.
Munich is one of Germany’s most underrated cities. As the capital and largest city in Bavaria, Munich has a diverse history, thriving cultural scene, vibrant nightlife, and lush natural landscape.
It is also home to the annual Oktoberfest celebrations, whose beer tents and steins attract thousands of revellers from all over the world.
But there’s plenty to see and so here beyond the beer garden. From sampling incredible cuisine to dancing the night away, Munich is a city that enriches the lives of its visitors.
Munich is divided into 25 administrative zones. Each zone has a number of neighbourhoods each with a distinct atmosphere and diverse attractions.
Altstadt is the historic and geographic heart of Munich. A pedestrianised zone, Altstadt is where you’ll find the majority of Munich’s tourist attractions, including Marienplatz, as well as shopping and great restaurants.
To the north, you have the district of Maxvorstadt. Considered the cultural centre of Munich, here you’ll find a great variety of museums and art galleries. It has a lively and vibrant student population and is home to Munich’s best nightlife scene.
Travelling south, you’ll pass through the neighbourhoods of Isavorstadt and Schwabing. Exciting and eclectic, these two districts are packed with restaurants, bars, shops and museums.
Across the Iskar River are Haidhausen and East Munich. These two areas are amongst the oldest in the city. They have stunning architecture and a plethora of thriving restaurants and family-friendly attractions.
Still not sure where to stay in Munich? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
5 Best Areas to Stay in Munich
Now, let’s take a look in more detail at the five best areas in Munich. Each is a little different than the last, so be sure to check out which is right for you!
1. Altstadt Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Munich for First Time
Altstadt is the historic centre of Munich. It’s made up of charming cobblestone streets and expansive medieval squares.
This area of Munich is home to the city’s most famous and recognizable tourist attractions and landmarks; it’s our recommendation for where to stay in Munich if you’re visiting for the first time.
Culture vultures who want to check Munich’s top tourist attractions off their list will love exploring Altstadt. Tucked around every corner are iconic sights and architectural gems, including the Altes and Neues Rathauses, Hofgarten, and the State Chancellery.
Interested in a little shopping? Altstadt is the place for you! In Old Town, you’ll find Munich’s leading shopping destinations, like Kaufingerstrasse and the open-air market Viktualienmarkt, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to clothes and souvenirs.
When you’re ready to grab a pint, head over to Hofbräuhaus brewery. Dating back to the 16th-century, Hofbräuhaus is Munich’s most famous beer hall. A bit touristy but still great for food, beer, and boisterous polka music.
image source: Flickr
Things to See and Do in Altstadt
Admire the detail of the Altes Rathaus, Munich’s old city hall that was originally built in 1474 and rebuilt following World War II.
Browse the shops and stalls of Viktualienmarkt, a large open-air market.
Dance the night away at Frauen 26, one of Munich’s best-kept secrets.
Enjoy great beer and traditional Germany food at Am Marienplatz.
Grab a drink and spend an afternoon people watching at Hofbräuhaus, one of the most famous brewpubs in Munich.
See antiques and armour, artefacts and more from the Middle Ages through the early-20th-century at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.
Visit the Neues Rathaus and let the magical figures of the Glockenspiel entertain you with their musical show.
As we mentioned earlier this hotel is one of the best places to stay in Munich, due to its convenient and central location, wonderful rooms and excellent amenities, like lounge and coffee bar and an on-site restaurant.
They also offer bike rentals; one of the best ways to see Altstadt and the rest of Munich is by bike.
Isavorstadt is a lively and vibrant neighbourhood that is part of Munich’s second district. Just outside of Altstadt, Isavorstadt is centrally located with a great variety of bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants, yet a much more affordable option than Alstadt.
One of the hippest districts in the city, Isavorstadt is very popular amongst Munich’s younger population who like to gather to enjoy craft beer, good cocktails, and a night on the town.
But there’s more to Isavorstadt than just beer. This south-central neighbourhood is also where you’ll find world-renowned museums, cultural institutions, incredible restaurants and some of the best views in the city.
We wouldn’t hesitate to stay that this is the best area to stay in Munich…
Our top pick for where to stay in Munich if you’re travelling on a budget, Isavorstadt has a wide variety of affordable accommodation options. From basic hostels to boutique hotels, your hard-earned travel dollars will go far in this hip and funky downtown neighbourhood.
image source: Flickr
Things to See and Do in Isavorstadt
Enjoy savoury sausages, cold beer and traditional currywurst at Bergwolf.
Grab a seat at the Bavariapark beer garden, a 1,500 seat pub that’s always bursting with activity and life.
Stand in awe of St. Paul’s Church, the second largest church in Munich whose bell tower stands nearly 100 meters tall. Climb to the top of the tower for an incredible view over Munich to the Alps.
Travelling in late-September? Grab a pint and join the party at Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival.
Try traditional German food with a modern twist at Roecklplatz.
Visit the Deutsches Museum and explore one of Europe’s best science and technology exhibitions.
Visit the famous Paulaner brewery and enjoy a pint (or two) at its fantastic beer garden.
Wombats City is a fun and funky hostel – and our top choice for where to stay in Isavorstadt. A short walk from Altstadt, this hostel is also close to public transit so you can visit the rest of Munich with ease.
It has a great social atmosphere and guests will love relaxing in hammocks in the glass-roofed terrace. If you are visiting Munich for Oktoberfest, this is the perfect base for backpackers and social travelers looking to meet people to enjoy the festival with.
Situated at the heart of Isavorstadt, GHOTEL is where to stay in Munich for Oktoberfest. The modern and comfortable GHOTEL hotel & living is also great for year round travels, as it central and close to dining, shops, and clubs.
The hotel has a sun-soaked terrace, stylish bar, and delicious daily breakfast buffet.
Enjoy a modern accommodation at the heart of Maxvorstadt at the Hotel Erzgiesserei Europe. Situated within walking distance of transit, this hotel is well-connected; plus, they offer bicycles for rent.
Each room comes with slippers, a flat-screen TV, and free wifi. There’s also a splendid breakfast buffet.
New Zealand has been the mainstay of backpackers for many years. Think adventure sports and camper van road trips, and this far-flung island nation springs to mind. But it’s also got white beaches and cool cities, plus in recent years it’s gotten a lot more famous thanks to those tricksy little Hobbitses.
Travel here can be cheap and adventurous. However, the distance between its main hubs is pretty vast, and the difference between the north and south island quite distinct at times. So where do you wanna hit up on your New Zealand trip? How do you split your time? And moreover, where you gonna stay?
Don’t worry. We got you. We’ve gone through the cities of the north and south islands to find the best hostels in New Zealand, to make your life MUCH easier.
So whether you want a slice of vibey nightlife, or if you want mountainous hikes and epic nature, there’ll be a town for that – and a hostel to suit you. So let’s have a look…
Though this major city on the north shore of the north island is a hub of things to do in itself (the views from the Sky Tower being one), the surrounding area is a mash of beautiful nature that really makes this a worthwhile place to base yourself – even if you’re not a fan of cities. When it comes to hostels, not all of ’em are super central either, meaning you’ll be chilling in the suburbs of New Zealand’s largest city instead.
YHA Auckland is our pick for best overall hostel in Auckland in New Zealand
This is the kind of top Auckland hostel that you’re gonna want to stay at. The brand spanking new facility has got itself a big communal kitchen and common room so you can whip yourself up some food and get chatting to other guests – or why not have a BBQ on the terrace with your new hostel mates.
The staff are one of the many reasons why this is our best overall hostel in Auckland, they are super friendly and will make sure you always feel welcome and know all about the nearby restaurants and bars in town.
Base Backpackers Auckland is our pick for best party hostel in Auckland in New Zealand
Two bars mean that this Auckland backpackers hostel is well prepared for a drinking filled evening, which is sorta what you want out of a party hostel, isn’t it? Another thing you want is location: being close to the bars of the city is a definite, definite plus.
The big ol’ kitchen means you can cook up some grub for yourself when you stumble back in after hitting up the town, too. The staff are super friendly and, if you hit it off with your fellow travellers, you’re gonna have the funnest time. So it’s pretty much the best party hostel in Auckland.
Haka Lodge Auckland is our pick for best hostel for couples in Auckland in New Zealand
If you wanna stay in a fun hostel with your partner, but also have enough space to chill out together, this place is the best hostel for couples in Auckland. The hostel has a range of rooms that are big with really comfy beds, including the private rooms with their en-suites bathrooms.
The chilled location of this Auckland backpackers hostel, downtown to be exact, is close to a few of sights and restaurants – and if you want to head into the buzz of the city centre you can reach it on foot.
The capital city of New Zealand, on the southernmost portion of the north island, is, well, a bustling big city. It’s a good place to base yourself if you’re gonna catch the ferry over to the south island, but aside from that, it’s a cool city to hang around in for a few days.
Get the iconic red Wellington cable-car up to the botanic gardens, geek out over some nearby Lord of the Rings locations, and wander round the historic timber houses. You’ll love it. Oh, and it has the nickname ‘Windy Wellington’ apparently, which just kills us.
The Marion is our pick for best overall hostel in Wellington in New Zealand
This place is new and shiny. Constantly rated as the best overall hostel in New Zealand (yup, it sure is), it’s SUPER clean with a crazy good location: just a block over from Cuba Street. This Wellington backpackers hostel doesn’t feel like one at all.
Sure, it might COST a little more… but it’s well worth the money. Bunk beds come with privacy curtains, the bathrooms are immaculate, and the staff are ultra helpful. I mean, what more do you want outta the best overall hostel in Wellington?
Nomads Capital Backpackers is our pick for best party hostel in Wellington in New Zealand
Well, if you’re looking for one of the coolest hostels in Wellington, this is it. If you like free food (and why the hell wouldn’t you??!) then you can stuff yourself silly every morning on pancakes, and then come back for the free dinner later on. Absolute winner.
But, aside from filling you up on food, this is also the best party hostel in Wellington: staff make sure the beer is always flowing in the hostel bar. Head out to the surrounding Downtown, which comes alive in the evening with bars and nightlife hotspots.
The Dwellington is our pick for best hostel for couples in Wellington in New Zealand
Like staying in a home away from home, the actually geniusly named Dwellington (usually puns are drab AF but we love this one) features the actually best private rooms ever. The building itself is pretty much a heritage site, too. We’re shocked that it’s a hostel really. Amazing.
Naturally, the lavish, Airbnb-style feel of the place would suit people travelling with their partner. It’s the best hostel for couples in Wellington. There’s a tennis court (no: seriously) and a cinema room, amongst other things that give this place a truly luxurious feel.
Named after Christ Church, Oxford, this south island city is jam packed with English heritage – there’s Christchurch Cathedral in the historic Cathedral Square, plus a number of other stone buildings; it’s also pretty fun to ride the heritage tramway around town. The proximity to the Southern Alps means that, mainly if you like skiing, you’ll probably like staying in Christchurch.
Juicy Snooze Christchurch is our pick for best overall hostel in Christchurch in New Zealand
24 Hour Reception
This place is located very close to the airport, for all those fans of hassle-free travel out there – like, you can literally walk there in 10 mins. The town is also a 25 min walk away, there’s a supermarket plus a few restaurants across the food. But juicy Snooze isn’t just convenient: it’s the best overall hostel in Christchurch.
There are various rooms to suit your budget, plenty of showers/toilets to choose from (YES, no queues) chill in the huge common room, cook yourself some food – it’s great. The interior looks a bit like Tellytubby land, like a lotta astroturf inside a big warehouse and a load of bright colours. But it’s also clean.
It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s hard to argue that Stockholm is one of the most gorgeous cities on the planet.
With world-renowned architecture, great food and amazing museums, Stockholm will keep you entertained for as long as you are there.
But unfortunately, it’s going to cost you.
Which is exactly why I made this list of the 20 best hostels in Stockholm.
Traveling on a budget in Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) is notoriously difficult. With meals running around $15 a plate, and hostels starting at $20 a night – it’s just flat out freaking expensive.
But don’t worry! With the help of this epic guide, you’ll get an idea of which Stockholm hostels are the best, so you can easily book on that fits your travel style.
Then you can money and travel Stockholm like a boss!
And make sure to check out our epic Scandinavia Travel Guide for itinerary advice, and travel tips on traveling Scandinavia on a budget, top things to do, places to visit, and more!
One thing to say about Stockholm’s hostel scene – although the best hostels on Stockholm are incredibly pricey, they can provide a ton of bang for your buck.
I organized this list keeping a few things in mind. Different people travel in different styles. Whether you are looking to get some work done, make some friends, get some sleep, or party your ass off – this list of the best hostels in Stockholm will get you to the hostel of your dreams so you can book quickly and get to exploring Stockholm!
Some other things I took into consideration…
Location – While Stockholm is Sweden’s largest city, by international standards it isn’t too large or overwhelming. Add in some great public transit and you shouldn’t stress too much about where you choose to stay in Stockholm. Having said that, if you are looking to take some day-trips, it might benefit you to book your hostel a bit more strategically.
Price – There’s no way around it – Stockholm is so expensive. But there are ways to lower your costs. To minimize the cost of your stay in Stockholm you must apply everything from the Backpacker’s Bible. This mostly includes…
Amenities – Hostel amenities can be the difference for $5 to $8 saved a day. I know that might not seem like much, but over the course of months it can add up to hundreds, if not thousands. With the best hostels in Stockholm in particular – focus on minimizing the cost of food. Do this by looking for two things . 1. Free breakfast and 2. A full kitchen. Both will allow you to shave off a TON of money, especially the kitchen, as you can cook dinner for only a couple of bucks.
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
Overall Best Hostel in StockholmOverall Best Hostel in StockholmCastanea Old Town
Castanea Old Town is our top pick for hostels in Stockholm
Self Catering Facilities
The overall best hostel in Stockholm in 2018 is Castanea Old Town for its near-perfect location. Within a 200m walk of Castanea’s front door, you’ll find the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum, and Stockholm Cathedral too! If you’re a culture vulture in need of some Scandinavian heritage you’ll fall in love with Castanea Old Town. From the best hostel in Stockholm, you can expect a friendly welcome and great travel tips from Cecilia and the team. Castanea Old Town is the best hostel in Stockholm in 2018 for its great location and on point backpackers vibe.
City Backpackers hostel Stockholm is one of the best hostels in Sweden
Self Catering Facilities
Onsite Bar, Cafe & Restaurant
City Backpackers is the best hostel for solo travellers in Stockholm, hands down. To be fair it was a close contender for best hostel in Stockholm overall. City Backpackers offers guests a free sauna, ice skates rental and saucer sleds too; fingers crossed it snows while you’re in town. On top of this, City Backpackers offers free pasta for guests and the guest kitchen is the perfect hangout spot for solo travellers. If you’re not fond of the kitchen scene head down the Nomads bar and you’ll definitely find some new friends there. City Backpackers is a top hostel in Stockholm for their freebies and Nomads bar.
Birka Hostel is the best cheap hostel in Stockholm with plenty of fun things on offer…
Self Catering Facilities
Tours & Travel Desk
Offering guests a free breakfast, free WiFi, and free city maps, Birka Hostel is the best cheap hostel in Stockholm. If you’re literally looking for a place to sleep and a place to grab a quick breakfast, Birka Hostel is perfect. Free pasta, tea, and coffee in the guest kitchen go a long way in making Birka the best budget hostel in Stockholm. In turn, helping shoestring backpackers experience what is otherwise a pretty punchy city; price wise that is.
Interhostel is one of the best cheap hostels in Stockholm!
Self Catering Facilities
Interhostel is a great budget hostel in Stockholm, clean, cosy and bright; it is the perfect stopover for the money-conscious backpacker. The location of Interhostel is what makes it so brilliant, they are right in the heart of Stockholm’s historical centre, within an easy walking distance of the Opera House, Old Town and shopping-central Drottninggatan. If you’re travelling as a group you can cut costs by booking a private dorm to share, complete with TV and DVD player.