5 nightmare hostels of my life: the worst hostels in Europe

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Have you ever heard of these crazy and scary hostel stories? In this post, I’ll tell you about 5 probably worst hostels in Europe, where I had nightmare stays, so you don’t repeat my mistakes and come to these hostels.

To be honest, I’m not a hostel person. But I’m not a diva either. I need my warm and safe room, comfy bed and clean shower. All that you can find in a decent 3* hotel. I love 5* hotels, but in order to stay there, I probably need to work twice as much as I work now or go on holidays twice a year, which is not going to happen.

Everybody can, of course, have a different experience and many there are some of you, who even enjoyed staying in these hostels, but I’ll try to be as straightforward and non-judgemental as possible and tell you exactly WHY I named these hostels the worst hostels in Europe (I’ve ever been too).

I must say that none of these hostels has a low rating (in this case it would have been entirely my fault – going to a place, which everybody hates) and most of them had neutral or positive reviews.

So here is my selection of the worst hostels in Europe:

McCaig’s Return Hostel Oban

Reason: Noise and crazy parties downstairs

When we were heading to Oban (as part of our weekend road trip to the Isle of Skye), we could never imagine that such a tiny town like Oban will have such a crazy nightlife. McCaig’s Return Hostel Oban was the only place available in Oban which was cheaper than £100 per night (everything else was fully booked), so we decided to stay there and regretted it so much! First of all, the hostel is extremely old and the last time it was refurbished, it was probably 50 years ago. Nonetheless, it had all the essentials, so we wouldn’t mind if we were able to sleep there. But we weren’t.

There was live music in the bar right beneath our window and every minute the door to the bar would be opened and the music would get so loud, that we thought we are actually in the bar. Forget about the double glazing, who needs it when there is a bar downstairs! Once the live music stopped at 2 am, the bar crowd didn’t disappear. Quite on the contrary, everybody sounded ready to continue getting wasted. When the bar FINALLY closed at 3 am, wasted teenagers and their older companions stayed drinking in front of it, just under our window. They were shouting screaming, jumping and doing all the things wasted people usually do until 4 am when I couldn’t resist pouring some water from our window on their heads. It worked – they left.

worst hostel in Scotland
The only remarkable thing in the hostel – the stairs

Pouring water over someone’s head is not the best solution, I know, but we called the police a couple of times and they didn’t care.

It was 4 am already and it got light (the sunrise is very early in Scotland in June and our breakfast in the hotel was finishing at 9:30). We were finally prepared to fall asleep, but apparently, this spot under our windows is the sweet spot for all the alcoholics in Oban – because at 4:30 two drunk men arrived and started swearing and shouting in the middle of the street. They didn’t leave after 15 minutes, and then the neighbours started shouting at them asking them to leave. They refused and started singing and shouting even louder.

I got too furious, that I opened the window and threw a pepper to them. Obviously, I didn’t hit the target, but it worked and after 5 minutes of swearing and shouting they finally left. Surprisingly, no one else returned to the spot, so at 5 am we fell asleep to wake up at 8… The night at McCaig’s Return Hostel Oban was officially the craziest night we ever had and it’s probably the worst in terms of sleeping. So if you value your time, money and sleep – don’t EVER go to McCraig’s Return Hostel.

Hostel Angelina Old Town – Dubrovnik Croatia

Reason: paper-thin walls

In this hostel, we booked a private room, as always and it was terrible! We couldn’t sleep almost all night because of the paper-thin walls in the Hostel Angelina Old Town. First of all, we weren’t based in the actual hostel, instead, we were placed in the block of flats very close to the main square. The location of this block of flats was great and we had nothing to worry about. However, getting the key from the “headquarters” on top of Dubrovnik and climbing 70 or 100 steep stairs up with the heavy bags was quite challenging. We were happy to be located somewhere, where we don’t have to climb that all the time or don’t have to go outside the city walls and walk on the highway to surround the city walls and enter through another City Gate closer to the hostel.

However, we later regretted that we were happy about this block of flats. Luckily, we only stayed one night there, but this night we couldn’t sleep. Our neighbours returned around 4 am and started taking shower and it sounded like they were taking shower in OUR room. Then they were talking and we could hear every single word. And then they woke up at 8 am and made even more noise. So well, the night was terrible and I think that a place with such a thin walls can’t be a shared apartment.

Worst hostel in Dubrovnik
No photo of the hostel, but look at this panorama of Dubrovnik <3

Jaques Brel Youth Hostel in Brussels

Reason: pretty bad location and sad environment

I stayed in this hostel back in 2014 with my best friend Kate and we made a huge mistake by going in this district of Brussels. Well, I wouldn’t say Brussels is, in general, a nice place (it isn’t really), but this district is a total nightmare. One wrong turn – and you’re in the heart of Turkey + Middle East. Don’t get me wrong, I like Turkey and the Middle East, but it seems to me that people who leave these countries and move abroad are often quite disrespectful, otherwise, why would they try to harass us and whistle making our walk on that street really scary. No, we weren’t wearing anything short (if that would be enough reason to harass two girls), it was December and we were cocooning in our long coats and scarves.

Every single time we wanted to go to the city centre, we would have to go through a pretty bad zone (better than the one above) but still not so nice. Besides the hotel itself looked very weary and sad, they only had internet in the “lobby” with 1.5 chairs and our room was below the street level. Isn’t it enough reasons NOT to stay in Jaques Brel Youth Hostel in Brussels? Could definitely be named one of the worst hostels in Europe.

Flamenka Hostel Seville, Spain

Reason: Terrible bathrooms and water outage

This hostel has an incredibly high rating (well, at least it used to have one) and looked really cute in all the photos. Moreover, the price was low and the location (the city centre of beautiful Seville) was fabulous. You can see why we stayed at this place with my friend Kate during our crazy 16-day Eurotrip.

However, when it came to taking a shower, we realised that there was no hot water, as all the residents who took a shower used all the water supply. I don’t know how’s that possible, but that’s what we were told at the reception. There was no proper cold water either, but I somehow managed to take a shower, freezing there The shower room was really disgusting and hasn’t been cleaned for ages. 99% Chinese residents of that hostel didn’t help either – you could see long black hair EVERYWHERE on the walls and on the floor of the shower. Luckily, we only spent 2 nights in this hostel, not more, but we promised that we will never come back there for sure.

worst hostel in Seville Spain
Again no hostel view. Beautiful panorama of Seville

Alta Hostel Riga

Reason: Spooky location

Alta Hostel Riga is a typical old Eastern European hostel with minimum comfort and pretty cheap prices. As always, we stayed in a private room. It looked weary and depressing, but we only intended to sleep there one night. The real problem was the outside area – the spooky market that looked like something from the 90s (it was a crazy and dangerous time in Eastern Europe) and the fact that we were located in the MIDDLE of that market. Meaning that if we want to go basically ANYWHERE, we had to cross this lovely place.

It was honestly scary and not nice at all, so in case you’re looking for a stay in Riga, please stay in the Old Town and don’t cross the market at night. Moreover, the market was quite shiny (in terms of lights) and noisy, so it was hard to sleep in that hostel.

Oh, and bonus for you: the worst hostel in NYC! This one is not in Europe at all, but I just HAD to mention this “amazing” hostel in NYC!

Bonus: City Rooms NYC – Chelsea.

Reason: dirty room without window but with COCKROACHES.

So I had to stay in NYC for a night because of my flights from Mexico to Russia (it was more convenient to stay in NYC overnight). I decided to choose a decent budget-friendly place (talking about 60-70$) and during the low season in January it was entirely possible in New York City. So I found this really nice place called City Rooms NYC in Chelsea, just a few streets away from Penn station, the district I knew very well since I’ve stayed there many times.

The hostel looked so lovely in the photos, but in the reality, I had to carry my heavy bag to the 3rd floor (no mention of the fact, that there were no elevators) and for my 70$ I’ve got a shitty single room with a bunk bed and NO window. The air was terrible inside, it seemed like this place hasn’t been ventilated for ages. I had a really dirty fan next to me (with hanging pieces of dust), but it looked so disgusting, that I wasn’t planning to switch it on anytime soon.

The Highline Park NYC
The Highline Park – not so far away from that nightmare hostel


The room got very hot and there was no way to cool it down other than open a door (which as I discovered didn’t close, as the lock was broken). And finally, I saw a big cockroach running around the floor. After seeing that, I’ve had enough and went to the reception to complain. Luckily, the girl at the reception was very friendly and she even apologised for the quality of the room I received. I was lucky, that they had another room available – this time with a window and even a normal bed, but I didn’t know what I would have done if all the rooms were busy.


Well, that’s it about the worst hostels in Europe, where I had a chance to stay. Did you have any nightmare hostel experience? Please share it in the comments. I would really love to read a hardcore story.  If you liked this post about the worst hostels in Europe, please spread the word and share it on Social Media, because nobody deserves to be in such conditions!

5 nightmare hostels of my life: the worst hostels in Europe

7 thoughts on “5 nightmare hostels of my life: the worst hostels in Europe”

  1. Wow, pretty intens stories! Thanks for sharing them so we know not to go to those places!
    I’m a guy from Belgium (not Brussels, but Antwerp). Although for me the city can be quite enjoyable, I understand there is a big problem with cat calling. There even have been documentaries about it, but unfortunately it’s a problem that’s not that easy to solve.

    In the touristy parts of the city there is no problem, so most tourists don’t even notice. But I understand you were not staying at the city centre. I have to admit that I sometimes feel uncomfortable in those neighbourhoods too.

    I’m so sorry we couldn’t give you a better experience. Next time you’re in Belgium, let me know! I’ll show you around in Antwerpen and make sure there won’t be any annoying guys shouting.

    (Also, Belgium is more beautiful in summer, our winters are so damn grey!)

  2. Oh, my! 😀 I had only one nasty hostel experience – I think it was called Euro hostel in Glasgow. It was crowded, noisy and the bathroom was disgusting. But then, I rarely use hostels as I prefer camping.
    oh, one more – the hostel itself was nice and clean (in Reykjavik), but a guy came in during the night and used my towel as a blanket over himself, including his dirty feet. yuck.
    I”ve noticed on one of the photos in pin there is a sign “Hostel Fabryka”- I thought it would be something from Poland here?

    • Hi Ioanna, thanks a lot for your comment! Hopefully, you won’t have terrible hostel experience anymore) I didn’t have many beautiful photos of hostels, so I decided to use the stock photo for my pin. I only stayed in a Holiday Inn in Poland and it was great 🙂

  3. I am extremely surprised to see Hostel Angelina in Dubrovnik mentioned. I really really liked this hostel–I ended up staying an extra night. The main staff member who works there is very friendly, we all did a group hike up to the top of the hill overlooking Dubrovnik and the mountains behind us, the bathrooms were clean and private, laundry service was really good, and I made a ton of friends in that hostel.

    I stayed in a room with five other people and didn’t have any noise issues either. Very shocked to see it on the list.

    And I personally loved the location. Yeah, there are a lot of steps if you’re hauling around luggage, but that’s the trade-off when staying within the old town.

    Again, very surprised to see it on the list. (It currently has a 9.4 rating on HostelWorld too).







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