Readers of this blog will know that I always stay in hostels when I travel.
Not only are hostels the most budget-friendly accommodation there is, but as a solo traveller, I love the social side of hostels and how easy it is to make new friends in hostels (I actually have a post all about how to make friends in hostels for the introverts among you, and what to expect when staying in a hostel if you’re new to hostel life!).
With that being said, not all hostels are created equal, and some cities can be quite hit and miss when it comes to the quality of their backpacker hostels.
While I believe Bratislava to be one of the most underrated European capitals, it is still relatively off-the-beaten-track when it comes to mass tourism, and as a result, hostels in Bratislava haven’t all caught up to the standards that most travellers have come to expect.
I decided to put together a list of the 7 best hostels in Bratislava for backpackers to ensure that your trip to Bratislava isn’t ruined by a less-than-ideal accommodation choice.
Whether you want a crazy party hostel, a capsule hostel with hotel quality or a family-style place to kick back and relax, you’re sure to find something on this list.
Alternatively, you could also try house sitting. House sitting enables you to stay in someone’s empty home for free, on the condition that you just take care of it (water any plants etc.). You can use TrustedHousesitters to see if there is anything available for your dates!
if you’re planning a trip to bratislava then don’t forget to check out my list of the best things to do in bratislava and my one day bratislava itinerary!
The 7 Best Hostels in Bratislava for Backpackers
1. Wild Elephants Hostel
If you’re a backpacker who enjoys a drink then you can’t go far wrong with Wild Elephants Hostel.
Wild Elephants is probably one of the most well-known hostels in Bratislava and tends to be the one that most people travelling around party hostels in Central Europe gravitate to.
Wild Elephants isn’t on the same level as Retox or Greg and Toms when it comes to partying, but if you enjoy playing beer pong, want to try a shot of borovička (Slovakia’s answer to rakija) and you’re partial to a pub crawl, Wild Elephants has got you covered.
What’s more, Wild Elephants isn’t just about partying. I stayed there twice and I really enjoyed the family-style vegan dinners every evening, day trips to the lake and laid back vibe, not to mention that it is located slap bang in the centre of the main square.
It is a little on the hippie side (think dreadlocks, stick and poke tattoos and free love) and definitely a bit ‘rustic’ looking, but as far as Bratislava hostels go, it’s a really good choice.
To see rates and book your stay at Wild Elephants Hostel Bratislava, click here.
2. Safestay Bratislava
Safestay Bratislava describes itself as an ‘inspiring cosy place where you will meet other dreamers just like you.’
Located a 6 minute walk from the train station and a 12-15 minute walk from the main shopping street, this hostel isn’t quite as central as Wild Elephants but it’s perfect if you have to lug heavy bags from the station!
Safestay Bratislava has its own onsite bar where you can order food as well as something to drink, and they have regular events where you can learn how to cook traditional Slovakian dishes, speak the local lingo or discover the best pubs in town.
If you want the atmosphere of a hostel but the luxury of a hotel then worry not, because Safestay also has stunning private rooms available.
To see rates and availability at Safestay Hostel Bratislava, just click here.
3. Patio Hostel
Of all the Bratislava hostels on this list, Patio Hostel is perfect for backpackers as it’s cheap and cheerful and there are plenty of places to socialise with your fellow travellers, including a spacious garden area.
Patio Hostel also has its own onsite bar selling cheap drinks and lots of freebies included in the price of your stay including laundry, shisha and even discounts in nearby bars and restaurants!
To view rates and availability at Patio Hostel, just click here.
4. Hostel Folks
Hostel Folks claims to offer ‘pure hostel atmosphere without compromising sleep quality,’ which makes it the absolute best of both worlds when it comes to hostels in Bratislava! I actually ended up back at Hostel Folks with some friends one night, and I really loved its huge common room and the fact that there was no curfew so we were able to stay up drinking as long as we liked.
Hostel Folks also has a huge TV and PS3 for those impromptu gaming tournaments with your fellow backpackers, and of course all the free tea and coffee you can drink.
To view rates and availability at Hostel Folks, just click here.
5. Boutique Capsule Hostel CHORS
Boutique Capsule Hostel CHORS seamlessly blends together the shared common areas that you find in hostels with the high quality accommodation and absolute privacy that you would get in a hotel, making it one of the most unique hostels in Bratislava and a great choice for those of you who want something a little more high end.
CHORS is a capsule hostel, meaning that every guest sleeps in their own private ‘pod,’ (you can choose from a single or king size bed), all of which have their own nightlights, shelves, roller blinds and electrical outlets so that all your needs are met.
However, it isn’t only the beds that give this hostel an upscale edge – the bar and common areas are both like something that you’d expect from a mid-range hotel and everything is brand spanking new.
I’ve stayed at a few capsule hostels before (mainly in Southeast Asia as they are not very common in Europe), and I am a huge fan because they guarantee that you get a great night’s sleep without missing out on all the social perks of staying in a hostel!
This Bratislava hostel is perfect for travellers who are a little older, people who want a break from the backpacker crowd, and remote workers.
To view rates and availability, just click here.
6. Art Hostel Taurus
Art Hostel Taurus is one of the only hostels in Bratislava that offers a free breakfast, making it a winner in my book!
Describing itself as a ‘cosy and family-style’ place, Art Hostel Taurus is perfect for those looking for a laid back vibe, welcoming staff and a range of games including darts and table football.
Art Hostel Taurus is one of the more basic hostels on this list in terms of the rooms and building itself, but the breakfast and table football more than make up for that if you ask me.
To view rates and availability at Art Hostel Taurus, just click here.
7. Urban Elephants
Urban Elephants is the sister hostel of Wild Elephants, and while Wild Elephants is more of a party hostel, Urban Elephants is for people who just want to kick back and chill while still enjoying a social hostel atmosphere.
When it comes to the rooms and common areas, Urban Elephants is super basic, and it probably isn’t the best choice if you enjoy the nicer things in life, but if you just want a cheap bed for the night and a place where you can meet likeminded travellers, Urban Elephants may be for you.
To view rates and availability, just click here.
Things to Know Before You Visit Bratislava
Slovakia has been a member of the EU since May 1, 2004, and the currency in Slovakia is the EURO.
The official language in Slovakia is Slovak, but you will not struggle speaking English in Bratislava.
Bratislava is a very safe city and crime rates are very low, with violent crime being almost non-existent. The biggest threat that you may face in Bratislava is pickpocketing, and even then, the rates for pickpocketing in Bratislava are much lower than in Europe as a whole.
With that said, if you’re planning a trip to Bratislava, then I strongly recommend buying travel insurance. I NEVER travel without insurance, and I’ve seen too many others get landed with huge medical bills as a result of not having had insurance, that it’s something I’ll never neglect to buy. My recommendation for great travel insurance is World Nomads.
Bratislava is the seventh cheapest country in the European Union. A meal in a traditional pub will cost between 5-10 EUR, beer is between 1-2 EUR and dorm beds in hostels start at around 12 EUR.
Despite traditional Slovakian food being very meaty, there are tonnes of vegetarian and vegan options in Bratislava, so you don’t need to worry about going hungry if you are a vegan in Bratislava!
Bratislava’s Old Town is totally pedestrianised, as well as being very compact. This means that if you only have one day in Bratislava, you can still squeeze in all of the main Bratislava attractions in an afternoon!
Getting to Bratislava
If you are flying to Bratislava, you will probably be travelling to Bratislava Airport (BTS) or Vienna-Schwechat (VIE) airport. Bratislava airport is just 15-20 minutes away from the centre, and Vienna is 40km away with regular buses.
If you are taking the train to Bratislava, you can arrive from Prague, Budapest or Vienna. All three cities have regular connections to Bratislava, and the Main Station in Bratislava is just a 15 minute walk away from the Old Town. To check out train travel, use Trainline.
Buses to Bratislava arrive from a wide range of European cities and they arrive and depart from Mlynské Nivy bus station.
My go-to bus travel in Europe is always FlixBus. Flixbus is the most extensive bus network worldwide and all Flix buses have Wi-Fi, extra legroom, charging ports and the ability to modify your booking just 15 minutes before departure! Click here to book your Flixbus to Bratislava.
Vienna to Bratislava
Getting from Vienna to Bratislava is super simple and only takes 1-2 hours, depending on how you travel.
Vienna to Bratislava by car: The 80km drive from Vienna to Bratislava takes an hour (or 52 minutes to be exact!), and you can either hire a car or use a rideshare app such as BlaBlaCar.
Vienna to Bratislava by train: There are 39 direct trains from Vienna to Bratislava every single day, and they can get you there in as little as 44 minutes, with the average taking just over an hour. Tickets cost between 13-17 EUR. Go to Trainline‘s website to see times and prices.
Vienna to Bratislava by bus: Travelling from Vienna to Bratislava by bus takes slightly longer, at around 1 hour and 20 minutes, but is the cheapest way of travel, with tickets coming in at 6 EUR. There are 6 direct buses from Vienna to Bratislava each day. Check the Flixbus website for times.
The 7 Best Hostels in Bratislava for Backpackers | Final Thoughts
So, that just about concludes my list of recommendations for the best backpacker hostels in Bratislava.
Bratislava is an absolutely magical city with a tonne of interesting things to see and do, a beautifully preserved old town, delicious local grub and (most importantly?) cheap beer.
I hope that this article has been helpful in planning your Bratislava trip, and if you have any questions then please leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you!
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