I will be staying in hostels while backpacking across Europe. Because adding extra luggage will be expensive, I will have to travel for a couple of weeks with only a small backpack. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Is it easy to do laundry in European hostels? Or is it better to just pay extra for baggage on low cost European airlines?

  2. Do hostels supply padlocks for lockers, or should I be carrying my own?

  • 6
    You may want to specify (at least) the countries involved, things may differ a lot from country to country. An alternative to doing laundry at the hostel is to use laundromats, though you should probably research them in advance, their presence across territories being quite uneven. Remember that on many low cost airlines the only cabin luggage allowed for free is extremely small (sometimes as small as one single 40x25x20 cm bag).
    – jcaron
    May 19 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


In many but not all European hostels you can do laundry, the rest will know where you can find a place near where you can do it. The availability differs between countries, between different hosteling organizations and sometimes even within a single organization, based on the visitors they have and the space they have in their building(s.)
It is not really the money you would spend or save, it is traveling with a much lighter pack that makes the difference, so I would suggest to travel with less luggage.

Hostels sometimes have locks for rent or sale, sometimes have lockers that work with a different kind of locking system but bringing a small lock is always good. If a separate lock works you are allowed to use your own.

For those traveling in hotels rather than hostels, in those it is almost never possible to do your own laundry and where they do offer a laundry service it is often expensive, but they will still usually be able to tell you where in the area you can find a laundrette or dry cleaning service company.
Only hotels meant for long stays often include laundry options.
On the other hand, if you stay in a small family run place it is not unlikely that the owners can do a load for you in their own machine.

  • 1
    "it is often expensive" – just to give a sense of scale, from personal experience, having the hotel wash two pairs of socks or a single pair of jeans costs as much as an entire machine at a laundromat. Once, I was forced to stay on a work trip for five weeks instead of two and had to wash my clothes in between. It cost ~150€ for an amount that would have easily fit into a 5€ machine at a laundromat. May 19 at 20:00
  • Hotels catering for long stays (e.g. the Adagio brand) will usually have laundry facilities for guests (you have to pay to use them). But even in other types of hotels it’s possible they have some, you have have that option in the filters of some booking engines.
    – jcaron
    May 19 at 20:37
  • 1
    @JörgWMittag I once had a similar work trip experience. Planned for a 3 day trip, ended up staying for 2 weeks. I could have bought all new clothes with the amount of money I paid the hotel to wash my clothes.
    – Peter M
    May 20 at 15:29
  • @PeterM the difference is that your company can pay for that, while they usually can’t pay for your clothes. Which is one of the reasons they can offer the service at that price.
    – jcaron
    May 20 at 15:59
  • 1
    @jcaron Which is why I went with the cleaning. And as an anecdote, my boss called me into his office after that trip to explain why my expenses were so high for a simple "3 day trip". He had no idea that I was gone for all of that time.
    – Peter M
    May 20 at 16:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .