Hostelworld is currently the dominating system to book hostels in the world. There used to be hostelbookers but it was bought and now both sites resemble the same.

Not to say that the website isn't good but I often used both to search different offers and double check information like hostel ratings and prices or to do some type of search that one or the other allowed since they had different functionality at search level.

Since they now are the same and look the same, is there actually an alternative?

  • 4
    @hippietrail That seems a very poor "duplicate" compared to the current answers – Berwyn Sep 20 '16 at 17:47
  • 2
    Yeah I'm not really sure what's supposed to happen when the question is a duplicate but its answers are better than the older ones. I thought there used to be some way to "merge" questions, but I haven't heard anyone mention it in years. Maybe I was imagining it. Not sure what to do. There have been occasions when older questions have been marked as duplicates of the newer one, counterintuitive as it sounds. Maybe ask a meta question? – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 19:03
  • 2
    Although there is definitly a great overlap I am not sure my question is actually a duplicate. I am not looking for the cheapest sites but for credible and solid alternatives to hostelworld, – nsn Sep 20 '16 at 20:03
  • @nsn: Yes the two previous questions and this one have subtle differences in the way they ask, but the answers seem to cover the same range for all three questions despite that. Quora has a better way of merging questions that brings the answers over from the questions marked as dupes. It also does it in such a way that they can all get put back if the merge is reverted. – hippietrail Sep 21 '16 at 12:12

If only the wiki were up to date.

The big dog as you know is Hostelworld Group (including HostelWorld, Hostels.com, and HostelBookers). Because of network effects, being a major network does tend to be self-reinforcing, as more people both search for and submit reviews, but there is no shortage of sites where you can find reviews of individual establishments or book them. The trouble is sifting through results; commission revenue means the major engines like Expedia or Agoda will focus their energy on selling the $400 hotel room as opposed to the $40 hostel bed.

  • Hostelz.com is an aggregator. On the one hand, this means much of their content comes directly from HWG, corporate sites like Booking.com, or the other engines; on the other hand, it means you'll see listings for places that aren't in one or another engine, and its reviews and ratings are combined from multiple sources, making them harder to game. They claim to list almost 44,000 properties in almost 7,000 cities.

  • Dorms.com is an independent backpacker-focused accommodation site, which claims to have 30,000 budget accommodations.

  • Another major network is HostelsClub.com, which also owns HostelsCentral.com, and claims to have over 30,000 "affordable accomodations" in its database.

  • If you prefer professional reviews, there is HostelCritic.com, a blog sponsored by BUG (the Backpackers' Ultimate Guide).

  • Gomio.com began as a site for the European Hostel Cooperation Ltd. and now claims to have about 6000 hostels and budget accommodation listed after undergoing a quality review.

If you like YHA, HI, YMCA, and so forth you can of course check out their sites, as well as any of the hundreds of regional associations of hostels, inns, or hotels. None will be anxious to post any bad reviews of their member properties, of course. There are also countless sites that focus on hostels in specific countries or regions of the world.

| improve this answer | |
  • Oh I knew hostelworld and hostelbookers had merged but I did not know hostels.com was also in the mix, probably because I never used them despite seeing them many many times. – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 16:02

There are other ones mainly for hostels and others for all accommodation including hostels.

Off the top of my head for hostels only (or mainly?)

  • Hostels.com - Always hit it when Googling, but haven't used it yet

For many accommodation types, including hostels

  • Agoda - We get bookings via them at the hostel I work at in Australia
  • Booking.com - Learned about this also through work but I've now used them once

What my friends tell me they are now using instead of hostels, or are actually often "unofficial hostels"

  • airbnb - I've been keeping an eye on this lately but haven't used it yet - look for "shared rooms"

For reviews of hostels

In fact though I don't think of those last two as booking sites I think you actually can book through or via both of them these days.

And I know there's some others I haven't used myself that are not popping into my head right now ...

| improve this answer | |

I just compared Hostelworld to Booking.com with the filter set to hostels and found the same selection but with different ratings and enough of a difference to show me that it is not the same site.

There are several other hotel booking sites that do also do hostels, so you have choice there.

Besides, you can also run a 'review' search on a single hostel, this will give several different reviews, local (or national) sites as well as once working world wide.

I think I would rather use a local review site as well as a well known international site. And get newspapers headings if some hostel has very bad reviews, (even if I can not read those newspapers.)

| improve this answer | |
  • lol we just posted the same answer together :) – Ali Awan Sep 20 '16 at 15:22
  • 1
    And then we were both outclassed by an other. – Willeke Sep 20 '16 at 15:25
  • hahaha i dont think so, should appreciate all answers here:) – Ali Awan Sep 20 '16 at 15:26
  • I don't think my answer is better than either of yours, it just took me longer to type d-; choster's answer is definitely better than mine though! – hippietrail Sep 20 '16 at 16:03
  • @ hippietrail no one has better answers here, it is all about suggestions here – Ali Awan Sep 20 '16 at 17:12

I have been using Hostelbookers for the past 5 to 6 years. I always preferred Hostelbookers over Hostelworld because Hostelbookers always had competitive rates compared to other hostel websites.

I just came to know last year that Hostelworld and Hostelbookers have merged together. And new Hostelbookers website has slightly higher booking fees relatively to last websites. Also, always I had to pay the non refundable booking fee,therefore I decided not to use Hostelbookers anymore.

In the meantime,I started using www.booking.com which has a comprehensive website regarding booking hostels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and hotels. Not only they never charge anything in advance mostly, but also they have the vast majority of the hostels listed compare to Hostelbookers at their website

There are numerous other websites regarding booking, but personally I found www.booking.com really competitive in terms of rates

| improve this answer | |
  • I know it isn't, but the way you put the site name in bold looks so much like SEO. – Dmitry Grigoryev Sep 20 '16 at 16:04
  • @dmitry if you have read all the answer, you can presumably confer that it is all about personal perspective. Doesn't necessarily means a concrete answer – Ali Awan Sep 20 '16 at 17:11
  • I would appreciate one of the bold text being changed into a link, the other changed into normal text, as it does not serve much use in bold. – Willeke Sep 20 '16 at 17:19
  • @willeke just changed that – Ali Awan Sep 20 '16 at 17:21

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.