Hamburg is often overlooked in the rush to Berlin’s buzzing nightlife and Munich’s festive markets, which is surprising because it has all the ingredients you need for a cheap and cheerful good time.
Germany’s second-largest city boasts striking architecture, countless maritime sights, round-the-clock nightlife and a burgeoning design scene. While hotels tend to veer on the expensive side, the city boasts an impressive array of traditional backpacker hostels and hybrid hostel-hotels offering a stylish nights sleep for a fraction of the price. We’ve taken a deeper dive into Hamburg’s hostel scene to whittle down the five best hostels in Hamburg, from re-imagined factory floors to purpose-built spaces.
Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel
Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel is located in the hip, happy Sternschanze district, perhaps the coolest neighbourhood in the city. It’s a good stroll to the city’s main landmarks, but you’ll have dozens of quirky cafes, vintage shops, design boutiques and lively music venues at your fingertips. The hostel is as stylish as the neighbourhood, housed in the former Mont Blanc factory with murals by prominent German artists. There are 17 bright and spacious rooms to choose from, with a range of private bedrooms and three mixed dorms. There’s no common room so it’s best suited to those who are looking for a design-conscious, affordable base from which to explore the best of the city.
Bartelsstraße 12, Sternschanze
This lovely, laidback hostel is perfect for those looking for an affordable good nights’ sleep. Located in Altona, the westernmost borough in Hamburg, it’s a short stroll from the metro. It’s also less than 10 minutes from the Hamburg-Altona train station. There’s a plethora of bars and shops in the neighbourhood but best of all is the boisterous Sunday market, located inside the glass-roofed nineteenth-century Fish Auction Hall. There are 18 rooms to choose from, each featuring a bed, writing desk and ensuite toilet. Thoughtful touches, such as complimentary toiletries, towels and sheets, make all the difference too.
Max-Brauer-Allee 92, Hamburg
Superbude Hotel Hostel St. Pauli
Superbude is the antithesis of a backpacker destination. Designed with digital nomads and design-conscious travellers in mind, guests can enjoy free access to fast-speed WiFi, computers and MacBooks. There’s a handful of communal spaces with dedicated meeting rooms and workspaces too. Interiors are colourful and kitted out with upcycled furniture and vintage posters. There’s a free buffet breakfast every morning and drinks are served in the stylish lobby in the evening. Location-wise it’s pretty unbeatable too, less than a 15-minute stroll from the city’s liveliest bars, nightclubs and theatres. Guests can choose from a range of rooms, from six-bed dorms to deluxe double bedrooms.
Juliusstraße 1-7, 22769
Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel
Instant Sleep Backpacker is a traditional hostel with a long history of happy customers – the hotel first opened its doors over two decades ago. Rooms are colourful and simple, with options to sleep in six or ten-bed dorms. There’s also a full-equipped kitchen offering a breakfast buffet and free tea and coffee. Sociable sorts will want to hotfoot to the common room, which hosts everything from open mic nights to board game evenings. For sunnier days, there’s also an outdoor terrace.
Max-Brauer-Allee 277, 22769
A stone’s throw from the Hauptbahnhof station, Generator Hamburg is designed for the ‘young at heart’ traveller, regardless of age. The emphasis here is on socialising and meeting like-minded travellers, with spaces designed to help facilitate good conversation. There’s a large lounge area and a TV area in the lobby, as well as a terrace for al fresco drinks and dining. Best of all is the Helter Skelter Bar, where John, Paul, George and Ringo once performed before they hit the big time. The hostel-hotel hybrid also offers a range of room options, from mixed shared dorms to deluxe doubles.
Steintorpl. 3, 20099
By Allie d’Almo