The Best Hostels to Book in Belgium

Budget-conscious travel becomes an unexpected pleasure when discovering Belgiums coolest urban hostels
Budget-conscious travel becomes an unexpected pleasure when discovering Belgium's coolest urban hostels | Courtesy of Meininger Hotel Brussels City Center
Nana Van De Poel

While avid travellers are without a doubt rich in happiness, they often have to get creative to make their travel budget go further. Hostels are a great solution, not only to save a pretty penny but also to get to know new friends (or even have a holiday fling). With this in mind, we’ve lined up some of the best hostels in Belgium.

BRUGES:

1. Hostel Lybeer

Hostel, Hotel

Several people in a moodily lit bar with red walls, sofas, tables, chairs and chandeliers at Hostel Lybeer
© lovetrotter.net / Courtesy of Hostel Lybeer
Hostel Lybeer has made a habit of surprising backpackers with a recently renovated 19th-century venue bursting with comfort. ‘The first thing we say to all our guests is ‘Welcome home,” explains manager Yaron Schollaert, and that truly goes for anyone. Not just a place for 20-something backpackers, Hostel Lybeer is used to accommodating travellers of any age, be it spry 75-year-old grandpas or recent newlyweds coming to celebrate in one of the most romantic European cities around. The happiness only increases when it becomes clear that Yaron and his multilingual staff have all sorts of goodies in store such as pub quizzes, a fully equipped kitchen for you to cook in, a free city map, and even free daily walking tours.

2. St Christopher’s Inn at the Bauhaus

Hostel

If you’ve come to Belgium to get your lips on a few of those alcoholic bad boys you’ve heard so much about, St Christopher’s Inn makes it easy for you. The travellers’ bar in their adjoined step cable houses stocks over 40 typical Belgian beers and hosts tastings and two happy hours every single day. Partygoers will be happy to know that check-in and check-out are possible 24/7, so no going home before you’re done enjoying Bruges‘ nightlife.

BRUSSELS:

3. Meininger Brussels City Center

Budget Hotel, Hotel

Bar area at Meininger Brussel City Centre with exposed brick walls and bar stools
Courtesy of Meininger Brussel City Centre / Hotels.com

Blending in with the city that likes to call itself the world’s comic capital, the Meininger Hotel has decked itself out in murals of paper heroes and cartoon drawings. The incredibly spacious, industrial-looking communal spaces are perfectly stylish with street art thrown in, and there’s good news for the environmentally conscious traveller, as this place is completely CO2 neutral.

4. The Captaincy

Hostel, Guesthouse

Giving a real feel for personal and authentic Brussels is The Captaincy. This guesthouse/hostel is especially great for the opportunity to stay in one of the capital’s historic 17th-century townhouses at an affordable price. The impressive home at the ‘lime dock’ in the tranquil Saint Catherine neighbourhood used to house the captaincy of the Brussels Harbour before becoming the private property of a well-off merchant. With its full capacity at 16 guests and a wooden rooftop terrace, it’s almost a boutique hostel.

ANTWERP:

5. The ASH

Hostel

Patio at the ASH with astroturf, bar and seating
Courtesy of Antwerp Student Hostel
Rooms with private en-suite bathrooms are a rarity in the hostel scene, a fact that immediately lifts the Antwerp Student Hostel out above the bunch. Designed originally for students, researchers, and even professors, the ASH now attracts a great deal of international guests from all walks of life. A tranquil library is still preserved for people trying to study or work, while more carefree guests can enjoy the outdoor patio or game room. Expert tip: room 1701 offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city’s Cathedral.

6. Antwerp Backpackers Hostel

Hostel

Terrace at Antwerp Backpackers Hostel with people around a table, a world map and a tree
Courtesy of Antwerp Backpackers Hostel
Quirky and with a distinct family feel, Antwerp Backpackers Hostel would be the first to admit that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. You won’t find too much luxury here, but the jovial atmosphere, communal BBQs, cozy patio, and colourful hammocks more than make up for the lack of glamour. Bridget and Greg, the owners of this old chocolate factory-turned-home away from home, are always at the ready with insider tips on where the cool art shows are and will serve you free coffee to boot.

GHENT:

7. Hostel Uppelink

Hostel, Hotel

Bar at Hostel Uppelink with tables and chairs and people drinking
Courtesy of Hostel Uppelink
An absolute high-flyer ever since opening in 2012, the family-owned Hostel Uppelink carries with it mightily impressive stories. At one point in the 15th century the residence of Philip II and his entourage and at a later point the storage unit to all of Ghent’s beer, ‘the tapeworm’ (at that time a noble nickname for the building as it was considered a mythical animal able of transforming into a dragon) is a house complex worthy of a charming city rich in culture and history. Even with this gorgeously preserved property, the owners go the extra mile by organising free walking tours in English and Spanish, board game nights, and even the ability to rent a kayak for paddling Ghent’s quaint waterways.

8. Ecohostel Andromeda

Hostel

One of the most wonderful things about life in Ghent is the city’s collection of crisscrossing canals. Visitors enchanted by the waterways might want to give Ecohostel Andromeda a try as it’s located inside a converted barge a little ways out of the centre. Ecofriendly with a biological breakfast included and a distinct nautical charm, it’s the most original way to spend a Ghent getaway.

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