You will choose Hostel instead of hotel when you read this article

Take one historic building, add lashings of designer style, secret bars, a party-perfect penthouse sleeping six and you have… a hostel.

A fortnight ago, the Generator opened in Amsterdam. Housed in a former university science lab that overlooks a park, it might have everything you want from a hotel in terms of facilities, including double rooms with their own bathrooms, but it proudly bills itself as a hostel and has prices to match. [Read more about some amazing facts]

Double rooms start at £78, and shared rooms from £14. There are other Generator hostels in Venice and two in Berlin. One opens in Stockholm later this year and they all share the same trendy approach.

The Plus Hostel in Florence – brilliantly situated close to the station and the Accademia Museum – has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a roof terrace with bar and DJs.

In May, a double room with an en suite bathroom starts at around £60. You’ll also find Plus Hostels in Prague and Berlin and they also have campsites near Rome and Venice.

Pricey destinations

Pricey destinations like Florence are within reach

These days you can find trendy hostels from Shanghai to Miami, where the Freehand (thefreehand.com) has its own pool and, in the Broken Shaker, one of the city’s fab cocktail bars; dorm spaces start at £19 a night. It’s fair to say that you won’t be booking here – or its new Chicago sibling – for a quiet life. [Read more about amazing science facts]

Hostels, whether they’re the trendy ones or the more traditional type, are about being sociable. Other stellar independent hostels include Bounce (its own pool and, in the Broken Shaker, one of the city’s fab cocktail bars; dorm spaces start at £19 a night.

It’s fair to say that you won’t be booking here – or its new Chicago sibling – for a quiet life. Hostels, whether they’re the trendy ones or the more traditional type, are about being sociable. Other stellar independent hostels include Bounce (bouncehostel.com.au) in Sydney, which has a roof terrace with iconic views. [Read more about elephant facts for kids]

Prices start at £30. Booking through a specialist website often makes sense. One of the best is hostelbookers.com

Another budget bonus, hostel locations tend to be a bit trendier than the boutique hotel norm, which makes exploring nightlife easier and cheaper.

So what makes these hostels better than hotels? Ultimately, it’s about a cool vibe, a cost-saving communal kitchen and understanding that travellers come in all shapes and sizes – among all the double beds, you’ll still find group rooms and single ones.

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