Backpackers Share Their Horrible Hostel Experiences
When trying to be financially responsible as a traveler, tourist, or overseas student, many opt for a cheap, affordable place to stay: a hostel. These establishments help provide food and shelter for a reasonable price during your adventures. However, you’ll be sharing facilities (even sleeping areas) with an entire group of people who are complete strangers – and this can lead to some pretty insane interactions!
If you believe that the worst person you could ever meet is someone who is just a jerk, think again. There are all sorts of horrid possibilities in hostels when it comes to fellow lodgers! Anything goes, from brawls to theft, to bed bugs. This is only scraping the surface of everything that could go wrong – and some of these horrifying hostel tales are nearly too wild to be believed.
56. Welcome To The Hostel Hospital
In Thailand a few months back, I went to a cheap hostel because I was trying to save money. Was not expecting glamour at all, but it looked like a hospital ward from the second world war. We had camp beds infested with bed bugs and in the middle of the night, someone asleep was woken up by their whole bed collapsing in on them. Was a funny story to tell to new people I met though!
55. Get Ready To Party
I’ve had a run of bad hostel stays. Scorpion in my bed in Nicaragua… rude French Canadians in Montreal.. terrible smelling rooms in Kho phi phi Thailand… locked out of my dorm in Belize. But outside of that hostels are absolutely wonderful. What I think a lot of people fail to realize is that hostels are meant for sleeping and locking up your bag and that’s about it. You don’t spend much time in the room itself. The hostel bars and pool parties can occasionally get a bit rowdy… but not unlike a resort bar/pool party.
54. Hot, Stuffy, And The Butt Doesn’t Help
Stayed in a hostel in Canada. The room was terrible! Other than being shared room with bunks (the usual) it was really hot and stuffy and the windows wouldn’t open. I cut my losses and tried to sleep. The mattress was some sort of plastic thing that was super uncomfortable, made a noise every time I moved and just made me feel hotter. I woke up early the next morning to see a half naked pasty white guy in nothing but his boxer shorts, with his butt facing me. Staying in hostels can suck.
53. An Itchy Souvenir
I stayed in an otherwise quite nice hostel in Belgrade where someone had left the screen door open at dusk and the place filled with mosquitoes (or some similar insect). They buzzed around all night and even bit through the sheet. Woke up with 27 bites on my faces including my earlobes, lips, eyelids.
52. Sounds Festive
I was in the Grand Hostel of Coimbra for a weekend every month couple years ago. The attic was considered a room because it had like 6-7 mattresses on the floor. The lighting consisted of some Christmas lights hanging from the roof and a disco ball.
51. Give Them Some Privacy
I was at a hostel in Sweden. I was traveling through Europe with my cousin and we stayed in a lot of hostels over our 28 day trip. This hostel was like a summer camp set up–bunks and bunks and bunks in one room–probably 35 people in there that night. Halfway through the night, I hear rustling on the bunk across from me. I hear whispers, unmistakable foreplay noises, and finally, the rip of a condom wrapper. At that point, I got up, went out, read a book, had a good old European smoke on the balcony, and waited it out.
50. Inhospitable Environment
I had work to do for a day in Manchester and I was running out of money for the research trip (damn you exchange rates!), so I stayed at a cheap hostel not far from the train station. I got stuck sharing the room with some Australian whose snoring sounded like the ungodly offspring of a rutting moose and a jet engine. Also, I got to be served by the obligatory unhappy Spanish speaker (because I think it’s an internal law of hostels that at least one of the employees must hate everything, including you, while doing so in Spanish). I was surprisingly pleased by Manchester itself but that was the least pleasant night I have ever spent anywhere.
49. Too Scared To Sleep
On my mother’s first trip to visit me in Germany, I took her to Bratislava. She always wanted to know what it would be like to stay in hostel so we found one that looked pretty cool. The hostel was themed after the horror movie “Hostel” and the tables were bathtubs with blood handprints, there were torture devices on the walls, and some really creepy bartender that fed us vodka from a secret bottle in the floorboards. Pretty cheesy and I had to wonder what an unsuspecting tourist would make of it if they hadn’t seen the movie.
48. It Takes All Stripes
When I was in Berlin I stayed in a hostel which had a weird layout, with most beds single or in bunks, but two pushed together in the middle of the room almost like a double. All the other beds were taken so I jump in one of the two pushed together ones, sleep peacefully all night, and wake up lying next to a young man who is completely naked.
Also I was kept awake in Brugges by two young English guys who got separated on a night out. Only one of them got back to the hostel before the 4am curfew, so the other one was locked out on the street. He started yelling, wanted to tell his mate all about how he’d ‘fallen in love’ with this girl he met in a bar, and wouldn’t stop shouting up at our window about it. His mate was trying to calm him down, which he only managed by eventually throwing a pillow and blanket down to his friend on the street, who slept in the doorway of the hostel all night. The next day they apologised to me and gave me a swiss-army knife they’d found. They were nice guys.
I loved backpacking, but the hostel were a challenge.
47. A Little Bit Of Local Color
It wasn’t so much in the hostel but what was going on right outside of it. I was in Seattle for a conference and was staying at the hostel in Chinatown on King St. Now during the day Chinatown is actually really nice and has a ton of neat shops and places to eat, and has an Uwajimaya, which is like the greatest Asian supermarket ever.
At night was a different story. All the delinquents and criminals would come out the woodwork, and from my dorm window it sounded like a drunken zoo. Fights, yelling, screaming, broken glass.
The last night I was there I went a few doors down to this scummy little dive bar that I fell in love with called Joes Grill to get sauced before my flight out. First someone tried to sell me assorted stolen meat products out of a bag, then some gang member got ejected from the bar and threatened to come back with a gun. I got propositioned a few times, usually declined and just gave them a smoke and walked back to the hostel.
All in all though, the hostel was lovely. Seriously really good, it even had a kitchen setup and storage for groceries. The neighborhood was awesome as an out of towner during the day. I also kind of like scummy dive bars.
46. You Get What You Pay For
In the early 90’s I had an open plane ticket to europe and a rail pass. I knew someone from school who lived in Amsterdam. So after new years on the Champs Elysee in Paris I caught the train to Amsterdam and stayed in Bob’s Youth Hostel.
Bob’s is an interesting place being on the edge of the red light district. The rooms had about 40 beds in them and everything was coed. It also had a curfew and packed about 70-80 people in the room each night.
Basicially if you weren’t in by midnight you stood no chance of getting a bed. All the stoners would stagger in sometime after midnight and the 2 am curfew. What made it a horrible experience was all the totally wasted hipsters who came in a 2 am and crawled into bed with you. If you were lucky they just passed out and smelled terrible, if you weren’t they would puke, pee, and who knows what else on you.
The location was great and the price was right, but now that I have a real job I’d suggest other accomodations.
45. Too Quick To Fold
A friend organised a trip to Copenhagen. There were meant to be six of us, all lads, so we had sorted out a single six-bed dorm in a hostel just for us. Except one of the guys dropped out, so there was five of us in a six-bed dorm. The beds had one side attached to the wall and folded up on a spring when not in use (this is important).
When we came back from a night out one evening there was an Aussie girl asleep on the bunk under mine. Being loud and inebriated we woke her up. She was cool, though. She chatted away and was having a laugh with us.
So I’m on the bunk above her and decided I want to have a sip of water from the glass I placed below. I swung my legs down, not realizing they nearly hit her in the face. She recoiled backwards, which in turn caused her bed to fold up against the wall – with her still in it.
The sight of this girl just disappearing with a horrified look on her face was so funny all five of us were laughing too much to help for a good few seconds, until we managed to pull her bed back down with her in it. It still cracks me up now, thinking about it.
She was a good sport, ended up coming out drinking with us the next night.
44. One Is All You Need
A good friend of mine was staying at an Australian hostel. It had a large communal room with single beds, and she left her bag and flip flops next to her cot while she was sleeping in an attempt to keep things secure.
She woke up the next morning to find that one of her flip flops was missing. She searched throughout the hostel and made a huge deal out of this to the other travellers, constantly asking why someone would ever steal only one flip flop.
Defeated by her unsuccessful search, she decided to leave the hostel and head out with some friends. They passed the front desk, and checking out of the hostel was an older greying man with a wooden peg-leg and a single flip flop poking out of his travel bag…
43. You Never Know Who You’ll Meet…
I was stationed in Germany years ago. Once, I went on a weekend trip with a bunch of guys from work and we stayed in a hostel.
A few years later, I found out that one of the guys I had shared a room with was a criminal. He’s in jail now. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure he didn’t do anything to any of us.
42. Wall Bangers
I had horrible hostel neighbours who kept yelling all night. At some point I accidentally (seriously) hit the wall and it set them off. For the rest of the night they were yelling and banging the wall. I couldn’t sleep and was to scared to leave my room.
41. Impossibly Loud Icelandic Concert
Iceland this summer. I came to a nice hostel in central Reykjavik after 24 hours of traveling and I had a tour booked the following night thinking that the 10 hours in the hostel would be enough to keep me going. That night the place next door had a concert so the windows of the dorm were vibrating. It was deafening loud until 4 a.m. That ruined my Iceland trip.
40. Friends Don’t Steal From Friends
I stayed at a place called “Friends Hostel” in what is apparently the rough area of Paris. People were selling corn which they had grilled in stolen shopping carts as well as single cigarettes. Each room only had one key which you had to get from the front desk.
One night, someone got into our room of 5 people and stole the passport of a Croatian guy who was right near the door as well as some Euros from my sister’s bag while everyone was asleep. (I was actually mildly impressed that he didn’t wake anyone up.)
When the Croatian guy woke up he accused my sister and I of stealing his passport to which I replied: “What in the world would two early 20’s Americans do with a Croatian passport?” He then demanded that we empty our backpacks and prove we didn’t steal it, which we did.
His buddy then ditched him to go sightseeing. I felt bad for him so I bought him a kebab downstairs.
39. Dinner And A Show
38. Bunking Buddies
American girl here. I visited Dublin four years ago while I was in college. I was staying at a hostel with 3 other girls in a 10 person room. We were sharing with a few people but the 2 who stood out the most were two older (probably in their 40s) Welsh brothers who were inebriated for about three straight days. They were nice but pretty much kept to themselves, which was fine because their constant state of inebriation coupled with their thick Welsh accents made it impossible to understand what they were saying anyways.
One night I came back after partying and went to bed. I was woken up a few hours later to the Welsh brothers trying to get into bed. After a few minutes the noises stopped so I looked down to see if they had actually made it into bed. (My top bunk was diagonal from their lower bunks.) When I looked down all I saw was one of them had passed out completely naked!
I stifled my laughter and went back to sleep thinking that when I woke up he’d probably have himself covered in a blanket and the show would be over. Fast forward a few hours. I wake up, look down and what do I see? The guy laying on his back snoring and still without clothing for the whole world to see. I couldn’t stop laughing at this point and he stirred from my rustling and covered himself with a blanket.
Everyone said I’d learn a lot on my study abroad trip. I definitely learned what the Welsh look like without clothing…
37. Float On
Recently a friend and I stayed in the Amazon jungle near Iquitos (Peru) on a camping trip. After five days out in the wild, I was ready for a nice warm shower and a good night’s sleep in a decent bed. The hostel was a set of floating buildings right on the river. We decided to go for dinner out in the city. It started to rain incredibly hard. I have never seen rain come down harder than this. We waited it out for a couple hours and enjoyed a few drinks.
Once it stopped we went back to find out that our hostel had dislodged from its anchor and floated out and pretty far down the river. The only remaining building was the reception office. I guess the hostel owner didn’t see us leave for dinner. They thought that we were in our rooms and called the police to go pick us up. When they didn’t find us in our room they started to search the river with spotlights and every boat they could spare. Needless to say, the police and hostel owner were relieved to see us walk up completely dry and alive.
36. The Man In Silk Pajamas
A couple months ago 2 friends and I were travelling Europe. We stayed in a 4 bed shared room in a hostel in Prague, and on the 2nd night, we returned at 3am to find our spare bed occupied by an elderly man in silk pyjamas.
Fast forward to next morning, and we all awake and said guest is hastily packing his stuff away (although he had now changed into a rather dapper tweed suit). We get chatting, and it turns out this gentleman is “doing all the travelling he never did in his youth”, now that he retired from Psychiatry. He tells us of his adventures around Europe, bids us farewell and we all agree that he seems like a flipping terrific, admirable dude.
3 weeks later I’m back in the UK, on a train to London, and find myself once again thinking of this mysterious old man who, by this point, had somewhat reached cult status among our social group. I remember that he gave us his full name, and the town he lived in, and I decide to jump on the ‘ole Google to see if I can find out any more about him.
What I found completely shocked me, and left both my friends sat either side of me, the same 2 who I’d travelled with, utterly speechless.
So it turns out this guy, now an absolute pantheon of lore, was wanted in court for numerous historic charges in May 2015, and guess what?… He didn’t turn up.
Turns out I spent 2 nights sleeping underneath a wanted criminal, on-the-run from the law on the opposite side of the world.
35. When In Rome
Overall, my hostel experiences have been pretty solid. I guess my best story would be from a few weeks ago in Rome. Hadn’t slept in close to 2 days, and had went out all day upon arriving in Rome. So by the end of the night I was completely out cold. The next day, the Aussie in the bunk above me is super apologetic, “man, I’m really sorry about last night, I was hammered, not acceptable, not how I usually am.”
I’m like…what are you talking about. Apparently he brought some Hungarian girl back and intended to be relatively quiet, but the girl was very loud. Woke up everyone else in the room, but he felt the worst about me since I was right below him the whole time…and I was so exhausted I didn’t even wake up for a second. Good times.
Photo by Willian West on Unsplash
33. A Brawl Between 10 Australian Girls
Stayed four nights in a hostel in Paris. First three nights were GREAT, because my friends and I managed to snag a private room that was just us. The last night, they’d accidentally double-booked and the second party had paid more, so they spread us out over several rooms. I wound up in a 12-person room with a bunch of Australians, and apparently one of the girls had been with the other girls boyfriend and everyone started to take sides. I was in bed with the curtains drawn by the time the fight started, and huddled in a corner in terror while 10 Australian girls fought. They were all friends again by morning.
32. A Talkative Vietnamese Chicken
It’s a toss up between the night of the chicken that wouldn’t shut up in Vietnam and the bed bugs in Lombok. The bed bugs were probably far worse, but I kept walking over to that caged chicken whispering: “You shut up. Shut. The. Heck. Up.”
31. Extremely Inconsiderate Angry Phone Calls
American here. I was staying in a hostel in London near the British Museum, about an 8-person room, and apparently this New Zealander girl was having a fight with her significant other back home, because the two nights she was there she would answer phone calls around 2 or 3 a.m. FROM HER BED and loudly start arguing without leaving the room, while everyone else was trying to sleep. Incredibly inconsiderate. Had a somewhat similar experience in another London hostel with men who sounded Eastern European. I know cultural norms vary, but answering a phone and holding a conversation in a room where others are sleeping when one can easily step outside seems to me more or less objectively rude.
30. Ruckus From Canadians
Canadian girls barging in the room late at night, waking everyone else up, and then proceeding to pass out and snore like beasts for the rest of the night. When sleep apnea hit and it sounded like one of them stopped breathing, I was almost hoping she wouldn’t start again just so I wouldn’t have to put up with it anymore.
29. Intense Insults Against The U.S.
Shared a hostel with two British dudes that incessantly and aggressively spouted off every stereotype regarding how messed up the U.S. is and how fat and dumb everyone in it is. I’m a skinny American of average intelligence who also doesn’t have much faith in the U.S., but by the second day, it was hard not to deck these guys.
28. Locked Out By Obnoxious Roommate
I was with my two friends and we got a 4-person room, so essentially had a stranger in with us. All cool, no problem. We get back to the hostel after a long day of jibbing around and have some supper and a few drinks. I felt tired, so said I would head to bed and meet my friends back in the room. The hostel had a thing where the first person to be back for the room would get the key, the only key, open it and hang out/sleep while leaving it open for everyone else to access. I check at reception and there is no key so head back to the room. It is locked. I knock. There is no response. I knock louder. Still no response. I go back to reception and check and they definitely don’t have the key. To cut a long story short, after half an hour of me, my two friends, and the receptionist banging, shouting, and screaming, a girl with noise canceling headphones opened the door with a face like thunder and goes “what?” Never has the phrase blind rage been more apt.
27. Disgusting Spread Of The Flu
The first night of my 3-week vacation in the U.K., I stayed at a hostel right by St. Paul’s Cathedral in London – one of those bunk-bed style rooms. I woke up to the sound of nasty, wet, continuous coughing coming from one of the other people in the room. Sure enough, I caught terrible flu from that room which really put a downer on nearly half of my vacation. I still enjoyed exploring the U.K., but I had to drive around with a giant box of tissues the entire time and was hopped up on flu medication.
I had planned on staying at more hostels on the trip, but decided to sleep in my rented car (a wagon, so plenty of room) rather than risk spreading/receiving more illness.
26. Horrible View On The Bottom Bunk
Naked, fat Russian guy trying to jump into the upper bunk for what seemed like an eternity while I cowered in the lower bunk and got a mercilessly unpleasant view.
25. Creepy Exchange With Fortune Teller
I stayed at this hostel in Rome that was not very nice. It was dirty and I left with pinkeye AND bedbug bites. But that wasn’t even the worst part. There was this strange woman there that insisted on reading my fortune. She apparently used to be a heart surgeon but had to quit because she had a near death experience, which also apparently gave her a sixth sense. She told me I had a great aura about me and also warned me about some of the people staying at the hostel. I really couldn’t understand everything she said, because she spoke Italian and I was only just learning the language.
Well, that night, as I was trying to go to sleep I woke up with a start and saw her standing over me.
“I just wanted to give you a kiss goodnight,” she said.
24. Accidentally Goldilocks-ing Angry French People
Turns out the hostel had put me in a room that was already booked out.
This led to me being shaken awake at about 4 a.m. by a young French guy with about a dozen facial piercings and his group of mates. He was pretty heated speaking French and very broken English (being an Aussie I only speak English, and barely even that), so we couldn’t really communicate, but going off his very emphatic hand gestures I think they were accusing me of breaking into their room and sleeping in their beds. Like Goldilocks, with less porridge.
I was still half-asleep and had no idea what was going on. After 5 minutes of trying to convince them I had a key and that I hadn’t broken into their room (they didn’t believe me/understand and kept getting angrier), they collected all my bags and marched downstairs to the front desk.
23. A Horrifying Bedbug Infestation
American arriving in India for the first time. Landed in Calcutta, easily the dirtiest place I have ever encountered. My traveling companion and I settled on a room in a hostel with a cement courtyard that was cheap and seemed fine, if not a bit run down. Fast forward to the next day being covered in HUNDREDS OF BITES FROM BEDBUGS. It took a full day to determine they were bedbugs and not just mosquito bites.
We went back to the room, it was about 9 p.m. at this point. Lifted up the mattresses to see what seemed like thousands of bedbugs scatter. At the time there was a city-wide curfew, so we slept on the concrete with nothing underneath us, as now everything in our packs including clothes was filled with the bugs.
It took 3 weeks of soaking our belongings in buckets of water to be free of the nasty little things. Worst part was waking up every night because you can feel them crawling on your body.
22. Oven-Like Interior
Awesome hostel in Budapest, but I don’t think they know what air conditioning is. Was about 30 degrees Celsius all through the night. Had to keep the windows open but they opened up onto a main road that had trams going 24 hours. Didn’t get a wink of sleep. It was so hot and loud.
21. Scene From A Zombie Movie
British female here. I was traveling in Australia and ended up spending a few nights in a “party” hostel; room of 4 bunk beds, so 8 people. The majority of the other people seemed to know each other already (not sure if traveling together or just from being in this room) but I came back one night and passed out.
Woke up to one of the guys SCREAMING, and I mean screaming. He pushes this poor girl off his bed, someone puts on the light and she is standing there covered in blood, all dripping from her mouth, looking like an extra in a bad zombie movie. At this point, not sure she knows its blood, she seems very dazed and confused. He is still in obvious anguish, flailing around on his bed. She looks down, realizes she’s naked, covered in blood and runs away never to be seen again. Poor dude had to go to the hospital with a severed banjo string. Rest of us went back to sleep.
I left the next day, but before I checked out they had put a sign on the door “Welcome to Banjos” ready for his return!
20. An Unfortunate, Unresolved Plumbing Incident
Barcelona. Two toilets near our 8-bed room. One kid was sick in one of the toilets and clogged it. We told the staff and they said they would fix it. They ended up putting an “out of order” sign on the working toilet so everyone kept using the broken toilet (except those with common sense). The smell in that place was absolutely repulsive.
19. A Horrid Christmas Awakening
I was in a great little hostel in Bangkok this past Christmas, full of wonderful people who I’d become good friends with over the last few days. Our room had six bunks, five of them filled with me and my new friends, and the sixth filled by some random dude. This random guy ended up waking us all up at 7 a.m. on Christmas morning by urinating off of his top bunk onto all of us below and all of our luggage. At first I thought it was raining in the room until I realized it was much, much worse.
The hostel owners ended up kicking the guy out and we all recovered after the initial shock, but I certainly would not want to relive that day.
18. A Frightening Allergic Reaction (That Paid For College)
I got eaten alive (200 bites) by bed bugs in a hostel in Hawaii. I was allergic to the bites and had to go to the hospital and get put on steroids. I itched so bad for weeks. Had to buy a new wardrobe of long dresses to cover the bites!
When I told them about the problem, they went outside and got an old bed and sprayed it with mineral oil, wrapped in plastic wrap, and said, “Here, you go! A new bed! You should be fine now!”
I lawyered up and sued them for $10,000. Helped pay for a college education, so it turned out to be worth it!
17. Waking Up To A Flood
Staying in a hostel in Amsterdam and had the drains clog up late at night so the shower, toilet, and sink were slowly filling and unable to drain out.
Woke up at 6 a.m. with the entire floor covered in water and my roommate getting extremely mad and cursing at the hostel in both English and Portuguese.
The funny part was the hostel was extremely nice and well kept, just bad luck that the room I got had plumbing issues overnight.
16. A Spelling-Casting Witch
I was on my 3rd day of being super ill while traveling and there was a literal witch casting a spell on a girl in my room. When I told her to shut up, she hissed at me and yelled something I didn’t understand.
15. Extracting A Blinding Eye Infection
I was staying at a dirty hostel in Puerto Iguazu in Argentina in order to see Iguazu Falls. Got some kind of rampant mutant Argentine eye infection in both eyes that morphed from a minor irritation to full-blown both eyes swollen shut oozing pus everywhere in a lot of pain in about 4 hours, and it proceeded to spread to both ears as well as my throat. Luckily the front desk was nice about it (probably because I looked horrifying) and had a doctor come on a house call. The doctors came to my room which I was sharing with 6 others of which I knew 2, though not super well. Docs told me I had to drop my pants (mind you, I’m blind and all of this is in Spanish) and I’m like, no way Jose! But the doc was like “yes way, you need antibiotics ASAP,” and they pulled down my pants and gave me a shot in my backside right there. I think it was given with a sedative because I passed out for like 12 hours, but in the morning I could see again, so I saw the falls after all.
14. An Obnoxious Fan-Hog
Twelve bedroom hostel in Barcelona in the height of summer. Bunk beds were three high and we were in a tiny space. There was one Spanish guy on a bottom bunk with us who hogged the only fan and would threaten us if we tried to take it. We ended up spending most of the nights out of the room anyway, but the day before we left, instead of just complaining/getting another fan, we decided to really pettily drop one of our bags from the top of the bunk as we were leaving, breaking it pretty comfortably. He was there for another 2 weeks with no fan.
13. Horrid Humiliation Turned Utter Disgust
Woke up to the unmistakable stench of sickness one morning after a night on the town. There were pools of spew all over my pillow and sheets. I was hugely embarrassed and apologetic, but also pretty surprised given how I had only been slightly tipsy the night before, and wouldn’t normally be one to throw up in my sleep. My suspicion was further aroused by the presence of partially digested spaghetti, despite having had pizza the night before.
Turns out the girl in the bunk above had rolled over and been sick over the side of the bed and onto my sheets during the night. I immediately asked to move to a top bunk, and spent a good long time in the shower.
12. The Meal That Got Away
I can get comfortable in the worst conditions, so I’m going to post a funny instead.
I once ordered chicken at a small hotel I was staying at in Cambodia. After waiting for ages, I asked what the deal was. Apparently the chicken escaped when the chef tried to start preparing to cook it and she’d spent the last hour trying to catch it.
11. Competition Between Snores And Tears
My friend and I were staying in an 8-bunk hostel room just off of Wittenbergplatz in Berlin. About an hour or two after the lights went out, there arose a propulsive and rhythmic hoooooo-pluggugguguggaguggugg … blug, blug, blug … hoooooo-pluggugguguggaguggugg … blug, blug …, like something being punched in the face. I lay there staring at the ceiling, unwilling to accept that this was a human being: that this was a human being snoring. After about a half hour of this, the Turkish woman in the bunk across from me actually started crying. Imagine the symphony: hoooooo-pluggugguguggaguggugg … aieee, hoo hoo hoo … hoooooo pluggugguguggaguggugg … waaa, hoo hoo hoo … hoooooo-pluggugguguggaguggugg. My friend and I did not sleep that night. We checked out the following morning and checked into a hostel across the street.
10. A Haunting By Phantom Mice
There was this one hostel in Amsterdam that probably had mice living in/around the bunk beds. As I was falling asleep, I could hear strange rummaging sounds in the mattress above me (it was unoccupied). Later, I woke up randomly in the middle of the night and felt something breathing by my ear. I jumped up and turned on the light and there was nothing there. I searched all over the room and couldn’t find a trace of any mice lurking about.
I willed up the courage to go back in bed and fell asleep and in the morning, I “noped” right out of there.
9. Estonian Hostels Are Not For The Faint Of Heart
Was in Estonia a couple years ago and stayed in a mixed 10 person room. At about five in the morning some random guy slammed open the door and then proceeded to go to the bathroom in the middle of room. I would have yelled at him but I really didn’t want to gain his attention at that moment… He then fell and started to yell. Finally he got up mumbling and stumbling and left the room. Turned out he wasn’t even staying in our room he just couldn’t find the bathroom. We ended up getting the night for free. Hostels can be quite the adventure at times…
8. Bed Bugs Galore
I was staying in a hostel in Rome. I had just gotten there and was exhausted from a long travel day. I fall asleep a little early and wake up eventually when my friends came back to the room. As I sit up, I notice that there are bugs on the bed in the outline of where my body was. I noped out of that bed. I’m ready to bail but my friends decided there weren’t many and they could be destroyed. They get rid of a couple–they’re exploding my red blood when they get smashed. The more they get rid of, the more show up.
We left. I’m forever scarred.
7. Not The Bathroom
While staying at a hostel in La Paz, Bolivia, I woke up one night at about 3-4 AM to an Australian going to the bathroom against the wall at the foot of my bed right next my backpack. I got suitably angry, went to management and made sure my things were cleaned and the laundry bill was charged to him.
THE VERY NEXT NIGHT I wake up at almost the same exact time to a DIFFERENT Australian going to the bathroom out the door of the room 3 feet from my head (the other end of my bed was right by the door). This one I just kinda grumbled at and went back to sleep as I just couldn’t be bothered.
The cleaning lady who came in the first night to mop up the urine in the room looked at the reasonably sized puddle and straight-up said “Oh, that’s not that bad”. Apparently this was a common occurrence.
6. Wild Times, Wild Fires.
Our hostel caught on fire in Morocco.
So, we were staying in Marrakech earlier this year…arrived at about midnight and got to our hostel. We planned an excursion a few hours away for the next day through our hostel, and managed to get to bed by about 1:30 am. We are all exhausted and fall asleep pretty quickly. So an hour or two goes by then we wake up to people yelling “fire, fire, fire, FIRE” then we hear glass shatter. So we are all terrified at this point and jump out of bed and grab as much of our stuff as we can and run down the tiny staircase, hitting our heads on the ceiling, and finally make it out into the alleyway. Out there, all of the locals who live around there are poking their heads out of their doors and laughing at us while we stand out there in our underwear. We can see the flames from the roof where all of the furniture caught on fire, and the hostel manager comes out to ask if we all want to come sit inside and have some tea (while the building was still on fire). We decline. They finally get the fire out and we go back in. The rest of the building is totally fine and, as it turns out, half of the hostel didn’t even wake up and were still asleep til the next morning. Wild times. Got all kinds of stories abroad.
5. Jumping Jacks Alarm Clock
My buddy and I (Americans) stayed in a hotel in Genoa for a few nights, this was back around 2001. The hostel itself was a pain because they had a 12am curfew or something, which is difficult for two young guys. We would inevitably come home just after curfew. We were staying in a 16 person room. When we got back the 2nd night the room was packed. In the morning, like 5am, so like 4 hours after going to bed, the room was filled with dudes doing jumping jacks and warming up. This lasted for like 30 min. Turned out there was a Tae Kwon do tourney in town and we were rooming with a bunch of Italians. When we returned that evening, there was dirty sweaty stank underwear hanging around clotheslines put up all around the room like some web of whitey tighties dripping with sweat. It smelled terrible in there. The next morning they left and stole my hat.
4. Mystery Bite- Daintree Rainforest, Australia
I was living in Cairns at the time and just started seeing a nurse from the local hospital that I met in a bar, It was valentines day so I suggested that we go up to Far North Queensland into the rain forest for the weekend. There was only one hostel/ campsite up there so I called the place and booked us a dorm as all the cabins were booked and we set off. It was an awesome day stopping at all the beaches and rainforest walks and we finally got there just after dark. The place was terrible which I kinda expected for the price but we made the most of it.
I was feeling a bit amorous so I suggested a walk down to the beach, we started walking through the rainforest in the dark, kissing and laughing and I picked up a stick and started to hit the ground in front of us to see if there were any creatures. It was then that I felt something move over my foot and felt a sharp scratch on the top of my foot.
Now the Daintree is full of venomous spiders, snakes, toads etc so we quickly ran back to the outdoor kitchen and there were two puncture marks in the top of my foot.
The adrenaline from the night drained from my system pretty fast and my nurse friend went off to alert someone and found all the staff had gone home but managed to get one of the locals who came over and said:
” Well mate, you’ve got two choices, see there are loads of green snakes which bite but are not poisonous or brown snakes in which case you’ll be dead in a few hours and we’ll have to radio for a chopper to come pick you up”
Needless to say it wasn’t the best of choices, I risked it and decided to see if anything happened before calling for the chopper and instead of being with the nurse I spent the night on the floor of a dorm room nervously sweating trying to decide if the drinks I had before my walk or the potential deadly snake bite were the reasons my leg felt funny.
Next day went back to Cairns to get the bite looked at and it was from a rat..
3. Three’s Company
I shared a room with three girls (I’m a dude). I had an early night as I had work the next day. I’m on one of the top bunks and one of the girls stays in and has an early night too.
The other two come back some time in the middle of the night. The girl that was in there leaves, but I’m still half asleep and didn’t realize what was happening to begin with. They had brought a guy back with them.
I heard noises, but it was already too late for me to leave. I just hoped that it would be over with quickly so I could get back to sleep.
Then they suddenly decided they weren’t interested in being with this guy after all. He was mad but he left. Then the two girls ended up being with each other for a while before going to their own beds.
It was confusing. And pretty awkward.
2. Mister Filthy Pants
Once I was in a hostel in Buenos Aires. It was a total dive. I was with three friends in a six-bed room. One bed was empty and the other was occupied. The guy in the other bed was asleep when we got there around 11pm, so we thought nothing of it.
He proceeds to sleep for the next forty-eight hours straight, occasionally waking up to use the facilities. When he finally gets up, I find him at a computer playing $5/$10 No Limit on Full Tilt Poker ($1000 buyin for those unfamiliar with poker) and he’s going all in every hand with complete reckless abandon.
I wanted to know more, but he hadn’t even changed his clothes so I left him alone.
1. Hostile Hostel
I’m staying in a hostel in Montreal with my two good friends (one is German, another is American like me). There’s about 6 bunk beds in the room. We walk in relatively late at night, and there’s a huge, 80+ year old man sleeping in nothing but underwear in one of the beds. Ehhh, okayyyyyy.
I choose a bed across the room near my friends. There’s a sheet on it but nothing else, no nearby bags, belongings, etc., so I figure someone just forgot to un-make the bed. We go out and have a great night.
We come back and pass out. A few hours later, I wake up to my (German) friend asking someone to turn the light off. There’s a guy on the bunk above the old guy with some kind of personal clip-on reading lamp, but it’s 3 in the morning. To my friend’s request, he replies (in a German accent): “Why should I have to be considerate about everyone else, when THAT ONE steals my bed?! I shouldn’t have to care about anyone’s needs when everyone else is so RUDE and INCONSIDERATE!!”
I realize he’s talking about me. Oh no, I stole this guy’s bed. I would apologize, but he seems like a nasty entitled person who doesn’t deserve an apology so I pretend I’m asleep.
All of a sudden, the old man below him basically tells him to turn the light off, be quiet, and go to sleep or else. The German man replies with something snarky, and the old man replies, “Oh, it’s alright. I understand, you’re a German.”
The entire room goes silent and we all just go to sleep. The entitled dude was gone early in the morning and that was that.