The Best Hostels in Salzburg (according to a Local Receptionist)
A hostel is much more than just an inexpensive place to stay. They are a way of traveling and a way to make friends. Because I usually stay in hostels when I travel, and because I worked for a hostel for many years, hostels are my area of expertise.
The Best Hostels in Salzburg
In Salzburg, there are not many hostels. When I started working at the Yoho Hostel, the Yoho was the only hostel in Salzburg. Most of the hostels in Salzburg that opened since then are big German chains or youth hostels that cater more to school groups and families than backpackers. If you want to make a quick choice and are looking for a real hostel, look no further than the yoho.
If you, however, want to get to know all the options for hostels in Salzburg, keep reading. In this article, I will tell you everything there is to know about hostels in Salzburg.
Yoho Hostel: The Original Backpacker’s Haven
I used to work for the Yoho Hostel in Salzburg for almost a decade before I became a tour guide. I chose to work there after a season of riding a bike taxi. In winter, there are no bikes in Salzburg, but I wanted to keep in touch with international travelers, and there was no better place to do so than the Yoho.
With almost 200 beds, the Yoho is not a small hostel. It mostly features six and eight-bed dormitories. There is a bar, laundry facilities, common rooms, and television where the Sound of Music is played daily at 8 pm. There is everything a backpacker needs in Salzburg.
The Yoho was the first Hostel in Salzburg and has remained the only “real” hostel for a long time. By real hostel, I mean a place for backpackers and party people—a place for adventurers. The Yoho doesn’t host school groups or anyone younger than 18. There is no upper age limit, though. That’s why people from all walks of life come together, and each day is different.
There is a cheap breakfast buffet in the morning, inexpensive Austrian dishes in the evening, and instant noodles in between. Sometimes the coffee from breakfast is available all day, and sweets can be purchased from the vending machines.
The Yoho is everything you expect from a hostel and more. It’s not perfect, but that’s its charm. Even if you could consider the Yoho a hostel like all the other hostels all over Europe, it certainly is unique.
Meininger: A Hostel-Vibed Hotel in Salzburg
Are you a budget-conscious family looking for a place to stay in Salzburg? Look no further than Meininger! This hostel-turned-hotel may not call itself a hostel anymore, but it still has that cozy, budget-friendly vibe. With over 100 rooms, mostly private, Meininger caters to a mix of families, kids, and solo travelers. The hostel is kid-friendly, with a game zone and family rooms where the kids can sleep on bunk beds while the parents enjoy a comfy double bed.
Located about half an hour from the old town and train station, Meininger may not be the most centrally located option, but the journey is worth it. Not only does the hostel have a bar, guest kitchen, and 24-hour reception, but the breakfast buffet is top-notch. Plus, for all you nature lovers, Meininger is conveniently located at the foot of Kapuzinerberg and Gaisberg, two beautiful mountains perfect for hiking.
I used to live in the area and often hiked Kapuzinerberg to get to the old town. It’s a beautiful detour that I highly recommend. And if you’re feeling adventurous and want to conquer Gaisberg, the 1300-meter mountain, Meininger is the perfect starting point. So, pack your bags, grab your family, and head to Meininger for a budget-friendly and family-friendly stay in Salzburg!
Stadtalm: Elevate Your Salzburg Experience
If you’re looking for a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path experience while exploring the beautiful city of Salzburg, look no further than the Stadtalm hostel. Nestled atop the Mönchsberg mountain, this hidden gem offers stunning views of the city and a true alpine experience, all while conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the city center.
To reach the Stadtalm, you’ll have to take an elevator or hike up the mountain, but trust me; the effort is well worth it. Imagine waking up to the most breathtaking view of Salzburg and sipping your morning coffee while taking in the panoramic vistas. And the best part is, you’ll have the whole mountain to yourself, as the Stadtalm only has 22 beds in 5 rooms, making it an intimate and peaceful retreat.
The hostel is situated right at the cliff’s edge, and its backyard is one of my top 3 favorite photography spots in Salzburg. The Alm part of the name means alpine pasture, and Stadt means city in German, and that’s precisely what the Stadtalm feels like- an alpine pasture in the middle of the city. At 200 meters above the old town, you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different world.
The Stadtalm is not just a hostel; it’s also a restaurant with the best view in Salzburg. The food is authentic yet straightforward, just like it would be in the mountains, and you’ll feel like you’re in an alpine cabin enjoying a hearty meal. The place is worth visiting even without food or shelter.
The Stadtalm may not be the most convenient hostel in Salzburg, but it’s definitely one of the most memorable. And with some luck, you can snag a bargain on one of their dormitory beds. So if you’re looking for a truly special and authentic experience while exploring hostels in Salzburg, the Stadtalm is worth checking out.
A&O Hostel: Europe’s biggest Hostel Chain
If you’re a budget-conscious traveler looking for a place to stay in Salzburg, the a&o might be for you. As the biggest hostel chain in Europe and, according to their website, now the biggest hostel chain in the world, they offer incredibly low prices, as low as €11 in the low season. But don’t let the budget-friendly prices fool you; the hostel can feel a bit factory-like; they charge extra for bed sheets and, of course, raise the price to be unreasonable when everything is fully booked in Salzburg in summer. But for many travelers, it serves its purpose. Plus, the hostel’s unique building is worth checking out. It’s located inside an old bread factory, which is why the ceilings are so tall.
The location of a&o is also a major plus – the cheap hostel is only 300 meters from the train station! The rooms are mainly dorms. The reception always seemed crowded with long cues when I brought flyers, so be prepared to wait a bit. But the convenience of the location makes up for it.
So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, a&o is an option for you. Just be prepared for a bit of a factory-like feel and the extra cost of bed sheets. And if you’re looking for a hostel with a great location, a&o is the best choice among all the hostels in Salzburg.
Wolfgang’s: Fully Featured and Kid-Friendly
Salzburg offers a variety of options for budget-conscious travelers, and one of the top choices is the A&O Hostel we previously discussed. However, for those looking for a more stylish and fully-featured option, consider looking into Wolfgangs. Run by the a&o, Wolfgangs offers modern hotel standards, private rooms, a kid’s corner, and even conference rooms.
The design hostel caters to individual travelers looking for a unique experience rather than just another budget option. And, in true Salzburg fashion, the name Wolfgang pays homage to the city’s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
In addition to being owned and operated by the same company, the a&o and Wolfgang’s hostels in Salzburg are also neighbors. They are located no more than five minutes from the train station.
But that’s not all; Wolfgangs also has a game corner with a Wii and table soccer, making it much more kid-friendly than the a&o. For more kid-friendly accommodation options in Salzburg, check out my article on the topic!
The Keep Residence: Handmade Beds and a Vegan Restaurant
If you’re looking for a hostel that goes above and beyond regarding eco-friendliness, then The Keep Hostel is the place for you. This self-check-in hostel is a true labor of love, as the whole hostel was furnished and equipped with recycled materials, but don’t let that fool you – it doesn’t look cheap.
As a friend who works at The Keep told me, it costs less money but a lot of time to set up a hostel like this, and you can tell that the time and love that went into creating this hostel truly shines through in the details. The interior was designed with such attention to detail that you wouldn’t even notice it was made from recycled materials. The beds, in particular, are handmade works of art. Together with the building, the interior blends urban style with nature seamlessly.
But The Keep Hostel isn’t just eco-friendly; it’s also socially conscious. Their vegan restaurant offers a “pay-what-you-want” breakfast, which I love, as it’s a concept we also use on our tours. The breakfast comprises homemade, organic dishes, and I can attest that the coffee is excellent.
At the time of writing this, in 2023, The Keep Hostel can’t be called a hostel anymore since they only offer private rooms, which doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. There’s no reception, but you’ll receive a code to check yourself in. The location is also perfect, just two corners away from the train station and a 10-minute walk from all the sights in the old town.
I genuinely love the innovative concept of The Keep Hostel, and I can’t wait to see where this project goes. I highly recommend this experience to anyone looking for a hostel that’s not only good for our planet but also different, made with love, and offers an out-of-this-world breakfast. The Keep Hostel is truly a one-of-a-kind hostel experience among all the hostels in Salzburg.
There are not many hostels in Salzburg. For those looking for a real hostel experience, the Yoho Hostel is the original backpacker’s haven. Meininger is an option for families on a budget, offering private rooms and a kid-friendly atmosphere. The Stadtalm offers an off-the-beaten-path experience with a view of the city. And for those looking for an eco-friendly and socially conscious option, The Keep Hostel is a one-of-a-kind experience. No matter what type of traveler you are, there is a hostel in Salzburg that will suit your needs. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this beautiful city while making new friends and memories at one of these top hostels in Salzburg.
- Yoho Hostel: The original backpacker’s haven, with almost 200 beds and a variety of amenities, including a bar, laundry facilities, common rooms, and daily screenings of The Sound of Music.
- Meininger: A hostel-vibed hotel with over 100 rooms, mostly private, catering to families, kids, and solo travelers. Conveniently located near hiking trails and offers a great breakfast buffet.
- Stadtalm: A unique and off-the-beaten-path hostel on top of the Mönchsberg mountain, offering stunning views and an alpine experience.
- a&o Hostel: A budget-friendly option with a factory-like feel, located just 300 meters from the train station.
- Wolfgangs: A design hostel run by the a&o with modern hotel standards, private rooms, and a kid’s corner.
- The Keep Hostel: An eco-friendly hostel with a stylish design made from recycled materials and offering a socially conscious, “pay-what-you-want” breakfast.