Those who have taken a gap year or backpacked across continents probably have stayed at the hostel at some point along the way.

With a heap and cheerful, these simple properties can accommodate millions of travelers within a budget and allow you to explore exotic destinations without big charges.

It’s no longer just for students, and over the last few years the hostel has improved their games. Facilities have been improved, rooms have enhanced privacy, and interior design may match some of the trendiest hotels.

And as the cost of living crisis continues, the hostel offers a much more economical option for vacations. Try some of these European options this year for a short, stress-free break …

A & O Hostel Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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A & O Rotterdam Hostel. PA Photo / A & O.

With a mission to reduce its ecological footprint, A & O wants to become the first CO2 net zero European hostel chain by 2025. An even better location for eco-friendly travelers, this branch is a 10-minute walk from Rotterdam Central Station. Great for Eurostar connections from London St Pancras. The 19th-century brick building features free WIFI, satellite TV, tea / coffee making facilities, a desk and a sitting area. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet. Dogs are also allowed. Bicycle rental is also available.

detail: From 49 euros per night (twin room, 2 shares). aohostels.com

Swiss Youth Hostel Crans-Montana, Switzerland

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Cranmontana Hostel in Switzerland. PA Photo / Thomas Anden Matten.

For over a century, the luxury resort area of ​​Cranmontana has been a center of health and wellness. Once used as a sanatorium, this beautifully renovated hostel promises to benefit both the mind and body, with views of the Rhone Valley, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Summer activities include mountain biking, road cycling, hiking and water sports on a lake 1500 meters above sea level. Visit Alaia Chalet, an indoor and outdoor skate and trampoline park, or Alaia Bay, a new artificial surf park.

detail: 6 bedrooms with breakfast from £ 48 per person per night. youthhostel.ch/en/hostels/crans-montana

Next House, Copenhagen, Denmark

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Next House Copenhagen. PA Photo / Claus Isling

Cinemas and yoga studios are renowned for their quality and design, placing this “next level” hostel above other affordable accommodations. There are 433 beds with 1,666 beds and a female-only dormitory. The common area is divided into a lounge, two rooftops, a soccer court and a restaurant serving stone-grilled pizza.

detail: Rooms from € 16.50 per person in a 6-bed dormitory. nexthousecopenhagen.com

SleepInFængslet, Horsens, Denmark

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Danish Fængslet. PA photo / Fængslet.

While spending the night in a cell may not seem fun, this historic hostel in Horsens, a 45-minute drive from Aarhus, has a kitsch charm. Once one of Europe’s largest prisons, Fengslet was put into service in 1853 and closed in 2006. A few years later, the bar was abolished, allowing curious travelers to experience what it’s like to spend the night “indoors.” Spend 11 months digging an 18-meter tunnel and learn about prisoners, including the story of Karl August Lorenzen, who escaped from prison in 1949.

detail: Double from £ 56.50. faengslet.dk

WOT Peniche, Portugal

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WOT Penish. PA photo / WOT.

Choose from dormitories, suites, studios and apartments at this stylish design-driven hostel in Europe’s bohemian surf capital. A few minutes’ walk from some of Peniche’s best seafood restaurants, this colorful hotel is run by a team of cool locals who know their destination inside out. Surf at one of the schools along Balear Beach and learn about dramatic views, thriving wildlife and a boat trip to Berlengas, one of Portugal’s most beautiful fortresses.

detail: From 20 euros per person per night in a 6-bed dormitory. wotelshub.com

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