Definition of Hostel

A hostel is a budget-oriented, shared-room ("dormitory") accommodation that accepts individual travelers (typically backpackers) or groups for short-term stays, and that provides common areas and communal facilities.

To be considered a hostel, the property must provide short-term, shared (dormitory-style) accommodation for individual travelers, though many hostels also provide private rooms.

The word "dormitory" refers to a room where travelers independently book individual beds in a shared room as opposed to booking entire rooms like in a hotel or guesthouse.

Synonyms & related:

  • youth hostel (this is falling into disuse because most hostels accept all ages, or 18+)
  • backpackers (from backpackers hostel)

In some countries the word hostel can also refer to student accommodation or long-term accommodation for drug addicts or the homeless. Those definitions of hostel are not used on

Discuss the defintion of hostel in the forums, or read the Wikipedia entry on hostels.

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