10 Ways How to Meet People at Hostels

Hostel Traeler at Arts Factory Lodge, Byron Bay, AustraliaSo you’ve decided to stay in a hostel and become a real traveler instead of a tourist, this is awesome! Maybe this is your first time in a hostel, or maybe it’s your first time traveling, perhaps even your first time traveling alone? You’re pumped, but you’re also a bit nervous. Because, let’s face it, no matter how much you enjoy your “alone time”, there’s only so much alone time you can get before it starts to turn lonely. But how to get in contact? How to get started a social conversation at Hostels?

Well, we’re here to tell you: no worries. If you’re fishing to find some friends, but don’t know where, or what steps you need, to look, here are some tips on how and where to get social in hostels.

1. The Common Room, Hostel Lounge

Hostel Lounge Poco Loco Hostel, Poznan - Traveler enjoying the hostel atmosphere

Who would have imagined that the common room was specifically intended to be a common, social area? Those sofas weren’t set there just to sit across the room and stare at each other, and the social games weren’t just added for some sort of retro-vintage décor.

Gather other backpackers for a game of foosball, pool, or cards. This works especially well for a laid-back night, when your feet hurt from running around the city. It’s a cool solution for a rainy day, and a little competition (and game-talking!) is an easy avenue to further connection. Sit in the area that other backpackers are talking, and join in! The photo shows the common area at Poco Loco Hostel in Poznan!

2.  The Hostel Kitchen – Yummy!

Feeling Sevilla Hostel Kitchen - Connect to Hostel Travelers during cooking!

Back home, the pile of dirty dishes in the sink and mouldy mystery-meat shoved to the back of the fridge may make the kitchen a place to avoid, and a sore subject for hostel room-mates. But at a hostel, a community kitchen is clean and perfectly cut-out for being a common area social space. Take a look at this beautiful, and clean hostel kitchen at Feeling Sevilla Hostel in Sevilla.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to break the ice.   In a hostel community kitchen, it could be something as simple as asking someone to pass the salt, the butter, hell – even a spoon, a cutting board, or a napkin would work. And there are countless, situational questions that can arise in a kitchen for conversation. “Smells good, what are you making?” “Would you mind if I tried a bite? Wow, tastes good, how did you make it?” Or what about “Hey I just picked up this new brand of wine, want to help me give it a try?” And so on and so on. Afterwards, sit down together at the table and continue making connections.

3. The Hostel Bar – have a beverage

Euro Youth Hostel Munich, Hostel Bar Munich is a social spot

Mostly restricted to Party hostels, the bar is perhaps one of the easiest common areas to beat bashfulness and brazen up to meet some new backpackers. The Hostel Bar of Euro Youth Hostel Munich in Munich is a pretty easy-going spot to connect to fellow travelers. Have a fresh typical German “Weizenbier” and let’s go!

Half of the time you won’t have to do any work. Just take a seat at a stool and let the liquor do the talking. Another option is to join one of the hostel bar events, for example, see if they have any beer pong tournaments or bar crawls going on. If you get discouraged, start drowning your sorrows in alcohol by yourself for a while, and we can guarantee you the liquid courage will have you meeting friends in no time. But the only problem with this tactic may be remembering your new friends the next morning

4.  The Bulletin Board at Hostels

Grand Hostel Berlin runs Hostel Events every day for their travelers

No, we are not suggesting that you post up here to twiddle your thumbs and wait for other backpackers to approach you for some casual, bulletin board conversation.

But we are pointing out that many hostels have some sort of bulletin, or general information board in the entrance way or another prominent, public location. Look closely at these, because they often have activities like free walking tours of the city, group adventure sport outings and day trips, or other events going around the hostel, whether it be a BBQ, theme-party, or Karaoke night. The Grand Hostel Berlin in Berlin, Germany runs every day something special, from Happy Hours over to Hostel Parties. Check out their Bulleting Board.

As a backpacker, we know you have the natural urge to avoid the organized tours, but frankly, these are some of the straight-and-narrow paths to meeting new people. So get off your high horse, and invest, even the tiniest bit, of time to mingle. Afterward, you, and the other travelers you meet, can go and do all of the off-the-beaten-path trekking you want. But at least now you’ve got a buddy to join your adventures.

5. The Terrace – sunbathing and socializing

The terrace of Barcelona Nice and Cozy Hostel is an inviting space for social experiences.

While you can’t expect every hostel to have a terrace, when there is one, you can expect the terrace to be a strategic place for socializing with other travelers. People always seem to be in a good, relaxed mood on a terrace. Basking in the sun, maybe drinking a little, take a squat next to someone that seems to be enjoying themselves and see what happens. Offer a drink of your own or comment on the view of the city – just say something! The Barcelona Nice and Cozy Hostel inBarcelona offers a great, calm terrace, including a hammock.

Special Tip:
However, if someone has a hulking pair of headphones on, sunglasses, music blasted loud enough that you can hear it, and they’re reading a book, then take the hint that they aren’t looking like they’re up for being approached. Don’t get discouraged! For every traveler that is trying to get some alone time, there are ten travelers open to meet.

6. Get a Beer with the Hostel Receptionists

Alibi Hostels Staff cares about their hostel travelers! Cheers!

The staff of a Hostel is a very important detail which can make the difference between a nice Hostel and a great Hostel. The Hostel Team of Alibi Hostel inVienna is always open to help you, or even to have a beverage with you. This may depend on the day time, and if they are very busy, but give it a try.

Hostel Receptionists are often experienced travelers by themselves. Not just do they know which places to visit in their city and the password of the free Hostel WIFI. Very often they are also open to have a beverage with you, to play some foosball with you, or maybe they introduce you to someone who is also looking for someone to join them for a local concert? Hostel receptionists are easy-going, relaxed people – when they have time and are not stressed out by rough travelers. And always remember: start with a simple hello before you ask for something, it’s just polite! 😉

7. Hostel Swimming Pool, cool down and chat

Hostel Caza de Sao Goncalo with it's green garden and swimming pool is a great place to meet new people

This is pretty obvious, isn’t it? You actually can’t miss it to meet new people while enjoying the hostel swimming pool, and having a cold beverage. The atmosphere is relaxing, refreshing, and it’s just getting better from here. Inside the swimming pool you can start connecting, talking, laughing. But of course, it always depends on the day time, the people, and the size of swimming pool.

The hostel swimming pool at Hostel Caza de São Gonçalo inLagos is especially designed for their travelers to cool down from the heat in south Portugal.

8. Dorm Rooms

Plus Prague Hostel - you can't miss to meet new people at Hostel Dorms!

Instead of opting for a private room, choose the dorm room. It’s just about impossible to share a bathroom and bunk with someone and not say a word to them. The Plus Prague Hostel inPrague for instance offers dorm rooms from 4-beds up to 8-beds.

How many people you want in the dorm can be tricky though. On one hand, sleeping in a dorm with 8-12 people equates to more travelers to meet, and more opportunities to connect with someone you really like. Plus this dorm will be also cheaper. On the other hand, sleeping in a dorm of 4-6 people may make it easier to converse in a more intimate and closely-knit atmosphere. But you know your personality; choose the one that fits best with how outgoing or shy you are.

9. Be creative, try something different

City Circus Athens, be creative to meet new people

There are a lot of stories out there how hostel people create this special hostel atmosphere. For instance, a group of Italian guys made some delicious pasta for the whole common room. A different guy entered the lounge, and asked all other travelers who would like to join him to this concert of a very cool local band – at the end a group of 20 people joined him! Another day a girl started singing, and his fellow traveler played guitar. As it turns out, it’s a small music band from Spain. This hostel traveler in the dorm at City Circus Athens in Athens looks also pretty interesting, right? Those are just a very few examples, a listing could be endless and highly interesting at the same time.

10. GoDashboard – become a modern hostel traveler

Wow! So that’s what GoDashboard we keep mentioning here is really about? Makes sense now, doesn’t it? Sometimes all you need is a familiar face when you’re facing a room of strangers to give you the confidence you need to get comfortable and start a conversation with someone new. Check out more information about Godashboard here!

By connecting with a backpacker before you arrive through GoDashboard, you still feel the security of having your first social exchange being in cyberspace, and then you have a like-minded traveler you know you can talk to and follow-up on after you actually arrive. Another advantage of connecting in advance is that you can make travel plans ahead of time and snag tickets for a concert, festival, club, or other cultural event. Because that’s another awesome feature of Godashboard: get the coolest events in your destination during your travels.

What’s your favourite Hostel story of how you met people at Hostels? Share your story!

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