My First Hostel Experience

On my recent weekend trip to Copenhagen, I decided to stay in a hostel for the first time. I say ‘decided’ but really my dwindling bank balance allowed for no other choice. None the less, as a ‘fun-loving 20-year-old’ I was confident that I would thrive off my first hostel experience. Sadly, however, my night turned into a nightmare! Continue reading for the details of my pitiful night along with any ‘hostel tips’ I picked up along the way:


My first hostel experience started promisingly, my venue of choice – Copenhagen’s DanHostel was perfect! It’s by no means the Ritz, but for £10 a night my room was clean and warm while the bed was pretty comfortable… Whats more, travelling in the offseason (December) meant the room was unlikely to be full. In fact, when I arrived I appeared to have it all to myself!

Despite my initial optimism about staying in a hostel and the pleasantness of the DanHostel facilities, things quickly went downhill when I returned from a busy day of exploring Copenhagen.


This was because when I got back to my room, a young Chinese couple had moved in… Although I wasn’t staying in a hostel on this occasion to make lifelong friends, the couple didn’t even say hello, which for starters made me feel super uncomfortable and outnumbered!

Staying In A Hostel For The First Time - My First Hostel Experience

More than this though, the couple is the source behind the first of my hostel tips – make sure you book a single-sex dorm if you’re staying in a hostel alone!! Why I hear you ask? Well, the couple started having sex literally 5 meters away from me… (yes I am still shivering at the thought).

There are three things that annoyed me most about this ‘act’:

1) I wasn’t even asleep – and in fact quite clearly awake as I was sat up in my bed watching Netflix… (Someone please ask Apple increase the volume on Ipads – I could hear EVERYTHING).

2) I was the only other person in the room – sure if the hostel dorm was packed MAYBE they could have got away with it amongst the hustle and bustle of everyone else, but nope, there was just little old me sat in the corner like a horrifid nun!

3) If that’s what you had in mind for the evening why not splash out and get a hotel??

My First Hostel Experience- hostel tips

Now, this may come as a surprise, but the couples sinfull deed was not even the worse part of the evening. Once the said deed had been ‘completed’, the guy rolled over and started snoring. I can easily say that I have never been so agitated about wanting to go to sleep in my life! I even considered moving rooms, but eventually managed to ‘nod off’ thanks to the soothing sounds of Adele.


If you’re still with me then thanks for bearing with my little rant! 🙂 The couples ‘actions’ really got to me and I can easily see why staying in youth hostels isn’t for everyone.

However, if you’re now asking yourself the question: ‘should I stay in a hostel’ I would say not to let my personal experience put you off completely. Sure it was terrible, but that’s as bad as it can get right? – I’m sure hoping so!

For me, I shall only be staying in a hostel again if:

a) I’ve been on a long solo trip and am in need of some company or,

b) I’ve had a drink in the evening – because drunk me can sleep through anything. 😉

My First Hostel Experience- tips for staying in hostels

Joking aside, if you are considering staying in hostels alone, I would follow my two hostel tips of opting for a female/male only dorm and making sure you bring earplugs because trust me you’ll need them!

So that completes my first hostel experience! I’d love to hear any stories you have about staying in a hostel for the first time in the comments below! Please also share any tips for staying in hostels you have!





  1. February 11, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Wow! What a crazy experience! I cannot even imagine! I’ve only stayed at one hostel as well–a 6-person dorm in Rome. It was perfectly fine though only because there were six of us together as a group. I would have a hard time doing what you did by myself!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 11, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      Crazy is one word for it haha! I thinks that What I would do in future for sure 🙂

  2. Christina
    February 11, 2018 / 8:30 pm

    Omg! I’ve stayed in SO many hostels and luckily have never had that happen to me hahaha. Looks like you got lucky, hey? 😉 I’m definitely not as able to tolerate hostels as I used to, but I still find them fun from time to time for the social aspect (only if I’m travelling solo though). Sorry to hear your experience went so downhill!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 11, 2018 / 10:26 pm

      Yeah soooo lucky haha! I have definitely just put it down to a bad experience and will probably stay in a hosel again…. Although I do think I’m much more suited to a nice comfortable hotel 😉

  3. February 12, 2018 / 6:00 am

    I’ve stayed in lots of hostels over the years and now that I’m a bit older (heading towards 30), I will happily pay more for a hotel. I’ve had really good experiences sleeping communally, but these days the bad seem to outweigh the good. And earplugs are a must have on hand, I totally agree.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 12, 2018 / 12:55 pm

      I think I’m more 30 than 20 when it comes to these things!! But I have heard people have really good experiences so I will try my luck again at some point 🙂

  4. February 14, 2018 / 8:44 am

    Oh no, not a cool first hostel experience 🙁
    Some people simply don’t know how to behave in a dorm, it’s a shame! Hostels can be super awesome, but it comes Dieb the people you’re staying with. The hostel should not have put you in a room with a couple, that’s their fault in this case (not defending their action though)
    On my website I write up a bunch of hostel rules they should’ve read 🙂

    Next time, you might want to give 5 star hostels a go 😊🤓🙏

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 17, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      Totally agree that it depends who you get in your room! I had no idea it wasn’t etiquette to put couples in the same room that’s good to know 🙂
      I shall definitely give your post a read too!

  5. February 21, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Omg that’s ridiculous, do they have no respect for themselves or others!? My first and only hostel experience was in South Korea, four beds in the room, all girls and two decided to come in at 3am whilst myself and the other girl were sleeping, start to pack and unpack their suitcases, talk loud, use a hairdryer, turn the light constantly on and off. I had three nights like that and afterwards decided I wouldn’t ever do a hostel stay again.

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 21, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      Oh Gosh, how rude! And for three nights straight! The first experience you have really does shape how you feel about hostels!!

  6. February 21, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    I’ve always been iffy about hostels, but I think I am open to considering it again

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 21, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      I was the same and the experience has knocked me back… Will not be trying again for a while haha – but I think its something you should try, you might have better luck!!

  7. February 21, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    Oh gosh this is such a nightmare – especially on your first hostel experience! I’m not a huge fan of hostels but definitely see their worth, and I’have actually stayed in some great ones in a private room. I think many others will relate to this story so thank you for sharing it 🙂

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 21, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      Thanks for reading! I may have to try a private room in future, thanks for the suggestion 🙂

  8. February 21, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    Wow that really sucks! I’ve never had an outright terrible hostel experience like that! I think maybe you should give them another try 😛

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 22, 2018 / 8:47 am

      Thanks! I think I will 🙂

  9. February 22, 2018 / 9:05 am

    I have a lot of hostel experiences but never have this kind. lols. maybe i am just so lucky in picking the right hostel and i was given the best roommates ever. i dont intend to have the same experience in the future though!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 22, 2018 / 10:37 am

      It definitely comes down to the roommates you get that’s for sure – No neither do I haha

  10. February 22, 2018 / 1:10 pm

    Damn! Sorry to read about your bad experience. If there’s a single bedroom in a hostel I’m definitely taking it if I’m solo, no guys near me (except my bf!)

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 23, 2018 / 8:38 pm

      Yess me too from now on! I didn’t realise it was a mixed dorm when booking unfortunately

  11. February 22, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    Goodness that is sooo rude!

    I wonder if you had gone and asked to change rooms if they would have allowed it? I mean that is NOT normal behaviour for staying in a hostel!!

    I did not stay in a hostel for yeeears, but I’m not against the idea. I did used to have a lot of fun meeting new people in them when I was young. If we have the money, I try to stay in nicer places now!! 🙂

  12. February 22, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    YIKES! That is a horrifying experience – reminds me of something my friend experienced during college in the dorms! I probably would have said something to the couple or left the room. Very inconsiderate of them. Do you think you will try it again but with a same sex option in the future?

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 23, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      I did leave the room for a while and they were still ‘at it’ when I got back haha – Yes definitely, staying in one soon… But with a friend for some moral support 🙂

  13. February 22, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    Oh my goodness!! I can’t believe that happened to you!! Some people really DON’T have any modesty. Did you ever tell the management about what happened?? I’d like to think they’d at least want to know… Lol.
    My only experience with hostels was in my very late teens during a few months in Europe and even then I felt like I couldn’t handle the chaos. Haha. Some people love it, but I found I just can’t hack it. XD Good luck next time!

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 23, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      I should have done didn’t think about it at the time though – I’m definitely too polite (typically British), I think my mindset is the same as yours! Thanks haha

  14. February 22, 2018 / 9:54 pm

    I have never really liked hostels. Mostly because everyone I have stayed at was back with unrespectful people. And I am pretty adaptable, but when you have two girls who wake up at 4am to get their bus and, instead of doing it quietly, turn on the light (with 2 other women sleeping) and put all their stuff in plastic bags (with the sound of course)… And that’ just an example …

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      February 23, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      Ugh that’s the worst! Understandable that they have to leave but should at least do it quietly! Suppose they’d be good if travelling with a large group though

  15. March 6, 2018 / 7:00 am

    I’ve always been iffy about hostels, but I think I am open to considering it again

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      March 7, 2018 / 1:04 pm

      Despite this experience I’ve booked to stay in one for my next trip! So you should definitely give it a try!

  16. April 30, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    I usually stay in Hostels because I get to know the locals and the town more intimately. Never would I’ve thought it could get this intimate…Jesus. The joys of traveling are in unexpected, I guess…

    • earthsmagicalplaces
      May 4, 2018 / 12:38 pm

      haha think you hit the nail on the head

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