We speak your language! This is what a travel-hungry backpacker wants to hear when they choose to leave behind the luxuries of a 5-star hotel and live in a hostel. Travelers nowadays are looking for budget-friendly, comfortable, and clean accommodations. This is where the quirky hostel culture of India comes into the picture. They also look for places offering common areas where they can meet like-minded people to hang out and exchange travel stories.
Tucked away in offbeat places or mainstream tourist areas, these backpacker hostels are the best offerings low on amenities but uncompromising on comfort. Away from a hotel’s butler service, king size beds and heated swimming pools, here is a list of backpacker hostels in South India for all those looking to live basic and finding an escape from the hustle bustle of city life.
Located in the bohemian beach town popular amongst surfers and bohos, this hostel is perfect for all those who want to witness a stunning sea view from the rooftop or their rooms.
If you are a backpacker keen on knowing other people’s travel stories, this property’s common rooftop terrace is the perfect place to quench your thirst. You can probably catch up over a game of monopoly or a jamming session. Zostel is your escape from your tiring life, just hop on to one of the patio loungers and eat, paint, snack or watch the sun go down.
A 6-bed mixed dorm will suit your needs if you have come alone or with a group of friends. If you are a female traveler and want your privacy, a female dorm is there to bring you at ease. A deluxe private room will compliment the romantic getaway with your partner.
Old Quarter, Goa
This quirky hostel is located in Panjim which is known for its cobblestone streets from the Portuguese colonial era. If you love history, Old Quarter offers bicycles on rent and a local map to discover glimpses of Panjim’s past through the alleys of Fontainhas.
Cinephiles can enjoy a tub of popcorn at weekly movie nights. Book your stay here to enjoy the traditional Goan way of life as tourism isn’t mainstream here. The hostel also has Old Goa’s picture map drawn on one of its walls.
This backpacker hostel has two buildings located within the Portuguese heritage zone. Once you visit the main building, you will only find the reception, deluxe rooms, dorms and a cafe. All other private rooms are located roughly 250 m away in a 200-year-old house. This house has a common room, wi-fi and hot water. Your stay also includes a free basic breakfast.
If you plan to stay at Old Quarter and attend Christmas, NYE parties and meet fellow travelers, book your stay well in advance to have one of the craziest nights at the most popular party destination of India.
Happy Camper, Kochi
This quaint boutique hostel is an hour’s journey away from the Cochin airport but certainly worth the visit. The name is synonymous to a traveller’s feeling after living in this hostel. Foodies here can try out their wholesome Vegan breakfast that consists of baked beans on toast with a side of salad and potato cutlet.
You can burn a few calories by walking down to the Indo-Portuguese museum and Santa Cruz cathedral, both within 700 m of the hostel. If you like quietness, it has a quaint little cafe to spend your time in solitude.
Walking around the hostel, you will notice that a few pillars and walls are painted with artwork of animals or simple abstract designs. Sit down and relax with a chilled glass of mocktail if you are in the mood to enjoy live music/performances. If you are a solo backpacker, Happy Camper is the perfect place to stay.
Pappi Chulo, Goa
It is one of the few backpacker hostels that provides an adults-only accommodation. You can chill at the open bar with a common garden area. If you are feeling lucky, head towards the psychedelic Shiva Valley. The people working here are partly European and Indian who ensure that your stay is positive and relaxing.
The hostel has comfy rooms and a funky communal area that includes an equipped kitchen area and a living room. The walls are painted with quirky pictures and colourful murals, giving Pappi Chulos a cool vibe. Exercise your hands by holding a glass of beer in one hand and a table tennis racket in the other.
Please note that this place does not allow children. Stay here for its crazy nights if you plan to visit the ultimate partying destination in India.
Nomads Hostel, Alleppey
Located in Vembanad Lake, it is the perfect pace to stay for all those who want to sit down and maybe read their favorite book with the backwaters in the backdrop. It is right on the water’s edge, away from the city lights, in a small village setting.
Don’t come here if luxury is something you need. The host is there to welcome you and treats you to a sumptuous traditional Kerala breakfast. Guests can also enjoy an American breakfast. A boat ride to reach the island makes it all the more special.
If you are up for it, the host will also help you plan activities in the backwaters such as Kayaking. You can make furry friends and play with them. Come to this hostel if you want to stay away from civilization and “find yourself”.
Curated by Ruchit Rastogi