Location: Magnetic Island, Australia
It’s not uncommon to see patrons of this hostel walking the shore with big, silver bags of goon ripped right from their boxes, spouts pouring freely into mouths of anyone who will have them. The A-frame dorms are filled to the brim during the summer and there are plenty of corners for late night nookie, including a much-abused tent used to store linens.
The main bar is a striking party space, huge and communal. Most nights the action gets going as the sun goes down, but it’s not uncommon for the whole thing to kick off in the afternoon, next to the hostel’s excellent pool.
2. India House
Location: New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is the home of some of America’s greatest parties, from Voodoo Experience to Mardi Gras. India House serves as the backpacker base of choice. A September 19th review on Tripadvisor explains, “The second I walked into India House I was greeted by a drunken staff member that offered me a swig of whiskey, and it only went uphill from there.”
3. Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel
Location: Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Bocas Del Toro is quickly becoming a huge party destination, often with travelers on the last stop of their South American loop. Mondo Taitu remains the mainland’s party spot of choice, but more adventurous travelers will be rewarded if they seek out this island hostel, just a stone’s throw from shore.
You have to love a budget accommodation that lists itself as a bar first and a crash pad second. Aqua Lounge sits precariously on the water’s edge, with a pool made for backflips and beer drinking. It’s the perfect spot to take over if you’re traveling in a pack or meeting up with another squad of friends.
4. Beachcomber Island Resort
Location: Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
This resort sports a mammoth dorm with 86 beds, making it one hell of a devil’s playground. The day drill involves wallowing and drinking — at night, carousing and drinking.
The only property on this small island, there are all kinds of places to make mischief. Most partiers stay on the close-by private beach, where there’s a stocked bar and always a friend with a bottle fresh from duty-free. The bunks tend to thump a bit after 2am.
5. The Tiger Paw Hostel
Location: Medellín, Colombia
The Tiger Paw was recommended by many as Columbia’s great party hostel. Stock and standard are events that make for the beginnings of a wild night; beer pong and poker nights to name a couple. Its location close to Zona Rosa makes pre-gaming all that much easier.
6. Blue Moon
Location: Lafayette, LA
We kept hearing reports about this guest house (with dorm beds), which contains a fully stocked back porch saloon with a stage for live music. According to the site, “It’s become a meeting place where world travelers, community organizations, families, artists and politicians rub elbows, dance, drink a few and thank their lucky stars they have the good fortune to spend an evening together in Lafayette, LA.”
7. Rio Bohemia Hostel
Location: Lapa, Rio De Janero, Brazil
A hostel with an Irish Pub downstairs can only spell danger. Place that danger in Brazil and you have one hell of a party. Word on the street is that Samba Villa is cracking on the weekends, with Lapa’s legendary street parties spilling over into Samba at all hours.
review sums it up: ‘Right in the heart of the Friday night action, which is very useful for toilet stops and replenishing cash reserves. Don’t expect any sleep.”
8. Snooze & Booze
Location: Split, Croatia
DTravelsRound turned us onto this Aussie-run hotel in Split, saying that it is “known for its social setting, regularly leading packers on tours of the town, hitting up pubs throughout the old town, allowing travelers to get a guided tour of the nightlife.” So basically, guided drunkenness.
9. Yes! Lisbon Hostel
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
To be fair, nothing can top the party that happens during weekends in the nearby Bairro Alto. Yes! takes a stab at it though, especially on weeknights when many prefer to keep the party at home. 2 for 3 beer goes down fast, as does any €2 bottle of wine that you can find at a local grocery store.
During my blurry night here I met a curvy mom (a buzzed cougar?), a slurry Brazilian with come-hither eyes (and a girlfriend back home) and two terrifying Russian men, both quite toxic and looking for something to punch. The common room has loads of beanbag chairs should you pass out. There’s also a king sized bed underneath the TV, for those who can’t muster the strength to take it upstairs.
10. Villa Saint Exupery
Location: Nice, France
We’ve written about this one before, but it bears repeating that this might be one of the prettiest party hostels in the world. Gorgeous or not, this place goes off. €1 beer awaits anyone who can operate a vending machine, and after 8pm the main area is awash with revelers on the drink.
11. Pudu Hostel
Location: Bariloche, Argentina
Pudu is haphazardly placed on some sort of cliff — the upstairs rooms have gorgeous views overlooking Patagonia but most guests head to the kitchen each night, where everyone kicks in a few bucks for food and drink. Quiet hammock-side conversation often turns to a full-out party by midnight in the garden.
Pudu is run by an Irish couple who have a history of radical travel and an Argentine who loves all things rasta. I wouldn’t say that anything goes here, but I would say anything within reason.
12. Casa Caracol
Location: Cadiz, Spain
It doesn’t seem like anyone sleeps here, or at least not while the moon is out. This is one of those places that’s either described as the best party of someone’s life or the worst nightmare of another’s. One stop might even be enough to do you in. As one person said on hostels.com, “I really enjoyed my stay; but I don’t think I’ll come back.”
13. Hanoi Backpacker’s Hostel
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
The only hostel that I could find in Vietnam, Hanoi Backpacker’s throws a party at the drop of a hat. Started by Australians, the place has a legendary Sunday bash that includes traditional barbie and a free keg. Happy Hour starts at 5pm every day on the roof.
14. Friendly Fun Franks Backpackers Hostel
Location: Riga, Latvia
Franks enjoys a worldwide reputation on the backpacker scene. British, Australian, and Latvian owned, this backpacker not only offers pub tours, they also do bobsled riding and AK-47 shooting. There’s a 24-hour bar on premises, if you’d like to load up before pumping bullets.
15. Stone Of A Beach
Location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Just two blocks from Copacabana beach, Stone Of A Beach gets consistent plugs from partiers, most often with mention of its rooftop bar and late nights. The caipirinhas are said to be especially deadly. Typical of hostels in this category, reviews are either raves or vehement slags.
16. Eastern Comfort
Location: Berlin, Germany
The Eastern Comfort is a hostel boat parked on the Spree River in Berlin, just next to the heavily partied districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. The boat itself has a fascinating history, having been transported on a barge from another part of the country by an owner with a dream.
The on-board bar gets packed on Wednesdays for language-swap night, which later turns into tongue-swap night.
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Whooo doggy, this one’s a party. You’d think that a place this central in a town this quaint would lend itself to a nice, Kite Runner-reading crowd. Instead it’s rammed with a severe party people, all of whom make the trip to the accompanying Saints and Sinners nightclub.
18. Traveller’s Hostel
Location: Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Peeking through the Tripadvisor reviews makes me feel bad for those who came here to rest up. Upon arrival, one person notes “everyone was still asleep because of a tequila party the night before” and another confirms, “This place is loud all night and I mean all night until 6 in the morning.”
19. Global Village Backpackers
Location: Toronto, Canada
Although not reportedly the cleanest hostel in North America, Global Village is known for a legendary New Year’s Eve party. The hostel is located in the former Spadina Hotel, which once hosted The Rolling Stones, Jack Nicholson, and a bunch of Canadian bands we don’t know.
180 beds and hundreds of conflicting reviews make this a sure bet for an interesting night.
20. Koala Beach Resort
Location: Airlie Beach, Australia
I was there a few years ago but reviews substantiate the place as I remember it: a rat trap with a severe amount of punters pounding pints. If you want to stay in the middle of the craziest night of your life, then this is the place. Rabble-rousers rave about the mad nights at Koala Beach, while others bemoan the property’s condition. You’d probably hear the same reviews of most frat parties.
Bug Backpacker user reviews say “the staff were idiots and everything was dirty” and “as for the bathroom, I wouldn’t let my dog even go in there!” This still doesn’t stop the party on Airlie Beach, which never seems to end.
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Tom is a wayward writer based in Los Angeles. He has served as Editor for both Matador Nights and Life. He loves to go far, far away whenever possible. He is also pretending to be a third person right now and is obviously writing his own bio. He knows that you knew that, despite the deft maneuvering of pronouns. Tom's new book 'Wayward: Fetching Tales from a Year On The Road' is available for download on Amazon and iTunes.