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There's nothing quite like waking up in the morning, looking out of your bedroom window, and being hit by an amazing view – absolutely free of charge!
Backpacking opens up a window on the world, and the views from this selection of scenic hostels include some of the greatest, most iconic sights out there.
Rambutan hostel is a little bit different. Like the city of Granada itself, it takes a unique, defiantly individual stance to everything it does. As they put it: Cactus tours… ping pong, Mexican food in drag… a bike that needs to be fixed, and kittens…
But its main draw is undoubtedly the sensational views of the Alhambra Palace it boasts. With so many great places to choose from – Oasis, Funky and Makuto also spring immediately to mind – it’s not easy picking a hostel in Granada. But a view like this one might help you make your mind up!
A guest writes: ”Amazing location with one of the best views you will ever find.” (Posted on 21st January 2008)
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It seems like Istanbul has some of the most scenic hostels in the world (with the Megara Hotel and the Big Apple Hostel particularly standing out!) In the Sultanahmet district and surrounded by magnificent architecture, Marmara Guesthouse, though, is arguably the best of the lot.
As you sit on the roof – having breakfast in the mornings, or chilling out in the evenings – you can watch the ships passing slowly by, or the sun melting into the Bosporus and the Marmara Sea… It’s absolutely magnificent!
A guest writes: ”Its location was good and it had an awesome breakfast room with stunning views of the Bosporus.” (Posted on 11th November 2007)
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Spread out languorously over a series of rolling hills, just as Lisbon is absolutely stunning, so Oasis Backpackers’ Mansion – set, incidentally, in an actual mansion! – is one of the flashest flashpackers’ hostels out there… And that’s before you’ve even mentioned a view that’s absolutely to die for!
Coming home in the hazy light of dawn after a night out in the nearby Bairro Alto, it’s practically impossible not to be stopped in your tracks by the sight of the glittering city stretched out below. Great views, great rating, great hostel!
A guest writes: ”Also, my room was on the very top floor and every morning I could see the sea from my bed through the window. This hostel has a great view from the top floor, which has two balconies. The location is the best location that could ever be in Lisboa, the most beautiful part of the city.” (Posted on 24th January 2008)
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Not exactly your typical backpackers’ hostel, Le Regent is actually a rather nice budget hotel in Montmartre. Montmartre was, of course, the haunt of artists, writers and some of the great thinkers of the past, and is still, to this day, suffused with something of this alternative spirit.
And for those looking to be really inspired by Paris, Le Regent is second-to-none, with magnificent views of the Sacre Coeur from its upper rooms. Lit up at night, it is the picture postcard Paris shot: stunning and breathlessly romantic.
A guest writes: ”The staff are very friendly and accommodated to our every need. The top floor rooms have amazing views of the Sacre Coeur. Buffet breakfast, eat as much as you wish is worth every penny!” (Posted on 10th January 2008)
Book Le Regent Montmartre, Paris now
The Red Square Hostel in Moscow is perhaps the best located hostel in the world. Set right on the Red Square, it’s within touching distance of a host of iconic sights: the Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the gorgeous, multicolored domes of St Basil’s Cathedral.
There’s something daunting and otherworldly about the scale and grandeur of the Red Square. On a freezing winter’s night, snow swirling in from a leaden sky, its imposing trio of illuminated buildings is one of the most jaw-droppingly impressive sights imaginable.
A guest writes: ”Definitely best location in Moscow, Kremlin is virtually just outside the window. The area around the Hostel (Tverskaja) is very nice, safe and offers quite a lot of good places to have coffee and Restaurants at reasonable prices. The Hostel atmosphere is cosy and very private with friendly and helpful staff. Don’t try anything else. At Red Square Hostel you won’t be disappointed.” (Posted on 2nd January 2008)
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The Backpack & Africa Travel Centre has got pretty much everything you’d need. It’s part fair trade, boutique-style hostel, part travel agency (arranging safari tours and Great White Shark cage diving) and, in its lively internet café, part general meeting point for backpackers in Cape Town.
When you toss in the astounding views into the equation, all these parts add up to a considerable whole. Splashing around in the swimming pool in the baking South African sunshine against a backdrop of Table Mountain in the background… It’s almost the highlight of a trip to Africa on its own!
A guest writes: ”The Backpack is THE place to stay when in Cape Town. Not only did I get to wake up to the most incredible view of Table Mountain every day, I got to meet really nice people from all over the world. I arrived alone (and scared I will be alone for the whole duration of my trip here) but within one hour I had made some really good friends and 30 minutes later I was on Table Mountain with them.” (Posted on 25th October 2007)
Book the Backpack & Africa Travel Centre, Cape Town now
With its countless would-be movie stars and models and its chi-chi shopping and lunching culture, Los Angeles is a city that values appearance more than any other. And if that’s the case, then the perfectly appointed Venice Beach Cotel is in exactly the right place.
As the name suggests, it gives onto Venice Beach – and beyond, to the sparkling sunsets on the Pacific. It’s also an ideal location for people-watching: the beautiful people striding along the boardwalk, the Muscle Beach poseurs, the eccentrics… It’s so colorful, so alive… so Los Angeles!
A guest writes: ”Location, location, location!! My view was the crazy boardwalk of Venice Beach!” (Posted on 24th January 2008)
Book Venice Beach Cotel, Los Angeles now
Fittingly described by its owners as a ‘grand old edifice’, Castle Rock Hostel is exactly what you’d hope for in an Edinburgh hostel: a great location, good prices and more than just a bit of history. It also sits, literally, in the shadow of the city’s instantly recognizable landmark: Edinburgh Castle.
On a cold February day, there are few better places to be in the whole city than sitting in one of its two cozy lounges. Staring out at the Castle, high up above the city on its rock, as it’s battered by the full force of a howling Scottish gale is wonderfully atmospheric!
A guest writes: ”Great location with awesome views of the castle” (Posted on 11th January 2008)
Book Castle Rock Hostel, Edinburgh now
Have you stayed in any spectacularly scenic hostels? Let us know.