To make friends in a hostels is one of the most pleasant experiences. You’ll have the chance to encounter people from different parts of the world, who are here form the same purpose: To go out and enjoy the city.
Staying at a hostel and sharing a room with people I don’t know was never really an option for me a few years ago. The good thing is that there is always a first time for everything.
The first hostel I have stayed in was “Sleep in Heaven” in Copenhagen – Denmark. I had decided to spend new year’s eve in the Danish capital with a friend from university. As we were both adventurous, we decided to book 2 beds in a 6 beds dormitory room. This trip was the turning point that made me addicted to staying in hostels wherever I travel.
Hostels are fun! they are relatively cheap, they offer lots of activities, promotions and organize nice events. Most importantly, you get to meet lots of friends from different backgrounds which is awesome, especially when solo traveling.
So how to make new friends in a hostel?
1- Connect With Your Roommates
Your roommates are usually the first people with whom you engage in a conversation. Since you share the same room, the simple act of saying “Hello” when you meet them will lead into a chat. Introduce yourself, ask them where are they from? how long are they staying? and what are their plans?
It is very probable that they are looking to visit the same places as you, which would be a great opportunity to hangout together.
During my first stay in a hostel in Copenhagen, my friend and I met two people from the UK. They were sharing the room with us and planning on visiting Malmo in Sweden just as we had decided. Thus, all four of us took the train and spent an unforgettable day discovering this small city.
2- Participate In Group Events
One of the things all hostels have in common is that they organize many walking tours and pub crawls. Joining these events is a great way of making new friends. You can ask someone to take a picture of you or vice versa and start a conversation from there. You will be sharing drinks with people you just met, which, believe me, makes it really easy to get the conversation going.
A few years ago, I was solo traveling in Prague and stayed at the “Czech inn hostel“. The first night there, I joined a pub crawl event which was really amazing! I met many people during that night, with whom I spent the next 3 days in the Czech capital. We shared drinks, stories, danced together and most importantly for me, learned how to win at “beer pong”!
3- Make Sure To Hang Out At The Bar
Most hostels have some really nice bars where you can have breakfast in the morning and drinks all day long. Spending time at the bar is a great way of making new friends. You can easily say hello to any person who just arrived and start the conversation from there.
If you notice someone having the same drink as you, just go over there and be like “Cheers!” or “best drink ever, right?”
People in hostels are usually very open-minded and sociable so just grab a beer, pull a chair and sit next to any person you choose!
4- Organize A Game Yourself
You can be a little creative and invite people to play a game with you. It could be a cards game or a board game that you brought along.
This is a great way to make new friends. Surely more people will be interested to join, so you can have multiple rounds with different people. Do not forget drinking games, that is a really cool way for bonding with people you just met.
5- Be-friend The Staff
Hostel staff are usually very friendly and sociable. Getting to know them will surely help you meet new people and discover the city from a different point of view.
The guy or girl standing behind the desk, the person organizing the tours or the bartender, are all working in this hostel because they have a passion for this city. Connect with them, ask them what is their favorite restaurant? what are some secret places to visit? They might even put you in contact with locals that they know to try some traditional food for example.
This is one of the best reasons to stay in a hostel. The staff are really fun and they are always passionate and happy about meeting new travelers.
6- Spend Time In The Communal Lounge
All hostels often have a communal area where guests can hang out together. They are usually equipped with sofas, TVs, books, board games…
This space is great to meet new people. Just go there and say hi to the first person you encounter. If you see someone reading a book you like or watching a movie you know, just go over to them and start a conversation. Who knows? they might join you later for a bike tour or a party at night.
“Alessandro hostel” in Rome has a very nice communal area on the rooftop of the building. I went there one night for a few drinks and met some really nice people! we ended up pub crawling all together in the streets of Rome which was an unforgettable experience!
When you stay at a hostel, bear in mind that everyone is here for the same reason as you. They want to discover the city, hang out, party and have a good time. Hostels are so much fun! Benefit from the time you spend there and make as many new friends as you can. These are the memories you will remember for years to come!
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