Hostel Life in India
While in India we travelled in a group of 5 so our best option was to stay in Hostels, we were able to get the best bang for our buck by staying in dorms together, although on the days we did splurge on a private room for ourselves we were only spending Max $15 CAD a night.
Below is a recommendation on hostels to consider while in the Rajasthan region of India; Some over-exceeded our expectations, while other left us feeling defeated and cheated. I hope after reading this you’ll have a better idea of what to expect while travelling and staying in hostels in India.
We lucked out with our hostel in Delhi, this was our first stop in India, all feeling a little nervous about our decision to come to this crazy country, our concerns were soon put to ease as the people running The Madpackers Hostel in Delhi were fantastic.
- Free Breakfast
- Amazing Delhi Belly Street food tour with Raghu (HIGHLY RECOMMEND – this tour saved us on our first day in Delhi, without them we would have felt over-whelmed and stressed out after our first day in India)
- Hot Showers (A Luxury in India)
- Roof top Lounging area where you can mingle with other backpackers / travellers alike
- If you arrive late, tired & hungry like we did, they order you in dinner so save you from running out to find some eats
- Free Drinking Water
- Taxi’s / Tuk-tuk’s have a hard time finding this hostel as it’s not in the main centre it’s situated 30 minutes via rail out of Old Delhi centre (This is also a Pro though because you’re in a very safe and clean area)
- You have to hike up a few flights of stairs to get to your room / roof-top hang out ( but if you’re planning to backpack around India this is something to get used to!)
Varanasi is a crazy little place, find a hostel/hotel close to the main Ghat ( Dashashwamedh Ghat ) and you will have no problems. If you arrive at the airport you are going to get stuck getting a taxi, the City centre is about 30 minutes away from the airport and there are no tuk-tuk’s out there. We got dropped off in the square close to our hostel and just walked through the streets, a very friendly Indian man walked us to our hostel for 20 Rupees. We stayed at Kashi Annapurna Paying Guesshouse and enjoyed our stay.
- Staff is very friendly and helpful when it comes to setting up tours and/or taxi’s for you.
- Room’s are basic but clean and comfortable for Indian standards.
- Close walking distance to anything you would want to see in Varanasi. The Dashashwamedh Ghat is a mere 10 minute walk through busy little streets
- The place is a little hard to find as it’s situated down a small ally (but once you arrive in Varanasi you’ll soon discover all hostels are down little ally’s)
- There is not restaurant on site, which could be a plus but it also meant leaving for every meal ( a plus is there is an amazing vegetarian restaurant down the street to eat at * Niyati Cafe * )
The Pink City, Jaipur. Such a beautiful city in Rajasthan, and we highly recommend the hostel we chose to rest our heads Backpacker Panda Stephels. The only thing to note is there are a few “Backpacker Panda’s” in Jaipur so make sure you print your address for the hostel for your tuk-tuk driver!
- The Staff! The gentleman at the front desk was very helpful at getting us a tuk-tuk driver to take us around for the entire day at a reasonable price, as well as setting us up with a private driver for 10 days in Rajasthan.
- The Chef they had when we were staying was great at preparing us meals and friendly to chat with
- The private rooms we stayed in were clean, quiet and the private bathroom was a bonus since we had been sharing before.
- Although we did get a hand with booking a tuk-tuk driver for the day we did feel like him and the owner of the hostel were friends and we could have gotten a better deal elsewhere (but India runs on everyone helping a “friend” so you get used to it)
- We were a little farther away from the “pink” part of the city which made it so there wasn’t a ton to walk to in our area, although we did find a great rooftop bar to party at one night just down the street called Blackout
I highly recommend this city in general, you are out of the hustle and bustle of the bigger towns and cities in Rajasthan and becoming immersed more deeply into the culture and religion of India. Our hostel Moustache had the best views of Udaipur and at the end of the day was the perfect place to sit back have some Hummus & a beer.
- The view of Udaipur, climb up to the rooftop and have a bite to eat, a beer or a chai tea, it doesn’t matter why you’re up there, just go! The Hummus is an amazing snack while you watch the sunset also!
- Walking distance to all the major sights in the city, city palace is only about 10 minutes by foot
- The common area has comfortable places to lounge around, there is a ping pong table upstairs and the rooms are all clean.
- Great place to meet other travellers because of the hangout area’s offered around the premises
- There are better restaurants to eat at but the food is reasonable if you’re not wanting to leave
- There are more comfortable beds in India, but then again there are worse. The rooms and bathrooms are clean, that’s what really mattes.
The Blue city in India treated us very well, and our hostel was great to: HosteLaVie . This city is a must visit, walking through the streets you feel so safe and being surrounded by walls all colored with blue made the city have it’s own magical feel. Our Hostel comes to you highly recommended!
- Location! Location! Location. You are a 10 minute walk to the fort, already surrounded by cute shops and markets, and there are so many restaurants surrounding this hostel you couldn’t eat at all of them if you tried.
- The rooftop patio/restaurant is fabulous. You have fort views, city views and amazing food. Plus you get free breakfast every day which is an nice little bonus!
- They also give you free tea every night around sunset time! Perfect for winding down after another crazy day in India
- The Check-in process. Checking in was a breeze and the staff were very helpful during this part of our stay
- The rooms are clean and comfortable, and the showers attached to our dorm were really large!
- We found during the day the staff spoke really good English, but when we were in a pickle late at night/early morning (our friends were locked out of the hostel because they went to be in a Bollywood movie that ran later than expected) the staff pretended they didn’t speak English anymore. Keep in mind though this is very common for India.
This little town felt very religious, and extremely beautiful, every person in the street felt full of life and happiness, but be cautious the cows are a little aggressive ( you can read about that in my blog Top Tips for Backpacking India . We chose to stay at another Moustache Hostel as it was highly recommended to us by another group of travellers, and it was probably one of the most interesting funky hostels we have every stayed in
- The atmosphere of this hostel is unreal. I doubt there is 1 square inch that isn’t painted in some way, the walls are full of artwork painted right onto the plaster, you could wander the halls in admiration all day
- The rooftop restaurant is beautiful, as are all the lounging places in this hostel
- Dorm rooms are clean and comfortble
- The showers are the best showers you will find in India! I swear! Good water pressure and warm warm water!
- The staff were very helpful in giving us a map and showing us how to get around the city, as well as setting up any tours you wanted to do during your stay
- I can’t really complain about anything in this hostel, it was the best one we stayed in all throughout India and I highly recommend staying here
- If I had to say something negative I guess there being a lot of stairs and no lifts could be a discouraging point to some travellers.
The City is beautiful and the surrounding desert is great to explore. Our hostel here isn’t recommended, but more of a caution to really think about if you want to stay here or not. We stayed at Toffu Hotel & Safari and were very disappointed with our experience. Upon arrival we were told the rooms were all full so we needed to stay at the hotel next door Gaji Hotel. We were okay with having to change rooms, as we are quite accommodating, but then he cancelled our reso with Hostelworld and told them we were a no-show; afterwards he tried to charge us more money to stay the other days in his hostel, meanwhile I lost my deposit from hostelworld.
By all means stay at Gaji Hotel, it’s beautiful, clean, the staff are amazing and friendly and the food is unreal! The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated, the bathrooms in each room were clean and the showers were warm and had great pressure.
- Other than Toffu the staff are genuine and kind (It’s just obvious that Toffu is money hungry and manipulating in sneaky ways)
- The rooms are big and comfortable and clean
- The food at the restaurant is good
- The rooftop has a nice view of the fort to enjoy while you enjoy your meals
- We left feeling manipulated and taken advantage of by Toffu and we hope other travellers have better experiences with this hotel
- They are very pushy for you to book the safari tour with them, which we didn’t because we had already booked with a different hostel based on a recommendation
Well there you have it, a breakdown of our hostel life experiences in Rajasthan India! We truly believe that the hostel life is the life for us, it creates so many opportunities to meet other travellers and get to know different parts of the city you’re staying in. What are you waiting for? If you haven’t booked your flight do that now, and if you have start looking into these hostels, among others, there are many to choose from and decide if the hostel life is also the life for you!