Hostels Are WAY Better Than We Remember

Forget everything you remember about the hostels from your backpacking-through-Europe days: the boring sandwiches and protein bars that got you through sleepless (and dinnerless) nights; the dank, prison-like rooms with wobbly bunk beds; and the creeper crowds that had a certain can’t-quite-place-it stench to them. Yes, let's all put those days firmly behind us.
The Generator Hostels are a new brand of design-driven, urban-contemporary homestead popping up across Europe (and soon beyond) that are completely changing the face of what it looks like to explore the world on a budget.
The company has managed to keep everything that’s cool about hostel travel (community vibe, eclectic mixes of people, inexpensive stays) and upgraded everything that’s been historically not-so-cool about those budget options (dingy beds, bland decor, no amenities). In its 10 properties across Europe, The Generator offers a welcomed change for design-minded travelers.
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Each destination is a departure from the traditional hostel experience in that it offers more than a place for weary travelers to try and sleep — and the occasional morning toast. There's an energy pulsing through thanks to art exhibits, live music, renowned DJs, and other events that contribute to the not-just-a-bed vibes. And, the hostels offer locally inspired food and beverage programs that put your vending-machine dinners of yore to shame.
Paris and Rome locations are coming soon, and you can check out pics of existing outposts ahead. We hope this generates an overhaul of the whole industry.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator Barcelona is the brand’s only hotel and hostel combo, and features amazing spaces like its Fiesta Gracia Bar for watching local futbal matches while enjoying tapas and mojitos. The hostel is in the trendy Gràcia district in a renovated office building.

Generator Barcelona,Carrer de Còrsega, 373-377 08037 Barcelona, Spain; (34) 932-20-03-77.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg is located in the uber hip district it's named for, in a refurbished, East German office building. The onsite beer garden alone is worth a visit.

Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg,Storkower Straße 160, 10407 Berlin, Germany; (49) 30-4172400.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Set in the middle of one of Berlin’s coolest bohemian districts, Generator Berlin Mitte is always buzzing. And, the decor here boasts artwork by legendary Berlin Wall street artist Thierry Noir.

Generator Berlin Mitte, Oranienburger Straße 65, 10117 Berlin, Germany; (49) 30-921037680.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
In the heart of Copenhagen, this outpost sets up in a former Philippe Starck residential development. The hostel managed to keep some of the original furniture but updated the space into an urban-inspired refuge.

Generator Copenhagen, Adelgade 5-7, 1304 København, Denmark; (45) 78-77-54-00.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator Dublin was once an Irish folk-dancing hall in the chic Smithfield Square area, but is now a hub for adventure seekers. This hostel has a jacuzzi, a cinema room, and is connected directly to the Jameson distillery. So, there's that.

Generator Dublin, Smithfield Square, Dublin 7, Ireland; (353) 1-901-0222.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator Hamburg is located in what was once a famous department store in the city’s first skyscraper at Klockmann Haus. The bar serves up a killer curry wurst, but the real star in this hostel is the fifth floor, where The Beatles recorded one of their first songs in a private acoustic studio.

Generator Hamburg, Steintorplatz 3, 20099 Hamburg, Germany; 49 40-226358460.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator London is set inside a former police station and recently underwent a redesign that brought with it commendably artsy community spaces.

Generator London, 37 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SE, United Kingdom; (44) 20-7388-7666.
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Photo: Courtesy of the Generator.
Generator Venice has transformed a former grain warehouse on the island of Giudecca and is located just across the water from Piazza San Marco. Just a short gondola ride from anywhere in the city, this hostel features romantic Venetian decor.

Generator Venice, Fondamenta Zitelle, 86, 30133 Venezia, Italy; (39) 041-877-8288.
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