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9 backpacking destinations and hostel stays to explore across India

Hostel bookings have surged 50-60% in September-October compared with August-September, according to hostel chain operators.

October 16, 2021 / 11:38 AM IST
goSTOPS' Alleppey hostel allows pets; additional charges may be applicable. Children are not allowed at the hostel.

goSTOPS' Alleppey hostel allows pets; additional charges may be applicable. Children are not allowed at the hostel.


With easing of travel restrictions, backpackers are, well, packing again, and hostels are seeing demand rising.

As a prelude to the festive season, hostel chain operators say, hostel bookings in September-October have surged 50-60%, a 10-12 percentage-point jump in demand from August-September.

goSTOPS, a popular hostel chain in India, has even announced plans to add 60 hostels with 3,000 beds by March 2022 and to hit the 400-hostels and 20,000-beds marks by March 2024.

Pallavi Agrawal, founder and CEO, goSTOPS, says: “By 2024, goSTOPS is all set to expand to exotic international locations in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and South East Asia. By 2027, the company's goal is to add 75,000 beds and stand at a revenue of about Rs 1,500 crore.”

Apart from budget travel, staying in hostels offers travellers the chance to meet other backpackers from around the country and the world. It's a different experience of travel altogether (some hostel chains also allow pets; charges apply). Keeping this in mind, and with the festive season already here, our pick of hostels from across India:

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1. goSTOPS Mukteshwar (Uttarakhand)

Room type: Both dorms and private rooms.

Room/dorm rates per night: Dorm beds start at Rs 399 and private rooms start at Rs 1,499 (breakfast at an additional cost, starting at Rs 180).

Facilities: Free unlimited WiFi, 24/7 inhouse-cafe, common/attached bathroom, lockers, 24/7 reception and security, laundry services (additional charge), gaming zone, mineral water. Pets are allowed but charges may be applicable. Free private parking and a business centre are available. Weekly packages are available for both private rooms and dorms.

2. Darjeeling (West Bengal): Hideout Backpackers Hostel

Room type: Mixed dormitory room (1 single bed and 4 bunk beds)

Per night tariff: Rs 685 (inclusive of taxes)

Room type: Deluxe double room with balcony

Per night tariff (excluding taxes): Rs 1,640 (sleeps 1), Rs 2,140 (sleeps 2),

Rs 2,640 (sleeps 3)

Facilities: Free-WiFi, airport drop-off (additional charge). Additional charge for bike/walking, hiking tours and bicycle rental; laundry and dry cleaning.

Note: No parking facility; pets not allowed. The nearest airport, Bagdogra, is 40 kilometres away; take a taxi or avail the Hostel’s airport shuttle service.

3. Goa: Piggy Hostel (Calangute)

* Room type: 1 bunk bed in 10-bed mixed dormitory room

Per night tariff: Rs 599 (inclusive of taxes)

* Room type: Bed in 6-bed all-female dormitory room

Per night tariff: Rs 720 (inclusive of taxes)

* Room type: Deluxe Double Room (Private bathroom)

Per night tariff: Rs 1,320 (excluding taxes)

Facilities: Free parking, free WiFi throughout the property, coffee house/restaurant on site, pets allowed on request, pay extra for bottled water.

Note: Only adults allowed to stay.

4. goSTOPS Alleppey (Kerala)

Room type: Both dorms and private rooms are available.

Room/dorm rates per night: Dorm accommodation starts at Rs 399 and private rooms start at Rs 1,499 (breakfast at an additional cost, starting at Rs 180).

Facilities: Free unlimited WiFi, common/attached bathroom, lockers, 24/7 reception and security, laundry services (additional charge), gaming zone, mineral water. Pets are allowed but charges may be applicable.

House rules: Children are not allowed. There is no capacity for cots or extra beds at this property. Check-in is only possible for guests aged 18-90. Does not allow groups of more than 4 people. Weekly packages available for both private rooms and dorms.

5. Kasol (Himachal Pradesh): Nomads Hostel

* Room type: 1 bunk bed in 8-bed mixed dormitory room

Per night tariff: Rs 449 (inclusive of taxes)

* Room type: Bed in 4-bed dormitory room

Per night tariff: Rs 599 (inclusive of taxes)

  • Room type: Tent (2 futon beds)


Per night tariff: Rs 999 (inclusive of taxes)

  • Room type: Double room with shared bathroom


Per night tariff: Rs 1,299 (excluding taxes)

  • Room type: Double room or twin room with private bathroom

Per night tariff: Rs 1,999 (excluding taxes)

Facilities: Free WiFi is available in public areas, pets are allowed (no extra charge), bicycle rental, BBQ facilities.

6. goSTOPS Pushkar (Rajasthan)

Room type: Both dorms and private rooms are available.

Room/dorm rates per night: Dorms start at Rs 299 and private rooms start Rs 1,299 (breakfast at an additional cost, starting at Rs 180).

Facilities: Free unlimited WiFi, common/attached bathroom, lockers, 24/7 reception and security, laundry services (additional charge). Pets are allowed but charges may be applicable. Public parking is possible at a location nearby (reservation is not needed) and charges are applicable.  Shared lounge/TV area. Non-smoking throughout but designated smoking areas.

House rules: Children are allowed. There is no capacity for cots or extra beds at this property. Weekly packages available for both private rooms and dorms.

7. Zostel Panchgani (Maharashtra)

Room type: 1 bunk bed in 6-bed mixed dormitory (Rs 1,090+ taxes);  1 bunk bed in 6-bed female dormitory (Rs 1,090+ taxes); double room with valley view (Rs 3,571+ taxes)

Facilities: Free unlimited WiFi, restaurant, free private parking (reservation is needed), a shared lounge and a garden. Featuring a terrace, evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. At the hostel, rooms include air conditioning and a private bathroom.

House rules: Children are not allowed. There is no capacity for cots or extra beds at this property. Pets are not allowed.

8. International Youth Hostel (New Delhi)

Room type: Non-AC dormitory (Rs 325 per night), AC dormitory (Rs 650), non-AC room (Rs 900), AC room with common bath (Rs 1,456), AC room with attached bath (Rs 1,624). (AC room tariffs include GST and breakfast.)

House rules: Food is served only in the dining hall and no outside food is allowed. Guests coming to meet the hostellers’ are not allowed into the rooms. Membership is mandatory to stay in this hostel. Those who don't have a membership card will have to take temporary membership for Rs 30 which is valid for 30 days.

9. Moustache McLeodganj (Himachal Pradesh)

Room types: Mixed dorms, all-female dorms, deluxe double room

Tariff per night: 4-bed mixed dorm non-AC (Rs 399), 6-bed female dorm non-AC (Rs 349), deluxe double room non-AC (Rs 1,199), 8-bed mixed dorm non-AC (Rs 299)

Pay in advance: Minimum 50% to up to 100% of the booking amount to confirm bookings. This advance is strictly non-refundable. Credit cards accepted with 2% additional bank charge.

House rules: No drugs and alcohol allowed on any hostel premises. Smoking and vaping is not permitted inside the hostel premises besides the designated smoking areas. Non residents/visitors are strictly not allowed on the hostel premises. Pets are not allowed in any Moustache Hostels.

Some websites for hostel booking: gostops.com, zostel.com, booking.com, makemytrip.com, yhaindia.org, backpackerpanda.com, moustacheescapes.com
Preeti Verma Lal is a Goa-based freelance writer/photographer.
first published: Oct 16, 2021 11:17 am

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