There is no escaping the fact that skiing and snowboarding are expensive hobbies, but budget skiing holidays are possible. A great way to save is to cut back on accommodation costs by staying at skiing hostels, with that in mind we’ve put together this list of the 10 best ski hostels in Europe.
It may come as a surprise to most skiers and snowboarders, but there are plenty of excellent hostels in major European ski resorts. You’ll probably be sharing a room with some strangers, but you’re bed and board won’t cost you a fortune.
Not only could you could save a packet, but you’ll meet like-minded folks who are there for the powder, not the champagne. Staying in a hostel is a hugely social experience, so if you’re heading on a solo ski or snowboard holiday you’ll be likely to meet people to spend time with.
Most hostels have fully functioning kitchens for you to whip up your own culinary delights, saving even more money. Of course you’re pasta with pesto may not be the savoyard dishes you normally eat in the mountains, but you’ll be saving a fortune.
If you love to ski or board, but can only do budget skiing holidays then don’t despair. We’ve asked our friends and contacts, plus scoured the web to come up with the 10 best hostels in Europe. So check out the below hostels to keep your costs down whilst still hitting the slopes this winter.
France is the most popular country for skiing holidays from the UK. It is also one of the most expensive. Making these hostels for budget skiing holidays in France extra special.
Just a short walk from the Super Morzine Gondola, and next to the bus stop for easy – and free – access to other lifts, the superb Rude Lodge sleeps 37 near the main hub of activity in the town. There’s a choice between affordable dorm rooms or traditional twins – and they all come with en-suite shower facilities.
Rude Lodge has kept it simple, using natural materials for the classic ski lodge feel, but dispensing with unnecessary (and expensive) luxuries. There’s a lively bar where you can mingle with other guests and a terrace with stunning views over the river. Plus, there’s a nightclub right downstairs if you’re in the mood for a party.
Morzine is part of the vast 650 km Portes Du Soleil ski area that also includes Avoriaz, Les Gets and Chatel in France and other resorts in Switzerland. Morzine is a traditional alpine town rather than a purpose built ski resort, meaning lower prices plus plenty of other activities to do.
New for December 2017 is the ho36 hostel in Les Menuires. It’s so new we know virtually nothing about it – except that it includes a cafe/restaurant and will provide the lowest cost accommodation in the in the mighty Three Valleys – so perfect for budget skiing holidays.
Les Menuires is known as a family resort and is quieter than nearby Val Thorens. However, if you fancy a spot of Apres you can easily ski back to your accommodation, or hop on one of the free buses.
ho36 already run a very successful hostel in Lyon. It is not your typical hostel either. With high quality furnishings and decor, but low costs they provide a different hostel experience. We are sure ho36 in Les Menuires will be one of the best ski hostels in Europe.
To find out more head to: www.ho36hostels.com
This small and cosy hostel is located in Nancroix village in the heart of the renowned Paradiski area of Les Arcs and La Plagne. Offering self-catering accommodation in multi-person dorms, there are regular ski shuttles to the lifts every half hour. The village itself is quiet but there are buses into lively Arc 1800.
Les Arcs/La Plagne form part of the Paradiski vast ski area, with over 425 km of piste suitable for all levels. We have reviewed Les Arcs and La Plagne – which are linked via the impressive Vanoise Express – if you want more info on the ski area.
To find out more about Maison des Quatre Balcons visit: www.chaletarc.co.uk
Part of a wider organisation of French youth hostels, this one really stands out because of its excellent location in Les Deux Alpes. It might not be the prettiest building to look at, but it’s cosy and has a charming garden and balcony. And at these prices you really can’t argue.
Les Deux Alpes has around 200km of pistes and a long reliable season thanks to it’s altitude and glacier – you can even ski here all through the summer. Check out our review of Les 2 Alpes here. There is a famous off-piste route to the neighbouring freeride Mecca of La Grave – you’ll need a guide and all the avalanche gear.
Find out more about Les Bruleurs de Loups at www.le-site-de.com
Austria and France battle it out for the title of most popular ski destination. Austria is known as the cheaper of the two, but these hostels take budget skiing holidays to a new level.
This independent ski hostel is located right in the heart of Kitzbühel, in the Austrian Tyrol. You’re just a few minutes walk from the centre of town, with plenty of clubs and bars, and close to the slopes. A classic hostel atmosphere with no frills but great prices.
Kitzbühel is one of the most famous ski areas in the world with the annual Hahnenkamm downhill a firm fixture on the ski circuit. With more than 170km of prepared slopes and 53 lifts there is plenty of skiing and snowboarding to be enjoyed.
To book a bed at Snow Bunnys go to: www.snowbunnys.co.uk
At the other end of the hostel pricing scale, this imposing looking hostel/hotel is just two minutes from the ski lifts and close to the Nassfeld Pass. Rooms sleep between two and eight people and come with en-suite bathrooms and wi-fi. There’s free parking and half board, a sun deck, sauna, steam room and lively bar. What more could you want?
Your stay comes with a lift pass for the Nassfeld pass with 110km of piste. With more than 200 snow machines, you’re guaranteed skiing here throughout the season.
Find out more at: www.cube-hotels.com
When it comes to unaffordable skiing, Switzerland is the daddy. So it is surprising to find that hostels in Switzerland are some of the cheapest in Europe, making budget skiing holidays in Switzerland a real possibility.
Located in the picturesque village of Zermatt, the slopes just a few hundred metres from the Matterhorn hostel. Rooms are clean and comfy, and there’s a bar and restaurant where you can meet your fellow guests. The rustic timber house feel also gives off that authentic skiing vibe.
Set below the iconic Matterhorn, Zermatt is a traditional ski resort with an upmarket feel and plenty of other winter entertainment. Linked with Cervinia in Italy there are over 360km of piste. Two glaciers allow for a long season including summer skiing.
Book your stay here: www.matterhornhostel.com
Opened in 2007, this purpose-built ski hostel is just ten minutes from the Motta Naluns ski area in Switzerland. With 164 beds, it’s big, which means there’s always a lively vibe and the communal dining area really gets people together. There’s a bar, lounge and great views over the Grisons.
The Motta Naluns ski area with 70km of slopes is the closest to the hostel, but the bigger and significantly more famous St Moritz is just down the valley. Known as a chic, elegant and expensive resort you can access the 350km of St Moritz’s piste on the cheap by staying just down the road.
Find out more at www.hihostels.com
Enjoy the ultimate ski lodge experience without breaking the bank. The Interlaken Youth Hostel is near the lifts and shops, and comes with a terrace, great views and a cosy bar where you can hang out. It’s also eco-friendly so you’ll be protecting the environment as well as your bank balance.
Interlaken is a town in the wider Jungfrau area where there’s a ski area with over 200 kilometres of piste to explore. Often considered Switzerland’s adventure capital, why not try a skydive in Interlaken during your visit.
Book a bed here: www.youthhostel.ch
It’s almost impossible to find cheap accommodation this close to one of the most expensive ski areas in Europe. Which is why Chalet Martin stands out. It’s just 10 minutes from Villars, an authentic Swiss Alpine village. And without being luxurious, it offers a lot more than you’ll get from most budget skiing holidays.
A posh and polished ski resort with 100km of piste that offers everything that’s great about Swiss skiing. And it’s very family friendly too.
Find out more here: www.gryon.com
With France, Austria and Switzerland providing the lion’s share of the best ski hostels in Europe we wanted to look a little further afield. Strangely we could not find any in Italy – perhaps because it’s a great destination for budget skiing holidays anyway – but please let us know if you can recommend any.
This modern ski hostel gives great access to this ski resort that opened in the Czech Republic 2004. It’s more of a hotel than a hostel, with 86 rooms available, but the prices are very much in the hostel bracket. The slopes are just a few hundred metres away and there’s also a spa resort close by to soothe aching muscles.
The Marianske Lazne resort is small but growing, with just 2km of slops. However there are plenty of cross-country tracks available and artificial snow keeping conditions good, plus here are a lot of other things to do.
Find out more at www.hotelkrakonos.eu
Stay in any of the above best ski hostels, and you can enjoy budget skiing holidays that will not hurt your bank balance whilst still being great fun.