By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city of Rio finds its way on to many a traveler’s bucket list. And while it has a reputation for extravagant, luxury, beachfront hotels, it is also home to many more affordable accommodation options, such as hostels. From rooms with a view to off-the-beach hangouts to hillside mansions, here is a rundown of some of the best hostels in Rio de Janeiro.
Zona Sul, or the South Zone of Rio is well-known as the more expensive, more tourist-friendly area of the city, with plenty of high-end hotels scattered along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. However, it is also home to some of the city’s best, and surprisingly affordable, hostels.
One of the most popular Zona Sul hostels is Mango Tree Hostel on Ipanema’s Rua Prudente de Morais. It is located one block away from the beach’s famous Posto 9. “Our hostel is a great place to stay,” comments Eduardo Cruxen Marques, owner. “It’s in a safe area, close to the beach, to the subway, and with lots of cafes, restaurants, and bars nearby.”
He continues, “We also organize plenty of activities for our guests, such as samba classes, a pub crawl, hang-gliding, hikes, and much more. Plus, there is a happy hour every day from 6-7PM and every Thursday all night long.”
Another top Ipanema hostel is El Misti, located on Rua Joana Angelica, which is also a block from the beach. El Misti is a well-known brand of hostels in Rio de Janeiro, with another hostel and some more boutique sites located in Copacabana. But it is the newly refurbished Ipanema location which is most popular with visitors.
“El Misti in Ipanema was redone last year and is another great hostel,” comments Belinda Seixas from Caminhos Language Centre. The hostel has a bar area, hosts an “El Misti Hour” and all rooms have a private bathroom.
For those feeling more adventurous, Babilonia Rio Hostel is located in the hillside favela community of Morro da Babilônia. It is situated just behind the small neighborhood of Leme, to the east of Copcabana. Boasting some of the first solar panels in Rio de Janeiro, Babilonia Rio Hostel is all about sustainability, a friendly welcome, and stunning sea views.
Hostel Santa Terê on Rio’s artistic hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa also boasts an unforgettable view. This hostel comes equipped with a pool, a sauna, and a book exchange. They also regularly host parties and other events, making use of their terrific outdoor veranda.
Finally, for something more centrally-located, Discovery Hostel is a hit with travelers of all stripes. At the foot of Santa Teresa, and a short walk away from Glória metro station, Discovery is situated close to Rio’s party district of Lapa and the stunning Marina da Glória, with its views of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Discovery Hostel also prides itself on offering a boutique hotel experience at hostel prices, with customized beds and super thick mattresses. They also offer tours, free breakfast, and have a pleasant outdoor patio that closes at midnight.