Beyond Cheap and Cheerful

PHOTO by Hostel "Yakorny Park"

Hostels are usually associated with budget accommodation for unprepossessing travellers. A crowd of unwashed backpackers, students from Europe in a drunken stupor and their peers from Asia cooking instant noodles in the kitchen.

However, for many hostels that image is all in the past. Now they offer a different concept for holidayers: not just accommodation, but exciting acquaintances and the opportunity for interaction with an international community of travellers.

For a long time now, hostels have been offering great quality rooms for one or two people - even with private bathrooms. The design at some hostels could compete with those of boutique hotels too. Lenta.ru, with the help of some tourism experts, made a list of the best hostels in Russia.