Jena lies in an area of the former East Germany that's speckled with cities and towns. You're not adhering to the typical tourist stops, even for those exploring eastern Germany, if you're headed to Jena, and especially if you're thinking of staying overnight. Hostels in Jena are a good place to stay. Since you're likely either on the curious side, or have something to do in Jena, you'll probably enjoy your stay. Jena's in a bit of a boom, at least compared to many of the abandoned town in the region. So, there is lots of business going on, but you can certainly just take part in daily life here, go to the bakery, walk around, and check out some of the local dive bars.
If it's character you're seeking, just look around town -- there are quirky little places all over hidden in the corners of the skinny old town or beneath the jungle of giant Communist housing blocks around town. Indeed there is a huge variety of architecture in town from older to Communist to contemporary developments.
There aren't so many hostels in Jena, but those that exist are institutional and not very conducive to partying. Jena hostels do offer a good sleep and if you want to party, you can head out with the local student crowd. Your hostel may well attract more youth groups and fewer independent travelers but it's not hard to meet people in Jena. Since there's not too many folks from out of town, you might strike the interest of locals if you don't speak German, making it all the easier to meet others.
Hi, I'm Carl,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Jena hostels. Welcome.