Do Hostels Provide Towels? What You Need to Know

Do Hostels Provide Towels? What You Need to Know

When planning a stay in a hostel, understanding the amenities provided is crucial for a comfortable and hassle-free experience. Among the common questions travelers have is whether hostels offer towels. It is a basic yet essential thing to have...right? This article aims to provide a clear and quick answer to this question, along with additional insights to help travelers prepare for their hostel stays.

Do Hostels provide Towels?

Yes, many hostels provide towels to their guests. Although availability can vary widely based on the hostel's individual policies and the type of accommodation offered. It's common for hostels to include towels as part of the room amenities, especially in private rooms or more upscale dormitory options, ensuring guests enjoy a convenient and comfortable stay.

There are 3 options for towels in hostels:

  • Free and Included
  • For Rent / leave a deposit
  • Not available at all

On you can see all amenities that a hostel is offering, including their towel policy.

Bring your Own Travel Tower

Renting or Free? Towels in Hostels

Some hostels may choose not to offer towels as a standard amenity to keep their costs—and subsequently their prices for guests—as low as possible.

In other cases, environmental concerns motivate this choice, as reducing laundry can significantly lower a hostel's water and energy consumption, contributing to a more sustainable operation.

Common practices among hostels that do not provide towels for free include offering towels for rent or requiring a deposit. This can be even up to 5€ for hostels in Europe.

Friendly reminder: For 5€ you might only be renting the towel; not purchasing.

The deposit is typically refunded once the towel is returned at the end of the stay, ensuring that the towels are used "properly", have not been destroyed, and returned for future guests.

Money-saving tip: Bring your own towel, and you will end up saving good money.

How to Ensure You Have a Towel During Your Stay?

Firstly, it's wise to verify the amenities provided by the hostel before making your booking. Every hostel list their available amenities, including towels, on their websites or booking platforms. Here on you can filter as well if a hostel offers towels.

All that being said: I always recommend packing a quick-dry travel towel.

Pack your Own Light-weight Travel Towel

Travel towels are an indispensable item for anyone staying in hostels, offering a versatile solution in situations where towels are not provided or come at an extra cost. Unlike regular towels, travel towels are designed with the traveler in mind, boasting features that cater to a life on the move.

I am always looking for these towels:

Compact and Lightweight: Travel towels are made from microfiber or other lightweight materials, making them easy to pack without taking up much space or adding unnecessary weight to your luggage.

Quick Drying: They dry incredibly fast compared to standard towels, a crucial feature when you're frequently on the move or in environments where drying conditions are less than ideal.

Multi-purpose: Beyond drying off after a shower, they can serve as a blanket, pillow, or privacy screen in shared sleeping situations.

Where to buy Quick Dry Towels for travelling?

The obvious choice is You will find a lot of different options. Stores like Decathlon also offer high-quality travel towels that are both compact and quick-drying, ideal for travelers, backpackers, and hostel guests.

Travel towels are just the start. For a comprehensive guide on preparing for your travels, check out our detailed hostel packing guide.

Quick Dry Towel

Travel Towels to Avoid: Cotton

During my first-ever backpacking trip, I quickly learned that cotton towels are not the ideal choice for travelers. While cotton towels are absorbent and might feel familiar, they fall short for those of us on the go, particularly for anyone staying in hostels or moving frequently.

1. They are Bulky: You can save a lot of space by NOT packing them...

2. Moisture Retention: They take long time to dry...

3. Starting to smell easily: Due to their tendency to retain moisture, cotton towels can start to smell unpleasantly after just a few uses, making them less hygienic without regular washing.

Seriously, although we all have them at home (and we love them!), they are not ideal for travelling.

FAQs Related to Hostels and Towels

Are hostel towels free?

Yes, many hostels offer free towels. The availability of free towels in hostels varies depending on the hostel's policy and the type of room you book. While some hostels include towels at no extra cost, particularly in private rooms or higher-tier dormitories, others may charge a small fee or require a deposit. It's always best to check the hostel's amenities list or contact them directly for the most accurate information.

Can I rent a towel at a hostel?

Yes, many hostels offer the option to rent a towel for a nominal fee. This service is particularly common in places where towels are not provided as a standard amenity. The rental fee is often very reasonable, and renting a towel can be a convenient option for travelers who prefer not to carry their own. Always inquire at the front desk about the availability and cost of towel rental upon arrival.

Do Hostels Have Lockers?

Yes, hostels provide lockers for guests to secure their valuables. The availability and size of these lockers can vary by hostel, so it's recommended to check in advance or upon arrival.

Do Hostels Provide Bedding?

Yes, hostels provide bedding for their guests, including sheets, pillows, and blankets.

Do Hostels Have Showers?

Yes, hostels typically have shared bathroom facilities, including showers. Some hostels may also offer private bathrooms in certain rooms.

Do Hostels Provide Soap?

No, usually hostels do not provide soap. While some hostels may provide basic toiletries like soap, it's not a universal amenity. Travelers are often encouraged to bring their own essential toiletries.

Do Hostels Provide Shampoo?

No, usually hostels do not provide shampoo. It's a good idea to bring your own, although some hostels might sell these items or offer them in vending machines.

Do Hostels Provide Pillows?

Yes, hostels generally provide pillows along with other bedding essentials for a comfortable night's sleep.

Do Hostels Provide Towels in Europe?

In Europe, as in other regions, hostel policies on towels vary. Many European hostels do provide towels for guests. It's always best to confirm with the specific hostel you're planning to stay at.


In conclusion, understanding the towel policies of hostels is essential for a comfortable stay. Always check the amenities provided ahead of your booking and be prepared for varying policies. We recommend always bringing your own travel towel. It is always handy.

Bon Voyage!

Do Hostels Provide Towels?

Featured image by Hood Hostel in Yangon, Myanmar.

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