Cheap accommodation has become very popular for travelers, especially during the tough economic times. That is the reason hostels were invented. The first hostel in Bratislava opened in 2004. Do not be worried it had nothing to do with the popular horror movie Hostel. All hostels in the city are roughly of same quality, they are all safe and will take good care of you.
The Biggest Hostel, Cheap, and Relaxed - Patio Hostel
The biggest hostel is the Patio Hostel. The name comes from the garden in the back, which you can use to enjoy a nice quiet breakfast. This hostel has the policy of always being a little cheaper than the competition, but it does not lack in quality. The only thing it lacks is a bar and a fancy entrance, but you will find it pleasant that it is located in a courtyard set off from the main road instead of on the main road with all the noisy traffic. Around the corner you will find non-stop fast food stalls, restaurants, and the Tesco supermarket is just 3 minutes away, also many hot clubs are not more than a few minutes away, since Patio is located in the City Center.
Hostel Blues - Live Music in a Big Hostel
Just across the street from Patio Hostel is the second biggest hostel in Bratislava - Hostel Blues. It is proud of its live music each week, which can really create a great atmosphere. They have a bar, making it a good spot for meeting other travelers. It is located along a busy road in the city centre, making some rooms a bit noisy, but it also means that there are many different bars, clubs, and cultural venues less than a 5 minute walk away. The supermarket just down the street, accessible from anywhere in the city center, is convenient for self-catering.
Vegas Hostel - The Newest of the Big Hostels
The newest of the bigger hostels is Vegas Hostel. Being the newest it has a clean, roomy modern feel and modern decor. It is on Obchodna Street, a very popular shopping street with many stores and restaurants such as the KGB or the Slovak Pub. The location is great. The hostel has a restaurant on street level and the popular chill-out bar Radost is below that in the basement. Obchodna street is a pedestrian zone with tram tracks and therefore is not accessible by a car.
Downtown Backpackers Hostel - A Cool Bar and the First Hostel in Bratislava
The oldest hostel is the Downtown Backpackers Hostel. It is located in a historical building near Hodzovo Square, which is a traffic hub for all major bus lines in the city. Just a few steps away you can find Next Apache cafe and English language used bookstore. While it is on a quiet side-street, the location, like all other hostels in the center is great for seeing the town on foot. Downtown Backpackers Hostel also has a private bar and restaurant of their own. The bar attracts both locals and travelers passing through and the restaurant also has a nice back patio in a courtyard that is pleasant even on the warmest summer day and peaceful all day long.
Possonium Hostel - Near the Train Station and a "Hostel" Themed Bar
The hostel closest to the Main Train Station is the Possonium Hostel. It is a nicely reconstructed old building and it is medium in capacity. The biggest plus is the distance from the train Station, but it is also the biggest disadvantage, hence it is further from the old town. It has a bar, which is themed according to the atmosphere from the movie Hostel. Possonium also has a nice garden.
Red Star - Communist Themed Hostel - Only Open in the Summer
During the summer there is a hostel called Red Star Hostel. The name is because it is located in student dormitories that are decorated in an old socialistic way. It is close to the student city Mlynska Dolina, which offers plenty of fun. It is near an arm of the Danube River, making it a pretty area, and it even has the Botanical Garden nearby as well. You will find the location great when arriving by car, because the D2 highway is close. The downside of this hostel is the distance from the City Center. While it is only a 10 minute tram ride from the City Center, some travelers might be left feeling like they are far away from the action.
Small Hostels, Centrally Located - A1
In addition to these, you can find small hostels throughout the city. A1 Hostel is the newest of the mini-hostels. It is an apartment converted into a hostel above a bar called Storm, which is one of the few "non-stop" bars in Bratislava. Since A1 is so small, you might end up being the only person staying there during the off season, which might make it a little lonely, but will also ensure more personal attention. The same is true for all of the smaller hostels in town such as Petit, Hyde Park, and City Hostel.
Hostel Petit - Small Private Rooms in the Center
Hostel Petit is located near Hodzovo Square, near the presidential palace and is made up of several private rooms. It does not offer the standard large hostel dormitory room. Some of the rooms oversee a courtyard, some have a street view, overlooking a very busy street. There is a free bottle of mineral water available in every room.
City Hostel - Private Rooms on Obchodna Street
Hyde Park Hostel and City Hostel are located opposite to each other on the popular Obchodna Street just down the street from Vegas, which is home to many bars and pubs.
The City Hostel is more like a hotel since it only has small private rooms. This detracts from the feel of a hostel, but those who don't like the hostel environment may find this appealing. City Hostel is a new hostel located on the youthful and lively Obchodna street. The 29 rooms are all equipped with their own en suite toilet and shower, unlike in most other hostels. City Hostel offers single, double, triple rooms and suites, all equipped with TV set.
Hyde Park - Private Rooms and a Dorm
Hyde Park hostel has a comfortable restaurant underneath the reception, that you may find convenient. It has a nice quiet courtyard behind it. The hostel has several types of rooms - single, doubles, triples, quads (all of them are private rooms) and two dorms - a five bedded dorm and a six bedded dorm. It is suitable both for an individual traveler or for smaller groups. Each room has its own ensuite bathroom and is equipped with satellite TV and electric kettle.
Summary of Locations of Hostels in Bratislava
To summarize location - in the center you have Patio and Blues near Tesco in the center, just two streets over in the City Center on Obchodna are Vegas, Hyde Park, and City. A1 is in the center, just off of Obchodna. Across from the Presidential Palace, in the center are Petit and Downtown Backpackers. Possonium is near the train station (10 min walk from the center) and Red Star outside of the center (10 minute tram ride).
Summarizing Large Hostels vs. Small Hostels
Patio, Blues, Vegas, Downtown Backpackers, and Red Star are larger hostels, with a hostel-like feel - small rooms along with larger rooms, common rooms for people to visit, bars, lots of camaraderie among travelers.
A1, Petit, Hyde Park, and City are smaller hostels that offer a little more privacy.