There are many different kinds of hostels: some hostels feel like college dorms; some feel like futuristic pod-homes; some feel like mountain sanctuaries; a few even feel a bit like summer camp. Every budget traveler has their favorite “type” when it comes to hostels. But there’s one type of hostel that is universally loved by all: hostels that feel like home. Eco-friendly Kabas Hostel in Antwerp, Belgium is one of those rare gems of a hostel that makes you instantly feel comfortable and right at home. In our opinion, it’s one of the best hostels in Belgium.
Antwerp is a bustling, vibrant Belgian city and home to its fashion center. Most of the tourist sights are grouped together. Which is great, but it also makes the Old Town a little crowded. Tiny, cozy Kabas Hostel – with only 20 beds – is a great relief from this. Although it’s not in the heart of the city (like many other hostels in Antwerp) it’s just next door to a bus stop and a city bike rental spot, so you can easily get to and from where you need to be. Honestly, we found ourselves walking the 20ish minutes each way and enjoying Antwerp’s old buildings and flat, curving, cobblestone streets. Across the street from Kabas Hostel is a grocery store, which is the most convenient thing to have next to a hostel if you’re sticking to a beer and food budget. We made full use of Kabas Hostel’s generously sized kitchen and that grocery store.
Kabas Hostel: Our Home Away From Home in Antwerp, Belgium
As with any good hostel, it’s the little touches that make Kabas Hostel so warm and inviting. The Christmas Tree in the lounge area during the holidays. Comfy pillows at the family-style wooden dining table. A cozy lounge with a couch, beanbag chair, and comfy chair, complete with a TV and board games. A funny comic book in the bathroom. Complimentary hair dryers, towels, and breakfast. Environmentally sustainable practices that respect and protect the environment without affecting the quality of your stay. A friendly owner chock full of advice and helpful suggestions to make the most of your stay. Two fluffy chickens laying fresh eggs in the garden.
Yep. that’s right. Kabas Hostel is home to two hens, and when they’re not feeling cranky, they lay delicious farm-fresh eggs that you can enjoy for breakfast! They don’t currently have names – I checked – but they looked like they the sort of chickens who’d be named Daisy and Petunia to me. (Trust me, I’m an expert: I grew up with chickens and named every single one of them). As you probably already know, Jeremy and I are suckers for a good hostel pet – we’ve loved every dog and cat we’ve met at a hostel, and even one llama – but chickens are a new one for us. According to the owner of Kabas Hostel, in the summer there will be two turtles as well, swimming with their stubby little turtle legs in a little pool in the backyard garden. Hostel turtles!!! Can we live here??!
The Relaxed Social Vibe at Kabas Hostel in Antwerp, Belgium
In addition to chickens, turtles, environmental responsibility, and board games – what else do you need, really – Kabas Hostel has managed to cultivate the kind of special vibe that brings travelers together and changes them from strangers into friends. Kabas Hostel is one of those rare breeds of relaxed, social hostels. And one night – after a lovely day of relaxing and reading a book by the Christmas Tree – we found ourselves sitting around the big wooden table with 8 total strangers, laughing and chatting in Spanish and English about life and politics and education, sharing customs and comparing words in various languages, learning about culture and comparing our shared and vastly different experiences. It was the kind of night with beer and wine bottles covering the table, 3 different languages excitedly spoken at once, 8 different nationalities and cultures, and at some point, a Mexican and a Spaniard dancing flamenco together. It was magical. It’s exactly why we continue to choose hostels over hotels again and again, why we’ve spent the past 6 months sleeping in dorms. It’s not just that hostels are budget friendly, it’s not just access to a kitchen and maybe, if you’re lucky, laundry. No, we live for these nights of real, authentic connection with other travelers.
Honestly, I think that makes Kabas Hostel so successful – and I don’t just mean that literally, although it is kind of amazing how popular such a newly opened, small hostel has already become – is that its owner, Bart, is a traveler himself. He was inspired to open eco-friendly Kabas Hostel after a long backpacking trip through, of all places, South America. We had a great time comparing notes on our travels. I think the best hostels are owned by backpackers and travelers. Jeremy and I frequently find ourselves daydreaming about opening one of our own. After all, it takes a traveler to understand what a hostel really needs to be: the best hostels, like Kabas Hostel, are a home far away from home.
Practical Information about Kabas Hostel in Antwerp, Belgium
- Booking: Hostelworld
- Rates: Prices range from 21€ for a bed in a dorm to 54€ for a private (weekdays are cheaper)
- Amenities: Included breakfast (with fresh eggs!), fully stocked kitchen, towels, hair dryers, coffee & tea all day, bed linens, outlet and light for every bed, lockers
- Hostel Perks: Grocery store across the street. City bike and bus stop next door. Hammocks (in the summer) and chickens in the garden. Eco-friendly and green certified.
We highly recommend you stay at Kabas Hostel the next time you visit Antwerp, Belgium!
Disclaimer: Our stay was sponsored by Kabas Hostel in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links, which earn us a small commission at no cost to you and help us pay for the costs of running the site.