Blog – The Difference Between Coliving And Hostels

The Difference Between Coliving And Hostels

Hostels, Bed, and breakfast, coliving, hotels… Many people might not know it yet, but these shared living spaces are very different. We are going to take a deeper dive into the differences between two alternative living types; coliving homes and hostels. Many young professionals nowadays have some issues distinguishing them. Let’s look at them individually and discuss the pros and cons, shall we?


A hostel’s philosophy is cheap, social, and short-term, many would agree the main crowd for hostels are true explorers and travellers and not necessarily every day, working professionals. Social events and get-togethers come from both the community inside the hostel, and the exploration of the area around, such as the town or city, or even the local flora and fauna, depending on the location. 

Hostels tend to have their “culture” developed by the people staying in, with the hostel itself usually providing only information and the occasional fun activity (think pub crawl for example…) to those staying there. Meeting new people, with some of whom you will share your dorm room, is also a huge part of the hostel lifestyle. Bunkbeds are the norm here, and shared bathrooms, like those you would find at a gym, are usually for either the entire dorm, floor, or hostel itself. 

The budgeted stay does mean that there are some things that you might have to give up, privacy is the first to go, and there is no real alone time within the walls of a hostel. Together with it comes the fact that the shared accommodation roommates are total strangers. Although this does mean you can make many new friends, some strangers are better off remaining as such, while others have habits or traits that are not always appreciated by many people. Lastly, as there is usually a rotating door of new people every day, this can make it hard for staff to clean and maintain the premises. 

The idea of a hostel is that those that stay explore the local area, entertain themselves, and then come back to share a room with 4-40 people for the night, all within a nice budget, so they can use their money to explore more of the country.

shared bedroom in hostel                                                                                                                                                                 Hostel beds area

coworking area in shared housing  Coliving working area


Coliving’s ideology is a bit different from that of a Hostel. Coliving is more for the person who wants to really experience being a global citizen. Somewhere where you can work and stay, have a sense of community with like-minded individuals, but also have the privacy of your own home.

Coliving communities regularly do activities together. This bond is the heart of what coliving is, living together with others. Events are usually managed by a community manager tasked with raising the atmosphere around the living complex. Your fellow housemates are also a great source of inspiration, from business networking to brainstorming or coworking to just having someone to relax within the communal space at the end of a day or week.

Flexibility is also an important topic within coliving. Sometimes your plans change, and that’s ok. Coliving has great flexibility in changing the duration of your stay. Extending the rental contract on an actual apartment or house for one or two months due to work is sometimes not possible, while with coliving it usually is. The Internet is faster especially for working professionals travelling abroad and there are fewer people per shared bathroom as opposed to a hostel. Common coliving spaces also tend to offer workspaces, a more quiet place where people can get some work done, or brainstorm ideas in a more fitting setting, where you are surrounded by other working youth, stimulating productivity.

The idea of a coliving home is that those that stay explore the local area in their free time, do their job either remotely in their private room/ working area or go to work during the day. And whenever they have time go by the shared rooms during the evenings, afternoons or weekends to join events, catch up with friends and meet new people. This way you may actually feel like a citizen as you work, live and socialize while getting to know the area.

 So what exactly makes the difference?

Compared to Hostels directly, a Coliving space will be more expensive, due to the privacy in your room, will provide specially organized events, high-quality amenities (wifi, furniture, food), the often included room service and an all-in-one monthly bill. Having one bill for everything takes away the hassle of arranging your stay and leaves you enjoying more and more of your experience abroad. Efficient living together with privacy and better amenities do come at a cost.

Much like Hostels, Coliving spaces are more centred around “the community.” This means that it can be hard to get away from the hustle and bustle of the place. As most people tend to stay a longer period, being a part of the community, and the effort to maintain it, can be a chore for some people, luckily you can hide out for some me-time in your own bedroom in a coliving home.

We would say that the biggest difference between the two shared living options is in the budget and goals of your stay. Hostels can be great for a more short-term, road-trip kind of living. Whereas coliving is a better option if you are willing to pay for an actual community living experience as a citizen in another city, with a community around you to help you feel at home straight away.

 As a side note, if you are looking to permanently move to an expensive city for work, but are still a bit doubtful about the experience, coliving is a great option. The flexibility and pricing allow you to understand the local housing market before finding something more permanent and it can help you make many new friends in the city of your dreams, before definitely living there.

Shared lunch at UKO Australia coliving


So where should I stay?

To conclude; hostels are for budget travellers staying for a short term, who may or may not want to mingle and chat with strangers every other night. Coliving is for professionals and digital nomads who seek to stay in a place for the short-long term duration, who may or may not want to expand their professional network or who simply want to connect with like-minded people who love to travel and experience the world.

Now let’s look into the similarities between hostels and coliving because we sure know that both options have so much to offer;

Community – both coliving and hostels are built upon strong communities. In most situations, both coliving locations and hostels have people from different countries and cultures living together. One shared aspect of this is that people generally want to have a form of social interaction or connection. In hostels, it comes and goes depending on the people who stay there. At coliving homes, it is often facilitated by the operator and the design of shared rooms creates the perfect space to meet people and network.

Cost-saving – both coliving and hostels provide more bang for your buck relative to their substitute products, think hotels for a hostel, and house or apartment for coliving. Especially now when living right in the city of a new country is getting harder and harder and even more expensive. Sometimes coliving can be the best way to get the best location.

Amenities – Items such as community kitchens, internet, or a dining area are common in both types of accommodation. So all you need to worry about is packing your bag and moving abroad because your home has got you covered.

 We hope we have given you more insight into the differences between hostels and coliving. If you ever have any questions or would like to have a chat about living abroad.

Feel free to send us an email at or DM us via Instagram!

Leave a Reply