Now, time to play! A hostel is a social place, and what better way to let people mingle by giving them the right tools: HOSTEL GAMES!
This list of board games and other games can improve the guests hostel experience and in long term improve your rating. These board games would cost you 50€, an investment that has a high ROI, no doubt.
Anyway, we want to give you this full list of hostel games every hostel SHOULD own.
Hostel Games to get for your accommodation
We are ordering these games and board games randomly. However, the first 5 ones are our absolute favorites!
1. Exploding Kittens (with extension Imploding Kittens)
100% pure fun! The exploding kittens changes the way you think about card games. Exploding Kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
The rules are simply. Basically: do not explode!
Below I am attaching an explanation video. It’s really simple and serious fun!
You can purchase Exploding Kittens here.
Also: There is an extension to this game, the Imploding Kittens. The extension allows to play with 5 to 6 players.
2. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.
Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.
The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card.
Wanna get an idea? Watch the video below:
First of all: Their ad is SO FUN and amazing. Just click on it and you will get an idea of the game.
There is nothing left to say, expect: SUPERFIGHT!!
4. 5 Second Rule Uncensored
You have 5 Seconds to answer to a question with 3 items.
Question: “What is something you only do when no one is watching?”
Answer in 5 Seconds: “Dance, Sing, talking to myself”
You can purchase the 5 Seconds Rule Game here.
5. Solo Cards/ Uno Cards
Each player receives eight cards. Whoever can discard his cards first, wins. But watch out! There are sinister action cards, which turn everything upside down. Solo is a new Crazy Eights variant with special action cards.
6. Several Deck of cards like Poker Cards
Cards are always good! Many hostel guests know endless games to play. Games, we never even heard of!
Therefore, a deck of card is always a good thing to have around. Combine it with a simple deck of Poker Cards, and you are all set.
7. Foosball Table
Alright, this is one of my personal highlights: Foosball!
I own a foosball table, in fact it was my Christmas present when I was 6 years old. It’s real fun!
The best tip I can give you here: don’t buy the cheapest foosball table you find. A foosball table in a hostel has to survive a bit of violence and endless games. You do not want to buy ever 3 weeks a new one.
Therefore, go with a wooden foosball table.
Also, a cup holder is a good idea!
8. Pool Table
Another game that takes up a bit of space is the pool table. It does even take more space than the foosball because the players need space.
Another small disadvantage compared to the foosball is that only 1 player can play at a time. With foosball, 4 guests can play together.
9. Connect Four
That’s a classic. You can turn this one easily in a drinking game. However, Twister is fun, especially for a small group recommended!
11. Ping Pong Table
This game needs no introduction. Same as the pool table, this item takes up more space.
12. Jango Classic
That is a classic one. It is also easy to customize and turn it into a drinking game.
The Ani&Haakien Hostel customized their Jenga game. They wrote down a task on every stone. You have to either know the answer or do as it says on the stone. If you don’t, then you’ve to drink!
Anyway, Jenga is a classic. Just make sure your guests always pick up the stones and put them back in the box.
13. Never Have I ever
“Never have I ever had uncontrollable gas at work”.
“Never have I ever jumped out of a car while it was still moving”.
Card after card, these one-of-a-kind game cards are all about sex, drugs, rock n’ roll and bodily functions; don’t be surprised how much you learn from someone you thought you knew.
People get to know each other deeply in a hilarious way. Be ready to fess up to that thing that happened “one time” in college (or last year) in front of your friends, staff and guests – there’s no more running away!
14. Nintendo Wii/ Playstation
The only techy hostel game on this list is the Nintendo Wii and Playstation. Those can be serious fun as well. You need to have a decent TV screen for the console game though, keep this in mind.
Also, it requires more games than just the standard ones. The classic Mario Kart and the latest FIFA is almost a must-have, same as race car games.
Classic! A chess family classics edition is great for a slow night in.
The Hostel Ruthensteiner in Vienna even goes a step further. They hand build life-size chess figures in their garden. An extra point for that!
16. Dart or Hookey Ring Toss Game
A classic for a bar and many hostels: The dart! Not many hostels want to install it since it leaves an ugly wall behind. People keep missing the board and the darts leave a mark in the wall. Not beautiful.
Therefore, I have found an alternative I like even more.
The less “aggressive” alternative to dart is the Hookey Ring Toss. Seriously, I played this in a resort for hours!
All you have to do is to throw the ring to the hook. Simple as that!
This game is easy to install since you can hang it wherever you want. On a post, on a wall, tree. There are no sharp darts that destroy the wall or anything behind the dart board itself.
Alright, now what is this game, please?!
It’s quite simple to understand. We found the video below. It is the founder of the poop-game. He can explain the whole game in 2 minutes only.
I think this is a game the guests can play with no big introduction plus even after a few drinks.
18. The Voting Game – The Adult Party Game About Your Friends
The Voting Game is a group card game that uncovers the hilarious truth behind your friendships, guests and staff.
Play again and again – Gameplay varies dramatically based on the group you play with.
Another Classic Taboo game challenges you to guess words and phrases. You lose a point if you use any of the Taboo words. The included timer keeps track and squeaks when you’re out of time. A simple game, easy to understand.
20. Smart Ass Board Game
Play Smart Ass, the game where it’s OK to yell out the answer, even when it’s not your turn. Be the first to answer the Who, What, and Where Am I questions, and move closer to being the ultimate Smart Ass.
Hostel Game Ideas DIY
Now, there are a lot of cool games you do not have to maintain that hard and you can even do it yourself (DIY).
These games only really need a piece of paper and pen, or other simple things. Even beer pong is easy to set up if you want.
23. Truth or Dare
Truth or dare? is a mostly verbal party game requiring two or more players.
Players are given the choice between answering a question truthfully, or performing a “dare”, both of which are set by the other players. The game is particularly popular among adolescents and children, and is sometimes used as a forfeit when gambling. Truth or dare? game sessions may have a sexual connotation to them.
24. Who Am I?
FUN FUN FUN and incredibly easy to play.
All you need is a pen and a piece of paper.
Everybody writes down a famous person on a paper and gives it to the neighbor. The person puts the paper on the forehead and has to ask questions that can only be answered by YES or NO.
Watch the video below for more details. It is really simple!
25. Questions Only Challenge
Always ask questions, answer with a question and then answer with a question. You cannot laugh. It’s simple and you don’t need anything than time and sense of humor.
26. Beer Pong
Alright, party people, this is the must-have game for all the amazing party hostels out there.
Fun hostel activities and hostel events
After we have the games set, what about the activities? There is a lot you can do in terms of keeping your guests happy and busy.
Here is a list of hostel events for you to get inspired.
- Pub Crawl
- Pub Quiz
- Movie Night
- Walking Tour
The Ecomama Amsterdam and Cocomama organize their own Red Light District Tours. Everyone visiting Amsterdam is interested in this district, so it’s smart to offer this from your end right away.
- BBQ in the garden
- Board game night
- Booze Cruise
- Day Trips
- Karaoke Nights
This is especially popular among South Korean travelers and Vietnamese ones.
- Escape Rooms
Espape Rooms are an excellent way to let your guests mingle and join a kind of “Team building activity”. We at Hostelgeeks teamed even up with an Escape Room in Amsterdam. Our guests go there regularly.
Read: 29 Fun Things to do in Amsterdam
- Cooking Class
mix up the local culture and share it with your guests. Everybody is keen about food and culture, so give it to them. You can make them paid or free, this depends on your guests and business model.
- Family Dinner
- Theme Party (carnival, new years eve, back to the 60s…)
Last thoughts on hostel games
Hostel games same like other small items in the common area like a community table are the perfect setup for a great hostel experience. It can be a small detail, but it can be one with big impact. Imagine you could improve your ratings on Booking.com and Hostelworld by 0.5 only by offering board games?
What can your guests do on a slow Monday night? What about the rainy days? What about the ones that just wanna chill out in the common area?
There is always someone interesting in playing. And the worst thing in this moment is when the board games are incomplete. Imagine, your guests would like to play a round of Monopoly – and half the game is missing. That’s worse than actually NOT having the board game in the shelf.
Therefore, make sure you offer them fun games, and if your management allows, let one of the staff participate or encourage even to play.
5 Star Hostels are surely winning the race when it comes to including fun entertainment for their guests.
Here is the full list again in a nutshell:
- Exploding Kittens (with extension Imploding Kittens)
- Cards Against Humanity
- 5 Second Rule Uncensored
- Solo Cards/ Uno Cards
- Several Deck of cards like Poker Cards
- Pool Tables
- Connect Four
- Ping Pong Table
- Slack Line
- Nintendo Wii or Playstation
- The Voting Game – The Adult Party Game About Your Friends
- Party & Co
- Truth or Dare
- Guess Who?
- Questions Only Challenge
- Beer Pong