On my Europe backpacking trip, I stayed in hostels and hotels. As a solo traveler, staying in a dorm is the best option because it allows for cheaper pricing. Some hostels have private room options that may be cheaper than a hotel room. Before staying in a dorm its best to know your comfort levels. Dorm rooms vary in number of beds per room, security storage, and gender. Some rooms can have 4 beds while others can have 20 beds (jungle hostel in Cambodia). Your room may be one gender or co-ed. I have stayed in both and never had any issues. Please remember you have to always mind yourself and your things.
Splitting costs of a room with friends can always be cheaper . If you are ballin' then just get a hotel room :)
No matter what you choose there’s always some basic hostel etiquette one should follow: i.e DON'T BE A CREEP !
1. Always keep your valuables close. I slept with my fanny pack containing my passport and wallet. Most hostels have lockers or storage in the room where you can lock away valuables.
2. Never miss the free breakfast if it is included. This can help you save money and also allows you meet other people who are staying in the hostel.
3. Never sleep in! At hostels your roommates wake up early and explore. Get up and enjoy the day. Plus, who wants to sleep while people are tussling with their things in the morning.
4. Make nice with the people in your room so you can feel their vibe and creepy meter. Share stories about your travel journey and get insight about things that may interest you.
5. Be ready for a extra charge in cash for the city taxes when checking into a hostel
Pro Tip: Most major cities in EU offer free walking tours. I highly recommend the Sandeman tour ( http://www.neweuropetours.eu/). I did three and they all provided me with knowledge about the city and its history, architecture, and culture.