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Is there any difference between the two words? Would they both be acceptable and understandable in Spain or maybe you'd use one based on location?

I suspect one may be used more often in the context of a homeless shelter where as the other for a youth hostel. For a traveler, which would be best suited as a reference to the place they're staying in on their travels?

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    hostal is a hostel. albergue is an inn.[on their travels, by the way] – Lambie May 5 '20 at 13:19
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In this page there is useful information about the differences between hotel, hostal, hostel, albergue. There is also hostería, which is usually a small hotel, with few beds.

"hostal" is a cheap hotel, similar to "hostería".

"albergue" is similar to "hostel", where bathrooms are shared, never private.

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  • +1 Some of these could be subject to regionalisms, no? I'd like to see a compendium with photographs- in América del Sur there's a spectacular gamma of temporary lodgings for every tast from rastafari to "suit and tie" road warrior. – Conrado May 6 '20 at 16:05

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