Austin is so much more than just the capital of the lone star state. This city not only encompasses all things Texan but is also known as the center for live music in the United States.
While traveling through the United States, Texas is sure to catch your attention with its vibrant western culture and cowboy lifestyle. When you get tired of the country life, Austin will flip the tables on you, flaunting off its lively nightlife, world-famous live music, and small-time charm while staying in the big city
People don’t travel to the United States to save money, so don’t expect it to be any different in Austin. Despite not being a backpacker-friendly destination, the places available still offer a true hostel experience in the city!
With very few hostels, picking a place to base yourself out of when exploring and partying your way through Austin can be a hassle.
You can now rest easy! We made this guide so that YOU can find that one perfect hostel in no other than Austin, Texas!
Get your spurs and cowboy boots on and get ready to boot-scoot into the center of the lone star state!
So peep our guide to the top hostels in Austin below!
Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Austin
- Best Overall Hostel in Austin – Drifter Jack’s Hostel
- Best Party Hostel in Austin – Native Hostel
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Austin – Firehouse Hostel
- Best Cheap Hostel in Austin – Hi Austin
- Best Hostel for Couples in Austin – Rooms at Elmtree Cottage
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Austin – Hostel 512
- Best Hostel with a Private Room in Austin – Rodeway Inn And Suites Austin
The Best Hostels in Austin
For you country bumpkins or hippie hipsters, Austin is a true mix of authentic Texan culture and modern youth trends. Other than its rich history and vibrant culture, Austin also is home to some of the most breathtaking natural beauty in the whole country!
Despite Austin being known as the Hippie Haven by the more conservative Texans, Austin still has not embraced itself as a true backpacker destination. The few overpriced hostels are sure to deter many travelers from putting the live music capital on their itineraries. Therefore, deciding where to stay in Austin can be painful.
Don’t miss out on a trip of a lifetime just because it is hard to find a cheap bed! We have put together the best places to stay in Austin to suit a backpacker’s lifestyle here! Now you can worry less about hostels and pay more attention to experiencing the true Texan culture!
Best Overall Hostel in Austin – Drifter Jack’s Hostel
- Common Room
- Bicycle Hire
- Book Exchange
A bit outside of the corporate center making it Austin’s backpacker hub, Drifter Jack’s is located nearby the University of Texas, Austin’s center for youth culture.
The hostel itself has been decorated by local artists, making Drifter Jack’s one of the hippest places in town. Other than the hostel’s laid-back atmosphere Jack’s also offers a billiards table, movie room, book exchange, and 24-hour coffee/tea.
Best Party Hostel in Austin – Native Hostel
- Restaurant & Bar
- Outdoor Terrace
- Bicycle Hire
While Native Hostel may be considered a bit expensive for a hostel, it makes up for the cost with its part atmosphere. Native Hostel embodies the spirit of Austin being “the live music capital” with its own live music nights in their bar and restaurant.
Both the lounge and dorm rooms are decorated in such a way that Native could almost be classified as a luxury hostel. Each of the beds are included with a privacy curtain, outlet, and lamp. The start of your Austin vacation full of clubs, bars, and music starts here!
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Austin – Firehouse Hostel
- Cocktail Bar
- Free Breakfast
- Book Exchange
At Firehouse Hostel you are literally staying in a piece of American history! The hostel is located in the oldest firehouse which was built all the way back in 1885.
Today, the hostel has its own speakeasy-style cocktail bar, shared kitchen, and spacious lounges. With the hostel’s chill vibe and open atmosphere, Firehouse is the best place to just hang out and meet other backpackers. The bar, lounges, and welcoming staff make Firehouse the best hostel in Austin for solo travelers!
Best Cheap Hostel in Austin – Hi Austin
- Outdoor Terrace
- Bicycle Hire
- Shared Kitchen
When looking over hostels in Austin you will quickly find that finding a cheap place to stay is no easy task. Rejoice that there is Hi Austin, where you can find the best budget hostel in town!
Other than Hi Austin having the cheapest bunks in Austin, this hostel also offers a well decorated spacious dining room, a shared kitchen, outdoor lounge, and indoor sitting areas. Hi Austin is also just minutes away from Town Lake.
Best Hostel for Couples in Austin – Rooms at Elmtree Cottage
- Outdoor Garden
Couples traveling to Austin may be wanting a place a little more intimate and private than your typical hostel. Rooms at Elmtree Cottage is the cheapest alternative to a hostel, offering budget cozy rooms at a Texan homestay in the Austin suburbs.
Other than the cottage’s homey atmosphere, these rooms are located in a quiet neighborhood but are still just minutes away from some of Austin’s biggest attractions!
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Austin – Hostel 512
- Shared Kitchen
Hostel 512 is a classic US youth hostel where backpackers can hang out, blog, or just relax. For you digital nomads out there, this hostel has plenty of places to spread out to get some work done, from the many lounges to the yard, you will be able to get your work done in style! The rooms are always clean and filled with oversized beds.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Austin – Rodeway Inn And Suites Austin
- Swimming Pool
Finding a cheap private bed without giving up comfort is quite hard to come by in the United States. The rather unenchanting name of “Rodeway INN” in no way reflects the quality stay you will have at this motel.
For a backpacker, this INN offers tastefully decorated rooms, a relaxing swimming pool, and even an onsite restaurant for a low price.
Psst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!
More Best Hostels in Austin
- Swimming Pool
- Shared Kitchen
Sua Casinha is one of the newest hostels in town, offering budget beds along with a laid-back atmosphere.
This hostel also has a backyard with a fire pit, hammocks, outdoor lounge. Other than Sua Casinha’s outdoor terrace, the hostel also has a shared kitchen, movie nights, and games for guests to use at their leisure.
- Cafe & Bar
If you are at the end of your trip, you might need to find someplace close to the airport.
Motel 6 is one of the closest places near the airport for a cheap price. This hotel’s rooms include a TV, desk, and access to the swimming pool. Other than being close to the airport there are also plenty of restaurants to choose from nearby.
If you are looking to pay a few extra dollars for a more comfortable stay near the airport, you can’t go wrong with Quality Inn. On top of comfortable spacious rooms, the hotel offers tons of perks such as a pool, gym, dining room, and a free shuttle to the airport.
What to Pack for your Austin Hostel
We don’t often travel without these essentials.
1. Noise-Cancelling Earbuds: You’ll have some pretty sorry roommates – it happens from time to time. These noise-canceling earbuds help mitigate the damage. The comfortable and ergonomic design won’t hurt your ears while sleeping no matter how long you keep them in. Increase the quality of your sleep by listening to some relaxing music at night or just enjoy the silence.
2. Padlock: Unless the thief literally spends hours to figure out the code (he won’t), this three-digit padlock is going to keep your stuff safe. It’s great for keeping the zipper of your backpack secured or your locker properly closed. This basic and very flexible padlock saves you from having your essentials stolen. Definitely a must-have for every backpacker!
3. Active Roots Water Bottle: Sturdy and durable, the Active Roots water bottle survives the roughest adventures while keeping your drink cold or hot for at least 24 hours. Vacuum-sealed and made from stainless steel, the bottle can fit 25oz, which is plenty to keep you hydrated. Super cool bonus: the bottle isn’t just super useful, it helps to reduce the single-use plastic waste – save the planet by filling up your bottle.
4. Active Roots Toiletry Bag: The Active Roots Toiletry bag keeps all of your bathroom essential items organized instead of flowing around your backpack. Having everything handy and accessible in one water-resistant bag is a bathroom lifesaver. This toiletry bag also helps from being that embarrassed person walking back to the dorm room, in a towel, to grab forgotten shampoo.
5. Playing Cards: These waterproof cards are essential kit for every backpacker. Play by the pool, beach or at your hostel after a long day with travel buds, without your cards breaking or getting soaked. And once you pull out those cards, the chance that you’ll be the hero of the night is pretty high (no promises though).
6. Headphone Splitter: You’re the one with the Netflix account and your friend wants to watch too? But you don’t want to share headphones? And you’re good people who wouldn’t disturb your dorm mates? That’s not going to be a problem with this Headphone Splitter! Plug in two pairs of headphones at the same time, so both of you are able to listen to music or watch shows simultaneously. It comes in handy and won’t weigh you down.
Why you should travel to Austin
Austin has a lot to offer backpackers from its live music, bars, and rich history. What the city lacks, however, is budget hostels for young travelers. The hostels that are available do dazzle guests with their artsy decor and even some with their history.
While not the cheapest place in town, Firehouse Hostel treats its guests with reasonable beds with a youthful atmosphere in one of Austin’s most historic buildings in town!
Get ready for some late nights exploring Austin’s vibrant music scene with a dash of local culture, making your Texan adventure a trip to remember for a lifetime!
Travel Safety Tips for Austin
And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
More Epic Hostels in USA and North America
Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Austin.
Planning an epic trip all across USA or even North America itself?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides around North America, check out:
Over to you
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Austin has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
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