Don’t be deceived by the ritz and glamour of the tall skyscrapers of Calgary, this city is a home for cowboys and country living. With rodeos and country music, Calgary is a place where you can truly experience the frontier culture in Canada.

Being a bit off of the beaten path and attracting more cattlemen than backpackers, you will not have a whole lot to choose from when it comes to youth hostels and budget hotels.

There is no need to start unpacking just yet! We brought together all the best budget hostels and cheap hotels to one place so you can book with confidence that you will be staying in the top hostels in Calgary!

Pull out your cowboy hats and get ready to boot scoot to adventure in Calgary!

Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Calgary

Calgary Tower

What to Expect from the Best Hostels in Calgary

Before we get to the main question let’s have a look at why you should be staying at a hostel in the first place. Obviously, there’s the super affordable price. Hostels, in general, are the cheapest form of accommodation so you can save quite a bit by staying at one.

However, there’s an even better perk! Hostels allow you to meet likeminded travellers from all over the world, make new friends and exchange travel stories and tips, without having to leave the building. The social vibe at hostels is truly unique and can’t be found in any other accommodation.

Best Hostels in Calgary

When it comes to hostels in Calgary, it starts to be a bit tricky. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many hostel options as you would find in other cities, but don’t worry, there are plenty of other budget accommodations as well.

Bed and breakfasts, homestays and guest houses are just as affordable as hostels, but offer a slightly different vibe, without the social aspect that hostels are known for. However, you get the chance to connect with the host or owner and get some local knowledge on how to spend your time in Calgary. Budget hotels are an option too, but they’re definitely more expensive.

When looking for a hostel or budget accommodation, we’d normally recommend looking on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers the best hostel options with a reliable review and rating system. But since there aren’t many options in Calgary, you might have to check on or other booking platforms. Note that you’ll be less likely to find hostels there, but more budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Before visiting Calgary, it’s important to know that there are plenty of areas and districts that all offer different attractions and vibes. This is why it’s essential to know where to stay in Calgary before you start travelling. We’ve listed out three favorite neighborhoods below:

  • Downtown: a large neighbourhood located at the heart of Calgary, filled with historical landmarks. It’s a great base for first time visitors.
  • Victoria Park: located south of the downtown core and one of the oldest communities in the city. It’s the perfect place for travellers on a budget.
  • The Beltline: the liveliest neighborhood in Calgary with great nightlife options, located in the southwest of the city centre. It’s the place to see and be seen

Most accommodation options can be found towards the Downtown area and Victoria Park. There are some exceptions of course, but those two neighborhoods will be the ones you should keep an eye on, as the room rates are a bit lower as well.

The Best Hostels in Calgary

From the best hostels to the coziest Calgary BnBs, this list will help you find that one stay in Calgary that best suits how you like to travel!

1. Best Overall Hostel in Calgary – Wicked Hostels

Wicked Hostels best hostels in Calgary
Wicked Hostels is our pick for best overall hostel in Calgary
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Pub Crawls

There is not a single backpacker’s hostel in Calgary that can hold a light to Wicked Hostels. This stay has carved its name as the top hostel in Calgary with its tons of freebies. With free breakfast, laundry, and even club entry, this hostel will provide you with a little bit of everything.

They will really get the party started with their karaoke nights, pub crawls, and Wild Wings Nights! Out of all of the hostels and BnBs in Calgary, this is the one stay where you will that classic backpacker’s experience!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Located in the Beltline nightlife district
  • Games room
  • Free Parking

When staying at the Wicked Hostels, you can expect way more than just a basic dorm room. You can choose between different room options, from 4-bed female-only to 8-bed mixed dorms. If you prefer more alone time, there are charming private rooms with a great city view as well. Note that all rooms have access to shared (but very clean) bathrooms.

If you want to connect with your family back at home, you can easily do that thanks to the high-speed Wifi which is available throughout the whole building.

The common room offers comfy sofas where you can either get some work done on your laptop, or once you’re finished, hang out with all other travellers and make new friends.

To explore the best area of Calgary, head to the reception and grab one of the free city maps. Red Mile district is further down 17th Avenue from the property and Calgary city center and CORE Shopping Center is only 19 minutes’ walk away.

2. Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Calgary – Hi Calgary City Centre

Hi Calgary City Centre best hostels in Calgary
Hi Calgary City Centre is our pick for best hostel for solo travelers in Calgary
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Free Towels

If you are looking for a backpacker’s hostel that will put you within minutes of all the best sights, restaurants, and bars in Calgary, look no further than HI Calgary City Centre! When you aren’t out tasting all of the local delicacies and experiencing Canada’s unique culture, this hostel is the perfect place to just kick back in the lounge and meet other travelers!

If though you are a solo traveler, you will find that the shared kitchen and relaxing lounges are great places to meet other guests also looking for an adventure in Calgary!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Lots of freebies
  • TV and recreation room
  • Family rooms

We’re not gonna lie, HI Calgary City Centre is a huge competitor with our overall best hostel choice. Simply because it just offers so many amazing amenities and freebies.

HI Calgary City Centre is part of HI Canada, a not-for-profit organization on a mission to build a community of conscious travellers who share a greater understanding of people, places and cultures. And with over 1500 positive reviews, that mission was a full success. The hostel is going strong with a 9.1/10 rating.

You can enjoy super clean and spacious rooms. From female-only and mixed dorms to private rooms, and even family rooms with a private 40″ TV and an en-suite bathroom, there’s plenty to choose from.

Head to the lobby to socialize and meet other travellers, chill in the TV room or read a book in the quiet room. There are free computers and Wifi, which makes this hostel ideal for Digital Nomads as well.

Exploring Calgary is easy from the hostel’s location: a quick walk takes you to the city centre where you can find dining, shopping, entertainment, transportation, cultural districts for every taste and budget. Other attractions are easy to get to with the help of the nearby CTrain (free transportation within the city centre). The Calgary Airport Express Bus is two blocks away while Allied Airport Shuttle Bus stops across the street from the hostel

3. Best Cheap Hostel in Calgary – The Calgary Hub

The Calgary Hub best hostels in Calgary
The Calgary Hub is our pick for best cheap hostel in Calgary
  • $$
  • Breakfast Not Included
  • Shared Kitchen
  • Near the Airport

Bringing together all the chill vibes of a hostel and the small touches of home from a BnB, this one of a kind backpacker’s hostel is the perfect place to kick off your adventure in Calgary. If you have an early or late flight, this hostel is near the airport, only 10km away!

Even if you are just looking to take in the sights of Calgary, the Stampede Park and McMahon Stadium are just a few kilometers away! With free coffee in the morning and a garden made for meeting other travelers, there is no better hostel in Calgary to just put up your feet and relax!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Super homely vibes
  • Indoor and outdoor fireplace
  • Great staff

This isn’t just a normal hostel, this is a true little home away from home. With cozy vibes and a great common area, you’ll feel super welcome as soon as you step through the door. The staff is known to be helpful and attentive, so you’ll be well looked after too.

To save a bit more money, make use of the well-equipped kitchen and create a tasty meal instead of eating out. If hunger seems to overcome you during the night, head to the vending machine and pull yourself a snack.

During the day, chill on the common area sofa with other travellers and fire up the indoor fire place during the colder months. It really creates a unique atmosphere that not a lot of hostels can offer. There’s an outdoor terrace as well, perfect to sunbathe in the afternoon sun.

It might not be the biggest, most glamorous hostel, but it surely offers some bang for your buck!

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Aether Backpack

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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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4. Best Hostel for Couples in Calgary – Bright Home BnB

Bright Home BnB best hostels in Calgary
Bright Home BnB is our pick for best hostel for couples in Calgary
  • $$$
  • Free Bicycles
  • Hiking Trails
  • Breakfast Not Included

If you and your better half are traveling to Calgary, don’t ruin the mood by staying in a backpacker’s hostel, why not check out a cozy BnB instead? With its sunny glass-enclosed terrace, homey rooms, and relaxing lounges, this BnB is one of the best places to reignite the spark while on the road.

With the train just 1km away, you will have the entire city of Calgary laid out before your feet! There is no better place to kick off your vacation than by waking up with a tea in hand and watching the sunrise on the terrace or balcony over another perfect day in Calgary!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Great location
  • Free bathrobes and slippers
  • Free parking

While it might not be a hostel, this Bed and Breakfast offers plenty of great amenities to make up for the price. And if you and your loved one are sharing a room anyway, you can easily split the bill and it becomes a little luxury budget accommodation.

You can find some of the best hiking trails in Canada from the hostel’s location. Ask the staff at the reception for their personal recommendations and insider information on the area. Local knowledge is always the best!

If physical activities just aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other options for you to do. Chill in your room while watching a bit of TV, read a book in the lovely garden or head out to explore the neighbourhood – there are tennis courts, shopping malls and swimming pools nearby. You won’t get bored here, that’s for sure.

Once you come back from a long day, jump into your bathrobe and slippers after a hot shower and watch a bit of Netflix with the free high-speed Wifi.

Bright Home BnB is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

5. Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Calgary – Unwind Place

Unwind Place best hostels in Calgary
Unwind Place is our pick for best hostel for digital nomads in Calgary
  • $$
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Car Rental

Are you a digital nomad who needs a place to crash for a few days to catch up on some writing or editing? This BnB will give you all the same price and laid back atmosphere as a backpacker’s hostel but with a quiet environment and great workspaces to write in peace.

Each of these spacious and comfortable rooms come with their very own desk, making for the perfect place to spread out your gear and get to work! With its very own terrace and cozy lounge, this stay will make you feel right at home in Calgary’s relaxing suburbs.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Free parking
  • Very clean bathrooms
  • Cute garden

If you need a break from work, grab a cup of coffee and head out to the cute garden to enjoy some fresh air. It’s also a great place to read a book or get lost in your thoughts, especially during the warm summer day afternoons.

Nick, the owner, is known to be super accommodating and very attentive. If you need any help or recommendations during your stay, don’t hesitate to reach out to him.

Note that it’s not a luxury accommodation, but more like a little home that has a very welcoming vibe. If you’re just looking for a place to crash and get some work done, you’ll absolutely love it. There are public transport connections to the heart of the city, however you’ll be better off by driving your own car when staying at this B&B.

Unwind Place is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More of the Best Hostels in Calgary

Haven’t quite found what you were looking for yet? Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty more awesome hostels coming your way – so you can find the perfect one for you!

M Lofts

M Lofts best hostels in Calgary
M Lofts
  • $$$
  • Garden
  • Breakfast Not Included

This brand spanking new budget hotel will blow you away with its spacious studios and a location putting you within 10 minutes of downtown Calgary. Putting you within a stone’s throw of Calgary Stampede and the memorial park, there is no better place to base yourself out of!

With its ultra-modern, sparkling clean rooms, you will be staying in a BnB with all the luxury of your 5-star hotels! Although this is a step up from your backpacker’s hostels, M Lofts will make every penny well spent with its spacious rooms and vibe that makes you feel right at home!

Ricky’s Home

Rickys Home best hostels in Calgary
Ricky’s Home
  • $$
  • Garden
  • Shared Kitchen
  • Shared Lounge

Even though you will be staying in one of the more quiet and peaceful neighborhoods of Calgary, this BnB will have you staying right in front of a bus stop taking you to the downtown. With this homestay’s sparkling clean rooms, homey vibes, and inviting lounge, you will feel like you are staying in your long lost home away from home rather than is a boring old hotel. If you are looking to get out and have an adventure, some of the best hiking and cycling trails in Calgary are located right by this BnB!

Simon & Jan’s BnB

Simon and Jans BnB best hostels in Calgary
Simon & Jan’s BnB
  • $$$
  • Gym
  • Hot Tub
  • Private Kitchen

There is no better place to kick back and relax in Calgary than from the sunny rooms with floor to ceiling windows in the city’s suburbs. Although you will be in one of the more quiet neighborhoods of Calgary, you will still have all the best sighs and restaurants a short walk away. From your floor to ceiling windows, you will be given sweeping views of the city with the Calgary Tower being seen right from your apartment! Complete with a hot tub and even a gym, you will be having a luxury stay for just a little more than what you’d pay for a dorm bed at a hostel!

Brother Li Homestay

Brother Li Homestay best hostels in Calgary
Brother Li Homestay
  • $$$
  • Garden
  • Free Bikes
  • No free breakfast

If you are wanting to truly live that North American suburban life, then this homestay is perfect for you! This spacious and homey BnB will have you staying in cozy rooms, lounging in a spacious living room, and soaking up the sun in their relaxing backyard. You will also find that there are plenty of cycling trails nearby if you are wanting to get out and explore Calgary’s stunning natural beauty. With its welcoming atmosphere, you will feel just like part of the family while staying in this warm and inviting homestay!

Castlebrook Way

Castlebrook Way best hostels in Calgary
Castlebrook Way
  • $$
  • Close to the Airport
  • Train Station Nearby
  • Breakfast Not Included

Looking for another budget stay in Calgary close to the airport? This BnB will have you staying just 8km away from the departures terminal in one of the coziest and homiest houses in the neighborhood! If you are looking to explore some of Calgary, you will find that the Zoo Botanical Park and the Prehistoric Museum are just a short ride away! Located in a quiet suburb, right by the train station, you can enjoy the peaceful side of Canada while still having all the best sights in Calgary a short tram ride away!

Castlebrook Way is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Home Sweet Hostel

Home Sweet Hostel best hostels in Calgary
Home Sweet Hostel
  • $$$
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Barbeque Pit

Although you won’t find any dorm beds at this stay, the owners of this BnB gear this home towards adventure travelers and backpackers. With its relaxing vibe and homey atmosphere, you will feel like you are staying with friends rather than at an impersonal hotel. Even though you are in the suburbs, you will find tons of restaurants and bars nearby! Get ready for a journey where the nights are spent lounging about in the living room, chatting in the garden, or huddling around the fire while snacking on some delicious barbeque!

Home Sweet Hostel is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Jenny & Pete’s BnB

Jenny and Petes  BnB best hostels in Calgary
Jenny & Pete’s  BnB
  • $$$
  • Located in Inglewood

There is no need to confine yourself to a dorm room when you can literally call a whole apartment your home during your stay in Calgary! With its bright and sunny rooms and boutique-style, this BnB in the heart of Calgary will make you feel more like a local than just another traveler. What will really make your jaw drop is the designer decor, wooden beams, and polished hardwood floors. Top it off with this home being over 100 years old, you won’t be able to find a more charming place to base yourself out of when exploring Calgary!

Jenny & Pete’s BnB is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

Kim’s BnB

Kims BnB best hostels in Calgary
Kim’s BnB
  • $$$
  • Fitness Center
  • Whole Apartment

This is another BnB that will give you the same price as a backpacker’s hostel but all the comfort and luxury of a 5-star hotel. Other than the spacious rooms on the 20th floor of this apartment building, this complex also comes with its very own gym, terrace, and a fire pit. It’s not only the stunning decor inside the apartment that will make you fall in love with this BnB, but the views of Calgary from the deck will make you never want to check out! Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, backpackers will be able to pamper themselves in this one of a kind budget stay!

Kim’s BnB is one of our favourites in Calgary but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

What to Pack for your Calgary Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straight forward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQ’s on the Best Hostels in Calgary

Booking a place to stay is never easy. That’s why we listed the most frequently asked questions about hostels in Calgary and did our best to answer them below.

Travel Safety Tips for Calgary

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in Calgary and North America

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Calgary.

Planning an epic trip all across Canada or even North America itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around North America, check out:

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Calgary

Calgary puts you right on the edge of adventure! With the Banff National Park and all of Canada’s most breathtaking lakes and mountains nearby, you will be torn between the bars in Calgary and the great Canadian wilderness!

But what will really make your adventure in Calgary one to remember is the hostel that you call home.

From your classic backpacker’s hostels to cozy homestays, Calgary has a place to suit all kinds of travelers. But for us, Wicked Hostels takes the cake for giving travelers that perfect hostel experience in Calgary!

Are we missing any great backpacker’s hostels in Calgary from our list? Let us know in the comments below!

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!