Nicknamed the ‘Scenic City’, Tennessee is nestled against the mountains of Southeast Tennessee along the Tennessee River. In the past few decades, its urban landscape has been revitalized giving it diversity, yet still retaining its small-town charm.

Travelers often spend a few days enjoying the diverse array of attractions. Adventurers love Lookout Mountain, history buffs enjoy its Civil War significance, and foodies savor their way through the North Shore district.

Planning a vacation to discover Chattanooga’s delights need not cost you an arm and a leg, especially on accommodation. You can get the most bang for your buck by checking out local hostels in Chattanooga. Not only are they affordable, but they are also comfortable and convenient. They are great places to meet new people, too!

Quick Answer: Best Hostels in Chattanooga

Chattanooga Rainbow Lake Trail

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What to Expect from Hostels in Chattanooga

Hostels in Chattanooga are generally safe, and perfect accommodations for those who would like to keep their expenses low when traveling. If you have a budget that you need to stick to, hostels will come in handy. Quiet and laid-back, you can have a restful night in a hostel after a full day of activities.

HostelWorld is the best place to look for and book hostels. It has all kinds of places that will cater to any preference. In order to get the type of accommodation you want, you have to do due diligence and check the photos, reviews, and descriptions. If in doubt, you can always contact the hostel.

Chattanooga Itinerary 1

It’s best to stay in centrally located hostels to make going around town easy and quick. So how much can you expect to spend on hostels in Chattanooga?

  • Mixed dorm – $40 to $50
  • Private room – $100 to $200

Best Hostels in Chattanooga

Did we get you excited? Good! It’s time to travel to Chattanooga. We have here a selection of the best budget places to stay.

The Crash Pad – Best Overall Hostel in Chattanooga

The Crash Pad

Do you think if you’ve been to one hostel, you’ve seen them all? Think again. The Crash Pad in Chattanooga is in a league of its own. It’s considered the world’s first LEED Platinum Hostel! Guests are guaranteed a reasonable price, fused with a boutique hotel setting, as well as a communal vibe. How much better could things get? Well, just when you think the hostel can’t wow you even more, it will.

99% of the materials for the hostel came from a century-old house that was beyond repair. It uses renewable energy in a bid to be more environmentally friendly, and uses reusable cloth hand towels and energy-efficient laundry facilities, among other things.

Free breakfast is provided, so you need not spend extra on food in the mornings while at The Crash Pad.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • 24-hr security
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free parking

The Crash Pad offers guests a variety of choices in accommodation, depending on the size of your party, travel preferences, and budget. The most basic and cheapest option is the Super Bunk, but keep in mind that the word bunk is used loosely. These are handcrafted beds with wrap-around wooden enclosures. Each bunk comes with power outlets, reading lamps, as well as a lockable storage space.

If you want privacy, several rooms are available to choose from – namely, private rooms with queen-sized beds, Super Queen which sleeps three, the Chatt Room that’s perfect for people traveling for business purposes, and The Hemingway Suite which can comfortably accommodate up to four people.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, so you are always connected. Guests who happen to love books will be happy to know that a book exchange is on the premises. It is the perfect way to get rid of books you have read, and collect some new reading material at the same time. Keep in mind that the hostel is a non-smoking property.

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!

Other Budget Accommodation

Aside from Chattanooga hostels, there are other equally economical accommodation options in the area such as motels and vacation rentals. Let’s take a look at them.

Econo Lodge Chattanooga – Most Affordable Motel in Chattanooga

Econo Lodge Chattanooga

If you don’t have a lot to spend on accommodation but want privacy, this is the best place to stay. The Econo Lodge Chattanooga is conveniently located near some of the area’s tourist attractions. Some of the must-visit places are Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Tennessee Aquarium, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The latter is especially interesting for those who love railway exhibits.

If you’re into wildlife and Mother Nature, don’t forget to drop by Rock City which features a garden with almost 500 native plant species and ancient rock formations. Railway Mountain offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountain areas, and Ruby Falls is worth seeing too.

The motel is only a few minutes from Hamilton Place Shopping Mall, plus, there are plenty of cocktail lounges and restaurants nearby. You can select from a wide array of places to dine, and get some drinks right after. Free continental breakfast is included in the price, and a seasonal outdoor pool is available for guests to use.

Cottage 10 mins from Downtown – Best Airbnb for Solo Travelers in Chattanooga

Cottage just 10 mins from the downtown area

Traveling alone doesn’t mean spending loads. This cottage in Chattanooga is located within 10 minutes from the downtown area, making it easy to go from point A to B without spending too much time traveling. It’s close to Chattanooga Choo Choo, Chattanooga Zoo, Hamilton Place Mall, and Tennessee River Park.

Meals can be easily prepped and cooked in the well-equipped kitchen, and if you fancy dining al fresco, you can always head to the patio and catch some sunshine while you’re at it. The outdoor area has two fire pits and an electric smoker.

The cottage has all the comforts of home, and is the perfect base for anyone who wants to explore Chattanooga. The hosts are known to leave tea, coffee, water, and a few snacks for guests.

Private Studio Apartment – Airbnb with a Pool/Jacuzzi in Chattanooga

Private studio apartment with backyard pool

Lounging by the pool is one of the most relaxing things you can do when traveling. This private studio apartment is only a short drive away from Chattanooga’s downtown area, close to incredible nature trips and wildlife. You’re also within easy reach of museums, aquariums, cultural centers, and zoos.

The property not only has a suitably-sized bedroom, it comes with a kitchen equipped where you can prepare basic meals. The room is on the bottom level of a home, but guests are welcome to use shared spaces.

Although most suitable for two guests, if you’re pressed for cash, you can squeeze one more person in and have them settle on the pull-out bed. Just keep in mind that there isn’t public transportation nearby, but Ubers are easy to find.

Centrally Located Art Deco Suite – Epic Airbnb for Digital Nomads in Chattanooga

Centrally located art deco suite

This gorgeous private suite is located on the first floor of a home. The décor alone is worth spending an extra night in, not to mention the property is located close to downtown so exploring is easy and quick. You’re just a short drive from everywhere.

Guests have their own entrance to the property, allowing you to come and go as you please. The work desk is ideal for digital nomads who need to fit in a few hours of work. After a day of working, you can take a stroll on the nearby Sculpture Field at Montague Park. It’s a particularly nice place to see the sunset.

Head to Velo to taste the best coffee in town, and grab a slice of pizza at Southside Pizza. Numerous restaurants are close by where you can grab a satisfying meal, before heading to one of the many breweries for a glass or two of beer. Chattanooga has rapidly gained a reputation for excellent craft beer, so it’s a must-try whenever you’re there, regardless if you’re into a stout, a pilsner, or an IPA.

What to Pack for your Chattanooga Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I 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 my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

Chattanooga Hostels FAQ

How much do hostels in Chattanooga cost?

Hostels in Chattanooga offer different types of accommodation such as mixed or private rooms. Private rooms can be small enough for two people, but they can also be big enough to accommodate six people comfortably. On the other hand, dorms can accommodate as many as 24 people. Private rooms cost from $100 to $200 per room, depending on the size and dorms can cost $40 to $50 per bed.

What are the best hostels in Chattanooga for couples?

Just 20 minutes away from Tennessee Aquarium is Travelodge by Wyndham Chattanooga/Hamilton Place. This pet friendly accommodation is my top recommendation for couples on the go.

What is the best hostel or motel in Chattanooga near the airport?

Econo Lodge Chattanooga is a motel that’s very near the airport. It is only about four miles away from the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, so that means you’ll be there within a 10-minute drive.

Travel Safety Tips for Chattanooga

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.

Final Thoughts

You can’t get bored in Chattanooga. One of the world’s largest freshwater aquariums, Tennessee Aquarium is located there and so is the world’s largest underground waterfall, Ruby Falls. You’ll have your fill of adventure and then some.

There’s a love for all things local. You’ll find numerous specialty coffee shops, specialty boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. Don’t forget the breweries, they have plenty of them too! The good news is that you can enjoy Chattanooga even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend.

If you can’t decide where to book, you can’t go wrong with The Crash Pad. Not only is breakfast free, the hostel is environmentally conscious.

Looking for more info on travelling to Chattanooga and the USA?