Chiang Mai can be many different things to many different people. To some, it’s the center of the Digital-Nomad universe.

To others, it’s just a pitstop stop on the way to an epic land trip to Laos or Myanmar, or just a part of the loop when backpacking Thailand.

Whatever your reason for visiting Chiang Mai, one thing is certain – it’s a fun city with tons to see, that comes at a very, very low price.

But with hundreds of hostels and hotels, it can be difficult to know where to stay, which is exactly why I made this list of the 10 best hostels in Chiang Mai.

I’ve broken down the best hostels in Chiang Mai by different travel-categories, so you can easily identify which hostel best suits your needs, so you can book with ease and get back to eating Pad Thai and drinking a few Chang beers!

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Chiang Mai

Quick Introduction To Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is in Northern Thailand.  The best time to visit Chiang Mai is probably from October – April. The weather during this time is mostly cool and pleasant which is also why it’s peak tourist season. That said, strongly recommend avoiding the burning season when all the farmers in the surrounding hills burn the grass rendering the air thick with smoke which runs from March to April.

Backpacking Chiang Mai is very affordable. Many temples are free to visit and street food can be enjoyed for under $3 per meal. Hostel dorms start from as low as $4 per night although as you will see, prices vary depending on what kind of dorm you want as well as the time of year.

What to Expect from Hostels inChiang Mai? 

Hostels are generally known to be one of the cheapest forms of accommodation on the market. That doesn’t just go for Chiang Mai, but pretty much every place in the world. However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The unique vibe and social aspect are what makes hostels TRULY special. Head down to the common room, make new friends, share travel stories and tips, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in any other accommodation. 

The hostel scene in Chiang Mai is pretty epic. There are heaps of options to choose from and most have incredibly high standards. Think complimentary breakfast, free walking tours, free linen, free high-speed Wifi, private rooms and so on. The staff in Chiang Mai hostels are generally known to be incredibly kind and welcoming.

Best Hostels in Chiang Mai

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But let’s talk more about the important stuff – money and rooms! Chiang Mai’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, pods and private rooms. Some hostels even offer large private rooms for a group of friends. The general rule here is the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price. Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview ofChiang Mai’s prices, we’ve listed the average numbers below:

  • Dorm room (mixed dorms or female-only): $4-20 USD/night
  • Private room: $20-40 USD/night

When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.

Chiang Mai has some pretty cool areas and loads of interesting attractions. That’s why it’s important to know where to stay inChiang Mai. You don’t want to end up miles away from the hotspots you want to explore. Stay in one of these cool areas to make sure you’re perfectly connected:

  • Old City – The Old City is often the cheapest place to stay in Chiang Mai, with a plethora of backpackers’ hostels and budget guesthouses making it one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai for broke backpackers.
  • Nimmanheamin – The best area to stay in Chiang Mai for nightlife and the digital nomad expat scene, you’ll also find plentiful restaurants and terrific places to shop
  • Santitham – Get a taste of Thai life and escape some of the tourist crowds while still being within easy reach of Nimman’s night scene and the Old City’s attractions.
  • Mountainside – Within easy reach of the city centre, Mountainside offers a more peaceful place to stay and closer access to Chiang Mai’s countryside and natural attractions. It’s one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai for families.

The 5 Best Hostels inChiang Mai, Thailand

If you need help deciding where to stay in Chiang Mai, here are our picks. These are the best of the best of the hostels in Chiang Mai.

Though not as off-the-charts as exploring Bangkok’s madness, Chiang Mai is an epic destination in itself and is noticeably cheaper than its big brother to the south. Chiang Mai has developed rapidly over the past few decades and is really unique in its ability to bring Western amenities, at a high quality, while still being at a bargain price.

S*Trips The Poshtel – Overall Best Hostel in Chiang Mai

S*Trips The Poshtel best hostels in Chiang Mai
The best backpacker hostel in Chiang Mai.

S*Trips The Poshtel gets an A+ for its location being literally just 5-minutes walking from all the cool hangout places in the Old Town. It may feel slightly overpriced at first, especially for private rooms but this is a luxury hostel that rivals any boutique hotel in town!

Once you get to feel the vibe and discover all the freebies that S*Trips The Poshtel gives you, you have to agree hands down that this is one of the best hostels in Chiang Mai. Even if you don’t opt for a private, the dorm rooms will guarantee a good night’s sleep!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Wake-up service
  • Air Conditioning
  • Barber/beauty shop

Mixed and Female dorm rooms are available in room sizes from 6 up to 10 people and they all offer air conditioning. It’s a great spot for meeting other travellers with the large living areas with a TV and games consoles. There’s even a garden balcony and ensuite rooms, so it’s the best Chiang Mai hostel for both couples and solo travellers.

This modern hostel is situated in the city centre and the Chiang Mai night bazaar is a 5-minute walk away. It’s an incredible location for exploring. This hostel is pretty unbeatable! The Wi-Fi is super-fast, the staff are amazing and you must not leave without trying the sticky rice – it’s awesome!

Oxotel Hostel – BestHostel for Couples in Chiang Mai

Oxotel Hostel is among the top hostels in Chiang Mai and even though it is slightly overpriced, the resort-style hostel has onsite facilities that help rationalise the extra baht spent. Whether you wish to stay at one of their cosy private rooms or try something different and stay in one of the modified trailers, Oxotel Hostel is definitely one of the best hostels in Chiang Mai.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Superb breakfast
  • Balcony
  • Salt-water pool

One step away from the local stores and ATM and two steps away from the Chiang Mai old town, Oxotel Hotel makes for a perfect base to explore the incredible city of Chiang Mai. It’s located on Wualai road where Chiang Mai’s famous Saturday Street Market takes place each week.

The hostel offers tea, coffee and breakfast each morning and all the beds in the dorm rooms have their own reading lamp and power socket. You’re sure to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to explore the city at this stylish and modern place.

Baan Heart Thai – Best Cheap Hostel in Chiang Mai #1

Baan Heart Thai best hostels in Chiang Mai
Baan Heart Thai is on of the best cheap hostels in Chiang Mai

Baan Heart Thai is not only one of the best budget hostels in Chiang Mai, but one of the best hostels in Thailand. For as low as $10, you get to sleep in your own pod bunk which has a foldable desk, personal reading light, and power sockets. Plus, high-speed free Wi-Fi takes care of all your social media needs.

The hostel is both traditionally styled with wooden features throughout, but it also features modern amenities and facilities. We just love the dorm rooms with their cosy pod-style beds which include privacy curtains. The mattress styles are Asian style which may be a bit hard for some Western guests. Each bed is equipped with a foldable desk, power sockets and personal reading light.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Each bed has a fordable desk
  • Queen size dorm bed pods
  • NOT a party hostel so great for some quiet time!

Cheap as chips on price but not on quality, Baan Heart Thai’s is one of the most friendly hostels in Chiang Mai. It’s a great spot for solo travellers headed for Chiang Mai, Thailand with its great communal areas.

You’ll love the location of this hostel too. It’s right by the Old Town walls meaning pretty much all the sights inside the city are within walking distance. It’s also close to heaps of great places to eat and drink whilst also being pretty peaceful too.

Note that this hostel has no elevator.

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Samsibsan Hostel – Best CheapHostel in Chiang Mai #2

Samsibsan Hostel best hostels in Chiang Mai

Samsibsan Hostel is one of the best backpacker hostels in Chiang Mai and it’s highly affordable. For less than $10, you get to enjoy a lavish, free breakfast, high-speed internet, stay in a comfy bunk, and a chance to make a lot of new friends.Samsibsan Hostel is a modified Lanna style wooden house making it definitely one of the coolest hostels in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Private room and mix dorm room
  • Security Lockers
  • Housekeeping

The hostel is within walking distance to all major tourist hotspots and the “no curfew” lets you enjoy the whole Chiang Mai Pub Crawl scene and come in as late as you want.

Solo travellers will love the large communal areas with a beautiful leafy garden, it’s a great spot to sit outside and chat with other guests over some cheap beer! The hostel is in a traditional style building, they also pride themselves on their educational side too and love to teach guests about Lanna Thai culture.

Glur Chiang Mai Hostel – Best Hostel in Chiang Mai With a Pool

Glur Chiang Mai Hostel best hostels in Chiang Mai

Glur Chiang Mai Hostel is a perfect choice for those who wish to spend some relaxing time during their vacation in Chiang Mai. The brightly themed guestrooms, the in-house spa, and the outdoor swimming pool make Glur Chiang Mai Hostel one of the coolest hostels in Chiang Mai.

Hanging around the sick swimming pool is a great spot for solo travellers to meet new people whilst visiting Chiang Mai, Thailand. The free breakfast too is a perfect way to start the day or get some energy for doing a few laps around the pool!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Great location
  • Private rooms
  • Tea/coffee maker in all rooms

For all the luxuries it offers, you would barely even notice the extra bucks that you pay for your stay here. Right across the Ping River and 5 minutes from Tha Pae Gate, Glur Chiang Mai Hostel is one of the top hostels in Chiang Mai.

The hostel also offers Bicycle Hire so you can explore the city with even more ease. If you need to leave your stuff behind before you’re flight, you can use luggage storage. Even better, you can make sure your clothes are clean before your next adventure with the onsite Laundry Facilities.

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 Great Chiang Mai Hostels

In case you didn’t quite find what you’re looking for, here are some more great Chiang Mai hostels.

Bodega Chiang Mai Party Hostel – Best Party Hostel in Chiang Mai

Slumber Party Chiang Mai (aka Bodega) best hostels in Chiang Mai
Party at Slumber Party

If you are in the mood to get freaky, it can’t get better than at Bodega Chiang Mai Party Hostel. The name speaks for itself, but just so you know, it is one of the best backpacker hostels in Chiang Mai and definitely the centre of all party events. Bodega Chiang Mai Party Hostel is the place where you need to be if a raging party is what’s on your mind. Down a few shots at the in-house bar and then set the pace for a night of shotgun challenges and beer pong tournaments. They also have a location in Bangkok if you’re looking for the best party hostels there as well.

The Pause Hostel – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai

The Pause Hostel best hostels in Chiang Mai

Located in Nimmanhaemin Road (the digital nomad central of Chiang Mai), The Pause Hostel offers superfast Wi-Fi, a rooftop lounge with a view, computers with internet that you can use free of charge throughout the day, co-working spaces nearby and an amazing crowd for networking and socialising – the perfect recipe that makes The Pause Hostel the best hostel for digital nomads in Chiang Mai. The travel desk also helps you make your travel plans so it’s not all work and no play.

Bunk Boutique Hostel Chiang Mai – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Chiang Mai

Bunk Boutique Hostel best hostels in Chiang Mai

At Bunk Boutique Hostel Chiang Mai, you are always near the super popular attractions of Chiang Mai, yet you can feel peace and quiet when you need it. The super-friendly staff are always ready to help you with renting motorbikes, bicycles, and cars and they can even help you with planning your adventure tours in and around Chiang Mai. For less than $10, you can get yourself a comfy bunk in an AC dorm and for less than $20, you get yourself a huge private room with AC, hot shower, cable TV, work desk, and maybe a little balcony.

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What to Pack for your Chiang Mai 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 our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

Why you should travel to Chiang Mai

While not the most charming town, if you are looking for authentic Thai culture with high-quality Western amenities – Chiang Mai rocks! Given all of these perks, it’s easy to see why it’s become the centre of the Digital Nomad universe.

Hopefully, this list of the 8 best hostels in Chiang Mai helps ease the burden of picking a place to stay. If you are still undecided, remember that for its price, vibe and freebies, we recommend S*Trips The Poshtel. 

99 The Heritage Hotel-SHA Extra Plus Certified

Travel Safety Tips for Chiang Mai

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.

FAQ about Hostels in Chiang Mai

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Chiang Mai.

How much does a hostel cost in Chiang Mai??

Chiang Mai hostel cost varies on the type of room. The average price of a dorm room (mixed dorms or female-only) ranges from $4-20 USD/night, while a private room costs $20-40 USD/night.

What are the best hostels in Chiang Mai for couples?

Oxotel Hostel is an excellent hostel for couples in Chiang Mai. This resort-style hostel is on Wualai Road, where Chiang Mai’s famous Saturday Street Market happens.

What are the best hostels in Chiang Mai near the airport?

Oxotel Hostel, one of the top hostels in Chiangmai, is 2 km from Chiang Mai Intl Airport.

More Epic Hostels in Thailand and Southeast Asia

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

Planning an epic trip all across Thailand or even Southeast Asia itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Southeast Asia, check out:

Final Thoughts On Best Hostels in Chiang Mai

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Chiang Mai 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!

Looking for more info on travelling to Chiang Mai and Thailand?