Most tourists bypass the capital of Sri Lanka altogether to head straight to isolated beaches and the emerald green hills of the country. Little do they know that Colombo is teeming with life in the form of colonial architecture, breathtaking temples, and sprawling markets.
It will be no surprise that in the crowded city squares and even in the back streets you can find a culture not often presented to travelers. Even if you decided to stay on the tourist trail, you will be wowed with all the lush gardens and museums Colombo has to offer!
With a massive city like Colombo, you will spend quite some time sorting through dodgy budget dorm rooms and proper backpackers hostels.
We made picking the perfect hostel easy with this master guide! No matter how you like to travel we have a hostel in Colombo for you!
Get ready to smell the roses or take a dip in the ocean, we are bringing you one step closer to vacationing in Colombo!
Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Colombo
- Best Party Hostel in Colombo – Colombo Beach Hostel
- Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Colombo – Clock Inn Dehiwala
Best Hostels in Colombo
Best Party Hostel in Colombo – Colombo Beach Hostel
- Rooftop Terrace
- Shared Kitchen
Although Colombo is a massive concrete jungle, let’s make sure you are not confined to the city. You will be just minutes away from feeling the sand between your toes when you check yourself into Colombo Beach Hostel!
Not only will you be escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, but the neighborhood around this backpackers hostel is also well known for their crazy bars and infamous nightlife!
It’s not just the party outside the hostel which will have you fall in love with this youth hostel, Colombo Beach Hostel also has their very own cocktail nights to make sure their backpackers never go without a drink!
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Colombo – Clock Inn Dehiwala
- Work Station
- Free Breakfast
Before you fly out of Sri Lanka are you digital nomads out there needing a place to crash for a few days to put the last finishing touches on that new blog post or youtube video? Clock Inn Dehiwala will hook you up with a hostel which comes with its very own work station, lounges, and a strong internet connection so you can get your editing done with ease!
After you close your laptop, Cock Inn will continue to give you the best Colombo experience possible! Start each day with a delicious breakfast free of charge! After you scarf down your food, where to next? It’s up to you! This backpackers hostel puts their guests right smack in between the beach and downtown meaning its a breeze to get anywhere you want to!
- Shared Kitchen
If you could not already tell from the wordplay with the name “Bunkyard Hostel”, this backpackers hostel in the heart of Colombo is junkyard themed. That does not mean you will be staying in a dump by any stretch of the imagination, but you will actually be staying in a hostel with tons of recycled materials!
Other than Bunkyand Hostel’s efforts to go green, this is also a pretty awesome hostel with their relaxing lounges, cafe, and atmosphere perfect for late-night of cracking open a beer and chatting with other backpackers. That is what staying in a hostel is all about, right?
Bunkyard Hostels is one of our favourites in Colombo 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.
Been on the road for a while and need a place to just kick back, relax, and meet fellow travelers? If you are in Colombo My Little Island Hostel is THE hostel to go to for solo travelers looking to meet other backpackers. The entire layout of this youth hostel was built with socializing in mind!
Other than all the outdoor terraces and hangout spots around My Little Island Hostel, you will be blown away with the on-site restaurant and even a spa! Looking to hangout, chow down, or pamper yourself? This backpackers hostel was made for you!
My Little Island Hostel is one of our favourites in Colombo 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.
- Live Music
- Pub Crawls
- Movie Nights
Looking to free up some cash to keep the travels going as long as possible? Groove House Hostel is your go-to place for some of the cheapest beds in Colombo!
Since you are paying for a dirt-cheap bunk in a hostel, it must be a pretty shabby place, right? Wrong! This backpackers actually puts all of the other hostels to shame with their live music, pub crawls, cozy lounges, and even movie nights.
Sure you are paying for one of the cheapest dorm beds in Colombo, but you are getting the best hostel experience on the island!
Groove House Hostels is one of our favourites in Colombo 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.
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Best Hostel for Couples in Colombo – Island Hostels Mount Lavinia
- Swimming Pool
Regardless if you couples out there are just coming into Sri Lanka or about to fly out, let’s make sure all the memories you make are full of romance and love. There is no better place for you lovebirds to cozy into than Island Hostels!
Located at Mount Lavinia, also known as the “Golden Mile” of beaches, you will be just minutes away from taking a dip into the sea! With loads of restaurants and bars nearby, you will be strolling around each evening, hand and hand, trying to decide what romantic restaurant to catch the sunset in.
It gets even better at the hostel. With terraces, lounges, and even its very own swimming pool, Island Hostels is the perfect place for you and your boo to shack up into!
Island Hostels Mount Lavinia is one of our favourites in Colombo 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.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Colombo – Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel
- Shared Kitchen
Needing to have that perfect nights sleep and not willing to gamble having a snorer in your hostel? Why not check yourself into a private room? At Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel they will put you up in a single room which won’t bleed your wallet! And that is just the beginning!
This backpackers hostel has homey vibes, complete with its very own outside terrace, garden, shared kitchen, and even a pool!
You may want to go ahead and cancel that flight, Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel may have you moving to Sri Lanka for good!
Colombo Lavinia Beach Hostel is one of our favourites in Colombo 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.
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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 Best Hostels in Colombo
- Close to Train Station
Although they may call themselves a hostel, C1 Colombo Fort gives more of a poshtel vibe. While this means you may not have crazy pub crawls and beer pong every night, you will get a good nights sleep and an extremely clean hostel!
Other than getting some peace and quiet, the location of C1 Colombo Fort is what will really make you want to stay at this hostel! Putting you right smack in the center of the action, you will be minutes from the train station and most of the famous historical sites and nightlife areas in Colombo!
Needing a good nights sleep or just wanting to be in the heart of the city? C1 Colombo Fort is just the hostel for you!
- Rooftop Terrace
City Rest is another backpackers hostel which gives off more of a hotel feeling. With all of the perks rolled up into this hostel, you won’t even feel like you are missing out on the party with the other backpackers!
At City Rest they have their very own cafe serving up delicious dishes, a bar where you can crack open that cold beer, lounges, and even a rooftop terrace offering stunning views of the Colombo skyline!
Did we not mention you will be staying in the center of Colombo? Literally, everything will be at your fingertips while staying at City Rest! And believe us, there are no shortage of fun things to do in Colombo.
- Free Breakfast
Most people don’t quite take a liking to Colombo, but if you stay at Hostel at Galle Face you are sure to fall in love with the city! Located downtown, backpackers will be just minutes from all of the best historical sites, bars, and restaurants, and the fun doesn’t stop there!
Hostel at Galle Face is cozy and intimate, meaning its lounges are the perfect place to just kick-back and meet other backpackers. Needing to head out early to explore or catch your plane/flight? This backpackers hostel will have you waking up to a piping hot breakfast before setting out on your new adventure!
What to Pack for your Colombo 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
FAQ about Hostels in Colombo
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Colombo.
Travel Safety Tips for Colombo
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.
It doesn’t matter if you are planning on staying downtown close to all the historical sites or are wanting to head straight to the beach, Colombo is a city with many faces meaning no two days will ever be the same!
With a rich history and vibrant culture, you could spend weeks exploring everything that Colombo has to offer!
Still don’t have your mind made up on where to stay in Colombo? We got you covered. If you are a traveler wanting that best Colombo experience possible, check yourself into Bunkyard Hostels, our pick for the best hostel in Colombo!
Pull out your guide books or layout your towel, your Colombo adventure is just a few clicks away!
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!