Serenity is truly abundant in Dharamshala. Home of the Dalai Lama, this market town is a tranquil location that boasts sweeping valleys, incredible waterfalls, and hiking trails ready to transport you to other-worldly locations.

Dharamshala is the winter capital of Himachal Pradesh and a suburb of Mcleodganj in India and let’s just say that this area is known for its soul-soothing aura. The prominent presence of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan culture congregates to create a specific charm that is unlike anywhere else in India.

Simply stepping into Dharamshala invites an overwhelming sense of peacefulness. There are countless temples to visit to help you to feel grounded and each offer a fresh perspective on the fast-paced modern world we so easily can get caught up in.

Due to its popularity, this location is often frequented by tourists and more hostels have been popping up around the area for travelers, just like yourself, to visit this delightful and affordable destination.

That being said, you do not want to get caught up in a, let’s say, not so good hostel when there are so many great hostels to choose from.

To save you the time of sifting through thousands of websites to find that hidden gem, I have created this comprehensive list of highly rated hostels to streamline your trip planning process.

All you have to do is book the hostel you like the most, secure your tickets, and hop on the plane!

Keep scrolling for the best hostels in Dharamshala.

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Dharamshala


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What to Expect from Hostels in Dharamshala

If you’re not quite acquainted with hostel living yet, you should know that some of the best conversations I have ever had have been with complete strangers in the common rooms of hostels. 

To this day, I still think about the people I have met and I have formed life-long friendships by staying in dorms with a diverse group of people. What I am trying to say is, it really could be one of the best experiences you have. 

With that in mind, there is a huge variety of hostels in Dharamshala each with their own unique twists and takes on hostel life. 

In the list below, you’ll find a variety of hostel room types; private dorms, double-bed dorms, group dorms, and even family dorms. The group dorms are always the most affordable and the other rooms can vary in price.

If you book a group dorm, you will have to sacrifice privacy in the name of saving money but if you don’t expect to be spending much time actually in the hostel or you enjoy the communal feel, you’ll be just fine. The group dorms are often either mixed or female-only and you’ll usually have a shared bathroom.

Dharamshala city India
Welcome to Dharamshala!

You will, of course, have far more privacy and potentially an ensuite if you’re willing to pay more for a private room. 

Other factors that will determine the price include the location and the services offered at the hostel.

Here is what you can expect to pay per night:

  • Private rooms: $16 – $32
  • Dorm rooms: $4 – $11

The cost of living in India is fairly low, and this is reflected in the hostel price. While it can still be tempting to book the cheapest hostel, you should take into consideration the location as this can make or break a trip.

When traveling, you quickly learn that booking a hostel miles away from any of the popular attractions can be a fatal flaw in your trip planning. You basically just end up spending a bunch of money and most importantly, time, having to travel to and from the accommodation.

The main suburb in Dharamshala is Mcleodganj which is the ideal location for tourists. By booking a hostel in this area you’ll have access to both the vibrant Indian markets and the fantastic nature spots. 

When booking a hostel, there is no better website than They always have a selection of hostels for your chosen dates and they have extra discounts that you probably wouldn’t receive elsewhere. 

The website is very easy to navigate and the hostels listed showcase photos, facilities, the location, and most importantly, reviews from other guests. They also have a simple five-star rating system that allows you to easily see which hostels are set to impress. While the hostels listed below are all highly rated,  it never hurts to browse through these yourself when deciding. 

Finally, just keep in mind what you actually need from a hostel to make your stay comfortable. 

It can be easy to feel as though you want to embrace the off-grid lifestyle but the reality can be pretty different when you get there (trust me on that). For example, maybe you need a fast internet connection. A private room? Or maybe you’ve been solo traveling for a long time and simply need to find a hostel that has a community feel? Decide on the key factors that you need to make the trip enjoyable. 

Okay, so without further ado, here are the best hostels in Dharasmala!

The 5 Best Hostels in Dharamshala

To make your trip planning process as easy as possible, each of the hostels listed has a high rating and a specific identifier, so you can easily locate the type of hostel to match your trip.

The Hosteller – Best Overall Hostel in Dharamshala

The Hosteller
The best hostel in Dharamshala… The Hosteller!

The verdict is out, The Hosteller takes home the prize for the best overall hostel in Dharamshala and with its prime location, contemporary accommodation, and enticing jungle walks, it’s easy to see why. 

Think immersive activities, beloved attractions, and just a genuine feel-good vibe. Take a deep inhale and breathe in the fresh air as you look upon the cascading mountains and enticing hiking trails. Could there be a better way to start your day?

Most of all, you’ll really get the most out of Dharamshala by staying here. Simply, take a tuk-tuk to the Mcleodganj main circle and be swept into the bustling culture of India and just a further 30 minutes will take you directly to the Dharamshala City Center.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Private, double, and group rooms
  • Hot showers
  • Cafe 

You won’t be surprised that the peaceful ambience continues into the hostel with a welcoming atmosphere and inviting sense of community. 

You’ll quickly become part of the family as you spend your day partaking in the hostel’s trekking, paragliding, and stargazing excursions in this beautiful Indian location. What’s more, your evenings will be well spent playing games and singing your heart out at their iconic karaoke night.

Backpackers Inn – Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Dharamshala

Backpackers Inn Mcleodganj
Solo backpackers, unite!

The name ‘Backpackers Inn’ really gives this one away as to why this is the best hostel for solo travelers in Dharamshala but…it really does deliver.

Conveniently located in one of the most sought-after tourist destinations, Himachal Pradesh, it’s easy to understand why this hostel has gained high praise online. This hostel is barely 500 meters from the Dalai Lama Temple and is the perfect destination to explore the beauty of Mcleodganj.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Rooftop bar
  • Hot showers 
  • Rooms with balconies

Standard, deluxe, and superior – you really will be spoilt for choice when it comes to rooms. But honestly, when you wake up to sweeping views of the nearby mountains, you might just not care what your interior looks like. 

While here, there will be plenty of opportunities to connect with other travelers, simply head up to the rooftop bar and be welcomed by people just like you. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to stay up until the early hours of the morning chatting with strangers.

Moustache – Best Affordable Hostel in Dharamshala

Moustache Mcleodganj
$4 a night, I’m in.

Traveling to India on a tight budget doesn’t have to be a problem. At the Moustache Hostel in Mcleodganj, they have rooms available for as little as $4!

Let’s be honest, you can’t expect five-star quality at such an affordable hostel, however, what this hostel lacks in amenities it certainly makes up for in atmosphere. By taking just a quick glance at the reviews, you’ll discover that this hostel creates a comforting home away from home vibe.

Most importantly, you’ll just be 7km away from the heart of Dharamshala, so you’ll also save money on transport costs.

Why you’ll love this hotel:

  • Meals available
  • Laundry facilities
  • Housekeeping

As mentioned, the group rooms are super affordable and they deliver with all the necessary amenities to make your stay comfortable. Meals are available but you’ll also be adjacent to several cafes where you can tuck into a delicious breakfast before heading off on your day of exploration.

Be sure to also check in with the hosts for the best food hot spots, the quickest routes to take, and where to catch transportation. Then, in the evening, share your best travel anecdotes by the bonfire and make memories that last forever.

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Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

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Sky Pie Guest House – Great Dorm for Couples in Dharamshala

Sky Pie Guest House
Sky Pie…. LOL

Am I just obsessed with the name of this hostel or is it actually one of the best hostels in Dharamshala? Hm, I think it’s both. 

Seriously though, valley-facing views and sweeping landscapes set amidst a calming mountain setting? This is a location straight out of a storybook. 

However, I know that not everyone will book a hostel just based on the adorable name, so you’ll be happy to also know that this hostel is adorned with facilities perfect for couples.

Why you’ll love this hotel:

  • Housekeeping
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Restaurant 

This hostel is ideal for those looking for a laid-back, slow-living kind of approach to their trip. Across the road, you’ll find a selection of cafes along with a number of hiking trails where you can spend your days taking in the ever-present nature of Dharamshala.

It goes without saying that standard and deluxe double rooms are available and the staff are always on hand to make sure your stay is as perfect as possible.

Alt Life – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Dharamshala

Alt Life Dharamkot
Not a bad office view, huh?

If you can’t quite break away from your laptop but still want to enjoy India, then you’ll want to opt for the Alt Life Hostel. Nestled away from the busy market and hiking trails on your doorstep, there honestly couldn’t be a better destination to take a workcation. 

Take advantage of their coworking space where you’ll feel more productive than ever as digital nomads are taking the whole “work from home” thing to the next level. I mean, is there really a better office culture than those pursuing their dreams? 

The best part? You won’t find yourself fighting over a seat trying to connect to the Wi-Fi because the communal area hosts up to 70 people at a time.

Why you’ll love this hotel:

  • Internet cafe
  • Hot showers
  • Private and group rooms

The nightlife at this hostel is also pretty buzzing, you could even argue this is one of the best party hostels in Dharamshala. After a day of hard work and exploration, blow off some steam with a good-old karaoke night or if you’re not quite ready for your big debut, be entertained by the live music instead.

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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 Hostels in Dharamshala

Not found your dream hostel yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got a few more up my sleeve for ya.


Zostel Mcleodganj

If you’re a true backpacker at heart, you’ll love this hostel in Dharamshala. Nestled in the mountains of Kangra this hostel is designed for digit nomads and travel enthusiasts. 

Community, culture, and the “breezy backpacker” life is how this hostel presents itself. With a rooftop regularly frequented by party-goers, occasional gigs, and movie screenings all with an incredible mountain view, I don’t doubt that you’ll have the experience of a lifetime here.

Hobo Hostel

Hobo Hostel Dharamkot

Nature, nature, and more sublime nature. You’ll seriously want to bask in the beauty of this location. 

Another one of the best hostels in Dharamshala is The Hobo Hostel. The hostel is within the lap of the Himalayas right by the flowing Khad River and within lush green meadows. By day, find yourself spotting the grazing animals and at night be lit up by both the conversations shared and the unobstructed views of the night sky. This truly is a peaceful paradise on earth.

Shalom Backpackers

Shalom Backpackers Mcleodganj

Look, traveling the world is pretty cool, right? Well, this hostel in Dharamshala certainly thinks so and is quickly becoming the energetic hub for those who just can’t get enough of seeing the world. This newly opened, young brand of hostel is bringing all the cool kids to the table with a fun, upbeat location for travelers to stay in. 

While here, you’ll be in awe of the majestic views of the mountains that seemingly change with every turn you take. The hostel is also in prime position to visit the ancient monasteries and if you’re feeling brave enough you can even take the Triund Trek.

One thing for sure is, that no matter what your itinerary for the day looks like, you’ll feel inspired as you all share the same devotion for traveling here.

What to Pack for your Dharamshala 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!

Dharamshala Hostels FAQs 

Here are some FAQs about hostels in Dharamshala. Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments section below.

How much do hostels in Dharamshala cost?

Hostel prices in Dharmshala begin at $4 per night and can increase to around $32. You kind of get what you pay for I guess. It’s important to check the reviews of each place to see what recent guests are saying, but yeah. You can pay what you want really.

What are the best hostels in Dharamshala for couples?

Sky Pie Guest House is an excellent choice of hostels for couples in Dharamshala. It has a laid-back vibe, a selection of cafes and hiking trails nearby, and a fantastic valley view.

What is the best hostel in Dharamshala near the airport?

Located 15km from the nearest Kangra Airport, Hobo Hostel is a fantastic hostel in Dharamshala. It is within the lap of the Himalayas.

Don’t forget to insure your travels to Dharamshala

Good travel insurance is simply essential nowadays. For a country like India, this is especially true. Make sure you are protected against the worst, so you can enjoy the best without worry.

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 on Hostels in Dharamshala

Okay, so who else was impressed by the hostels in Dharamshala? 

I am so glad there is such a variety to choose from. Just keep in mind your budget, the preferred location, what you require from a hostel, and the overall experience you would like to have. 

If you can’t quite decide, I would suggest sticking with The Hosteller. The whole atmosphere just seems top-tier. You’ll also be in the best location to really see the most of India and you might just find yourself reaching for the karaoke mic at the end of the night. The Hosteller has also accumulated an almost nine-star rating which must mean they are doing something right.

Those of us who have had our fair share of time spent in hostels while traveling know that if you’re looking enough to bag a good one, the experience can be transformative. Show up to one of these Dharamshala hostels with an open mind and you might just have a similar experience. Now, on with the rest of the trip planning.

Looking for more info on travelling to Dharamshala and India?