Ella, Sri Lanka is a nature enthusiast’s dream location. Well, it was certainly a dream destintion for me, and now I wont’t shut up about it. I’m Mr.KnowItAll (about Ella) – so listen up, losers.

Featuring the most scenic train ride in the world and some insane panoramic mountain views, taking a trip to Ella should be on everybody’s travel bucket list. Because of its popularity thuough, there are many hostels in Ella to choose from. This only complicates the trip planning process.

Sometimes, having too much choice is not a good thing. This is why I have created this expert guide to the best hostels in Ella.

Whether you’re traveling to Ella for a much needed break from busy cities or simply to hike the picturesque trails, this guide has many options where you can stay and feel safe and secure.

Simply pick the hostel you like the sound of the most and get ready for a trip that you’ll never forget. Let’s get into this.

a dog overlooking a mountain range and valley in Ella, Sri Lanka
Welcome to Ella!
Photo: @themanwiththetinyguitar

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Ella

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    What to Expect from Hostels in Ella

    When I first travelled to Sri Lanka, I was surprised to find that hostels in Ella are surprisingly very similar to hotels. Probably the most similar that I’ve seen in a long time.

    Some of the hostels listed are more centrally located and have a communal party type of atmosphere. In these hostels, you can expect DJ nights, games nights, and barbecue dinners.

    I have always found that hostels that have nature and community at their core always seem to attract like-minded people. I don’t doubt that you will meet some of the most interesting people while staying in these hostels. This also means that it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter somebody who is a disturbance to the group.

    adventurous traveller hanging from a train in sri lanka
    Photo: @themanwiththetinyguitar

    In the hostels, there are private rooms, double rooms, and group dorms available. Group dorms offer far less privacy but if you’re traveling on a tight budget, you’ll be able to save that money and spend it elsewhere.

    That being said, if you’re not cool with sharing a bathroom with strangers, then you’ll need to select a private room instead.

    Here is what you can expect to pay per night:

    • Private rooms – $17 – $25
    • Group rooms – $6 – $15

    When selecting these hostels, I’ve used Booking.com and Hostelworld. These are the best sites to find affordable accommodation in various locations around the world. 

    Honestly, do you ever really know what you’re walking into with a hostel? No, but that’s part of the fun.

    I regularly choose hostels over hotels when travelling now because there is no better place than to meet people. You might meet some new friends here and change your solo travelling adventure into a group affair!

    Great food, great views, and great people. What more could you want?

    The 5 Best Hostels in Ella

    Now that you are caught up with hostel life and what to expect when staying in a hostel. Without further ado… here are the best hostels in Ella. 

    Best Overall Hostel in Ella – Hangover Hostel

    Hangover Hostel
    Hangover Hostel – the best hostel in Ella for sureee…
    • $$ 
    • Hot showers
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Breakfast available

    ‘Hangover Hostels’ are known to be the most popular hostels in Sri Lanka and it seems that the popularity is well deserved. This hostel promises “not to burn a hole in your pocket” which is always a good sign.

    The hostel is also committed to creating an unforgettable experience for each guest and welcomes travellers from all over the world. They create a space for you to truly disconnect from your daily routine and embed yourself into a vacation of a lifetime.

    Conveniently located right by the Ella Railway Station and nearby to the town centre, you’ll also be within walking distance of all the best hiking trails and attractions.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Café
    • Centrally located

    There are mixed-group dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms available which are fitted with modern amenities to make your stay comfortable. 

    There are also plenty of outdoor areas to spend time in the lush nature as well as balconies with great views. Bathrooms are shared but spacious. If you bag yourself a private room, you’ll get your own ensuite.

    While the hostel doesn’t go out of its way to create a social atmosphere, there are many lounge areas to chat with other travellers. They even have an adorable café where you can treat yourself to breakfast and plan your itinerary for the day.

    Biggest Party Hostel in Ella – Tomorrowland Hostel

    Tomorrowland Hostel
    This place is like no other, trust me
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Gorgeous views
    • Meals available

    Situated in the breathtaking Sri Lankan mountains, this hostel is something special for travellers. Away from the hustle and bustle of overrated Ella, the party hostel is the real reason we travel.

    The entire atmosphere of this hostel is what’s the rush, dude. Hared cooking and lessons, insane DJ nights, and competitive Karram games.

    On the nights that live music isn’t hosted, you can all gather around the fire pit in the beer garden. Here, you can stay up until the early hours of the morning sipping drinks and making memories with people from all walks of life.

    I have to say, it’s been a few years since I was last here and I’ve heard it’s not quite as magnificent as it used to be. But it once was one of the best hostels in the world. Go and see it for yourself and let me know if it still is!

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Communal atmosphere
    • Cooking lessons
    • Events night

    As I mentioned, the hostel is just outside of the centre. However, a 15-minute bus ride that costs as little as 25 cents will take you to many attractions. Be sure to check out some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful places nearby, such as Adams Peak, the Nine Arches Bridge, and the various hiking trails.

    As for the rooms, they have a sunrise dorm with insane views and a rooftop that gets extremely hot. I recommend you take a private tent to enjoy the outdoors.

    If you thought that this hostel couldn’t get any better, you’d be wrong. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available. Plus, vegans won’t go hungry as they are more than happy to cook vegan dishes upon request. 

    Hostel for Solo Travelers in Ella – Bunk Station Hostel

    Bunk Station Hostel
    Solo travel is the best travel
    • $$
    • Café 
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Hot shower

    This hostel is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka for solo travellers. You can expect a friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the Bunk Station Hostel.

    By staying here, you’ll just be 1km away from the central town, so you won’t have to worry about navigating Ella. Which, if you’re a solo traveller with a strange ability to consistently get lost (like myself), you’ll appreciate.

    Spend some much-needed time to destress from the flight in their reading area or spark up a conversation with a stranger in the communal lounge.

    Free Wi-Fi runs throughout the entire hostel so you can’t feel connected with home while being miles away. There is also a shared kitchen where you can socialize and cook meals with your fellow roommates.

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Family run atmosphere
    • Safe location
    • Private & group rooms available

    Both female-only and mixed dorms are available. There are also handy lockers in each of the rooms where you can securely keep your valuables. 

    While this hostel has a relaxing atmosphere, they do carry out themed nights during the evening which you can choose to partake in. During these nights, backpackers can listen to music, discuss travel plans, and get to know one another on a much deeper level.

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    Most Affordable Hostel in Ella – Hostel For You 

    Hostel For You
    This one’s for you truly broke backpackers
    • $
    • Free Wi-Fi 
    • Hot showers
    • Group and private rooms available

    When group rooms are as little as $6, you really can’t go wrong with this hostel. Located on the famous Ella to Kandy train route, this hostel is between the hills of Ella and the Nine Arch Bridge. Here, you’ll have easy access to incredible hiking trails.

    Additionally, the reviews on this hostel consistently state how welcoming the hosts are and how everybody just comes here for a great time. They have a great sentiment where the hosts work to create a space where all different cultures can come together and learn from one another.

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Chill vibe
    • Evening entertainment
    • Breakfast available

    As I mentioned, it would be challenging to find group rooms for cheaper than this. Especially rooms that are both clean and spacious. Ladies can also travel on a budget as they offer affordable female-only dorms too. 

    There are also private rooms available for an extra cost but those rooms are still far cheaper than any of the hotels in the area. The prices of the rooms increase if you include breakfast but only slightly.

    As for things to do, you’ll be constantly entertained. Exclusive yoga sessions are hosted in the mornings and evenings so you can start your day off feeling strong and end your day feeling relaxed.

    Additionally, barbecue nights are hosted where you all come together to indulge in a delicious meal. Plus, the girls of the group can even enjoy a ladies’ night where you can make a new set of girlfriends! 

    Great Dorms for Digital Nomads in Ella –  Wild Bee Hostel

    Wild Bee Hostel
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Hot showers
    • Breakfast available

    When traveling and working, finding a quiet location to stay is arguably, the most important thing that you need to consider. Trust me. I have made the error of not selecting a secluded hostel while being a digital nomad and it was a huge mistake. 

    Lucky for you, I have found this eco-hostel cabin in the beautiful centre of the Ella jungle where you can work without distractions. Situated within the higher landscapes of Ella, you’ll have great views of the mountains that will inspire you to get your work done.

    You’ll be far enough away from the main centre to have moments of peace but Tuk-Tuks are available to take you into the town, so you won’t feel isolated. Just a five-minute drive away, you can find the Ella Spice Garden, little Adam’s Peak, Horton Plains National Park, and so much more!

    Why you’ll love this hotel:

    • Secluded location
    • Beautiful views
    • Nearby to popular attractions

    This hostel really feels like more of a hotel than a hostel. There are two luxury dorms that are shared between the guests which are very spacious and clean.

    Another unique aspect of this hostel is the outdoor space with beanbags and sky beds to enjoy the unobstructed night skies. Spending your evenings sharing stories while stargazing? Sounds like pure bliss to me.

    Not only that but they have a honey café. Fuel for the day by tucking into a delicious breakfast of eggs and honey toast. You can even specify dietary preferences beforehand and they will be more than happy to accommodate.

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    Other Great Hostels in Ella

    Like anything, going further afield can be good and bad. Getting out of your comfort zone is good, but choosing the wrong hostel is not. So here are some more top picks for places to stay in Ella.

    Avocado Hostel

    Avocado Hostel
    • $
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Café
    • Nearby to attractions

    If you’re a nature enthusiast or just looking for an adventure this hostel in Ella is for you. 

    From waking up for a sunrise hike in the mountains, abseiling, waterfalls or meditative nature walks this hostel has it all. By staying here, you’ll be within walking distance of attractions such as Adams Peak, Little Adams Trail Head, and Ella Railway Station.

    However, there are no loud nightlife areas close by. This is a great way to ensure that you can get a great night’s sleep. Which you’ll definitely need when spending all day hiking.

    There is also a huge variety of rooms available from group dorms, twin rooms, and private rooms, so no matter who you are travelling with, everybody will be comfortable.

    Downtown Hostel

    Downtown Hostel
    • $$
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Hot showers,
    • Free breakfast

    This is one of the best hostels in Ella for those who love to hike. Hakgala Botanical Gardens, Nine Arch Bridge, and Hortons Plain National Park are all close by. 

    The rooms at this hostel are also some of the best I’ve seen. You’ll find rooms equipped with balconies and garden views, so you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Ella. 

    The hosts are also very friendly and will do their best to make sure you have a great time. They also have great local knowledge about the best hidden gems, so make sure to ask!

    Spend your mornings in the social area and meet your roommates. Then, head to the kitchen where Asian or American breakfast items are served!

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    Ella Escapade Hostel by Nomadic

    Ella Escapade Hostel by Nomadic
    In need of an escape? Aren’t we all?
    • $
    • Wi-Fi
    • Café
    • Hot showers

    This hostel has all the ‘cosy country house’ kinds of vibes that I think you will love. Hidden in the panoramic mountains and right by the paddy fields of Ella, this entire area is a tranquil oasis.

    This hostel just has a whimsical atmosphere that you never really get with hostels. You’ll wake up with the birds and spend your mornings sipping coffee surrounded by the lush forest. 

    What I am trying to say is, if you’re looking for a hostel where you can avoid responsibilities and take a break from the modern world, then this is it.

    Ella Hostels FAQ’s 

    Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I get about all things Ella (and its hostels).

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    Final Thoughts on Hostels in Ella

    Booking your ticket to Ella? Me too. 

    This destination is an escape into nature that everybody needs to experience at least once in their lifetime. Plus, when the hostels are this affordable and well looked after, there really isn’t any excuse not to go.

    All of these hostels are unique in their own right, however, Hangover Hostel will appeal to almost anybody. The hostel is part of a chain of popular hostels in the area, which means they know what they’re doing when it comes to excellent service.

    I have to bring up Tomorrowland Hostel again too. This hostel is really one of a kind and I had such an amazing tin while staying there that I just couldn’t keep it a secret from you guys.

    Whether you’re visiting Sri Lanka for the first time, or you’re a regular to this island, you’re trip here will be one that you remember forever.

    I hope you found this guide useful and feel free to drop your own questions, if you have any, in the comments below. Let me know what your favourite hostel is in Ella, I’d love to hear it!

    traveller poses for a photo in sri lanka with the Sigiriya rock in the background
    Enjoy Sri Lanka, guys!
    Photo: @themanwiththetinyguitar

    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!