Geneva, Switzerland is your ticket to all things hip Swiss urban life, the surrounding Alps mountains, picturesque lakeside villages, hot chocolate, cheesy potatoes, and well, all things Swiss.

As a major traveling hub of the country, any backpacker spending time in Switzerland with undoubtedly pass through Geneva.

I wrote this no-stress guide to the best hostels in Geneva for 2024 to address the two major issues facing budget travelers:

First off, Geneva and Switzerland are notoriously expensive and most accommodation options confirm that stereotype.

Second is that in Geneva hostel choices are seriously lacking. I wrote this guide to put backpackers in the know so that you can book the best possible option for yourself in advance to avoid getting stuck with a pricey alternative.

This hostel and budget hotel guide will teach you everything you need to know about the limited Geneva hostel scene so that you can have a successful (budget) backpacking experience in this fun Swiss city!

Book your hostel with confidence knowing you are conquering one of the most expensive cities in the world for backpackers…

Let’s get right to it…

Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our Switzerland Travel Guide, which includes helpful information to visiting on a budget!

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Geneva

Best Hostels in Geneva
Welcome to my ultimate guide to the best hostels in Geneva for 2024!

The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

The 10 Best Hostels in Geneva

Vieille Ville (Old Town)

City Hostel Geneva – Overall Best Hostel in Geneva

City Hostel Geneva best hostels in Geneva
The free transports card has secured City Hostel Geneva’s place atop the best hostel in Geneva list!

One of the biggest draws about the overall best hostel in Geneva is actually the fact that guests staying here get a FREE transport travel card for breezing around Geneva. Now that is pretty sick, we have to say. You don’t often see that often. And on top of that, it’s in a great spot, which is also only 8-minutes from the main train station, which definitely helps make it the best hostel in Geneva 2024. Nice and quiet cozy hostel in general – the only downside is the price, which is a tad more expensive than the other hostels, but it’s all about WHERE it is, right? Oh, and the staff give some killer restaurant recommendations, too.

Geneva Hostel – Best Cheap Hostel in Geneva

Geneva Hostel best hostels in Geneva
If you’re looking for the cheapest budget option, certainly Geneva Hostel is the best cheap hostel in Geneva!

This is a great, great option for a budget hostel in Geneva. Why? Well, whenever we see the words ‘free breakfast’ our stomachs do a little dance. We love a free breakfast – especially when it’s good as well. Also, it’s good for the budget since it’s one meal you won’t have to worry about. Other than that, this is the best cheap hostel in Geneva since it’s not only one of (if not THE) cheapest options for a Geneva backpackers hostel. Or just one of the cheapest options full-stop. The hostel is modern, features male- and female-only dorms, is in a great location and, well- what more do you need to know?

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
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.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

Nyon Hostel – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Geneva

Nyon Hostel best hostels in Geneva
Looking to score a private space with a hostel vibe? Nyon Hostel is the best cheap hostel with a private room in Geneva.

So, this is a top hostel in Geneva, right? But it’s not exactly located in the town itself. In fact, it’s in a different town. But it comes as a highly recommended hostel in Geneva – it’s easy to travel to Geneva by train from here, and you’ll feel better off for it. That’s because Nyon Hostel is super nice. It’s like a little slice of ultra-clean modern luxury, from the dorms to their private rooms – hence their position as the best hostel with a private room in Geneva. The staff are also super friendly, and the area of Nyon itself is quiet and chilled. If you like the sound of long walks in nature away from hustle and bustle and all that, here’s where to go.

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 Best Hostels in Geneva

Hostel hatred? Backpacking blues? Travelling tantrum? There are also a load of hotels in Geneva that will help you escape from the world of dorms, shared bathrooms, and acoustic guitars lurking ominously in common rooms (if that’s you: sorry). Here are some of the best hotels in Geneva…

Want to stay in the party district or maybe somewhere more laidback? Decide on where to stay in Geneva before booking your hostel.

Hotel ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport – Best Budget Hotel in Geneva

Hotel ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport best hostels in Geneva
Hotel ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport is a well located budget option close to the airport making in one of the best cheap hostels in Genevea.

The rooms at the not very catchily named Hotel ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport (wow) are what we’d call cosy, but the rooms in this obviously budget hotel in Geneva are nevertheless modern with the nice minimalist decor. The location, well, it depends what you’re after: being near the airport is convenient (it’s actually within walking distance), but that means you’re not IN the centre of Geneva. That said, it’s not too far into central Geneva, a couple of miles, which is easily traversed via train. We reckon this one’s great for couples on a budget, but for that location, well, it’s probably the best budget hotel close to the airport in Geneva.

Edelweiss Manotel – Best Mid-range Hotel in Geneva

Edelweiss Manotel best hostels in Geneva
Edelweiss Manotel is a beautiful, comfortable mid-range hotel in the heart of Geneva.

Being in the heart of Geneva for at a very, very nice mid-range hotel is a great shout. It’s like staying in a rustic mountain-style Swiss chalet – naturally it’s a lot of pine (maybe it’s another kind of wood, but we’re not wood experts, ok?) and homely touches – like flowers in your room and floral carpets and stuff – that make this a really cool place to stay in Geneva. What’s more is that Edelweiss Manotel is actually situated pretty near one of the beaches of Lake Geneva, making this a prime spot for summer fun. In fac,t the location is spot-on in general, we’d say. The on-site restaurant is also V tasty.

Hotel Rotary Geneva MGallery by Sofitel – Best Splurge Hotel in Geneva

Hotel Rotary Geneva MGallery by Sofitel best hostels in Geneva
Hotel Rotary Geneva MGallery is the best splurge hotel for backpackers in Geneva…

Hotel Rotary Geneva MGallery by Sofitel (when a hotel chain is more upmarket it’s always ‘by XXXX’ isn’t it?) – this hotel is pretty much the best splurge hotel in Geneva. Unless you opt for the Four Seasons, which is just another level and we’re not even gonna talk about how much THAT place is. But as far as a splurge goes, well, this is an affordable splurge – a contradiction, sorta, but it is. The building is beautiful and the location is prime – we’re talking if you like exploring the Old Towns of the world, you’ll love this place. It also features fine-dining Mediterranean-style on-site, plus an elegant bar so you can get your cocktail on.

Nash Airport Hotel

Nash Airport Hotel best hostels in Geneva
Nash Airport Hotel is a very nice hotel option near Geneva Airport.

What would you say to a boutique-style airport hotel that’s got a cute little garden outdoor terrace and a sauna among its plus points? We’d say, alright, sounds good. And it is good: the rooms are modern if a little small, and the lobby and breakfast rooms are all polished stone and luxury. For a mid-range sorta price, which is nice; then again, this is quite far from a budget hostel in Geneva. As for location, there’s a free shuttle bus to the airport (10 mins) and you can get into Geneva itself thanks to a bus stop that’s only a 5 min walk away. Free breakfast AND dinner for a lil’ extra $.

Auberge Communale de Carouge

Auberge Communal de Carouge best hostels in Geneva
Auberge Communal de Carouge is a very classy, ultra-modern hotel in Geneva for travelers after the finer things in life…

The nice thing about Auberge Communal de Carouge is that it isn’t exactly a hotel in Geneva; it’s more like a bed-and-breakfast. We guess that’s what they mean by ‘Auberge’. As such there’s a warm, homely feel at this recommended hotel in Geneva – the friendly vibe here would really suit solo travellers, too. Whilst possibly closer to a hostel than a hotel, it’s also completely… not a hostel. The decor is modern, tasteful and boutique-like, with hardwood floors and classic/modern furnishings, and there’s a bistro downstairs with a bar. And you can tram into Geneva and its happening nightlife in 15 mins via the tram stop that’s literally right outside.

Carmen Hotel

Carmen Hotel best hostels in Geneva
In Geneva terms this not so cheap hotel still ranks as one of the better budget hotels in Geneva…

On the cheaper side of mid-range, but still not exactly what we’d call budget, Carmen Hotel is in Geneva’s Plainpalais district, a decent place to be with historic hotspots within walking distance. The hotel itself is super clean, if a little basic… well, not necessarily basic, just a bit dated maybe. That’s fine though. For the price, which is quite a bargain compared to many hotels in Geneva, you can’t really argue. Whilst it’s not free, the continental breakfast features very good coffee. And if you’re missing a Geneva backpackers hostel that much, some of the bathrooms here are shared for that sharing-and-caring-hostel feel.

Crowne Plaza Geneva

Crowne Plaza Geneva best hostels in Geneva
Bonus points for Crowne Plaza Geneva hotel as they offer a free transport card to the city!

The whole free public transport card thing is a great move when you actually need a bus to get into town to see some of Geneva’s top attractions. We applaud that. Wish more places would do that! But anyway – this hotel also offers a free shuttle bus to the airport, making it great if you’re flying to Geneva. There are two on-site restaurants, plus a bar as well. Some rooms are suites with balconies, but obviously this is more expensive. The base option at this hotel though is pretty mid-range, so for a budget hotel in Geneva, this is also a good bet. And as a little bonus, the WiFi is consistently excellent – if you’ll be laptopping it here, that’s good for you, eh?

What to Pack for your Geneva 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 Geneva

There you have it my fellow Switzerland backpackers: my ultimate guide to the best hostel in Geneva for 2024 has come to a close.

You now possess all of the crucial information regarding the best backpacker accommodation in Geneva. I realize that the options are few in terms of budget hostels, but that is just the reality of backpacking in Switzerland.

May the backpacker gods have mercy on you!

You now realize the importance and necessity of ABSOLUTELY booking in advance. Though you can now book knowing what your best possible options are…

If you are still feeling conflicted about which hostel to book, I strongly recommend that you go with my top pick for best overall hostel in Geneva: City Hostel Geneva.

Due to it’s popularity as the best hostel in Geneva, do yourself a favor a book this place as soon as you firm up your plans to avoid losing a spot!

I hope you have a blast backpacking Geneva! Happy travels!

City Hostel Geneva best hostels in Geneva
City Hostel Geneva’s is a great stopover for backpackers visiting Geneva!

FAQ about Hostels in Geneva

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Geneva.

How much does a hostel cost in Geneva?

The average price for a hostel dorm in Geneva is $42 USD. Private rooms start from $50 USD.

What are the best hostels in Geneva for couples?

Geneva Hostel is an ideal budget hostel for couples in Geneva. It’s modern and in a great location.

What is the best hostel in Geneva near the airport?

Check out these budget hotels near Geneva International Airport:
Nash Airport Hotel
Hotel ibis budget Genève Palexpo Aéroport

Travel Safety Tips for Geneva

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.

More Epic Hostels in Switzerland and Europe

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

Planning an epic trip all across Switzerland or even Europe itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Europe, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Geneva 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 Geneva and Switzerland?