A vibrant, art-filled and cultural hotspot, Kingston is Jamaica’s capital city situated along the southeastern coast. Laid-back and with tons of natural beauty, there are loads of attractions and things to do in the city including the Bob Marley Museum and sprawling Blue Mountains.
Outside of resorts and hotels, staying in Kingston can be confusing – sometimes even scary. It has a reputation for crime, so finding the right neighborhood is an integral part of having a safe time in Jamaica.
If you don’t have the cash to splash out on an all-inclusive resort, these are the best, and safest, hostels in Kingston.
Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Kingston
- The Best Overall Hostel in Kingston – Backpackers Hostel
- Most Affordable Hostel in Kingston – Ragamuffin Hostel
- Best Hostel with Private Rooms in Kingston – Dancehall Hostel
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What to Expect from Hostels in Kingston
In reality, Kingston is a resort town filled with sprawling resorts and hotels offering all-inclusive packages, so guests never need to leave. Families and couples love to sprawl out beside the pool, sipping cocktails, never getting into the nitty gritty of the city.
Jamaica, especially Kingston, has a reputation for being riddled with crime and gangs. For budget travelers, it can cause some real logistical problems when trying to find affordable accommodation in the right places. Luckily, there are some tried and trusted hostels in Kingston that offer a safe haven for a night’s rest.
Each of the hostels are very different, with its own vibe and sometimes unusual amenities. Some are located close to attractions, and others in more rural spots surrounded by nature. Depending on your travel style and preference, there is an affordable place to stay. If you choose a spot outside of the center, you will still find easy access to public transport to get around.
Prices tend to vary based on location and what kind of room you book.
- Dorms start from USD$21
- Private rooms start from USD$41
When you’re booking a Kingston hostel, make sure you book through HostelWorld. With pictures and detailed descriptions, you’ll be getting what you paid for. No need to worry about dodgy hotels and hostels.
Best Hostels in Kingston
If resorts aren’t your vibe, or you just don’t have the cash, these are the best hostels in Kingston that are safe and comfortable. Check them out!
Best Overall Hostel in Kingston – Backpackers Hostel
- Great outdoor space
- Centrally located
- Bar and café on site
- 2-minute walk to transport
Backpackers Hostel is ideal for travelers who want to be in the heart of the action. It is super centrally located, just a two-minute walk to public transport, supermarkets, and restaurants. Only 15 minutes from the Falling Edge Waterfall hike in Stony Hill, and 10 minutes from the Bob Marley Museum, you can hit all the top spots without having to venture far.
The hostel has basic twin rooms for those who want some privacy, and 6 bed dorm rooms with shared bathrooms. With only 10 beds in total, Backpackers has a real family vibe among the guests – proper hostel life things. You can get out and explore together, or just hang around the spacious gardens chatting and sharing stories.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Tours with local guides
- Free lockers for your valuables
- Breakfast available
There is an onsite café, bar and art gallery for evening drinks and mingling with your fellow-hostelers. Learn about the local art scene, and see some magnificent works of all different styles and techniques.
The Backpackers staff are super friendly and on hand to help arrange any extra details for your stay. They even do their own tours to all the major attractions in the city. Along with a guide is an immersive and safe way to explore Kingston.
You’ll find all the usual amenities like a microwave and a fridge/freezer. There’s a cooker if you fancy whipping up a tasty meal for you and your dorm mates. For a solo traveler or safety conscious explorer, Backpackers Hostel is a great spot.
Most Affordable Hostel in Kingston – The Hostel at Ragamuffin
- Dorm rooms
- Coffee bar
- Bright and colorful common areas
- Central location
Affordability is a must when backpacking. Finding a safe and reasonably priced place to stay can be a headache. Introducing – The Hostel at Ragamuffin, the cheapest hostel in Kingston!
Cheap doesn’t mean shit – Ragamuffin is ideally located in the center of Kingston, close by to restaurants and just walking distance to Devon House and the Bob Marley Museum.
For just USD$20 a night, you will get yourself a cozy bed in a 20 person shared dorm. If you are solo female traveler and a little weary of the huge room, you can nab yourself a spot in the female only dorm at the same price! The Ragamuffin shared bathrooms are bright and colorful with large mirrors and plenty of sinks – you won’t need to fight for a spot.
The staff are incredibly friendly and welcoming. Anything you need is available upon request, even if you just need a little reassurance about your Kingston plans.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Laundry facilities
- Free parking
- Internet cafe on site
- Lots of common areas including an outdoor terrace
Ragamuffin is impressively clean, has laundry facilities, and self-catering facilities like a microwave and fridge/freezer. Any backpacker knows how important it is to get your clothes fresh and clean at every opportunity.
Be sure to stop by the hostel’s cafe. They serve up wholesome food right on site, while you chit-chat and get to know your dorm mates and the staff. If you’re looking for a place to just relax and hang out, its perfect. With speedy WiFi and plenty of tables, it’s also a great spot for digital nomads to get a few hours of work done.
Best Hostel with Private Rooms – Dancehall Hostel
- A range of different room types
- Close to a local dance studio
- Rooftop space
- Local vibe
On the outskirts of the city, in a more local area, Dancehall Hostel is a VIBE. Surrounded by music from the nearby houses, lovers of dancehall need to stay here!
Dancehall Hostel has two large dorm rooms, perfect for those of a budget. Each sleeping up to 4 guests, they aren’t ridiculously full, and can save you a decent chunk of change. There are also private rooms of varying sizes for those who like to have a little extra privacy. If you are traveling with friends, this is a perfect compromise.
For those who want a completely private stay, there is a studio flat with its own kitchenette and bathroom. You can be in dancehall heaven, but still have your own space to relax and rest.
On the same property as a recording studio, you can get an inside look into music production before heading up to the roof for a dance and drink.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Air-conditioned rooms
- Storage lockers
- Check in and out at any time
Close by to a supermarket and with kitchen facilities available, you can prepare your own snacks and meals when you don’t fancy heading out. With everything you need on hand, you can quickly settle in and feel at home.
Dancehall Hostel has 24-hour security and plenty of measures in place to ensure you have a safe and comfortable stay. The staff are friendly and helpful, and able to arrange anything you need upon request – including an airport transfer!
Other Budget Accommodations in Kingston
Hostels aren’t for everybody. Perhaps you want to stay on budget without shacking up with strangers. These affordable accommodations are equally as cheap, but have a little bit extra.
- 10 minutes from the city
- Private rooms
- Rural Setting
- Shared kitchen
Kingsworth Bed & Breakfast is the perfect combination of private and communal. It only has private rooms, but you’ll share a bathrooms and kitchen with other guests. A cool compromise. Each of the rooms are furnished with a double bed, and only a handful have views of the surrounding mountains for a touch of something special.
Sitting on acres of land filled with fruit trees, the B&B has a super rural setting away from the hectic hustle and bustle of the city. You can get a unique perspective of the city, and see how the locals live.
You won’t be completely isolated though. Kingsworth Bed & Breakfast is only 10 minutes from the city center, with route taxis (essentially a bus) running nearby.
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- Swimming pool
- 15 minutes from the center
- Tennis and squash courts
- Simple rooms and suites
Hotels are easy, convenient and don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. The Liguanea Club is located 15 minutes from central Kingston with simple rooms and suites.
There are a lot of extra amenities available like a gym, swimming pool, and tennis and squash courts. It also has its own restaurant and bar for tasty snacks and meals throughout the day. In a bustling local area, there are a lot of restaurants and shops close by.
Providing a continental breakfast every morning, you can have a comfortable stay and save some coin. Book a room with a view for a more atmospheric stay, spend some time on the hotel’s terrace or sun deck, and wander through the gardens – there’s a lot to do without leaving the property.
Kingston Hostels FAQ
Travel Safety Tips for Kingston
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
For those on a tight budget, or just want to avoid chain hotels, staying in a hostel in Kingston is a good compromise. It will give you more of a local feel, and position you in the best neighborhoods for getting around and hitting the hotspots.
Backpackers Hostel is ideal for being in the heart of the city with easy access to transport, restaurants and shops. It’s affordable and safe, what more do you need?
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