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

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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.

Kingston, Jamaica

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 very safe and comfortable. Check them out!

Backpackers Hostel – Best Overall Hostel in Kingston

Backpackers Hostel

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.

The Hostel at Ragamuffin – Most Affordable Hostel in Kingston

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.

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Dancehall Hostel – Best Hostel with Private Rooms

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!

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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.

Kingsworth Bed and Breakfast

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.

The Liguanea Club

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.

What to Pack for your Kingston 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…

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

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Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

Kingston Hostels FAQ

How much do hostels in Kingston cost?

Prices of Kingston hostels tend to vary based on location and what kind of room you book.
Dorms start from USD$21
Private rooms start from USD$41

What are the best hostels in Kingston for couples?

The Backpackers Hostel is an excellent Kingston hostel for couple. It’s clean, comfy, and the location is great!

What is the best hostel in Kingston near the airport?

The Hostel at Ragamuffin is the most affordable hostel closest to the Norman Manley International Airport.

Travel Safety Tips for Kingston

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

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?

Looking for more info on travelling to Kingston and Jamaica?

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