New York is probably the most popular city in the world. The ‘Big Apple’ is a goldmine of sights, sounds, foods, and experiences that you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on earth!

But looking for a great place to sleep in America’s coolest city can be a challenge and quite expensive, which is why we wrote this guide to the 5 best hostels in New York. 

Our handy guide is unlike anything else on the web, as we have organized the hostels based on YOUR travel needs. So whether you are looking to save as much money as possible, or party as hard as possible, whether you want a private room in Midtown Manhattan or a dorm within walking distance of Columbus Circle, no problem! We’ve got you covered and will help choose the perfect hostel for you.

So let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the very best hostels in New York City!

Best Hostels in NY
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    What to Expect when Staying in a New York Hostel

    Booking a hostel instead of a hotel comes with loads of perks. One of them is obviously the way more affordable price (which is great since New York is not the cheapest), but there’s even more waiting for you. The one thing that makes hostels really stand out is the incredible social vibe. You can meet travellers from all over the world by sharing common spaces and staying in dorms—it’s a great way to make new friends!

    When backpacking New York, you’ll find all sorts of different hostels. The good news is that although the cheap hostels in New York aren’t crappy, they are of the highest quality and will provide you with a ton of bang for your buck! In particular, keep an eye out for free breakfasts, free storage or free security lockers to keep your valuables safe. These little things (especially the hugely important first meal of the day!) can really add up.

    Best Hostels in New York
    The Big Apple is expensive—our list of the best hostels in New York will help you save some cash.

    Luckily, most hostels are focused on being very affordable while still offering high value. The general rule is: the bigger the dorm, the cheaper the nightly rate. If you go for a private hostel room, you’ll end up paying a bit more, but it’s still more affordable than New York’s hotels. We did some research and listed the average price that you can expect for a hostel in New York:

    • Private Rooms: $45–55
    • Dorms (mixed or female-only): $15–28

    When looking for a hostel, you’ll find most New York hostels on HOSTELWORLD. There you can check out photos, detailed information about the place and even reviews from previous guests. Just like other booking platforms, each hostel will have a rating, so you can easily pick out the hidden gems! Don’t expect cheap New York hostels that offer these low prices to be in Manhattan. Instead, look at hostels in Brooklyn or in other borough areas. To find the best hostels in New York, check out these three neighbourhoods:

    • Midtown – This neighbourhood is home to famous architecture, vibrant streets, and world-renowned landmarks.
    • Lower East Side – Eclectic and vibrant, the Lower East Side is a neighbourhood that seamlessly blends history and modern times.
    • East Village – With its youthful vibe and independent spirit, East Village is one of the most dynamic and distinct neighbourhoods in New York.
    • Williamsburg – Williamsburg isn’t just the coolest neighbourhood in New York City, it’s a hotspot for music, fashion, food, art, and nightlife.
    • Upper West Side – The Upper West Side is a classic New York neighbourhood and the best place to stay in New York for families.

    You can see how it’s important to find out where to stay in New York before you book your hostel. Do your research beforehand and have an even better trip!

    The 5 Best Hostels in New York

    Check out our top New York hostels for an epic stay in the Big Apple. From the best cheap New York hostels and the best hostels for digital nomads in NYC to the ultimate party hostel in New York City, you’re sure to find the NYC hostel that’s perfect for you in this list!

    1. Overall Best Hostel in New York – Chelsea International Hostel

    Chelsea International Hostel, one of the best NY hostels
    Great location and well-priced, Chelsea International Hostel is one of the top New York hostels.
    • $$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Luggage Storage
    • Bike Parking

    One of the biggest independent backpacker hostels in New York, Chelsea International Hostel is a top place to meet new people and have fun. There are some insane freebies too—in addition to the free continental breakfast each morning and the free Wi-Fi, travellers can beat the midweek blues by tucking into free pizza every Wednesday evening! I mean, free NYC pizza? You’ve got me sold!

    There are free in-room lockers to use too at Chelsea, though you’ll need your own padlock. The hostel is in a great location and is one of the best places to stay in Manhattan. The subway is right outside and you’re just a few steps from Grand Central station, the Empire State Building and Central Park. It’s got to be one of the most conveniently located NYC hostels! In fact, this was the first place I stayed at when I visited as a poor-ass student back in the day, and the location was second to none! Close to public transport and many sights, but also close to heaps of cheap places to eat too which was super helpful on the pocket.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Manhattan Location
    • Free Pizza
    • Free Wi-Fi

    There’s a bathroom on every floor at Chelsea International Hostel, and other facilities include outdoor seating in the courtyard, a lounge, two kitchens, and a dining area. It’s one of the cheapest hostels in the city, and our pick for the overall best hostel in New York. The Manhattan location takes Chelsea to the next level and makes it honestly unbeatable!

    The property might be a proper hostel with vibes to match, but it doesn’t just offer dorms but private rooms too, so it’s got something for everyone. Also, the dorms are single beds rather than bunks so you won’t feel overcrowded, and each room comes with AC in the summer, which is awesome. There are plenty of bathrooms to go around too so no waiting in line when you need to hit the head!

    2. Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in New York – Jazz on the Park Youth Hotel

    Jazz on the Park Youth Hotel, one of the best NY hostels
    Jazz on the Park Youth Hotel is a great pick for one of the top hostels in New York for solo travellers.
    • $$$
    • Games Room
    • Tour Desk
    • Key Card Access

    Although Jazz on the Park Youth Hotel may be a bit of a pricey hostel in New York’s trendy Upper West Side, the sociable atmosphere, sense of fun, terrific location, and top-notch facilities make it a top New York hostel for solo travellers. Sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to be in the right location and to get a vibe that matches your personality and travel style. Accommodation really can make a difference in your experience of a city.

    You will be close to heaps of attractions which are within walking distance such as Central Park, and the subway is close at hand too so you can easily get to the best places to visit in New York like the Empire State Building, Columbus Circle, and Grand Central Terminal. You’ll be located right at the heart of all the action so whether you’re going sightseeing, eating out or hitting the bars, you’re never too far from where you want to be!

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Trendy Location
    • Free Linens and Towels
    • BBQ Parties

    The cool lounge and coffee bar at Jazz on the Park are great places to swap travelling tales with other backpackers, and in the summer months, the BBQs are sure to put a smile on your face. Pub crawls are also arranged in the warmer months, and the hostel tour desk will be happy to take care of your daytime adventures around New York City.

    In terms of sleeping arrangements, there are a few different options on offer and Jazz on the Park is ideal for solo travellers, groups and couples alike. It offers some great dorm rooms of different sizes—they’re not super fancy but they do the job, plus they’re clean and comfy. There are also single and double private rooms so even if you’re travelling on your own, you can get a room to yourself if you just need the space. Bathrooms are conveniently located on each floor to share with the rooms but there are plenty of facilities for each room as well!

    3. Best Cheap Hostel in New York – Q4 Hotel

    Q4 Hotel best hostels in New York
    Cheap doesn’t mean bad. Our pick for the best cheap hostel in New York is Q4.
    • $
    • Travel Desk
    • Luggage Storage
    • Book Exchange

    The best budget hostel in New York City, Q4 Hotel offers plenty of bang for your buck and is suitable for students and backpackers alike. Located in a lively part of Queens, the newly renovated hostel offers a different experience to being in Manhattan and going through a typical New York itinerary. Out here you get to see a much more local side of NYC and at the same time save money. It’s also less frantic if you want to escape some of that New York madness whilst still being in a vibrant area.

    Q4 has a communal kitchen and dining area as well as a brightly coloured den with comfy seating, a book exchange, and a movie area with a large screen. With the free Wi-Fi and games area with a pool table and ping-pong, you’ll never be bored if you decide to spend the evening in. That’s got to make Q4 one of the most kitted-out youth hostels in New York City!

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Located in Queens
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Games Area with Pool Table and Ping-Pong

    All dorm guests have a large locker and access to the hostel is by key card. There are single-sex and mixed dorms in various sizes so you can be sure to always feel safe and secure when staying at this top hostel. There are also private double rooms with their own private bathroom on offer if that’s more your thing. Most dorm rooms also have their own bathrooms, so no hopping from foot to foot in the morning while someone takes a long shower!

    You will have access to a kitchen at Q4 as well as to tea and coffee-making facilities so you can save even more money and make your own food. Being outside of Manhattan, though, you will be sure to find some affordable local spots to eat if you do decide to head out for food instead. There’s also air conditioning for the hot New York summers and heating for the cold winters, so you’ll always be super comfy here!

    4. Best Party Hostel in New York – Hi NYC Hostel

    Hostelling International New York best hostels in New York
    Free bar crawls and club tours make Hi NYC Hostel the best party hostel in New York!
    • $$$
    • Cafe
    • Pool Table
    • Laundry Facilities

    Hi NYC Hostel might not be an actual real castle, but the cool building certainly does a good impression of one. The varied program of events each night makes it the best party hostel in New York for sure! Imagine—partying in a castle, heading out on a free bar crawl every night and then joining clubbing tours over a happening New York weekend. Mind = blown!

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Castle-like Hostel Building
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Free Bar Crawls and Clubbing Tours

    There are in-house events most nights of the week too at Hi NYC Hostel, including variety shows, music, and comedy. The daytime tours are affordable too. Chill out and mingle in the impressive common area—there are over two floors dedicated to your fun times! With a huge kitchen (complete with a staggering 36 burners!), a spacious patio, a movie room, games room, free Wi-Fi, and 24-hour lounges, what more could you ask for?

    5. Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in New York – The Local

    The Local best hostels in New York
    The Local is our pick for the coolest hostel in New York and is also perfect for working professionals and digital nomads.
    • $$
    • Bar–Cafe
    • Laundry Facilities
    • Tour Desk

    Probably the coolest hostel in New York, the award-winning ‘The Local’ is also the best hostel in New York for digital nomads. There’s a computer room where you can put your head down and get cracking on those deadlines in a quiet environment, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Computer Room
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Bar, Roof Terrace, and Movie Lounge

    When all your work’s done, mingle with other travellers in the bar, watch the sunset from the roof terrace, or chill in the movie lounge. This family-run hostel hosts various events too such as comedy evenings and wine tasting. There are also kitchen and laundry facilities, so you can save money!

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    More Epic Hostels in New York

    Not happy with your options yet? Have no fear, we’ve got loads more epic New York hostels coming for you! Make sure you know what kind of travel needs you have in order to find the perfect place for you.

    6. The Brooklyn Riviera

    The Brooklyn Riviera, one of the best NY hostels
    A super-cheap hostel in New York, The Brooklyn Riviera is a great budget hostel option.
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Brooklyn Location
    • Close to the Train

    The Brooklyn Riviera is one of the best hostels in Brooklyn and one of the cheapest hostels in New York, making it a great choice for travellers and students who are looking for a budget backpackers’ pad in Brooklyn. Despite being out in Brooklyn, you’re just a 10-minute walk from the A Train and C Train lines so you can get anywhere you want to from here.

    Dorms can accommodate 4 or 6 people, and there are separate dorms for females as well as mixed dorms, so there are plenty of options at The Brooklyn Riviera. A basic breakfast is included in the price (with BBQs each week) and there is free Wi-Fi too. There’s a common room with a TV and a Wii, or you can relax outdoors in the yard. Being in Brooklyn you get a bit more of a local feel and the hostel is still only a 30-minute train ride to places like the Empire State Building, Central Park and Manhattan’s historical Gramercy Park.

    7. Jazz on Columbus Circle

    Jazz on Columbus Circle best hostels in New York
    Clean, safe and modern, Jazz on Colombus is the best hostel with a private room in New York.
    • $$$
    • Lockers
    • Luggage Storage
    • Steam Room

    Located close to the sprawling Central Park, Jazz on Columbus Circle is a clean, modern, and safe youth hostel in New York. The rooms and building are accessed by key card, and all guests have a locker for added safety. There are comfy mixed and female-only dorms for 4, 5, and 6, or you can check into a private en-suite double room. With a lounge on each floor, there are plenty of places to chill and chat as well as free Wi-Fi to keep in touch with loved ones back home! You can choose to mingle with your new friends indoors or head out to some of the best NYC brunch spots.

    8. NY Moore Hostel

    NY Moore Hostel best hostels in New York
    With plenty of activities, NY Moore Hostel is one of the top hostels in New York.
    • $$
    • Games Room
    • Tour Desk
    • Luggage Storage

    A top hostel for solo travellers in New York, NY Moore Hostel has a sociable vibe and small dorm rooms. Mixed and female-only dorms sleep from 3 to 6, and each dorm has its own bathroom. Meet other travellers in the comfy common room or out in the courtyard.

    A game of pool or foosball, a board-game playoff, or a PS3 bonanza is a great way to break the ice with fellow backpackers. There’s a tour desk to assist with your New York day trips and sightseeing and other facilities include a communal kitchen (complete with a dishwasher so no need to wash up), a book exchange, bike parking, free Wi-Fi, lockers, and luggage storage. Other perks include 24-hour security and housekeeping services.

    9. American Dream Hostel

    American Dream Hostel best hostels in New York
    American Dream Hostel is well designed and has good vibes—no doubt a top hostel in New York.
    • $$$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Manhattan location
    • Free Wi-Fi

    Wake up! American Dream Hostel is a terrific base to explore New York! The family-run youth hostel in New York can be found in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, with many of the city’s most iconic sights just a short walk away. There are bathrooms on each floor and bunk beds in private rooms for 2 and 3. Of course, the single rooms have just one bed—no need to climb a ladder!

    Start each day with a filling and free breakfast, cook up a treat in the communal kitchen, surf the free Wi-Fi, keep your stuff safe in security lockers, chillax in the common room, and challenge your pals to a board game.

    10. Freehand New York

    Freehand New York, one of the best NY hostels
    • $$
    • Newly Renovated
    • TV and Coffee Machine in Private Rooms
    • Housekeeping

    Located in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, Freehand New York is an award-winning swanky hotel–hostel that is a recommended New York hostel for couples seeking something that’s a bit more than just a standard NYC hostel.

    You can choose between private rooms or dorm-style accommodations, and all rooms feature a private en-suite bathroom. You will have access to the property’s renowned on-site restaurant as well!

    With a smart TV, coffee machine, free Wi-Fi, and daily housekeeping services, the fancy Freehand New York certainly offers hotel-quality service at hostel prices!

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      FAQs on Hostels in New York

      Here are some questions backpackers ask about New York hostels.

      Travel Safety Tips for New York

      There’s more information than we can list here, so have a look at our NYC safety guide for specific advice for your travel style.

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      More Epic Hostels in the US and North America

      Hopefully, by now, you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to New York. If not, then maybe consider a New York eco-lodge, a New York Airbnb or a New York VRBO?!

      Planning an epic trip all across the USA or even North America itself?

      Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered! For more cool hostel guides around North America, check out:

      Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in New York

      If you are going to travel to New York, plan to have the time of your life! But as a budget traveller, don’t lose track of your spending!

      With the help of this guide, we hope you’ll be able to book your cheap New York hostel quickly so you can focus on what’s important—eating as much New York pizza as humanly possible!

      And remember, in case you can’t decide, we recommend booking Chelsea International Hostel—our top pick for the best overall NYC hostel!

      Heading to New York and looking for something epic to do? My friend Jessie runs New York City Photography Tours and Broke Backpacker readers get $10 off—just use the code BROKEBACKPACKER 🙂

      By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in New York 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!

      Don’t wait, just pack your bags for NYC and take a nice big bite of the Big Apple already!

      Spring in New York (Best NY hostels)
      Captivating New York in the springtime.

      Updated May 2023

      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!