By most measures, New York is probably the most popular city in the world. The ‘Big Apple’ is a goldmine of sights, sounds, foods and experiences unlike anywhere else on earth.

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

Our 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 – we’ve helped find the perfect hostel for you. Want to be in a private room in Midtown Manhattan or a dorm within walking distance of Columbus Circle? No problem!

Let’s take a look at some of the best hostels in New York City!

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

Quick answer: The best hostels in New York

What to expect from Hostels in New York

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 the city 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 a ton of bang for your buck! In particular, keep an eye out for free breakfast, free storage or free security lockers to keep your valuables safe. These little things (especially breakfast!) can really add up.

Luckily, most hostels are focused on being very affordable while still offering a 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.
  • 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 see that 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!

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    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 hostel and the best hostel 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.

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

    Chelsea International Hostel best hostels in New York
    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 cool freebies too; as well as free continental breakfast each morning and free Wi-Fi, travellers can beat the mid-week blues by tucking into free pizza every Wednesday evening. I mean, free NYC pizzas, you’ve got me sold!

    There are free in-room lockers to use too, though you’ll need your own padlock. The hotel is in a great location and is one of the best places to stay in Manhattan. The subway is just 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 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.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Manhattan Location
    • Free Pizza
    • Free Wifi

    There’s a bathroom on every floor 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 budget accommodation in New York in 2022. The fact that it’s in Manhattan too is pretty wild and makes this place 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. The dorms too 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 Hostel

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

    Although this 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 this a top New York hostel for solo travellers. Sometimes it’s worth spending a few extra dollars to be in the right location for you and to get a vibe that matches your personality and travel style. Accommodation really can make a difference to your experience in a city.

    There are heaps of attractions are within walking distance such as Central Park, and the subway is close to hand too so you can easily get to places like the Empire State Building, Columbus Circle and Grand Central Station. The location means you’re right at the heart of 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 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 has a tour desk 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 the hostel is ideal for solo travellers, groups and couples alike. The hostel offers some great dorm rooms of different sizes, they’re not super fancy but they do the job and they’re clean and comfy. There are also single and double private rooms too so even if you’re travelling on your own you can get a room to yourself if you just need the space. Bathrooms are located on each floor to share with the rooms but there are plenty of facilities for each room.

    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 budget and 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. Located in a lively part of Queens, the newly renovated hostel offers a different experience to being in Manhattan. 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.

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

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Located in Queens
    • Self Catering Facilities
    • Key Card Access

    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 class hostel. There are also private double rooms with their own private bathroom if that’s more your thing. Most dorm rooms also have their own bathrooms; no hopping from foot to foot in the morning while someone takes a long shower!

    There’s a kitchen here as well as 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 Hostel in Brooklyn – The Brooklyn Riviera

    The Brooklyn Riviera best hostels in New York
    A super cheap hostel in New York, The Brooklyn Riviera is a great budget option.
    • $
    • Free Breakfast
    • Laundry Facilities
    • Lockers

    The Brooklyn Riviera is a good choice for travellers who are looking for a budget backpackers’ pad in Brooklyn and is one of the cheapest hostels in New York. Despite being out in Brooklyn you’re just a 10 min walk from the A and C trains so you can get anywhere you want to from here. The location also offers an opportunity to see another more local side to NYC you might not otherwise have visited.

    Dorms can accommodate either four or six people, and there are separate dorms for females as well as mixed dorms, so plenty of options at this NYC hostel. Each bed has a privacy curtain an individual power outlet and a reading light. All guests have use of a locker too so you can be sure your valuables are super safe when you head out.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Brooklyn Location
    • Close to the Train
    • Outdoor Terrace

    A basic breakfast is included in the price and there is free wifi 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 it’s still only a 30-minute train ride to places like The Empire State Building, Central Park and Manhattan’s historical Gramercy Park.

    There are some great facilities on site too so you might not want to run for the train straight away. There are BBQs each week for guests alongside a fully equipped kitchen so you can be sure to save even more money on food! For longer-term travellers, the laundry facilities come in handy and the tea and coffee available all day is super useful for the digital nomads amongst us!

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    5. Best Hostel for Couples in New York – The Broadway Hotel and Hostel

    The Broadway Hotel and Hostel best hostels in New York
    The Broadway Hotel is a swanky boutique hostel great for all travellers (especially couples!)
    • $$$
    • 24-Hour Security
    • Tour Desk
    • Housekeeping

    A swanky boutique youth hostel in New York’s fashionable Upper West Side close to Central Park. The Broadway Hotel and Hostel is a recommended New York hostel for couples seeking something that’s a bit more than just a standard NYC hostel. Its modern design and boutique features can be found throughout the property. There’s only one way to truly experience this area of the city and that’s at this chic and exciting hostel.

    The dorm rooms they offer here are small and sleep two, so it’s probably best if you’re travelling with a partner or mate rather than bunk up with just one stranger… somehow weirder than sharing with 20!? However, you won’t feel like you’re in a hostel here as each room is newly renovated and features contemporary design features.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    • Newly Renovated
    • TV and coffee machine in Private rooms
    • Self Catering Facilties

    If that wasn’t enough, get ready for the private rooms! They come in a range of sizes from two beds to four so you can share with your family or a small group of mates. Many also feature a private ensuite bathroom too. Combine this with a TV and coffee machine, and it’s got to be the best hostel for couples in New York.

    For those wanting to take advantage of the social side of hosel life, there’s a shared kitchen, lounge, library, and business centre too with free wifi. There are also daily housekeeping services and even a bellhop who will help you to carry your luggage! How fancy is that for a backpacker pad?! It certainly offers hotel quality service at hostel prices!

    The Broadway Hotel and Hostel is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    More Epic Hostels in New York

    Not happy with your options yet? 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!

    Best Party Hostel in New York – Hi NYC Hostel

    Hostelling International New York best hostels in New York
    Free bar crawl and club tours make Hi NYC Hostel a great pick for a party hostel in New York
    • $$$
    • Café
    • 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 this the best party hostel in New York for sure. Imagine—partying in a castle then heading out on a free bar crawl every night and joining clubbing tours at the weekends.

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

    Coolest Hostel in New York and 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 ideal for working professionals and Digital Nomads
    • $$
    • Bar-Café
    • 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 get your head down and crack on to meet those deadlines in a quiet environment, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel.

    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. The family-run hostel hosts various events too, such as comedy evenings and wine tasting. There are also kitchen and laundry facilities too, so great for saving money.

    Best Hostel with a Private Room in New York – 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. With a lounge on each floor, there are plenty of places to chill and chat as well as free wifi to keep in touch with home. Rooms and the building are accessed by key card, and all guests have a locker for added safety. There are comfy mixed and female-only dorms for four, five, and six, or you can check into a private en-suite double room.

    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 three to six, 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. There’s a tour desk to assist with your New York sightseeing and other top 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.

    American Dream Hostel

    American Dream Hostel best hostels in New York
    American Dream Hostel is well designed with good vibes -no doubt a top hostel in New York
    • $$$
    • Free Breakfast
    • Lockers
    • Luggage Storage

    Wake up! American Dream Hostel is a terrific base to explore New York! The family-fun 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 are arranged through the private rooms for two and three.

    Of course, 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.

    Harlem YMCA

    Harlem YMCA best hostels in New York
    Harlem YMCA is a great budget hostel in New York
    • $$
    • Swimming Pool
    • Games Room
    • Free Luggage Storage

    Conveniently located close to several subway stations, Harlem YMCA is bursting with cool facilities and amenities. Get active in the gym, which has high-tech fitness equipment, a pool, sauna, and steam room. There’s a TV lounge, free Wi-Fi, free luggage storage, book exchange, garden, and business centre.

    Give your legs a break too—there’s an elevator! Rooms are for two, with either bunk beds are twin beds, and there are plenty of bathrooms to reduce morning queuing time. It’s a top hostel in New York for budget-conscious couples and a cheap stay with your BFF.

    Harlem YMCA is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Royal Park Hotel and Hostel

    Royal Park Hotel and Hostel best hostels in New York
    • $$$
    • Swimming Pool
    • Luggage Storage
    • Elevator

    Situated in Upper West Side, Manhattan and super close to Central Park. Royal Park Hotel has private rooms of various sizes, some en-suite and some with shared bathrooms. There’s no need to worry about what time you arrive—the hostel has round-the-clock reception services and there’s no curfew.

    A top hostel in New York for people seeking some relaxation away from the busy city streets, the hostel has a swimming pool and a steam room.

    Royal Park Hotel and Hostel is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Vanderbilt YMCA

    Vanderbilt YMCA best hostels in New York
    • $$$
    • Swimming Pool
    • Laundry Facilities
    • Tour Desk

    A centrally located New York backpackers hostel, situated in Manhattan’s East Side, Vanderbilt YMCA has heaps of bars and restaurants close to hand, as well as fab shopping and some of the city’s most famous sights.

    A recommended hostel in New York for solo travellers or groups of friends, the hostel has private rooms that can accommodate from one to four guests. Full of great facilities, you’ll find a shared kitchen, a fitness centre, two swimming pools, and laundry facilities.

    Vanderbilt YMCA is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Hotel & Hostel Vetiver

    Hotel & Hostel Vetiver best hostels in New York
    • $$$
    • Bar
    • Fitness Centre
    • Tour Desk

    Close to the N and Q Train, Hotel & Hostel Vetiver is a comfy and stylish accommodation. It’s a recommended hostel in New York for people who like a bit of style when on vacation. All rooms are private and en-suite and rooms above the third storey all have a balcony too. Rooms can sleep between two and five guests.

    There are no self-catering facilities but you can buy an affordable and filling breakfast each morning, there’s an onsite bar, and, if none of the many nearby restaurants floats your boat, you can order food from room service. Other amenities include a fitness centre and a tour desk.

    Hotel & Hostel Vetiver is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

    Greenpoint YMCA

    Greenpoint YMCA best hostels in New York
    • $$
    • Fitness Centre
    • Swimming Centre
    • 24-Hour Security

    It’s not only the comfortable rooms for two and the convenient location in Brooklyn that make Greenpoint YMCA one of the best budget hostels in New York—the hostel has heaps of great facilities too.

    Feel the burn in the well-equipped and modern fitness centre, take a dip in the swimming pool, or refresh with a sauna. Housekeeping services keep everywhere looking clean and neat, and reception is open around the clock.

    Greenpoint YMCA is one of our favourites in New York but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

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      FAQ about 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 USA and North America

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

      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 budget travellers, don’t lose track of your spending!

      With the help of this article, 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 of 2022!

      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 🙂

      If you’re a foodie, definitely check out this awesome post on the best brunch spots in NYC.

      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!

      Chelsea International Hostel best hostels in New York

      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!