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 20 best hostels in New York. 

Our guide to the top hostels in New York 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

Insider Guide to the 20 Best Hostels in New York

Staying in New York isn’t cheap. Sorry to break that to you.

When looking for a budget or cheap hostel in New York, expect to spend a minimum of $30 USD for a dorm bed. Don’t expect cheap hostels in New York that offer these low prices to be in Manhattan. Instead, look at hostels in Brooklyn or in other borough areas.

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.

Check out our top hostels in New York City 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, you’re sure to find the NYC hostel that’s perfect for you.

(Don’t forget to check out our epic Backpacking New York City Travel Guide either for travel tips, itinerary advice, and more!)

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    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 best hostels in New York
    • $$
    • 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.

    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 hostel!

    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 2021.

    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.

    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 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.

    Best Cheap Hostel in New York #1 – 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 has a communal kitchen and dining area with free wifi. There’s also a brightly coloured den with comfy seating, a book exchange, a movie area with a large screen, and a games area with a pool table and ping pong. That’s got to make it one of the most kitted out youth hostels in New York City!

    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, as well as private double rooms with their own private bathroom. Most dorm rooms also have their own bathrooms; no hopping from foot to foot in the morning while someone takes a long shower!

    Best Cheap Hostel in New York #2 – 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

    One of the cheapest hostels in New York, The Brooklyn Riviera is a good choice for travellers who are looking for a budget backpackers’ pad in Brooklyn. 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 and an individual power outlet and a reading light. All guests have use of a locker too. 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.

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    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 funky features can be found throughout the property. There are dorms for two and private rooms for two and four some with your own private bathroom.

    The plush ensuite double rooms, complete with a TV and coffee machine, make this the best hostel for couples in New York. There’s a shared kitchen, lounge, library, and business centre too with free wifi. As well as daily housekeeping services there’s even a bellhop who will help you to carry your luggage! How fancy is that for a backpacker pad?!

    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 is also a 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.

    More of the best hostels in New York

    And, with even more top hostels in New York below, finding your perfect backpackers’ base in NYC should be a piece of cake.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 float your boat, you can order food from room service. Other amenities include a fitness centre and a tour desk.

    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.

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    Why you should travel to 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 spendings!

    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 2021!

    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.

    Chelsea International Hostel best hostels in New York

    FAQ about Hostels in New York

    Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in New York.

    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:

    Over to you

    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!

    Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀

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