There is no better place to truly dive into the history and culture of Canada than in its gem in the crown: Ottawa! With its wide-open public squares, lively markets, massive museums, and warm smiles, Ottawa is the kind of place where you can’t help but feel right at home. With everything from art galleries to science museums, you will never be lacking in things to explore in the city. With festivals and events happening nearly every weekend, there is always something going on in Ottawa!
The only thing that may give you second thoughts about traveling to Ottawa with all of its life and history is the lack of budget hotels in the city. While you may find a couple of hostels that fit the bill, there are few places that will have you living that classic backpacker’s experience!
That is exactly why we made this complete guide to all the best hostels in Ottawa! Now you can book with confidence that you will be staying in a hostel that fits how you like to travel!
Pull out your cameras and slip on your walking shoes, your adventure to Ottawa awaits!
Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Ottawa
- Best Cheap Hostel in Ottawa – Ottawa Backpackers Inn
The Best Hostels in Ottawa
Let’s kick off the list to all the top hostels in Ottawa! Each hostel and guesthouse has something that makes it special, so keep your eyes open for the one that fits how you like to travel!
Do You Want to Travel FOREVER??
Pop your email in below to get a FREE copy of ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day!’.
Best Cheap Hostel in Ottawa – Ottawa Backpackers Inn
- Shared Kitchen
If you really want to feel like you are moving right into Ottawa, Ottawa Backpackers Inn is a hostel that is located right inside of a traditional townhouse! Each of the rooms has been converted into lounges, a kitchen, and dorm rooms so you can get all the comfort of a house but the vibes of a backpacker’s hostel. When you are ready to start exploring, you will find that Ottawa Backpackers Inn has you just minutes away from the downtown, making it one of the best places in Ottawa to base yourself out of!
- Breakfast Included
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is one of the few places in town where you can enjoy all the perks of staying in a backpacker’s hostel and hang out in a social atmosphere. Situated in a 150-year-old jail, this piece of local history has transformed the jail cells into the coziest dorm rooms in Ottawa. You won’t only be getting a cheap place to sleep at this youth hostel, they also offer movie rooms, a terrace, and even a cafe serving up breakfast. What will really win you over is the movie nights and pub crawls which will really have you out and enjoying Ottawa to the fullest!
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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.
- Breakfast Not Included
If you have been on the road for some time you will eventually be wanting to check into a hostel that will have you out and chatting with the other travelers. As a solo traveler, there is no better place to call home in town than Ottawa Sleep Inn! At this budget backpacker’s hostel, you will be lured in with some of the cheapest dorm beds in town, but you will stay for the laid back vibes and cozy lounges that are perfect for mixing with the other guests. Top it off with a cafe serving up breakfast every morning and you will feel right at home in Ottawa!
Ottawa Sleep Inn is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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.
Best Hostel for Couples in Ottawa – Motel Montcalm
- Swimming Pool
- Breakfast Included
You may not think a motel sounds very romantic, but Motel Montcalm opens up into some of the coziest and modern rooms you can find on a budget in Ottawa! As a couple, you will eventually be wanting some much needed alone time. So ditch the hostels for a couple of nights and book yourself into Motel Montcalm. Here you will not only be getting a cheap private room that fits the budget of your average backpacker, but you will also be staying just a short walk away from many of the top places to visit in Ottawa. Complete with a swimming pool and a cafe serving breakfast every morning, this is one stay that will exceed your expectations!
Motel Montcalm is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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.
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Ottawa – Danielle’s BnB
- Shared Kitchen
There is no better way to get in touch with local culture in Ottawa than by checking into a BnB. For about the same price as a dorm bed in a hostel or a budget room in a guesthouse, you can be checking into your own private room in this BnB and get the chance to see Ottawa through the eyes of a local! With a shared kitchen, lounge, and even games to pick up when you are bored, you are sure to feel right at home! Keeping the downtown at an arms-length distance, you will have all the peace and quiet of the suburbs while still enjoying all the nearby sites, restaurants, and bars!
Danielle’s BnB is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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 of the Best Hostels in Ottawa
- Women Only
Sorry guys, one of the best hostels in Ottawa is only available to female travelers. Challenging even the top hostels in Ottawa, Barefoot Hostel has made a name for itself with its cheap dorm beds, onsite terrace, and relaxing lounges ideal for kicking back and chatting with the other travelers. What will really have you sold on this girls-only youth hostel is the fact that you will be staying in the heart of Ottawa. With all the best museums, parks, and sites nearby, you couldn’t ask for a better place to base yourself out of. The cheap beds, clean rooms, and relaxing vibes secures Barefoot Hostel a spot as one of the best youth hostels in Ottawa!
Barefoot Hostel is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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.
- Shared Kitchen
Rather than staying in a hostel or a uniform budget hotel, consider a local guesthouse or Airbnb in Ottawa! There is no better place to get in touch with the culture of Ottawa than by staying in the heart of downtown Ottawa with some local Canadians! At this BnB you will have access to the kitchen, lounge, and the garden, making you feel right at home! What will really win you over about this stay is the fact that you will be right smack in the thick of the action! With the ByWard Market just a few minutes away from your door, there is no better place to base yourself out of in Ottawa!
Vanessa’s BnB is one of our favourites in Ottawa 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.
Unlock the The Broke Backpacker’s GREATEST Travel Secrets!
You pop your email here, and we promise to send you only travel content that’s actually relevant — sounds like a pretty good deal to us!
What to Pack for your Ottawa Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from us, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straight forward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art we have perfected over many years.
Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!
Why you should travel to Ottawa
From your classic hostels that are perfect for kicking back and chatting with other travelers to your guesthouses and homestays where you will be getting some much-needed peace and quiet, there are so many different ways that you can experience Ottawa! Where ever you end up booking into will set the tone for your entire trip!
We can totally understand if you are still a bit torn between two or three great places to stay in Ottawa. We can help point you in the right direction! For us, no place beats HI Ottawa Jail Hostel, and that’s why they are our pick for the best hostel in Ottawa!
FAQ about Hostels in Ottawa
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Ottawa.
Travel Safety Tips for Ottawa
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. 😉
Over to you
All of the history and romantic walks in Ottawa will be laid out in front of you before you know it! With all of the city’s history, culture, and beauty, don’t be surprised when you are planning your next trip to Canada even before you step back on the airplane. Of course, you will want to check off sites such as the parliament building and the national gallery, but it is the off the beaten path destinations that will have you truly falling in love with the city!
It won’t take much to get you sold on traveling to Ottawa, but finding a proper hostel to stay in is another story altogether. Even though you won’t have tons of dorm rooms to choose from, you will find that there are several great BnBs and guesthouses in town to fill the void. No matter if you are looking to socialize or get some good shit eye, Ottawa has a place for you!
Have you ever traveled to Ottawa and stayed in a great backpacker’s hostel we may have missed? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Do you own or run a kick ass hostel? Want to be featured in this list? Get in touch at [email protected]
Bye for now, but not forever!
If you want MORE top-tier Broke Backpacker content like this, then sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get the latest and greatest!
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!