The coastal Californian city of Santa Barbara is all about good times, chilled out days and beautiful scenery. Quaint Mediterranean style architecture, chic boutique shops and amazing restaurants are all centred around a stunning beach – and let’s not forget the incredible local wine. There’s more to love about Santa Barbara than you may have realised.

But with so many different things to do in town, from watersports to wine tasting, how can you know where the best place to stay is?

It’s ok, chill out. We’ve got it all in hand with our round-up of the best hostels in Santa Barbara – with a handful of the best budget hotels thrown in too.

So get ready to hit the beach, because we’ve got your accommodation sorted.

Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Santa Barbara

Best Hostels Santa Barbara
California is beautiful – and these are the best hostels in Santa Barbara

Best Hostels in Santa Barbara

Overall Best Hostel in Santa Barbara – The Wayfarer 

The Wayfarer best hostels Santa Barbara
The Wayfarer is our pick for best overall hostel in Santa Barbara
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Outdoor Pool
  • 24 Hour Rececption

This place really is the best overall hostel in Snata Barbara, there’s a super nice outdoor pool to hang out in and the rooms are really chic and trendy. You’ll be super stoked that you picked this place: there’s no end of fun activities to do near by and the staff are really helpful. This is one of the coolest hostels in Santa Barbara, it’s literally so nice that it’s almost like a boutique hotel.

Best Hostel for Solo Travelers in Santa Barbara – IHSP Santa Barbara 

IHSP Santa Barbara
IHSP Santa Barbara best hostel for solo travelers in Santa Barbara
  • $
  • Free Breakfast
  • 24 Hour Security
  • Laundry

Travelling solo ain’t always easy, it has its ups and down, but stay at this hostel and you are guaranteed to have the best time. A top hostel in Santa Barbara, there’s a fun and friendly atmosphere which is perfect for meeting other travellers. It’s situated so close to the beach that you can hear the sea from your bunk, and in the morning after a good night’s sleep – plus they supply you with all you can eat pancakes. Winner!

Things DO go missing sometimes…

lock iconPsst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!

Best Budget Hotels in Santa Barbara

Sometimes a city doesn’t have a whole load of hostels, but what they do have is a whole host of budget accommodation choices that have a touch of a hostel atmosphere about them. Check out our list of the best budget hotels in Santa Barbara to see if you can find the best place to stay for you.

Orange Tree Inn

Orange Tree Inn
Orange Tree Inn
  • $
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee Machine

The perfect choice for a really cheap place to stay, this is one of the best budget hotels in Santa Barbara. For a reasonable room rate, you get to enjoy big rooms and a chilled outdoor pool area, which is really refreshing in the hot weather.

The location is safe and it’s easy to get to Santa Barbara’s main attractions around from here. If you’re on a road trip, there’s free on-site parking for your car which is really quite handy.

Sunset Motel

Sunset Motel
Sunset Motel
  • $$
  • Free Breakfast
  • Kitchen
  • Daily Maid Service

This top budget hotel in Santa Barbara is like one of those classic motels you see in the movies ALL the time. Staying here would feel like you’re living out a film in real life, which we think is pretty fun.

The rooms are actually really nice and clean – none of that shabbiness you might expect from a motel. There’s even a free breakfast, which is all about the refillable coffee and piles of American pancakes. Yummmm.

Quality Inn

Quality Inn best hostels Santa Barbara
Quality Inn
  • $$$
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Daily Maid Service
  • 24 Hour Reception

When you think about budget accommodation, you might not think about it having a swimming pool but this top budget hotel in Santa Barbara has a super nice outdoor pool. So you can spend some time lingering around the pool, or take a stroll to one of the many beaches.

There’s a lot else to do nearby. And with free on-site parking, if you’re travelling by car, it’s simple to get around the city from here. The rooms are quality, as the name would suggest, if a little dated.

Inn at East Beach

Inn at East Beach best hostels Santa Barbara
Inn at East Beach
  • $$
  • Restaurant
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Free Parking

You know a hotel has to be amazing if it’s just a TWO-minute walk to the beach. One of the best budget hotels in Santa Barbara, this hotel has a touch of class about it. The hotel itself might be a little old but it has been well maintained and looked after by the friendly staff. You can choose from different room types to suit your travel needs, which is especially good if you’re travelling in a group.

Oasis Inn and Suites

Oasis Inn Suites best hostels Santa Barbara
Oasis Inn & Suites
  • $$
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free Parking
  • Free Breakfast

There isn’t much you can’t like about this place for what you get for the money. Staying here is like staying in a big villa with a pool, except you’re sharing with some other fun travellers too. Ok, it might not be the most glamorous place to stay in town, but it is totally one of the best budget hotels in Santa Barbara. It’s really fun to just laze around the pool, you know? And there’s a tasty free breakfast to set you up for the day.

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What to Pack for your Santa Barbara 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 Santa Barbara

Did you find the best hostel in Santa Barbara for you? There aren’t too many hostels to choose from, but what’s on offer is really cool and could suit a lot of different traveller’s needs.

And if hostels aren’t you’re thing, you can always go for one of the best budget hotels in Santa Barbara with their outdoor pools and free breakfasts.

If you’re still having a hard time making a decision about where to stay, don’t you worry – just go for our best overall hostel in Santa Barbara – The Wayfarer – and have the best trip ever!

The Wayfarer best hostels Santa Barbara
The Wayfarer

FAQ about Hostels in Santa Barbara

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Santa Barbara.

Travel Safety Tips for Santa Barbara

And don’t forget Travel Insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of Travel Insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

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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 Santa Barbara.

Planning an epic trip all across 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 Santa Barbara 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!


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