Sapporo sits like a big Buddha atop northern Japan’s island of Hokkaido. A hotspot for snow tourism and the festivities of the winter season, Japan’s fifth largest city is a must-have on that rising sun itinerary.
As you are most likely aware, there a number of stark dissimilarities between western culture and that of the very far east. These are usually exceedingly fun to explore (especially the bathrooms), and Sapporo hospitality is too!
Finding a great place to stay can sometimes be a challenge due to a consistent overload of choice, information, and prices out there. Luckily, you’ve got me (phew close call), and I’ll take you over a couple of my top Sapporo hostel picks. There is a hostel to suit every preference, so whether you’re looking for a messy rave or just a cheap, quiet place to rest up, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s look at the best hostels in Sapporo!
Quick answer: The Best Hostels in Sapporo
- Overall Best Hostel in Sapporo – Sappolodge
- Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Sapporo – Untapped Hostel
- Best Cheap Hostel in Sapporo- Grids Sapporo
- Best Party Hostel in Sapporo – The Stay Sapporo
What to Expect from Hostels in Sapporo
I am a big fan of turning up in a place and seeing what I can get away with. However, after a few too many park bench experiences, I have slowly learnt that spending time hostel planning cuts a modicum of travel stress from the whole affair.
Hostels in Sapporo are generally more active and exciting than the Japanese norm. With a famously young population, there is a local fascination with travellers, and you will be regarded with respect and intrigue.
Quite a few places were forced shut due to the universally despised pandemic. Thankfully, a handful of our favourite hostels have remained open, and are ready to take you in!
As fewer hostels = less cheap accommodation, it is worth booking well in advance to ensure your space. Hostels in Japan are not dirt cheap, but each has its own quirks and character to make up for it. I’ve listed here the average hostel price you can expect:
- Private Rooms: $42-120
- Dorms (mixed or female only): $20-30
You’ll find most Sapporo hostels on HOSTELWORLD. I’ve gone to the trouble of collecting a bunch of other cheap(ish) accommodation options for you too, so if you’re struggling, you can always come back here. Hostelworld goes into more detail about each hostel and has handy reviews to read (although these are not always helpful).
Most hostels are centred in the Chuo area, just north of Nakajima park. This is a great place to be, and Sapporo’s fantastically reliable metro system makes it super easy to scoot over to other districts. The Sapporo station is in this area too, so if you pick a hostel here, you won’t have to worry too much about your next move.
Visit Sapporo for its unique style and more relaxed atmosphere than the bulk of Japan. Summer is awesome, highlighting Japanese gardening and space skills. Winter is cold, so definitely don’t forget to pack your winter gear before embarking on a mission here. The Sapporo snow festival, which deserves an hour or two of your time, is host to some of the world’s craziest ice and snow sculptures.
It’s definitely worth finding out where to stay in Sapporo before your trip. There are top places that merit a little research.
The Best Hostels in Sapporo
Sapporo is hip and there’s plenty to see and do. It is famous for its mountains, snow, beer, and ramen. That’s a hell of a tantalizing combination and makes a great stop on your Japan backpacking itinerary.
Here are 5 of the top hostel picks in the city. These are all awesome places that will make your stay a breeze, and you’ll probably even meet some cool people while you’re at it!
1. Overall Best Hostel in Sapporo – Sappolodge
While potentially a bit expensive, Sappolodge remains our choice for the best hostel in Sapporo in 2024. When you take into account the great atmosphere, top-notch facilities, and high standards of comfort, this hostel confidently tops the table.
The bar is lively, public transportation is close to hand, Wi-Fi is free, and beds are bigger than most (in Japan). The staff members are friendly, and the kitchen is well-equipped. Housekeeping services keep the place looking fabulous and there’s a tour desk to help you plan your explorations and adventures in Sapporo. It’s a quality stay.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Funky hang-out area
- Insider information on local hotspots
- Japanese down-filled quilts and big beds
The bar doubles up as a restaurant and both beer and food are reasonably priced and super tasty. The locals are very friendly and love meeting the travellers who pass through, and are willing to give you top tips on where to go to get the most out of your stay in Sapporo.
The beds are large (like a standard and a half) so you will have a fair amount of space to stretch out in. Comfortable duvets and quilts will make sure that you sleep incredibly, ready for a day of adventuring!
The cosy atmosphere in the social spaces cultivates a friendly vibe, and since travelling to Japan usually attracts a great spectrum of travellers, it is easy to make friends. This Sapporo hostel is our top pick for this reason. Free wifi too!
2. Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Sapporo – Untapped Hostel
Untapped Hostel is the best hostel for solo travellers in Sapporo. Owing to its previous life as an eel restaurant, this hostel boasts a rustic wooden design and unique spaces. It’s a perfect place to stay during those snowy days.
On the first floor, the restaurant ‘GOHANYA HARUYA’ (which needs to be in caps) serves traditional Japanese dishes, as well as drinks. After a long day skiing, snowboarding, or exploring the nearby attractions, coming back to hot food right on your doorstep is an undeniable comfort.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Cosy spaces
- Train station access
- ‘Gohanya Haruya’ restaurant
There is an outdoor terrace for enjoying a slice of the outside during the summer, a well-equipped home-style communal kitchen, and a comfy lounge area. It’s super easy to get hold of a cup of tea, and this is great for recuperating after a chilly day out and socialising with other travellers. Just remember your hostel etiquette– important for making friends.
The atmosphere at this hostel is fantastic for meeting other travellers. The cosy vibes, communal air, and comfy hangout area all combine to make sure that you won’t be lacking in company. On top of this, the train station is located only a minute away, giving you great access to other parts of the city and onward travel destinations.
Dorms may sleep ten people, but the pod-style beds provide those hard-sought sweet dreams and a restful night. You can enter your cocoon-like space and close yourself away from the rest of the world. Each bed has a reading light and a power outlet. Wi-Fi is free and the hostel has laundry facilities, 24-hour security, and housekeeping.
3. Best Cheap Hostel in Sapporo – Grids Sapporo
An attractive hostel in Sapporo within Tanuki Koji shopping mall, Grids Sapporo Hotel & Hostel is just a short walk from many of Sapporo’s major attractions. Neutral shades and natural materials add to its appeal. It is marketed as a combination between a hostel and a hotel, so although there are shared facilities and spaces, expect a muted atmosphere. But it’s cheap!
The great placement is one of the top features; you can reach Odori Park, the TV Tower, Sapporo Clock Tower and the Old Road Station all within an easy walk. On top of this, there are great places to eat straight out the front door, so if you’re not a cooker, this is a top choice!
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Fantastic location
- Large living area
There are mixed and female-only 30-bed dorms, as well as single, twin, double, triple, and four-bed rooms. Whilst rooms might well seem populated, each bed comes with curtains to maintain your privacy, and are (thankfully) on the larger side.
Grids Sapporo has a range of rooms to choose from and offers some of the cheapest private rooms in the city, so if you’re looking for your own space, this hostel has got you covered! Japan is an expensive country, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it inexpensively if you keep your eyes open.
There is a small shared kitchen, with facilities to accommodate a surprising number of cooks simultaneously. You will have access to laundry facilities, lockers, fridge/freezer space, and free wifi.
This hostel is a great choice for travellers looking for a quiet place to stay, and so works out well for digital nomads (who need a little of that every now and then).
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4. Best Party Hostel in Sapporo – The Stay Sapporo
The best party hostel in Sapporo, The Stay Sapporo can be found just a short walk from Susukino subway station. With city views, large communal areas, and awesome Singapore-style sleeping pods, this hostel won’t disappoint.
Meet other guests and chill in the lounge, surf the free Wi-Fi, and unwind in front of either of the flatscreen TVs. The spaces are perfect for sharing stories, making friends, and recuperating after rushing around. If you’re super wiped, you can retreat into your personal little cabin, and revel in a little well-earned privacy.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Large and spacious communal areas
- Comfortable sleeping pods
- Great location
Whilst The Stay clearly augments its bottom line by the sheer number of guests it is able to accommodate, there is hardly a trade-off in terms of space and convenience. The larger common areas are definitely a bonus, and the kitchen has ample facilities to make sure you are not hanging around.
This Sapporo hostel offers bicycle rentals, which are a fantastic way of covering ground and getting used to the city. If you don’t fancy that, there is the nearby Susukino subway station and Shiseikan Shogakko Mae tram stop to spirit you around town. The Sapporo beer museum isn’t too far away either, and I heard they do free samples (with a tour obvs).
Prepare dinner in the shared kitchen or head out to one of the nearby restaurants for a great feed. The hostel is near the lively Susukino area, and there is bound to be some top-tier Japanese cuisine waiting for you there. Alternatively, you might be able to turn up the charm and convince (coerce?) a new friend into making you a meal, but don’t forget to pay them back with your own cooking sometime!
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More Epic Places to Stay in Sapporo
If we haven’t already given you the beans, check out the rest of our fabulous hostel collection. These places will have you gunning for travel to one of Japan’s most awesome cities.
Best Hostel for Skiing in Sapporo – Arura Sapporo
This hostel is a relatively new establishment and caters well to those who want to experience a little of the Sapporo ski culture alongside city attractions. The hosts are super friendly and ready to help you with whatever you need and will organise ski passes for you (as well as bar crawls and daytime excursions).
The hostel is protected by code locks on the main door, and on each individual dormitory. Located in a quiet residential area, the place feels ultra-secure and homely. The facilities are brand new, and there is a bar for relaxing in the evening. There is even a dog to make you feel properly at home!
Funkiest Hostel in Sapporo – Theatel Sapporo
Offering a semi-bohemian experience, Theatel Sapporo is dressed up like a theatre. Pods are available, as well as more pricey individual rooms. Bunk beds, surprising spaces, and a cool hangout area make this a great pick for an interesting stay. Laundry facilities are available.
Conveniently located in the prestigious Susukino, this hostel is close to the subway and the main Sapporo station. There is no kitchen, but there are microwaves, and free coffee is provided in the lobby. Skulling one or two of these before heading out might make your Sapporo experience even more enjoyable.
Cheapest Hotel in Sapporo – Hotel Sho
Rooms are clean, well-fitted, and come with a fridge and sleepwear (including slippers ooh). A bus to the airport goes from the stop across the street, and the subway is only a minutes’ walk. The Susukino entertainment area is only ten minutes away too!
While this budget hotel is nothing to write home about, it is centrally located, comfortable, cheap and has laundry facilities. Between two people, this hotel works out better than most hostels financially.
Best Hybrid Hostel in Sapporo – Plat Hostel Keikyu Sapporo Sky
Marketed towards slightly more independent or solo travellers, Plat hostel is well placed near the town centre and Susukino district (and the Sapporo station). With a great kitchen, and a collection of fantastically clean and comfy rooms, this hostel feels more like a hotel.
Staying is inexpensive, and each room comes ensuite with sink facilities. There is a café/restaurant across the street for any extra food needs, and the place is surrounded by parks.
What to Pack for your Sapporo Hostel
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
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Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!
FAQs about Hostels in Sapporo
Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked about hostels in Sapporo.
How much does a hostel cost in Sapporo?
The average price of hostels in Saporro ranges from $20-30 for dorms (mixed or female only), while private rooms cost $42-120. Since there are fewer hostels, it is worth booking well in advance to ensure your space.
What are the best hostels in Sapporo for couples?
I would definitely double up on our top choice SappoLodge. They have a great private room option for a cosy getaway! You are bound to stay social too with the downstairs bar, and awesome living space.
What are the best hostels in Sapporo near the airport?
Untapped Hostel, our best hostel for solo travellers in Sapporo, is 6.3 km from Okadama Airport.
Travel Safety Tips for Sapporo
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
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More Epic Hostels in Japan and Asia
Planning an epic trip all across Japan or even Asia itself?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!
For more cool hostel guides in Japan, check out:
Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in Sapporo
While it has a reputation as a ‘winter-wonderland’, Sapporo actually offers a ton of fun and value to travellers. Sure, it’s not cheap, but nowhere in Japan is. Remember to try and save some money by finding a hostel that has a kitchen (so you can cook) or that provides free breakfast, coffee or tea. These freebies really add up over time.
By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Sapporo has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure! Once you’ve booked your stay, plan your trip using our awesome Sapporo itinerary.
If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!
- Check out our ultimate guide backpacking around Japan.
- Figured out where you wanna stay? Now it’s time to pick the perfect hostel in Sapporo.
- Or… maybe you want to check out some capsule hotels in Sapporo instead.
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!