Ah Seattle: the ultra green, hip coastal city found in Washington State, USA. Situated in the Pacific Northwest of the US, Seattle is home to a wide array of awesome activities for every traveler.
Cool outdoor markets, delicious restaurants, and the nearby Cascades mountain range make Seattle a happening spot at the moment.
Like most places in the United States, Seattle has the reputation of being cost prohibitive for backpackers on a budget.
That is exactly why I wrote this guide to the best hostels in Seattle for 2021.
After reading this hostel guide you will be in the know about all of Seattle’s best budget offerings.
Stay in cool neighborhoods and experience the best of what the city has to offer without spending a fortune.
No matter what type of traveler you are, I am convinced that you will find the right hostel for your own needs and budget. That’s what I’m about!
Seattle is a super fun city. This hostel guide covering the best hostels in Seattle is your key to sleeping cheap (and comfortable) in “Emerald City”.
Let’s get right to it…
What to Expect from Hostels in Seattle?
Hostels are generally known to be one of the cheapest forms of accommodation on the market. That doesn’t just go for Seattle, but pretty much every place in the world. However, that’s not the only good reason for staying at a hostel. The unique vibe and social aspect is what makes hostels TRULY special. Head down to the common room, make new friends, share travel stories and tips, or just have a great time with like-minded travellers from all over the world – you won’t get that opportunity in any other accommodation.
Seattle’s hostels range from super modern and pricey, to pretty basic and cheap – and you’ll find pretty much everything along that range. There are quite a few youth hostels, which promotes a super young and active traveller crowd. Most hostels in Seattle are very focused on having a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, so you’ll feel right at home when you walk through the door.
Freebies are a luxury in Seattle. Unfortunately, only a few hostels offer free breakfast or sometimes the option of purchasing one for an affordable price. What you can definitely expect are travel desks and super helpful staff that are happy to share their insider knowledge of the city.
But let’s talk more about the important stuff – money and rooms! Seattle’s hostels normally have three options: dorms, pods, and private rooms (although pods are rare). Some hostels even offer large private rooms for a group of friends. The general rule here is: the more beds in a room, the cheaper the price. Obviously, you won’t have to pay as much for an 8-bed dorm as you would for a single bed private bedroom. To give you a rough overview of Seattle’s prices, we’ve listed the average numbers below:
- Dorm room (mixed or female-only): $30-42 USD/night
- Private room: $85-122 USD/night
When looking for hostels, you’ll find the best options on HOSTELWORLD. This platform offers you a super safe and efficient booking process. All hostels are displayed with a rating and previous guest reviews. You can also filter your personal travel needs easily and find the perfect place for you.
Seattle is a pretty big city, which is why it’s important to know where you’ll stay in Seattle BEFORE you start your travels. There are quite a few hostels in the city, but you should always choose the one closest to the attractions you want to visit. To help you out, we’ve listed our favorite Seattle neighborhoods below:
- Queen Anne – Queen Anne is a haven for sightseers and culture vultures. This centrally located neighbourhood is home to Seattle’s most iconic landmarks and attractions and one of the best places to stay in Seattle for first-timers.
- Pioneer Square – South of downtown Seattle’s central business district is Pioneer Square. The oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Pioneer Square seamlessly combines contemporary life with Seattle’s rich history and is the best area to stay in Seattle for party animals.
- Waterfront – The Downtown/Waterfront District is the heart, soul and centre of Seattle. It is where you’ll find world-renowned landmarks, including Pike Place Market.
The 5 Best Hostels in Seattle
Now that you know what to expect from hostels in Seattle, let’s have a look at the best options…
1. Overall Best Hostel in Seattle – HotelHotel Hostel
Hotel… hotel… hostel? What? We’re just as confused at the name of HotelHotel Hostel as you are, but don’t you worry about it – it’s still the overall best hostel in Seattle. Why’s that then? Well, first off it’s set in the quirky/hipster-y area of Fremont in Seattle, which hipsters will love and which non-hipsters will… like, but possibly be more bemused at than anything else.
But yeah, it’s a cool area – bars and pubs and eateries galore. With friendly staff added into the bargain, as well as a clean space to stay in, and a very decent kitchen, it’s no wonder this place is the best hostel in Seattle 2021.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Free breakfast
- Free city maps
- Great location
Let’s start with the obvious: the reviews! Hostelworld ranks their hostels on the platform on a scale from 1 to 10, depending on the guests reviews. And HotelHotel Hostel is really showing off with a 9.9/10 score. This is pretty impressive already, but once you take into consideration that it has over 1700 reviews, you really start realizing that this place must offer some real bang for you buck.
And it does! HotelHotel Hostel may be small, but it’s packed with character. The modern private and mixed dorms are designed to be comfortable and practical. Perks include free linen, private lockers for your valuables and towels to hire. On top of that, you get served a delicious free breakfast every morning – the perfect way to start the day in Seattle!
2. Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Seattle – Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel
Green Tortoise is right across the road from 110-year-old Pike Place Market, which is a really cool place to wander about, eat, drink, explore and be merry. All of that stuff. Maybe because of this buzzy location, maybe because of the amazing staff, but Green Tortoise is a great place to meet fellow travellers, which easily makes it the best hostel for solo travellers in Seattle.
Basically, this is a classic Seattle backpackers hostel, tried-and-true, and the vibe is friendly fun. Bicycle hire here makes it so you can pedal around the birthplace of Starbucks in a whimsical fashion.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Boardgames and Foosball
- ATM and currency exchange on-site
- Super friendly staff
The Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel is all about great food, friendly people and unforgettable experiences. Tuck into the hearty free breakfast of oatmeal, eggs and fruit before venturing out to explore Seattle’s not-to-be-missed sights. The hostel offers some fun activities like their famous pub crawls three times a week.
When it comes to amenities, Green Tortoise has quite a bit to offer as well. The cosy dorm rooms have bunk beds with linen included, plus a handy reading lamp, a small fan and four-point power outlet. That means you can charge your phone, iPad and camera all at the same time. They’ve also added privacy curtains for extra comfort and spacious storage lockers for all your gear. There’s also a kitchen and lots of common room space.
3. Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Seattle – HI Seattle at the American Hotel
We have no idea what’s going on with the name of this top hostel in Seattle, but we do know that it has an awesome location that makes it super interesting for world travellers – that’s the existence of the Chinatown/the International District, which makes for amazing places to eat and a cool place to explore.
Whilst only a really teensy bit more pricey than any other youth hostel in Seattle, it does offer a free breakfast, and there are plenty of places to lounge around- err, we mean work. Work. On your laptop. Rooms are a little bit, hmm, cosy, but it’s fine.
Why you’ll love this hostel:
- Table football
- Laundry facilities
- Late checkout
Let’s talk a bit more about the awesome location. Within steps of the front door you’ll find plenty of ways to get around, including trams, buses, trains, ferries and bike rentals. The International District/Chinatown light rail and bus station is less than 5 minutes’ walk away. If you’re here to explore the city, HI Seattle at the American Hotel is a top choice.
Both dorms and private rooms have been highly rated by previous travellers. They’re bright, comfy and extremely clean – the ideal place to give your feet a bit of rest after walking around the city all day. If you want to socialize a bit more, head to the common area and make some new friends. The atmosphere is always super welcoming and friendly so that even the shyest backpacker feels comfortable.
From laundry room, amazing housekeeping and staff, to late check-out and table football, you’ll find everything a traveller could ask for at HI Seattle at the American Hostel.
Psst! 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!
More Epic Hostels in Seattle
Of course, there’s more to Seattle than sharing rooms with strangers in a hostel. If that’s not your bag, then there are still a whole bunch of hotels to choose from. So here are some of the best hotels in Seattle.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Seattle – City Hostel Seattle
Did anyone say renovated 1920s hotel? Because that’s what we’re dealing with here. Yep, this recommended hostel in Seattle is set in a historic building with the prestige of having played host to a bunch of movie stars back in the day. In light of this, this Seattle backpackers hostel got 47 local artists to design and paint the rooms here, which is pretty cool actually.
As such, it’s the best hostel with a private room in Seattle – but the dorms are wildly cheaper than any of the private rooms, though. Which is fine if you’re not after a budget hostel in Seattle.
Best Budget Hotel in Seattle – Georgetown Inn
The jump from hostel to budget hotel in Seattle is quite a bit in terms of costs, but then again that’s the price of staying at a hotel innit. And, yeah, sure, it’s a little bit basic but it’s ALSO a little bit boutique-y; the rooms are modern, but not exactly design-oriented or Insta-friendly, but they are super clean. Georgetown Inn also features a decent location on top of everything else.
There’s also a continental breakfast involved, which is totally free. On top of that, the staff are super good. All in all, for what you get for the price, this is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Seattle on a budget.
Best Mid-range Hotel in Seattle – 11th Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast
Ugh, this place is so nice. It’s like, an old townhouse of some sort, and inside it’s all pure antique opulence, with loads of dark wood furniture, decorative touches and a whole load of other aesthetic magic tricks (e.g. parquet floors) that make 11th Avenue Inn really, really cool. Top marks for being Instagram-friendly. Though slightly pricey, we’d still say this is a hugely good option for the best mid-range hotel in Seattle.
The breakfast is free (AND AMAZING), the location is amazing, the rooms are spacious and lavish. It’s one of those places that feels WAY out of your league but ends up being pretty reasonable. Couples will especially fall for this place, seriously. Best of all you are tuly in the middle of everything so you are close to all of the best things to do in Seattle. Just food for thought.
Best Splurge Hotel in Seattle – Inn at the Market
Super soft beds, epic city views, cool minimalist decor – dang, the value for money at Inn at the Market is a huge reason why it’s the best splurge hotel in Seattle. No point splurging if you’re splurging on a chain hotel or something equally uninspiring, amiright? So if you’re gonna yolo it, do so here. Honestly, those views are amazing.
And every single member of staff you’ll meet are gonna be personable and helpful – no doubt about it. Location-wise, well, it’s in the heart of the popping Pike Place Market. Plus the on-site bar combined with amazing views makes for memorable nights, that’s for sure.
Easily one of the top hotels in Seattle, the Best Western Plus Pioneer Square is worth it when it comes to the price, which is sorta at the upper end of mid-range in terms of hotels in Seattle. Surprisingly though the decor here isn’t exactly cutting-edge or design-led – it’s a little bit cliched and old-school, but some people will naturally love that classic, historical kinda vibe going on here.
The amazing location will make you forget that though since this is in the heart of Seattle. Combined with a free breakfast and this one’s a winner.
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!
Whoa, this place is, like, unexpectedly cool. Think painted white exposed brick, minimalist furnishings, all that kinda stuff, and you have yourself a pretty nice backdrop for staying in Seattle. Quite possibly the coolest hotel in Seattle, the aptly named Ace Hotel is totally contemporary with none of the floral antique-ish-ness that you’ll find in other top Seattle hotels.
So if aesthetics is your vibe, and you wanna be in the heart of Seattle, then we’d definitely recommend a stay at Ace. Though it’s not exactly a budget hostel in Seattle, it is a LOT cheaper (and cooler) than other hotels.
Close to pretty much everything and with a sick little rooftop sorta terrace going on for awesome city views, this is yet another recommended hotel in Seattle. The rooms are sort of basic, with a ’90s office kinda feel to them, but they also come with desks and kitchenettes so you can choose to be a bit more budget if you feel like it – and you might want to since this hotel isn’t exactly budget-hotel-in-Seattle prices.
It is in a good location, though, and the staff are efficient and helpful. For the freedom, this room allows you (making coffee, putting some toast on, etc.) the value here is pretty good TBH.
FAQ about Hostels in Seattle
Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Seattle.
Travel Safety Tips for Seattle
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!
Over to You
Well my friends, the time has come to say goodbye: you have made it to the end of my best hostels in Seattle 2021 list.
As you know Seattle isn’t the cheapest backpacker destination. But hopefully with the help of this hostel guide, you are now aware of all of your budget options in the city.
The goal of writing this guide was to lay out all of the best hostels in Seattle in a way that makes it easy for everyone to find the right place to stay for their budget.
You are now armed with all of the accommodation information you need to have an awesome time exploring one of America’s finest cities. If you’re looking for more inspiration on what to do in Seattle, check out this suggested itinerary.
Where you stay matters. I hope you are now able to quickly and easily book the hostel or budget hotel that called to you, so you can spend more time enjoying Seattle on a budget.
Remember the best hostels in Seattle do book out fast, so certainly don’t wait until the last minute to book yourself in…
Still feeling stumped about which hostel is the best hostel in Seattle? Not quite sure which one to book? No problem…
When in doubt I recommend that you just book my top pick for the best hostel in Seattle: HotelHotel Hostel.
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