Shanghai is truly one of the coolest backpacking cities in all of Asia, and it comes at a surprisingly low price tag!

But Shanghai is massive, and figuring out where to stay can be difficult for budget travelers – which is exactly why we wrote this guide to the best hostels in Shanghai.

We’ve taken the best hostels in Shanghai and organized them by YOUR travel needs.

Whether you are traveling solo to Shanghai and looking to make some friends, or traveling as a couple and need a place to sleep, or just want the cheapest bed you can find, out list of the best hostels in Shanghai is here to help you during your travels to this awesome city!

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Shanghai

Best Hostels in Shanghai
Enjoy Shangai’s world-famous skyline with the help of our ultimate guide to the best hostels in Shanghai

What to Consider with the Best Hostels in Shanghai

When picking the best hostel in Shanghai (or anywhere in the world!), you should consider a few things…

  1. What is your travel style? A Digital Nomad traveling to Shanghai will have different needs from a couple traveling to Shanghai. Take into account what you need, and how you are traveling, then you can find a hostel that fits that.
  2. What is your budget? As more and more young people backpack and travel the world, the hostel scene gets better and better. Watching the developments in hostels worldwide over the past five years has been amazing. There are different types of hostels for different types of travelers and budgets. If you have a bit extra to spare, splurging on the right hostel can be totally worth it.
  3. What freebies does the hostel have? Our favorite travel hack is finding hostels that offer free breakfast. Yes, this cost is typically included in the price, but sometimes that small hike in cost for a dorm with a free brekkie is cheaper than paying for breakfast by yourself (especially in Western Europe or North America!). Other freebies to keep an eye out for is free towels, city tours, maps, lockers, locks coffee or maybe even shots!
Longhua Temple and Pagoda
Spiritual place in Southwest Shanghai

The 16 Best Hostels in Shanghai

Shanghai Hidden Garden

Shanghai Hidden Garden best hostels in Shanghai

Backpacking through China? Here’s another great youth hostel in Shanghai for solo travellers is Hidden Garden. For travellers who like to travel solo because they like to keep things low key, you’ll love Shanghai Hidden Garden. Their outdoor terrace is a glorious space, the ideal place to hang out in with your new found travel buddies or perhaps sit with a coffee and catch up on the travel diary. Hidden Garden is the only Shanghai backpackers hostel in the Lujiazui area and is less than a 10-minute walk away from the metro that will connect you to the rest of the city.

Mingtown Suzhou

Mingtown Suzhou best hostels in Shanghai

Mingtown Suzhou is the simpler sister of Mingtown Etour and is a tiny bit cheaper. Mingtown Suzhou is the best budget hostel in Shanghai if you’re a little more self-sufficient when you travel. Mingtown Suzhou offers guests use of their communal kitchen which goes a long way in keeping food costs down. Mingtown Suzhou is a gorgeous hostel incorporating traditional Chinese architecture and design. If you want to stay in an authentic but affordable hostel in Shanghai Mingtown Shuzhou is the place for you.

Meego Youth Hostel – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Shanghai

Meego Youth Hostel best hostels in Shanghai

The best hostel for digital nomads in Shanghai is Meego Youth Hostel. This modern, light and minimalist style hostel is perfect for digital nomads who need space to work and a decent internet connection too. Meego is a highly recommend hostel in Shanghai as they have both dorm rooms and private ensuites too. As a digital nomad, chances are you like to escape the dorms every now and again and Meego is the perfect place to do just that. Their bar area is quiet during the daytime, make it into your office!

Blue Mountain LuWan – Overall Best Hostel in Shanghai

Blue Mountain LuWan best hostels in Shanghai

The overall best hostel in Shanghai is Blue Mountain LuWan. This hugely popular hostel is the go-to hangout for backpackers in Shanghai. As the best hostel in Shangai in 2021, Blue Mountain LuWan can be found right in the heart of the city, and just opposite the metro station making it super easy to connect to where you wanna be. The staff at Blue Mountain LuWan know exactly what backpackers want to get out of their time in Shanghai and are happy to help organise tours and experiences through their travel desk.

Blue Mountain Bund

Another best hostel in Shangai in 2021 is Blue Mountain Bund. The Blue Mountain group have several hostels across Shanghai and all of them are top notch. Blue Mountain Bund is a popular Shanghai backpackers hostel and they’re always pretty busy. Be sure to book your bed soon! They’re located near East Nanjing Road metro station which is in the very centre of Shanghai city. The Blue Mountain Bund bar and cafe is the place to meet fellow travellers and the odd local too.

The Phoenix – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Shanghai

The Phoenix best hostels in Shanghai

The Phoenix is the best hostel for solo travellers in Shanghai not only for their great vibe but also their great location. As a solo traveller, you wanna be where the action is at and with their own bar and cafe, as well as rooftop terrace you’re spoiled for choice as to where you can look for new friends. The Phoenix is a top hostel in Shanghai as the dorms are clean, spacious and modern. The Bund area is less than a 15-minute walk away as is the Shanghai Museum and the Dongtai Road antique market.

Mingtown Etour – Best Cheap Hostel in Shanghai

Mingtown Etour best hostels in Shanghai

The best cheap hostel in Shanghai is Mingtown Etour. The owner Ma Zi has created a lovely hostel vibe here and incorporates traditional Chinese design into this modern yet homely hostel. The Mingtown Etour cafe serves up awesome fried rice, you’ve just gotta try it! As a top budget hostel in Shanghai Mingtown Etour offers guests free WiFi and use of laundry facilities for cents. The team are always happy to help in any way they can, they have their own tours and travel desk too.

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Aether Backpack

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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Rock&Wood – Best Hostel for Couples in Shanghai

Rock&Wood best hostels in Shanghai

The best hostel for couples in Shanghai is Rock&Wood, your host Lao Mu will look after you both with care and attention. The private rooms at Rock&Wood are affordable, charming and cosy. Rock&Wood is the perfect hostel for couples as you have the option to retreat to your room or mingle in the common areas, such as the bar or around the pool table. If you and your lover are looking to stay in a private room but don’t want to miss out on the hostel vibes in Shanghai you better book a room at Rock&Wood.

Blue Mountain Hongqiao

Blue Mountain Hongqiao best hostels in Shanghai

If you and your lover are looking for a private hostel room for a reasonable price in Shanghai take a look at Blue Mountain Hongqiao. As a highly recommended hostel in Shanghai Blue Mountain Hongqiao is perfect for travelling pairs on a budget. Although simple, Blue Mountain Hongqiao has everything you can need and their private rooms even have ensuite bathrooms. Blue Mountain Hongqiao is spotlessly clean and the staff are keen to help in any way that they can.

Le Tour – Best Party Hostel in Shanghai

Le Tour best hostels in Shanghai

Admittedly Shanghai isn’t much of a party destination. However, if you are looking for the best party hostel in Shanghai you should check out Le Tour. If you’re keen to share a beer or two after you’ve been out exploring Shanghai’s sights and sounds you’d be happy in your choice of Le Tour. There is always a really varied group of people staying here, from all corners of the globe. Le Tour is the coolest hostel in Shanghai in terms of location, they’re placed close to Nanjing West Road where you’ll find tonnes of bars, clubs, restaurants and shops. This hostel is also a great place to experience the Chinese Spring Festival, or any of China’s festivals for that matter!


Beehome best hostels in Shanghai

Beehome is a great youth hostel in Shanghai for digital nomads. Their hostel cafe is the perfect place to pitch up an office for a day or two and the internet connection is reliable. The Beehome team are super helpful and can help you organise your onward travel plans. Beehome is in the business district of Shanghai, ideal for digital nomads who need to meet their clients and colleagues in person when in Shanghai.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Best Hostels in Shanghai

Are you looking to stay in specific neighborhood? Check out our guide to Shanghai’s best areas to stay.

Soho People’s Square Youth Hostel

Soho People's Square Youth Hostel best hostels in Shanghai

Soho People’s Square is a great youth hostel in Shanghai lying just one metro stop away from the Shanghai Museum and two stops from the Bund. Soho People’s Square is a cosy and charming Shanghai backpackers hostel that is great for solo travellers or small groups of friends who want to stay somewhere chilled out and low key. There is WiFi throughout the building and they even have their own little cafe, serving up a decent breakfast for just a few renminbi.

Captain Youth Hostel

Captain Youth Hostel best hostels in Shanghai

Captain Youth Hostel is a super popular budget hostel in Shanghai. Located in the Bund area Captain Youth Hostel is a great place to base yourself for your Shanghai adventures. The dorm rooms are bright, clean and spacious. Travellers leave Captain Youth Hostel happy and with a new group of friends too. As Captain Youth Hostel is so popular if you wanna stay here you’ve gotta book your bed ASAP.

Green House Hostel

Green House Hostel best hostels in Shanghai

Green House Hostel is a locally run, basic homestay-style hostel. There is a real homely feel to Green House Hotel and your host Julie will be happy to help where she can. Green House Hostel is an often overlooked Shanghai backpackers hostel as it is small and a little off the beaten track. Guests are welcome to use the communal kitchen to cook for themselves, just make sure you clear up afterwards!

Shanghai Chi Chen

Shanghai Chi Chen best hostels in Shanghai

Chi Chen is a stylish, affordable and recommended hostel in Shanghai. With a range of dorms and private rooms, Chi Chen has something for everyone. This isn’t necessarily a ‘true’ backpackers, more of a hotel with dorm rooms but nevertheless, real backpackers love it here. Ideally located a 15-minute walk from Yu Garden and just 20-minutes from Nanjing Road,  Shanghai Chi Chen ticks all the right boxes. Whether you’re travelling solo, with your lover or with your crew, if you fancy something a little bit different think about Chi Chen.

City Central

City Central best hostels in Shanghai

City Central is a top hostel in Shanghai and in the Putuo District. City Central is great for travellers who want to stay in the heart of Shanghai in a buzzing and vibrant international setting. Make sure you stay over the weekend for the dumpling party every Friday night! City Central is a friendly and sociable budget hostel in Shanghai, ideal for backpackers who want to meet new people, explore the city and, of course, get a good nights sleep all the while!

What to Pack for your Shanghai 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.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

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.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

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.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

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.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for our top packing tips!

Why you should travel to Shanghai

Backpacking Shanghai is thrilling, and will be a highlight of your trip to China. Hopefully with the help of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of the best hostels in Shanghai so you can book confidently, and explore this kick ass city.

And remember, if you are having a hard time picking which of the best hostels in Shanghai to book, go with Blue Mountain LuWan – our pick for top hostel in Shanghai for 2021!

Blue Mountain LuWan best hostels in Shanghai

FAQ about Hostels in Shanghai

Here are some questions backpackers ask about hostels in Shanghai.

How much does a hostel cost in Shanghai?

The average price of hostels in Shanghai can range from $19 – $34+ per night. Of course, the private rooms are on the higher end of the scale than the dorm beds.

What are the best hostels in Shanghai for couples?

Rock&Wood is our best hostel for couples in Shanghai. It’s affordable, charming and cosy.

What is the best hostel in Shanghai near the airport?

The Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is quite far from the central area, so it is usually better to find the best place that offers airport transfers. Once you’re in the city, we highly recommend Shanghai Hidden Garden, less than a 10-minute walk away from the metro that will connect you to the airport.

Travel Safety Tips for Shanghai

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!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in China and Asia

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Shanghai.

Planning an epic trip all across China or even Asia itself?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Asia, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Shanghai has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure! Book your hostel, and then read our guide to spending a few days in Shanghai!

If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Shanghai and China?

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!