New York City needs no introduction. Having featured in countless movies and TV series, it’s like the A-list celebrity of global cities. With 290 skyscrapers and counting, the skyline is just the beginning of what’s on offer in this majestic city.

With Central Park, Times Square, The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty all being iconic landmarks of the city, there is much to enjoy and explore here.

Unfortunately, New York is by no means a cheap place to live in or to visit. But that doesn’t mean it’s a destination not to be missed, and there are a number of ways to get around breaking the bank to stay here.

I’ve figured out the five best cheap hostels in New York, so you can stay comfortably without stressing about money.

Keep in mind that prices are all relative to the city, so you’ll still have to budget accordingly.

Quick Answer: The Best Cheap Hostels in New York City

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    What to Expect From the Best Cheap Hostels in New York?

    No matter where you are in the world, New York City hostels are some of the best accommodation options for budget backpackers, solo travellers, and holidaymakers.

    You’ll almost always get the most affordable prices. But the unique social vibes are what really makes hostels stand out. You get to meet like-minded travellers from all over the world, share travel stories and tips and make new friends – without even having to leave the building!

    Hostels are a great way of saving money in New York, and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. From party-focused to digital nomad paradise, you’ll find so many different types of hostels in the city.

    As I mentioned above, hostels are the cheapest accommodation on the market. The general rule here is: the bigger the dorm, the lower the price.

    Private rooms are definitely more expensive but still range below the cost of a hotel or vacation rental in New York (with a few exceptions). Here are some of the average costs of a hostel in New York:

    • Dorm (mixed or female-only): $50-75/night
    • Private Room: $80-130/night

    When looking for a hostel, you’ll find most of the best hostels on HOSTELWORLD. There you can check out photos, detailed information about the place, and even reviews from previous guests. Just like other booking platforms, each hostel will have a rating, so you can easily pick out the hidden gems!

    New York is a very well connected city, but all the arrondissements are quite spread out and have their own vibes. When you’re looking for accommodation, you’ll have to find out where to stay in NYC first, before you can plan any further.

    Since there are so places to visit in New York City, you want to be sure to stay close to the buzz. Planning and preparing your trip will pay off in the long run.

    The 5 BEST Cheap Hostels in New York City

    There are many hostels in New York, but these cheap-o’s are by far the best hostels tucked away in the city!

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    Best Overall Hostel in New York City – Chelsea International Hostel

    Chelsea International Hostel
    • Outdoor terrace
    • Free Breakfast
    • Communal lounge
    • Air-con

    Chelsea International Hostel is a mainstay of New York’s hostel scene. It’s been in business since 1992 and is one of the largest independent hostels in NYC. 

    Situated inside a historic building, this budget New York hostel is pretty spacious. There are plenty of rooms with an old-world sort of feel, complete with an impressive staircase and gleaming tiled floors. The rooms themselves are admittedly simple, but there’s not a bunk bed in sight.

    It’s not the most modern place to stay in the Big Apple, but the outdoor courtyard is a huge selling point. The free breakfast and other complimentary perks also raise this hostel up in our estimation.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    Situated in the middle of Manhattan, it’s super easy to access a host of top New York City attractions from here. For example, Times Square and Central Park are just a 15-minute stroll away, while Highline Park is two blocks away. Other nearby highlights include the world-famous Empire State Building, and the hostel is surrounded by numerous subway lines. 

    Back at the hostel, you’ve got a selection of different rooms to suit your travel needs. Let’s start with the dorms:

    • Male dorm
    • Female dorm

    There are also private rooms. Your options include:

    • Single private
    • Twin room
    • Basic double bed
    • Basic double bed private with en-suite bathroom

    Prices here are from $36 USD per night.

    Chelsea International Hostel New York USA_2

    Any extras?

    This place isn’t just a top choice for a budget hostel in New York because of its room rates. The facilities and amenities going on here also help make it a decent place to stay, too. Cast your eyes below:

    • Housekeeping
    • Hairdryers
    • Towels included
    • Security lockers (additional fee)

    Overall, Chelsea International Hostel is pretty basic, but it’s well-loved. People come back here time and time again. The place is clean, the staff is great, and that location simply cannot be beaten. This is a good base for a few days in NYC if you don’t mind no-frills accommodation.

    Best Hostel in New York City for Solo Travellers – HI NYC Hostel

    HI NYC Hostel
    • Outdoor patio terrace
    • Games room
    • Cafe
    • Communal kitchen

    Part of Hostelling International, this cheap New York hostel is as affordable as it is reliable. For one thing, it’s situated on a Victorian-style property and has some great aesthetic value. It kind of looks like the apartment building in Friends, actually.

    Inside there are a host of social spaces and lounges for guests to hang out in think huge kitchen, games room, and even a cafe. But for us (and many guests), the icing on the cake has to be the enormous outdoor sunken patio. It’s the largest private outdoor patio in Manhattan, and hanging out here when the weather’s good is awesome.

    Rooms here aren’t overly swish, but they’re colourful and clean. The beds also don’t feel confined, which is always nice. 

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    You’ll find this hostel in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, two blocks from a subway station and just a couple minutes’ stroll from Times Square and Central Park. Thanks to that subway stop, it’s a breeze to travel around New York from this location – you can be in SoHo or Brooklyn in just a few minutes.

    Though there aren’t any private rooms, this budget-friendly Manhattan accommodation does have some dorms to choose from:

    • Mixed dorm
    • Female dorm

    Prices here start at $40 per night.

    HI NYC Hostel New York USA_2

    Any extras?

    Being part of the Hostelling International chain, this is a well-trusted (and highly-rated) hostel that has more going for it than just a cheap bunk. The amenities on offer at this landmark NYC hostel include:

    • Laundry facilities
    • Vending machines
    • 24-hour reception
    • Private lockers

    As well as being one of the hands-down best cheap hostels in New York City, this place also happens to be pretty social. The outdoor terrace provides the backdrop for meeting fellow travelers, while the games room has pool tables and ping pong on offer. This hostel should meet all your needs, while providing a cool base from where you can explore the city!

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    Best Party Hostel in New York City – The Local NYC

    The Local NYC New York USA
    • Roof terrace
    • Computer lounge
    • Event space
    • Bar-cafe (with craft beer)

    Worlds away from some of the other budget hostels in New York, The Local is a truly hip hangout for travelers after good value and cool aesthetics. It’s just so much more modern and on-point than other places, with some real NYC vibes going on.

    They say staying here is like staying with a friend – and the reviews seem to back that up. There are numerous glowing reports of just how amazing this place is to stay at, particularly if you’re visiting New York on a budget.

    There’s a nice communal environment, complete with a bar-cafe decked out in industrial-chic decor and craft beer on tap. But it never gets too rowdy, which strikes up a nice balance between fun and actually allowing you to be able to get a good night’s sleep.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    Situated in the revitalised LIC (Long Island City) neighbourhood in the borough of Queens, The Local is a great base from which to explore New York. It’s less than 15 minutes by subway to get to the sights and sounds of Manhattan island.

    In fact, it’s just a 10-minute stroll to the funky MoMa PS1 (a contemporary art gallery), as well as riverside parks, music venues, and flea markets. There are also amazing views of the Manhattan skyline from here. 

    In terms of rooms, you’ll have the following dorm options available to you at The Local:

    • Female dorm
    • Male dorm
    • Mixed dorm

    Not a fan of communal sleeping arrangements? Don’t worry, you can opt for a private room instead: 

    • Quad room with en-suite bathroom
    • Twin room with en-suite bathroom
    • Double with en-suite bathroom

    Prices start from $53 per person, per night. 

    The Local NYC New York USA_2

    Any extras?

    Being a fairly funky hostel, The Local has some cool amenities to match. Guests will be able to take advantage of the following: 

    • Luggage storage
    • Free WiFi
    • Luxury linens and towels
    • Key card access

    Wondering what goes down in that event space? Well, there’s a whole lot:

    • Movie nights
    • Art shows
    • Stand-up comedy
    • Wine and beer tasting
    • Live music

    You may not like your hostels to be quite this fancy, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. The Local may just be the best budget hostel in New York. It’s a trendy hub for creatives, and it’s ideal for those who want to see another side to NYC away from the tourist sights of central Manhattan.

    Best Cheap Hostel in New York City – Q4 Hostel

    Q4 Hostel
    • No curfew
    • Fast Free WiFi
    • Game and TV lounges
    • Lockers available

    The Q4 Hostel happens to be a pretty great cheap hostel in New York. It’s definitely not the fanciest place to stay rooms here are basic, after all. But throughout, the hostel is clean and modern. 

    That said, don’t expect much. This is definitely a no-frills sort of place, but it’s ideal for spending a night or two in New York.

    One thing we do like about this place is that you don’t get any huge dorms, they are a maximum of 8, meaning you never be crammed into a room with dozens of other people. In fact, it’s all pretty spacious. And each dorm room has its own private bathroom too!

    Add to this the friendly staff, the social communal spaces, and the added security of lockers in each room, Q4 Hostel shapes up to be a solid base for exploring the city.

    Why you’ll love this hostel:

    Situated in Queens – 10 minutes walk from Queensbridge Park – the surrounding area is packed with local eateries, cafes, bars, and supermarkets. It’s also just a block away from the F, N, and W train, which puts you in easy striking distance of Manhattan.

    Room options include:

    • Female dorm
    • Mixed dorm

    There are also some private rooms to choose from, including:

    • Double bedroom
    • 10 bed private room for groups

    Prices start from $35 USD per night.

    Q4 Hostel New York

    Any extras?

    Basic though it may be, this budget NYC hostel also has a few perks and facilities to make it worth your while:

    • 24-hour reception
    • Self-catering kitchen
    • Daily Housekeeping
    • Air conditioning

    To conclude, Q4 Hostel isn’t the cheapest hostel in New York, but it’s great value for money. It provides a solid choice of private rooms in particular, that make staying cheaply in this exciting metropolis definitively do-able.

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      Best Hostel in New York City for Digital Nomads – American Dream Hostel

      American Dream Hostel New York
      • Free breakfast
      • Free tea/coffee all day
      • Board games
      • Free WiFi

      This budget hostel in New York guarantees a homely vibe. It’s a family-run joint that’s been in operation for the past 20 years, and it’s the charm that keeps bringing people back.

      Reviews are pretty positive, but do be aware that this place isn’t the most-chic or modern. It’s comfortable though, and the staff will make you feel at home whether you’re staying in New York for two days or two months!

      Eating in New York isn’t cheap, so the free breakfast included in the deal is a game-changer. It’s a social place to be, despite its not-so central location.

      Why you’ll love this hostel:

      This budget-friendly NYC hostel is situated in the historic Manhattan neighbourhoods of Gramercy Park and Flatiron District. This central setting means you’ll be close to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and Union Square. Getting around is a breeze, thanks to 23 Street subway station that’s just a four-min walk away.

      The room options at American Dream Hostel are limited to private rooms (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). These include:

      • Single room
      • Standard twin room
      • Standard double bed room

      Prices start from $75 USD per night.

      American Dream Hostel New York_2

      Any extras?

      It’s basic, but guests will have access to the following amenities:

      • Free snacks all day
      • Communal kitchen
      • Security lockers
      • Air-con

      Overall, American Dream Hostel is a bit more like a bed and breakfast than a hostel. What really sells it is that amazing location, of course. It’s pretty hard to resist.

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      Cheap Hostels in New York FAQ

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      Final Thoughts on Cheap Hostels in New York

      I know that New York is a notoriously expensive city, so staying in a hostel is an ideal way to stick to a budget on your trip to the Big Apple. There are a fair few hostels in the city, each of them offering something different to travelers.

      If you’re staying in Manhatten, you’re going to need to expect to pay a little more than you would for a hostel in Queens of Brooklyn, for example. Staying anywhere near the main attractions like Central Park or Times Square automatically bumps the price up, so if you really want to save some pennies, look at staying a little further afield.

      No matter what kind of traveler you are, there will always be a bed for you in one of New York’s top hostels. Serving up a safe space to sleep and socialize, you’ll be able to enjoy a budget-friendly stay in the big city.


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