Where to Stay in Sapporo (2020 • COOLEST Areas!)

JUMP TO:   In a Hurry?   |   Best Accommodation    |    Neighborhood Guide    |    First Time in Sapporo?

This guide covers where to stay in Sapporo, our favorite places and things to do in Sapporo, & the best hotels and hostels in each area!

Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

There’s something magical about Sapporo, what with the most magnificent ice sculpture festival in the world and all.

It’s a new city in an ancient country and welcomes about 1 million foreign tourists each year. 

But in a land where even the written language can’t be deciphered without years of training, how are you ever going to figure out the best place to lay your weary head?

That’s where we come in! Our expert travel team have come up with a useful, one-of-a-kind guide so you know the best neighbourhood to pick, based on what’s important to you.

Working out where to stay should be easy, leaving you with all the time needed to plan your culinary attack on the country. Japan is the land of sushi, ramen and teppanyaki, after all!

So let’s get to it, and before long you’ll be navigating the city with ease, confident in your knowledge of exactly where to stay in Sapporo!

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Sapporo

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Odori Park
Odori Park is an extremely central area just three minutes walk away from the main Sapporo Station, where you’ll no doubt arrive after catching the train from the airport (about a one hour trip).
Places to Visit:
  • If you haven’t guessed… go to the Snow Festival!
  • Relax in the beer garden with a Ramune (lemonade) or a Sapporo.
  • Head up to the observation deck of the Sapporo TV Tower.

 

Where to Stay in Sapporo

Are you more about the exact right accommodation, rather than the location? Check out our top picks for just the best-darned hotel and hostel in Sapporo!

 

Best Hostel in Sapporo – Igloo Dorm and Breakfast

This is a small guest house in Sapporo. It’s close to the main subway station and easy access to the centre of the city! Close to the nightlife hot-spot of Susukino, Igloo Dorm is a great base to explore the city… and the hostel itself is just the cutest!

Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in Sapporo!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Sapporo – Cute japanese studio 

When visiting Japan, it’s always handy to live close to a public transport option. This Airbnb is just moments away from the tram and subway station. The apartment is bright, with a mixture between the western and Japanese style. The kitchen is fully equipped and ready for use. You can walk to Susukino or Odori park without a problem.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Sapporo – La’gent Stay Sapporo

La’gent Stay Sapporo features a 24/7 reception with helpful staff! The hotel is close to Sapporo’s well-known attractions, with Sapporo Clock Tower just a 10-minute walk away. There are 219 modern rooms at La’gent Stay Sapporo each offering all you need to ensure a comfortable stay. 

View on Booking.com

 

Sapporo’s Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Sapporo

tbbn-table__image

Odori Park

  • Odori Park is an extremely central area just three minutes walk away from the main Sapporo Station, where you’ll no doubt arrive after catching the train from the airport (about a one hour trip).
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

South of the Station

  • The positioning of this one seems obvious. It’s the area you find when you head South out of Sapporo Station. However, as Susukino, Odori Park and Nakajima Park are all also technically in this area, we’re focusing more or less on the west bank of the Toyohira River and in from there.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Susukino

  • Susukino is often given as the answer when people are asked their favourite neighbourhood in Sapporo. We’ve picked it as the best area for nightlife, well, because it is!
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

North of the Station

  • North of the Station, again, is pretty easy to find. It’s everything on the other side of the Hakodate train line, from the centre of the city.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Nakajima Park

  • A little way south, but still to the west of the river, is Nakajima Koen, or Nakajima Park. This little area has it all. It’s easily accessible from the centre of town (one stop from Susukino), has a high concentration of accommodation options, and plenty of choice for eating and drinking.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel

 

Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s four major islands (of the 6,582 total they can claim as their own). It has been around for less than 200 years, making it an absolute baby in Japanese terms.

While a lot of people are only familiar with Sapporo for the Snow Festival – which is totally okay, it’s awesome – or the 1972 Winter Olympics, it’s a city with a whole lot more to offer!

Nestled in one of the most scenic areas of Japan, natural beauty is right at your doorstep, with a bunch of day trips available for you to maximise your Hokkaido time.

Right in the city, however, there are a number of fun and funky neighbourhoods awaiting your attention. While populous, with about 2 million inhabitants, Sapporo is built on a small scale, so finding your way around will be a breeze.

There’s the central entertainment district of Susukino, the hub of all things nightlife!

Or you’ve got the parks – Nakajima for nature and Odori for the events.

Then the directions – North of the Station and South of the Station. At least it’ll be easy for you to work out how to get home each day!

Whatever your priorities, Sapporo has an area just perfect for you!

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

 

Sapporo’s Five Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in…

Sapporo’s little, but there’s plenty of options of where to camp out. We’ve chosen the five best areas for a visitor, based on transport, activities and atmosphere!

 

#1 Odori Park – Where to Stay in Sapporo First Time

Odori Park is an extremely central area just three minutes walk away from the main Sapporo Station, where you’ll no doubt arrive after catching the train from the airport (about a one hour trip).

It’s the place to be in all seasons.

In winter it is home to the incredible Sapporo Snow Festival (this is the third time I’ve mentioned it already, can you tell I’m a fan?), as well as the Christmas illuminations and markets.

In spring, there’s the cherry blossoms, where locals will hold ‘Hanami’ parties. These flower-viewing picnics are not to be confused with the ‘Hanabi’, or fireworks, that are frequent events throughout the summer!

Oh, and there’s the summer festival, with its enormous beer garden. What better place to enjoy an iconic Sapporo Draft than in Sapporo?

It’s the kind of park where people hang out, just for the sake of it. Families, teenagers, couples, grandparents; this is a place to relax, listening to the music from the busking performers, with a snack from one of the vendors. 

To really get the lay of the land, you can head to the Sapporo TV Tower at the end of the park. This landmark stands directly in the centre of Sapporo, so is the best vantage point to see the city, and the nearby Maruyama Mountain, laid out in front of you. The admission fee is pretty reasonable, and kids get a discount if you’re travelling as a family.

Odori Park, Sapporo

 

Things to See and Do in Odori Park:

 – If you haven’t guessed… go to the Snow Festival! 

 – Relax in the beer garden with a Ramune (lemonade) or a Sapporo.

 – Head up to the observation deck of the Sapporo TV Tower. 

 – Try your luck at scooping balls from the water with a paper net, as a traditional Japanese festival game.

 – Wander the park, checking out the intricate floral displays and exhibits.

 

Best Hostel in Odori Park – Goen Lounge & Stay

Featuring a shared lounge, Goen Lounge & Stay Sapporo is located in Sapporo, a 10-minute walk from Odori Park. This 2-star hostel offers a 24-hour front desk. The property is 641 m from the city Sapporo City Center.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Odori Park – Cute japanese studio 

When visiting Japan, it’s always handy to live close to a public transport option. This Airbnb is just moments away from the tram and subway station. The apartment is bright, with a mixture between the western and Japanese style. The kitchen is fully equipped and ready for use. You can walk to Susukino or Odori park without a problem.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Odori Park – Sapporo View Hotel Odori Koen

Sapporo View Hotel Oodori Kouen is ideal for guests wishing to discover Sapporo and its surroundings. A short walk from Odori Park, the 4-star hotel provides comfortable rooms equipped with free wireless internet access, a refrigerator and slippers. 

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Odori Park – Hotel WBF Sapporo Odori

Hotel WBF Sapporo Odori features 57 air-conditioned rooms. Each has a bathroom that provides slippers and a hairdryer. For those wanting to stay nearby, the sophisticated restaurant is a great option, providing a range of French, Italian and local cuisine. 

View on Booking.com

 

#2 South of the Station – Where to Stay in Sapporo on a Budget

The positioning of this one seems obvious. It’s the area you find when you head South out of Sapporo Station. However, as Susukino, Odori Park and Nakajima Park are all also technically in this area, we’re focusing more or less on the west bank of the Toyohira River and in from there.

South of the Station is the old administrative centre of Sapporo, and if you stay quite close to the station you can find the old Government Building, now an impressive museum and tribute to days gone by.

The botanic gardens are here too, because Sapporo just loves a park! They’re actually affiliated with the University of Hokkaido and have their own museums onsite. A particular stand out is that based on the Ainu people, the indigenous people of northern Japan.

This is our top pick for the place to stay in Sapporo on a budget as it has the free attractions outlined above, and is within walking distance of all of the other areas and their activities too.  

The Nijo Market is a great place to visit to see where all that fresh sashimi you’ve been eating comes from! 

South of the Station, Sapporo

 

Things to See and Do in South of the Station:

 – Take a stroll through the botanic gardens and enjoy the peace.

 – Check out the catch of the day at the Nijo Market.

 – Visit the Government Building to learn a bit more about the city

 – Pay attention to the Northern People’s Museum to find out about Japan’s indigenous people.

 – See the clock tower that seems like a bit of USA in Japan!

 

Best Hostel in South of the Station – Social Hostel 365

This well-rated hostel boasts a bar & shisha lounge. Private double rooms are available with Wifi & hot showers in the city centre, only a ten-minute walk from Susukino subway street. All beds are double size mattresses with cosy duvets & feather pillows for the best night’s sleep!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in South of the Station – “don’t-get-lost” studio

If you’re staying at this Airbnb, you won’t even have to worry about getting a sim card. The host provides portable limitless wifi, that you can take with you. No more getting lost because google maps doesn’t work. Apart from that, the home is super affordable, clean and loved by all previous guests.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in South of the Station – Sapporo Excel Hotel Tokyu

The front desk of this 4-star hotel operates around the clock and the friendly staff can suggest sights to visit and provide other tourist information. After a day of discovering the nearby region, guests can relax in the comfort of their air-conditioned rooms.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in South of the Station – Ibis Styles Sapporo

Featuring a swimming pool and ski-in/out facilities, Ibis Styles Sapporo provides modern accommodation. It offers a bar and is a stone’s throw from Nakajima-Koen Station. This luxury hotel provides valet parking, a coffee bar and a beauty centre.

View on Booking.com

 

#3 Susukino – Best Area to Stay in Sapporo for Nightlife

Susukino is often given as the answer when people are asked their favourite neighbourhood in Sapporo. We’ve picked it as the best area for nightlife, well, because it is!

It’s the largest entertainment district in Japan, outside of Kabukicho in Tokyo. It’s a maze of neon lights, bars, restaurants, and red-light joints. 

This is a wild place where locals and foreigners alike come to party, with something for everyone on its streets. You can see the incredible fashion more expected in Harajuku here, as well as the shopping of Shinjuku.

The street performers are both outlandish and impressive, so stop a while to have a look before continuing to your next bar!

If you want to get off street-level, there’s an underground shopping street running between Susukino and Sapporo stations.

Back above, you can find your way through the winding Ramen Alley, where a myriad of small stores awaits to serve you the famous Hokkaido ramen. It’ll only set you back a few hundred yen, so you’ll have more in your pocket for later on!

Accommodation here isn’t too pricey either, but don’t expect a restful night’s sleep!

Susukino, Sapporo

 

Things to See and Do in Susukino:

 – Check out a live show at Bar Locotonte.

 – Take a ride on the brightly lit Noria Ferris Wheel.

 – Be a classic tourist abroad and head to the Irish bar, BrianBrew!

 – Shop ‘til you drop on the underground shopping street.

 – Eat your fill at the original Ramen Alley, there since the 1950s!

 

Best Hostel in Susukino – SappoLodge

The most convenient and comfortable guest house in Sapporo. SappoLodge is based on the concept of a lodge in an urban area. There is a bar full of the warmth of the wood on the first floor, so that all the guests can communicate with other guests and locals.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Susukino – Close-to-party home

If you’re interested in exploring the nightlife of Sapporo, you should check out this Airbnb. A bit further from the buzz, you’re in 7min walking distance – you’ll definitely enjoy the quiet area at night. To make you feel even more comfortable, we chose a home that is a bit more westernized.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Susukino – Sapporo Tokyu Rei Hotel

The hotel has 575 rooms and has been recently refurbished. Rooms at Sapporo Tokyu REI Hotel are modern and air-conditioned, and offer a refrigerator, internet access and slippers. Each provides its very own bathroom with a shower, a bathtub and bathrobes. 

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Susukino – Mercure Hotel Sapporo

This chic hotel has a front desk that operates 24/7 and the friendly staff can recommend places to visit and provide other tourist information. Each luxury room at Mercure Hotel Sapporo comes with slippers and a refrigerator, while the bathrooms offer hair dryers and showers. 

View on Booking.com

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

#4 North of the Station – Coolest Place to Stay in Sapporo

North of the Station, again, is pretty easy to find. It’s everything on the other side of the Hakodate train line, from the centre of the city.

This is the university part of town, so it’s got the young vibe (and high concentration of coffeeshops) that goes with that. This is part of how it earned its title of coolest neighbourhood to stay in Sapporo. 

The presence of so many students also means there are a number of theatres and cheap dining options. Get really local and go to an izakaya, a pub that serves small plates of food. It’s like tapas, Japanese style!

Another big plus for the north side is the Sapporo Beer Museum. This is the old factory turned historic landmark. You can go in for free, but if you want to do a tasting, you’ll need to pay up!

North is also home to the racecourse, if that’s your kind of thing, and a recording studio. Who doesn’t want their crooning memorialised forever? I’m thinking on the way home from an evening spent in Susukino… That’d sound great!

North of the Station, Sapporo

 

Things to See and Do in North of the Station:

 – Record your wailing for posterity at Studio Cadiz

 – Have a flutter at the Sapporo Racecourse.

 – Visit the Hokkaido Railway Technology Museum.

 – Quench your thirst with a trip to, and tasting at, the Sapporo Beer Museum.

 – Wander the university campus with a coffee from one of the nearby roasters!

 

Best Hostel in North of the Station – Ten to Ten Sapporo Station

Ten to Ten Hokkaido Sapporo station is located near Sapporo station[9 minutes by foot], so you can go everywhere easily: Sapporo downtown, Otaru, Mt.Moiwa, whatever. This hostel offers five types of rooms, so whatever you style, they’ve got you covered!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in North of the Station – Tiny student studio

This Airbnb might be tiny, but it’s got all you need. From a comfy bed to a sofa and a TV, a very well equipped kitchen and a small bathroom with hot water. Located north of the train station, you’re in walking distance to good public transport connections, cute little cafes and lots of attractions.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in North of the Station – Sapporo Clark Hotel

Rooms at Hotel Clark Sapporo are comfortable and feature tea and coffee making facilities and a refrigerator. The restaurant is open for breakfast and provides a suitable setting for those who want to stay close to everything the property has to offer. 

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in North of the Station – Hotel Livemax Sapporo-Ekimae

Ideally situated for sightseeing, Hotel Livemax Sapporo-Ekimae is within walking distance of several of the city’s tourist attractions, including Sapporo JR Tower, Former Hokkaido Government Office and Hokkaido University.

View on Booking.com

 

#5 Nakajima Park – Best Neighborhood in Sapporo for Families

A little way south, but still to the west of the river, is Nakajima Koen, or Nakajima Park.

This little area has it all. It’s easily accessible from the centre of town (one stop from Susukino), has a high concentration of accommodation options, and plenty of choice for eating and drinking. 

All that is beside the obvious attraction of the gorgeous Nakajima Park itself!

The park is a large garden with a central pond. It has a specific Japanese garden section, and if you’ve ever visited one of these, you’ll know the ethereal beauty and calm that comes with their manicured perfection.

There’s also the lovely Hassoan tea house, where you can experience the traditional tea ceremony. Part refreshment – part ritual – fully Japanese, the tea ceremony is one of those cultural must-dos while in this country. 

The kids will be happy with all the green space to cut loose on, while there’s also a zoo nearby, and an astronomical observatory. There’s even a performing arts theatre, right in the park, with its shows tailored specifically for kids. No subtitles though!

By all accounts, the Kirin Beer Garden around here is a good place to try the Genghis Khan lamb, the famous dish of Sapporo!

Nakajima Park, Sapporo

 

Things to See and Do in Nakajima Park:

 – Try the incredible Genghis Khan lamb at the Kirin Beer Garden.

 – Try the incredible Kirin beer at the Kirin Beer Garden.

 – Visit the zoo with the young ones. The fees are reasonable and its exhibits care for the creatures. 

 – Take part in a traditional tea ceremony. Bonus if you get to wear kimono!

 – Stroll around Nakajima Park, admiring the attention to detail.

 

Best Hostel in Nakajima Park – Ten to Ten Nakajima-Koen

Ten to Ten Nakajima-Koen is located in the Sapporo City Centre neighborhood in Sapporo, 1.1 km from Odori Park and 1.3 km from Sapporo TV Tower. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Large family rooms are available.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Nakajima Park – Modern family apartment

Accommodating up to 10 people (but that’s Japanese standards, so maybe more like 6), this Airbnb is perfect for big families that want to explore Japan together. Close to the train station, you won’t have any problems to get around. The Nakajima park is right next door and a great place to spend the day.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Nakajima Park – Premier Hotel Nakajima Park

Premier Hotel Nakajima Park Sapporo has 228 modern rooms that are equipped with a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay. To start the day, guests are able to enjoy breakfast at Premier Hotel Nakajima Park Sapporo’s in-house restaurants.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Nakajima Park – Sapporo Park Hotel

Featuring views of Nakajima Park, the hotel is an ideal place to stay for those wanting to check out local attractions in Sapporo. All the stylish rooms at Sapporo Park Hotel feature free wireless internet access, a minibar and a private bathroom. 

View on Booking.com

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Sapporo

Sapporo is a northern gem. Gateway to the natural beauty of Hokkaido, it’s worth a decent visit in its own right!

And now, thanks to our handy guide, you’ll be living like a local, knowing which area is right for you, and what it has to offer.

Sapporo offers fine dining and cheap eats, classy cocktail bars and gritty pubs, high-end shopping and kitschy souvenirs. Whatever you’re into, this city has you covered.

Staying at our best hotel overall, La’gent Stay Sapporo, will keep you in the centre of the action and ready to take on the town.

So that’s it for our travel crew’s ideas and recommendations on what to do and where to stay in Sapporo. Choose where you’d like to stay and then plan the rest of your trip using our three-day Sapporo guide.

While Japan can be very safe, it’s super important to make sure you get travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

 

Like this post? PIN ME!!!

This guide covers where to stay in Sapporo, our favorite places and things to do in Sapporo, & the best hotels and hostels in each area!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *