New York City is known for many things, but being SUPER affordable is not one of them. So if you’re backpacking NYC and searching for some of the best hostels in NYC then this post is for you.
Because I get it. “Affordable” hostels in New York City are very different from affordable hotels anywhere else in the world.
How “different” you might wonder? Well, let’s just say that every time I find a private room in a hostel for less than $100 I do a little happy dance.
Sad, but true. But I promise budget hostels in NYC do exist. I have lived here for over thirty years and have found me and many of my friends epic New York City hostels to stay.
Because sometimes, you just want a cheap and well-located bed to stay in before you head to the airport.
So, if you’re short on cash but need a place to crash while you enjoy all of the free things to do in NYC then check out this local’s guide to the cheapest hostels in NYC.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
What to Expect When Staying in the Cheapest Hostels in NYC
Contrary to popular belief, spending a day in NYC (and night) does not need to lead to financial ruin.
After all, there are a ton of epic hostels in New York City that will not only save you money but allow you to meet incredible people that you can explore the city with, especially if you’re solo traveling NYC.
Because unlike in NYC hotels, hostels have a vibrant social atmosphere that allows you to meet and interact with fellow travelers from around the globe.
As you explore NYC and prepare your NYC bucket list, you’ll likely encounter a diverse range of hostels.
Despite the low cost, some of the cheapest hostels in NYC do not compromise on quality, ensuring that you get the best value for your money.
Also, when booking, be sure to pay attention to amenities like free breakfasts, storage facilities, and security lockers that will save you money and give you peace of mind.
After all, small savings on these amenities can add up over time and save you serious cash in the long run.
In NYC, the price you pay for a bed in a dorm gets lower as the dorm gets bigger. So, you will pay less for a 10-bed dorm than you would for a 6-bed dorm.
You also might have to pay a bit more for a private room but they are usually cheaper than a hotel room.
But, overall, expect to pay between $80.00 and $100.00 per night for a private room and between $28 and $40 per night for a mixed/female-only dorm.
Feel free to look these hostels up on Hostelworld or Booking.com so that you can get in-depth info on amenities as well as guest reviews and photos.
In particular, I find guest ratings super helpful since they will tell you all about the pros and cons of the hostel. They also describe the overall atmosphere of the NYC hostel (aka party hostel vs. chill hostel).
I would look for hostels in any one of the following neighborhoods since they are some of the best areas to stay in NYC.
- Midtown – Expensive area but centrally located and home to many top NYC landmarks.
- East Village – Such a vibrant neighborhood that has a very indie spirit.
- Upper West Side – A very safe neighborhood that is good for families since it’s near museums and Central Park.
- Lower East Side – Cheaper, funky neighborhood near good restaurants, and close to hidden gems in NYC.
- Williamsburg – In Brooklyn so a bit further away but a great place for food and nightlife.
Best Hostels in NYC – Manhattan
⭐️ Rating: 7.0/10.0 (768 Reviews) Price: $112 per night 📍Location: 518 West 27th Street, Chelsea, New York, NY 10001 Details: Read more on Booking.com now!
I have stayed in Selina brand hotels/hostels all around the world and LOVE them.
Not only do they create a warm and welcoming atmosphere through group activities, but their hostels feel more like boutique hotels than actual hostels.
Now, is Selina Chelsea NYC the cheapest hostel in New York City? No. But it is perfect for digital nomads who want a nice, quiet place to stay since accommodations are super sleek/modern and include marble bathrooms.
Other highlights include a cool, rooftop terrace/pool that is open seasonally, on-site bike rentals, and a delicious breakfast with stellar coffee.
Yes, the reviews are a bit lackluster. But, I generally enjoyed my stay here since hip, Japanese-inspired rooms feature comfy platform beds, bean bag chairs, ultra-fast WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and Japanese soaking tubs (only in some rooms).
“Cute, super clean, didn’t feel like I was at a place with shared accommodations. Like the minimalist vibe, didn’t feel like an excuse to be cheap. was actually pretty stylish.”Julia (read more reviews now)
That being said, they do not have dorms at this location and only offer private rooms.
Therefore, I would only recommend this hostel in NYC if you’re budget is a bit bigger and you are looking for a chill place to work/stay.
Local Tip: The coffee they serve on-site is really tasty too. My one complaint about this hostel in NYC is a bit far away. But it’s quiet and you can still enjoy all of the best things to do in NYC while you’re here.
2. Chelsea International Hostel (Chelsea)
⭐️ Rating: 7.8/10.0 (10948 Reviews) Price: $41.00 per night 📍Location: 251 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011 Details: Read more on Hostelworld now!
Located in, you guessed it, the always trendy neighborhood of Chelsea, Chelsea International Hostel is a great option for anyone who wants a well-located, cost-effective place to stay in New York City.
Renowned as one of the largest independent backpacker hostels in the city, it is a great place to meet new people.
You’ll also love that this place offers tons of amazing freebies, like a complimentary continental breakfast and Wi-Fi.
Plus, every Wednesday night this hostel in NYC serves up free pizza that everyone will love.
Other highlights include in-room lockers to keep your belongings safe (bring your own lock) and a bathroom on every floor. So, no long lines waiting to go to the restroom.
“Easy walking distance to many attractions and night life. Close to metro. Very clean, single rooms are sparsely furnished , basic cooking facilities are accesible only from the street. Good place to stay if on a budget. Peaceful atmosphere.”Anonymous (read more reviews now)
There’s also an outdoor courtyard with seating, luggage storage, bike parking, two kitchens, a lounge, and a dining area.
Another perk of this New York City hostel is its central Midtown location near a subway station that will take you to the Empire State Building and beyond.
Private rooms are also available and downs feature single beds so you won’t feel on top of other people.
⭐️ Rating: 8.2/10.0 (13,801 Reviews) Price: $78.00 per night 📍Location: 891 Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side, New York, NY Details: Read more on Booking.com now!
Looking to party like a rockstar and kick a little ass when staying on the Upper West Side and near the border with Harlem?
If so then HI NYC Hostel is one of the best hostels in NYC for you. After all, this NYC hostel hosts a variety of outings, like free bar crawls and clubbing tours, that are perfect for meeting other travelers.
There are also a ton of in-house events for guests to enjoy like variety shows, music nights, and comedy shows. Oh, and most of these events are totally FREE to attend.
This hostel also has 672 rooms that include four to twelve-bed (coed or male/female only) dorms and private rooms with or without ensuite bathrooms.
“Not crowded for 10 person-room. Enough shower rooms and WC. Amazing free activities!It’s really a good way to explore a new city and get to know each others.”Danny (read more reviews now)
And all these rooms? They’re in a super cool, Victorian Gothic building that makes you feel like you’re staying in a secret castle.
There’s even a HUGE common area (it extends onto two floors), an on-site cafe, a pool table, laundry facilities, an enormous kitchen (with 36 burners), and a charming patio.
Truly a fantastic hostel that makes you ALMOST not want to leave the building. Oh, and they have great laundry facilities that make washing clothes a lot easier.
⭐️ Rating: 8.1/10.0 (401 Reviews) Price: $114.00 per night 📍Location: 168 East 24th Street, Gramercy, New York, NY 10010, Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Easily one of the best hostels in NYC if you have a bit of extra cash to spend, American Dream Hostel is centrally located in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park.
Therefore, if you book a room here you’ll be right next to the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, and Union Square.
This family-owned hostel also has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where guests can enjoy rooms with one double or single bed, as well as rooms with either two three, or four beds.
“The staff was so incredibly nice and understanding! Everything was so clean and honestly i will recommend this place to anyone who visits New York City truly a great bang for your buck!”Anonymous (read more reviews now)
One negative? All the bathrooms are shared, but all the rooms do have a sink, mirror, TV, air conditioning, sheets, free WIFI, and towels.
There’s even a kitchen where you can cook, and grab some free snacks throughout the day. There’s also a laundry facility, as well as a game room where you can enjoy some board games and watch TV.
And, yes, breakfast is included! It’s served from 7:00 am to 11:00 am every day in the main dining area.
Not gonna lie, it’s pretty epic and includes homemade, hot, breakfast items like WAFFLES!
⭐️ Rating: 7.8/10.0 (1600 Reviews) Price: $125 per night 📍Location: 23 Lexington Avenue, Gramercy, New York, NY 10010 Details: Read more on Booking.com now!
Located in the historic flat iron district, Freehand New York is an award-winning establishment that perfectly blends the affordability of a hostel with the luxury of a hotel.
This accommodation is particularly recommended for couples who wish to explore New York City without compromising on comfort.
Guests can choose between private rooms or dorm-style accommodations, all equipped with private en-suite bathrooms.
Each room is outfitted with a smart TV, a coffee machine, and complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable and entertaining stay.
“Friendly staff, great location, quad room was excellent. Great gym and quiet area with great restaurants.”Richard (read more reviews now)
Daily housekeeping services are also available to help ensure that rooms remain pristine during your stay.
I actually really enjoyed my stay here. The staff was friendly, the rooms trendy/modern/clean, and I got to eat brunch in NYC at Sarabeth’s down the road.
I also paid like $125.00 for a small but nice room during Christmas in NYC. Plus, there were enough elevators for the people in the hotel. So, I never had to wait long to go down to the lobby.
The property also boasts an acclaimed on-site restaurant that offers a variety of culinary delights.
⭐️ Rating: 8.2/10.0 (3365 Reviews) Price: $57 per night 📍Location: 940 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Well located near Central Park, Nap York Central Park Sleep Station is a unique hostel in NYC that allows you to rent rooms by the night or by the hour ($25.00 per hour).
Additionally, you’ll get the chance to stay in a cozy pod that includes a twin-size bed, a towel, a privacy divider, a light, and an outlet.
But don’t worry, this pod is big enough to sit up and do work. All pods are also constructed out of recycled materials and have motion sensors that automatically turn off LED lights to save energy.
Other on-site amenities include wifi, water/tea, luggage storage, access to a shared bathroom, and daily housekeeping for wonderfully clean facilities.
“I had a wonderful stay at Nap York for a week as a solo female traveller from Europe visiting America for the first time. The location was great – just a couple of minutes walk from Broadway, Times Square and Central Park, with loads of food options on the same block. The facilities were always clean and theres free tea and coffee which is nice. The staff were mostly kind, especially Siomara who was super welcoming and friendly. She was so sweet to give suggestions when asked and very helpful in general. She always greets you with a smile and goes out of her way to help if she can.”Elizabeth (read more reviews now)
If you want, you can even check-in in advance online and ask the 24-hour front desk staff anything you like before your arrival.
All in all this is a fun, modern option for anyone looking for the best hostels in NYC.
Local Tip: Nap York has another location near the Empire State Building too. You can also self-check-in advance.
7. The Historic Blue Angel Hotel Lexington Ave, Ascend Hotel Collection (Midtown East)
⭐️ Rating: 8.6/10.0 (800 Reviews) Price: $86 per night 📍Location: 152 East 55th Street, Midtown East, New York, NY 10022 Details: Read more on booking.com now!
While technically not a hostel (no dorms here), this EXTREMELY budget-friendly hotel in NYC is a great option if you’re looking for a cozy private room at a great price.
You’ll also love that The Historic Blue Angel Hotel Lexington Ave is well-located in Midtown and only an 11-minute walk from the MOMA.
Additionally, all contemporary, stylish rooms come fully equipped with free Wifi, flat-screen cable TV, a mini-bar, an iPod docking station, an in-room safe, marble bathrooms, and a bathrobe.
“All the receptionists were professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. They made the check-in and check-out process a breeze. Although the hotel doesn’t offer early check-in because of limited cleaning staff, they were able to hold our bags before we checked in, so that gave us time to enjoy the city for the day! The snacks in the mini fridge were a great plus. We’d definitely stay here again.”Catalina (read more reviews now)
And if you have any issues, visit the 24-hour front desk and the friendly staff will be more than happy to assist you.
Just don’t leave without checking out the views from the rooftop terrace and make use of the airport shuttle (surcharge) if you need an easy way to get to the airport.
Best Hostels in NYC – Queens
⭐️ Rating: 7.2/10.0 (767 Reviews) Price: $42.00 per night 📍Location: 2909 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101 Details: Read more on booking.com now!
Located in the ever-awesome Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, Q4 Hotel and Hostel is probably the cheapest hostel that you’ll find in NYC unless you enjoy sleeping in a cardboard box.
With beds that start at just $42 per night, you’ll love that this hostel is just 10 minutes from Midtown via subway!
This NYC hostel also offers patrons a fun and funky atmosphere where they can use a ping pong table, a pool table, a book exchange, and a common area with a big-screen TV.
Also, be sure to head to the rooftop terrace to enjoy some of the best views of NYC and the Manhattan skyline.
“Friendly helpful staff, location was close to a drug store , food market and subway station. Was clean and as comfortable as hostels can be. Got lucky with a mix of young and older in my room so all respectful and considerate.”Warren (read more reviews now)
As far as their rooms are concerned, guests can choose from private rooms, as well as mixed and single-sex dorm rooms that have anywhere between two and eight beds.
Most dorm rooms come with their own bathroom, as well as air conditioning, storage lockers, towels, linens, free WIFI, and key card access for additional safety in NYC.
Plus, free luggage storage is available should you need it when you check out or check0in.
Yup, it’s truly one of the cheapest hostels in NYC that is still relatively nice.
Local Tip: This area is a lot quieter than Midtown and is better if you want to get a sense of how real locals live.
You’ll also have access to a kitchen, as well as tea/coffee-making facilities to help you save money.
9. The Local Hostel NY (Long Island City)
⭐️ Rating: 8.1/10.0 (1329 Reviews) Price: $74 per night 📍Location: 13-02 44th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11101 Details: Read more on Booking.com now!
If you’re looking for one of the coolest hostels in NYC then the Local Hostel NYC is where you want to be.
Located inside an ultra-chic, industrial building in Long Island City (just a few subway stops away from Brooklyn and Manhattan), guests will love the floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek, urban dorm rooms.
They all come well-outfitted with comfortable beds, reading lights, secure storage space, and air-conditioning.
“The location is great, very close to the metro station and the city center, but also to the ferry that you can take to Dumbo or Manhattan. The lounge area is also nice, the rooms are clean and they have sufficient space for travellers (I’ve stayed in a 4-bed female dorm), and it’s also great to get a fresh towel. I’ve stayed here two times when I was in NYC and I like how quite it was for a hostel. The rooftop area is also a plus point to the place.”Beata (read more reviews now)
Plus, can enjoy convenient access to on-site laundry facilities, fast WIFI, en-suite bathrooms, power adaptors, and hair dryers for any snazzy peeps out there.
There’s even a charming, rooftop terrace where you can enjoy views of NYC’s iconic skyline.
You can also check out the hotel’s bar and enjoy a local craft beer or coffee before hitting up the computer lounge so that you can chat with friends at home.
A variety of board games (including a Wii) are also available and you can always take part in cool events that include concerts, movie nights, and wine or beer tastings.
The staff is also incredibly helpful and can introduce you to cool museums in NYC that you do not want to miss.
The front desk is also open 24 hours a day, with a separate tour desk that is perfect for booking incredible, NYC helicopter tours.
So whether you want to relax in the movie lounge, or mingle with other travelers in the bar, there is something for everyone at this epic NYC hostel.
Best Hostels in NYC – Brooklyn
⭐️ Rating: 8.1/10.0 (2028 Reviews) Price: $38.00 per night 📍Location: 179 Moore Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206, Details: Read more on Booking.com now!
This loft-style hostel sits smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn’s three trendiest neighborhoods – Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick.
Therefore, you’ll be within walking distance of some of Brooklyn’s coolest bars, restaurants, and shops when staying at one of the best hostels in NYC.
You’ll also be centrally located since you’re just an hour from JFK and 25 minutes from Lower Manhattan via public transportation.
“The location was great, cca. 20 min by subway to Manhattan. The staff was really helpful, the facilities were nice, I really liked the graffities. You can also meet really cool people. :)”Adam (read more reviews now)
Plus, you’ll feel well rested in the spacious, mixed or female-only dorms. These include twin beds, linens, towels, a bedside lamp, a locker (be sure to bring your own lock, and free WIFI.
And if you’re in need of privacy? Not to worry because this is one of the best NYC hostels with private rooms.
But if you’re feeling a bit more social, you can attend fantastic events like stand-up comedy shows and movie nights. Yup, these are easily some of the best things to do in NYC at night.
Or, you can just meet other travelers at the outdoor courtyard or in the common room, which is fully equipped with an HD TV and computers.
There’s also a full kitchen and a coffee lounge where you can enjoy complimentary coffee and tea, which is a perfect way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing in NYC.
⭐️ Rating: 8.4/10.0 (755 Reviews) Price: $35.00 per night 📍Location: 781 Prospect Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11216Details: Read more on Hotels.com now!
If you’re searching for the best New York hostels then you can’t beat The Brooklyn Riviera.
It’s a place that offers a comfortable, yet affordable, stay in a spot that is just a 10-minute walk from the A/C train. Therefore, you are only around 30 minutes away from Manhattan via subway.
“It was the best hostel ever, I never going to find a hostel like that anymore,next year I will come back. Talib you are the best. Greets from the Netherlands.”Anonymous (read more reviews now)
Additionally, the hostel’s dorm rooms can accommodate between 4 and 6 people, with separate female and mixed dorms.
All dorm beds also feature a small light, a privacy curtain, and an outlet for added comfort.
There is even a basic daily breakfast on offer that is complimented by a great weekly BBQ. Guests can also use free Wi-Fi, a common room that features a TV/Wii console, and a little yard with outdoor seating.
Map of the Best Hostels in NYC
Best Hostels in NYC FAQs
Is It Better to Stay in a Hostel or Hotel?
If you want to meet and connect with other travelers then a hostel is better. However, if you want to enjoy premium servies, ammenities, and a good night’s sleep then a hotel is better.
But, to enjoy the social atmosphere of a hostel with the privacy of a hotel, consider booking a private room in a hostel.
Are Hostels Worth Staying In?
Yes! Hostels are definitely worth staying in. Not only are they a great way to save money, but they offer you a great way to meet people. Many hostels also have fun events for guests to enjoy.
Does New York Have Hostels?
Yes, New York has many hostels since they offer solo travelers a great way to save money and meet people while they travel.
Which is More Comfortable a Hotel or a Hostel?
A hotel is more comfortable than a hostel since you will have a private room and a private bathroom at your disposal. So, you won’t have to worry about anyone chatting or snoring while you try to sleep.