New York City is known for many things, but being SUPER affordable is not one of them. So if you’re backpacking NYC and are desperately 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 accommodations anywhere else in the world.
“How different” you might wonder?
Well, let’s just say that the heavens open up and sing every time I find a hotel/hostel room for less than $100, that also has a private bathroom that I don’t have to share with an entire herd of people.
I know, sad but true.
But I promise, budget hostels in NYC really do exist.
They’re not just some myth, like the Lochness monster or the Abominable Snowman, that lures budget travelers into a false sense of financial stability while
So instead of putting a second mortgage on your house, just to afford rooms at some of the best hotels in New York City, check out this local’s guide to 9 of the best NYC hostels.
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1. Hosteling International (Upper West Side)
Looking to party like a rockstar while visiting NYC?
If so then HI NYC Hostel is absolutely for you.
This hostel hosts a variety of
There are also a ton of in-house events for guests to enjoy like variety shows, music nights, and comedy shows.
But that’s not all!
This hostel has 672 rooms that include four to twelve-bed (coed or male/female only) dorms and private rooms with or without ensuite bathrooms.
And all these rooms?
Yeah, they’re in a super cool, Victorian Gothic building that makes you feel like you’re staying in a secret castle, hidden on the Upper West Side.
Truly a fantastic hostel that makes you ALMOST not want to leave the building.
Address: 891 Amsterdam Avenue
Price: Beds start at $44 per person.
2. The Local Hostel NYC (Long Island City)
If you’re looking for the coolest hostel in New York City, 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
Guests will find fantastic, floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as innovative, urban dorm rooms with comfortable beds, reading lights, secure storage space, air-conditioning, laundry facitlities, free WIFI, en-suite bathrooms, power adaptors, and hair dryers for any snazzy ladies (or gentlemen) out there.
There’s a charming, rooftop terrace where you can enjoy views of New York City’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 and saying hi to friends back home.
Looking for a bit more fun?
Then take advantage of a variety of board games (including a Wii) or enjoy events like concerts, movie nights, and wine or beer tastings.
But it gets better!
The staff are also incredibly helpful and can show you some of the most unusual things to do in NYC, activities that you won’t find in any guidebook.
The staff is always available since the front desk is open 24-hours day, with a separate tour desk that is perfect for booking incredible, New York City excursions.
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.
Address: 13-02 44th Avenue, Queens
Price: Beds start at just $25 per person.
3. Chelsea International Hostel (Chelsea)
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Chelsea International Hostel New York is situated in the heart of Manhattan. Chelsea is rich of galleries, cafés, stores and restaurants. Basically all NY Subway lines are right at their front door. And there are hundreds of things to explore on foot. Our favourite was the nearby 1.45-mile long Highline in the Meatpacking District overlooking the Hudson River.
Can you guess why I’m a huge fan of this hostel?
Not only do they serve free pizza on Wednesday nights, but Chelsea International Hostel also includes free continental breakfast with your stay!
Hip hip hooray! Free food always makes me happy.
But that’s not the only thing that this hostel has to offer. In addition to free breakfast and pizza, this backpacker hotspot also has free WIFI, free lockers (you’ll need your own lock), a bathroom on each floor, outdoor seating in the courtyard, a communal lounge, two kitchens, and a spacious dining area.
And the rooms, yeah, they’re pretty epic too!
All dorm rooms and private rooms come with the BARE NECESSITIES (Get it? Jungle Book anyone?) like bathrooms, towels, comfy linens, cozy beds, wifi, air conditioning, etc.
But the best part?
There are no bunk beds! So no need to duel it out with any backpackers for the only available lower bunk. That also means that you won’t have to scale a rickety ladder, in the dead of night, just to get into bed!
Phew, what a relief! Plus:
This hostel is conveniently located in central Manhattan, right next to the subway, making it incredibly easy to get around via the A, C, E, F, 1, 2, or 3 (no joke, they are literally 2 blocks from the Highline).
So if you’re all about location, then this budget NYC accommodation will definitely be your jam.
Address: 251 West 20th Street
Price: Beds start at $32 per person
4. NY Moore Hostel (Williamsburg)
Located in East Williamsburg (AKA Brooklyn for anyone not in the know):
This loft-style hostel sits smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn’s three trendiest neighborhoods: Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick.
You’ll be within walking distance of some of Brooklyn’s coolest bars, restaurants, and shops.
You’re also be centrally located since you’re just an hour from JFK and 25 minutes from Lower Manhattan via train.
In addition to the fab location:
You’ll feel well rested in the spacious, mixed or female-only dorms, that include twin beds (three cheers for no climbing, or falling, up to the top bunk), linens, towels, a bedside lamp, a locker (be sure to bring your own lock0, and free WIFI (for all my fellow social media junkies).
And if you’re in need of privacy?
Not to worry because this hostel offers a selection of private rooms too!
But if you’re feeling a bit more social than I’ll ever be:
You can attend fantastic events like stand-up comedy shows and movie nights.
You can just relax and meet other travelers in the outdoor courtyard or 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 seightseeing in NYC.
Address: 179 Moore Street
Price: Beds start at $32 per person.
5. Blue Moon Hotel (trust me, it’s really a hostel on the Lower East Side)
A cross between a chic, boutique hotel and an economical hostel:
Blue Moon is perfect for anyone who wants a little bit of luxury in their life but without the hefty price tag.
Located on the ever trendy, Lower East Side:
This hostel is a literal hop, skip, and jump away from the subway, as well as an assortment of uber-fab restaurants, bars, shops, and attractions.
But if you’re tired and fancy being a “home body”:
This hostel has a comfortable common room, with free WIFI (throughout the building and rooms), as well as a charming outdoor patio where you can enjoy the pseudo-fresh air of NYC.
You can also relax in one of the
Choose from cozy mixed and female-only dorms (all dorms have single beds), or splurge and get a private room with two queen beds and a quaint, outdoor balcony.
Towels and linens, with 300 thread count sheets, are also included with your stay, as is a book exchange, and a 24-hour reception desk.
Address: 100 Orchard Street
Price: Beds start at $33 per person per night.
6. Vanderbilt YMCA (Midtown)
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My second apartment. The balding lady down the hall was traumatized by 9/11 and thought the CIA had bugged her radiator. At odd intervals she could be heard screaming at Dick Cheney through the steam pipe. Across from me, a film student guy who would spend hours some nights knocking on my door trying to get me to come out and play Magic. I would hold my pee and watch Nick at Night on mute until he gave up. When he moved out I went into his room to pilfer for something useful like a hot plate and discovered he had been stockpiling his shit in jars under the loft bed. This is a gratitude journal for being 15 years past that horror show, remembering the bathroom code, and slipping in for a great stolen New York pee. Sweet sweet relief.
I think it’s reasonable to assume that the only people who get super stoked about staying at the YMCA are the Village People.
I bet even they would prefer accommodations that are a bit more luxurious.
The Vanderbilt YMCA is the exception to the rule and pleasantly surprised me.
Is it luxurious by any stretch of the imagination? No. Is it rather
This budget NYC accommodation does provide guests with a clean and safe environment to stay in and at a reasonable price too.
Centrally located on Midtown’s East Side:
This YMCA is perfectly situated for anyone who wants to explore some of NYC’s top attractions, like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Public Library, and the Museum of Modern Art.
The one drawback though?
There are no dorm rooms here. Instead, guests choose between private single or double rooms (bunk beds), with shared bathrooms that are just down the hall.
Rooms also include free Wi-Fi, Cable TV, air conditioning, housekeeping, safe-deposit boxes, 24-hour security, a shared kitchen, and a luggage storage area.
And because guests are charged a mandatory, daily, $10 Guest Room Membership fee:
You’ll also have access to the facility’s fitness center, steam room, sauna, 2 indoor swimming pools, and over 100 group exercise classes.
So definitely a great option if you’re on a budget but just can’t compel yourself to stay in a dorm room.
Address: 224 East 47th St., NY 10017
Price: Rooms start at $100 per night for a standard, single, private room.
7. American Dream Hostel (East Village)
One of the best budget hotels in NYC:
The American Dream Hostel is centrally located in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, right next door to iconic New York City attractions like the Empire State Building, Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park, and Union Square.
Aside from the incredible location:
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.
All the bathrooms are shared, but all the rooms here 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,
And yes, breakfast is even included!
Served between 7 am and 11 am every day, breakfast is held in the main dining area and includes homemade, hot, breakfast items like my personal favorite…WAFFLES!
Yup, this place had my heart as soon as I heard “home made breakfast inculded”.
Hip hip hooray for carbs!
Address: 168 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010
Price: Rooms start at $59 per night
8. Broadway Hostel (Upper West Side)
Looking for something a bit swankier than a hostel but not quite as expensive as a luxury hotel?
Then try living the SUITE (get it?) life at Broadway Hostel.
Located on the ultra-posh Upper West Side:
This boutique hotel meets NYC youth hostel is dripping with an assortment of awesome modern design features and is just minutes away from Central Park and the Natural History Museum.
Guests can choose between dorm rooms (all of which come with linens, towels, and a shared bathroom on each floor) and private rooms for one, two or four people.
And these rooms are anything but typical, austere, hostel rooms (pinkie promise).
All the private rooms here have en-suite bathrooms with rainfall showers, flat-screen TVs, coffee machines, free WIFI, and down duvets.
There is a spacious lobby for check-in, 24 hours a day, and a modern kitchen that is fully equipped with high-end appliances; appliances that will help you channel your inner Bobby Flay.
After cooking up a storm:
Relax in the hotel’s lounge and attend a movie night, where recent releases are shown on plasma screen TVs with kick-ass sound systems.
If you’re yearning for a bit of solitude, then enjoy the enchanting, communal library, with a fully functional fireplace; the perfect place to relax after exploring New York City all day long.
Address: 230 West 101 Street, Broadway
Price: Beds start at $50 per night
9. Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel (Midtown)
Located just 2 blocks from Columbus Circle and Central Park:
Jazz on Columbus Circle offers guests a terrific location where you easily access all of NYC’s major attractions via the 1
But apart from that:
This hostel is known for having a variety of unique, modern rooms, like private rooms and dorm rooms with between 3 and 6 beds, that all have a distinct theme that pays homage to the diverse spirit of the city itself.
Once inside the hotel:
Guests will enjoy access to reading lamps, hair dryers, washing machines, coffee and espresso (for $1), 24-hour reception, airconditioning, key card room access, free bedding
All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, thank flipping God!
So no trekking through the halls and bumping into walls, in the middle of the night, as you desperately search for the bathroom since your bladder feels like it’s about to explode.
To make things even more fabulous:
Each floor also has free WIFI, as well as a common area where you can relax and drink coffee or mingle with other travelers as you watch a bit of TV.
The only annoying part?
Dorm rooms have bunk beds (blech) and no breakfast is included with your stay (the horror!).
Jazz more than makes up for this with a fun and sociable atmosphere that is created through communal summer BBQs, hostel run pub crawls, and a tour desk where you can book as many NYC adventures as you want.
Address:940 8th Avenue
Price: Beds start at $75 per night
10. Q4 Hotel (Queens)
Located in the ever awesome Long Island City (Queens):
Q4 Hotel is probably the cheapest hostel that you’ll find in NYC unless you enjoy sleeping in a cardboard box.
You’ll be even more amazed when you realize that this hostel is just 10 minutes from Midtown, Manhattan, via subway!
But more than just a great location:
This NYC hostel offers patrons a fun and funky atmosphere where they can enjoy an on-site ping pong table, pool table, book exchange, common area with a big screen TV, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Manhattan.
As far as their rooms are concerned:
Guests can choose between private rooms, as well as mixed and
Most dorm rooms have their own bathroom, as well as air conditioning, storage lockers, towels, linens, free WIFI, key card access, etc.
Truly one of the best cheap hostels in NYC since it’s cheap in price but not in quality.
Address: 2909 Queens Plaza North
Price: Beds start at $28 per night.