New York City is among the most sought-after destinations in the US for tourists worldwide. Many backpackers decide to head to the “Big Apple” to feel its eclectic energy and diverse culture.
This city has countless sights to see, so it’s vital to make an itinerary before heading here. But whatever popular attraction you choose to visit, it’s almost sure that there won’t be a dull moment.
The city is also well-known as one of the most expensive destinations globally. So, if you go backpacking here, your best choice is to stay in a hostel in New York. Most of these hostels have a great social atmosphere and offer the best bang for the buck!
What Can You Expect When Visiting New York City?
A trip to New York can be costly. It is one of the most expensive cities for New York state residents and tourists alike in the US. So, you should expect to encounter challenges when vacationing in the Big Apple, but it’s still doable.
These are some of the things that you should know before visiting New York:
- You can usually find food for cheap in the city
- Going around the city can be a bit more affordable if you use public transportation
- You must set aside most of your budget for accommodations, tours, and activities, as these things can get pricey.
- New York has a humid, continental climate. It has long and cold winters replaced by warm summers with high humidity when the seasons change.
Types of Rooms You Can Expect From A Hostel at New York
When you go backpacking in New York, expect to find a wide variety of hostels. The good news is that the city’s cheap hostels aren’t terrible; they’re one of the best hostels in the country since they offer fantastic value.
One perk you’ll get is free breakfast, free luggage storage, free WiFi, and free security lockers. Keep an eye on these amenities as you’ll get a lot of savings, especially on food, which you can use to explore the city further.
Most hostels in New York cater to the entry-level segment of the hospitality industry, but they still offer outstanding value. You’ll pay less if you decide to stay in a bigger dorm while a private room is pricier. The former is also considerably more affordable than the city’s hotels.
These are the average prices of hostel rooms in New York:
- Private rooms: $45 – $55
- Dorms (co-ed or female-only): $15 – $28
Things You Should Consider To Find The Best Hostels in New York
The type of room you’ll choose in whatever hostel you find is essential. But if you follow these criteria in choosing one, you’ll indeed find the best New York City hostel:
- Price: Hostels in the city usually offer the best rates at every price point. So, if you stay in cheap accommodation, expect to get the most basic amenities.
- Location: New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world, and it can get a bit tricky to fully explore and experience its culture. Choosing a hostel with a great location in Midtown, Manhattan, or close to the nightlife district is better.
- Staff: All New York hostels in this list have super friendly and knowledgeable staff. They can make or break your experience during your stay. But even if you don’t choose the options on this list, make sure to find a hostel with helpful and amiable staff.
- Amenities: Most hostels in New York City offer free WiFi, and some have free breakfast. A handful of the best hostel in the city even has a swimming pool. But if you want a longer list of amenities, you’ll need to research and find the ones that offer the most amenities for every dollar you’ll pay.
The Best Location For Hostels in New York near Central Park
It’s great to book a hostel in New York located close to all the action. You will find it easier to explore the city’s sights and quickly access the best restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, and more! Some of the best areas in the city are:
- Midtown: this area is famous for its historical buildings, vibrant street life, and world-famous landmarks
- Lower East Side: with its vibrant and eclectic atmosphere, this side of New York City offers you a glimpse of the past and the future
- East Village: this neighborhood’s youthful atmosphere and free spirit is famous for being one of the most unique and energetic areas of the city
- Williamsburg: this is one of the most remarkable areas of the city
- Upper West Side: this is one of the classic areas where tourists love to stay at, and it is also one of the most family-friendly areas of the city
The Best Hostels in New York City
Now that you know some things about the city, its best areas, and the average prices of hostel rooms, your search for the best New York hostel will be easier. Luckily for you, we’ve decided to make it easier! Here’s a list of some of the best hostels in New York:
HI NYC Hostel
Price: $70.5 to $245
Amenities: Free linens, free internet access, free city maps, free towels, free WiFi, wheelchair-friendly, elevator, air conditioning, outdoor terrace, security lockers, bike parking, meeting rooms, reading light, key card access, BBQ, kitchen, common room, cable TV, laundry facilities, luggage storage, airport transfers, travel & tours desk, coffee bar, games room
HI NYC Hostel is a cheap accommodation in New York City. It is centrally located on the Upper West Side and a few minutes away from Times Square and Central Park. The hostel’s building looks like a castle, so it’s perfect for those looking for a unique place to stay.
The HI New York hostel is also popular among tourists who want to save money while visiting the city. It is also part of the Hostelling International Network, so you can be assured that the rooms are clean and comfortable.
You can also enjoy a wide range of amenities like free WiFi, several common spaces where you can make new friends, a spacious and fully-equipped kitchen, and five meeting rooms where most of the events are organized by the staff.
Unlike most youth hostels, it also has a large outdoor patio where you can enjoy the views of the city. Sadly, there’s no swimming pool that you can use to cool down during the summer.
If you’ve never been to the Big Apple, the hostel’s helpful staff can answer any questions you might have. They’ll also give you recommendations about the best events that might be happening during your stay. The team can also help you with reservations on the city’s landmarks and museums and your public transportation questions.
This cozy hostel offers private rooms that can accommodate up to four people and a wide variety of shared dorms with a bunk bed. They also have male-only, female-only, and co-ed dorms. Read more..
- clean, quiet, and modern rooms;
- friendly and knowledgeable staff;
- offers decent amenities;
- great location as it is close to the city centre and the subway;
- the social atmosphere is great.
- not a party hostel, so it’s not a great choice if you want to party;
- security is a bit lacking.
American Dream Bed and Breakfast
Price: $139 to $172
Amenities: Free breakfast, free WiFi, free linens, free city maps, free towels, security lockers, cable TV, safe deposit box, common room, hot showers, air conditioning, kitchen, laundry facilities, meeting rooms, luggage storage, games room, pool table
American Dream Hostel is a family-owned accommodation in New York City. It’s situated in Manhattan’s historical Gramercy Park and Flatiron District, close to some of the city’s most famous sights like the Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Union Square.
The hostel also has excellent links to public transportation, and many shops and restaurants are nearby.
They also offer several decent amenities like free breakfast and free WiFi. Meanwhile, breakfast usually includes cereals, waffles, french toast, fruits, coffee, juices, and tea. You can also use the kitchen where you can cook your favorite meals and share them with other guests.
This is also one of the best hostel in New York that offers private rooms as they have a modern design and a host of amenities. However, all rooms only have shared bathrooms. Read more..
- clean and modern rooms;
- free breakfast is a great plus;
- friendly and helpful staff;
- great location as it is close to multiple subway and bus stops that lead to the city centre.
- they don’t have shared dorm rooms, so the hostel prices are relatively high;
- the mattresses are a bit uncomfortable to sleep in.
Price: $42 to $420
Amenities: free linens, free internet access, free city maps, free towels, free WiFi, key card access, common room, hot showers, kitchen, air conditioning, luggage storage, 24-hour reception, games room, pool table
The Q4 Hotel is one of the best budget New York hostels, and the hostel offers excellent value for money. It is conveniently located in Queens, a vibrant area in the city, and its building has been recently renovated to provide you with a different take on Manhattan.
Since it is located in Queens, you’ll get an authentic New York experience and save money on food and transportation costs. You’re also close to Midtown and Upper East Side since they’re just across the East River. The area is also much less hectic than other parts of the city while still offering plenty of ways to have fun.
This hostel in New York features a shared kitchen and a colorful common room with comfy sofas. You can also use the book exchange, movie lounge, and games room. So, you’ll never get bored if you take a break from going around the city and staying inside the hostel.
Although the hostel’s private double rooms have a private bathroom, each dorm room also has bathrooms. So, you won’t have to share with guests from other rooms. Read more..
- clean and comfortable rooms;
- location is close to a few subway stations, but there aren’t as many shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs compared to other hostels;
- traffic noise can creep into the rooms;
- great amenities.
- no elevator;
- the average price of their private rooms is higher than other hostels;
- bathrooms can get a bit messy, especially if there are a lot of guests.
The Local NYC
Price: $63.5 to $190.5
Amenities: Free linens, free city maps, free internet access, free WiFi, free internet access, security lockers, hot showers, kitchen, outdoor terrace, key card access, air conditioning, reading light, common room, laundry facilities, bicycle parking, book exchange, cable TV, travel & tours desk, luggage storage, on-site bar, and café, games room
The Local NYC is among the best hostels in New York, especially for those looking for the best amenities. It is an excellent place to stay as it has a very welcoming vibe, and the staff is amiable and helpful. If you’re a solo traveler, there are quite a few common rooms where you can chill and get to know other travelers.
You can also head to the roof terrace, where you can take in the majestic views of the city. If you need to use a computer for work or iron out your itinerary, you can head to the computer lounge, where you have free internet access.
This hostel in New York has a great social atmosphere, and it’s a perfect base in New York as it is close to the city centre, Central Park and JFK Airport. The hostel’s staff is also accommodating. They organize fun social events such as comedy shows, live concerts, movie nights, pub crawls, and beer sampling.
Each dorm room has bunk beds accommodating up to four people and private rooms where two people can sleep comfortably. Each room also has its bathroom. You can choose between male-only, female-only, and mixed rooms for the dorms. Read more..
- cool and comfortable rooms;
- the social atmosphere is great for making new friends;
- great location close to the city centre;
- friendly and knowledgeable staff;
- good value for money;
- has an on-site bar and a long list of amenities.
- the hostel doesn’t organize social events;
- slow free WiFi;
- the check-in process can be a bit slow.
Chelsea International Hostel
Price: $58 to $145
Amenities: Free linens, free city maps, free towels, free Wi-Fi, fully-equipped kitchen, outdoor terrace
Chelsea International Hostel is one of the largest hostels in the city, and it also has a great location as it is very close to Times Square and the city centre. The hostel’s rooms also offer a place to relax as they have very comfortable beds, which can please most travelers. You can also choose from several room options, such as private rooms and dorms of varying sizes.
However, the hostel’s amenities are noticeably fewer than their competitors. They make up for it by offering free breakfast, free pizza every Wednesday, free WiFi, towels, and lockers. They also offer free cancellation if you opt for the pricier rooms.
Chelsea International Hostel is one of the best hostels in New York as it grants you excellent access to Times Square as it is within walking distance. You can also easily reach other New York City attractions like the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, the One World Trade Center, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Columbus Circle, and many more! Read more..
- clean rooms and comfortable beds;
- fantastic location in Manhattan;
- great security;
- offers good value for money;
- they offer a very spartan list of amenities;
- no air conditioning in all rooms.
Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel
Price: $75 to $90
Amenities: Free linens, free city maps, free towels, free Wi-Fi, wheelchair-friendly, elevator, security lockers, cable TV, key card access, air conditioning, common room, luggage storage, 24-hour security & reception
Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel is one of the best hostels in New York since it is located conveniently close to two of the most popular attractions in New York: Times Square and Central Park. It’s also just a few minutes away by subway to Port Authority, the Theater and Garment Districts, Penn Station, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, New York University, and more. Like any other Central Park hostel near it, you’ll also get amazing views of the scenic park.
This hostel in New York is also a considerably cheaper option than other Central Park hostel surrounding it. It’s also an excellent choice for those who want to stay in a place close to the action. Read more..
- located conveniently near Central Park;
- friendly staff and easy check-in;
- rooms and beds are spotless;
- close to multiple subway stops;
- regular room service;
- great sense of safety and security.
- The social vibe isn’t as great as in other hostels.
NY Moore Hostel
Price: $65 to $72
Amenities: Free linens, free WiFi, free parking, free internet access, free city maps, free towels, wheelchair-friendly, bike parking, cable TV, security lockers, book exchange, outdoor terrace, air conditioning, hot shower, elevator, meeting rooms, fully-equipped kitchen, travel & tours desk, luggage storage, 24-hour security & reception
NY Moore Hostel is one of the best hostels in New York for solo tourists and small groups. It is also among the most popular hostels for budget tourists and backpackers.
One of the main contributors to its popularity is its location in East Williamsburg, a trendy area in Brooklyn. In this neighborhood, you will find some of the best hole-in-the-wall bars, art galleries, restaurants, cafés, and shops. The hostel is also conveniently located as it has excellent access to the city centre in Manhattan and JFK Airport.
The hostel in New York is housed in a fully-renovated loft with vibrant colors and superb interior design. The walls are accentuated by street art and murals done by local artists. You can quickly get an authentic Brooklyn vibe here, making it a fun place to stay in New York.
You can choose between dorms and private rooms in this hostel. The former can accommodate up to four people with bunk beds, and mixed and female-only rooms are available. The latter, meanwhile, is best for those who want more privacy. You’ll never get claustrophobia in any room you choose since all rooms are surprisingly large. Read more..
- helpful and friendly staff;
- lots of places to socialize with other guests;
- located close to the city centre and accessible by train from downtown and Midtown;
- clean and comfortable rooms;
- lots of affordable food trucks, bodegas, convenience stores, and restaurants nearby;
- great social atmosphere.
- rooms can get a bit noisy;
- the water temperature from the shower can sometimes be challenging to control.
The Brooklyn Riviera
Price: $40 to $45
Amenities: Free breakfast, free linens, free towels, security lockers, parking, common room, kitchen, hot showers, outdoor terrace, laundry facilities, 24-hour reception
The Brooklyn Riviera is one of the best options for those who want to stay in one of the best hostels in New York. It’s also perfect for backpackers who want to be based from its central location in Brooklyn while going to the Big Apple.
Their dorms can fit up to six people, and you can choose to stay in female-only or mixed dorms. Every bed in this hostel also has a privacy curtain, power outlets, and a reading light. You can also opt to use the security locker to keep your valuables safe while exploring New York.
You can explore some of Brooklyn’s famous sights from this hostel, such as the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Park Slope Historic District, Litchfield Villa, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Brooklyn Botanic. Garden, Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Zoo, and many more!
It’s also relatively easy to reach other parts of the city like the Upper West Side by bus, subway, taxi, or car. So, you’ll quickly get to other attractions in New York like Central Park, the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, and Grand Central Station.
The hostel in New York also offers excellent amenities and events like hosting weekly BBQ parties. You can also use their fully equipped kitchen to save money on food expenses. If you want to stay longer, the laundry facilities and the tea and coffee station are super helpful for digital nomads. Read more..
- convenient location in Brooklyn;
- all rooms come with free cancellation;
- close to a few train stations;
- friendly and approachable staff;
- has a great outdoor terrace with views of Manhattan.
- The bathrooms can get a bit messy.
Jazz on the Park Hostel
Price: $55 to $140
Amenities: Free WiFi, free linens, security lockers, cable TV, key card access, common room, air conditioning, luggage storage, 24-hour reception & security
Although this Broadway hotel might be expensive since it’s on New York’s Upper West Side, its great social atmosphere, central location, and modern facilities give you good value. Jazz on the Park Hostel is also close to Columbia University, so you’ll stay in a more youthful and busy neighborhood. Sometimes, spending a little extra to stay in the city centre and the perfect vibe to match your lifestyle is best.
Their spacious lounge and café ensure you can easily interact with other guests. During the summer, they also have BBQ nights that will surely make your stay more enjoyable. They also organize pub crawls and have a travel & tours desk to arrange your exploration throughout the city.
You can also choose from various sleeping arrangements, which offer flexibility for solo tourists, groups, and couples. This hostel in New York has massive dorm rooms that are clean and comfy, while they also offer single and double private rooms if you want more privacy. Read more..
- Great location in a trendy neighborhood;
- fun BBQ parties;
- best hostel to stay in if you want lots of free stuff;
- great security;
- fun games room.
- A bit pricier compared to other hostels.
Freehand New York
Price: $241 to $346
Amenities: Free linens, free towels, free WiFi, wheelchair-friendly, key card access, fitness center, hot showers, cable TV, common room, air conditioning, self-catering facilities, outdoor terrace, elevator, meeting rooms, laundry facilities, luggage storage, housekeeping, airport transfers, 24-hour reception, bike rentals, on-site resto-bar, mini-supermarket, on-site café, games rooms, nightclub
Freehand New York is more of a hotel than a hostel, this is on the list of the best hostels in New York because it is incredible! This hostel has a more upscale vibe due to the trendy interior design and the artwork made by Bard College students.
They also have a great bar and restaurant packed to the brim with locals almost every night.
Even though this hostel in New York has smaller rooms, they still give you enough space to move around. All of the rooms also have modern amenities and are very clean. So, you’ll get your money’s worth. Read more..
- central location;
- great social vibe;
- kind and helpful staff;
- clean and comfortable rooms;
- easy check-in and check-out process;
- quiet rooms at night even with the on-site nightclub;
- modern amenities.
- the rooms can be a bit cramped for the price;
- some of the rooms’ air conditioning systems needed repairs;
- a hefty $200 security deposit.
The Runners-up: Epic Hostels with Dorms and Private Rooms!
There are countless hostels in New York that are perfect for most travelers. So, some of these unique options might not be on our list. Here are more hostels that you should consider on your trip to the city:
2nd Best Boutique Hostel in New York: Nap York Youth Hostel
This is another best hostel to explore Midtown, located in the city center. It is also close to some of the most famous museums in the city as well as Central Park. The rooms in this hostel have en-suite bathrooms, and you’ll surely get a good night’s sleep as they have noise machines to dampen the sound from outside.
2nd Best Hostel for Solo Travelers: Hotel & Hostel Vetiver
This hostel is a stylish choice of accommodation that’s close to the N and Q trains. They are perfect for people who want to stay in a modern hostel. They also have a fitness center and a fantastic on-site bar.
About New York: Things You Need To Know
New York City’s influence extends into finance, media, art, commerce, technology, and entertainment. It is also one of the centers for international relations as well as being a contender for the premier global financial capital. One of the most famous attractions in the city includes Ellis Island, the historic gateway for immigrants coming into the US well into the 1950s.
Traveler & Blogger
Hi, I’m Lizzy! In the past 10 years I’ve travelled 60 countries and I’m still counting. While I was backpacking I could not find a website that provides valuable information about hostels. After months of thinking, doubting and brainstorming, hostelstobook.com was born.
I hope to make your trip easier, so you’d only stay in the best hostels around the globe. Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to send me a message.