The 10 Best Hostels in New York City

Updated on: July 6, 2024 by Mick

New York City, known for its incredible energy and iconic landmarks, is a prime destination for travellers from around the world. For those looking to explore the Big Apple without spending a fortune, the best hostels in New York offer a viable and exciting option. These hostels not only provide affordable lodging but also serve as social hubs where guests can meet and exchange stories.

Hostels in New York cater to a diverse crowd, ranging from backpackers and solo travellers to groups and budget-conscious families. They are strategically located across various boroughs, allowing easy access to museums, parks, restaurants, and nightlife. Each hostel comes with its own unique vibe and amenities, designed to enhance the stay of its guests.

Quick Introduction to Hostels in New York City

Hostels in New York offer an affordable and sociable lodging option for travellers visiting this bustling city. Known for their communal settings, hostels are ideal for those looking to meet new people while saving money on accommodation. Whether you're a solo adventurer or travelling in a group, New York's hostels provide a budget-friendly alternative to traditional hotels.

Here are some of the things you should consider before booking a hostel in New York City:

Price: Hostels in New York are priced significantly lower than hotels, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious travellers. Hostels in New York City start at €47 but expect to pay €50 to €80 for a dorm bed in a good hostel. Please note that the NYC Sales Tax (14.75%) and the Occupancy tax of $3.50 per person per night may not be included in the quoted price. This may need to be paid separately upon arrival.

Location: New York hostels are scattered across all five boroughs, each offering a different perspective of the city. Whether you want to stay in the heart of Manhattan, near the trendy areas of Brooklyn, or in a quieter part of Queens, there’s a hostel for every preference. Their locations often provide easy access to the NYC Subway, making it simple to explore the city.

Amenities/Services: Despite their low cost, many hostels in New York are rich in amenities and services. Common offerings include free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, lounges, and sometimes even complimentary breakfast. Additional services might include laundry facilities, luggage storage, and 24-hour reception. Hostels frequently organize events like city tours or social nights, enhancing the travel experience.

Staff: The staff at New York hostels are typically friendly and knowledgeable about the city. They can provide valuable information on things to do, places to eat, and how to navigate the city efficiently. Staff members often play a crucial role in the social aspect of hostel life, facilitating interactions among guests and ensuring a welcoming environment.

Best Hostels in New York City - Quick Answers

Here's a summary of the best hostels in New York City organized into different categories:

The Best Hostels in New York City

Here’s my comprehensive guide to the 10 best hostels in New York City:

1. American Dream Hostel

American Dream Hostel Common Area

American Dream Hostel is located in the heart of Manhattan, New York, offering a cosy, family-run vibe that makes guests feel right at home. Positioned conveniently in Midtown, it's within walking distance of landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park, making it ideal for tourists and casual travellers alike. The hostel's warm atmosphere is accentuated by its friendly staff and vibrant social spaces, inviting guests to relax and mingle.

American Dream Hostel Twin Room

The rooms at American Dream Hostel are comfortable and clean, providing a pleasant retreat after a day of city exploration. Guests can choose from private rooms or shared dormitories, all of which include essential amenities. The private rooms feel especially homey, equipped with soft beds and charming decor, while the dorms offer a social, communal experience with safety and comfort in mind.

A quick overview of American Dream Hostel

  • Complimentary continental breakfast is served every morning
  • Cosy communal lounge area perfect for socializing and relaxing
  • Linen and towels are provided free of charge to all guests
  • Central air conditioning to ensure comfort during New York’s hot summers and cold winters

Private rooms from €133
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2. Nap York Central Park Sleep Station

Nap York Central Park Sleep Station Common Area

Nap York Central Park Sleep Station offers a tranquil retreat right in the bustling heart of New York City. Located just steps away from Central Park, this hostel appeals to guests who seek a peaceful vibe amidst the city’s chaos. Its modern, minimalist design promotes relaxation and simplicity, providing a stark contrast to the busy streets just outside. Ideal for travellers who prioritize wellness and rest, Nap York is also close to major museums and cultural sites, enhancing its appeal to culturally inclined visitors.

Nap York Central Park Sleep Station Dorm Room

The rooms at Nap York are designed with peace and privacy in mind. Each capsule-style room is soundproofed, featuring comfortable bedding and ambient lighting to ensure a restful sleep. Despite the compact size, each space is efficiently laid out to maximize comfort, making it perfect for solo travellers or busy professionals looking for a quick recharge.

A quick overview of Nap York

  • Soundproofed rooms for maximum privacy and minimal noise
  • Personalized climate control in each capsule for individual comfort
  • Complimentary herbal teas and water to promote relaxation
  • Strategic location near Central Park for easy access to natural beauty and outdoor activities

Dorm beds from €101
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3. International Student Center

International Student Center Common Area

International Student Center is ideally located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, offering a welcoming and supportive environment particularly suited for student travellers and young explorers. This hostel boasts a community-oriented atmosphere that encourages cultural exchange and interaction among its international guests. It’s a stone's throw from Central Park and several major universities, making it an excellent base for educational pursuits and leisurely exploration of the city’s green spaces.

International Student Center Dorm Room

Rooms at the International Student Center are basic but comfortable, tailored to meet the needs of young, budget-conscious travellers. The accommodations are dormitory-style, separated by gender, providing a safe and communal living experience. Each room is equipped with bunk beds, lockers for personal belongings, and ample natural light, creating a simple yet functional space for rest and study.

A quick overview of the International Student Center

  • A communal kitchen where guests can cook meals and share food cultures
  • A cosy lounge area for socializing, studying, or just relaxing
  • A garden space that provides a serene escape from the urban hustle
  • Daily organized events to explore the city

Dorm beds from €75, Private rooms from €365
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4. The Local NYC

The Local NYC Cafe

The Local NYC stands out in the vibrant neighbourhood of Long Island City, Queens, known for its thriving arts scene and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. This hostel attracts a creative crowd with its industrial chic design and welcoming communal spaces that encourage interaction and collaboration among guests. Just a short subway ride from central Manhattan, it's a fantastic base for those wanting to explore both the bustling city centre and the more laid-back, artistic quarters of New York.

The Local NYC Dorm Room

The rooms at The Local NYC offer a blend of comfort and style, perfect for budget travellers and artists alike. Guests can choose from private rooms with stunning city views or shared dormitories that foster a sense of community. Each room is thoughtfully designed with modern décor and equipped with essentials like comfortable beds, personal lockers, and power outlets.

A quick overview of The Local NYC

  • Rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the New York City skyline
  • On-site bar and café serving local craft beers and quality coffee
  • Art events and gallery shows hosted within the hostel
  • Cosy movie theatre for evening entertainment and relaxation

Dorm beds from €69
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5. NY Moore Hostel

NY Moore Hostel Outdoor Patio

NY Moore Hostel is situated in the heart of Brooklyn's eclectic East Williamsburg neighbourhood, a hub for artists and musicians. This hostel embraces a cool, artsy vibe, featuring mural-adorned walls and a spacious, open layout that encourages guests to mingle. Its location provides easy access to Brooklyn's vibrant street art, live music venues, and unique eateries, and it's just a quick subway ride to Manhattan.

NY Moore Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at NY Moore Hostel are airy and bright, offering both private and dorm-style accommodations. Each room is equipped with comfortable beds, free linens, and personal lockers, ensuring a comfortable and secure stay. The décor reflects the artistic spirit of the neighbourhood, with colourful art and modern touches.

A quick overview of NY Moore Hostel

  • Large common area perfect for socializing and meeting other travellers
  • Outdoor courtyard for relaxation or hosting events
  • Free maps and guides to help guests explore New York City
  • Weekly events like movie nights and barbecues

Dorm beds from €56, Private rooms from €187
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

6. HI NYC Hostel

HI NYC Hostel Common Area

HI NYC Hostel is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, just a short walk from Central Park. This hostel offers a bustling, youthful atmosphere that's ideal for travellers looking to make new friends and explore the city. The building itself is a historic Victorian-style structure, providing a unique blend of old-world charm and modern hostel culture. It's close to major subway lines, making it easy to navigate all of New York City's top attractions.

HI NYC Hostel Dorm Room

The rooms at HI NYC Hostel are designed to accommodate a range of needs, with both private and shared options available. Each room is clean and functional, with comfortable beds, personal lockers, and high ceilings. The shared rooms help foster a community feel, while private rooms offer more solitude.

A quick overview of HI NYC Hostel

  • Massive common areas including a game room, library, and outdoor patio
  • Fully equipped guest kitchen to prepare meals
  • Daily free activities and tours led by local volunteers
  • Theatre room for movie nights and other entertainment
  • Laundry facilities available on-site for guest use

Dorm beds from €62, Private rooms from €221
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

7. Interfaith Retreats

International Student Center Common Area

Interfaith Retreats is located in Manhattan, offering a unique, serene experience in the midst of New York City’s hustle and bustle. This hostel is designed for spiritual reflection and intercultural exchange, providing a tranquil atmosphere for guests from all backgrounds. Its proximity to major landmarks and public transportation makes it a convenient choice for those seeking both inner peace and urban adventure.

Interfaith Retreats Private Room

The rooms at Interfaith Retreats are modest and private, each dedicated to promoting a quiet, reflective space. They come equipped with basic amenities including a single bed, desk, and chair, catering to those who appreciate simplicity and solitude.

A quick overview of Interfaith Retreats

  • Daily vegetarian breakfast included to start the day with a peaceful meal
  • Personal meditation and prayer spaces are available to all guests
  • Scheduled daily activities focused on spiritual wellness and cultural appreciation
  • A library filled with spiritual and religious texts from around the world
  • Peaceful garden area for relaxation and personal reflection

Private rooms from €122
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8. Q4 Hotel

Q4 Hotel Reception

Q4 Hotel is situated in the vibrant neighbourhood of Long Island City, Queens, offering easy access to Manhattan via a short subway ride. This modern hostel caters to travellers seeking a fun, social atmosphere with its contemporary design and lively communal areas. The location is perfect for those looking to explore both the iconic sights of Manhattan and the innovative art scenes of Queens.

Q4 Hotel Dorm Room

Rooms at Q4 Hotel are sleek and functional, designed with the modern traveller in mind. Guests can choose from private rooms or shared dormitories, all featuring comfortable beds, personal lockers, and air conditioning. The clean, minimalist decor ensures a restful stay while maximizing space and comfort.

A quick overview of Q4 Hotel

  • Communal kitchen facilities for self-catering, fostering a sense of community
  • Game room with billiards and other entertainment options
  • Daily housekeeping to maintain cleanliness and comfort
  • Spacious lounge areas for relaxing and socializing with other travellers

Dorm beds from €56, Private rooms from €150
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

9. Chelsea International Hostel

Chelsea International Hostel Exterior

Chelsea International Hostel is located in the vibrant Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan, known for its rich art culture and proximity to iconic New York attractions like the High Line and Chelsea Market. This hostel boasts a relaxed, friendly atmosphere that attracts a diverse crowd of travellers eager to explore the city. With easy access to several subway lines, it’s a great starting point for discovering all that New York has to offer.

The rooms at Chelsea International Hostel are simple and practical, offering both private and dormitory-style accommodations. Each room features basic amenities, including comfortable beds, storage lockers, and a clean, shared bathroom. The minimalist setup is ideal for budget travellers looking for a straightforward place to rest.

A quick overview of Chelsea International Hostel

  • A charming outdoor courtyard where guests can relax or socialize
  • Complimentary breakfast to start the day right
  • Security lockers to safely store personal belongings
  • Common room equipped with a TV and comfortable seating for downtime activities

Dorm beds from €63, Private rooms from €80
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10. West Side YMCA

West Side YMCA Reception

West Side YMCA is located just off Central Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, making it an ideal spot for travellers looking to explore the natural beauty of the park and nearby cultural icons like Lincoln Center. This hostel offers a community-focused, active vibe that encourages guests to take advantage of its extensive fitness facilities. With a welcoming atmosphere and budget-friendly prices, it caters to solo travellers, families, and groups seeking a healthy and dynamic stay in New York.

West Side YMCA Dorm Room

The rooms at West Side YMCA are compact and efficiently arranged, perfect for budget-conscious travellers. Guests can choose from single, double, or deluxe rooms, each equipped with basic furniture and a television. Although the rooms are modest, they are clean and provide a private space to unwind after a busy day in the city.

A quick overview of West Side YMCA

  • Full access to state-of-the-art fitness facilities including swimming pools, gyms, and workout classes
  • Convenient location near public transport links for easy city exploration
  • Housekeeping services included to maintain a clean living space
  • Community programs and activities available to enhance the guest experience

Private rooms from €127
Check Prices On Hostelworld!

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in New York City

New York City is an unforgettable destination, and choosing to stay in one of the best hostels in New York can make the experience even more memorable and affordable. These hostels not only provide a budget-friendly alternative to traditional hotels, but they also offer a unique social atmosphere that is hard to find elsewhere. For travellers looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant life of the city while meeting fellow adventurers, these hostels are an excellent choice.

Hostels in New York are strategically located across various neighbourhoods, giving visitors the flexibility to explore the city's myriad attractions easily. Whether you want to visit the bustling streets of Manhattan or the artistic enclaves of Brooklyn, there's a hostel nearby that can serve as a convenient and comfortable base. With options ranging from quiet, cosy setups to lively, bustling environments, there’s a hostel to suit every traveller's needs.

Finally, the top hostels in New York are more than just places to sleep. They provide amenities and services that enhance the travel experience, such as communal kitchens, organized tours, and social events. The staff are typically enthusiastic and knowledgeable, ready to help guests navigate the city and make the most of their stay. For anyone looking to explore New York City on a budget, these hostels offer a fantastic mix of value, convenience, and fun.

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