Although China’s backpacker scene is still taking baby steps, Shanghai is a great destination for travellers on a budget. At first glance, the world’s biggest metropolis is all about towering skyscrapers and glittering five-star hotels, but visitors can also look forward to a growing collection of excellent hostels.
Guests at The Phoenix can relax on the hostel’s rooftop terrace | Courtesy of The Phoenix / Hostelworld
Even Shanghai’s finest five-star hotels couldn’t claim a better location than this hostel on South Yunnan Road, wedged between two subway stations, People’s Square, the Nanjing Road shopping strip and the Bund watefront. The Phoenix also has a ‘take a book, leave a book’ communal library, reception staff who can help you with travel and tours, and a rooftop terrace where guests can unwind after a day’s sightseeing.
BeeHome International Youth Hostel is close to the Oriental Pearl Television Tower | Courtesy of BeeHome International Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
Located smack bang in the middle of the Pudong financial district in the shadow of the Oriental Pearl Television Tower, this hostel is made up of 25 private rooms and 40 bright dormitories. BeeHome Hostel also includes an on-site restaurant, self-service laundry, free Wi-Fi in every corner of the property, hot showers and air conditioning, plus an in-house bar in which to share a drink with new friends.
Shanghai Hidden Garden Youth Hostel underwent a makeover in 2017 | Courtesy of Shanghai Hidden Garden Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
The only backpackers’ hostel located among the dazzling skyscrapers of the Lujiazui financial district, Shanghai Hidden Garden is a green oasis in this concrete jungle. The property completed a total head-to-toe makeover in June 2017, revealing seven double-bed rooms and 15 spacious dorms all with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a chic garden terrace.
Mingtown Etour International Youth Hostel’s courtyard is a place where guests can unwind | Courtesy of Mingtown Etour International Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
Mingtown Etour International Youth Hostel is just a stroll from People’s Square and Nanjing Road. The whole property is built in the traditional single-level Shanghai residential style, with a central courtyard to chill out in, an on-site restaurant and bar, a friendly common area and a small pool.
Blue Mountain Luwan Youth Hostel has its own common room | Courtesy of Blue Mountain Luwan Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
Sitting just across the street from the Luban Road subway station, this homely hostel is well connected to the rest of Shanghai. Blue Mountain Luwan Youth Hostel includes a common area with a lively bar, a cosy fireplace and a pair of antique “shi-fu-men” doors hanging on the wall that are hundreds of years old.
Tours Soho Garden Hostel features loft-style rooms | Courtesy of Tours Soho Garden Hostel / Hostelworld
This city centre property occupies a 150-year-old building with unique loft-style accommodations and authentic regional decorations. Beautifully appointed guest rooms surround the lush central courtyard. There is also a common-room library, bar, fully equipped kitchen and helpful reception area, where staff can assist guests with travel arrangements.
Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth Hostel’s rooms are kitted out with security lockers | Courtesy of Mingtown Nanjing Road Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
This Mingtown hostel enjoys an enviable location on Nanjing Road, only steps from the Bund, People’s Square, the Old City and Yu Garden. The super-stylish dorms all come with solid wooden security lockers, individual lights and power outlets, plus there are a handful of sleek private rooms to book, too.
This Jing’an property prides itself on providing an environment for travellers to get to know each other, both in its mellow communal lounge and its fully equipped self-service kitchen. The air-conditioned dorms and private rooms all come with bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and a helpful 24-hour reception desk.
Rock&Wood International Youth Hostel is in the quiet neighbourhood of Hongqiao | Courtesy of Rock&Wood International Youth Hostel / Hostelworld
Located away from the hustle and bustle of central Shanghai in the quieter residential area of Hongqiao, Rock&Wood is a serene place to stay on a budget. The al fresco common area is almost as lush as nearby Tianshan Park; meanwhile, the lounge room is loaded with books to borrow, and the bar area is a great place to meet fellow backpackers.