Whether you’re in Bangkok to check out its incredible street food scene, tour the city’s countless glittery Buddhist temples, or simply shop until you drop, you’ll also want somewhere convivial and affordable to rest your head. Our pick of the best hostels in Bangkok effortlessly combine design, atmosphere, and value.
If you can’t sleep while you’re staying at Glur, that’s okay. The ground floor of this functional but bright and modern hostel – conveniently set on a side street that’s seconds from Saphan Taksin Skytrain station and river boat pier – doubles up as a vintage-decorated 24-hour coffee shop and bar, meaning there’s always the option of passing the time with a caffeine fix or a shot of something stronger. There are both privacy-forward dorms with plentiful storage and duplex double rooms with private bathrooms, while facilities include free laundry services plus a shared kitchen and sun terrace.
The funky lobby at Yim (‘smile’ in Thai) is reason enough to stay here – and that’s before you’ve even set foot in the contemporary dorms. Unlike many hostels, all dorms have natural light and garden views, and there are also double and twin private rooms, some with balconies and with a mix of private and shared bathrooms. Yim’s location in Bangkok’s Huai Khwang might be a tad off-putting at first, but it’s right beside a subway station and also ideally set to allow you to get more of a feel for Bangkokians’ everyday lives.
Probably Bangkok’s most well-known hostels, Lub d (which translates as ‘sleep well’) now has two locations in the capital, as well as properties in Phuket, Koh Samui, and even Cambodia and the Philippines. Lub d’s Siam and Silom hostels are close to Skytrain and subway stations, allowing you to hop around the city with ease. While dorms are bigger than some hostels (private rooms are also available), facilities are extensive. However, what sets Lub d apart from the competition is the array of activities laid on by staff – from bar crawls to local rice whisky tastings – to help newbie travellers get a feel for Thailand.
Economising by staying in a hostel usually means foregoing luxuries like a pool – but not so at Refill Now! This swanky all-glass hostel might be located a trek from downtown in eastern Bangkok’s Phra Khanong neighbourhood (and even a fair way from the Skytrain, it has to be said), but we reckon that’s a small price to pay to be able to kick back in a pretty stunning tropical garden oasis. Six-bed dorms are well equipped with the essentials and, as well as private rooms which share bathrooms, there are killer vintage en-suite loft rooms if you can swing the slightly higher prices.
NapPark is another name on the lips of travellers in the know in Bangkok. Two streets from Khaosan Road, locations don’t come much better for partaking in old-town Bangkok’s infamous backpacker party scene. There’s a sociable vibe at the hostel itself, too, so you might end up spending more time here than planned. Cleverly designed dorms feature all you need for a fuss-free stay, while stylish bathrooms come with basic toiletries. There’s a rooftop balcony space, the inviting lobby has local snacks to try each afternoon (breakfast is available for a fee) and, like competitor Lub d, there’s a regular schedule of themed activities.
If a slide (yes, like in a playground!) isn’t enough to get you to check into Here Hostel, we’re not sure what is. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a gimmicky kind of place – the airy decor inside this restored colonial-style house in Bangkok’s historic old town area is actually remarkably stylish, while also sporting unmistakable modern touches. The location just south-east of Democracy Monument puts you around a 10-minute walk from Khaosan Road, and rooms range from four- to 10-bed dorms to twin and double private rooms – the best of which are loft-style with en-suite bathrooms and chic balconies.
Branching out from its Cambodian origins, lively hostel chain Mad Monkey has established a Bangkok base on Phra Sumen Road in the old town, less than a 10-minute walk from party central Khaosan Road. This is another of those few hostels that come with its own pool, as well as an on-site bar and restaurant, while dorms are decent but en-suite private rooms feature more comfort and even have desks.
Smack bang in Bangkok’s newest happening district for art, food, and cocktails – centred on Charoenkrung sois 28 and 30 – Oldtown Hostel is a large, vintage-themed property that packs in a whopping 111 beds over three floors. The sprawling, airy lobby features a snooker table and adjoins an on-site coffee shop – as well as the sustainability-focussed 80/20 restaurant, a hot table for Bangkok’s hippest and most discerning diners of all ages. Double and family private rooms are available in addition to six- and eight-bed dorms, while the latter offer particularly attractive rates for long stays of four nights or more.
In northern Bangkok’s trendy hipster-heaven Ari neighbourhood, The Yard’s name at once reflects the hostel’s central garden space and plays on the Thai word for ‘relative’ – the idea being for guests to feel like a friend of the family. The Yard’s charming approach means that, since opening, it’s been keen to welcome resident Bangkokians for drinking and hangout sessions with traveller guests – so it’s easy to make local friends. Four- and six-bed dorms and gorgeous private rooms (all in eco-friendly shipping containers) are bright, airy, and modern, while freebies include breakfast, bicycle hire, and even two months of luggage storage.
The Onion’s unique location sets it apart from the pack. This hostel, named after the area’s numerous wholesale onion shops, is mere steps from the entrance to Bangkok’s 24-hour flower market Pak Khlong Talat, a famous tourist attraction in its own right. That means it’s also just back from the riverfront, with convenient access by public boat to both the old-town and business districts of the city. Comfortable dorms fill the unusually shaped restored shophouse; top-floor private rooms are available, too, while the tiny but cute cottage-like kitchen is the setting for the free breakfast.