The Best Hostels and Cheap Hotels in Hamburg, Germany

Cut costs on a trip to Hamburg with a stay at one of these budget-friendly properties
Cut costs on a trip to Hamburg with a stay at one of these budget-friendly properties | Courtesy of INNSiDE by Meliá Hamburg Hafen /
Photo of Elizabeth Harris
16 August 2021

Germany’s celebrated port city of Hamburg derives its wilful, irrepressible character from its maritime setting and history. Wander the city streets and you can’t fail to absorb it, from the historic harbourfront to the network of canals and the lively Fischmarkt in the borough of Altona. There’s a huge range of places to stay at notably affordable prices, so check in to a room at one of Hamburg’s finest hostels – which you can now book with Culture Trip.

Generator Hostel

A bed with two shelves on the wall and artwork of an animal sleeping on a branch in a room at Generator Hostel in Hamburg
Courtesy of Generator Hostel /
Choose between private rooms and dorms at this funky outpost of the hip Generator hostel chain. Decor is simple and functional, guaranteed not to keep you awake at night. With a convenient location close to Hamburg’s central station, the property is particularly good for large groups – and a dedicated booking coordinator makes the reservation process even easier. One of the highlights of staying here is the Helter Skelter bar, with local craft beers on tap, street-food style snacks and live music. You might be tempted never to step out.

Arcade Hostel

A bed, table and chair in a room at Arcade Hostel in Hamburg
Courtesy of Arcade Hostel /

Here’s a friendly, family-run hotel with pedigree – it dates from 1961 – offering a range of sound-proofed rooms. Despite shared bathrooms, it’s more discreet than a lot of the competition in this non-stop city, guaranteeing privacy, peace and quiet. Wake each morning to breakfast in the newly renovated breakfast room, with its large sun terrace for the warmer months. The hostel has its own car park – free for guests – secure parking for bikes and motorbikes, and, within 15 minutes’ walk, a tram stop for trips to the centre.

Meininger Hotel

Wooden chairs at a table, with low-hanging lights, at Meininger Hotel in Hamburg
Courtesy of Meininger Hotel /
Drawing inspiration from Hamburg’s history as a major European port, Meininger hotel incorporates natty nautical details into its design – look out for industrial-themed murals and quirky wood and metal furnishings. Staying here you’re in the centre of the city, and close to neighbouring Altona train station. The nearby Sternschanze quarter is the place to find bars, restaurants and plenty of nightlife. If you fancy spending an evening in, there’s a game zone to keep you entertained, complete with pool and table football.

Pyjama Park

Boutique Hotel, Hostel, Hotel
A bed in a room at Pyjama Park in Hamburg, with a black and white mural on the wall and potted plants around the room
Courtesy of Pyjama Park /
What used to be the factory of Hamburg-based, luxury-goods company Mont Blanc is now the unique, budget base Pyjama Park Hotel & Hostel. There’s nods to local creatives in its interior design: look out for head-turning murals by city-born artist Kid Overhead among works from other German and Swiss artists. There’s plenty of choice, accommodation-wise – 17 private rooms as well as mixed dorms. There’s no eating on site, but breakfast is served at neighbouring restaurant Jill, from granola to croissants and weekend brunch. Alternatively, head to Schanzenviertel district, where you’ll find a host of indie cafes and cosy bars.

MAC City Hostel

Bunk beds and a table with a chair in a room at MAC City Hostel in Hamburg
Courtesy of MAC City Hostel /

Close to Hamburg central station, MAC City Hostel is ideal for budget-conscious travellers who want to explore the city and have good transport links. Rooms are clean and basic, with shared bathrooms and luggage storage. Make the most of the free snacks, drinks and wifi in the communal lounge, and consider bike rental organised by the hostel – it’s a quick and easy way to get around the city. If you’re looking for a cosy night in, there are board games and puzzles.

Cab 20

Couches, chairs, artwork on the wall, stereos and a vending machine in the stylish lobby area at Cab 20
Courtesy of Cab 20 /

Hostels can be effortlessly cool, and Cab 20 is the proof – an essay in natural materials that make the place feel warm and inviting. It can also lay claim to being Germany’s first cabin hostel – all the rooms are in private cabins. Each of these has a queen-size bed, free wifi and wireless charging stations. They’ve also thoughtfully added built-in Bluetooth speakers and storage systems that’ll swallow up your luggage, so you’ve got plenty of room.

Hotel Hafen

A bed, desk, chair and floor-to-ceiling windows at Hotel Hafen
Courtesy of Hotel Hafen /
Hafen means harbour – and if you want to make the most of Hamburg’s marine setting, this is where to base yourself. It has unrivalled views of the River Elbe and the aforementioned harbour, and if you pick the right room – just ask when reserving – you can wake to take in tranquil aquatic expanses. There are further photo-worthy outlooks from the hotel’s Tower Bar and Port restaurant. Top tip: Hotel Hafen is dog-friendly so you bring your furry mate along, too.

Innside Hamburg Hafen

Bar stools and hanging plants around the stylish bar at Innside Hamburg Hafen
Courtesy of Innside Hamburg Hafen/

With its setting beside one of the city’s historic canals, Innside Hamburg Hafen is a funky, fun place to base yourself for a weekend. There’s plenty of light pouring through large windows, and graffiti-inspired murals throughout add pops of colour and character. If you fancy lazing over a drink, there’s a sun terrace overlooking the canal where you might also like a bite to eat. When not out on the town, make the most of your down time – there’s board-game rental, a monthly “sofa concert” and a Finnish sauna to soothe post-party limbs.

Scandic Hamburg Emporio

Tables and chairs, with wine glasses, in the dining area at Scandic Hamburg Emporio
Courtesy of Scandic Hamburg Emporio /

Glossy and sophisticated but also family-friendly, the Scandic Hamburg Emporio has memorably cool rooms with statement art and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. If travelling with children, book the Superior Family room, which includes a pull-out sofa bed for the young ones. The on-site restaurant has a kids’ menu, and is open for lunch and dinner. When looking after little ones has exhausted you, head off for some relaxing “you” time – the hotel has not one, but two saunas.

The Niu Keg

A bed with red bedspread and blue headboard at the Niu Keg in Hamburg
Courtesy of The Niu Keg /

What’s in a name? In this case, one of Hamburg’s main exports: beer. The Niu Keg recalls an age when more than 400 breweries operated in the city. Throughout the hostel, you’ll stumble upon references to Germany’s best-known beverage, ranging from stylised barrel patterns on the floors to circular barrel shelves on the walls. Rooms fall into three sizes: the Tripster, the Townster and the Hipster – the largest of the three. This includes a double bed and seating area with a pull-out sofa, finished with fun, nautical-style design details.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Anwesha Ray.

Looking for more wallet-friendly stays? Read our guide to the best budget hotels in the city. If you want to loosen the purse strings a bit, book one of the best hotels in Hamburg, and check out our guide to the top boutique accommodation in the city. If you really want to treat yourself, check into one of the best luxury hotels or boutique hotels, bookable on Culture Trip. Read on to find out how to spend a weekend in Hamburg, and head to the coolest neighbourhoods in town.

These recommendations were updated on August 16, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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