A sprawling metropolis brimming with museums, restaurants and celebrities, Los Angeles can be overwhelming and expensive to visit. But it is possible to explore the City of Angels without breaking the bank. When it comes to accommodation, hostels can be an affordable and social option. Whether you’re looking for a party atmosphere, want to stay in a Hollywood manor or prefer something beachside, these are the best hostels in LA.
Orange Drive Hostel is located in a historic 1910 manor steeped in Hollywood history. During the Golden Age, the manor was converted into a boarding house where stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth stayed. In its current phase of life, the hostel hosts budget travelers looking for a relaxed environment. It’s located on a quiet street within walking distance of iconic sights, including Sunset Boulevard, the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The hostel offers dorm, private and group rooms. A free breakfast (with pancakes and waffles) is included in the stay.
A former motel, Banana Bungalow is ideal for those who want to socialize (or party) during their trip to La La Land. Banana Bungalow organizes free social nights, including karaoke and a pub crawl. Dorms have either six or eight beds and their own bath and kitchen. Because of the motel-esque layout, there is also on-site parking. The Hollywood Sign can be spotted from the courtyard, which has been converted into a hangout area.
Freehand LA feels more like a hotel (and costs it), but in typical hostel fashion, it offers a slew of shared rooms. Located in downtown LA, the hostel is walking distance to sights such as The Last Bookstore, Grand Central Market and The Broad museum. In terms of amenities, Freehand has a rooftop pool and bar, plus a restaurant and fitness center. The shared rooms can house four, six or eight and have their own en-suite bathrooms. Beds in shared rooms also have privacy screens with outlets and reading lights. Freehand does organize a few events each week, including rooftop yoga by the pool on Saturday mornings.
Located in the coastal city of Santa Monica, HI Los Angeles is just a block from the beach. The surrounding neighborhood is full of trendy shops and restaurants, and nearby public transit is available to take guests to explore the rest of LA. The hostel also organizes daily events and tours that visitors can sign up for. With 260 beds across four floors, HI Los Angeles is a giant. But the behemoth hostel is also eco-friendly, having been awarded Santa Monica Green Business Certification for its sustainability measures.
Located in the heart of Hollywood, USA Hostels Hollywood is minutes away from the Walk of Fame and the TCL Chinese Theatre. The hostel organizes daily tours and activities, such as a hike to the Hollywood Sign. For those looking to venture outside of Hollywood, there’s a shuttle three times a week that takes guests to the beaches in Santa Monica and Venice. In 2018, USA Hostels installed central air conditioning and remodeled the rooms and bathrooms. Beds in group rooms have privacy panels that come with a shelf, bed light and power outlet. Breakfast is also included with the stay.