The Best Hostels in Boston, Massachusetts

There’s always something to do in Boston
There’s always something to do in Boston | © Vlad Ghiea / Alamy Stock Photo
Riley Stefano

Boston has some pricey hotels and Airbnbs, but its hostels are a great lesser-known option for those looking to save money or have a more social experience.

With a choice of private rooms or dorms, many of Boston‘s hostels offer activities to help you engage with the surrounding city. With more than 50 colleges in the greater metropolitan area, Massachusetts’s capital is th dbe perfect spot for nightlife and numerous communal activities, while its compactness means visitors can easily backpack around from any of these hostels.

1. HI Boston Hostel


HI Boston
Courtesy of HI Boston / Expedia

HI Boston is the top budget-friendly stay for travelers exploring the historic city. The hostel offers free daily tours, a free continental breakfast, a 24-hour reception desk, luggage storage before check-in or after check-out, laundry service and bike storage. Centrally located Downtown, on the edge of the city’s Chinatown neighborhood and just steps away from Boston Common, HI Boston opened in 2012 and is designed for the modern hosteler. Male, female and mixed dorms with four or eight bunks are available, as well as private rooms decked out in simple furnishings with a pop of color, and featuring their own private bath. You can socialize with fellow guests in the kitchen and common areas, including a pool table and café.

2. STRB Quarters on Broadway


STRB Quarters on Broadway
Courtesy of STRB Quarters on Broadway /

What was once a local hangout for Boston’s most notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger, is now a newly renovated hostel in South Boston (locally referred to simply as Southie). Opened in 2015, STRB Quarters on Broadway offers private rooms at an affordable rate. Updated furnishings and a minimalist aesthetic make this budget stay feel like a homey apartment rental, but with the luxury of a daily cleaning service. Stroll toward the nearby Seaport District, where rooftop bars and Boston’s best breweries await you. The close proximity to everything that Beantown has to offer means you’ll have plenty of places to explore, no matter how long your stay.

3. Found Hotel Boston Common

Budget Hotel, Hostel

Found Hotel Boston Common
Courtesy of Found Hotel Boston Common /

For first-timers to Boston, there’s no better place from which to take in all the sights than Found Hotel Boston Common. Two or three blocks’ walk in any direction leads you to the city’s best attractions, including the Public Garden, the historic Theater District and the Freedom Trail. Built in 1877 as the Sumner Hotel and designed by renowned architect Harris M Stephenson, Found Hotel Boston Common is one of the oldest continuously operated hotels in Downtown Boston. Old-world charm meets a modern aesthetic and urban atmosphere in Found’s shared and private rooms, with rich wood paneling and period bathroom spaces for a classic yet stylish stay. Make sure to look around the common spaces for the original architectural touches that give Found Hotel Boston Common its historic charm. In addition to convenient options for luggage storage, lockers, safes and laundry, the hotel offers recommended itineraries for pub crawls, day trips, breweries and walking tours.

4. Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships

Hotel Barge, Hostel

Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
Courtesy of Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships /

All aboard! For something a little out of the ordinary, stay in Liberty Clipper, a tall ship docked in Boston Harbor. It’s a seasonal option for travelers visiting between June and mid-September, while the tall ships are in town for the summer. Central to Boston’s North End and Faneuil Hall, you’ll get the best views of the city’s beautiful sunsets, either aboard the ship or onshore at one of the incredible restaurants along the wharf. The schooner houses six cabins that feature bunk beds, a skylight and a private sink area, as well three shared bathrooms.

5. Boston Homestel

Homestay, Hostel

Boston Homestel
Courtesy of Boston Homestel /

Classic hostel meets Airbnb in this cozy stay located in Southie. Featuring both private rooms and dorms for two to four people in mixed or female-only spaces, Boston Homestel takes great pride in the personal touches it provides guests. Perfect for solo travelers looking to meet people and explore the city, Boston Homestel is a home, hostel and community hub all in one, and is situated on a residential street with easy access to the Red Line T. If it’s particularly warm, grab your bathing suit and make your way to the beach just down the street. If you’re looking to stay a month or longer, the hostel offers a work exchange program for reduced or free rent.

6. Backpackers Hostel and Pub


Although situated just outside the city limits, Backpackers is a quick subway ride away from all that Downtown has to offer. If you’re driving from out of town, parking here is cheap compared to the garages in the city center, so you can avoid the worst traffic in the USA and just hop on the daily shuttle when you want to see the sights. With newly designed rooms, a pub, a computer room and superb marks for cleanliness and customer service, this family-owned hostel is the perfect place for travelers looking to save money during their visit.

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