New York welcomes 60 million tourists each year, making hotel and hostel accommodations as ubiquitous in the city as yellow cabs and Starbucks. A Manhattan stay for under $300 a night, on the other hand? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Luckily for you, budgeting backpackers, it’s possible to find a number of easy-on-the-wallet hostels in Manhattan if you know where to look (hint: you’re in the right place). Just in time for your next adventure, here are the best backpacker hostels in Manhattan, New York.
At HI NYC Hostel, you’re more than a tourist: you’re a guest. Particularly great for solo travelers, this Upper West Side spot emphasizes the social side of hostel stays through group outings to concerts and sports events, free daily tours and welcome receptions, and a private green space (the largest in New York City) exclusive to guests. If you can tear yourself away from HI NYC’s Victorian Gothic-style architecture and in-hostel café, be sure to visit neighborhood landmarks such as Central Park, St. John the Divine, and Tom’s Diner.
In a city where location is king, New York Budget Inn takes the crown. Boasting a coveted Murray Hill address, this hostel places you within walking distance from all of Midtown Manhattan’s world-famous attractions, such as the Empire State Building. With 64 private and shared rooms, daily housekeeping service, free wifi, and a 24-hour security and reception desk, the inn provides plenty of reasons to stay in as well.
For 90 years, 220 Bowery has hosted travelers hungry for a bite of the Big Apple. Continuing this tradition is the loft-style property’s current incarnation, The Bowery House, a cool accommodation catering to a cosmopolitan (and budget-conscious) crowd. It features a landscaped roof deck with Italian furniture, an in-hostel international newsstand, and worldly neighbors such as the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Chinatown, and International Center of Photography Museum.
Continually rated as one of the top hostels in New York City, Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel matches great prices with even greater value. At its prime location near world-famous sites such as Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center, the hostel offers guests a front-row seat to the symphony that is the city. Here, you’ll enjoy a smooth stay, complete with secure key-card room access, complimentary breakfast and daily housekeeping, 24-hour reception and security, and free in-room lockers.
So nice, we’re naming it twice—Jazz on the Park Hostel offers the same reliability as its downtown counterpart, this time in an exciting new environment. Ideal for those seeking a more traditional tourist experience, the hostel’s Upper West Side location places you within walking distance from top attractions, including Central Park, Fifth Avenue, and Museum Mile, home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and more world-famous institutions. Tip: Take advantage of this location’s on-demand concierge service, which makes securing tickets to the city’s top spots a walk in the park.
Since 1993, Chelsea International Hostel has been the backpacker’s pick for a central stay in New York City. In its 14 years of operation, the hostel has perfected the art of affordable luxury, offering complimentary daily breakfast and weekly pizza nights, free wifi, an exclusive courtyard, and 24-hour service from knowledgeable New York City locals.
Think of Pod 51 as a hostel for grown-ups. Here, compact rooms, or pods, may resemble stylish dorm rooms, but this is not your average backpacker’s place. Private bathrooms and multiple shared bathrooms on every floor, secure in-room safes, a backyard garden and terrace, and a rooftop deck featuring some of the best views in the city let you know you’ve graduated.
This family-owned business has been making travelers’ dreams come true for the past 15 years by providing small-town hospitality in the big city. At American Dream Bed and Breakfast, you’ll call the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and Union Square your neighbors and the B&B’s welcoming staff your New York family. For as low as $94 a night, you can secure a sense of home, complete with a private room, free wifi, and complimentary breakfasts featuring homemade waffles, seasonal fresh fruit, hot coffee, and more.
Become a student of the city at this not-for-profit youth hostel, serving travelers aged 18 to 35 from around the world for more than 50 years. Situated in a brownstone on the Upper West Side, International Student Center boasts a central location near the world-famous Central Park, convenient access to all of New York City via multiple subway lines, and a multilingual staff of locals. Also featuring a social environment and no curfew, this hostel could teach its peers a thing or two about enabling enlightening travel.
A pioneer of New York City’s “boutique hostel” movement, Broadway Hotel and Hostel specializes in providing high-end experiences at low-end prices. Whether you prefer a private room and bath or a shared room, to mingle in the chic guest lounge or to discover nearby bars, shops, and landmarks, your ideal stay awaits you at Broadway Hotel.