Boasting a crowded, lively environment and plenty of quirks, New York’s hostels have a lot in common with the city itself. Our favorite stays offer amenities only likely to be found here, such as a staff fluent in 12 languages and perks including hostel-organized pub crawls and free itinerary planning. Here are the best hostels in New York.
Chelsea International Hostel
Chelsea International Hostel is popular among backpackers | Courtesy of Chelsea International Hostel / Hostelworld.com
Perks like complimentary breakfast and 24-hour check-in have made one of New York City’s oldest hostels a favorite for 25 years. As the city’s largest independent hostel, Chelsea International Hostel is a trailblazer, helping set trends such as offering in-house entertainment and free meals on Wednesdays. This, plus a front desk staff fluent in over five languages and rooms sleeping up to four travellers as opposed to the more common six-bed rooms, will keep the hostel in business for another quarter-century.
Though pricier than some of its peers, Jazz on the Park Hostel still provides plenty of bang for your buck, thanks to amenities like seasonal barbecues and a coveted location one block from Central Park. In fact, its only-found-here experiences make this a priceless stay. Staff-organized weekly pub crawls and an on-site coffee shop are a couple of Jazz’s above-average amenities.
Starting at just $98 per night, The Broadway Hotel and Hostel’s private rooms, characterized by on-trend exposed brick and artwork, only feel swanky. Spring for one of these or opt for a shared room for half the price to enjoy daily housekeeping service, a guests-only library and business center, and even a bellhop ready to escort you to your room.
HI New York City Hostel is housed in a Victorian Gothic building | Courtesy of HI New York City Hostel / Hostelworld.com
At HI New York City (short for Hostelling International), the numbers speak for themselves. More than 1,840 travelers have recommended the Upper West Side hostel, capable of hosting 672 guests just two blocks from Central Park. Amenities here are equally staggering and include the largest private green space in Manhattan, a kitchen featuring a whopping 36 burners, plus rare features like an on-site laundry room and full-service café. Tip: HI NYC clearly knows what it’s doing, so guests should take advantage of the hostel’s free itinerary planning to guarantee a great trip.
The Local bills itself as a guest’s “best friend in New York” who can offer double and dorm-style rooms instead of a couch and who’s “been waiting all year” for their visit. Befitting such a relationship is hospitality in the form of a fully stocked bar, an all-day café, and access to the hostel’s rooftop and laundry room. Located in trendy Long Island City, Queens, The Local also boasts insider knowledge of “what’s happening” in one of New York’s hottest neighborhoods.
Another Long Island City pick, Q4 Hotel could pass for one of the hipster neighborhood’s attractions. Quirky amenities at this art-adorned hostel include a guests’ “book exchange” library, drink and draw evenings, free outings to the nearby Museum of the Modern Image, and even retro game nights. Tip: Stay with friends to snag Q4’s reasonable group rate—and to have a go-to ping pong partner.
Even budget travelers can experience New York City’s “it” neighborhood when they stay at NY Moore Hostel. The spot’s owners, three brothers and hostel veterans, built NY Moore to embody East Williamsburg. That means guests can look forward to loft-style rooms, a multicultural staff (over 11 languages spoken), and an epic outdoor space.