There are so many reasons to come to Austin. No matter what time of the year the weather is nice, there’s a continual rotation of festivals, and the people watching is some of the highest caliber that you’ll find. One thing that may put off tourists, however, is the fact that Austin is steadily becoming a more and more expensive city to stay in. The secret though is not to look at hotels, it’s to check the hostels. Although they aren’t as well advertised, there are plenty of excellent choices for those who are looking to save a few extra pennies. Here are six of the best hostels in Austin:
In Central-East Austin is a hostel built with travelers in mind. Perfectly situated for easy access to all parts of town, this hostel also caters to the weary who just want to relax in a chair swing in the sunshine. The yard is gated and filled with built-in games for you to enjoy and engage with others. The rooms are filled with oversized beds with super-solid frames and are always impeccably clean.
Native is one of the trendiest hotels in the city. Filled with adventurous spirits who are staying the night as well as locals, this venue cultivates curiosity and encourages wanderlust. Native is a kinetic collision of music, arts, warm beds, sleepless nights, food and spirits. The sleeping arrangements are communal, and downstairs visitors can mingle with locals in the Native Bar & Kitchen, which hosts a locally popular happy hour and routinely has noteworthy music acts that are worth staying awake for.
There are hostels, and then there are hostels. HK falls into the latter category as its beds are scattered throughout the rooms of an elegant Victorian mansion originally constructed in 1892 that is a registered historic landmark in the City of Austin. Filled with creative thinkers and inspired entrepreneurs, the modernized interior of this old home is converted into a co-living space where you can stay for a day, a week or a month. No matter how long you stay, make sure to take advantage of the two white wraparound porches where you can sit and admire the city and sip on Lone Star beer.
Just off 6th street – Austin’s liveliest stretch for nightlife – is the very affordable Firehouse Hostel. Once a firehouse built in 1885, it now serves as an updated hostel and lounge. It provides free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and various room options. Depending on how much you’re looking to pay, it offers rooms with both shared and private bathrooms, deluxe dorm-style and economy dorms. Prices range from about $30 a night per person to $90 for a private room.
Drifter Jack's Hostel | Courtesy of Drifter Jack's
Known locally as DJ’s, this hostel is located right across from the University of Texas campus and its decor is everything you would expect from a residence residing right next to a college. 25 local artists were commissioned to paint murals throughout every room and common area and the result is a vibrant and lively space where ideas flow. Also, right next door is the Austin favorite Hole in the Wall where you can get $1 beers and cocktails.
When you want to think beyond the guidebook, HI Austin is a perfect choice. Part of the Hostelling International USA (HI USA), this hostel is a nonprofit member organization founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places and the world around. The Austin branch is located on the shores of Lady Bird Lake and caters to the laid-back community of the Lone Star State’s capital. This tranquil setting with beautiful views is only a 25-minute walk to downtown Austin or South Congress Street. Even those who stay around the building can borrow yoga mats, bikes or relax in the dining room and lounge where they are sure to strike up an engaging conversation.