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Best Hostels in New York City

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Hotel room prices in New York City can take a big bite out of your budget, leaving you with less money for other activities.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to costly chain hotels, such as high-quality hostel/hotel hybrids and inexpensive, smaller hotels. 

Below we share some great tips for finding affordable and comfortable accommodations. 

For an activity that won't cost you a thing, try one of our free walking tours!

Best Hostels in New York

There are several excellent hostels in NYC with differing atmospheres. The popular Jazz Hostels and the HI International attract younger guests looking to make friends.

Others, like the Pod Hotels, are a bit quieter and offer more privacy, making them perfect for business travelers. The NYC Loft Hostel is a very hip hostel in Brooklyn that falls somewhere between the two!

Though hostels are much cheaper than hotels, they are still more expensive in NYC than in many other places in the world.

If you can't find something within your budget, be sure to check out the Eurocheapo New York website. They specialize in budget accommodations and actually visit and review those they have stayed at.  

Another interesting and affordable option is to offer yourself as a house sitter. Trusted Housesitters (US) pairs homeowners with house-sitters. You take care of the plants and pets in exchange for free accommodations.

Get 10% off membership when they use FREETOURS10 at checkout. Check out this article on house sitting to learn more. 

HI International NYC  891 Amsterdam Ave, Manhattan

HI International NYC is part of the global hostel chain, Hostelling International, which is known worldwide for its clean and modern accommodation.

This particular hostel is located in an old castle-like building near Central Park.

They offer group club outings on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as comedy, improv, and variety shows in the theater room 4-5 nights a week.

The hostel features a large garden, which is actually the largest privately owned green space in the city!

Reviews of HI International NYC 

HI International NYC is the highest-rated hostel in New York City. It has 4 stars on Yelp, 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, and 8.9 on Hostelworld.

Nearly everyone who writes a review has nothing but positive things to say about it.

People are especially impressed with the hostel's cleanliness, friendly staff, and convenient location. They even have curtains around each bed to allow for some added privacy in the dorm rooms. All around, highly recommended!

New York Loft Hostel 249 Varet St, Brooklyn

Stay in hip East Williamsburg/Bushwick neighborhood at the award-winning New York Loft Hostel that offers both private rooms and hostel-style rooms with 2 or 3 beds.  

They offer many amenities, such as free wifi, free breakfast, a sun deck, a back garden, a bar, and a partner fitness center. They also hold regularly scheduled social events for those who want to mingle with other guests.

If you stay here, you can easily join our free Bushwick Graffiti and Street Art Tour, which is also ideal for those looking to meet fellow travelers!

Reviews of New York Loft Hostel 

The New York Loft Hostel maintains a 4-star rating on both TripAdvisor and Yelp. People are pleased with the convenient location.

Some say the location is "perfect for a solo female traveler" because it is in a safe neighborhood.

Others praise the hostel for being an easy place to make friends and socialize. The only complaints come from those who had issues with the staff, but reviews like these are uncommon.

The Pod Hotels multiple locations

If you are willing to trade room size for a hi-tech, chic atmosphere, The Pod Hotels are for you.

With three locations in Midtown Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, this small, modern chain of hotels is convenient to some of the best attractions in NYC.

Prices vary depending on which location you stay at, the number of guests in your group, and if you choose a room with a private bathroom or a shared bathroom.

A great deal for two travelers is the “Mini Bunk Pod”.

For $200 (plus tax) you’ll get a modern, sleek room with stacked beds, free wi-fi, a private bathroom, a media docking station, LCD tv, concierge service, and a rooftop deck and stylish lounge area.

Reviews of the Pod Hotel 

The Pod Hotels maintain an average of 4 stars across all review sites. Many say that their experience was better than expected and that it is perfect for 1-2 nights.

Pod Hotels aren't quite as social as some of the other youth hostels, but it does offer a lot more privacy and quiet. Despite the rooms being small, they have many amenities and are very modern.

Jazz Hostels  36 W 106th St, Manhattan and 940 8th Ave, Manhattan

If you are looking for a fun atmosphere where you can meet other guests to explore the city with, then one of the two Jazz Hostels is for you. They offer single, double, and dormitory-style rooms. 

Jazz on Columbus Circle is in Midtown Manhattan and Jazz on the Park is next to Central Park and just south of Harlem

Each has a different vibe, but the same great amenities. Linens and towels are free, as is a light breakfast. Many more amenities are included!

This is a great hostel chain for those looking for a fun social environment. Hang out in the lounge area with cable TV and coffee bar or take part in one of their social outings. 

Jazz Hostels Reviews

Reviews of the Jazz Hostels are generally very positive, with a rating of 3/3.5 stars on TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Critical reviews tend to come from those who would have preferred a more quiet and private accommodation.

Some were disappointed that the wifi only worked in the common areas. However, this is clearly noted on their website and shouldn't come as a surprise!


Other Hostels in NYC

Best hostels in NYC

Click on the map for an interactive view.

Broadway Hotel & Hostel  230 W 101st St, Harlem, Manhattan

Rating: TripAdvisor - 3.5 stars; Yelp - 3 stars, Hostelworld - 7.8 stars

City Rooms NYC Chelsea 368 8th Ave, Chelsea, Manhattan

Rating: TripAdvisor 4 stars; Yelp - 3.5 stars

City Rooms NYC Soho 120 Lafayette St, SoHo, Manhattan

Rating: TripAdvisor - 4 stars; Yelp - 3 stars

American Dream Hostel  168 E 24th St, Gramercy, Manhattan

Rating: TripAdvisor - 4 stars; Yelp - 4.5 stars; Hostelworld - 8.8 stars

Royal Park Hotel  258 W 97th St, Harlem, Manhattan

Rating: TripAdvisor - 3 stars; Yelp - 2 stars

Check out our post  15 Ways to Find Cheap Accommodation in New York City for some tips on finding great deals.


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt*

Stephen es el CEO de Free Tours by Foot y ha supervisado la transformación de una compañía local de paseos a pie en una comunidad global de excursiones y una plataforma de consejos para viajeros. Ha dirigido personalmente miles de excursiones en grupos en los EE.UU. y Europa, y es un experto en la planificación de viajes y visitas turísticas, con un enfoque en el presupuesto de los viajeros. Stephen ha sido publicado y presentado en docenas de publicaciones, incluyendo The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, y más
Updated: October 11th, 2021
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