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Best Hostels in New York City

Updated: April 9, 2024

For those on a tight budget, who want to save on accommodations, and put that money to use on fun activities, staying in a hostel in NYC is worth considering.

This post lists the 8 best hostels in NYC as per local, experienced tour guides.

And, as a pay-what-you-wish tour company, we know a thing or two about visiting NYC on a budget.

We lead hundreds of walking tours each week in NYC, and we meet many guests who are staying in one or another hostel.

They let us know what they like or don't like about each, and we've used these unique interactions to help write this post.

We also asked the roughly 200k members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group to share their opinions and recommendations.

Our group is made up of locals, like our tour guides, veteran visitors, as well as newbies to NYC.

You don't need to become a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.

Check out the group once you've finished reading this post.

And without further ado, here are the best New York City hostels and hybrid hostels/hotels that offer private rooms but have shared bathrooms.

Top 5 Hostels in New York City 

The Local NYC

13-02 44th Ave., Long Island City, Queens

Though the hostel is in Queens, it is a fast trip into Midtown Manhattan.

The subway station is a 4-minute walk from the hostel.

The train to Times Square is only 8 minutes!

view from the roof of the Local NYC hostel

The Local has both dormitory style and private rooms.

All rooms have private bathrooms and air-conditioning. Linens and towels are provided. Each bed has its own reading light.

There is free Wi-Fi, a fully-equipped common kitchen, and a computer lounge. Plus reception is open 24 hours a day and luggage storage is available.

Two excellent features are the rooftop terrace with amazing Manhattan skyline views and the onsite bar where you can grab a meal, a coffee, or beer and mingle with other hostel guests.

In peak season (summer) a bed in a 4-bed dormitory (same gender or mixed) is just $75 plus tax.

There are also some double rooms and queen-ADA-accessible rooms for $170 a night.

In the off-peak winter months, beds are $46 a night plus tax, making the Local one of the best cheap hostels in NYC.

Get more information.

NY Moore Hostel

179 Moore St., Brooklyn

Stay in the hip East Williamsburg/Bushwick area of Brooklyn, just a quick subway ride from Manhattan.

This artsy New York hostel is in a vibrant neighborhood with restaurants and plenty of nightlife.

Nearby is the Bushwick Collective where renowned mural artists contribute their art. Also, Roberta's Pizza, one of the best pizzerias in NYC is right there.

NY Moore Hostel check in

The Moore has 32 large loft-like dorms, each with its own bathroom.

The rooms are spacious and light and most do not have bunk beds, so you don't need to climb up into bed at night!

Each bed comes with a bedside table, lamp, linens, blanket, and a locker for your belongings.

Amenities include free WiFi and a small business center with computers.

There is complimentary coffee and tea, a fully-equipped common kitchen, and an outdoor courtyard.

NY Moore Hostel hosts movie nights, comedy shows, and even a free yoga class, making this hostel a great pick for solo travelers.

Dorm beds start from $69 plus tax in the peak summer months and $36 in the off-peak winter months. Get more information.

West Side YMCA

5 West 63rd St. 

This huge, all-ages hostel is known for its amazing location right off of Central Park and its incredibly low prices.

There are no dormitory rooms, but rather private rooms -- mostly singles and doubles with bunk beds. Some have semi-private bathrooms though they are located in the hallway.

Some rooms have a view of the park so ask for one when booking!

If you want privacy, try to get the "Double Bed Room with Private Bath". They book up fast though. 

Rooms are sparse and come with linens and a small towel. They do have flat-screen TVs and air conditioning. 

A $10 daily Guest Room Membership Fee gives you access to their swimming pool, gymnasium, and cardio and weight rooms.

Single rooms start at $147 in the peak summer months and $85 in the off-peak winter months.

Get more information.

HI International NYC

891 Amsterdam Ave at 103rd St. 

HI NYC Hostel is located on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

It's just a 15-minute walk to Central Park and Columbia University and a 10-minute walk to a few subway stations. 

The old, castle-like building has 724 dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms.

Linens, towels, and housekeeping services are provided. Rooms have air-conditioning.

There are some private rooms like a quadruple with a shared bathroom and family rooms with a queen bed and two bunk beds with a private bathroom.

At around $200 a night, their private rooms are a bargain if you have four people in your group.

Free Wi-Fi is included.

Other features include a snack bar, a movie lounge, a game room, a community kitchen, and an outdoor patio and garden.

The hostel offers many activities including pub crawls, nightclub events, and in-house comedy and variety shows.

This hostel is a favorite among those who want to party

A bed in a dormitory room can be as low as $51 in peak months of summer and $36 in off-peak winter months.

Get more information.

Chelsea International Hostel

251 W. 20th Street

The Chelsea International Hostel is one of the largest independent hostels in NYC.

The location is great as it is halfway between Times Square and Greenwich Village.

It is approximately a 20-minute walk to either of those locations or a 10-minute subway ride. 

Two blocks away are the fantastic attractions the High Line Park and the Chelsea Market, perfect for grabbing food to bring back to the hostel.

Note that this hostel is especially good for solo female travelers. A police station is across the street.

Dorms sleep one to six guests in single beds with shared bathrooms.

The good news is that there are no bunk beds! The bad news is that the rooms are Spartan-like. They are functional and simple. 

Linen and towels are provided. In the summer, there is air-conditioning.

The hostel has two shared kitchen facilities, a dining area, and a courtyard. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the entire property.

In peak months, like summer, dorm beds with a shared bathroom start at $70, private single rooms with a shared bathroom start at $95, private twin rooms with a shared bathroom start at $135, and private twin rooms with a private bathroom start at $145.

In off-peak months prices drop slightly. Get more information.

Q4 Hotel

29-09 Queens Plaza N., Long Island City, NY

This Long Island City hostel is just 10 minutes away from Manhattan.

The Q4 has both mixed and single-sex dorms with 4 to 6 beds and a bathroom. Rooms are sparse but clean and modern. Plus there are private rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

In the common room, guests can mingle, watch TV, and play ping pong or pool. From the rooftop terrace, you’ll get fantastic views. The shared kitchen can help you save loads on expenses.

A bed in the dorm rooms starts at only $42 per night in the off-season. At other times of the year, prices are $50 and up.

Hybrid Hostels/Hotels

Hybrid hostels/hotels are accommodations that offer private rooms but have hostel-like features such as shared bathrooms and common spaces to socialize.

Prices are higher than in hostels but still lower than in regular hotels.

The Pod Hotels

The Pod Hotels are reasonably priced and lean toward social atmospheres.

Some have common rooms to socialize and two have incredible rooftop lunges.

They have several locations: Pod 51Pod Times SquarePod 39, and Pod Brooklyn.

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

Learn more about the Pod Hotels from our post on Cheap Hotels in New York City and our post on Where to Stay in NYC.

Jazz at Columbus Circle

940 8th Ave. at 63rd Street.

Jazz on Columbus Circle is in a great location in Midtown Manhattan just a few blocks south of Central Park.

This hostel offers both dormitory rooms and private rooms and all rooms have private bathrooms.

Linen and towels are provided. Wi-Fi is free throughout the building and a light breakfast is included in the price.

Note that this hostel is part of the Jazz Hostel chain.

They have a traditional hostel in Upper Manhattan called Jazz on the Park, but reviews have dropped significantly, and we can't wholeheartedly recommend it.

Get more information.

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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: April 9th, 2024
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