3 Best Hostels in Beijing, China – An Expat-Insider Guide for First-Timers in China (and its Great Wall)

3 Best Hostels in Beijing, China - An Expat-Insider Guide for First-Timers in China
Photo by Raj Eiamworakul

It’s time to travel somewhere equally crazy and beautiful: China. Where better to start than with the 3 best hostels in Beijing.

Our favorite hostels in Beijing are:

  1. The Great Wall Box House - best for Solo Travellers
  2. Peking Station Hostel - best for Couples
  3. Peking International Youth Hostel - best for Female Solo Travellers

Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.

This article has been written after having spent substantial time in this city ourselves.

Not only will you discover awesome Beijing hostels, but insider tips that will really kick-start the planning process.

Our selection is perfect for backpackers, female-solo travellers and couples.

This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…

  • are tired of crappy hostels!
  • want a social Hostel to actually meet people
  • are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience

We condensed it all to the 3 coolest hostels in Beijing. Beijing has so much to offer. The architecture is unique, the culture strong and the food will leave you wanting more (and more).

Unfortunately, we do not currently have a 5 star hostel in Beijing. This is why we created this huge guide, so you can still enjoy the cool side of a hostel while exploring Peking.

However, we do have some amazing hostels in Asia including the best hostels in Shanghai.

Quick Introduction to the best hostels in Beijing China

Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as 10€ up to 22€ per night. This is a rough average to give you an idea. Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

🎁 New to Hostels? Read our guide to staying in a Hostel for the First Time here. We especially recommend reading:

The 3 Best Hostels in Beijing are …

Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in Beijing.

  1. The Great Wall Box House – best for Solo Travellers
  2. Peking Station Hostel – best for Couples
  3. Peking International Youth Hostel – best for Female Solo Travellers

These are our favorite hostels in Beijing. We want to make your life even easier, so we put all accommodations on a map for you. We even added our own tips for favorite restaurants, things to see, and more.

We put all hostels and Beijing travel tips on a map here. It will help planning your trip.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

🦸 Solo Traveler: The Great Wall Box Hostel
🙎‍♀️ best for Female Solo Traveler: Peking International Youth Hostel
👩‍❤️‍👨Couple Hostel: Peking Station Hostel
👨‍👩‍👦 Family Hostel: Peking International Hostel Beijing
👩‍💻 For Digital Nomads: Peking Station Hostel
🧘 Cozy Hostel: The Great Wall Box Hostel

1. The Great Wall Box House (Great Wall tours)

How about sleeping away from the bustle of the city and close to the Great Wall instead?

We recommend staying at The Great Wall Box House if your main pull to Beijing is to visit a beautiful, wild part of the Great Wall of China.

Important: this hostel is located 120km from Beijing (around a 2 hour drive).

This hostel is a 100-year-old Si-He-Yuan house among the mountains.

The east-side of the house is part of the Great Wall!

Book The Great Wall Box House here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

The Great Wall Box House is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China
The Great Wall Box House

This super cosy hostel is modern and homely. There are also lots of cute cats running around!

What about the room choices?

  • 4 and 6-bed mixed dorms
  • 4-bed female only dorm
  • Deluxe twin room
  • Double room (shared bathroom)
  • Family room (up to 4 people)

So of course the main attraction to staying here is to join one of their awesome Great Wall tours. Forget the busy sections; you’ll get to see the wild and quiet section of Gubeikou.

There is also a lovely daily tea party to join in on.

Some of the great freebies include Wi-Fi, 24-hour hot showers and luggage storage.

Hungry and thirsty after a big day? Lucky for you there is an on-site bar and restaurant serving up amazing local dishes.

The Great Wall Box House is the best hostel in Beijing for:

  • Solo Travellers
  • Female Solo Travellers
Book The Great Wall Box House here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

The Great Wall Box House is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China The Great Wall Box House is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China

2. Peking Station Hostel (fresh, crisp design hostel)

Peking Station Hostel is a perfect hostel for those on a quick visit to Beijing because it’s close to all of the main attractions.

The fresh flowers decorated around the place will surely leave you feeling calm and ready for the day.

What makes this hostel stand out from the rest?

Not only does it have a female-only dorm, but a male-only dorm too!

We think this is great. Some men want privacy just as much as women do, right?!

Read: Why Female Dorms? 7 Pros and 3 Cons

Book Peking Station Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Peking Station Hostel one of the best hostels in Beijing

There is, of course, the all-important mixed dorm as well as a private room option available.

Linen is included along with air-con during the warmer months.

What’s great to hear is that the free Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the building and not just in the common areas.

For a hostel on the small side, it’s impressive how many social spaces there are.

These include:

  • Lounge area
  • On-site bar + restaurant
  • Beautiful garden
  • TV room

So back to that all-important location.

If you like walking, it’s only 15-minutes to Tian amen Square and the Forbidden City. Alternatively, Dongdan subway station is 1-minute away.

Peking Station Hostel is the best hostel in Beijing for:

  • Couples
Book Peking Station Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Peking Station Hostel one of the best hostels in Beijing

Peking Station Hostel one of the best hostels in Beijing

3. Peking International Youth Hostel

Housed in a traditional Chinese building located along the lively Nanglougu Xiang, Peking International Youth Hostel is one of the famous Hutongs in downtown Beijing.

Rooms come with a wooden floor, an electric kettle, and a writing desk. Bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and towels can be rented at the front desk.

Perks at International Youth Hostel:

  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Free WiFi
  • Airport shuttle
  • Restaurant
  • Family rooms
  • Bar
Book Peking International Youth Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Peking International Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China
Peking Youth Hostel

Here’s an idea of how to spend a day at Peking Youth Hostel…

Wander the city for a few hours in the morning before it gets too hot. Then return to the hostel and ejoy afternoon tea on the Terrace Lounger overlooking the Botanic Gardens – nice.

The day can then be finished with a refreshing cocktail at the in-house bar.

Super cool: This hostel offers a daily hiking trip from Jinshanling to Simatai Great Wall!

It’s also possible to arrange pick-up and drop-off to the aiport – just speak with the friendly staff in advance.

Location: Hostel is located Dongcheng district. This hostel Hostel is a 30-minute walk from The Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. 250 m away from Nanluoguxiang Subway Station. The scenic Beihai Park is an 8-minute drive away and takes 40 minutes by car from the hotel to Beijing Capital Airport. This place is 1.8km away from Peking Yard Hostel.

Peking Youth Hostel is the best hostel in Beijing for:

  • Female solo travellers
Book Peking International Youth Hostel here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Peking International Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China Peking International Youth Hostel is one of the best hostels in Beijing, China

Things you need to know BEFORE you go to Beijing

Let us say with confidence that Beijing is a wonderful city. Sure, it’s absolutely massive and a tad mental, but the overall charm will certainly swoon you.

After living in Beijing for some time, we’ve put together some useful information especially for you.

Non-tourist scene

I urge you to slip away from the bustling tourist streets and explore further afield to experience the ‘real’ Beijing.

Hutongs are aplenty in the central area. These are narrow streets made up of traditional courtyard houses. It’s really fun to wander around and see how some families are still living in the same way after generations.

Another fun option is to get off at a random metro stop on the outskirts of Beijing. Suddenly you’ll find yourself surrounded by locals that rarely see a white face.

The restaurants in these areas are also incredibly local and usually far cheaper!

Public Transport

Reliable, fast and cheap – welcome to Beijing metro service.

It’s by far the best way to get around and will get you to almost anywhere in the city that you desire.

A single journey costs around 0.50c. Buses are also frequent but it can be tricky as not many bus drivers speak good English.

Chinese people are incredibly friendly and if they can help you, they will. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Practise your Mandarin

As previously mentioned, you may find communication to be tricky at times.

In the major areas of the city, English is widely spoken, but it shouldn’t be expected especially with the older generation.

There’s nothing more Chinese people love than to hear Westerners speak their language.

Learn some of the basic words and give it a go – when are you going to get a better chance to try one of the most intricate languages in the world?

Which section of the Great Wall of China to visit?

No doubt you’ve heard of Badaling and Mutianyu – two very popular sections of the Great Wall.

There’s no doubt that every section is impressive, but we suggest spending a bit more time to access the lesser known, more rugged sections.

Chenjiapu is a stunning section that is often deserted. Nearby there is an opportunity to stay with a lovely local family.

Make the most of the Beijing hostels and then head to Great Wall Fresh for a day or two.

It’s around a 1.5 hour drive from the city centre, and totally worth it. You’ll discover a rugged, traditional area on the outskirts of Beijing.

I went to stay here 4 times in the end because I loved it so much.

3 Best Hostels in Beijing, China - An Expat-Insider Guide for First-Timers in China

Where NOT to visit in Beijing

If you’re asked to name three top sights in Beijing, I’m sure The Forbidden City would be one of them.

Yet I’m here to tell you not to bother with it, especially if you only have a few days in the city.

Once you’re inside the gates the mysticism of Forbidden land falls away quickly as you aimlessly wander around empty courtyards with no displayed information.

Almost all of the rooms are closed off, and each gate you walk through leads you to an almost identical area.

Unless you pay for a guide, you’ll be left wondering what it’s all about.

Note: if your curiosity gets the better of you, make sure you take your passport – you won’t be sold a ticket without it.

The video below gives you a solid introduction to the Forbidden City. It is not the best quality by audio and video, but the content itself is very good!

Top 3 Things to do in Beijing

Forget destinations for a minute. This list of things is a bit different and they can all be done in several different places, it just depends on where you choose to go.

I guarantee your experience in Beijing will be very special indeed if you…

1. Walk around a park at sunrise and after sunset

Beijing is incredibly safe. In 14 months I never felt in danger even once. So please don’t miss out on the parks because of the timings.

No matter which park you end up in, you’ll witness (mostly) the older generation doing Tai Chi, dancing in groups, singing, playing traditional instruments and working out on an outdoor gym. Honestly, the list in endless.

It’s a must do if you want to see a bunch of people with zero inhibition.

2. Feast on local delicacies

Like a lot of Asian countries, China has its own selection of interesting foods.

If you’re not too squeamish and want to try something new, here’s a list of tasty(?) possibilities:

  • Scorpian on a stick
  • Smoked squid (usually whole and flattened)
  • Deep fried insects
  • Salty egg (boiled in extremely salty water)
  • Century egg (preserved for weeks in a mix of salt, clay, ash, lime + rice)
  • Balut egg (fertilised embryo of a duck)

Is your stomach rumbling?!

Head to Wangfujing Food Street and you’ll find most of the above. Many of the local restaurants will serve up the different egg types.

Things to do in Beijing, China

3. Get local and sing at KTV

This, in part, is similar to western karaoke. But in truth it’s actually much more fun!

Hopefully you’ll make some Chinese friends quickly and at the mention of KTV; they’ll jump at the chance to take you there.

At KTV you rent a room for a certain time frame and most places stay open until 3 am.

Inside you’ll find comfy sofas, microphones, a big screen and a huge selection of music. There’s room service offering yummy snacks and cheap beer, too!

Tip: KTV like the Chinese do and have an alcohol free night.

The brilliant atmosphere cannot be truly described so you must experiencepe it or yourself when visiting Beijing.

More Beijing Hostels worth a mention

We have listed the best of Beijing! Yeah, you read that right. The Chinese hostels listed above are our personal favorites, but we know that more is better.

So, you might want to check out the list of these hostels China has to offer. Check availability now!

  • Courtyard View Hostel
  • Yue Xuan Courtyard International Youth Hostel
  • Kelly’s Courtyard Beijing

Courtyard View Hostel

Courtyard View Hostel is perfect for individuals who enjoy peace and quite time. This hostel is furnished with antique furniture, wooden decor and ancient Chinese art.

They also offer Chinese lessons, Mahjong lessons, and Chinese dumpling making lessons. Outside the hostel is a number of restaurants offering a wide range of superior cuisine.

Perks at Courtyard View Hostel:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Bicycle Parking
  • Parking
  • Airport Transfers
  • Express check-in / out
  • Housekeeping
  • Free Internet Access
  • Laundry Service Beijing

Location: Situated in Dong Cheng District, this hostel is only a short walk to the subway and short walk to several popular destinations. The hostel is 18 minutes drive from Beijing City Central Youth Hostel and 20 minutes drive from Easy Home Beijing.

Book Courtyard View Hostel here

Compare prices and read reviews atHostelworld

Courtyard View Hostel

Yue Xuan Courtyard International Youth Hostel

This hostel uses modern facilities while keeping the traditional design. Perfect for people who enjoys “old and traditional” without the hassle.

Ideal for individuals who are more physically active, this Yue Xuan Courtyard Hostel has a bike rental. So, guests can explore the surroundings.

Perks at Yue Xuan Courtyard International Youth Hostel:

  • Free WiFi
  • Family rooms
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Free parking
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Room service
  • Bar

Location: Situated in the Hutong area this establishment is 2.2km from Wangfujing subway station and 2.8km from The Forbidden City. Beijing Double Happiness Hotel is 200m away from this hostel. Nearest airport is Beijing Capital Airport which is 25km away.

Book Yue Xuan Courtyard Hostel here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Kelly’s Courtyard Beijing

Furnished with a mix of traditional Chinese, South East Asian and European styles, this hostel gives out that amazing vibe.

Kelly’s Courtyard Hostel provides airconditioned rooms with electric kettle, private bathrooms offer free toiletries and shower facilities.

Perks at Kelly’s Courtyard:

  • Free WiFi
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Heating
  • Laundry
  • Terrace

Location: Ideally located in the Hutong area, this place is 8km from Dashilan Street and Qianmen Street. Walking distance from the Forbidden City and the Behai Park. It is 26 minutes drive to Capital International Airport Hotel.

Book Kelly’s Courtyard Hostel here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Kelly's Courtyard Hostel

What about the cheapest hostels in Beijing?

Of course, there are always cheap hostels. But how do you actually find them? When you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you want to save every dollar, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Beijing.

  1. Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Beijing
  2. add your dates
  3. Order the listings by price

Simple as that.

Hostelz.com is a price comparison site for hostels. They list every single one in the world and tells you exactly which website is cheaper to use.

Another smart Tip: Check what is actually included, and what is excluded. Take a closer look at the location, too. A further location might mean more costs in transport.

Any Discounts?

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the freshest hostel discounts directly in your inbox. We even have special discount codes we only share in the newsletter.

It is completely free to join!

How to book?

The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Read: Step-by-Step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Beijing best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand, ask questions, and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app.

Download the Hostelworld App here

QR Code to Download your Hostelworld app with one scan
Scan the QR Code with your Smartphone to download the Hostelworld App from the App Store - like a real Hostel Geek!

The best way to find hostels: Hostelgeeks website and Hostelworld App

Our Favorite Hostels in Beijing put on a map + sights

Have a look at the map below – there has been many top sights added! It’s always handy to know where you’re going to be located and in comparison to all the great sights.

If you’re not up for taking public transport to the Great Wall, book a day trip to the Mutianyu Great Wall section. The same goes for getting to the city from the airport.

The metro can be a little daunting when you first arrive, and some taxi drivers will over-charge you. Here is a reliable private Beijing airport transfer.

In this map you find highlighted:

  • Badaling Shuiguan Great Wall
  • Summer Palace
  • National Stadium
  • 798 Art Zone 798 Theatre
  • South Luogu Alley
  • Beihai Park
  • The Palace Museum
  • Wangfujing Street
  • Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
  • Ming Tombs
  • Tiananmen Square
  • Temple of Heaven

Any questions about hostels in Beijing? 🤔

Join our Facebook Group!

Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥

Flights to Beijing?

We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

review of Skyscanner flight searches


Alright, you should have found your accommodation already. Below we list all the frequently asked questions. Have a look.

More guides

Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Beijing.

We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations:

You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.

We also created a huge guide to hostels. Here we cover how to build lifetime friendships in hostels, the perfect packing list and more.

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Beijing guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels,
The Hostelgeeks

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3 Best Hostels in Beijing, China - An Expat-Insider Guide for First-Timers in China

UPDATE: M Youth Space is now CLOSED

Here we have a lovely small hostel called M Youth Space – a lovely example of a Beijing youth hostel.

It’s very compact and straightforward in design, so you know exactly what you’re getting.

There aren’t many rooms, but you still have options.

Choose between:

  • Single room (1 bed)
  • 6-bed mixed dorm
  • 4-bed mixed dorm
  • 2-bed Female dorm

The beds will be ready-made on arrival. The feather pillow is an added luxury!

Everyone can enjoy their own personal reading light, socket and locker.

Important: guests must check in before 18:00 (6 pm).

Showers and toilets are shared, and you’ll find free toiletries which are refilled each day.

There is a small kitchen area for all to use.

It’s a shame it’s not full-fitted, but there is a microwave, refrigerator and tea/coffee machine.

If you’re feeling lazy; head to the garden and terrace for some lovely fresh air.

Perhaps you’re dying for a BBQ? Then you’re in the right place!

There’s also a shared lounge and TV room – a great place to get chatting to fellow travellers.

It’s not far to the metro from M Youth Space. The entirety of Beijing is accessible underground – it’s fast and reliable.

M Youth Space is the best hostel in Beijing for:

  • Female Solo-travellers
  • Friends

M Youth Space one of the best hostels in Beijing China

CLOSED: Red Lantern House (traditional Chinese design)

Let us kick start with a fantastically beautiful Chinese courtyard hostel; Red Lantern Hostel Beijing.

It’s a traditional Beijing hutong hostel, decorated with classic Chinese lanterns and decor.

So you have asked where to stay in Beijing? And the answer is the Red Lantern House Beijing – if you’re looking to experience a more local downtown Beijing, this is the place to stay.

Choose between private or dorm rooms of up to 4 people.

For a nice change, there are no bunk beds here so you won’t have to fight for the bottom bunk!
Linen and towels are included too which is an absolute bonus.

Are you a cat lover?

Hopefully, the answer is yes – there are two friendly cats that live here and love some fuss.

Read: Pets at 5 Star Hostels – a look behind the scenes

The staff at Red Lantern House speak great English and nothing is too much trouble.

You’ll quickly realise how great Chinese hospitality is by staying here!

They’ll help with all sorts of things including:

  • Trips to the Great Wall
  • Tours + activities
  • Bicycle hire (on-site)
  • Ticket booking for trains, flights + ferry

As you look around you’ll spot many cool things including a couple of fish ponds.

There’s a mini shop and library and you may see the family (including adorable children) about the place.

The courtyard is by far what makes this hostel stand out. I’m not sure it’s possible to imagine a more typically Chinese accommodation.

Brilliant: this area has no tourists prices on food etc.

Shichachi is an area surrounded by restaurants and bars. Subway line 2 is just a short walk and will take you to all the main sights in minutes.

CLOSED: Chinese Box Courtyard Hostel

This hostel is furnished in a delight country style, rooms are carefully arranged, fully air-conditioned, and each room comes with a work desk.

Chinese Box Courtyard Hostel offers free calligraphy classes on the weekends, serves free dinners three times a week plus tea ceremonies, and serves free breakfast.

Perks at Hostel Chinese Box Courtyard:

  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Free WiFi
  • Room service
  • Restaurant
  • Family rooms
  • Bar
  • Very good breakfast

Location: Situated in Xicheng, this hostel is 15 minutes away from Tiananmen Square and 1 hour drive from Beijing Capital International Airport.

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