3 Best Hostels in Beijing, China - An Expat-Insider Guide for First-Timers in ChinaIt’s time to travel somewhere equally crazy and beautiful: China. Where better to start than with the 3 best hostels in Beijing.

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 …

  • tired of bad and crappy hostels
  • want to avoid the “young party kids”
  • happy to spend 1-2€ for a 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.

Find here all the best hostels in Asia, including

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 full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:

3 Best Hostels in Beijing

Come on then, let’s delve into the Beijing hostels we have already found for you.

They are:

  1. Red Lantern House – best hostel for backpackers
  2. M Youth Space – top pick for solo-travellers
  3. Peking Station Hostel – number one for couples

1. Red Lantern House (traditional Chinese design)

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

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

If you’re looking to experience a more local downtown Beijing, this is the place to stay.

Book Red Lantern House here

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

Red Lantern House one of the best hostels in Beijing

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.

Red Lantern House is the best hostel in Beijing for:

  • Backpackers
  • Families
Book Red Lantern House here

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

Red Lantern House one of the best hostels in Beijing

Red Lantern House one of the best hostels in Beijing

2. M Youth Space (rooftop terrace)

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!

Book M Youth Space here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com

M Youth Space one of the best hostels in Beijing China

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
Book M Youth Space here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com

M Youth Space one of the best hostels in Beijing China

M Youth Space one of the best hostels in Beijing China

3. 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

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

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

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

Peking Station Hostel one of the best hostels in Beijing

Peking Station Hostel one of the best hostels in Beijing

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

Here is a useful video about visiting the Great Wall.

Where NOT to visit

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.

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 experience it or yourself when visiting Beijing.

Any Discounts?

Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Beijing. We know, it’s a pity. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.

We also do have a 35€ discount for Airbnb here.

Map of best hostel locations + TOP 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

Flights to Beijing?

We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over Asia including Beijing, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Europe and find the cheapest rates for the area.

Here is our review of Kiwi.

Review of Kiwi.com

Over to you

Do you have any questions, doubts?

Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome Beijing hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.

Your question(s) will help me to understand what I have missed to mention.

Therefore, drop us a comment, we are keen to help you!

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 ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.

We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We only share with you places we also recommend to our best friends and family!

Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.

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

How to book the Best Hostels in Beijing?

We fully recommend every single hostel in this list as a top hostel choice for Beijing!

For every hostel introduced, we gave you the best ways to book them online. Please scroll back up to the hostel you are interested in to find the direct links.

Here you can find

All best-rated hostels in Beijing

Any questions on booking your hostels? Check out our Guide to Hostels. Also, here you can find all 5 Star Hostels with Hostelgeeks.

Hostel Packing List

It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.

The most important things to pack are: Read the full packing list here.Download Hostel Packing List