Are you on the hunt for the best hostels in Laos? After exploring its more touristic neighbours, Laos, one of the most underrated countries on the typical Southeast Asian backpacker trail, has so much to offer the willing traveller.
The 7 million-person country has some of the most varied, remote landscapes, rich history, and gracious locals that will quickly impress any traveller who sets foot in this stunning country.
Even for the most seasoned travelers, and as tourism in the region grows, Laos remains somewhat exotic. Hostels in Laos are still springing up, with a thriving backpacker scene in many of the country’s major tourist destinations.
Travelers seeking a less commercial adventure will discover exuberant vegetation, serene waterfalls and lagoons, and many of everyone’s favorite animal—the elephant—with fewer crowds, one of the many reasons to appreciate Laos!
With so many things to see, we have compiled a list of the best hostels in Laos that promise a one-of-a-kind experience.
List of Cities in Laos with great hostels
Let’s waste no more time and jump right into this great Laos hostel collection.
Here are all the destinations we cover in this guide:
Laos is a stunning Southeast Asian country with a host of wonderful sights and experiences. For the budget-minded traveler, Laos offers some of the best hostels in the region.
From cozy guesthouses in the city center to beachfront villas on the Mekong River, these hostels provide comfortable and affordable accommodations. Whether you’re looking to explore Lao culture and cuisine, enjoy the countryside, or take part in adventure activities, you’ll find a hostel in Laos to suit your needs.
Don’t miss out on the best hostels in Laos! From luxurious amenities to unbeatable prices, you won’t have to look any further for a perfect place to stay.
Best Hostels in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang is a beautiful city in northern Laos that is rich in culture and history. It is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning temples, picturesque streets, and natural beauty.
If you are up for some activities, you can explore the local markets, take a boat ride along the Mekong River, visit local villages, and trek through waterfalls and the surrounding jungle.
Arriving by plane in the capital city Vientiane introduces visitors to Laos’ fascinating culture and history. Many visitors only stay for one night before moving on, but Vientiane isn’t a chaotic capital like most capitals—its relaxed pace makes it a surprisingly calm Southeast Asian city to explore and regroup while planning your next move.
Vientiane’s colonial French architecture and attractions such as the Patuxai Victory Monument, That Luang, Xieng Khuan, and Buddha Park, are just a few of the many things to see. Here you will find many museums, top-notch Lao restaurants, and plenty of other travelers with similar treks.
It has brand-new decor, dorm bed curtains, and a spacious, well-designed interior. This hostel accommodates a wide range of people with three mixed dorms and a private room with a double bed. Breakfast is included in all bookings at this hostel, and guests praise its quietness, making it ideal for tired, solo travelers and couples seeking a quality and comfortable stay.
Guests can wake up to a beautiful view of the city center before heading down to the hostel’s cafe for a hot cup of coffee or a refreshing drink.
The Laos National Museum, Wat Sisaket, and Hor Phra Keo are several nearby attractions within walking distance. You can expect a restful night’s sleep and a warm welcome when you stay at Petit Espace.
Location: Petit Espace is located in the city center, with easy access to the night market and bus station, making the trip as convenient as possible for travelers.
Barn Laos Hostel is great for solo travelers looking for a city center break, as it is only a short walk from the Mekong, the night market, and several convenience stores. Mature travelers and digital nomads will appreciate the hostel’s silence.
On the property, there are four mixed dormitories and one female dormitory, as well as a double room for couples. The hostel’s generous breakfast portions and large kitchen make every morning a fantastic and energetic start to the day.
The helpful, English-speaking staff assists with trip and transportation bookings and is always eager to assist visitors in making the most of their time in Vientiane.
Sailomyen Hostel is a stunning hostel with a recently renovated interior and impeccable guest services that raises the standard for high-quality hostel stays. This laid-back hostel, one of the most aesthetically pleasing in the city, is one of the best hostels in Vientiane for not only your budget, but also for taking advantage of the “hassle-free” feeling that most backpacker hostels lack.
That Dam, Patuxay Monument, and the Talat Sao shopping mall are all within a ten-minute walk of the hostel.
The hostel lacks a kitchen, but the on-site cafe serves delicious food. Sailomyen can house up to forty people in rooms ranging from mixed dorms to private rooms.
This hostel is not the most social in the traditional backpacker sense, but it does have live music at the cafe and is regarded as one of Vientiane’s “hipster hangouts” for a relaxing evening with a few drinks and good conversations with cool people.
Best Hostels in Vang Vieng: Vang Vieng Freedom Backpackers 2
Vang Vieng is your typical boozy backpacker town in Southeast Asia. However, Vang Vieng distinguishes itself from other party cities by offering river tubing and a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities such as climbing and buggy tours, as well as trips to the three blue lagoons and the Lusi Cave.
Float to one of the many riverside bars and absorb the sun’s rays; Vang Vieng may be one of your wildest nights in Laos.
Vang Vieng Freedom Backpackers 2
If you’re looking for a party hostel in Laos, you’ve come to the right place. Vang Vieng Freedom Backpackers 2 (remember the ‘2’) is the city’s go-to hostel for free-flowing drinks, delicious food, and young, eager backpackers looking to combine Laos’s many outdoor activities with hazy, drunken nights. The hostel has everything a typical backpacker needs for an entertaining stay, including a swimming pool, a game room especially crafted for drinking games, bar crawls, and free BBQs to replenish calories lost on long treks.
The hostel offers 6-bed dorms as well as private rooms. The hostel’s central location allows you to easily obtain any convenience you require, and you are close to all of Vang Vieng’s famous attractions, bars, and restaurants. Travelers won’t have to worry about booking excursions on their own; Freedom Backpackers 2 will take care of it while you recover from the night before.
Many visitors come to Thakhek to complete the “Thakhek Loop”. The loop is a circular tour that starts in the east and ends in the west.
This 3-4 day motorbike sightseeing expedition explores the best of Khammouane Province in central Laos, including jaw-dropping caves, bountiful mountains, karst formations, natural pools, and lush jungles.
The pleasant weather from October to December draws a large number of bikers, making the hostel community in this normally sleepy town a little more lively. During their downtime, visitors can admire the European-style architecture, as well as the cute cafes and riverwalks, of this previously colonized French town.
Naga Hostel & Café
Naga Hostel & Cafe is just a one-minute walk from the Kong River and promises a spectacular sunset. The hostel is perfect for tired travelers looking for a family atmosphere and well-kept facilities to recharge their batteries before continuing their treks.
As one of Thakhek’s top-rated hostels, you can expect to meet adventurous but mature guests to pass the time with — and it’s a great place to find new travel buddies! This intimate hostel’s mixed dorm sleeps ten people, so book ahead during high season to ensure your spot. The hostel’s cafe and outdoor garden are ideal for reading, catching up on video chat, and relaxing.
The night market, where you can fill up on cheap Lao food, is also nearby. While Thakhek isn’t the most vibrant, the travel community in hostels like Naga will leave you with fond memories and a sense of nostalgia.
Pakse, the capital of Champasak Province and a jewel of southern Laos, is the meeting point of the Xedone and Mekong rivers and a throwback to the French colonial period.
Many people take the bus from Pakse to the famous “4000 Islands”, without staying too long. Regardless of the town’s once-a-day departure to the tiny islands, adding a few days in Pakse for the Wat Luang Temple, Bolaven Plateau, and extra sleeping time in a friendly, local town will serve as a great buffer for your trip.
Sanga Hostel, located four minutes from Wat Luang temple and ten minutes from the Kong River, is a near-perfect Pakse hostel with a high standard of cleanliness and facilities that make one’s stay in the city enjoyable.
The mixed dormitory at the hostel will be a welcome change from typical, run-down hostel rooms; bed-draped curtains and individual outlet socks enhance guests’ privacy and ensure a restful night’s sleep in preparation for exploring the next day.
In the evenings, the hostel’s restaurant serves Lao and international cuisine with vegetarian options and a cozy atmosphere for guests to mingle. Laundry, motorcycle, and bike rentals are available, and the hostel staff can arrange tours of Pakse. Sanga’s vibe is very laidback; couples and travelers looking to escape the chaos of other, more crowded hostels prefer it to others in the city.
Though English is widely spoken in some parts of Laos, it is always helpful to learn some basic Lao phrases. This will make it easier for you to communicate with the locals and make a better impression.
2. Pack light
Laos has some remote areas, so it’s best to travel light. Try to pack only the essentials and leave the rest behind. This will make your journey more comfortable and enjoyable.
3. Get travel insurance
It is important to get travel insurance before you go backpacking in Laos. This will provide you with peace of mind and protect you from any unforeseen circumstances.
Laos has a unique culture and customs. Make sure to be respectful of the locals and their culture.
5. Bring a good map
Laos is a large and beautiful country, so it’s important to have a good map with you. This will make it easier for you to find your way around and explore the country.
Top 3 Tourist Attractions in Laos
Whether you fly into Vientiane or cross from Cambodia, there are so many ways to begin your Laos expedition. The country’s lack of development and raw nature will entice outdoorsy travelers, and the geographic distinction between north and south will be the main determining factor of things to do in Laos. There are numerous hostels in Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Thakhek, and Pakse, but here are a few more of Laos’s most popular tourist destinations:
1. Luang Prabang
After spending time in the country’s capital, Vientiane, travel to the country’s “unofficial” capital and staple, Luang Prabang. Luang Prabang was once the nation’s capital, as evidenced by its ancient royal palaces. The city of orange-clad monks and the gateway to the captivating Kuang Si Waterfalls is a fascinating dive into the country’s deep history.
2. Nong Khiaw
A beautiful love child of mountains and forest, the idyllic village of Nong Kiaw is a haven for nature lovers, with a myriad of outdoor activities and excursions. Nog Kiau will be a peaceful blend of nature and adrenaline as you kayak along the river and find new ways to get lost in the jungle.
3. Si Phan Don (Land of 4000 Islands)
Si Phan Don, or the Land of 4000 Islands, is a beautiful archipelago on the Laos-Cambodia border with 4,000 tiny islands spread across the Mekong River. Despite the long journey from Pakse, Si Phan Don is one of the highlights of Laos and should not be missed.
What about the cheapest hostels in Laos?
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 Laos.
Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Laos
add your dates
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.
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Laos 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 and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible!
All of the best Laos hostels are popular; especially in high season. To make sure you end up in those stylish hostels, secure your room or bed as soon as you have your travel dates fixed.
Here we share with you the most asked question:
How long should I spend in Laos?
The longer you stay in the country, the better, and Laos deserves no less than a week, especially if you plan to visit other Southeast Asian countries. If you want to spend the majority of your time in Laos, two weeks is an adequate amount of time to see all of the country's main attractions while pacing yourself.
When should I visit Laos?
The dry season in the country lasts from November to April. During these months, you will be able to enjoy all of Laos' outdoor activities without being hampered by the weather. The hottest months in the country are April and May, and the rainy season lasts from May to October, though downpours do not last all day and you can enjoy some lovely mornings or afternoons. During the high season, prices rise as crowds increase, meaning there is plenty of opportunity to meet other travelers in some of these fantastic hostels!
How do I get around Laos?
Major cities have public transportation to easily get around. Traveling between cities requires the use of a bus, and tickets can be purchased at the town's bus stations before departure. Slow boats will take you to some of the water-encompassed areas if you prefer slow travel, though they can take up to two days. Transportation in Laos is unhurried and sporadic, so ignore online timetables and move as the locals do.
Is Laos safe?
Violent crime is rare in Laos, but as in any country, exercising caution and keeping an eye out for your belongings will go a long way. Despite the country's many "happy menus," visitors should be aware that drug use, including marijuana, is a punishable offense that can result in a fine, so stick to lao lao to avoid becoming a target. To avoid unwanted attention, female travelers in Laos should dress more conservatively in smaller towns.
Scams for unsuspecting foreigners are also common in Laos; keep an eye out for ripped bank notes given back as change and fake motorbike rental agencies. While we're on the subject of motorcycles, make sure you have travel insurance; tourists are notorious for bike accidents.
Is Laos expensive?
Though cheaper than in Western countries, many Southeast Asian travelers notice that prices are slightly higher than in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. That doesn't mean you can't go on a grand Laos adventure on a budget; just keep in mind that hostels, transportation, and western commodities will cost a few dollars more than you're used to. But, if you stick to street foods and continue to stay in budget-friendly hostels, you won't notice much of a difference. Laos uses the Laotian Kip (LAK) currency.
1 USD = 17,062.84 LAK
1 EURO = 18,332.57 LAK
Although the tourist infrastructure is improving and more places are beginning to accept foreign cards, Laos remains primarily a cash-based country, with credit and debit card purchases charging a fee. Some places accept US dollars, but it is best to bring enough cash to last the duration of your trip.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
Of course, the best site to find hostels is Hostelgeeks.com
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!
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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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