Best Hostels in Manhattan

3 Best Hostels in Manhattan – Big Apple, Affordable Apple

New York City is where you pay a liver and half your lungs to end up living in a glamorous shoebox.

But we assure you that the Manhattan hostels on our list are much better than a shoebox. They also won’t cost you any arms or lungs (hopefully).

We think everyone should have the chance to explore any city or area they like, regardless of their budget. So, we decided to search the avenues of the City’s iconic skyscrapers and ended up with the best hostels in Manhattan.

The Manhattan hostels we’re recommending are safe, hospitable, and budget-friendly. They are suitable for all travelers: whether you’re backpacking NYC or you’re on a romantic trip with your partner.

Your Shortcut:

  1. HI New York City Hostel - best for Female solo travelers
  2. Freehand New York City - best for Families, Friend groups and Couples
  3. Chelsea International Hostel - best for Solo travelers
  4. Extra: American Dream Hostel - best for Backpackers

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

We also have a guide on the best hostels throughout all of NYC and one on the best hostels in Brooklyn. If you’re traveling in other states, our guide on the best hostels in the USA might also come in helpful. 

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

What we cover in this article?

You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

Quick Introduction to Manhattan

Average price for a bed: Hostels in Manhattan cost $40 – $85 per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room has an average price of around $221 per night. This is a rough average, just to give you an idea.

Prices always depend on the season and holidays. Please always check the exact rates on Hostelz.com or Hostelworld.com.

Check-In and Check-Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3 pm), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11 am). 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.

Transportation: The cheapest and most efficient way to travel is by using the subway. If you’re on a budget, one backpacking tip for Manhattan would be to buy a 7-day or 30-day MetroPass with unlimited rides on it.

The price for 7 days is 33$ and the one for 30 days is 127$ (please double-check the price, of course).

Food: this is on what you might end up spending a big chunk of your money. If you want to save, try to cook instead; most of the Manhattan hostels in our guide have shared kitchens.

If you’re shopping for groceries, hit up cheaper NYC grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s.

Partying on a budget in Manhattan: happy hour will be your best friend if you don’t want to break the bank. Usually, happy hour is from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on weekdays and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on weekends.

🎁 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 Manhattan are …

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

  1. HI New York City Hostel – best for Female solo travelers
  2. Freehand New York City – best for Families, Friend groups and Couples
  3. Chelsea International Hostel – best for Solo travelers
  4. Extra: American Dream Hostel - best for Backpackers

These are our favorite hostels in Manhattan. 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.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

🦸 Solo Traveler: Chelsea International Hostel
🙎‍♀️ Female Solo Traveler: HI New York City Hostel
👩‍❤️‍👨 Couple Hostel: Freehand New York City
🎒 for Backpacker:American Dream Hostel
👨‍👩‍👦 Family Hostel: Freehand New York City
👯For Groups:Freehand New York City

1. HI New York City Hostel

HI New York City Hostel is on the top of our list when it comes to Manhattan hostels for solo travelers

Mostly because you can’t beat their facilities (and their location is also amazing):

  • Movie theater
  • Large patio (you can even play soccer on it)
  • Game room (with pool tables)
  • Shared kitchen
  • Cafe (with snacks and drinks, 24/7, also very cheap)
  • Lounge
  • 24/7 reception
  • Coin-operated laundry machines
  • FREE towels
Book HI New York City Hostel here

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

HI New York City Hostel Terrace

They also have activities that you can partake in every day and night, which helps their guests to socialize with each other and make new friends. 

The activities are random, including anything from pub crawls and parties to in-house comedy shows and stand-ups.

The atmosphere is super social and very welcoming. This is definitely one of the best hostels in New York for solo travelers.

Location: Hostel in uptown New York in a castle-like building. The place is a block from Broadway street, a 10-minute walk to Central Park, the 103rd street subway station, and Times Square.

The best choice in Manhattan for

  • Female Solo travelers
Book HI New York City Hostel here

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

HI New York City Hostel Lounge HI New York City Hostel Dorms HI New York City Hostel Games

2. Freehand New York City

Freehand New York City is our favorite NYC hostel for big friend groups, families, and couples. It’s also one of our favorite overall New York hostels.

Here, you’ll find the following luxurious facilities:

  • Studio restaurant & rooftop bar
  • 24/7 reception
  • A fully equipped gym
  • Smile to Go Café (you can get to-go food from here)
  • A mezzanine common lounge
  • FREE toiletries 
Book Freehand New York City here

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

Freehand New York City Bars

This hostel is located in what used to be the George Washington Hotel, a famous building that was once home to various personalities of the art world.

Today, it can serve as your home in NYC, especially if you’re looking for somewhere that merges together coziness, incredible design, and social culture.

You’ll enjoy their delicious dining options if you’re a foodie. And, if you like the occasional party, head over to their rooftop bar; it serves a variety of delicious cocktails and even hosts a DJ.

Note that you can only rent dorms as private rooms (as a group), so if you’re traveling solo, and you’re looking for hostels in Manhattan, scroll down (we promise we have great options).

Location: This is a Manhattan hostel in the Flatiron district, a 3-minute walk near the subway. It’s surrounded by numerous shops, restaurants, and cafés. Popular sights of interest include Madison Square Park. The overall area is safe, even at night.

A great choice for

  • Groups of all kinds
Book Freehand New York City here

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

aFreehand New York City Lounge Freehand New York City Library Freehand New York City Dorm Freehand New York City Bar

3. Chelsea International Hostel

Chelsea International Hostel is an adults-only Manhattan hostel, so if you hate babies, come here! We’re obviously kidding; babies are adorable. But this is a great option if you’re solo traveling and want to ensure that your vacation is spent surrounded by adult travelers only.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A shared lounge
  • A garden
  • A terrace
  • A shared kitchen
  • FREE breakfast
  • FREE towels

Now you would think that going to an adults-only accommodation would guarantee tranquility, but this is Manhattan, so the sound of ambulance sirens is never too far away (and the walls are thin). 

As with the majority of our best Manhattan hostels, we recommend getting earplugs with you!

Also, the bedrooms are rather small (so are the lockers), so make sure you’re not carrying any large luggage with you.

Overall, this is minimalistic accommodation that is safe, clean, and affordable. We think it’s also a good option for female solo travelers (they have female-only dorms as well).

Location: Manhattan hostel in the heart of Chelsea. The neighborhood is very safe, with a police station right in front of the hostel. There are also a variety of restaurants to pick from.

Nearby points of interest include Madison Square Garden, the Flatiron Building, and (our favorite) High Line park. This hostel is close to many subway and bus stops.

This is one of the best hostels in Manhattan for

  • Solo travelers
Book Chelsea International Hostel here

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

Chelsea International Hostel Dorm Chelsea International Hostel Kitchen

Chelsea International Hostel Patio

4. American Dream Hostel

American Dream Hostel is one of our top very social New York hostel Manhattan picks. It’s also a great choice if you’re a backpacker traveling with a friend or a couple.

Here, you’ll find:

  • A shared lounge
  • A shared kitchen
  • FREE towels
  • FREE breakfast (really)
  • FREE snacks throughout the day
  • Shared bathrooms per floor
Book American Dream Hostel here

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

American Dream Hostel Lounge

This is a family-owned-and-operated hostel that also labels itself as a Bed&Breakfast. Yes, the space is as wholesome as you can expect. Some travelers even come here with their babies!

The location is awesome, the facilities are clean, and the breakfast is great because you get a lot of quantity and quality. This is honestly a rarity for budget accommodations in Manhattan.

The owner and staff are also super friendly and accommodating. We assure you that they do not correspond to the ‘unfriendly New Yorker’ stereotype in any way.

The only negative point we have is that the beds are a bit squeaky, and you can kind of hear between the walls… but hey, this is New Yorker!

Location: Manhattan hostel in the flatiron neighborhood. Nearby popular interest points include the Flatiron and the Empire State Building. If you like jogging or nature in general, this hostel is also surrounded by parks: Gramercy Park, Madison Square Park, and Union Square.

The best choice in Manhattan for

  • Backpacker duo
  • Couples
Book American Dream Hostel here

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

American Dream Hostel Dorm American Dream Hostel Kitchen American Dream Hostel Dorms

Best Manhattan Hostels for Solo Travelers

Our top pick for Manhattan hostels for solo travelers is the Chelsea International Hostel. It has awesome facilities, a great location, and is very secure. If you want an additional recommendation, check the one bellow!

Book Chelsea International Hostel here

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

Chelsea International Hostel Dorm

More Manhattan Hostels worth a mention:

Jazz on Columbus Circle

Jazz on Columbus Circle is another good option for solo travelers who want to stay in the heart of Manhattan without sacrificing their wallets and security. 

This hostel in Manhattan has the following facilities:

  • 24/7 reception
  • Common living room
  • Shared kitchen
  • Dorms come with private bathrooms and toilets
  • No towels or toiletries

Some of their dorms also have private spaces where travelers can work and where the free WiFi is stable.

Our only issue with this hostel was that it was not well-lit. Also, although their location is very central in Manhattan, this translates to a lot of noise, so they come equipped with earplugs.

Although ‘Hostels NYC Cheap’ is usually not a sentence you come across often, this one does the job perfectly.

Location: A 2-minute walk from the Broadway theater and Carnegie Hall, and a 4-minute walk to central park and Columbus circle. The area is packed with restaurants, and the subway is a 5-minute walk away.

The best choice in Manhattan for

  • Solo travelers
Book Jazz on Columbus Circle here

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

Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel Lounge Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel Common Space

Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel Dorm

What about the cheapest hostels in Manhattan?

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 Manhattan.

  1. Open Hostelz.com with a full list of all hostels in Manhattan
  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. There are even special discount codes that we only share in our 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 Manhattan 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

Download the Hostelworld App here

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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

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Our Favorite Hostels in Manhattan put on a map + sights

Any questions about hostels in Manhattan?

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

FAQs

Here we share with you the most asked question:

What are the the best hostels in Manhattan?

The best hostels in Manhattan are:

What is the best hostel in Manhattan for solo travelers?

The best hostel for solo travelers in Manhattan is:
Chelsea International Hostel

How much does it cost to sleep in a hostel in Manhattan?

Hostels in Manhattan cost $40 - $85 per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room has an average price of around $221 per night. This is a rough average, just to give you an idea.

Are hostels in Manhattan safe?

Not all hostels in Manhattan are necessarily safe, especially the ones that offer cheap prices in sketchy areas. They might be illegal hostels or ones without the proper licenses and safety measures put in place.

In all fairness, it is best to check out Hostelgeeks.com because we feature safe hostels in Manhattan. You can find backpacker hostels with top ratings here! Keep a close eye on the overall ratings on booking platforms!

What are the best sites for finding hostels in Manhattan?

Of course, the best site to find hostels is Hostelgeeks.com 😉

We are doing our best to deliver the best hostels to you. Check out the best hostels in the world guides; from Paris to Tokyo.

You can also have a look at Hostelworld.

Any questions about hostels in Manhattan?

🤔

Join our Facebook Group and TikTok here!

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

Flights to Manhattan?

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, this is your answer to where to stay in Manhattan. Alternatively, you can also check out our guides on the best hostels in NYC and the best hostels in Brooklyn.

We did the leg work for you and brought you more hostel guides to destinations in the USA. Make sure you read our big guide to backpacking in the USA with all the top hostels.

Here are all our detailed destination guides we have for you in the United States:

Over in nearby Canada, you can also discover:

You can find all our new and updated articles for Best Hostels 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 Manhattan 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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As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, we use:

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How to find cheaper Flights ✈️

The first websites we always check are Skyscanner and Google Flights.

Find our step-by-step process in our review about Skyscanner.

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