That’s right, the Hostelgeeks have been searching high and low. We’ve found 3 great budget places to stay in New York City.
Time Square, Empire State Building and Central Park are calling!
Manhattan, Brooklyn and Broadway are dying to be explored and have so much to offer every traveller type.
Whether you’re a female solo traveller in search of comfort or a backpacker looking for budget accommodation – this guide has you covered.
- Freehand New York City – great for backpackers & couples
- The Local Hostel NYC – one for solo travellers
- NY Moore Hostel – top pick for female solo travellers
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
As a bonus we’ve included 8 New York secrets given by a local. Keep scrolling!
Keen to explore Brooklyn? Then check out the 5 New York Travel Tips section.
One more thing! We’ve put together an epic guide to the 45 best hostels in USA – all top destinations are included.
What we cover in this article?
- 3 best hostels in detail
- cheapest hostels in New York City
- best hostels in New York for solo travellers
- fun party hostels in New York City
- great hostels for older travellers and adults
- discounts and promo codes
- How to book?
- all hostel and sights on a map
Quick Introduction to New York City
Average price for a bed: Hostels in New York City cost 32€ – 35€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 74€ up to 156€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.
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.
Tourism Tax: In almost all hostels in this article, taxes are not included. The City and state taxes 14.75% plus occupancy tax 3.50 USD per person per night are added on arrival.
Hotel Law in NYC: Unfortunately there are less hostels in NYC compared to other major cities across the world. This is because a hotel law has been put in place to limit the number of people that can stay in a single room.
What this does mean however, is that shared dorms are small and cosy, usually with around 4-beds maximum.
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- how to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
The 3 Best Hostels in New York City
Let’s jump right into the boutique hostels in New York City.
We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.
1. Freehand New York City
Once home to many creatives, musicians and writers, this former George Washington Hotel is now a hip and artistic hostel.
Say hello to Freehand New York City!
From fitness workshops to live music – this is the place to stay if you love getting social.
There’s actually a bunch of things worth mentioning here, including:
- Studio restaurant & rooftop bar
- Smile to Go Cafe
- 24hr on-site fitness centre
- 24hr front desk
- Super fast Wi-Fi
It’s all about the details when it comes to having a great time in NYC.
Yet our #1 hostel is not only about the details, but the big things, too.
The rooms for example, are fabulous in design, space and comfort. It just depends on what you’re after.
Choose between queen and king-size privates, independent suites, triple and the good old fashioned shared dorms.
When dorms include sturdy wooden bunks and a TV you can expect standards to be high throughout. And they are.
Rooms even come with free water and apples, sweet!
Alongside daily happy hours in the bar, there is always something else happening for locals and guest alike.
Speak with the friendly, bi-lingual staff and they’ll happily keep you in the loop. They’re also great for tips and tricks around the city.
Location: In Manhatten’s Flatiron District, less than 200m to the nearest subway. Top sights such as Madison square park is within walking distance. Shops, cafes and restaurants are all in the immediate area.
This is one of the best hostels in New York City for
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
2. The Local Hostel NYC
Live like a local in one of New York’s most fun hostels. The Local Hostel NYC is an industrial building boasting floor to ceiling windows and fabulous social vibes!
The first thing you must do on arrival is head straight to the rooftop terrace.
From up there you can enjoy views across the iconic NYC skyline – what better way to kick start your adventure in the Big Apple?!
The next step is to dump your bags in your preferred room. Your options include:
- 4-bed dorms (single sex available)
- Private quad
- Private twin/double
Each room has its own bathroom, AC/heat and premium bedding. Dorms have added storage under the bed and personal reading lights.
What next? Well, it’s never too early for a refreshing drink when you’re on holiday.
Head down to the bar where you’ll find morning breakfast, coffee and locally made beer on sale in the evening.
There’s also a computer lounge and board games to keep you occupied.
In fact, now and again the hostel organises a games night on Thursday. A fun way to make friends, no doubt!
Either that or pop along to the live music, movie night or wine/beer tasting evenings. There’s no room for boredom.
Reception is open 24/7, the Wi-Fi is free and there is luggage storage available.
Location: found in up and coming Long Island City, just a couple of stops from Brooklyn and Manhattan. Surrounded by trendy cafes, galleries and museums.
This is one of the best hostels in New York City for
- Solo travellers
3. NY Moore Hostel
NY Moore Hostel will have you feeling right at home thanks to high ceilings, open spaces and plenty of light.
Ran by three travelling brothers, Moore has been created with traveller’s needs in mind. Expect cost-efficient, luxury accommodation.
We really like the creative ever-changing design around the place.
Find beautiful paintings that bring each room alive, personalising the space.
What’s possibly the best part? There are no bunkbeds in the dorm rooms!
Instead, single beds fill the spacious rooms so you can enjoy personal space and absolutely no squeaking in the night.
Dorms come in female-only size and are a cosy size of 3-4 beds per room.
There are also 3 private rooms on offer, each with their own private bathroom. Beds range from twin to queen size and all linen is included.
Note: groups are welcomed and encouraged to choose NY Moore Hostel.
Enjoy the lovely outdoor courtyard and common room – great places to chill or watch a movie with a complimentary tea or coffee.
Alongside movie nights, NY Moore Hostel host a comedy show every Wednesday which is not to be missed!
Not only that but each morning there is a free yoga class to kick start your day.
If you’re keen to cook at the end of a long day, you’ll enjoy the fully equipped kitchen which is open for all to use.
Either that or make use of the many great restaurants within walking distance of the hostel.
Reception is open 24/7 so no need to worry what time you’ll arrive. There is also no curfew so go out and enjoy the nightlife.
Location: East Williamsburg, 25 minutes by train from Manhattan. Great places to eat and drink surround the hostel – a perfect place for foodies and those less interested in being located in one of the main suburbs of NYC.
This is one of the best hostels in New York City for
- Female solo travellers
What about cheapest hostels in New York City?
Of course, there are always cheap hostels.
We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in New York City.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in New York City
- Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Make sure you use then the other filters and rank per price.
Also keep a close eye on the ratings, especially the “extreme ratings”. Meaning, the best and worst. These ratings can give great insight on what to expect.
Best Hostels in New York City for Solo Travellers?
What is seriously the best hostel in New York City for solo-travellers?
With some certainty we can say that the entire selection of best hostels in New York City are great for solo travellers!
Here’s a quick overview:
- Best hostel for social solo travellers: The Local Hostel NYC
- Best hostel for female solo travellers: NY Moore Hostel
- Best hostel for introverted solo travellers: Freehand New York City
If we had to pick one, Freehand New York City would win hands down. It has wonderful private rooms on offer for those looking for alone time and great spaces for mingling. Meet people at the bar and enjoy a quiet coffee in the in-house cafe.
Party Hostels in New York City
As popular and big as NYC is, it’s probably pretty obvious that there would be a party scene here.
But what about great party hostels in New York City?
We highly recommend staying at The Local Hostel NYC.
Though not strictly a party hostel, it has all the ingredients designed for a good time with new friends.
Enjoy awesome views of the city from the rooftop, join in the beer/wine tasting evenings and dance the night away to live music.
Reception never closes which means no curfew – take advantage of the superb location just a couple of stops from buzzing Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Hostels in New York City for Older Travellers and Adults
Where possible, we love to recommend the best hostels for older travellers and adults.
Thankfully, NYC is huge and therefore the hostel scene is wide and accommodating for all travellers types.
Let’s introduce American Dream Hostel.
This is a family run hostel that is basic, yet homely in design.
Everyone gets a private room (single, twin, double, triple) and the bathrooms are shared.
To balance it out, social vibes can be enjoyed over free breakfast and snacks throughout the day. This includes homemade waffles and cookies!
There’s also a kitchen, games rooms and TV. Wi-fi is free and reception is open 24 hours a day.
Location: Gramercy Park District. Grand Central Station is a 20-minute walk away.
Best Hostels in New York City for Backpackers
To keep things simple, we recommend staying at Harlem YMCA for a basic stay at an affordable price in a top location.
This really is a great choice if you’re less interested in hostel frills and more interested in getting out to see the sights.
Located in the serene section of Central Park, within 10 minutes you will be enjoying Manhattan hotspots such as Times Square, Empire State Building and Rockefeller Centre.
After a long day make use of the pool, sauna and gym.
A second no-frill option is Jazz on Columbus Circle.
Rooms on offer include 3, 4, 5 and 6-bed dorms and private options. They are simple and include linen and a towel, yet no privacy curtain.
Other perks include:
- 24-hour reception
- Lounge on every floor
- Ensuite bathrooms for every room
- No curfew
Location: just 2 blocks from the Columbus traffic circle attached to Central Park. The neighbourhood is full of shops and restaurants.
8 Manhattan Secrets, by a Local
This Guide is created by a real-life New York City Local – and yes, they do exist! We teamed up with our friend Chloe Olewitz, born in New York City. In fact, born in Manhattan! She is a freelance writer and creative strategist and knows the city like the back of her hand.
And not just that. She shares the same passion for unique places, and the same spirit of travel as we do.
Let’s have a sneak peak:
- A brand-new Restaurant, skyrocking all the top NYC dining lists – words are not enough
- Have a coffee and get served by aspiring models – An extra eye-candy!
- A coffee-library, an elegant oasis that is a perfect getaway from the hectic city energy
- Chloe’s favorite and beloved bar in downtown Manhattan – local community feeling!
- Spontaneous live music and a hidden door as the entrance – an underground cocktail bar!
- Get a snack like the locals all over the city
- a unique activity – watch or try it yourself, it won’t hurt!
- How to buy local in Manhattan? Chloe shares her fav market with us
Download the 8 Manhattan Travel Tips straight to your inbox:
5 Brooklyn Travel Tips
This Geeky Guide here is the Brooklyn edition, featuring 5 wow-tips only for the Brooklyn area.
New York City is huge.
Therefore, we decided to bring you two New York City Guides.
Here’s a sneaky peak of our 5 Brooklyn travel tips:
- A pure Pan-American bliss where you can enjoy amazing food while delighting a Cocktail
- Have a coffee and learn about roasted coffee!
- Try an awesome hand-made creamy ice cream which has also crazy trendy names
- A display of some of the most talented local artists – prepare your camera!
- A unique activity – become an expert Archer!
Download the 5 tips directly to your inbox here:
How to book?
We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations.
Hostelworld is the most popular website when it comes to hostel bookings.
Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld
On both platforms your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.
We included the handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.
Here is the overview:
- Freehand New York City: Booking.com
- The Local Hostel NYC: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- NY Moore Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- American Dream Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Harlem YMCA: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Jazz on Columbus Circle: Booking.com | Hostelworld
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible!
All of New York best 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 fix.
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in New York City. I 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.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Let us have a look on the map. Below we list all three best New York City hostels on a map.
Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.
We also included the main tourist attractions you’ve to know in this list:
- Statue of Liberty National Monument
- Central Park
- Empire State Building
- Rockefeller Center
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Times Square
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Grand Central Terminal
- One World Trade Center
- 9/11 Memorial
Flights to New York City?
We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over the US including New York City.
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over North America and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our review of Kiwi.
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in New York City.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations in the USA:
- 3 best hostels in Boston
- 3 best hostels in Washington DC
- 3 cool hostels in Chicago
- 3 fun hostels in Los Angeles
- best hostels in San Francisco
- best hostels in Seattle
More guides in surrounding destinations:
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
Was this useful? Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome New York City hostels should be as informative and useful as possible.
Your question 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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Your Smart 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:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries