No trip to Central America would be complete without experiencing the best hostels in San José Costa Rica.
This capital city is in the middle of the country and stands to be the largest city in Costa Rica.
It’s where you’ll find hipster coffee shops, vegan restaurants and tasty craft beers. Oh and very cool places to crush!
- Capital Hostel de Ciudad – top pick for backpackers
- Gaudy’s Hostel – perfect for female solo travellers
- In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse – great for families
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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
Luxurious pod dorms, modern design and fun vibes – all to be had at the hostels in this collection.
We’ve also included a great Costa Rica backpackers hostel as our #1.
This article is part of an ultimate guide to the 44 best hostels in Costa Rica – which Costa Rica hostel is your favourite?
What we cover in this article?
- 3 best hostels in detail
- cheapest hostels in San José
- best hostels in San José for solo travellers
- fun party hostels in San José
- best hostels for older travellers
- more hostels worth a mention
- discounts and promo codes
- How to book?
- all hostel and sights on a map
Quick Introduction to San José
Average price for a bed: Hostels in San José cost 2€ – 12€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 20€ up to 45€ 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.
🎁 New to Hostels? Read our guide to staying in a Hostel for the First Time here. We especially recommend reading:
- How to book hostels? (and websites to save $)
- 23 clever items: the hostel packing list to download
- How does the Hostelworld App work exactly? Our Advanced Guide
The 3 Best Hostels in San Jose Costa Rica
Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in San José.
Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type
|🦸 Solo Traveler:||In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse|
|🙎♀️ best for Female Solo Traveler:||Gaudy’s Eco Hostel|
|🥳 Party Hostel:||Capital Hostel de Ciudad|
|👩❤️👨Couple Hostel:||In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse|
|👨👩👦 Family Hostel:||In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse|
|👩💻 For Digital Nomads:||Capital Hostel de Ciudad|
|🧘 Cozy Hostel:||In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse|
We put all three accommodations on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.
1. Capital Hostel de Ciudad
Let’s jump straight in and have a look at Capital Hostel de Ciudad, a co-living environment that’s personalized and creative.
Looking for a cool Costa Rica backpackers hostel? This is it!
As it’s a small hostel in San Jose, great attention to detail has been mastered.
How do you like the sound of sleeping in a pod bed?
It’s as fun as it sounds – each pod has a curtain, shelves, plug sockets, and light. You’ll even get a towel!
So although the mixed dorms are big (8-10 beds), you can enjoy ultimate privacy whenever you like.
Couples should definitely check out the private rooms. We’d personally opt for the superior queen option.
Though seriously, try not to spend all your time in bed.
There’s so much more to enjoy. Let’s show you…
- Backyard w/ BBQ & yoga space
- Pool table, instruments, board games
- Living room
- Book exchange
If you fancy it, you’re welcome to use the fully-fitted kitchen at any time.
No need to worry about breakfast though – it’s included in the booking price!
New to the city? Join a free walking tour from the hostel which is on offer every day.
It’s a fun way to get your bearings and meet other travellers.
Staff has plenty of time for you thanks to the size of this hostel. They get continuously great reviews, so prepare to be well looked after.
Location: Downtown is a 30-minute walk, or you can catch the bus from Sabana-Estadio. It’s in a quiet area away called La Sabana from the crowds. Possibly the perfect location in this city.
This is one of the best hostels San Jose Costa Rica has to offer for
- Small families
2. Gaudy’s Hostel
Gaudy’s Eco Hostel has been in operation for over 15 years, and these guys get consistently high reviews and a steady flow of travellers stopping by.
“We have always been recognized for our cleanliness, hospitality, unbeatable location.”
First of all, you’re going to be greeted by the wonderful staff. They really enjoy giving advice and recommendations about where to go and what to see in the area.
Let’s have a look at some of the inclusions:
- Free breakfast
- Shared kitchen
- Book exchange
- Free Wifi throughout the property
What we enjoy about Gaudy’s is that they have included many room types. From family and deluxe doubles, to female-only dorms and single rooms for those that enjoy their privacy.
Cool: This hostel offers a cheap 24 hour airport shuttle service.
The living room is a great place to hang out with a book or to start up a conversation with fellow travellers. It has a homely vibe with lots of light thanks to the big windows.
It’s possible to book affordable tours at reception. Everything from volcano tours to white water rafting and beach trips.
Speak to the staff if you need to rent a car. Reception is open 24/7!
Location: Gaudy’s is a 8 minutes’ walk from La Sabana Metropolitan Park which is well worth a look. The city center is around 2km from here.
This is one of the best San Jose Costa Rica hostels for
- Female solo travellers
- Older travellers
3. In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse
The quiet, cosy and personalised environment at In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse is ideal for families, couples, and solo travellers that aren’t big on lively vibes.
Start the day with a complimentary cup of coffee, pancakes, and soft music – yes please!
This was once a B&B and it still has that feel to it, though there is now an 8-bed mixed dorm alongside the private and family rooms.
The kitchen has also been opened up for guests. Be aware though that it is a basic kitchen much like what you’d find in someone’s home.
- Book exchange
- Travel tips at reception
- Hammocks in the garden
- Wonderful owner & staff
From here, downtown is around 3km away and easily accessible either by bus, city bike, or on foot.
If you don’t fancy going too far, you’ll be happy to know that the hostel is surrounded by good restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, and markets.
This is one of the best hostels in San José Costa Rica for
- Peace & quiet seekers
What about cheapest hostels in San José?
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 shoestring budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in San José.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in San José
- 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 San José Costa Rica for Solo Travellers?
What is seriously the best hostel Costa Rica San Jose can provide for solo-travellers?
Actually, we found quite a few options for you.
Otherwise, you may want to consider the other 2 hostels we’ve found for solo explorers.
- TripOn Open House
- Stray Cat Hostel San Jose
TripOn Open House
These guys really know what they’re doing when it comes to social inclusion for solo travellers.
TripOn Open House is all about:
- HUGE free breakfast
- Free walking tours
- Games area
- Cosy garden with hammocks
The dorm beds come with a privacy curtain and reliable free Wifi follows you throughout the building.
AND! Downtown San José is within walking distance. Restaurants and yoga schools are just a few minutes by foot.
Read: 🧘♀️ best yoga retreats in Costa Rica
Stray Cat Hostel San Jose
Though not a party hostel, Stray Cat Hostel is certainly social and inclusive.
There’s a choice of private and shared accommodation, and everyone gets a free breakfast.
To kick off the social vibes, the staff arrange family dinners and free walking tours of the city.
It’s a 10-minute walk to central avenue from Stray Cat. It’s between the largest park in the city and downtown cultural attractions.
Party Hostels in San José
Are you seeking the best party hostels in San José?
You might be a little disappointed, in that case – this city is not known for a big party scene.
Nevertheless, there’s plenty to do and lots of scope for having a good time. Book your stay with Capital Hostel de Ciudad and you won’t be disappointed.
This is definitely not a party hostel, but they do well to encourage social vibes.
Make the most of the pool table, instruments and board games before heading out into town.
Note: It is a 30 minute walk to downtown, so perhaps take a bus instead.
Best Hostels for Older Travellers
When we stumbled across Hostel Finca Escalante, we knew it was the top hostel San Jose Costa Rica for older travellers and adults.
Though there are mixed dorms, it’s the private rooms that really stand out.
It has an overall relaxed atmosphere, and the look of the place surely suits travellers that want to escape the party scene and younger backpackers.
Breakfast is included, and there is a lovely garden with BBQ.
You’ll be close enough to the city, yet far enough away to escape the noise at night time.
In case this doesn’t take your fancy, it’s also worth having a look at Hostel Casa del Parque.
More Costa Rica Hostels Worth A Mention
We hope that by now you have already made up your mind on which hostel to stay in and have a general idea of where to go in Costa Rica.
We listed more hostels that you can take a look at.
- Nativus Art-Hostel – youth hostel
Are you looking for Costa Rica San Jose hostels with a good review? Nativus Art Hostel is one of them. It is a nice, neat, and beautiful-like garden hostel.
The hostel is spotless! There are refrigerators in the room, as well as a really comfy bed and fast WiFi.
The staff is kind and helpful, providing backpackers with recommendations for restaurants.
The San Jose youth hostel is approximately a mile from the center, located in a nice neighborhood and near a supermarket.
How to book?
We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations and to check availability.
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:
- Capital Hostel de Ciudad: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Gaudy’s Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- In The Wind Hostel & Guesthouse: Booking.com | Hostelworld
We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible!
All of San José 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.
Read: Our first-hand review of Worldpackers – with Promo Code
Remember to subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts directly to your inbox.
All 3 Hostels put on a map + sights
Let us have a look at the map. Below we list all three best San José 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:
- National Theatre of Costa Rica
- Jade Museum
- National Museum of Costa Rica
- La Sabana Park
- Plaza de La Cultura
- Parque Diversiones
Backpacking Costa Rica? Two beautiful places worth visiting are Manuel Antonio National Park and Puerto Viejo.
Flights to San José?
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.
Alright, you should have found your accommodation already. Below we list all the frequently asked questions. Have a look.
What is the best hostel in San Jose for solo travellers?
Easy. Capital Hostel de Ciudad - our #1 hostel choice in San Jose - is great for solo travellers.
Are hostels in San Jose safe?
Not all hostels in San Jose are necessarily safe, especially the one that offers the cheapest price in sketchy areas. It might be an illegal hostel, without proper license to run or if they don't have city tax San Jose requires.
So in all fairness, it is best to check out Hostelgeeks.com because we feature safe hostels in San Jose. You can find backpacker hostel with top ratings! Keep a close eye on the overall ratings on booking platforms!
If you are not secure, you can also send us an email and ask us!
What are the best hostels in San Jose?
All of the absolute best hostels in San Jose are listed in this guide! Here they are again:
How much are hostels in San Jose?
According to Hostelworld, a hostel in San Jose costs between €12 and €45 per night (depending on the room type).
Prices may vary depending on season.
What are the best sites for finding hostels?
Hostelgeeks.com is definitely one of the best hostel websites. We always compare cool hostels, and do the leg-work for you. Therefore, we think this very website is reasonable top resource for you!
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in San Jose Costa Rica and the coolest hostel in San Jose Costa Rica has to offer.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides:
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- best hostels in Tamarindo
- best hostels in Quepos
- best Hostels in La Fortuna
- best hostels in Manuel Antonio
- best hostels in Tortuguero
- best hostels in Monteverde
- best hostels in Jaco
- best hostels in Samara
- best hostels in Bahía Drake
- best hostels in Playa Grande
- best hostels in Santa Teresa
- best hostels in Puerto Viejo
- Coolest Surf Hostels in Costa Rica
- 8 Best Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica
And around nearby countries:
- best hostels in Colombia
- best hostels in Nicaragua
- best hostels in Jamaica
- best hostels in Panama City and the best hostels in Bocas del Toro, Panama
- best hostels in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
- best hostels in Caribbean
- best hostels in Puerto Rico
- best surf hostels in Nicaragua
- best hostels in Havana
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Over to you
There you have it; a collection of some of the best Costa Rica hostels in San Jose.
Which San Jose Costa Rica hostel is your favourite?
Coming soon: best hostels in San Jose California
Was this useful? Do you have any questions, doubts?
Then please please leave us a comment. This list of awesome San José 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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CLOSED: Fauna Luxury Hostel
Update: Our previous 5 star hostel in San Jose has unfortunately permanently closed its doors.
Was it the word luxury that caught your attention?
Fauna Luxury Hostel is not just luxurious, but it is also one of the great 5 Star Hostels in Costa Rica!
Warning: this might be a San Jose hostel you may wish to stay forever.
That’s because of the energised staff, visual elements and homely vibe.
“Everyone needs a space; there is always a better place.”
Once again this is a boutique hostel offering up snazzy pod beds so you can enjoy your own preferred dose of privacy.
The dorms come with 6 and 8-beds, keeping them small and cosy.
Instead of curtains, you have blinds. And next to the bed there is even space to store your things.
So when you’re not snoozing, what is there to do?
- Jump in the pool & jacuzzi,
- Wander around the gardens
- Cook up a storm in the kitchen
- Play pool, ping-pong and foosball
- Use the fitness centre for FREE
- Join a yoga class
If that’s not enough, there is a superb bar & bistro on-site, too.
The extensive food and drinks menu will seriously tickle your tastebuds. Grab a cocktail and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner here.
In fact, there is a free breakfast for everyone!
Make sure you head to the rooftop to enjoy a Costa Rican sunset with your cocktail.
Location: Located in an area known as Escazú, just a 20-minute bus ride from the centre of San José.
CLOSED: Hostel Urbano San Jose
Update: Sorry dear readers, Hostel Urbano closed its doors permanently in late 2020.
Hostel Urbano ticks all the major boxes; it’s chilled, made with love and is close by to great nightlife and gastronomy options.
This modern, industrial style hostel is made for making new friends.
Actually, it offers a nice balance of social and solo time, depending on what you’re after.
- Garden w/ hammocks & BBQ
- Games room
- Well equipped kitchen
- Outdoor terrace
- Free tea & coffee
- 10GB of WiFi each
The budget rooms are basic, yet comfortable. And when you book a bed, you get breakfast thrown in!
Dorm rooms come with 8 and 10-beds, with an added female dorm with 6-beds.
Otherwise you can sleep in a double, quadruple or family room (sleeping 5-6 people).
The private rooms have a garden view and small terrace ideal for enjoying your morning breakfast.
Note: staff can help arrange an airport transfer. Get in touch with them before arrival to arrange this.
Location: On the East side of San José, less than 2km from the City Centre. It’s easy to walk to almost everything worth seeing and doing from here.
This is one of the best hostels in San José Costa Rica for
- Female solo travellers
- Larger families
Best Travel Websites we recommend ❤️
(Fresh Update 2023)
Booking Hostels and Discounts 👏👏👏
As a user of Hostelgeeks, you also have access to exclusive hostel discounts. For booking hostels, we use:
We recommend installing the Hostelworld App. It is very useful!
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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Find all our recommended travel tools and websites here.
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