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
- Fauna Luxury Hostel – 5 Star Hostel for solo travelers
- Hostel Urbano – great for female solo travelers
Skip straight to Fauna Luxury Hostel if you’re all about 5 star accommodation.
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
- 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 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 San Jose Costa Rica
Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in San José.
We put all three accommodation 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 personalised 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 a 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
- Work space
- 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 have 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 in San José Costa Rica for
- Small families
2. Fauna Luxury Hostel
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.
The absolute best hostel in San Jose for:
- Solo travellers
3. Hostel Urbano San Jose
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
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 shoe-string 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 in San José for solo-travellers?
Actually, we found quite a few options for you.
We stand by that the best option for solo travellers has to be Fauna Luxury Hostel – the pod beds are awesome!
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.
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 Fauna Luxury Hostel and you won’t be disappointed.
They have an on-site bar & bistro that offers delicious cocktails and good food. It’s certainly a starting point before heading towards nearby nightlife.
Then you can enjoy ultimate peace and quiet in your pod bed and rest up before the next day’s yoga session.
Best Hostels for Older Travellers
When we stumbled across Hostel Finca Escalante, we knew it was the top choice 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.
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
- Fauna Luxury Hostel: Booking.com | Hostelworld
- Hostel Urbano San Jose: 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.
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in San José. 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 San Jose 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
Stay at Turtle Saving Hostel and join their affiliated volunteer turtle program. 20% of the cost of your stay also goes to support the protection of endangered sea turtles.
Backpacking Costa Rica? Two beautiful places worth visiting are Manuel Antonio National Park and Puerto Viejo.
Flights to San José?
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search. Just draw a circle over Central 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 San Jose Costa Rica and the coolest hostels San Jose has to offer.
Remember to have a look at the best hostels in Costa Rica.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations in central America:
- Casa Zen Guesthouse in Santa Teresa
- best hostels in Colombia
- The Pipe House in Playa Grande
- Cucuruchos Boutique Hostel in Guatemala
- best hostels in Nicaragua
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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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