Here we cover top destinations, from San Francisco, Miami and New York to lesser known areas like Detroit and Denver.
Are these seriously the best hostels in USA?
For sure – we really wanted to up our USA game!
Interesting fact: due to the hotel lobby cracking down on hostels, dorm sizes are kept small in some cities with usually a maximum of 4 people per room.
We already have great guides to hot North American destinations, including:
- best hostels in Los Angeles
- best hostels in Boston
- coolest hostels in Washington DC
- fun hostels in Chicago
- best hostels in New York City
- greatest hostels in San Francisco
- best hostels in Seattle
- best hostels in New Orleans
- 6 cool hostels in Hawaii
Phew, that’s a lot to take in!
Yet would you believe there is currently no 5 star hostel in the USA?
Never fear, for instead we’ve collected the ultimate 45 best hostels in USA for you to discover. This includes some of the best party hostels in USA.
To help you out further, we’ve included a big hostel map to pinpoint your chosen hostel(s).
Furthermore, we share with you our ultimate hostel packing list to prepare you before you go.
Get ready for the following destinations hosting the best hostels in USA:
- New York
- Washington DC
- New Orleans
- Maui, Lahaina
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Los Angeles
Note: some destinations only have one hostel listed. That’s because we couldn’t find any more worth mentioning that we would recommend to our friends and family.
Best Hostels in Boston
Let’s kick start this guide in the north eastern state of Massachusetts, at its biggest city known as Boston. This is where you’ll come across the oldest public park in the United States!
More excitingly, we have 3 awesome hostels to show you. They are:
Read: our full guide to the best hostels in Boston.
1. Boston Homestel
This is a great option for travelling families of three. The private rooms are especially designed for small families.
There is a total of 20 rooms here, including dorms.
Make use of the fully-equipped kitchen and lovely garden in the summer. There is also nearby free parking.
Location: Dorchester – Boston’s largest and most diverse neighbourhoods. A great choice for the LGBTQ community.
2. Found Hotel Boston Common
Hotel comfort will be found in the dorm and private rooms of Found Hotel Boston Common!
Each bed comes with all the lovely details such as a curtain, outlets and shelves.
It’s within walking distance of Boston common, Beacon Hill, Fenway Park and Harvard Square.
3. HI Boston Hostel
Choose HI Boston Hostel if you’re keen for a free walking tour, on-site cafe and free breakfast. Yet maybe not in that order!
What’s great is that for a change there are both female and male only dorms. If you’d rather a private room, you’ll get your own en-suite.
This hostel is right in the heart of the city, steps away from Boston Common and the Freedom Trail.
Best Hostels in New York
Do we really need to introduce New York? Most likely you’re aware that thi bustling city is home to Central Park and the Empire State Building. And so much more!
So let’s save time and skip straight to the coolest hostels on offer:
For even more options, have a read of our complete guide to the best hostels in New York.
1. Freehand New York City
From live music at the rooftop bar to fitness workshops, social butterflies will feel right at home at Freehand New York City.
Staff are there for you round the clock, and the Wi-Fi is super fact and reliable.
Other perks include a cafe and lovely spacious rooms.
2. The Local Hostel NYC
What better way to acclimatise than viewing the NYC skyline from a rooftop terrace? Drop you bags and head straight there!
Make new friends at the bar and try out of the locally made beers on sale. Morning breakfast is served here, too.
The Local is surrounded by trendy cafes, museums and galleries. Just a couple of stops from Manhattan.
3. NY Moore Hostel
Forget rickety bunks; NY Moore Hostel offers only single beds in their dorms. Score!
Female solo travellers can enjoy single-sexed rooms with 3-4 beds.
Kick start the day with a free yoga class, and wind down in the refreshing outdoor courtyard before heading to a local restaurant. There’s an on-site kitchen, too.
Best Hostels in Philadelphia: Apple Hostels of Philadelphia
We found just one hostel for you in Philadelphia. It’s certainly the best option and makes your planning easier!
Apple Hostels of Philadelphia is a great choice if you like freebies and meeting new people.
Rooms offered include male-only and female-only dorms, plus mixed options and a couple of private rooms.
Staff throw events every day of the week. Enjoy free beer four nights of the week and fun activities such as ghost tours.
You’ll be staying close by to all of the main attractions in the heart of the Old City.
Best Hostels in Washington DC
Yet another iconic destination in the US of A. Believe it or not, Washington is an affordable place to stay.
Once again we’ve worked hard to find 3 great options:
Psst! Have a look at the full guide to best hostels in Washington DC.
1. HighRoad Hostel DC
This is without doubt the greatest hostel in the city. Why? Let us tell you!
For one thing, there are free dinner nights and patio gatherings (with free beer) to get the good times rolling.
Not only that, but it’s in a great location surrounded by restaurants and bars.
If you like your own space, head to the common room and cuddle up by the fireplace.
2. HI Washington DC
Budget travellers, hello! Hi Washington DC is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on great amenities.
Many perks include:
- Free brekky
- Free yours & movie nights
- Outside patio
- Pool table, games & books
There’s a large selection of shared dorms and privates, including a female-only dorm. Groups are also welcome here.
3. Duo Housing DC
Remove your shoes, step inside the cosy living area and feel at home right away.
Duo Housing DC is brought to life by friendly staff and cosy living spaces.
Tea and coffee is unlimited, breakfast is free and there is a lovely quiet working area for digital nomads.
Good to know: there are mixed dorms (4-12 beds) but no private options.
Best Hostels in Richmond: HI Richmond Hostel
Virginia’s capital, and one of the oldest cities in America, is home to one hostel worth mentioning to you, dear reader.
When visiting Richmond, we recommend to you HI Richmond Hostel.
HI Richmond is located in downtown Richmond, offering 4-6 bed dorms and a range of private options.
It’s a basic step up that allows plenty of opportunity to mix with others. Whether than be in your spacious bedroom or on the outside patio area.
Ask staff about volunteer-led tours.
Best Hostels in Detroit: Hostel Detroit
Fair enough, this hostel could have thought up a better name. But don’t be put off by it!
In fact, Hostel Detroit goes to great lengths to introduce Detroit to every traveller in a way that helps them truly get to know the culture and connect on a personal level.
This 100 year old building had been re-created into a colourful, social space.
Join one of the local volunteer-led tours or ask staff to design your own self-guided exploration.
Best Hostels in Chicago
Forget fancy hotels when you can stay in a Chicago hostel. They are so impressive in design and comfort that you might think you actually did book a hotel by mistake!
Get ready to explore:
Guess what? Our complete guide to the best hostels in Chicago has even more important information.
1. Fieldhouse Jones
Trust us when we say you’ll be impressed rather than regretful when you see the super cool three-tiered bunks.
Fieldhouse Jones is a hotel hostel mix, and this is evident by the stylish spaces and decor.
Enjoy an on-site cafe, gym, games room and cable TV.
Choose between single-bed rooms, dorms and multi-bed apartments fro families or groups. It even has its own kitchen!
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
2. Freehand Chicago
Freehand Hostel is situated in a classic building dating back to 1927. It’s within the great neighbourhood of River North, just two blocks from Michigan Avenue.
Get comfy at the in-house cafe, restaurant and bar. There is also a tea and coffee station.
There’s fun to be had most days of the week. Join in yoga, storytelling session, live music and nightly happy hour deals.
3. Found Hotel Chicago River North
We just love the funky design at Found Hotel Chicago River North. Check out those sturdy bunks and sleek decor!
It’s not wonder really why they use the word ‘hotel’ in their hostel name.
Nomadic millennials will love the basement lounge and bike rental. Don’t forget to ask friendly staff about the many tours available in the area.
Best Hostels in Nashville: Nashville Downtown Hostel
Before you freak out that there is only on option in Nashville, let us tell you that it used to be a candy warehouse!
Nashville Downtown Hostel is now fully renovated and can accommodate more than 300 guests.
Solo travellers and groups will love this option as a means to meet other like-minded folk.
The community kitchen is always open, and free tea and coffee is offered to enjoy in the shared lounge space.
Lower Broadway and the Music City Centre are both within walking distance.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
Best Hostels in Chattanooga: The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel
The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel have done well to fuse together a boutique hotel setting, inexpensive hostel budget and a community atmosphere. What more do you need?
Well ok, there is more:
- Energy saving and eco-friendly mentality
- Fully-fitted kitchen
- Dorm & private options
- Huge garden space
There are rocks to climb, trails to explore and water to jump in too. It’s also easily accessible to downtown Chattanooga.
Best Hostels in Atlanta: Residence
This is a new kid on the block that has not yet been tested. However, Residence looks promising so we wanted to mention it.
Have a look at the dorms – how nice do they look? All of your privacy needs are met, including a curtain.
Onsite there is a bar, free Wi-Fi and free parking.
Enjoy a handy location just 26km from the nearest airport, and 7km from Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
Best Hostels in Miami
Drink all day, play all night… you know how the song goes! No doubt visions of Florida and Miami Beach leave you with a big smile on your face.
It’s a top destination when travelling the states, for sure. And every hostel has a pool!
What about cool hostels? We bring you:
1. Generator Miami
This is in fact Generator’s first U.S location, 100 feet from a beautiful beach.
It is an 8-level property (with 103 rooms), ideal for social butterflies that are happy to be surrounded by people.
There’s a swimming pool, numerous social spaces, a bar and indoor and out door restaurant.
If you need to leave for some weird reason, downtown Miami is within easy reach. Enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from the property.
2. Freehand Miami
Who’s up for cutting edge vibes and designer decor?!
Now we have your attention, Freehand Miami has a lot to offer you:
- Courtyard w/ fairy lights
- Restaurant serving hostel-grown veggies
- Outdoor pool & cocktail bar
- Private & shared rooms
The beach is a mere 5-minute stroll and the lobby offers free iced coffee. See you there.
3. Posh South Beach
Although South Beach is a few minutes away, you may be tempted to spent all of your time at Posh South Beach.
It’s no wonder really and we wouldn’t blame you.
That’s because it boasts a rooftop swimming pool, happy hour (every night), free continental breakfast and tours.
The bunk beds are also pretty impressive, designed with privacy and supreme comfort in mind.
Best Hostels in New Orleans
This Louisiana city near the Gulf of Mexico is famous for spicy food and round-the-clock nightlife. It’s a melting pot of African, French and American cultures. Cool, huh?
In late winter you can also enjoy the festive spirit of Mardi Gras!
Check out our hostel collection in New Orleans:
Check out the full guide to best hostels in New Orleans – including party hostels.
1. The Quisby
Come in and make yourself at home at The Quisby, an upscale hostel in the Garden District. Over a dozen famous bars and restaurants are located within half a mile.
All private rooms, shared dorms and female only dorms come with an en-suite bathroom. And a memory foam mattress, yes please!
Breakfast is free and there is a 24 hour bar downstairs.
2. Auberge NOLA Hostel
Looking for one of the best party hostels in USA? You’ve now stumbled upon it: Auberge NOLA Hostel.
There’s something happening every evening. Think free parties and social events.
The outdoor courtyard is a wonderful place to enjoy BBQ before hitting the town or relaxing in the cinema room.
Breakfast is free – the perfect antidote after a big night.
3. Madame Isabelle’s House
This beautiful family house was built in 1831 and still retains great character.
Both shared dorms and private are on offer. Yet we encourage you to spend your time in the hidden courtyard garden. There is a deck and jacuzzi with your name on it!
Quiet time is from 9pm to 8am to ensure a good night’s sleep. Wake up and enjoy yummy breakfast on the house.
Best Hostels in Austin
It would be rude not to explore the capital of Texas during your USA adventures. It’s surely a well-discussed part of the world. Time to see it for yourself.
Here are some great hostels in Austin:
1. Native Hostels Austin
This one if for the curious seekers filled with youthful wanderlust. Native Hostels Austin is a luxury hostel welcoming people from all over the world.
Rooms include 4 and 6-bed dorms, including a female only option.
Note: minimum age for booking is 21 years.
This hostel is just 2-blocks from downtown Austin and Austin Convention Centre.
2. HK Austin
At HK Austin you can wander their huge gated backyard and get lost in cactus plants, avocado and orange trees. Yes please.
Pick a room of your choice and enjoy free linen, towel, Wi-Fi and coffee all day.
Stay here and you’ll be located a block from live music, stiff drinks and plenty of delicious tacos.
Best Hostels in Dallas: Deep Ellum Hostel
Deep Ellum Hostel opened its doors in 2018 right in the middle of all the best nightclubs and live music venues.
So as expected, this is paradise for party animals. There will be noise – you’ve been warned.
Honestly though, just bring some earplugs if you like to sleep as this hostel is worth staying at.
The rooms are big and stylish, and the common area welcoming. Breakfast is free, too.
Best Hostels in Denver
Over to Colorado now, the home of great museums (seriously!), and your doorstep to nearby Rocky Mountains for ski enthusiasts.
We doubt you’ll be disappointed with these hostels:
1. Ember Hostel
Live it up and feel like a king or queen in this literal mansion in Denver’s historic district. It’s 9,000 square feet!
It’s fun, social, fancy and has a boutique atmosphere everyone can learn to love.
Free events include movie nights and weekend strolls through downtown. When you get back, jump in the 12-person jacuzzi!
We just love the cabin-style bunks. It’s privacy and comfort at its best.
2. Hostel Fish
Before Hostel Fish acquired a fun name, it was in fact a brothel. Shhh, don’t tell your mum!
Let this hostel entice you with…
- Speakeasy style bar w/ FREE drink
- Co-working space
- Reading lounge
- Downstairs restaurant and music venue
Being right in the heart of Denver, there is no need for a car. Just use your feet.
Best Hostels in Colorado: The Bivvi Hostel, Breckenridge
For the outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventures in the Rocky Mountains, The Bivvi Hostel is the only hostel you’re going to need.
Breckenridge is in fact in the heart of the Rockies, and this beautiful mountain lodge is warm and homely.
In the summer time join one of the many fun activities including white-water rafting and hiking.
Come winter, snuggle up by the fire pit and fill up on the generous free breakfast – it includes scrambled eggs, pancakes and fresh fruit!
Best Hostels in Seattle
This seriously green city is surrounded by water, evergreen forests and mountains. There is also thousands of acres of parkland available.
So take off your shoes, feel the grass beneath your feet and head to one of the following hostels:
Don’t forgot to check out our extensive guide to the best hostels in Seattle.
1. Green Tortoise Hostel
The staff at Green Tortoise Hostel believe that being in a beautiful place with great food and lovely people are essential for a memorable travel experience.
How could we disagree?
There are rooms for all traveller types to expect to meet all sorts of interesting individuals.
Amenities include a book exchange, big kitchen and a lovely free brekky to kick-start your day.
Take a free walking tour or rent a bicycle and explore the city that way.
2. HI Seattle at the American Hotel
HI Seattle is nearby the city’s main sports stadiums, so it’s great choice if you’re planning to catch a game.
Yet there are many more reasons to stay here, especially if you like a no-frills and chilled atmosphere.
There’s a games room with foosball, and a great kitchen to help you save coins.
3. City Hostel Seattle
Arrive as a stranger and leave as friend when you choose City Hostel Seattle.
It’s an artsy place, with each room holding a different design thanks to local artists and their mural skills.
Female solo travellers will love the ladies only dorm. It’s cosy with just 4-beds.
Not forgetting the free breakfast and courtyard area – two great reasons to consider staying here.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Hostelworld
Best Hostels in Portland: HI Portland Hawthorne District Hostel
As you might have already gathered, HI hostels are quite popular in the USA. That’s because they know what they’re doing!
It’s no exception in Portland. In fact, HI Portland Hawthorne happens to be the only hostel we recommend in this city.
This converted house is eco-friendly and wants to make you feel like a local during your stay.
And you will thanks to:
- The porch (perfect for people watching)
- Comfy lounge
- Open mic nights & outdoor movie screenings
- FREE light breakfast
There are also great hiking trails nearby.
Best Hostels in Maui, Lahaina: Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel
How about a little trip away from the mainland and over to jaw-dropping Hawaii? Lahaina is now a hotspot for tourism, one known as Lele meaning ‘relentless sun’.
We stumbled across Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel and just had to include it.
Located an easy 1-minute from the beach, this hostel also happens to be on the famous Front St.
Relax in the garden with ocean views, or borrow a bike, kayak or surfboard and explore the immediate surroundings.
Basic dorm and private rooms are on offer.
Best Hostels in San Francisco
San Fran, SF or “The City” – no matter which name you choose, this Northern California city is a top destination for solo travellers.
Posing for that Golden Gate Bridge selfie is on your bucket list, right? Right.
First things first, let have a look at where to stay in San Fran:
Read more from a local’s perspective and discover more tips at our full guide to the best hostels in San Francisco.
1. USA Hostels San Francisco
Sitting at the #1 spot is a super friendly and welcoming hostel. It’s the staff that make it what it is!
Relax, party, socialise or hide away – all traveller types are welcome.
Dorm rooms are limited to 4-beds and they come with linen and a towel.
Smile and enjoy free dinners, daily breakfast and city tours. Oh and you’d be crazy to miss out on the weekly pub crawl.
2. Adelaide Hostel
Next up is Adelaide Hostel, a perfect option for female solo travellers that enjoy single-sexed dorms with private beds.
Guests keep mentioning how great the free breakfast is – there’s only one way to find out.
Check out the notice board to keep up to date with events. Whilst you wait, rent a bicycle or chill in the lounge area.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
3. HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel
How about sleeping with the bay on one side, and a National Park on the other? That’s why HI Sand Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hostel has made the list.
Step outside and witness the Golden Gate Bridge.
Step inside and chill by the wood burner and sign up for many fun activities. This includes a pub crawl.
Oh and there happens to be an on-site cafe serving local beer, coffee and home-made, organic meals.
Best Hostels in San Diego
Back in California, San Diego offers visitors a warm climate, relaxing beaches and green parks. There are also numerous art galleries and museums for those indoor kind of days.
We found 2 fun hostels in San Diego:
1. California Dreams Hostel
California Dreams Hostel happens to be located 30 seconds from Pacific Beach. ‘Nuff said.
Begin the day with a complimentary burrito and then sign up to a daily surf lesson or tour. Either that or rent a surfboard and hit the waves on your own.
Back at the hostel there is a big kitchen, free wi-fi and flat screen TV with Netflix.
2. USA Hostels Ocean Beach
You can’t miss this place – the outside of the building is impressive. Just look for the huge peace sign!
Fill up on the free bagels and hit the surf. It’s just 5-minutes away. Either that or loan a beach chair, parasol and chair and chill.
BBQs, yoga and beach bonfires bring people together. And a mix of dorm and private rooms offer the best night’s sleep you could ask for.
Best Hostels in Hollywood
Right then entertainment fanatics and famous-wannabes, Hollywood is the place to be if you want to have stars in your eyes.
Walk the red carpet and stare up at the famous sign and feel amazing.
And prepare for a wonderful hostel experience at the following choices:
1. Walk of Fame Hostel
Right in the heart of Hollywood, the staff at Walk of Fame Hostel want to make sure you have a fantastic experience.
Hike to the famous Hollywood sign or mingle with new friends during nightly socials at the on-site bar.
Dorm and private rooms are simple, yet comfortable.
Don’t spend too much time there and instead enjoy a central location and a game of pool.
2. USA Hostels Hollywood
USA Hostels Hollywood has been on the scene for over a decade and they’re consistently praised and ever popular.
Why? Perhaps because of the…
- Cool bed privacy panels
- Garden patio
- Hostel walking tours
- Fully equipped kitchen
The location is one of the best, nearby a handy metro station and located right between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip.
Best Hostels in Los Angeles
Nearby to Hollywood is the sprawling city of Los Angeles. It’s another option worth considering if you’re visiting the area with equally cool accommodation.
We like to offer you as many choices as possible. Live, camera…ACTION!
So here we have 4 more awesome hostels:
Also: have a look at our guide to the best hostels in Los Angeles – it includes a fun party hostel.
1. Podshare Venice Beach
Podshare Venice Beach is one of 5 Podshare location across the city. If you buy a pass for this one, you can access the others, too.
The pod beds are to die for, seriously! No ladder, no rickety bunks.
From here it is a short walk to Venice Beach. Bikes are for hire when you want to explore and the work space is perfect for working travellers.
Oh yeah, and breakfast is free.
2. Freehand Los Angeles
Though technically a hotel, Freehand Los Angeles has done very well to design flash dorms ideal for the budget traveller.
Save money in a shared room, but still enjoy the rooftop pool (with bar), city views and fitness centre.
Every week guests are treated to fun social events such as jazz nights and DJ sets.
The best bars in L.A and a handy metro station are within walking distance.
3. The Steady Hostel
This hip hostel wants you to stay steady is their cosy oasis in the middle of the city. Why not?
There are 5 shared rooms on offer. Sizes include 7, 8, 9 and 12-bed options. This includes a ladies room and pod beds in the 12 bed dorm.
Thanks to the beautiful bright design, you’ll feel calm and collected in no time.
Make use of the common lounge, kitchen and dining area. Each morning you’ll be treated to fruits, cereal and coffee.
Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com
4. Samesun Venice Beach
Samesun Venice Beach is a cool Backpacker Hostel, maybe a tiny bit party but for sure a fun hub for backpackers!
Grab a bike, board or wave and choose your favourite chill spot. There’s lots to enjoy:
- The beach is 30 seconds away
- There’s an on-site bar
- Nightly activities (live bands, open mic)
- FREE breakfast
Located directly on Venice Beach Boardwalk, this is one of the most convenient places to stay in LA.
All Best Hostels in USA on a Map
Below we have put ALL of the coolest hostels in USA mentioned in this article on a map.
That’s because we want to make your planning as hassle free and straight forward as possible!
We’ve marked them as follows:
- Design Hostels: Blue
- Backpacker-Type Hostel: Orange
- Party Hostels: Pink
- Other recommendations: Purple
(View full sized map here)
Destination not Listed?
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more. And we share all of these unique budget accommodations with you.
Make sure you check out our guides “best hostels in“. Here we cover many more destinations.
By now you should have the answer to your question where to stay in USA. Which of the best hostels in USA have you fallen in love with? Let us know!
This guide is your shortcut to your hostel-picks, saving you lots of time in your accommodation research.
And for sure, it gives you the security of a top-hostel choice without any bad surprises.
Then please please leave a comment below. We would be thrilled to hear from you and to help a fellow backpacker.
Have fun & Safe travels!
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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