Top 5 Hostels for Backpackers in NYC

New York City, the city that never sleeps, is a dream destination for many travelers. While it’s known for its luxury hotels and upscale accommodations, there’s a thriving hostel scene that caters to budget-conscious backpackers. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 5 hostels in NYC that provide affordable and comfortable stays for those looking to explore the city on a budget.

1. HI NYC Hostel

Location: Upper West Side Description: HI NYC Hostel, located on the Upper West Side, offers budget travelers a fantastic base for exploring the city. With its friendly atmosphere, diverse mix of international guests, and a range of amenities including a communal kitchen and organized tours, it’s a top choice for backpackers.

2. The Local NYC

Location: Long Island City, Queens Description: For a unique hostel experience just outside Manhattan, The Local NYC in Long Island City is a great option. It offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, a vibrant community atmosphere, and easy access to subway lines that take you directly into the city.

3. Jazz Hostels

Location: Multiple Locations Description: Jazz Hostels has several locations throughout Manhattan, making it convenient for backpackers to explore different parts of the city. These hostels are known for their lively and social atmosphere, with events like pub crawls and group outings.

4. Hostelling International New York

Location: Upper West Side Description: Hostelling International New York, situated on the Upper West Side, provides a clean and secure environment for backpackers. The hostel offers a range of amenities, including a spacious lounge area, on-site cafe, and regular social events.

5. American Dream Hostel

Location: East Village Description: American Dream Hostel, located in the vibrant East Village, offers an authentic New York City experience. With its eclectic decor, friendly staff, and proximity to trendy bars and restaurants, it’s an excellent choice for backpackers looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

What to Consider When Choosing a Hostel in NYC

When selecting a hostel in New York City, keep these factors in mind:

  • Location: Consider which neighborhood you want to stay in and how accessible it is to major attractions.
  • Amenities: Look for hostels that offer the amenities you value, such as free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and social spaces.
  • Reviews: Read guest reviews to get insights into the experiences of previous travelers and ensure the hostel meets your expectations.
  • Safety: Ensure that the hostel has secure lockers and a safe environment for your belongings.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and find a hostel that aligns with it while providing a comfortable stay.

Exploring NYC on a Budget

New York City offers numerous free and affordable activities that backpackers can enjoy, including exploring Central Park, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and visiting museums on suggested donation days.


Traveling to New York City on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or missing out on the city’s vibrant culture. These top 5 hostels for backpackers offer affordable accommodations, a welcoming atmosphere, and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world. So, pack your bags, grab your hostel booking, and get ready to explore the Big Apple without breaking the bank.


1. Are hostels in NYC safe for solo travelers?

  • Yes, hostels in NYC prioritize guest safety and often have secure lockers for belongings.

2. Do hostels in NYC provide private rooms or only dormitories?

  • Many hostels offer both dormitory-style and private room options, catering to different preferences and budgets.

3. Are hostels in NYC suitable for families with children?

  • Some hostels are family-friendly, but it’s essential to check with the individual hostels regarding their policies.

4. Can I book a hostel for an extended stay in NYC?

  • Some hostels offer extended stay options, but availability may vary, so it’s advisable to inquire in advance.

5. Is it necessary to bring my own bedding or towels to hostels in NYC?

  • Most hostels provide bedding and towels, but it’s a good idea to check with the hostel in advance to confirm their amenities.

6. Do hostels in NYC have age restrictions for guests?

  • Age restrictions can vary by hostel, so it’s essential to check with the specific hostel regarding their policies.

7. Can I cook my meals in the hostels in NYC?

  • Many hostels offer communal kitchens where guests can prepare their meals, which is a great way to save on dining expenses.

8. Are hostels in NYC noisy and crowded?

  • The atmosphere in hostels can vary, but many provide social spaces for interaction while also offering quieter areas for those seeking peace and privacy.

9. Can I book hostels in advance or should I walk in? – Booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your preferred dates and room choice.

10. Are there any discounts or promotions available for hostels in NYC? – Some hostels may offer discounts for extended stays, group bookings, or during specific seasons, so it’s worth checking their websites or contacting them directly for current deals.

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