Everyone knows the most celebrated city in the world, New York City, which is a premier travel destination. However, the state is so much more than just one famous metropolis! Go beyond the concrete canyons of Manhattan, and you’ll find a large state with a variety of attractions. From the magnificent Niagara Falls to the farms and wineries of the Finger Lakes, New York has tons to offer. Thankfully, if you’re on a budget, you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for accommodation. While staying in a fancy, five-star hotel is nice, the best hostels in NY are good as well. These international hostels in New York are clean, affordable, and conveniently located within walking distance of many subway lines and popular attractions. So, which best hostel in New York is for you? Keep reading to find out!
Table of contents
- Kamway Lodge
- West 30th Street Guest House
- Interfaith Retreats
- Freehand New York
- Chelsea International Hostel
- Gorge View
- West Side YMCA
- Hostel Buffalo-Niagara
- HI NYC Hostel
- Wanderfalls Guesthouse & Hostel
- The Local NY
- Where to Stay in New York
- Recommended Restaurants / Bars in New York
- Recommended Activities in New York
When we’re talking about budget hostels in New York, you’ll probably think of bunk beds. If you’re not a fan of them, you’ll want to stay in Kamway Lodge, one of the best hostels in NY! It’s a nice little hostel in Queens, where you’re offered finely designed, clean, and warm rooms. As with other top rated hostels in New York, you’ll be able to stay in one of the dormitories, private, or family rooms. The dormitories are equipped with air conditioning, a desk, and a spotless shared bathroom. We also love the spacious triple private rooms with a sofa bed. Even better, they boast a terrace where you can enjoy the surrounding views while sipping your morning tea. The family rooms are impressive too, as they have a private bathroom! That way, you and your family don’t have to share the bathroom with strangers.
After rejuvenating yourself, take a shower and visit one of the nearby restaurants or cafes for a filling breakfast. If you’re unsure which one to try, ask the friendly and knowledgeable staff to give you some recommendations! Apart from English, the staff also speaks Spanish and Chinese! Some of the must-see attractions near this hostel include the Museum of Moving Image, USTA National Tennis Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park. You can easily reach all of those places by car. And if you don’t drive, there’s plenty of public transportation nearby! Once you’re done exploring the city, return to the hostel and park your car in the hostel’s free public parking area. Then grab a drink from the vending machine before connecting your phone to the Wi-Fi and binge-watch your favorite series!
West 30th Street Guest House
Conveniently located in Chelsea, West 30th Street Guest House is another best hostel in New York that should be on your list. First of all, let’s talk about this cheap accommodation’s location. It’s set less than a mile from Macy’s and only a 15-minute walk away from the Madison Square Garden, one of the most popular arenas in the world. Chelsea Park, Times Square, and Manhattan Mall Shopping Center are also a short distance away. There are so many exciting places to visit that you won’t ever have a boring day during your trip. And if you have a car, you can park your vehicle at the on-site parking area for free! This is a huge plus as some international hostels in New York don’t offer parking facilities.
Considered one of the best hostels in NY, each room at this property is fitted with a closet and round table that you can use for many things. It also has a kettle, while selected rooms offer a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and a stovetop. But if you don’t want to upgrade your room, you don’t have to worry as there’s a shared kitchen as well. Other in-room amenities include air conditioning, a plush bed, and free high-speed Wi-Fi that allows you to stay connected with your family. But if your family is coming with you, check out the best family hotels in Manhattan instead!
Compared to other international hotels in New York, Interfaith Retreats is one of a kind. Remarkably located in the heart of Chelsea, this hostel is a vegetarian place. What exactly does this mean? It means no smoking, alcohol, meat/fish/egg products are permitted here! If you’re a vegetarian or someone who’s living a healthy lifestyle, we can guarantee that no other international hostels in New York suit you better than this one. What’s more, this hostel will use its profits to provide a free hot meal for homeless people in the streets of New York! What an excellent way to experience the happiness of giving!
Deemed one of the best hostels in NY, the guestrooms here are fabulous! The pod rooms are simple, cozy, and super clean. To be honest, they’re small in size. However, they’re centered around a spacious shared lounge area with free Wi-Fi, which is the perfect place for you to chillax and make some new friends. Of course, fresh, clean sheets, pillow towels, and blankets are there for you too. Want to explore Manhattan? This Chelsea hostel is within walking distance from Central Park, MSG, and the world-famous Manhattan Theater District. On top of that, the subway station is only a two-minute walk away. We’re sure you’ll love staying in this area, as it’s known for its unique restaurant, shops, and art galleries.
Freehand New York
Freehand New York is a brand new and upscale hotel located in NYC’s hip Flatiron neighborhood. This means you’ll be within walking distance from Union Square, Midtown, Museum of Sex, Empire State Building, and Times Square. As one of the best hostels in NY, it’s set inside the former George Washington Hotel, once home to many storied writers, musicians, and creatives. So, don’t be surprised to see the hostel’s design! It has a cold, old-school NYC vibe that many travelers love. Once you enter this hostel, don’t forget to take out your phone and snap some pictures!
As we said earlier, this is an upscale hostel, which means it also comes with a fairly upscale price. But if you have the money, there’s nothing to worry about! Unlike other budget hostels in New York, this hostel only has private rooms that range from a single room to a four-person room (but you have to book the entire room). With that being said, this hostel is more suitable for those who travel in groups or those who want a peaceful night. All units at this property feature a private bathroom with bathrobes, slippers, and Argan amenities. You’ll also find water, apples, and a flat-screen TV to make your stay more enjoyable.
Chelsea International Hostel
One of the original and oldest budget hostels in New York, Chelsea International Hostel has a lot to boast about. Great for students, single travelers, groups, couples, and families, it’s situated in one of the safest districts in New York City. It sits south of Midtown Manhattan and just north of Greenwich Village. From this amazing property, you can conveniently walk to most of the big attractions New York offers, like Times Square! Unlike those pricey hotels in Times Square, this hostel allows you to enjoy the neighborhood without emptying your wallet! And thanks to the nearby subway lines, getting around is such a breeze!
Considered one of the best hostels in NY, this hostel has great amenities like complimentary continental breakfast and a spacious outdoor courtyard. You can also cook in one of the two kitchens at this hostel, eat in the dining room, and make friends or relax in the lounge. Behind the front desk, you’ll find true locals who can help to personalize your experience in New York. Depending on your room preference, you can choose a private or shared room that sleeps between one and four travelers with the option of an en suite or shared bathroom. Best of all, there are no bunk beds! On top of that, this hostel has great weekly events like free all-you-can-eat pizza on Wednesdays and free comedy nights to keep you entertained and having fun throughout your stay.
Those planning to visit Niagara Falls should book a stay with Gorge View! It’s the perfect choice if you want to experience the fall’s charm, as it’s conveniently situated in an area close to the waterfalls. As one of the best hostels in NY, its privileged location across the street from the Niagara Falls State Park allows you to walk to the Aquarium, Gorge Discovery Center, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and Waterfalls in minutes! Even better, this hostel is surrounded by plenty of restaurants, entertainment, and bars. Staying here means you’ll never have a dull moment! By the way, this hostel was established in 2014 using a 140-year-old building, so it has that old-school feel. Thankfully, every corner of this property is super clean!
If you’re not used to hostels, don’t worry! That’s because this isn’t your typical hostel. Because of its large, multi-bed private rooms, families love staying at this best hostel in New York. During peak seasons, the private rooms are often fully booked! There are also dorm rooms for those who want to meet new friends and save some money. If you’re a regular hostel guest, you’ll find it has everything a backpacker wants and more! You can even take advantage of the shared kitchen, so you don’t have to eat at a fancy restaurant. As with other international hostels in New York, free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hostel. Speaking of freebies, free private parking is also available for guests!
West Side YMCA
For visitors on a budget who want a prime location, the 600-room West Side YMCA could do the job! One of the highlights of this hostel is its proximity to Central Park, Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Times Square, and the Museum of Natural History. But what’s most amazing to us is the hostel’s 65,000 square-foot fitness center! If you can’t live a day without working out, other international hostels in New York won’t be able to beat this accommodation. Even better, free group exercise classes, including yoga and pilates, are offered to guests weekly! But if you don’t lift weights or do yoga, you can have fun in the indoor swimming pool instead! This is a superb alternative to the best hotel pools in NYC!
As the best hostel in New York, this property provides minimum frills. You can expect dorm-style rooms and shared hallway bathrooms. Each room is surprisingly spacious and equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, an air conditioner, and linens and towels. Of course, there are private rooms too! Guests will also have access to locker room facilities. That’s not all! A 24-hour security desk means that you can check in overnight and are free to come and go without worrying about curfews. Need something to munch? Visit the on-site shop that’s open from 8 AM to 7 PM for some snacks or a hot cup of coffee.
Established in 1996, Hostel Buffalo-Niagara is Buffalo’s longest-running not-for-profit independent hostel! As one of the best hostels in NY, it serves as a communal homestead to travelers visiting the city. This hostel allows you to go to Niagara hassle-free, as the name implies. A frequent local bus near the hostel will take you to Niagara Falls for 2 USD. Go explore one of the first and finest state parks in the USA, which to this day remains free. Don’t forget to bring your passport so you’ll be able to enjoy the Canadian side too and the great views from the International Rainbow Bridge. Set in the heart of Buffalo’s Theater District, this property is right next door to the Town Ballroom and across from Shea’s Performing Arts. Other nearby attractions include Buffalo Zoo, The Botanical Gardens, and Lafayette Square.
There’s plenty for you to choose from moving on to the rooms. Those who want some privacy will fancy the spacious private rooms and can accommodate up to four people. Meanwhile, those who can’t wait to meet new people can stay in one of the dormitory rooms instead! As with other top rated hostels in New York, there are mixed, female-only, and male-only dormitory rooms. In addition to the spacious rooms, we also appreciate the friendly Buffalonian staff members full of local knowledge! You can meet fellow travelers in the roomy lounge area during your free time or try a new recipe in the fully equipped kitchen. Of course, free Wi-Fi is available. But why stream from your phone when you can have a movie night in the movie room?
HI NYC Hostel
Named one of the best hostels in NY, HI NYC Hostel is housed in a landmark, historic Victorian Gothic-style building in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood. In the concrete jungle of New York City, it’s hard to find green spaces. However, you don’t need to worry at this best hostel in New York! It’s situated near the beautiful Central Park and has the largest privately-owned patio and green space in Manhattan! The patio is a great space to relax, enjoy nature, hang out with friends, and meet other travelers worldwide. We’re sure you’ll also appreciate the free programs and events the hostel provides to help you get familiar with the popular tourist attractions as well as the hidden gems loved by locals. Considering its fantastic amenities, it’s safe to say that this affordable hostel is one of the most popular international hostels in New York.
At HI NYC Hostel, you can stay in either an all-female or all-male dorm if you don’t like the idea of sleeping in a co-ed room. There are also family rooms available, and they have complimentary additions like itinerary planning, daily tours, and in-room lockers. Although sleeping bags aren’t allowed, you’ll receive complimentary linens, pillows, and blankets. Plus, we also love how cozy each room is! The bed feels super cozy, and all rooms are extremely clean. Of course, free Wi-Fi is available so you can keep in touch with your friends at all times. With a fully equipped, 36-burner kitchen, laundry facilities, a game room, and common rooms, this hostel has everything you need to have an unforgettable and affordable stay in New York!
Wanderfalls Guesthouse & Hostel
Located in Downtown Niagara Falls, Wanderfalls Guesthouse & Hostel is your home away from home. This best hostel in New York is the perfect choice for Niagara Falls travelers who prefer inexpensive and comfortable accommodations. That’s why they’ll love this cozy and friendly home environment compared to the sterile and isolating atmosphere of expensive hotels! Since it’s an old house built in 1901, you shouldn’t expect anything new and shiny. However, many travelers love this property’s charm and quirks! It’s the ideal place to meet new people and have fun. Location-wise, this hostel is set only a block away from the Niagara Gorge Greenway and a short walk away from Niagara Falls State Park.
After taking in the spectacular views and local attractions, head back to the hostel! At this hostel, you’ll have the chance to either stay in a private or dormitory room. Both are clean and equipped with all the important amenities you need. You can also relax in the shared living room or share stories in the garden. Time for dinner? Why don’t you cook your favorite meal in the shared kitchen? Then, enjoy it with your newfound friends in the dining room! As with other best hostels in NY, free Wi-Fi is available throughout, and there’s also a games room where you can have a friendly competition with your roommates to kill time.
The Local NY
New to the edgy Long Island neighborhood, you can think of The Local NY as your New York home! Like other international hostels in New York, this property boasts both private and dormitory rooms. All of them have ensuite bathrooms, and there are also male and female-only dorms. But what impresses us the most is the double rooms that would rival those at any expensive hotel in New York! With Crittall windows, glossy tiled bathrooms, and artwork by Steeve Keene, those who prioritize privacy will love sleeping here. Moreover, coin laundry is on-site, and luxury linens and towels are included. And as the best hostel in New York, you can rest assured that free Wi-Fi is available throughout. Additionally, a games room, library, and art galleries are available too!
Of course, a stay in New York wouldn’t be complete without a view of the city’s breathtaking skyline! Thankfully, you can have that from the rooftop terrace. Meanwhile, the bar is well-stocked with gourmet snacks, coffee, local beer, and signature cocktails for your enjoyment. You’ll also appreciate the event space where they show movies, display local artwork, and host other events to help you meet other guests. Don’t know what to do while in NYC? No worries! The staff will not only provide you with the top things to do in New York City but also with attractions you won’t find in your guidebook! Your experience here will more than convince you that The Local NYC is one of the top rated hostels in New York.
Where to Stay in New York
First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: New York City! Also called the Big Apple, it’s a goldmine of sights, sounds, food, and experiences unlike anywhere else on Earth. NYC is also the most populous city in the state, and it has long captivated people from all over the world. This vibrant city is known for its exclusive shops, flashy Broadway performances, and high-flying business tycoons. The top attractions in NYC include the Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, Empire State Building, and Times Square. There are also tons of affordable hostels in NYC that you can check out!
Apart from NYC, you can also find plenty of nice hostels in Niagara Falls, a city in Niagara County. Named after the famous Niagara Falls, the city is home to Niagara Falls State Park. The park has several attractions, including the Cave of the Winds behind the Bridal Veil Falls and the Maid of the Mist. This popular boat tour operates at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge and the Aquarium of Niagara. If you want to spend some time in this city, we highly recommend staying in Downtown Niagara Falls.
Finally, there’s the second-largest city in the US state of New York and the seat of Erie County, Buffalo. Some of the best hostels in NY are located here, and this city is pretty affordable. It’s home to over 20 theater companies, with many centered in the downtown Theater District. Buffalo is also the perfect choice for those who enjoy nightlife! Its nightlife doesn’t call it quits until 4 AM, rather than 2 AM like most other cities in the US.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in New York
- Los Tacos No.1 – Located in the heart of Chelsea Market, this place’s offerings are all made-from-scratch from its salsas and marinades to its flour and corn tortillas. It also serves tostadas, quesadillas, mulas, and vampiro’s. When you want to have authentic flavors of Mexico for lunch or dinner without spending so much, this is the place to go.
- Power City Eatery – Say hello to Niagara Falls’ premier eatery! This is a community driven restaurant whose focus is giving the locals and travelers a NYC inspired vibe in the heart of Niagara Falls. The breakfast sandwiches are awesome, and they also have kids meals. Most of their menus cost less than 10 USD, which is perfect for budget travelers. When you’re here, make sure to order the cookies! They’re crunch on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, and they’re as big as your face!
- The Lunch Box – This is a popular spot for – you guessed it – lunch! It might be small, but the food here packs a big punch! Choose from pre-made salads and dishes or made-to-order sandwiches. Whatever you decide upon, we can almost guarantee The Lunch Box will quickly become a go-to destination on your afternoon breaks.
Recommended Activities in New York
- Niagara Falls, NY: Half-Day Small-Group Sightseeing Tour – Have fun seeing the best of Niagara Falls, New York on a sightseeing cruise! Visit the Cave of the Winds, walk on the hurricane deck, and cruise on the famous Maid of the Mist boat. You’ll also have the chance to view the islands and admire Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, Whirlpool Falls, and Bridal Veil falls.
- NYC: 1-Hour Cruise Around Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island – Get up close to one of the world’s most famous monuments and the emblematic entrance to New York’s harbor! During this tour, you’ll have the chance to sail around the Statue of Liberty on a sightseeing cruise that also journeys under the Brooklyn Bridge and over to Ellis Island.
- NYC: Empire State Building General & Skip-the-Line Tickets – Ascend to the 86th floor for incredible panoramic views across six states from the highest 360-degree open-air vantage point in New York City! Hate to queue? Skip all the lines by choosing the Express Ticket Option!