Also known as the Big Easy, the city of New Orleans is easily the most culturally unique city in the USA. It’s a gold mine for those who love to drink, party, and eat. This city is famous for its spicy food and round-the-clock nightlife. In late winter, you can also enjoy the festive spirit of Mardi Gras. Generally, it’s hot so you can expect plenty of swimming pools. However, like every major city in the USA, New Orleans is also expensive! This is why we’ve made a list of the best cheap hostels in New Orleans. That way, budget travelers can still experience this amazing city to the fullest. Without further ado, let’s peep our top hostels in NOLA!
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Site 61 Hostel
The first hostel on this list is Site 61 Hostel. Many describe this hostel as more like a bed and breakfast, and we understand why. This isn’t a party hostel, but it offers a perfect blend of sociability and privacy. The building was completely redesigned and renovated in 2014 and has since boasted more bathrooms and modern amenities. As with other cheap hostels in New Orleans, you can expect clean, comfy private dormitory rooms. All of them are reasonably priced to keep travelers happy, and we’re sure you’ll love the complimentary breakfast too!
We also love the excellent common areas, as they provide plenty of spaces to relax and bond with other travelers. With two laid-back lounges, complete with games, TV, books, and Wi-Fi, two porches, two balconies, a kitchen and dining room, and laundry facilities, what more could you need? In addition to that, this hostel happens to be in the popular area of Mid City, which means you’ll be moments away from some of the city’s best spots.
City House New Orleans
There are many cheap hostels in New Orleans, and City House New Orleans is one. This budget hostel provides a clean and comfortable base for travelers who want to keep an eye on their dollars. Being cheap doesn’t make it sad, though, as you’ll find a bar, games room, shared kitchen, and various common areas! Whatever you need to do, you can do it here! On top of that, this hostel is within easy reach of tons of cool cafes, bars, and nightlife. Some nearby attractions include Old Absinthe House, New Orleans Jazz Museum, Bourbon Street, and Union Station.
There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to room selections. Of course, there are mixed dormitory rooms to house up to 12 travelers. However, there’s no female-only dorm. Apart from that, those who need more privacy can opt for the double room instead! All of the rooms at this hostel are equipped with air conditioning, and some of them have a patio. Lines and towels are also provided. When you’re bored, you can connect your phone to the free Wi-Fi so you can stream your favorite series. Or, you can also have fun with your roommate in the on-site games room.
Say hello to one of the best hostels in NOLA, The Quisby! This opulent and comfortable hostel is set in a historic building from 1929, and it’s the best high-end hostel in New Orleans. Compared to other cheap hostels in New Orleans, this one is a bit more expensive. However, if you’re happy to splash out a bit of extra cash during your stay in New Orleans to stay somewhere that’ll leave you with a lasting memory, then The Quisby is perfect for that. The location of this hostel is hard to beat. Apart from having great eateries and bars nearby, there are several museums where you can learn about the city’s history, including the WWII Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center!
Furthermore, we also love that instead of the usual pub crawl, you have a “bar strut” where you’ll be taking in plenty of jazz music and enjoying some great cocktails! Are you looking for freebies? Well, this hostel offers you a complimentary breakfast as well as free Wi-Fi! When you’re hungry, head to the shared kitchen area and cook your favorite meal! Like other best cheap hostels in New Orleans, there are private and dormitory rooms. The comfy beds in each room have individual lights and power sockets, and you’ll have a locker too.
Auberge NOLA Hostel
Another top-class hostel in New Orleans is Auberge NOLA Hostel. One of the biggest reasons we think it’s one of the best cheap hostels in New Orleans is that it has won many awards, like the 2016 and 2018 Winner Hoscar for Best Hostel USA. Apart from that, it also has terrific staff members that are always ready to welcome you with open arms. On top of that, this hostel is perfect for pretty much everyone! As well as free social events, there’s a complimentary breakfast, parties, and plenty of communal places to chill with fellow travelers. They include a cinema, an outdoor BBQ with a courtyard, and several indoor common areas.
Offering free Wi-Fi, each room at this hostel is spacious and clean. Like other hostels in NOLA, there are dormitory rooms and private rooms. The dormitory rooms can house up to 10 travelers, and there are female-only ones. And if the private rooms aren’t big or fancy enough for you, you can opt for the deluxe apartment! Perfect for families and groups, it’s fully equipped with air conditioning and a huge seating area. When it’s time to go out, we recommend visiting the Keller Square, Margaret Statue, Coliseum Square, and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. All of them are super walkable!
HI New Orleans Hostel
Want to stay in the heart of New Orleans? Check out HI New Orleans Hostel, one of the best hostels in NOLA. This hostel is only steps away from the live music, restaurants, and clubs of Bourbon Street. Nearby popular attractions include the Mississippi River, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Vieux Carre Historic District, Old Absinthe House, Pat O’Brien’s, New Orleans Jazz Museum, and many more. Staying in this hostel means you can easily explore the vibrant New Orleans by hopping on the Canal Street streetcar right outside of the hostel’s front door. Since there are so many things to do in New Orleans, we understand that sometimes it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. So, don’t hesitate to talk to the staff and ask for some attraction recommendations when you need one!
This new hostel opened in 2019 with first-class dorms and private rooms housed in a completely renovated historical building. Each of them features ample storage, light, and charging stations for travelers. Its spectacular interior mezzanine, expansive shared kitchen, dining room, and spacious common areas will wow hostel newbies and veterans alike! Meet locals and fellow travelers in the hostel’s spacious guest lounge, or ask about the hostel’s self-guided tours to discover the city beyond the beads and masks. With everything it offers travelers, it’s not surprising that it’s called one of the best cheap hostels in New Orleans!
India House Hostel
India House Hostel is a top choice for budget travelers. Considered one of the best cheap hostels in New Orleans, don’t let the cheap prices put you off! Thanks to its excellent facilities, you’ll feel right at home. You can prepare meals in the fully-equipped shared kitchen or grab something tasty from the on-site cafe if you’re feeling lazy to cook. When it’s time to relax, feel free to chill outdoors on the terrace along with other travelers and dip your toes in the outdoor swimming pool! Yep, you read that right! This awesome hostel comes with an outdoor pool, so you can beat the heat and have fun with your roommates! If you don’t swim, you can hang with your buddies in the common room instead. Speaking of which, have you checked out the best hotels in New Orleans with pools and rooftop pools?
Location-wise, this hostel is set in the Mid-City district along the Canal St. Streetcar Line. This area is popular for its restaurants and bars, so you’ll never have an empty stomach. There are many great attractions, including Easton Park, Dreux Monument, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Carrollton Shopping Center, and Stallings Playground. Like some hostels in NOLA, free private parking is available for those who travel by car. If you don’t drive, you can rent a bike from the hostel so you can travel easier! For more exciting activities, go to the tour desk, and you can book a tour and explore New Orleans’ best sights and events.
Where to Stay in New Orleans
One of New Orleans’ best areas is the Central Business District. However, don’t let the name fool you! Central Business District isn’t all stuffy suits, quiet nights, and New Orleans’ business hotels. It’s quite the opposite! This downtown neighborhood is bursting with fun and excitement. Here, you can expect mouthwatering food and cheap accommodation options.
At the center of the city is French Quarter. The oldest and most famous area of the city, the French Quarter, is bursting with tourist attractions and landmarks. You’ll find everything from great museums and exciting art galleries to charming parks and city squares here. Furthermore, it’s also home to notoriously fun and wild Bourbon Street. It’s lined with bars, clubs, pubs, and music venues. If you’re deciding where to stay in New Orleans for nightlife, look no further.
Then, there’s Mid-City. It’s one of the greenest areas in New Orleans, and this is where you’ll find cheap hostels in New Orleans, outdoor adventure, animal encounters, and lots of family-friendly fun! Some of the famous attractions in this neighborhood include Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, with its antique wooden carousel, and the New Orleans Museum of Art, home to an eclectic global collection and a sculpture garden.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in New Orleans
- Cafe Du Monde – This popular coffee shop is open 364 days on a 24/7 basis. Frying beignets since 1862, Café Du Monde is a legend that lives up to its reputation as one of the best inexpensive places to eat in New Orleans. Its limited menu features beignets, coffee, milk, orange juice, and soft drinks. Even with so few options, the queue is often quite long. Luckily, the line moves quickly.
- Dong Phuong Oriental Bakery – The banh mi at Dong Phuong are so cheap that it’s worth the gas money to get yourself deep in the East to chow on one or even two! While waiting for your order, look at all the awesome baked goods made on-site. Boxes of banh mi, meat pies, bao, and more are all available to order online for pickup, or stop by to grab individually.
- Willie Mae’s Scotch House – Willie Mae’s Scotch House is serving up the most famous fried chicken in New Orleans, if not the country! The restaurant’s menu describes its fried chicken as “America’s Best…”, and accolades from the likes of James Beard and the late Anthony Bourdain prove that point. If you want to eat the best lunch in New Orleans, you need to add the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s to your New Orleans eating plan.
Recommended Activities in New Orleans
- New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez – Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans and take a journey back in time aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez, the only authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Cruise along the Mississippi River, enjoying an optional delicious lunch, a brunch, or simply listening to the incredible live jazz band onboard!
- New Orleans: 2-Hour Haunted Cemetery and City Tour at Night – Stay close to your friend and explore the spooky side of New Orleans on a 2-hour tour of the city and one of its most haunted cemeteries! Listen to chilling tales from your local guide and learn about the darker parts of the city’s history.
- New Orleans: Ghosts, Vampires, & Voodoo French Quarter Tour – This tour is all about supernaturals! Listen to stories of witchcraft and keep watch for spirits on a guided city walking tour of New Orleans. Explore the historical French Quarter, as you indulge in stories of magic, ghosts, vampires, and voodoo practitioners from your expert guide.