When we’re talking about Florida, many will probably think of the sun, sea, sand, and nightlife of Miami or the theme parks of Orlando. However, there’s a whole lot more to discover in the Sunshine State, like Fort Lauderdale! It’s famous for its beaches, arts, culture, and events. From shopping on Las Olas Boulevard to gondola rides on the canals, this is the Venice of America. However, there’s one issue if you’re a backpacker or a budget traveler: this city isn’t exactly brimming with hostels! You’ve got much more choice when it comes to hotels. However, nothing can beat the atmosphere of a hostel, so it’s worth the extra research to find one! Lucky for you, we’ve done all the hard work. Below are some of the best hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL that are ready to make your trip an awesome one.
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Zen Women’s Hostel
Yep, as the name says, this hostel is women-only! Zen Women’s Hostel is the perfect choice for female travelers looking for an affordable, clean, comfy, and most importantly, safe place to stay. Like other hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, this hostel is conveniently located near the city’s great attractions. The Riverland Shopping Center is a five-minute walk away, which is fantastic! You and your girlfriends can go on a shopping spree whenever you want! If you walk a little bit further, you’ll be able to find Flamingo Park, Secret Woods Park, New River Marina, Sunview Park, and more shopping in the form of Plaza Shopping Center and Plantation Village Shopping Center. If you love shopping like us, this hostel is unbeatable! And on your way back to the hostel, don’t forget to stop by the nearby cafe to have a drink!
Moving on, let’s talk about the rooms! There are only dormitory rooms here, and each room is extremely clean. Every well-furnished room is equipped with air conditioning, a sofa, and a balcony. The beds are surprisingly comfy, and the bunk beds don’t squeak! There’s also a shared kitchen so you and your friends can make breakfast, lunch, or dinner together. Apart from that, you can also hang out in the shared lounge area or sun terrace. Of course, free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hostel, and the hostel also offers public parking at an additional cost. Moreover, if you want to join a tour or need insiders’ tips, don’t hesitate to ask the friendly and knowledgeable staff! They’re more than happy to help you out!
Sheridan Hostel is one of the cheapest hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, and it’s also one of the best for solo travelers! It’s a win-win situation for those who travel without any companion and want to save some money. This self-catering accommodation is only a short walk away from Hollywood Beach and Park. Want to visit Aventura Mall and Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale? They can be reached within 10 to 15 minutes by car! Location-wise, there’s nothing to complain about! As if that’s not enough, this hostel is also surrounded by plenty of nice eateries and bars, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Starbucks! However, if you want to keep your costs down even further, you can take advantage of the hostel’s complimentary breakfast every morning! It’s the ideal fuel before you head out and explore the city or take a bike ride along the boardwalk.
Another plus of this lovely hostel is its landscaped garden. It’s a nice spot to sit, chill out, and soak up the relaxed atmosphere. If you’re a social butterfly, you’ll want to hang out here! Apart from that, you can also enjoy the fountain and barbecue facilities. But if the weather isn’t friendly, go inside and hang out in the shared lounge area instead. Or, you can share recipes with other travelers and cook some meals together in the kitchen area. Of course, as one of the top hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, free high-speed Wi-Fi is available in each dormitory room. All dorm rooms are spacious, and they can house up to 10 travelers. Even better, they offer a garden view and are equipped with air conditioning. Finally, the shared bathroom is spotless and equipped with a shower and hairdryer.
Searching for the best hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL where you can have a peaceful night without being disturbed by others? Then Crocodhouse might be the perfect option for you! This cozy and characterful stay never has more than four guests, so you don’t need to worry about being kept up by all-night parties! The dormitory rooms are spacious, and each of them is equipped with comfy beds and lockers. Apart from the dorms, there are single and twin rooms as well. On top of that, the shared bathroom is super clean, which is a huge plus. You’ll also get complimentary toiletries. When it’s time to feast, you can take advantage of the shared kitchen that comes complete with cutlery and crockery, so you can prepare your meals before starting the day.
As with other best hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, this hostel also offers free Wi-Fi in all areas, so you can keep updating your socials whenever you want. That said, don’t forget to socialize! Once in a while, keep your phone in your pocket and have a glass of coffee with fellow travelers at the on-site coffee house. Or, you can also share stories in the shared lounge area. Even better, this hostel is pet-friendly! This means you and your four-legged buddy will be inseparable! While you’re here, make sure to make the most of the city! Luckily, you’ll be close to the beach and mall, so that won’t be a problem. Places like Las Olas Boulevard, Warfield Park, Holiday Park, Stranahan House, and more are a short drive away. Speaking of which, the hostel also provides free private parking!
The Hotel Deauville
Sitting on top of this list none other than The Hotel Deauville! Technically, based on the name, this is a cheap hotel in Fort Lauderdale. However, with reasonable rates and dormitory rooms, let’s call it a hostel like other people do! Here, your stay won’t only be enjoyable and safe, but relaxing as well! As one of the best hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, this hostel is an award-winning, quiet property that’s ideal for everyone. You’ll be able to find literally everyone, from backpackers and cruise ship crew members to students. Perhaps one of the best things about this accommodation is its location. After all, it’s only a two-minute walk away from Fort Lauderdale Beach and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach. Other top attractions near this hostel include the Coral Ridge Mall, Times Square, Bay View Drive Park, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, English Park, and more. If walking isn’t your thing, you can rent a bike from the hostel to make traveling easier.
As with other best hostels in Ft Lauderdale FL, this property has a shared lounge area, laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi in all areas. But what sets it apart from the rest is its outdoor swimming pool! It’s super hard to find cheap accommodation that offers a heated outdoor pool, so this is certainly a big draw for budget travelers. Even better, the pool is open all year long! In addition to the pool, there are also BBQ facilities so that you can have a nice bonding time with other travelers. Moving on to the rooms, there are many options to choose from. Those who want privacy can opt for the studio, suite, or standard single room. Meanwhile, those who don’t mind sharing the room with other travelers can opt for the dorm room instead! There are male and female-only dorm rooms, and the biggest one can house six travelers. Some of them offer a pool view or garden view.
Where to Stay in Fort Lauderdale
If this is your first time visiting Fort Lauderdale, you might want to stay around Fort Lauderdale Beach. In this neighborhood, you’ll have access to miles of sandy beach and all the summer activities you could ever want. Or, you can also consider staying in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, which is north of the main beach. This area is a less touristed destination with a very different feel. If you have your kids with you, this part of the city might be the best choice. Some of the best Fort Lauderdale hotels are also here.
Away from the main beach, there’s Las Olas. This is an older part of the city known for its unique charm and Venice-like waterways! The unique local feel makes it seem a little like Wilton Manors, a quirky neighborhood that will allow you to stay close to the beach in a truly unique part of Fort Lauderdale.
Another neighborhood that might interest you is Middle River Terrace. It’s one of the best places to stay in if you want to keep yourself entertained every day. Here, there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. You’ll never run out of things to do in Fort Lauderdale here!
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Fort Lauderdale
- El Guanaco Taqueria y Antojitos – Approachable, tasty, and affordable, you must visit this restaurant when you’re in Fort Lauderdale. Everything here is fresh and homemade, including the tortillas, and portions are big enough to satisfy even the mightiest appetites! Grab breakfast to go in the form of a chorizo and egg burrito, or stuff your lunchbox with your choice of filling Salvadoran pupusas.
- Hammond’s Bakery – This is a small shop specializing in Jamaican patties that are a bright shade of sunshiny yellow thanks to the addition of egg yolks and/or turmeric. It typically offers spicy beef, jerk chicken, and callaloo patties for less than 2USD a piece! At those prices, you can afford to add some coco bread or a guava and cheese pastry to your order.
- Hot Diggity Dogs & More – This is a stellar example of how value-packed cheap eats in Fort Lauderdale can truly be. Grab a Chicago-style dog with all the fixings or a chili dog with cheese for just a few bucks! Even the hulking Italian beef with au jus is reasonably priced, and it’ll keep you full for most of the day, especially if you add a side of Diggity’s irresistible beer-battered onion rings.
Recommended Activities in Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale: Flamingo Gardens Entry Ticket – Get this ticket and visit Flamingo Gardens, a 60-acre, not-for-profit botanical garden with a collection of over 3,000 species! It also doubles up as an Everglades wildlife sanctuary for injured and endangered animals that need rehab or a permanent home.
- Everglades: Sawgrass Park Airboat Tour with Exhibit Entrance – Embark on a real adventure with a 30-minute airboat tour of the Florida Everglades and view this fascinating natural wonder from a unique perspective! During the tour, you’ll listen to tales of how the Seminole and panther once coexisted in this lush wilderness. Also, you’ll catch a glimpse of endangered wildlife as you skim across the glassy water.
- Fort Lauderdale: Jungle Queen Sightseeing Cruise – Board the riverboat at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center and embark on an hour-and-a-half, fully narrated cruise. You’ll get to explore Fort Lauderdale, the Venice of America, sailing along the historic New River. Marvel at Millionaire’s Row, home to the city’s rich and famous, and the spectacular mega-yachts!