Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the capital and largest city in the state. It’s also the center of government, transportation, and commerce. This city is also where you’ll find one of Hawaii’s most famous tourist destinations, Waikiki Beach! Most travelers who come to Hawaii enter through Honolulu. It’s an energetic and lively city with plenty to see and do. Spending some time here will be one of the best decisions in your life! But if you’re on a tight budget, hostels are likely the most affordable option for you. That said, some hostels in Honolulu Hawaii are reliable and appeal to budget travelers. While you shouldn’t expect fancy amenities like a rooftop swimming pool or an in-room bathtub, all of the options here will make your stay an enjoyable one. So, here are the best hostels in Honolulu HI that you should check out!
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Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki
The first hostel on this list of the best hostels in Honolulu Hawaii is Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki, one of the longest-running hostels in Waikiki. As one of the most popular hostels in Honolulu Hawaii, it’s conveniently located about two blocks from the beach and is just a short walk from many shops and restaurants. It’s right in the heart of Waikiki and is near many good surfing spots as well as nightlife! Staying here means you’ll never run out of things to do in Honolulu. Furthermore, this property is a great place to relax, and there are hammocks hung throughout. Apart from that, there’s a nice courtyard with banyan trees that offer shade as well. Thanks to this amazing accommodation, you’ll feel like you’ve discovered a secluded retreat in the heart of the city.
Moreover, this hostel has all kinds of equipment available that you and other travelers can borrow. There are boogie boards, snorkel gear, and beach mats. There’s also free Wi-Fi in all of the rooms and the courtyard. Speaking of which, this hostel has eight dorm rooms in total that sleep either four to six people. Security lockers are also available in all rooms, so you can keep all your important belongings safe. Traveling with your loved one and don’t want to share the bedroom with others? Then you can opt for one of the private rooms instead! But unlike some hostels in Honolulu HI, none of the rooms here have a private bathroom. This hostel also provides luggage storage and laundry facilities to make your trip even more enjoyable!
The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel
If you’re one of those wanting to get a taste of everything Waikiki has to offer, The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel is for you! Being only a block and a half away from the beach means that it won’t be long after you check-in that you’re sinking your toes in the sand and going in for a dip! As one of the top youth hostels in Honolulu Hawaii, it’ll also hook you up with free boogie boards, mats, and much more so that you have the best beach experience imaginable! Set in the heart of Waikiki, it’s conveniently close to several shops, restaurants, parks, and attractions. If you don’t know where to start, you can ask the friendly staff to help you out! They usually offer tours each day of the week, including the Hanauma Bay tour, Diamond Head hiking, and Pearl Harbour tour.
Don’t worry; the fun isn’t just in the sand! Considered one of the best hostels in Honolulu HI, it also has a spacious rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy free pizza nights with other fellow travelers as well as other cool activities! Nothing is too far away from this hostel with nature hikes and the town nearby. After a long day of adventure, head back to your room! Here, you can choose whether to stay in one of the private rooms or dormitory rooms. The private rooms vary in size, and some of them have a shared bathroom. Meanwhile, the dorms can house up to four travelers at once, which is nice as it won’t feel too crowded. On top of that, there are female-only dorms too! Some of the in-room amenities include a seating area, air conditioning, mini-fridge, and a tumble dryer.
Polynesian Hostel Beach Club
Are you looking to let loose and party your way through Hawaii? Look no further than the Polynesian Hostel Beach Club, one of the most popular hostels in Honolulu Hawaii! The chill vibes and drinks will make you want to book into the hostel, but the party will make you never want to leave! It’s not just that party inside the hostel that’ll knock your socks off, but wait until you sign up for one of their famous DJ boat cruises! Oh, have we mentioned the food? At this amazing hostel, you’ll have BBQ to go along with that beer as well as a free pancake breakfast every morning! Who doesn’t like complimentary breakfast? And if you want to cook, there’s a shared kitchen on-site. After you’re done cooking, enjoy your meal in the dining area! Then, don’t forget to make new friends in the shared lounge area!
As with other hostels in Honolulu HI, this property has dorm rooms and private rooms. All of them are surprisingly spacious and come with an en suite bathroom. We also love how each room has a plant and desk, making it feel extra homey. Of course, free Wi-Fi is also available for all guests. Moreover, we love the location of this hostel. Apart from being steps away from Waikiki Beach, you’ll also have access to shops, restaurants, nightlife, and nearby attractions. They include the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Kapiolani Park, Kaimana Beach, Waikiki Aquarium, and Royal Hawaiian Theater Legends in Concert Waikiki. But before you venture out, make sure to get some cash first from the on-site ATM center!
Hostelling International Honolulu
Whenever you see the words “Hostelling International” or “HI” slapped in front of a name, you know what kind of quality stay you’re in for! By staying in Hostelling International Honolulu, one of the best hostels in Honolulu Hawaii, you’ll get cozy dorm rooms, spacious lounges, and the chance to meet backpackers from all over the world! While it may lack some of the bells and whistles that other big hotels pride themselves on, this hostel is sure to be your standard for an amazing hostel. From this affordable hostel, you’ll find Waikiki Beach, just a short stroll away. Even better, HI Honolulu will hook you up with all the boards and snorkel gear you need so you can truly make a splash!
Did you know that Honolulu is one of the cleanest cities in the world? So, you can rest assured that just like other hostels in Honolulu HI, this property also features clean dormitory rooms. But instead of featuring mixed dorms, it offers male and female-only dorms, which is great! Each room is spotless, spacious, and comfortable. Towels and linens are provided at check-in. Lockers are also provided, but you have to bring your padlock. There are also plenty of communal areas, like a shared kitchen and shared lounge, where you can eat and share your stories with fellow travelers. In addition to that, free, limited parking is also offered, which is good news for those traveling by car! Vending machines are also on-site so you won’t run out of snacks! No wonder it’s one of the best hostels in Honolulu Hawaii!
Where to Stay in Honolulu
Waikiki Beach is the highlight of Honolulu, so it’s only normal for Waikiki to be travelers’ favorite. As the tourist center of Oahu, it boasts an excellent selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Dotted throughout this seaside neighborhood are many bars and clubs that cater to travelers of all ages and styles. It’s also one of the best places to stay in Honolulu if you’re on a budget. That’s because most of the best hostels in Honolulu Hawaii are here!
However, if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, the quiet and serene neighborhood of Manoa is for you! This residential neighborhood is located in the foothills north of downtown. One of our best hostels in Honolulu HI, Hosteling International Honolulu, is set in this neighborhood. Staying here means you can enjoy a relaxing vacation surrounded by nature.
Also, don’t forget to check out Downtown Honolulu! While there’s no hostel in this area, it’s still worth visiting. It’s Honolulu’s historic heart and commercial capital and is home to the state capitol building. Packed with a variety of things to see, do, and eat, Downtown is the best neighborhood for first-timers who don’t mind staying in one of the more expensive hotels in Honolulu.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Honolulu Hawaii
- Maile’s Thai Bistro – This restaurant has been proudly serving authentic Thai food since 2008. Its mission is to serve a variety of delicious food, provide excellent customer service, and keep the prices reasonable. Our favorite here is the mixed bento, which costs only 15USD. This massive plate of spicy green curry with beef, Thai fried chicken, salad, pad thai, and jasmine rice will surely make you smile!
- Broken Rice – Broken Rice is a Vietnamese bistro that offer yummy food at an affordable price. The signature dish at this place is executed exactly as it is in Vietnam—with lemongrass and fish-sauce-marinated pork chops, a sprightly dipping sauce, and fragrant, nutty steamed broken rice.
- Leonard’s Bakery – This place is famous ofr its malasadas, Portuguese hot donuts filled to order with custard, chocolate, or haupia coconut cream and dusted with your choice of sugar, cinammon sugar, or li hing, which is salty dried plum powder. It’s like the Krispy Kreme of the islands! In the mornings, countless tour buses pull up and dispense out-of-towners who have heard tell of this decadent delicacy.
Recommended Activities in Honolulu Hawaii
- Oahu: Afternoon Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Waikiki – If adventure is what you seek, you should join this daily boat tour! Enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s South Shore as you head out from the slip in the Kewalo Basin Harbor and head toward Lē’ahi. Aboard the Haleiwa Queen, enjoy the clear view of the Pacific Ocean floor as you cruise over live tropical reefs and one of Hawaii’s shipwrecks.
- Oahu: Official USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Audio Tour – Experience the powerful sensations of the largest visitor destination in Hawaii on a fully-narrated audio tour to the USS Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Follow in the footsteps of the millions of people who come to see for themselves where World War II began for the United States on December 7, 1941!
- Waikiki Trolley Hop-on Hop-off 1, 4 or 7-Day All-Line Pass – See the best of Honolulu with this pass! The Waikiki Trolley will take you to some of the best sightseeing and scenic spots around the southeast part of Oahu. Hike up Diamond Head via the Green Line, or have an unforgettable dolphin experience at Sea Life Park via the Blue Line. And with the Waikiki Trolley’s unique hop-on, hop-off system, the possibilities for planning your stay in Honolulu are limitless.