The Hawaiian island of Oahu is the standard for dream vacations! Divided evenly between tourist hubs in Honolulu, lush farmland, and secluded beaches, Oahu offers travelers a little bit of everything when it comes to Hawaiian living. From local culture to natural beauty, you can find it all here! While you may be sold on the breathtaking waters and exciting hikes, the prices of the hotels here are mind-blowing, and the lack of hostels is sure to make backpackers think twice about visiting Oahu. However, there’s nothing to worry about as we’re here to show you all the best hostels in Oahu Hawaii that won’t damage your wallet, as well as some of the best places that you should visit! Keep scrolling for our full list!
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Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki
Backpackers searching for cheap but reliable hostels in Oahu Hawaii will love this hostel! While Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki isn’t the best in aesthetics, it excels in other departments! It’s situated in what seems like it used to be a hotel, so the dorms at this property are apartment-style. There are eight dormitory rooms that can sleep up to eight travelers. Apart from the comfy bed and free Wi-Fi, you’ll also get a security locker to keep your belongings safe. As with other youth hostels in Oahu, there are also private rooms perfect for families and couples. Even better, the shared bathrooms are pretty big and spotless! This hostel also offers luggage storage and laundry facilities to make your trip even more enjoyable!
Even better, the staff members here are super friendly and easy-going. Plus, there are some nice areas to hang out and chat with your fellow travelers! On top of that, there’s even a complimentary breakfast! After a good night’s sleep, enjoy the toast and jam with tea and coffee! You can also get extra eggs and muffins at extra cost. Location-wise, this hostel is only two blocks away from the beach and is just a short walk from plenty of shops and restaurants. Set in the heart of Waikiki, this property is set near many surfing spots and nightlife.
Backpackers Vacation Inn and Plantation Village
The Backpackers Vacation Inn and Plantation Village was founded 30 years ago. Nestled in Pupukea and away from the city, this is an ideal choice for those looking for serene hostels in Oahu Hawaii. There’s a wide range of rooms offered at this hostel, from dorms to private rooms to private suites. Of course, the dorms are the cheapest, and they’re the best option for social butterflies. However, those traveling with their partner or who want to have some privacy might want to check out the private rooms instead. But if you want to stay in the biggest room, opt for the suite instead! It’s a bit more expensive, but you’ll have tons of space for your stuff, and you don’t have to hear other people snore!
From this hostel’s front porch, you can feel that ocean breeze and see the breathtaking beaches of Oahu, and this is just the beginning! When you’re ready to take a dip, you can use the free snorkel equipment offered by the hostel! Or, you can also use the free bike to visit some of the nearby attractions. Places like Waimea Valley, Three Tables Beach, Waimea Bay Beach, Pupukea Beach Pak, and Banzai Pipeline are only a short bike ride away! Even better, if you travel by car, you can park your vehicle free at the hostel’s public parking area!
Kalani Hawaii Private Lodging
Kalani Hawaii Private Lodging is easily one of the top hostels in Oahu Hawaii! This hostel will have you staying just minutes away from the location of the international surfing championship. You don’t have to be a surfer to enjoy the waves, though, as you can also lay on your towel and soak up some rays! What you’ll experience at this lodging is an escape from the everyday rush, a peek through the palm trees to see how life exists when you’re on island time. It offers once-in-a-lifetime memories, beautiful vistas, breathtaking sunsets, short strolls to famous beaches, snorkeling, and much more.
It’s safe to stay that the laid-back vibes of this hostel are what will truly win you over. The terraces are the place where you won’t only hang out and meet other travelers but also chow down on some BBQ, join in on some yoga, or cozy up with a good book listening to the crashing of waves nearby! Even better, there are plenty of room options! As one of the best hostels in Oahu Hawaii, there are affordable dorms for budget travelers. But apart from that, there are also private rooms for four that offer mesmerizing sea views. Are you traveling with your family? Since some of the best family hotels in Oahu can be expensive, choose one of the family rooms at this hostel that come with garden views instead! Other notable amenities include a shared kitchen, lockers, free Wi-Fi, and free private parking.
The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel
Up next is The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel, the perfect place for social backpackers who are looking for a friendly, laid-back atmosphere in Oahu. As one of the best hostels in Oahu Hawaii, this property comes with a huge rooftop terrace. There, you can eat free pizza with other travelers and enjoy the surrounding views. Set in the heart of Waikiki, it’s conveniently close to everything you need! Whether it’s a restaurant, shop, park, you name it! You’ll never be too far away from anything. Since there are many attractions to visit, figuring out where to start can be confusing. Thankfully, the staff members are friendly and can recommend you where to go. They also offer plenty of exciting activities like the Hanauma Bay tour, Diamond Head hiking, and Pearl Harbour tour.
As expected from one of the most popular youth hostels in Oahu, this hostel boasts plenty of rooms. Though the “boutique” side of this hostel doesn’t exactly make an appearance here, each room is still homey! You can choose whether to stay in one of the private rooms or dormitory rooms. The private rooms are available in different sizes, and some of them have a shared bathroom. Meanwhile, the dormitory rooms can cause up to four travelers. When you’re hungry, feel free to visit the outdoor kitchen and cook some lip-smacking food! Best of all, you can rent watersports equipment here, and some of them are free to use!
Hostelling International Honolulu
Just by reading its name, you know that this hostel won’t disappoint! Staying in Hostelling International Honolulu means you’ll get cozy dorm rooms, spacious lounges, and the chance to meet backpackers from all over the world! Of course, compared to other fancy hotels, this hostel doesn’t have those bells and whistles. However, you can rest assured that you’ll have a memorable stay. Those who love to be near the beach will, without a doubt, adore this accommodation. From this affordable hostel, you’ll find Waikiki Beach, just a short stroll away! Many of the top things to do in Honolulu can also be found near this hostel. Even better, this hostel will hook you up with all the boards and snorkel gear you need so you can truly make a splash! Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen, though!
Of course, this hostel boasts plenty of roomy dormitory rooms. However, unlike other youth hostels in Oahu Hawaii, this property offers male and female-only dorms. Yes, there’s no mixed dorm at all. That said, each room is surprisingly spotless, spacious, and comfortable. Apart from that, towels and linens are provided at check-in. Have plenty of valuables with you? Fret not, as lockers are also provided. However, you have to bring your own padlock as the hostel doesn’t provide one. When it’s time to hang out, you can go to one of the many communal areas, like the shared lounge or kitchen. Need a drink? Go grab some from the vending machine! In addition to that, free, limited parking is also offered!
Polynesian Hostel Beach Club
You can’t go wrong by spending your trip in Polynesian Hostel Beach Club! The location of this hostel alone is already unbeatable! It’s just half a block from Kapiolani Park and the Honolulu Zoo. This property is also surrounded by plenty of shops, nightlife, restaurants, and tourists’ favorite attractions. They include the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Kapiolani Park, Kaimana Beach, Waikiki Aquarium, and Royal Hawaiian Theater Legends in Concert Waikiki. On top of that, this generous accommodation provides loads of freebies! To ensure your stay is as enjoyable as possible, this hostel provides free snorkeling gear, free pancakes, and much, much more! Talk about being spoiled!
Furthermore, this hostel offers comfortable and simple accommodation for backpackers and budget travelers. Both the private and dormitory rooms are spacious and come with en suite bathrooms. As one of the top youth hostels in Oahu Hawaii, free Wi-Fi is also available. Fanciful murals brighten up the stairwells, and a patio downstairs has hammocks for napping, a payphone, coin-operated laundry, and stacks of beach toys. When you’re bored, you can hang out with your roommate in the common room upstairs that comes with a cable TV. After that, you can go to the shared kitchen area to make yummy food for you and your friends!
Where to Stay in Oahu
Many of the best hotels in Oahu Hawaii are set in Waikiki and near Waikiki Beach. As the tourist center of Oahu, it boasts an excellent selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants. Dotted throughout this seaside neighborhood are a vast array of bars and clubs that cater to travelers of all ages and styles. It’s safe to say that you’ll never run out of exciting things to do in this area!
If you prefer somewhere quiet and serene, Manoa is definitely for you. One of our recommended hostels is in this area (can you guess which one?), staying here means you can enjoy a relaxing vacation surrounded by nature. And since it’s set just outside downtown Honolulu, you can still enjoy all the fun things Honolulu has to offer!
Finally, you can also consider staying in Pupukea, home to one of the best youth hostels in Oahu Hawaii. Pupukea is located on the hills above Oahu’s North Shore, within the stretch of land between Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. Known for its amazing beaches and best surf spots on the island, Pupukea is a summer favorite to those looking for family-friendly activities and a winter hot spot for surfers and fans.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars in Oahu
- Rainbow Drive-In – This restaurant has got a lot going for it: big plates, cheap prices, fast service, and a flagship location that’s been feeding hungry people on Oahu for more than 50 years! A mix plate (barbecue beef, fried fish and boneless chicken plus two scoops rice and one scoop mac salad or slaw) will only run you 9.95USD and fill the hungriest of appetites, while other solid favorites like the loco moco or shoyu chicken plate are great under 10USD deals. Want a cheeseburger? That’ll be just 3.25USD! Crazy, right?
- Zippy’s – If you’re on Oahu, there’s a Zippy’s somewhere nearby! The iconic Hawaii chain is fast, convenient, affordable, open 24 hours a day. Plus, the full breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizer, and dessert menu that covers the gamut from Asian to American food is extensive enough that you can eat there multiple times a week without getting tired of the selection, or breaking the bank.
- Marugame Udon – Often called the “McDonald’s of Japan”, Marugame’s udon dishes are quick, fresh, filling, and cheap for a generous quantity. Aside from the signature bowls of noodles, which are priced in the 4USD to 7USD range, there are also options like musubi, salads, and fried sides at this popular chain.
Recommended Activities in Oahu
- Oahu: Majestic Full-Day Circle Island Tour – Come and experience the top sightseeing tour on Oahu. This tour features Oahu’s natural wonders, cultural sites, surfing spots and best shopping experiences. You’ll take a dip at Waimea Valley, visit Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, see famous north shore surfing beaches, and plenty more!
- 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.
- From Honolulu: Waikiki Glass Bottom Boat Sunset Cruise – Experience the beauty of Oahu’s south shore as you sail towards the volcanic tuff cone of Diamond Head at the end of the day. Climb aboard the spacious Haleiwa Queen, a 50-foot catamaran with 49 seats, an onboard restroom, and shaded deck for your comfort.