The 8 Best Hostels in New York (NYC) – Where To Stay In The Big Apple

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Finding the best hostel in New York City can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack…but it doesn’t have to be.

With a little bit of research and a whole lot of accurate information, the top hostels (for you) reveals themselves.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple anytime soon, this article will help you track down some of the very best hostels that New York City has to offer, and why.

Quick Answer:

  1. The Brooklyn Riviera
  2. Freehand New York
  3. American Dream
  4. POD Times Square
  5. The Bluemoon Boutique Hostel
  6. Canal Loft Hostel
  7. YMCA (Westside or Vanderbilt)
  8. Broadway Hotel and Hostel

A Trip To The Big Apple

A trip to New York is the dream of millions of people around the world. In recent years the Big Apple receives as much as 65 million tourists annually.

That’s more than three times the number of residents in New York.

Being such a famous city world-wide, New York has hundreds of hostels to choose from (let alone hotel and motel options). With so many decisions to choose from, especially having never visited the city before, it can be disastrous to merely pick a random hostel and hope for the best.

That said, to help you in your quest, we’ve put together a list of the 7 top-rated hostels for most travelers.

The 8 Best Hostels in New York

Finding the perfect hostel for you doesn’t have to be as scary or aggravating as it seems at first glance.

Armed with the most in-depth and accurate information about possible hostels in New York will make your selection and decision processes much easier.

1. The Brooklyn Riviera


A fan favorite of the growing New York hostel scene is the Brooklyn Riviera. Known for being one of the friendliest and welcoming hosts in the entire city, the Brooklyn Riviera is clean, safe, and away from the louder parts of NY.

The Brooklyn Riviera is centrally located regarding the New York public transit system. It’s less than 15 minutes away from multiple train stations and bus stations (and there are always cabs available too).

That said, this hostel is easy to find and is no problem getting around the city during your stay.

Surrounding the hostel you’ll find plenty of New York’s finest restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. No matter what sort of food you enjoy, you’ll surely find it within a five to ten-minute walk (or order delivery).

The hostel itself is upbeat and modern, each room aesthetically pleasing and adequately equipped to house your luggage and charge your electronics.

Furthermore, midtown Manhattan lies just 30-minutes walking distance from the Brooklyn Riviera, which makes it that much more attractive to out-of-towners.

Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State building and many of the other iconic sights are quite accessible due to the hostel’s location on the transit system.

2. Freehand New York


The Freehand New York is another of the top best hostel candidates in the Big Apple. Classified as a hostel, the Freehand New York is located in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood where the George Washington Hotel used to be.

For creative types, the Freehand is even more special due to the rich history of musicians, writers, and other creatives that once lived on the premises.

Freehand New York is located quite nearby to bus stations and a couple of subway stations as well. It’s really easy to get in and out of the hostel and travel the city as you please (regardless of how well you know the city).

This collection of lodging houses is steeped in awesomeness; award-winning food and drinks, ground-breaking design, and an extremely active social culture.

Each of the housing options they have to offer is based on the surrounding NY neighborhoods, giving the place a taste of the whole city all in one place.

The restaurant and lobby bar are highly acclaimed and there are endless options in the surrounding area (as far as food and drinks go).

The rooms at Freehand New York are all designed by Roman & Williams, which means they’re made with creating taste and comfort in mind.

Furthermore, whether you’re looking for a room for you and your entire family, or a simple dorm-style accommodation, the Freehand has got you covered.

In addition, each room at this hostel come with a private in-room bathroom (not so common with hostels).

3. American Dream


One excellent hostel that gives you a real taste of New York City’s best is the American Dream. It is especially a favorite of couples traveling to New York.

As the name suggests, the American Dream hostel in NYC gives travelers to the big apple a real New York experience. Located in Gramercy (just over a mile from such famous areas of New York as Madison Square Garden, New York University, and Macy’s), you’ll have no problem finding your way around some of the city’s most iconic attractions.

Each room of the American Dream hostel is air-conditioned and include comfortable furnishing, free WiFi, and TV.

The units also come with a shared kitchen and lounge. There is also plenty of extra room for luggage storage, so you don’t have to leave anything at home. The bathrooms and showers are also shared (as with most hostels).

Breakfast is also included in your overnight stay at the American Dream, no matter how many nights you book.

For travelers who’re looking to hit the streets of NYC by foot, there are few hostels that offer such a wonderful location.

In addition to parks, walking paths, food, shopping, and entertainment venues, the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and the Chrysler building are all within walking distance (as well as the attractions mentioned above).

4. POD Times Square


The POD Times Square hostel is a highly underrated hostel in New York City. Located in the heart of the city, it has one of the best locations you’ll find in an NYC hostel.

One of the top picks of all hostels, and hostel-like accommodations, in New York City, the Pod Times Square includes an in-house bar and restaurant.

New York’s famous Restaurant Row is located approximately a quarter of a mile away (about 5 to 10 minutes walk) as well. So, you’ll have no problem taste-testing some of New York’s finest grub. You’ll also be close to some of the most iconic watering holes in the region.

Each room at the POD Times Square comes with cutting edge furnished rooms. They all come with private bathrooms at no extra cost as well as fitted showers. Toiletries, hairdryer, and towels included.

The front desk is also open and attended by a clerk 24-hours a day. So, if you have any questions, or require the assistance of any kind, you’ll always have someone to go to.

Couples particularly love the Pod Times Square. This is mostly due to the amazing central location and the comfy living-quarters with private bathrooms and showers (not so common in many hostels).

Hell’s Kitchen is right around the corner. For tourists who look forward to enjoying the city in all of its glory, including the picturesque skyline, there are few better hostel options to choose from.

Furthermore, the price of an overnight stay at POD Times Square is much more affordable than competitor accommodations.

5. The Bluemoon Boutique Hostel


The Bluemoon Boutique Hostel and hotel is (according to tourist reviews) one of the nicest (and cleanest) in the city. It also has one of the coolest names!

This modern New York City hostel is truly a gem among the NYC hostel scene. Located in the historic Lower East Side hotel, the Bluemoon Boutique Hostel is just under three city blocks from the Essex and Delancy Street sub-stations.

Guests claim that the hostel is situated in one of the most enjoyable parts of the city. So, getting around and sight-seeing is no problem at all.

Chinatown, SoHo, Little Italy and other famous NYC neighborhoods lie approximately 10 minutes walk from the hostel.

Furthermore, there is a lovely museum dedicated to the Lower East Side right next door to the hostel.

The Bluemoon is classy if nothing else. The front desk is always staffed with a polite and professional staff member.

There is also a quaint cafe on the property offering up plenty of fresh gourmet pastries, freshly made fruit and veggie juices, and much more.

Each room comes with all state-of-the-art amenities. This includes satellite TV, free WiFi, bright LED lights, iPod docking stations and more.

The rooms also come with a personal refrigerator and minibar as well.

6. Canal Loft Hostel


One of the best selling hostels in New York (this place really stays booked) is the Canal Loft Hostel.

Situated in the Chinatown district of New York City, the hostel is just a hair over a mile away from such popular spots as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, New York University, and Bloomingdales.

The hostel is up-to-date and offers comfortable rooms, a shared lounge, and a front desk that operates 24 hours a day. It even has an ATM on the property for guests convenience.

Canal Loft Hostel is classified as a 2-star hostel. Each room booking includes a private shower, bathroom, and even a hairdryer. The rooms are also laid out with comfy furnishings and plenty of fresh linens.

The hostel’s excellent location offers up one-of-a-kind (and unforgettable) views of the city’s skyline as well as it’s diverse architecture.

For those looking to explore the better-known areas of New York (Such as Chinatown and Brooklyn), there are very few lodging options that offer a better deal.

7. YMCA (Westside or Vanderbilt)


The YMCA is one of the most popular hostel-chains in the United States. In New York City, the West Side and Vanderbilt locations are the most highly praised.

These world-famous hostels are known for being welcoming and loaded with extra benefits such as pools, gyms, saunas, steam rooms, and more.

Most hostels are lacking in such amenities as pools and saunas.

Compared to other hostels, the YMCA is both affordable and relaxing. The YMCAs of NYC are also located in specific areas near museums, city parks, restaurants, clubs, and more NYC culture than you can imagine.

The American Museum of Natural History, the Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall are all within a short walks distance as well.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive hostel in New York (that offers more than most expensive hostels), the YMCA is definitely worth looking into before booking a room.

8. Broadway Hotel and Hostel


Last but far from least, another candidate is the Broadway Hotel and Hostel.

Situated in the upper West side of Manhattan, the hostel could not have a better location. New York’s famous Central Park is less than a 10-minute walk from the hostel.

A subway station lies just 5 minutes walk away, allowing you to freely explore the entire city and find your way back to the hostel without issue.

There are also loads of cabs cruising the area so you’ll never have a hard time getting around.

Each of the rooms at the Broadway Hotel and Hostel offers free WiFi, a shared kitchen, library (with fireplace) and theatre room access and more.

Both private rooms and dorm-style rooms are available as well. So, whether your traveling as a couple, a family, or solo, the Broadway Hotel and Hostel has the accommodations for you.

For travelers who aim to submerge themselves in the city’s more well-known features, such as Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, St. John’s Divine Cathedral, and more, this hostel is a prime candidate for the best hostel in NYC.

A Final Word About the Top Rated Hostels in New York

So, if you’re planning a visit to New York City, and want to stay in the best hostel in New York, consider one of the hostels from our list. They don’t get any better than this!

The Empire State Building, the World Trade Towers, the City Skyline at night, and the Statue of Liberty are just a few of the wonders to behold in the heart of the Empire State (NYC). Enjoy your stay, relax, be comfortable, and explore the city to the fullest.

To choose the most suitable hostel in New York, we compared each of the hostels on our final list for things like location, amenities, comfort, privacy, and more.

The hostel that came out on top is the Freehand New York due to its perfect location, polite and professional staff, clean and comfortable environment, and having one of the best prices on private double-bed rooms.

Have you stayed at a place you’d recommend? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section below!