Last Updated: 03/03/20 | March 3rd, 2020
In the last few years, more and more hostels have started opening up in Los Angeles and a city that was filled with only a couple now has dozens. While most used be located in Santa Monica or West Hollywood, you’ll find hostels spread out all over the city now.
That’s great because LA itself is super spread out and it’s a pain in the butt to get anywhere. Now, if you want to stay in a hostel, you’re no longer confined to just a few parts of town.
The city is your oyster!
I’ve been visiting LA for a decade and have stayed in dozens upon dozens of places. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Los Angeles are:
- Location – LA is huge and it can take some time to get around. Pick a place that is central to the sites and nightlife you want to see. All the hostels listed here are in central locations.
- Price – In LA, you really get what you pay for, so if you go with a really cheap one, you’re probably going to get a hostel that is small, cramped, and doesn’t offer great service.
- Amenities – Every hostel in the city offers free Wi-Fi, and most have a free breakfast, but if you want more than that, be sure to do your research to find the hostel that best meets your needs!
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly! They can make or break a hostel!
To help you plan your trip, here is my list of the hostels in Los Angeles that I like the most. If you don’t want to read the longer list below, the following hostels are the best in each category:
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Samesun Hollywood Hostel
Best Hostel for Families: Freehand Los Angeles
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: HI Los Angeles Santa Monica
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: HI Los Angeles Santa Monica
Best Hostel for Partying: Banana Bungalow Hollywood
Best Overall Hostel: Samesun Venice Beach
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Los Angeles:
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $30 USD
- $$ = $30-40 USD
- $$$ = Over $40 USD
This hostel/hotel features designer rooms with comfortable, a rooftop pool and bar with amazing views of the city, a lobby bar, a restaurant, and even a fitness center. Over the last few years, the once barren Downtown has become cool again. DTLA is one of my favorite parts of town and, though far from the main sites, you can at least get on the metro to go wherever you want!
One thing to note: while this place is super cool, it’s also big and trendy and popular with locals so you don’t get a traditional hostel vibe here. That said, it’s the cheapest place to stay downtown!
Freehand at a glance:
- Rooftop bar and pool for hanging out and meeting people
- Restaurant and fitness center
- Near the metro so you can get anywhere easily
Beds from $39 USD a night
—> Book your stay at Freehand Los Angeles!
2. HI Los Angeles Santa Monica
HI Los Angeles Santa Monica is located a block from the beach and near the famous Santa Monica pier. The hostel includes free Wi-Fi, a stocked kitchen, and complimentary breakfast. It also single-sex dorm rooms. While the beds aren’t super comfy, the hostel offers numerous indoor and outdoor common areas, plus daily free activities and experiences, like pub crawls, walking tours, hikes, and more.
If you’re looking for access to the California beaches and nearby Venice, this is where to stay.
HI Los Angeles Santa Monica at a glance:
- Lots of common areas so it’s easy to meet people
- Free breakfast
- Female-only dorms for extra privacy and security
Beds from $31 USD a night
—> Book your stay at HI Los Angeles Santa Monica!
3. Samesun Venice Beach
If you want to be a part of the action on Venice Beach, Samesun Venice Beach is the place. The hostel has both dorms and private rooms, most of which include an ocean view. Dorms have four, six or eight beds (mixed or female) that have lights and shelves for each. The bunks can be a bit shaky, and the bathrooms are small, and there’s no elevator but, overall, it’s an awesome place to stay in Venice.
Your stay includes free breakfast too. They also do a lot of activities to help ya get to know the city and others in the hostel!
Samesun Venice Beach at a glance:
- Organizes tons of events
- Free breakfast
- Great place to meet other travelers
Beds from $36 USD a night
—> Book your stay at Samesun Venice Beach!
4. Banana Bungalow Hollywood
Housed in a former motel, the retro Banana Bungalow Hollywood has a friendly, lively vibe and views of the Hollywood sign. What sets this hostel apart from others isn’t just the free parking (which is basically unheard of in LA) but that every dorm room has a kitchen and bathroom inside the room.
The hostel also has a tiki garden with lounge chairs to soak up the sun, a sidewalk café, and tons of activities in the common room, like live music, comedy, and karaoke, plus a movie theater for when you’re not exploring everything that’s within walking distance, like the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater.
They also coordinate group activities, such as party buses, tours, hikes, and more. There’s free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast and coffee daily, free BBQs and other free food nights, and movie nights. Because of all of the ways to spend time with others at the hostel, it can get loud at night and partying can go until late, so bring earplugs.
Banana Bungalow Hollywood at a glance:
- Laid-back garden for hanging out and mingling
- Organizes lots of activities (tours, hikes, pub crawls)
- Party vibe so it’s easy to meet people
Beds from $29 USD, rooms from $99 USD a night
—> Book your stay at Banana Bungalow Hollywood!
5. Samesun Hollywood
Samesun Hollywood, formerly The Walk of Fame Hollywood Hostel, is located in prime Hollywood location (you can actually watch the red carpet for the Academy Awards from the upper floors of this recently renovated hostel). Rooms here are clean, the beds are some of the most comfortable in town, and private rooms come a mini-fridge. There is only one bathroom per floor (even privates have shared bathrooms), so it can get a bit crowded. Not all of the dorms have AC, so in the warmer months it can get hot. The hostel has an updated kitchen and serves complimentary continental breakfast daily.
The hostel also hosts nighttime activities and has a common room with foosball and pool tables.
samesun Hollywood at a glance:
- Cheapest hostel in town
- Organizes lots of activities and events
- Free breakfast
Beds from $28 USD, rooms from $119 USD a night
—> Book your stay at Samesun Hollywood!
There are not a lot of hostels in Los Angeles, but even from among those slim pickings, these are the best. They are spread out around town so you can find one in whatever part of town you’re staying in, and the prices are pretty affordable too! Check them out the next time you’re in town.
Book Your Trip to Los Angeles: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Los Angeles?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide onLos Angeles for even more planning tips!
Photo credit: 2 – Freehand, 3 – USA Hostels Hollywood, 4 – HI Los Angeles Santa Monica, 5 – Samesun Venice Beach, 6 – Banana Bungalow Hollywood, 7 – Walk of Fame Hollywood Hostel