Posted: 12/3/20 | December 3rd, 2020
Melbourne is the backpacker hub of Australia. It’s laid-back vibe, awesome live music scene, and rowdy nightlife make it a favorite for backpackers and budget travelers alike.
Whereas many cities Down Under are worth visiting for a few days, you could easily spend weeks here without getting bored.
Since it’s a popular spot for budget travelers, the city boasts dozens of hostels to cater to the growing tourist numbers. In my decade-plus of visiting Melbourne, the hostel scene here has changed drastically. There are tons more hostels here than there used to be — and there are lots of upscale and boutique options too. These days, you have so many choices it can be overwhelming.
Over the years, I’ve stayed in dozens upon dozens of hostels here. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Melbourne are:
- Location – Melbourne is a big city 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 Melbourne, 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 Melbourne 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 Hostels in Melbourne
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Flinders Backpackers
Best Hostel for Families: The Nunnery
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: United Backpackers
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: Tram Stop 14 Backpackers
Best Hostel for Partying: Base St Kilda
Best Overall Hostel: United Backpackers
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Melbourne:
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $30 USD
- $$ = $30-40 USD
- $$$ = Over $40 USD
1. United Backpackers
United Backpackers has everything I Iike in a hostel: it’s affordable, has comfortable dorms and private rooms, is secured by key-card entry, has a kitchen and dining room, includes free breakfast (with pancakes), and has tons of places to relax and hang out.
Its basement bar hosts events throughout the week and there’s also a TV room and a common area with a pool table. The hostel also offers a free walking tour of the Central Business District (CBD) which is packed with street art, restaurants, bars and clubs.
This hostel is large so it’s easy to meet people as well. However, since it’s so large there are occasional lines for the bathroom and the hot water can run out in the morning (so wake up early or shower at night). If you’re staying in a dorm, choose one of the smaller ones — the 12-bed dorm can get crowded.
Located across from Flinders Street Station, it’s easy to get anywhere in the city. It’s also just a seven-minute walk to Eureka Skydeck which provides amazing views of the city.
United Backpackers at a glance:
- Great place to meet other travelers
- Organizes lots of activities
- Free breakfast (with pancakes!)
Beds from $21 USD, rooms from $75 USD a night.
—> Book your stay at United Backpackers!
2. Flinders Backpackers
Another hostel next to Flinders Street Station, Flinders Backpackers offers massive 16-bed dorms — a popular choice for budget backpackers traveling on a shoestring. For those looking for privacy, there are also private rooms here but they are rather small.
Free breakfast, which includes a make-your-own pancake station, is included. The hostel also has a large common room, TV room with movie nights and free popcorn, and a kitchen for cooking your own food. Every week, they make a family-style dinner for the guests to enjoy (a nice way to save some money if you’re on a budget).
If you’re staying in the dorms, bring earplugs (especially if you are on the lower floors) as there is a club nearby that can be loud.
They also have a bar and restaurant on-site which has events almost every night. On Fridays, they make a huge batch of Goon Punch, an Aussie cocktail, so things get lively. Not surprisingly, this hostel is quite social so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, you probably won’t find it here.
Flinders Backpackers at a glance:
- Lots of social common areas so it’s easy to meet people
- Free breakfast
- Organizes activities every night (movie nights, free drink nights)
Beds from $19 USD, rooms from $45 USD a night.
—> Book your stay at Flinders Backpackers!
3. Base St Kilda
Base St Kilda is far from the center of Melbourne, but it’s in a perfect location if you want to stay near the water. Like most hostels in the city, it has a free pancake breakfast, a free walking tour, and is own bar. The hostel is definitely a party hostel so don’t stay here if you’re looking for quiet.
They host regular activities like karaoke and foam parties and the huge common room here has pool, foosball, and board games. As for the rooms, they’re a bit cramped but still comfortable enough. Every dorm has en-suite bathrooms and the private rooms here all have their own balcony.
There is also a kitchen but it isn’t huge (there are no ovens so you just have basic options when it comes to cooking your own meals). The Wi-Fi works best in the common room, but it’s not great in the dorms. If you need decent Wi-Fi, head out to one of the cafes to use theirs instead.
This hostel is great if you want to hang out and party by the beach. You can take public transit into the CBD, which is easy to do and takes around 30 minutes.
Base St Kilda at a glance:
- Bar on-site makes it easy to meet people
- Organizes lots of activities (karaoke, foam parties)
- Pool so you can relax and mingle
Beds from $29 USD, rooms from $84 USD a night.
—> Book your stay at Base St Kilda!
4. Tramstop 14 Backpackers
If you want a chill place to stay that caters to long-term stays, Tramstop 14 is the place for you (they even offer discounts for guests staying longer than a week). If you’re passing through, it may feel a little bit like you’re crashing someone’s house because so many people are staying long term — but don’t let that deter you! With dorms that sleep up to 10, as well as single and double rooms, it’s quite affordable and a lot smaller than most of the other hostels on this list.
As with many hostels in the city, there aren’t enough bathroom facilities so plan on a wait in the morning if you’re not up early.
The hostel has a small kitchen and a comfy lounge with Netflix and is much calmer and quieter than most other hostels in the city. It’s a good choice for anyone looking to relax and get a decent sleep.
The hostel is close to the Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne Cricket Ground, as well as the Melbourne Museum. It’s also a short tram ride to the CBD. Located in the more bohemian Fitzroy neighborhood, there’s plenty to do nearby, such as checking out the art and live music scene or relaxing at one of the local cafes.
Tramstop 14 Backpackers at a glance:
- Comfy lounge for hanging out and meeting people
- Lots of live music nearby
- Discounts for long-term stays (great for digital nomads)
Beds from $29 USD, privates from $75 USD a night.
—> Book your stay at Tram Stop 14 Backpackers!
5. The Nunnery
The history of The Nunnery is one of the things that makes this Melbourne hostel so interesting. Built in the late 1880s, it was an actual nunnery for over six decades. The hostel has both dorms and private rooms, and also offers some extras like hair dryers and hair straighteners if you ask for them. They also offer free bike rentals too.
The rooms aren’t always super clean and depending on what you book, they vary from spacious and nice to basic and cramped. They have a small kitchen so if you want to cook make sure you get there early or there won’t be any space. There’s also a lounge, balcony, and courtyard for hanging out with other travelers.
They host free events every day, such as pub crawls and movie nights so there is always something to do. Free breakfast is included too.
It’s Fitzroy location is close to Brunswick Street, the Melbourne Museum and Carlton Gardens, and it’s only a 10-minute walk to the city center.
The Nunnery at a glance:
- Organizes daily free activites (pub crawls, movie nights, bike rentals)
- Large private rooms (great for couples/families)
- Courtyard for hanging our and meeting people
Beds from $26 USD, rooms from $70 USD a night.
—> Book your stay at The Nunnery!
While there are now over 30 hostels in Melbourne, these hostels are the best the city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a long-term stay as you sort out a working holiday or just visiting for a few nights, a stay at these hostels will ensure you have a fun, safe, and social experience.
After ten years of traveling the world, I still love to stay in hostels. They add character to your experience and make it easy to meet other travelers. If you want to make the most out of your time in Melbourne, be sure to stay at any of the hostels above. You won’t be disappointed.
Book Your Trip to Melbourne: 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 Melbourne?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Melbourne for even more planning tips!