Last Updated: 9/13/2023 | September 13th, 2023
With its historic colonial buildings, die-hard sports fans, and lively nightlife, Boston is one of my favorite cities in the US (and I’m not just saying that because it’s where I grew up!).
Boston has been a commercial hub since the 17th century and holds an important place in American history. After the Boston Tea Party in 1773, it became a pivotal bastion of support for the US War of Independence. Even today, the city is brimming with history and has lots to offer. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to understand the roots of modern America.
Since it isn’t the most affordable destination, budget-conscious travelers and backpackers are probably going to want to save money however they can. That means finding budget-friendly accommodation.
Like most US cities, Boston doesn’t have many hostels. But the ones it does have are modern, clean, safe, and social for the most part.
To help you plan your trip, here is my list of the hostels in Boston 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: HI Boston
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: HI Boston
Best Hostel for Families: Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: HI Boston
Best Hostel for Partying: HI Boston or Backpackers Pub & Hostel
Best Overall Hostel: HI Boston
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Boston:
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $50 USD
- $$ = $50-60 USD
- $$$ = Over $60 USD
1. HI Boston
HI Boston is the best hostel in town. It offers both same-sex and mixed dorms, and each bed comes equipped with a shelf, outlets, and a locker. The private rooms are modern and have more of a hotel feel to them; they also come with TVs and a bathtub (which is largely unheard of in a hostel).
The hostel also has an excellent kitchen to cook your own meals in, and a common room complete with TV, pool table, and a piano. They also organize free city tours and host dinners, among other activities. It’s a very social hostel.
HI Boston is located close to the Freedom Trail, the Boston Common, and Chinatown. More attractions, like the campuses of Harvard and MIT, are a only few T (subway) stops away.
HI Boston at a glance:
- Organizes lots of activities
- Female-only dorms for extra privacy and security
- Great place to meet other travelers
Beds from $43 USD, private rooms from $190 USD a night.
2. Backpackers Hostel & Pub
This well-run and newly renovated hostel is located 20 minutes outside of Boston center in the suburb of Everett by Wellington station. While not central, it’s well-connected via public transport and they offer a free shuttle service to/from Wellington station. It has a lively social atmosphere with a small pub on-site and pool table area where you can hang out and meet other travelers. They’re located near the craft beer district with several breweries and distilleries, a cannabis dispenser, and food truck area nearby.
The rooms all have bathrooms and kitchenettes and the beds are simple wire frames but comfortable. They have male, female, and mixed dorms available. Free breakfast is included as well.
Backpackers Hostel & Pub at a glance:
- Bar on-site
- Free breakfast
- Female dorms available
Beds from $60 USD, private rooms from $199 USD.
3. Boston Homestel
Located in an old house a few miles outside of the city center (but close to the JFK Library), Boston Homestel offers simple rooms and dorms. The rooms here are clean and bright but don’t have much to them. The beds aren’t the most comfortable, but the quiet location makes it easier to fall asleep than in other hostels in the heart of the city.
The hostel has a common room and a small kitchen, but not much more. It’s a quiet hostel, so don’t come to Boston Homestel expecting a party.
Boston Homestel at a glance:
- Quiet neighborhood so you’ll get a decent sleep
- Laid-back atmosphere
- Not super social (no partying)
Beds from $45 USD, private rooms from $99 USD a night.
4. Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships
Available from June through September, this is easily the coolest place to stay in town: a functional sailing vessel, the Liberty Clipper. It’s a wooden three-mast ship with cozy cabins for rent. While the rooms are small, the experience is unlike anything else Boston has to offer.
Towels and linens are included, and the hot water is plentiful. There is no Wi-Fi, however, and you need to leave the ship during the day. But if you’re looking for a unique experience, this is hard to beat. It’s also a great choice for couples.
Liberty Fleet at a glance:
- Great for couples/families
- Super unique accommodation
Cabins from $60 USD a night.
Whether you’re looking to stay in the heart of town or in more quiet accommodations further afield, Boston will have something for you. While the rock-bottom budget options are limited, the facilities at the better hostels will not leave you wanting.
Even with the prevalence of Airbnb here, hostels are still the cheapest accommodation option. Just be sure to book early and you’ll be able to find a bed, meet new travelers, and save some money in the process!
Book Your Trip to Boston: 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:
- Safety Wing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation 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 Boston?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Boston for even more planning tips!