Posted: 8/31/23 | August 31st, 2023
Kuala Lumpur is one of my favorite cities in Southeast Asia. It’s a melting pot of influences and cultures (Indian, Chinese, Malay, Western), there’s a ton of activities to do, and it’s a foodie heaven that I think rivals nearby Bangkok.
So “KL” is a must for anyone backpacking the region.
To help you make the most of your visit, here are my favorite hostels in Kuala Lumpur. These are the places I stay at, as they’re all centrally located and offer a lot of value, ensuring that you’ll save money!
Price legend (per night):
- $ – Under 50 MYR
- $$ – 50-70 MYR
- $$$ – Over 70 MYR
1. Chinatown Hostel (by Mingle)
Located in the heart of Chinatown, this is a fun and social backpacker hostel that makes it easy to meet and mingle with other travelers. Chinatown has tons of cheap and delicious places to eat, so the area makes for a good base (especially for foodies).
There’s a shared kitchen and café, and the staff organize lots of activities to help you see the city and connect with people. The dorm beds have privacy curtains, and the mattresses are comfy. There are lights and outlets to charge your stuff too. It’s one of the most popular hostels in town.
Chinatown Hostel at a glance:
- Convenient central location
- Female-only dorms
- Social atmosphere makes it easy to meet people
Beds from 55 MYR, private rooms from 175 MYR.
2. Penthouse on 34
This is one of the coolest hostels in KL. It’s located in the penthouse duplex of a skyscraper, so you get epic views. There’s also a rooftop area where you can take part in yoga classes or just hang out, and guests get access to the infinity pool that looks down over the city from the 37th floor.
The staff organize lots of events too, including food tours. The dorm beds are super thick and have curtains so you can get a good night’s sleep. There are bed lights and outlets too.
While it’s one of the more expensive hostels, I think you get a lot of value for the price. It’s a bit further out from downtown, but you’re just a three-minute walk from public transit, which can get you anywhere you need to go.
Penthouse on 34 at a glance:
- Gym and pool
- Epic views
- Lots of events so it’s easy to socialize
Beds from 75 MYR, private rooms from 130 MYR.
3. Birdnest Collective
This no-frills hostel is also located in Chinatown. All the rooms have AC, and there’s a cool rooftop café where you can hang out and relax. It’s not super social, though there’s plenty of space to chill.
The rooms are basic but comfortable, and the showers all have hot water and decent pressure. It’s not a fancy hostel, but it’s one of the most affordable in town, so it’s a great choice for budget-minded travelers.
Birdnest Collective at a glance:
- Most affordable option
- Rooftop café
- Excellent location
Beds from 45 MYR, private rooms from 85 MYR.
4. The Freedom Club Hostel
This new boutique hostel, just a short walk from most of the main sights, is modern and stylish, with three common areas to hang out in, though it has more of a quiet vibe, since the staff don’t organize events. There’s also a kitchen where you can cook your own meals if you’re on a budget. There’s free Wi-Fi too.
The cozy, pod-style bunks have thick mattresses, individual lights, and lockers to keep your things safe and secure. The bathrooms are all clean and modern, with decent shower pressure.
Freedom Club at a glance:
- Cozy pod beds
- Kitchen for cooking your own meals
- Lots of common areas for hanging out and relaxing
Beds from 66 MYR.
5. Space Hotel @ Chinatown
This is a space-themed capsule hotel and boutique hostel. Located in Chinatown, it has an artsy, futuristic vibe, as the walls are covered in space-themed murals and all the beds are capsule pods. It’s not a social hostel, since everyone has their own capsule, but there are lots of things to do nearby, as well as places to eat (including the Petaling Street Market).
The pods are comfortable and all have lights, outlets, and AC so you can get a decent night’s sleep. If you just need a basic place to crash and want a unique stay, this is the perfect choice!
Space Hotel at a glance:
- Artsy vibe
- Private capsules
- Rainfall showers
Beds from 80 MYR, private rooms from 175 MYR.
Kuala Lumpur is the beating heart of Malaysia and a must-visit for backpackers and foodies alike. But while the city has a lot of hostels, not all of them are created equal. By staying in one from this list, you’ll be sure to have a fun, safe, and budget-friendly visit to this lively capital.
Book Your Trip to Malaysia: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. It is my favorite search engine, because it searches websites and airlines around the globe, so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld, as it has the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com, as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancelations. 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 70 and over)
- 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 when I’m on the road. They will save you money too.
Want More Information on Malaysia?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide to Malaysia for even more planning tips!