Posted: 4/8/22 | April 8th, 2022
Tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks and grunge music and home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world. But it’s also surrounded by stunning landscapes, with both the ocean and the mountains within easy reach. It’s known for being a laid-back, eclectic city — and an expensive one too.
Since Seattle can be a little pricey, budget travelers will likely want to stay in a hostel. Even with the prevalence of Airbnb, hostels in Seattle are still the cheapest form of accommodation — and they’re usually perfect for meeting other travelers too.
That said, there are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Seattle are:
- Location – Seattle 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 Seattle, 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 Seattle that I like the most:
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $30 USD
- $$ = $30-40 USD
- $$$ = Over $40 USD
1. Green Tortoise Seattle Hostel
This is my favorite hostel in Seattle. The dorm beds have privacy curtains, and there are enough outlets to charge everything you might bring. The rooms aren’t very large though, and the luggage storage is under the bottom bunk, so if you’re sleeping there and your bunkmate needs something, you’ll definitely hear it. You’ll also hear music and people late at night, given its central location, so bring earplugs.
That said, the bathrooms here really set this hostel apart from others: they have rainfall showerheads and heated tile floors. The hostel also provides free breakfast, complete with eggs, cereal, fruit, and bread. There is a communal kitchen and common room with foosball and other games. They also run free walking tours and pub crawls and even host weekly ice cream socials!
Green Tortoise is located across the street from the iconic Pike Place Market (as well as the first-ever Starbucks). It’s also not far from other well-known sites, like the Great Wheel and the Crocodile (a bar famous for its live music — Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and other famous bands have played here). If you want the best hostel experience in the city, stay here.
Green Tortoise at a glance:
- Great place to meet other travelers
- Privacy curtains so you’ll get a decent sleep
- Free breakfast
Beds from $38 USD.
2. HI Seattle at the American Hotel
The HI Seattle at the American Hotel offers same-sex dorm rooms (there are no co-ed dorms here) with shared bathrooms, as well as private rooms, some with en suite bathrooms. Rooms here are basic, but the beds are comfortable.
The kitchen is the best thing about the hostel, as it’s large and perfect for cooking your own meals (there’s also an international grocery store a quick walk away). Free continental breakfast is included, though it’s nothing fancy.
The hostel is only minutes away from both the BoltBus and Amtrak stations, and its location in Chinatown/International District means there are lots of affordable restaurants nearby. It’s also close to historic Pioneer Square (which is home to tons of hip coffee shops, art galleries, and restaurants), as well as the Pinball Museum, Smith Tower (the oldest skyscraper in the city), the ferry terminal, and the Underground City. It’s just over a mile from Pike Place Market too.
HI Seattle at a glance:
- Great place to meet people
- Female-only dorms for extra privacy and security
- Tons of cheap restaurants nearby
Beds from $38 USD, rooms from $82 USD.
3. HotelHotel Hostel
HotelHotel Hostel offers a laid-back atmosphere and clean, comfortable dorms, which come with either en suite or shared bathrooms. It has a small kitchen which can help lower your budget if you plan on cooking your own meals.
There is no common room though, so it’s not super easy to meet people. Also, there is a limited number of bathrooms and showers, so sometimes you may have to wait to get in.
It’s located in the quirky neighborhood of Fremont, where you’ll find the Fremont Troll, a massive statue underneath the Aurora Bridge, as well as a year-round Sunday market offering antiques, art, and food trucks.
HotelHotel Hostel at a glance:
- Laid-back and quiet atmosphere
- Lots of cool markets and food trucks nearby
- Guest kitchen
Rooms from $129 USD (dorms currently closed due to the pandemic).
Whether you’re looking for a quiet hostel or somewhere social and lively, Seattle has it. The prices are reasonable (relative to other US hostels), and there are tons of awesome activities and amenities to keep you entertained and help you meet other travelers.
Just be sure to book your stay in advance. With only four hostels in the city, rooms disappear fast. Book early, save money, and have an awesome trip!
Book Your Trip to Seattle: 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 (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 Seattle?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Seattle for even more planning tips!