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.
Seattle only has four hostels, and to help you plan your visit and save money, here are my reviews of each of them:
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.
Beds from $35 USD, rooms from $98 USD a night
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.
Beds from $31 USD, rooms from $75 USD a night
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 and a basic free continental breakfast, both of 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.
Beds from $30 USD, rooms from $89 USD a night
4. City Hostel
If you like art, you’ll love City Hostel, as its 40+ rooms were recently redesigned, renovated, and repainted by local artists. Most rooms have squeaky bunk beds, and some rooms can get loud because of the bars and clubs nearby, but everything is quite clean.
Free breakfast is included, and there’s an outdoor patio and BBQ, a communal kitchen, a fireplace, and a 20-seat theater too. It’s a great place for being social and meeting people.
City Hostel is a 10-minute walk to Pike Place Market and nearby attractions like the Space Needle, .
Beds from $30 USD, rooms from $89 USD a night
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
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines, because they search 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 they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewher eother than a hotel, 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. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
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 travel — and I think they will help you too!
Looking for more information on visiting Seattle?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to Seattle with more tips on what to see and do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!