Planning a backpacking trip to the U.S.A and looking for the best hostels in California? Well, you’ve come to the right place!! This is my home state, and I truly believe it’s one of the most incredible destinations in the entire world.
While California can be expensive, and backpacking in the U.S.A. isn’t that popular, there are still plenty of amazing hostels for all the budget and solo travelers coming this way!
After an intensive search, I have selected 15 of the best hostels in cities like San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Fresno, Yosemite, and of course Los Angeles!
The Best Hostels in Los Angeles, California
1) USA Hostels Hollywood
“USA Hostels Hollywood have been with Hostelworld for over a decade and they’re consistently praised for their friendly staff and ‘fantastic’ location with ‘easy access to the metro which can’t be beat’. As one of our reviewers said, ‘in LA you stay where you wanna go, so Hollywood is a must, and this place has you sorted’; it’s located right between Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Strip. We like the privacy panels on their bunk beds, with a shelf, light and outlet at every bunk and massive lockers in each room.”
Many people say, this hostel is the heart of Hollywood and the reason I love this place the most is that it is only half a block away from Walk of Fame and very near to Egyptian and Chinese theaters. If that doesn’t make you happy, then there are a lot more reasons you will select this hostel. It provides a delicious free breakfast of pancakes, fruit juice, baked goods, coffee, and much more. It is a great place to hang out after an amazing day of touring.
Price per Night: $37 only
2) HI Los Angeles – Santa Monica
Hostelworld Rating: 9.1 based on 4267 reviews
Price: $42.43 Price per Night
3) Samesun Venice Beach
“This is Venice Beach, guys! So you are going to need somewhere suitably eclectic and energetic to stay if you are going to experience it right. This is that place. Sitting right on the boardwalk, the view over the Pacific Ocean in front is, frankly, to die for. What’s more, nightly activities make it easy to meet new people – perfect for solo travellers.”
If you’re looking to swim, party, and basically live it up while in LA, then you have to select Samesun Venice Beach Hostel. It has a friendly and affordable hostel that is perfect for international travelers. It essentially focuses on meeting new people and interacting with other backpackers. This hostel is right in the heart of the iconic Venice beach too!
Hostelworld Rating: 8.8 based on 4037 reviews
Price: $44.61 per night
4) Banana Bungalow Hollywood
“Banana Bungalow Hollywood is a converted former motel with a nice outdoor area and courtyard, giving guests somewhere to sit in the LA sunshine. Hostelworld visitors tell us their ‘good atmosphere invites [guests] to hang out and have fun’; it ‘has a very good vibe, perfect location and there is always something going on’ such as tours, parties and barbecues. Our travelers say this is ‘a funny, cool and a clean place for young people’. We like that this hostel has parking, ideal for those on a road trip up the West Coast.”
Hostelworld Rating: 8.5 based on 3319 total reviews
Price: Starting from $32.18 per night
The Best Hostels in San Francisco, California
5) USA Hostels – San Francisco
Rated Most Popular San Francisco Hostel for the 4th consecutive year by Hostelworld guests!
Hostelworld Rating: 9.1 based on 7001 reviews
Price: Starting from $43.11 per night
6) HI San Francisco – Downtown
HI San Francisco Downtown has been the winner of Most Popular Hostel in 2017 and 2018. It gives a safe and secure vibe and it is the center of everything. From cable cars and Chinatown to Museum Row and Union Square, this Hostel provides world-class places to travel. There are also plenty of shopping malls, cafés and bars nearby, and is definitely one of the best options for budget traveler’s in the bay.
Hostelworld Rating: 9 based on 5621 reviews
Price: Starting from $37 per night
7) Green Tortoise Hostel
San Francisco’s Favorite Party Hostel!
“Green Tortoise Hostel has been the favorite of backpackers and travelers for decades. People rave about our unbeatable location in historic North Beach… just a few steps to San Francisco favorites like Chinatown and Little Italy, and a quick walk to Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.
After participating in our nightly activity, such as our famous Pub Crawl or Beer Olympics, you can get comfortable in our funky dorm rooms or cozy private rooms and enjoy our delicious free meals.
If you have the time, hop on our “hostel on wheels” for a famous Green Tortoise Adventure Travel trip to Yosemite, Baja, Alaska, Burning Man, and other US National Parks! These are just a few of the reasons the Tortoise has become a legend.”
Hostelworld Rating: 8.8 based on 1305 reviews
Price: Starting from $40 per night
8) Orange Village Hostel
“Welcome to the Orange Village Hostel! Located in the heart of San Francisco, our hostel is a wonderful place to stay for travelers. We are conveniently located within walking distance of San Francisco’s major metropolitan area; known for Union Square, unique boutiques, and one of the world’s premiere shopping districts. With quiet and comfort in mind, our friendly staff are always available 24 hours a day.”
Hostelworld Rating: 7.7 based on 1778 reviews
Price: Starting from $34 per night
9) Amsterdam Hostel
Best Budget Hostel in San Francisco!
Welcome to the Amsterdam Hostel! This beautiful property is located just three blocks off Union Square, San Francisco’s center location and home to great shopping, the best restaurants and bars and many of the city’s best sights! Seconds from the famous Cable Cars, Theatre District and Chinatown – Amsterdam Property San Francisco is right where you want to be! To add more value to our great location and low prices, we have abundant common space great for meeting other travelers or for large groups and small private gatherings! Eat breakfast or any meal you make in the huge common kitchen and then dine indoor or outside on our great Terrace. Watch a Free DVD and enjoy Free Movie Nights in our theater room or chill out in our Internet Cafe with computers and free wifi!”
Hostelworld Rating: 7 based on 3137 Reviews
Price: Starting from $23 per day ONLY!
10) Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
Where: Yosemite, California
Price: $49+ per night
Hostelworld rating: 9.3 based on 1067 reviews
Escape to the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort, a hidden gem just 27 miles from Yosemite Valley. Nestled on a 50-acre hillside, this magical retreat offers relaxation and adventure. Fuel up with delicious meals at the on-site restaurant and explore the nearby Merced River Wild and Scenic Area for outdoor thrills like swimming, mountain biking, and running.
To relax, Soak in the hot tub, detox in the hot rocks sauna, strike a pose in the yoga studio, or treat yourself to a heavenly massage. With knowledgeable staff and insider tips, you can embark on unforgettable hikes in Yosemite National Park and the High Sierra. Back at the resort, enjoy a nature trail, take a refreshing dip in the spring swimming hole, or challenge friends to a game of ping pong.
The Best Hostels in San Diego, California
11) Samesun Ocean Beach
Where: San Diego, California
Price: $73.95+ per night
Hostelworld rating: 9.6 based on 423 reviews
Let’s talk about Ocean Beach, where California life is at its absolute best. You’ve got the beach, the sun, and a boatload of rad restaurants and breweries waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re into surfing, skating, walking, running, biking, yoga, or simply chilling out, this place has got you covered. This hostel offers a range of private and dorm rooms, as well as spacious common areas designed for socializing.
The open-air concept creates a relaxed atmosphere where guests can unwind and connect with fellow travelers. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and internet access, and access to city maps for navigating the area. Additionally, towels are provided free of charge, making packing a breeze.
12) International Travelers House Adventure Hostel
Where: San Diego, California
Price: $63+ per night
Hostelworld rating: 9.6 based on 1315 reviews
Conveniently situated in the lively neighborhood of Little Italy, International Traveler’s House is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the excitement of Downtown San Diego’s nightlife. The area is bursting with amazing restaurants and popular bars, all within walking distance, ensuring that travelers have plenty of options to explore and indulge in.
The hostel itself has a fantastic outdoor space, ideal for meeting fellow travelers and making new friends. Inside, you’ll find a range of comfortable lounge areas where you can relax or catch up on work. The historic Victorian building adds to the charm and character, creating a social and fun ambiance that makes you feel right at home. Don’t miss out on the hosted social events that take place every evening, providing the perfect opportunity to connect with other like-minded adventurers.
13) USA Hostels Ocean Beach
In 2019, USA Hostels Ocean Beach was voted USA’s #1 hostel by Hostelworld guests. It is a newly remodeled hostel with the beach just 2 blocks away. It also provides “Female only” dorms and has free Wi-Fi and breakfast buffet. Other free perks include shuttle service to local transport hubs and weekly BBQ dinners.
Hostelworld Rating: 9.6 based on 2836 reviews
Price: Starting from $31 per night
14) HI- San Diego Point Loma
The Point Loma Hostel is located two miles from San Diego’s famous Ocean Beach in the relaxed neighborhood of Point Loma. Ocean Beach and its accompanying nightlife, cafes, restaurants, shops and weekly Farmer’s Market are just a short stroll away. Nearby, Sea World and Mission Bay are just a 5 minute drive or 20 minute bus ride away. Balboa Park, the world famous San Diego Zoo, and Downtown San Diego are 10 or 30 minutes away by car and bus respectively.
Hostelworld Rating: 9.6 based on 2836 reviews
Price: Starting from $25 per night
15) Lucky Ds Lucky Ds
“We offer more free stuff than any other hostel!
Free Internet , Free house phone, and a Free weekly Pub Crawl plus other nightly social events. Free Breakfast every morning. We also offer Free tea and coffee all day and Free use of our linen. All these free extras combined with our low room rates makes us the best value hostel in San Diego!
Lucky D’s Hostel in San Diego has a central location which makes getting around very easy. In two minutes you can walk to the Gaslamp quarter to enjoy the multitude of restaurants, bars, clubs and shops that make up this district. Petco Park, San Diego’s newly built baseball stadium lies right on our doorstep. A baseball game is a must in truly experiencing American culture. Balboa Park, home to San Diegos many museums and the world famous Zoo is within walking distance. The Greyhound (bus), Amtrak (train) and airport are all easily reached, as is public transport.
Our activities director works hard to ensure you get to see all there is to see in San Diego. We have daily activities organized such as our Gaslamp Pub Crawl, Poker night, Hostel beer pong tournaments, Pub Quiz and Club night, VIP entry to Gaslamp clubs are all ways we help you enjoy all San Diego has to offer, whilst meeting and hanging out with your fellow travelers.”
Hostelworld Rating: 8.2 based on 1579 reviews
Price: Starting from $28 per day
Planning a trip to California & U.S.A…?
Check out a few of my other articles about traveling through this gorgeous region of the world, and as always, let me know if you have any questions! I’m always happy to help in anyway I can!
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Thanks for reading about these California Hostels!!
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