San Diego is notorious for its great weather and gorgeous sandy beaches making it a popular tourist destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
When planning your perfect San Diego getaway there are a few key things to take into consideration while deciding where to stay.
Hostels are rated for a number of different categories on Hostelworld however when it comes to definitely the best hostels in San Diego, we have narrowed down the four key elements to the following:
Location – San Diego is a big city and it takes time to explore. All the hostels that are on this list are in prime locations allowing you to have access to the key sites and nightlife experiences.
Value For Money – The hostels on this list tick the box when it comes to value for money. When it comes to hostels you get what you pay for so if you want to experience the city properly it’s worth spending that little bit more to get the proper experience.
Facilities – We’re in the era of digital nomads and having the appropriate facilities to cater to travelers such as free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, etc are core requirements to making a great hostel in 2022.
Staff – The staff are one of the most vital elements when it comes to staying in a hostel. If you’re traveling alone or experiencing a city for the first time without friendly staff to help guide you and make you feel at home then the experience isn’t the same.
So without further ado the best hostels in San Diego that tick all the above requirements in no particular order are as follows.
The Gaslamp Hostel is a stylish hostel and you’d be hard-pushed to find more colorful lodgings in San Diego. The hostel is located in a stunning historic 1880s structure that is guaranteed to dazzle.
This hostel is operated by a friendly staff team who truly understand what tourists like about hostels and what they want to take away from their San Diego stay.
The atrium is covered in a glass-roof so you’ll be exposed to San Diego’s near-perfect sunny weather as you move around this stunning Victorian structure.
Gaslamp Hostel has mixed dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms with well-cleaned communal toilets and showers.
The Gaslamp Hostel, like many other historic locations in San Diego, has some ghost stories and the hostel takes pride in this fact even hosting a free ghost tour on Thursday nights.
Staying in a ‘haunted hostel’ is a big appeal for many travelers, so don’t be surprised to find yourself sharing a room with some ghost hunters or spirits of old!
The hostel is smoke-free and has coffee/tea in a common area, a microwave, a refrigerator, and other essentials in the kitchen area.
To cater to guests the hostel also provides free continental breakfast and free WiFi in public areas. Gaslamp also offers longer term student housing from October through May each year.
If you’re looking for the best downtown hostel in San Diego with a great history, look no further than the Gaslamp Hostel.
California Dreams Hostel – Ocean Beach
California Dreams Hostel Ocean Beach is the best hostel in San Diego for those looking to stay in a prime location while being welcomed into an awesome family atmosphere.
You’re guaranteed to have a great stay here as the hostel has a pool, a jacuzzi as well as ping pong tables, and much more to keep you entertained at the hostel while meeting like-minded travelers from around the world.
When it comes to exploring Ocean Beach the hostel has bike rentals that allow guests to get out and explore the best of the area with the beach less than an 8-minute ride away.
For the digital nomads amongst us, the hostel has a great coworking setup allowing you to plug in and work in peace with a fast wifi connection.
The accommodation is comfortable and inviting offering mixed dorm rooms and private rooms with clean communal bathrooms.
The shared rooms have lockers to keep all of your possessions secure even though the hostel is safe with friendly staff making you feel comfortable throughout your stay.
Free breakfast, shared spaces, and cheap tickets to San Diego attractions are also available and can be obtained by asking the staff for recommendations on excursions or rentals for your San Diego vacation.
If you’re looking for one of the best-located hostels in Ocean Beach with like-minded travelers California Dreams hostel is a perfect choice!
Samesun Ocean Beach
Samesun Ocean Beach is the best hostel in San Diego if you’re looking to be located near the water and give surfing or bodyboarding a go.
In addition to this, the hostel has a great social atmosphere offering mixed dorm rooms, private rooms with communal toilets, and private rooms with an ensuite bath.
The main feature of this San Diego hostel is its location, as the hostel is only a few minutes away from Ocean Beach.
The local staff understands the area through and out and is more than happy to assist you to get set up with surfboards or bikes so you can explore Ocean Beach as the locals do. Alternatively, you can easily walk to the OB Pier and beaches from here on your own.
When you see one of the most colorful buildings on the block, you’ll know you’ve arrived, a testament to the welcoming hippy community you’ll become a part of when you stay here.
Samesun Ocean Beach guests get complimentary WiFi in public areas, a microwave in a common room, and a refrigerator in a common area.
The front desk is open 24 hours a day to assist with luggage storage and locker access. A patio and laundry facilities are also available.
HI San Diego – Downtown
Hostelling International (HI) is a well-known hostel network that has made significant improvements to hostels in general.
This Gaslamp Quarter alternative in San Diego has a gaming area for pool and snooker games, a library and book swap, and a complimentary breakfast every morning.
At the HI San Diego Downtown Hostel, you may choose between private rooms with ensuite toilets and single-sex dorm rooms.
The 10-person dorm rooms are the most affordable choice, but if you’re traveling with a buddy, the split cost of a private room with two bunk beds is comparable.
The comfortable mattresses and easy access to San Diego’s greatest nightlife while staying in the Gaslamp Quarter are frequently mentioned in reviews of this hostel.
This smoke-free hostel offers concierge services as well as laundry facilities and a 24-hour front desk. WiFi is free in public spaces. There is also a computer station, an arcade/game room, and a library on the premises.
Housekeeping services are offered upon request. This property participates in Green Globe, a program that assesses the impact of the property on one or more of the following factors: environment, community, cultural heritage, and local economy.
The Best Hostels In San Diego Summary
The standard and quality of the hostels in San Diego are top tiers so regardless of which of the above hostels you choose to stay in you are bound to have a great stay.
Due to their popularity, we would recommend planning your stay far in advance as they are known to book out weeks in advance depending on the time of year you are planning your San Diego adventure.
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