Hostels are the first choice of many international travelers and students who want to see Vancouver on a budget. A hostel isn't at all about luxury, it's about spending less than $30 per night to have a roof over your head!
At a hostel, you'll share a room with other travelers, either in a dorm room or semi-private room; or, you can book a private room, depending on how much you want to pay.
Most hostels will offer lockers or storage, coin laundry facilities, Internet access and a common room where travelers can watch TV and hang out.
Most Vancouver hostels are located in the heart of the city, in downtown and Gastown
but you will find one or two on the Westside of Vancouver (everything west of Ontario and Main Streets).
If you arrive at the Vancouver Airport, you can easily get to downtown and Gastown hostels by hopping on the new Canada Line
and heading towards Waterfront (get off at the City Centre stop).
The average cost for a bed in downtown Vancouver hostels is $25 - $27, which means you'll share a dorm room with six to eight other people. In general, you can pay just under $30 for a four-bed co-ed dorm with an ensuite or a two-bed female or male dorm, or $70 for your own private room. However, each Vancouver hostel is different, and won't always have a private room or semi-private room available.
While you may not be familiar with many of the downtown Vancouver hostel names, there are two that many people know: the YMCA
. The YMCA is a charitable association that goes all the way back to 1844. The YMCA hostel in Vancouver is currently closed, however, you can rent a room at the YWCA (733 Beatty Street) for about $37 per night (you don't have to be a woman to stay at the YWCA facility).
If you're a young traveler looking to have a few beers and meet friends, the downtown hostels are ideal. Hostels like the Samesun Backpacker Lodge (1018 Granville Street
) and the Cambie Hostel (300 Cambie Street) cater to the 19-35 age group, and have busy onsite pubs
that offer cheap beer and food. Many of these social hostels will also have game nights, visits to comedy clubs or movies. At some like the Cambie Hostel, you'll even get breakfast the next am for the cost of about $27 per night.
There are a few hostels in East Vancouver, which cost slightly less than downtown Vancouver hostels. For example, at the American Backpackers Hostel, you can stay in a dorm room for $20, or $25 for a single room. However, travelers, especially single women, need to be cautious about staying in hostels in East Vancouver. Many are located on Main Street near the Greyhound Station and Main Street Skytrain Station, close to an area that is known for its drug and prostitution trade.
To ensure you're getting a good value and a safe place to stay, check out Vancouver hostel listings and reviews.
A unique type of Vancouver accommodation website is Couch Surfing
, a non-profit place where visitors can find ultra-cheap accommodations at homes or apartments in the city.
Not only will you get a bed - or couch - for less than you'll pay at a hostel in Vancouver, but you get to build friendships and spend time with host families, who are happy to take their guests out and about to explore the city.
3 Top Picks for Vancouver Hostels
The Cambie Hostel
300 Cambie Street
Where's the party? It's at the Cambie, each and every night of the week. The large pub is always busy, filled with a mix of locals, international students and travelers. The Cambie Hostel, located above the pub, is not much different – it's where visitors stay in Vancouver to meet new people and socialize.
While some hostels have a curfew, the Cambie Hostel doesn't. The Cambie Hostel offers travelers a few accommodation options, including a dorm room (4 beds) for $28 per night or a private room for $70 per night. All prices include a hearty breakfast the next day. In addition to the Gastown hostel, the Cambie also has a newer location on Seymour Street (515 Seymour Street).
› Free luggage storage
› Free wireless Internet
› TV room
› 24-hour security
› Laundry room
SameSun Backpacker Lodge
1018 Granville Street
The SameSun Backpacker Lodge is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Like the Cambie, SameSun has food and cheap beer onsite and provides a free breakfast for guests. SameSun is newer than the Cambie, and has a higher reputation for quality and cleanliness. Trusted travel guide Lonely Planet says “...many regard as Vancouver's best! A lively hostel in the heart of the Granville nightclub area.” Beds start at $26 per night for a bed in a dorm room. Guests can take part in daily activities like movie or poker nights, park visits or free walking tours.
› TV room
› Pool table
› Internet lounge
› Laundry room
› Security-coded doors for safety
HI-Vancouver Jericho Beach
1515 Discovery Street
While many of the city's hostels are located downtown, the HI-Vancouver is just steps away from the sand of Jericho Beach. It's the only beach-front hostel in Vancouver, and guests are also close to numerous Vancouver biking trails, and the shops and restaurants in Kitsilano, which is the area that extends south to 16th Ave, bordered by Burrard and Alma Streets.
Clean and modern, the Jericho Beach hostel has beautiful views of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park from the rooms, or from the licensed cafe on site. Visitors can take part in activities such as a Lighthouse Bay tour, Granville Street Pub Crawl or Capilano Forest tour. Rates start at $28 for a dorm room, all the way up to $71 for a private room.
› 24 hour reception and security
› WiFi and Internet
› Luggage storage
› Common room with pool table