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NYC Budget Hotels & Hostels | Cheap Travel | Jessie On A Journey


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dorthea Condon



New York City – the vibrant, bustling metropolis that never sleeps. A city of endless possibilities, where you can explore iconic landmarks, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and indulge in world-class cuisine. But let’s face it, NYC is notorious for being an expensive destination. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget hotels and hostels that offer affordable accommodation options for travelers on a tight budget.


Whether you’re a backpacker, a solo traveler, or a budget-conscious adventurer, finding a wallet-friendly place to stay in NYC is not impossible. Budget hotels and hostels provide a comfortable and affordable solution, allowing you to experience the city without breaking the bank.


When it comes to budget hotels in NYC, you’ll find a range of options to suit different needs and preferences. From well-known budget chains to independent boutique hotels, there’s something for everyone. These hotels may not offer all the luxurious amenities, but they provide clean and comfortable rooms, friendly service, and convenient locations.


Hostels, on the other hand, offer a unique travel experience, particularly for solo travelers or those looking to meet fellow globetrotters. Hostels in NYC are a hub of social interaction, often featuring communal areas, shared kitchens, and organized activities. They’re a fantastic option for travelers seeking a more immersive and sociable stay.


When it comes to choosing the best areas for budget accommodation in NYC, there are a few neighborhoods that stand out. The Lower East Side, Greenwich Village, and Chelsea are known for their vibrant nightlife, trendy restaurants, and relatively lower hotel rates compared to other parts of the city. The Upper West Side and the Upper East Side also offer more affordable options and are well-connected to major attractions via public transportation.


To find the best deals and save even more on your NYC accommodation, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow. Booking in advance, especially during less busy seasons, can often result in significant savings. Additionally, considering alternative accommodation options like shared rentals or Airbnb can also be a cost-effective choice.


Now that we have an overview of budget hotels and hostels in NYC, let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of each. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed decision on which accommodation type suits you best for your NYC adventure.


Budget Hotels in NYC

New York City offers a plethora of budget hotels that cater to travelers seeking affordable accommodation without compromising on comfort. These budget hotels provide a range of amenities and services to ensure a pleasant stay, while still keeping costs low.


One popular budget hotel chain in NYC is the Pod Hotel. With multiple locations across the city, Pod Hotels offer compact yet stylish rooms at affordable prices. The rooms are designed to maximize space, featuring innovative storage solutions and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The Pod Hotel also provides communal areas where guests can socialize and relax, adding to the overall value.


Another budget-friendly hotel option is the Hotel Pennsylvania, located near the iconic Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. This historic hotel offers basic but comfortable rooms with essential amenities. Its central location makes it a convenient choice for exploring the city, with easy access to public transportation.


If you prefer a more boutique-style experience, Hotel McCoy in Long Island City is worth considering. This trendy hotel combines affordability with a unique design aesthetic and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. The rooms are tastefully decorated and feature modern amenities like private bathrooms and air conditioning.


For travelers on a particularly tight budget, the Jane Hotel in the West Village is a great choice. Originally a boarding house for sailors, this budget hotel has retained its charming old-world vibe. The rooms may be on the smaller side, but they are clean and comfortable. Plus, the hotel offers shared bathrooms, which helps to keep costs down.


If you’re looking for a budget hotel with a convenient location in Midtown Manhattan, the Pod 51 Hotel is a fantastic option. With its sleek and modern design, this hotel offers comfortable rooms equipped with private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The rooftop lounge and communal areas provide additional spaces for socializing, making it an ideal choice for solo travelers or those looking to meet fellow adventurers.


When choosing a budget hotel in NYC, keep in mind that while they may not offer all the luxurious amenities of their higher-end counterparts, they provide a comfortable and cost-effective solution for exploring the city. With their convenient locations, friendly service, and affordable rates, budget hotels in NYC prove that you don’t have to compromise on quality when traveling on a budget.


Hostels in NYC

If you’re a budget-conscious traveler looking for a more social and immersive experience, staying in a hostel in NYC is a fantastic option. Hostels provide shared accommodations, allowing you to meet fellow travelers from around the world while keeping costs low.


The HI New York City Hostel, located on the Upper West Side, is one of the largest and most popular hostels in the city. It offers clean and comfortable dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms. The hostel features a range of amenities, including a communal kitchen, a theater, a café, and organized activities to help guests connect and explore the city together.


Another well-known hostel in NYC is the Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel. Situated near Central Park, this hostel offers both dormitory-style rooms and private rooms at affordable rates. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to provide recommendations and assistance, ensuring a memorable stay in the city.


For those seeking a more vibrant and artistic atmosphere, the Chelsea International Hostel is an excellent choice. Located in the heart of the vibrant Chelsea neighborhood, this hostel features colorful and eclectic rooms, a communal kitchen, and a lounge area. It’s a great place to meet fellow travelers and immerse yourself in the lively energy of the city.


If you’re traveling with a group or seeking a more private experience, some hostels in NYC also offer private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. The Pod 39 Hostel, located in Midtown Manhattan, provides compact yet comfortable private rooms with modern amenities. The hostel also features a rooftop lounge with breathtaking views of the city skyline.


Staying in a hostel offers more than just affordable accommodation; it provides an opportunity to connect with other travelers, share stories, and create lifelong memories. Hostels in NYC often organize social events, pub crawls, and city tours, making it easy to meet like-minded individuals and explore the city together.


However, it’s important to note that hostel accommodations are shared, which means you’ll be staying in a room with other travelers. This lack of privacy may not be suitable for everyone, so it’s essential to consider your personal preferences and comfort level when choosing a hostel in NYC.


Overall, hostels in NYC provide a budget-friendly option that allows you to make the most of your travel experience. With their vibrant atmosphere, social opportunities, and convenient locations, hostels are an excellent choice for solo travelers, backpackers, and those looking to make new friends while exploring the Big Apple.


Best Areas for Budget Accommodation in NYC

When it comes to finding budget accommodation in NYC, choosing the right neighborhood can make a significant difference in terms of affordability and convenience. Here are some of the best areas for budget accommodation in the city:


1. The Lower East Side: Known for its vibrant nightlife, trendy bars, and affordable eateries, the Lower East Side offers a range of budget accommodation options. You’ll find plenty of budget hotels and hostels in this neighborhood, making it a popular choice for travelers looking to explore the city on a budget.


2. Greenwich Village: With its bohemian vibe and charming streets, Greenwich Village is a great area to find budget accommodation options. The neighborhood is known for its lively music scene, eclectic shops, and budget-friendly restaurants, making it an ideal choice for travelers on a budget.


3. Chelsea: Located on the west side of Manhattan, Chelsea is a neighborhood known for its art galleries and trendy eateries. It offers a range of budget hotels and hostels, particularly along the stretch of 8th Avenue, providing easy access to popular attractions like the High Line and Chelsea Market.


4. The Upper West Side: While generally considered a more upscale neighborhood, the Upper West Side does offer some budget accommodation options. Look for smaller boutique hotels or budget chains in this area, which provide convenient access to Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History.


5. The Upper East Side: Similar to the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side is known for its elegance and sophistication. However, it’s still possible to find budget accommodations in this neighborhood, particularly along 2nd and 3rd Avenues. Plus, you’ll be close to attractions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum Mile.


When choosing an area for budget accommodation, consider proximity to public transportation and major attractions. This will allow you to save on transportation costs and make the most of your time in the city. Keep in mind that while budget accommodations may not have all the luxurious amenities of high-end hotels, they offer the opportunity to explore the city on a budget without sacrificing comfort or convenience.


By selecting an area in NYC that suits your budget and preferences, you can enjoy a memorable and affordable stay in the city that never sleeps.


Tips for Finding Cheap Accommodation in NYC

Searching for affordable accommodation in a bustling city like New York can be challenging, but with a few tips and tricks, you can find great deals and save money on your stay. Here are some helpful tips for finding cheap accommodation in NYC:


1. Book in advance: Planning ahead and booking your accommodation in advance can often lead to significant savings. Take advantage of early bird promotions or discounted rates for booking well in advance, especially during less busy seasons.


2. Consider alternative accommodations: Look beyond traditional hotels and explore alternative options like vacation rentals, shared apartments, or even camping grounds. Sites like Airbnb and Couchsurfing offer a range of affordable accommodation choices that can suit your budget.


3. Be flexible with your dates: Consider adjusting your travel dates if possible. Sometimes shifting your stay by a day or two can result in lower rates or special offers. Avoid peak travel seasons, such as summer and holidays, as prices tend to be higher during these times.


4. Explore different neighborhoods: While Manhattan may be the most popular choice for accommodation, don’t overlook the other boroughs and neighborhoods. Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx offer more affordable options and can be easily accessed via public transportation.


5. Use price comparison websites: Take advantage of online booking platforms that allow you to compare prices across multiple hotels and hostels. Websites like Booking.com, Expedia, or Kayak can help you find the best deals and discounts on accommodation in NYC.


6. Consider staying outside of Manhattan: Manhattan is usually the most expensive borough in terms of accommodation. Look for options in the outer boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens, where prices tend to be more budget-friendly while still providing easy access to the city’s attractions.


7. Look for hotel deals and discounts: Keep an eye out for hotel promotions, flash sales, and discount codes. Many hotels offer special rates or packages that can help you save money on your stay. Sign up for newsletters or follow hotels on social media to stay informed about any ongoing deals.


8. Take advantage of loyalty programs: If you travel frequently, consider joining hotel loyalty programs. Accumulating points through these programs can lead to free nights or exclusive discounts, ultimately reducing the overall cost of your accommodation.


9. Read reviews: Before making a booking, read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of the quality and service provided by the accommodation. Look for properties with positive reviews that align with your budget and preferences.


Remember, finding cheap accommodation in NYC requires patience and research. By following these tips and being flexible with your options, you can find affordable places to stay and have more money to spend on experiencing the city’s attractions and vibrant culture.


Comparison of Budget Hotels and Hostels in NYC

When it comes to choosing accommodation for your trip to New York City, you may be torn between budget hotels and hostels. Both options offer affordable stays, but they have distinct features that cater to different preferences and travel styles. Let’s compare budget hotels and hostels in NYC to help you make an informed decision:


Price: Generally, hostels offer the most budget-friendly option for accommodation in NYC. With dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities, hostels can significantly reduce costs, especially for solo travelers or those on a tight budget. Budget hotels, while still cheaper than luxury hotels, may have slightly higher rates due to private rooms and additional amenities.


Privacy: Budget hotels provide more privacy compared to hostels. With private rooms and ensuite bathrooms, you have your own space to relax and unwind. Hostels, on the other hand, offer shared accommodations, typically in dormitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms. Privacy can be limited in hostels, but some offer private rooms as well for those seeking a bit more solitude.


Social Interaction: Hostels are known for their social atmosphere and are an excellent choice for meeting fellow travelers. With communal areas and organized activities, hostels provide ample opportunities for socializing, making them a popular option for solo travelers or those seeking a more sociable experience. Budget hotels, while more private, may lack the social aspect typically found in hostels.


Amenities: Budget hotels often provide more amenities compared to hostels. Private rooms in budget hotels usually come with TVs, free Wi-Fi, and sometimes even mini-fridges or kitchenettes. Some budget hotels may also offer access to fitness centers or rooftop lounges. Hostels, on the other hand, typically have basic amenities such as free Wi-Fi and communal areas where guests can socialize. While amenities may vary, it’s important to consider your preferences when it comes to the facilities offered.


Location: Budget hotels and hostels can be found throughout various neighborhoods in NYC. Both options offer convenient access to the city’s attractions and public transportation. However, hostels tend to be more centrally located, often in bustling neighborhoods, making it easier to explore the city on foot or with minimal travel time.


Comfort: Budget hotels generally provide more comfort compared to hostels. With private rooms and the option of choosing your preferred bed type, you can have a more restful and uninterrupted night’s sleep. Hostels, while still comfortable, may have shared spaces that can be busier and noisier, affecting overall comfort levels.


In summary, the choice between budget hotels and hostels in NYC depends on your priorities and travel preferences. If you want more privacy and comfort, a budget hotel may be the better option. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a social atmosphere and a chance to meet fellow travelers, a hostel can provide a unique and affordable experience. Consider your budget, desired level of privacy, social interaction, and the amenities that are important to you to make the best decision for your trip to NYC.


Pros and Cons of Budget Hotels and Hostels in NYC

When it comes to choosing between budget hotels and hostels in NYC, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each option. This will help you decide which type of accommodation best suits your travel style and preferences.

Budget Hotels:


  • Privacy: Budget hotels offer private rooms, allowing you to enjoy your own space and quietness.
  • Amenities: Budget hotels often provide more amenities, such as TV, free Wi-Fi, and sometimes even fitness centers or rooftop lounges.
  • Comfort: With private rooms and the option to choose your preferred bed type, budget hotels generally offer more comfort.
  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to come and go as you please without adhering to hostel curfews or communal living rules.


  • Price: Budget hotels are generally more expensive than hostels, especially for solo travelers or those on a tight budget.
  • Social Interaction: Budget hotels can be more isolating since they lack the social atmosphere typically found in hostels.
  • Limited Facilities: Some budget hotels may have fewer communal spaces and organized activities compared to hostels.



  • Affordability: Hostels are generally cheaper than budget hotels, making them ideal for travelers on a tight budget.
  • Social Interaction: Hostels offer a vibrant social atmosphere, providing ample opportunities to meet fellow travelers from around the world.
  • Organized Activities: Many hostels organize social events, city tours, and pub crawls, making it easy to explore and connect with others.
  • Location: Hostels are often centrally located, allowing for easy access to major attractions and public transportation.


  • Privacy: Hostels typically offer shared accommodations in dormitory-style rooms, limiting privacy, especially in terms of communal bathrooms and living spaces.
  • Noisy Environment: The social nature of hostels can lead to a noisier environment, making it challenging for light sleepers.
  • Limited Amenities: Hostels may have fewer amenities compared to budget hotels, with communal areas serving as the main social space.

Ultimately, the choice between a budget hotel and a hostel depends on your priorities and preferences. If you value privacy, comfort, and amenities, a budget hotel may be the better option. If you’re looking for affordability, a social atmosphere, and the opportunity to meet fellow travelers, a hostel could be the perfect fit for your NYC adventure.



Choosing the right accommodation is an essential part of planning any trip, especially when you’re on a budget. In New York City, you’ll find a range of budget hotels and hostels that provide affordable options without compromising on comfort or convenience.


Budget hotels offer private rooms, more amenities, and a higher level of comfort compared to hostels. They provide a sense of privacy and flexibility, making them a great choice for travelers who value personal space and tranquility. However, budget hotels may come with a higher price tag and lack the social atmosphere found in hostels.


Hostels, on the other hand, offer shared accommodations and a vibrant social environment, making them ideal for meeting fellow travelers and experiencing the city’s culture. With lower prices, organized activities, and central locations, hostels provide an affordable and immersive travel experience. However, privacy can be limited in hostels, and they may have fewer amenities compared to budget hotels.


Whether you choose a budget hotel or a hostel in NYC, both options offer unique advantages and cater to different travel styles. Consider your priorities, budget, desired level of privacy, and social interaction when making your decision.


Remember, planning ahead, being flexible with your travel dates, and exploring different neighborhoods are key to finding the best deals on accommodation in NYC. Utilize price comparison websites, consider alternative accommodations, and read reviews to make informed decisions and find the best value for your money.


Regardless of your choice, budget hotels and hostels in NYC allow you to explore this vibrant city while keeping your expenses in check. You can enjoy all that NYC has to offer – from iconic landmarks to diverse neighborhoods – without breaking the bank.


So go ahead, choose the accommodation that suits your preferences and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the Big Apple!