Hostels are the best place to meet new friends in India – and to spend the night well and cheaply. Hostels are especially recommended for those travelling alone. Often the accommodations are characterized by a community that reminds one of living in a shared flat. And if the company is good, the beds are soft and the place is nice, it often can be difficult to leave the hostel again.
The Best Hostels in India: Goa
The coasts of Goa have always been a place of longing for all dropouts and travelers. In recent years, however, more and more families and package tourists are finding their way to the smallest state in India. No wonder: the palm-lined beaches and warm water, the delicious cuisine and the alternative ambience make Goa one of the best holiday destinations in Asia.
Prison Hostel, Anjuna
In the 1960s, Anjuna was the Mecca for all hippies. Here, people danced and played music until the morning, and spent the day dozing under palm trees. Since then a lot has changed, and today Anjuna is the capital of Goa music and psytrance. But some white-haired Hippies still come to Anjuna. Whether young or old, the Prison Hostel is the meeting point of the backpacker scene in Anjuna. The name says it all: with its window bars the hostel looks like a prison. Not far from the beach, the Prison Hostel impresses with delicious breakfast, friendly staff and comfortable beds.
Attention: The hostel has recently closed its doors indefinitely!
Red Door Hostel, Anjuna
Another popular address in Anjuna is the Red Door Hostel. All rooms are equipped with fans and free WiFi. The hostel bar is a great place to meet new people. Every evening, the young and friendly staff organizes (drinking) games and karaoke, creating a very sociable atmosphere. This is why the Red Door Hostel is especially suitable for party people. By the way, Anjuna Beach is only 600 meters away and can be reached quickly on foot or by motorcycle.
Happy Panda Hostel, Arambol
In Arambol, musicians, yogis and artists meet. There are numerous beach cafés where small concerts are held every evening. The place also attracts many alternative-minded people who practice Reiki, sound healing and Yoga in Arambol. Happy Panda Hostel might be the best accomodation in Arambol. The spacious dormitories, clean toilets and courteous staff guarantee a pleasant stay – making Happy Panda one of the best hostels in Goa! It is also only a few minutes away from the beach.
The Lost Hostel, Palolem
Palolem is located in the south of Goa, and attracts retirees and young backpackers alike. The beach is lined with restaurants and cafés, while the hostels are located a little more inland. The best among them is probably the Lost Hostel with its relaxed atmosphere, good location and cleanliness. Another advantage are the communal kitchen and the tours organized by the staff. In the common area, you will find sofas, tables and armchairs under shady palm trees.
Hostels in New Delhi and Mumbai
Those who spend some time in India will sooner or later end up in Delhi or Mumbai. These two metropolises are two of the cultural centers of the country and deserve to be explored. They are a mixture of tradition and modernity, rich and poor, east and west. Mumbai and Delhi are famous for delicious street food, imposing buildings and huge bazaars. A visit to at least one of the two metropolises should be part of every trip to India!
Gypsy Shelter, New Delhi
Most hostels in New Delhi are located in Paharganj, the train station district. But this one is dirty, loud and chaotic. Much nicer is Hauz Khas Village, the trendy part of the city. In its heart lies the Gypsy Shelter Hostel. It is small, but offers a wonderful view of the Deer Park and Hauz Khas Lake. Services include WiFi, a washing machine and even a small gas stove. Around the hostel there are many high class restaurants, cool pubs and cozy cafes.
Madpackers, New Delhi
Madpackers Hostel is located in the south of Delhi, near the airport. It is well known for its parties, which regularly take place on the roof terrace or in the hostel bar. In addition, it provides its guests with fast WiFi, daily common activities and delicious breakfast. Madpackers is therefore the perfect place for those who want to explore Delhi and make new friends.
Blossom Dormitory, Mumbai
Safe lockers, money exchange, communal kitchen and refrigerators – this hostel in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) offers its guests everything they need. The young and very courteous staff makes sure that everyone feels comfortable. The international airport of Mumbai is only a few kilometres away. Therefore, the Blossom Dormitory is very suitable as the first stage of any trip to India starting in Mumbai.
GoStops Hostel, Mumbai
GoStops Hostel in Mumbai is part of a well known hostel chain with locations all over India. The one in Mumbai is located in the center of the mega city. The roof terrace offers a good view that reaches to the sea. In the common area you will dind table football, many board games and comfortable sofas. Above all, however, the new design of the GoStop appeals – colourful, clean and neat. This makes it one of the best hostels in Mumbai.
Best Hostels in Rajasthan
The Indian state of Rajasthan is known for its colorful diversity and great welcome culture. This is also evident from the numerous hostels that can be found in the most popular cities of Rajasthan. Whether a small pilgrimage site or a city of millions, whether in the desert or by the lake – Rajasthan is full of wonders.
These are the best hostels in Rajasthan:
The Best Hostels in Pushkar
Pineapple Express, Pushkar
This hostel is one of the best hostels in Pushkar. Travelers from all over the world come here to relax in the large garden, play chess or gather around the campfire in the evening. The beds are new and comfortable. Each room has its own bathroom, which is cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Free WiFi and a restaurant complete the offer. The German hostel owner’s openness and good humor he makes sure that all guests feel comfortable – no matter whether they stay for a day or a month!
Also located in the holy city of Pushkar is the HosteLaVie. It belongs to a hostel chain that manages clean and well run hostels all over India. The one in Pushkar is especially popular because of its central location and is certainly one of the best hostels in Rajasthan. A large lawn invites you to play frisbee or ball games, while in the common area there are numerous games available. The restaurant serves inexpensive breakfast, delicious snacks and hot drinks at all times. All this makes HosteLaVie one of the best hostels for backpackers in Rajasthan!
Moustache Hostel, Jaipur
Moustache is a chain with hostels all over India: from Rishikesh in the north to Bangalore in the south. The Moustache Hostel in Jaipur – the “Pink City” – is one of the best and cheapest in Rajasthan. The hostel’s facilities are impressive: roof terrace with pool, organized bike tours and club nights, musical instruments and board games. You won’t find these anemoties anywhere else in India – not for such a price at least! That’s why the Moustache is one of the best hostels in Jaipur!
Jewel Palace Haweli, Jodhpur
Jodhpur, the “Blue City” on the edge of the desert, has numerous cheap backpacker hostels. One of the most popular is the Jewel Palace Haweli. Its roof terrace offers a breathtaking view of the Mehrangarh Fort and the blue houses of the city. Cheap snacks, souvenir shops and trendy cafés are located in the immediate vicinity. The dormitories are equipped with private toilet and WiFi. A good place to meet other backpackers and explore Jodhpur together!
The Best Hostels in India: Rishikesh and Varanasi
Rishikesh and Varanasi are the two holy cities on the Ganges. Both are the perfect place to dive deeper into the culture and religion of India. Rishikesh is considered the Yoga Capital of the World. But Varanasi in particular, with its 1.2 million inhabitants, can quickly become hectic. That is why it is all the more important to have a quiet retreat. The following are some of the best backpacker hostels in Rishikesh and Varanasi – and therefore among the best hostels in India!
The HosteLaVie is only a few minutes away from Assi Ghat, which is especially popular with foreigners. A very rich breakfast is included in the cheap price. From the roof you will have a good view of the Ganges, the holy river. Kitchen and washing machine can be used free of charge. Therefore the hostel is also very suitable for long-term stays. The staff organizes boat trips on the Ganges for little money.
Good Vibes Hostel, Varanasi
The name says it all: the atmosphere at the Good Vibes Hostel is always excellent. This is due to the young staff, the common lounge and the day trips that are organized several times a week. Yoga and boat trips are also offered. A first class restaurant, fans in all rooms and clean toilets complete the service – and make the Good Vibes one of the best hostels in India and Varanasi!
Shiv Shakti Hostel, Rishikesh
This recently renovated hostel is located near the famous Laxman Jhula Bridge. It is surrounded by vegan cafés, yoga schools and small temples. The beds in the dormitories have curtains – which means that privacy is guaranteed! Several times a day, the friendly staff serves free chai or coffee. Once a week there is also a so-called “family dinner” where staff and guests share home-cooked food. From the roof terrace there is a charming view of the Ganges.
Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh
Also very good is the Live Free Hostel. It offers a yoga class on the roof terrace for a small price, as well as free chai, fast WiFi and private parking for the motorcycle. The pool table is a popular meeting point for backpackers and solo travelers, as is the good and inexpensive hostel restaurant. By the way: the hostel has one of the the best ratings on the internet – rightly so!
Other Backpacker Hostels in India
Zostel, Manali: Friendly staff, very good equipment. The hostel is located in Old Manali, the trendy old part of the hill station in the Himalayas.
Joey’s Hostel Agra: Roof terrace with breathtaking views of the world famous Taj Mahal. Also: Common kitchen.
Blue Bells Home, Kochi: Only a few minutes from the sea. One of the best hostels in India.
Nutz Backpackers Hostel, Amritsar: Near the famous Golden Temple. Organizes day trips to the Pakistani border.
Hostel Gandhi, Chennai: Very good breakfast, clean toilets and comfortable beds. Air conditioning in all dormitories.
The Hood Co-Living Hostel, Bangalore: Central location, cozy atmosphere – and very fast WiFi.
Summary: The Best Hostels in India
- Prison Hostel, Anjuna
- Red Door Hostel, Anjuna
- Happy Panda Hostel, Arambol
- The Lost Hostel, Palolem
- Gypsy Shelter, New Delhi
- Madpackers, New Delhi
- Blossom Dormitory, Mumbai
- GoStops Hostel, Mumbai
- Pineapple Express, Pushkar
- HosteLaVie, Pushkar
- Moustache Hostel, Jaipur
- Jewel Palace Haweli, Jodhpur
- HosteLaVie, Varanasi
- Good Vibes Hostel, Varanasi
- Shiv Shakti Hostel, Rishikesh
- Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh