Many travelers—young and old—think of hostels as strictly for the young, for kids in college or straight out of high school. However, hostels often have people of all ages sleeping in private or dorm rooms, sharing bathrooms (or spending a little extra to get their own) and enjoying some toast, coffee and juice together in the morning. It’s an economical way to travel. Many travelers also associate hostels with travel to Europe, but there are hostels everywhere, including Seattle.
Seattle’s hostels allow travelers not only to visit on a budget, but also to stay in some of the best locations in the city—right across from Pike Place, in the fun Fremont neighborhood, or close to the University of Washington.
One of the biggest things The Green Tortoise has going for it is location. This hostel is within steps of the main entrance to Pike Place Market, which puts it squarely in downtown Seattle. If you don’t want to bother with a car rental or even much public transportation, The Green Tortoise’s location allows you to walk to Pike Place (about a block), Seattle Center and the Space Needle (a little over a mile), downtown shopping areas and Westlake Center (less than a half mile) and major theaters like the Paramount and 5th Avenue (both under a mile away).
Rooms come in co-ed and male and female rooms, private rooms and rooms for families. All bathrooms are single-person so you’ve got a little extra privacy over what most hostels offer, but are located in hallways. Other perks include free Wi-Fi and Internet, free breakfast every day and free dinner three days a week, free luggage storage and free walking tours.
Location: 105 1/2 Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98101
Hi Seattle is located a little outside of the downtown core in the Chinatown-International District where you’ll find lots of affordable restaurants and Uwajimaya, an amazing Asian grocery store. While you can walk to downtown from HI Seattle, the hostel is less than a minute walk from a Link light rail station. Link light rail will take you downtown, to the U-District or to the airport.
Both dorm and private rooms are available, and one-, two- and three-bed private rooms include ensuite bathrooms. Free breakfast is included, as is Wi-Fi and Internet computers. There are many restaurants and grocery stores close by, and the hostel has its own sandwich shop. Hi Seattle is also close to Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, making it an affordable option for people who want to stay overnight for a game.
Location: 520 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104
City Hostel’s name says it all—like The Green Tortoise, it’s right downtown. Located in Belltown, the hostel is sandwiched between downtown and Seattle Center, so both are easy walks. Like many European hostels, rooms are all decorated by local artists and are all unique from one another.
Rooms include dorms (co-ed or female only) as well as private rooms. Both dorms and private rooms are available with ensuite or shared bathrooms. There’s also a family room, if you’re traveling with kids. Breakfast is provided, and there’s a kitchen where you can make your own meals, but Belltown is filled with restaurants, cafes and bars. There’s a five day maximum stay, so if you plan an extended look at Seattle, chat with the staff before you book.
Location: 2327 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Seattle has many neighborhoods with many different vibes, but one of the quirkiest is Fremont. Artsy and home to lots of local business, Fremont is just north of downtown (though, not an easy walk) and is home to HotelHotel Hostel. While it’s not a large neighborhood, it’s the location of a few iconic sights, including a Soviet-era rocket, a statue of Lenin, the Theo Chocolate Factory (tour highly recommended) and it’s not far from the Aurora Bridge Troll. Throughout the year, Fremont is where some of Seattle’s best festivals happen, including Fremont Oktoberfest and the Fremont Solstice Parade.
The name of this hostel offers a clue—it strives to combine both the hotel and hostel concept. You can get private rooms with private bathrooms, private rooms with shared bathrooms, or dorm rooms. There’s a five day max unless you make other arrangements ahead of time, and the hostel is family friendly and has a family room for those traveling with kids. There’s a Pizza Bar at the hostel with drinks and food, too.
Location: 3515 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
AWA Seattle Hostel is perfect if you’re visiting friends or family at the University of Washington as it’s right in the heart of the U-District. You’ll get free breakfast and free Internet computers. There’s a bar onsite, as well as a huge range of restaurants, cafes and eateries in the surrounding area. While the U-District isn’t within walking distance of downtown Seattle, you can catch local buses or the Link light rail to get there or to other parts of Seattle. But the UW campus is lovely to walk around, and Greenlake Park, Woodland Park Zoo and Fremont are not far away.
All rooms at AWA Seattle have shared bathrooms, but you can book rooms with a single bed, queen bed, two twins, or two queen beds.
Location: 4000 University Way Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105