City Guides

A Backpacker’s Guide To The Best Hostels in Hamburg

The ultimate list of the best places to stay when visiting Hamburg, Germany on a budget.


Hamburg doesn’t get the same attention as Berlin and Munich but it’s quickly becoming a must-visit for savvy travelers. Hamburg is also a city known for its budget-friendly nightlife—which attracts a hostel-hungry crowd. That’s why we’ve compared the different options in this youthful German city to help you find the best hostels in Hamburg for your travel style.

Hamburg Hostels: A Quick Overview

A quick look at hostel prices and locations

Hamburg doesn’t have a huge inventory of hostels but more are being opened as the city experiences a surge in tourism. At the moment, Hamburg has around 20 hostels — a handful of those get very solid reviews but there are still a few duds.

Hamburg Hostel Prices

During the high season, the average price for a hostel in Hamburg starts between €20-€34/night so prices tend to be higher than in other similarly sized cities. We’ve noticed that prices tend to increase on the weekend and then decrease during the week.

Check Hostelworld to get prices for your exact dates.

More Things To Consider About Hostels in Hamburg

  • Cheap Beds & Good Hostels Go Early: Hostel prices are fairly standardized in Milan but the quality can vary quite a bit. The best options do get booked up quickly — especially in the summer.
  • Check Location: Most hostels in Hamburg are centrally located but there are a few located on the outskirts or near the airport. Hamburg has great public transportation but most people prefer being centrally located.
  • Private Rooms: Look into private rooms for a little more privacy but they will be more expensive.
  • Weekend Rates: Thanks to its nightlife scene, Hamburg is a popular weekend destination so expect to pay extra on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Hostel Personality: Hamburg is a bit of a party city so some hostels adopt this party vibe — which you may or may not want.
  • Fewer Beds = More Expensive: Most hostels will have dorms with a different number of beds. In general, the more beds in a room the less expensive it will be.
  • Check-In Times and Cleaning Times: Many hostels have late check-in times (around 2 pm-4 pm) but nearly all will let you store your bags if you arrive before check-in.
  • New To Hostel Life? Check out our Hostels 101 Guide to learn everything you need to know about finding the perfect hostel.

The Best Hostels in Hamburg: Our Top Picks

Before we get into our top picks, here are the factors we use to rank hostels when we’re picking a place to stay.

  • Overall Quality: We take a holistic look at the hostel to see the positives and negatives. Our goal is to find amazing hostels that are still affordable.
  • Location: Most hostels we list are centrally located.
  • Price: We try to filter out the super-expensive hostels to help find the best price-to-quality ratio.
  • Vibe/Atmosphere: Every hostel has a personality. Some are party hostels and some are quiet. We try to note the atmosphere so you can find a place to stay that matches your travel style.
  • Past Guest Reviews: Every guest has a different experience so we look at the good and the bad. We suggest you take a few minutes to read prior reviews.

We also encourage you to check out HostelWorld to do a bit of searching for yourself.

Backpackers St. Pauli Hamburg Hostel

Best Hostels in Hamburg | St. Pauli Hostel
Backpackers St. Pauli

Located in a quieter part of Hamburg’s best nightlife area, Backpackers St. Pauli is a cozy, clean, and fun hostel that doesn’t cross over to the “party hostel” vibe — i.e. so you can still get some sleep after a late night at the bars. The hostel also has a bar and a self-catering kitchen so you can save some cash by making your own meals.

Meininger Hamburg City Center Hostel

Meininger City Center | Best Hostels in Hamburg
Meininger Hamburg City Center

Meininger Hamburg City Center is part of the popular Meininger chain of hostels that are found throughout Europe. Like all Meininger hostels, it has clean and spacious rooms, comfortable beds, modern amenities, and a boutique hotel feel. There is a self-catering kitchen and the hostel has a small bar.

Since this hostel has a “hotel” vibe, it tends to attract a wide range of guests — from young party-goers and families with kids to solo travelers and groups. Therefore, the “vibe” of the hostel can vary greatly based on who happens to be staying there.

Meininger hostels also tend to be a little more expensive than average because of the amenities. Another slight downside is that we wouldn’t exactly consider that this hostel is located in the “city center”

Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel

Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel | Best Hamburg Hostels
Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel

Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel is a classic backpacker’s hostel that’s been a Hamburg staple since 1999. Unlike many hostels, they actually have a nice communal area, a well-equipped self-catering kitchen, and an outdoor balcony — so it’s a great hostel for actually meeting fellow travelers.

The amenities are basic but it’s clean and comfortable. The staff is friendly. This is the kind of place to stay if you want that traditional “backpacking Europe” experience.

Furthermore, Instant Sleep is located in the uber-cool Sternschanze neighborhood so you’re never far from bars, restaurants, shopping, and more. The subway to the city center takes about 15-20 minutes.

Generator Hamburg Hostel

Generator Hamburg

Generator Hamburg is part of the very popular Generator chain of hostels that always get great reviews. First of all, Generator hostels have a boutique-hotel vibe with plenty of modern amenities — including a bar, outdoor patio, nice beds, and other creature comforts. They also do a nice job of keeping the place clean.

That said, as with many larger hostels, sometimes the atmosphere can feel a little colder/impersonal than in smaller “cozy” hostels. So it might not be great for solo travelers trying to meet other people — however, there is a nice bar and they help organize walking tours. And, if you’re traveling with a group, then you might not mind the atmosphere.

Generator Hamburg is located across the street from the train station so it’s easy to get to and there are great public transportation options nearby

Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel Hamburg Hostel

Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel Hostel | Best Hamburg Hostels
Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel

Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel does a lot of things right and it’s no wonder why it’s a top pick for young and hip visitors looking to explore Hamburg’s trendy side.

First of all, Pyjama Park has a great designer look and feel without losing that cozy hostel vibe. The beds are comfortable, the staff is friendly, the showers are nice, the rooms are spacious, and they do a good job of keeping the place clean. We do wish there were a self-catering kitchen and a more “communal” space for socializing.

The hostel is located in the super hip Sternschanze neighborhood so you’re very close to great bars, restaurants, and shopping. It’s an easy 15-20 minute walk to the city center and a 20-minute walk to the St. Pauli nightlife.

Schanzenstern Altona Gmbh Hostel

Best Hostels in Hamburg | Schanzenstern Altona Gmbh Hostel
Schanzenstern Altona Gmbh

Schanzenstern Altona Gmbh is a very clean, simple, and comfortable hostel in a nice neighborhood that’s located about a 20-minute subway ride from the city center.

It’s a quiet hostel so don’t expect much atmosphere so it’s better for travelers looking for a peaceful place to sleep. There is no kitchen and no real common areas either. They do make a nice breakfast buffet but it’s not free.

photo credits: Backpackers St. Pauli, Meininger Hamburg City Center, Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel, Generator Hamburg, Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel, Schanzenstern Altona Gmbh

Hostel Packing Advice

Staying in hostels poses a few unique packing challenges so I’m here to help by recommending a few of my must-have items. Check out my Hostel Packing List for the full list but below are the absolute necessities:

More Hamburg Travel Tips from The Savvy Backpacker

Hamburg Travel Guide
Things to Do In Hamburg

Check out my Hamburg Travel Guide to see all the best things to do, see, and eat in Hamburg, Germany! Read all my articles about Hamburg.

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