6 best hostels in San Diego

Published by: BouncePosted Updated

San Diego might be the best big small city in the USA. Known for having one of the best zoos in North America, there is more to this city than that. Located in Southern California, San Diego has incredible weather all year round with its Mediterranean-like climate, and the charm and ambiance of the Old Town of San Diego will win your heart for sure. There is so much to explore in San Diego, such as the stunning Balboa Park, Petco Park, the Torrey Pines State Nation Reserve, the Gaslamp Quarter, the USS Midway Museum, La Jolla Caves, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Sea World, San Diego Zoo and not to mention a multitude of beautiful beaches.

With so much to do in San Diego, you're going to need a few days, if not an entire week, to get it all in, and of course, you're going to need a place to stay. Most people’s thoughts will immediately tend toward a hotel, resort or Airbnb, but a fantastic option that can often get overlooked is a hostel. San Diego hostels can offer everything hotels can with the added benefit of a great social environment. Making friends from other areas of the world means you have more places to visit and explore.

Like hotels, hostels in San Diego offer a variety of budget options, not just from hostel to hostel but within the hostel itself. The prices vary depending on what type of accommodation you're looking for, a private 2-person room or a more social atmosphere with more people in a room. And if the San Diego hostel you pick is a Bounce partner, you have the added benefit of having a safe and convenient place to store your luggage while you enjoy the sights of the city. But if the hostel you choose isn't our partner, then you can still select from our many San Diego luggage storage lockers conveniently located across the city.

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Hi San Diego Downtown

One of the most ideal locations you could imagine for any traveler is right near the Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Quarter is the downtown area of San Diego and you'll find plenty of points of interest within a short walking distance, from restaurants, shopping, live theater and music, and nightlife, and, you can even catch a movie. The Hi San Diego Downtown also has easy access to public transportation, the Greyhound bus stations, and Amtrak trains. 

The rooms at the hostel offer a choice of private or shared accommodations, with 2 to 10 beds in a room. A few of the private suites have their own bathroom. The Hi San Diego Downtown offers free internet, laundry facilities, a games room with a pool table and arcade games, free coffee and tea, and bicycle parking, And you'll be happy to know that the Hi San Diego Downtown is a Bounce partner, so they offer luggage storage whenever you decide to go exploring.

What makes Hi San Diego Downtown unique

Being close to the nightlife, you'll have a great time at the Hi San Diego Downtown. In fact, you don’t have to go far to find the party, as live music happens each night right next door. The food is perfect for everyone, as both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are offered. The hostel was recently renovated, so the decor is very clean and modern. And having free coffee and tea 24 hours a day is definitely a big plus.

Hi San Diego Downtown pricing

You can definitely save money by booking a bed at this San Diego hostel. The average nightly price is around $37.50 for a bed in an 8-bed mixed dorm equipped with all necessities for a comfortable stay.

SameSun Ocean Beach

Another Bounce partner location is the SameSun Hostel in San Diego, formerly known as USA Hostels Ocean Beach. Located at the beachfront, this award-winning hostel will give you the idyllic San Diego experience on a budget, plus there are many bars, cafes and restaurants nearby. If you were looking to do what the locals do in San Diego, such as surf, skate, bike or do yoga, this is the perfect hostel for you.

Known for its chilled vibe, this San Diego hostel features large shared areas where you can relax and meet other travelers and free breakfast is included. At the hostel, you can rent surfboards and bikes, and the beach is right there if you want to dip your feet in the sand. Also, being a Bounce partner, you can trust your belongings to our storage lockers so you can go out and explore San Diego without worry.

This hostel offers a variety of rooms, from private with en suite bathrooms to shared dorm rooms that sleep between 4 and 8 people.

What makes SameSun Ocean Beach unique

This lively hostel offers a true San Diego vacation, and it's right next to the beach. Apart from the beachfront location, the hostel is recommended for its free breakfast, relaxing vibe and ample facilities.

SameSun Ocean Beach pricing

A dorm bed in this hostel in San Diego costs around $29.00 a night. Those looking for some privacy can book a private room in the ballpark of $100.00 a night.

Lucky D's

If you were looking to party while in San Diego, this hostel may be one of the best options. Sometimes, all you need is a free beer in the hostel you stay in, and here, you'll get that and more. Lucky D's is in a great location, within a stone's throw from the Gaslamp District, so the staff organizes fun activities such as pub crawls, beer pong tournaments, and other nightly social events for all party animals out there. In addition, the hostel helps its guest get a VIP entry to some of the best clubs in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Some of the freebies you get to enjoy at this adventure hostel include free wifi, a free house phone, free dinner a few times a week, and free breakfasts with waffles and cereal. Laundry facilities with free detergent are also at your disposal.

What makes Lucky D's unique

There are many things to love about this hostel besides its countless freebies. The evening entertainment and fun daily activities are one of the reasons you should book this party hostel in San Diego.

Lucky D's pricing

This is one of the best hostels in downtown San Diego with great value for money. The average price per night is $35.50 for a bed in a 4-bed mixed dorm or $97.00 for a deluxe double-bed private room with a shared bathroom.

California Dreams Hostel - Pacific Beach

If you don’t want the hustle and bustle of a downtown location, how about waking up at the beach? California Dreams Hostel sits just one minute from Pacific Beach, which makes it perfect for surfers and beach lovers. While you aren't near the downtown area, there's still plenty to do near the hostel, like exploring La Jolla Caves or Sea World. You won't meet locals at this hostel as it's for non-San Diego residents only. It's quaint and cozy, with a common area to make your own food, have a drink and chat with other like-minded travelers. 

Most of the accommodations are shared rooms that sleep up to 14 people. However, a private room with 2 double beds can be booked for a max of 4 guests. Complimentary amenities include wifi, free breakfast and nearby parking if traveling by car. For those that like to stay active, you can rent a bike, take a yoga class, or go on one of the self-guided walking tours. There is also a games room with a pool and ping pong table. Even though the hostel is in a quiet location, it's a short walk to the restaurants and bars for a little more action.

What makes California Dreams Hostel - Pacific Beach unique

California Dreams Hostel has won several Best Hostel awards and it's not surprising with its super friendly staff and modern style. Each bed has its own power outlet, night light, and blackout curtains, and the hostel has wheelchair-accessible toilets and showers. The open kitchen and seating area make for a great social environment and its great location means you don’t have to deal with traffic when you want to hit the beach. 

California Dreams Hostel - Pacific Beach pricing

As one of the cheapest hostels in San Diego, a night at the California Dreams Hostel will cost you around $36.00 for a single bed in a 6-bed mixed dorm.

ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel

Located right on Pacific Beach, ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel has one of the best social atmospheres you could ask for. A large outside deck, as well as an indoor common room, means it doesn’t matter what the weather's like, as you'll always be having a good time. The hostel has a variety of sleeping options, such as private, female-only and mixed dorm-style rooms. Every room has free wifi and workstations.

There is a community kitchen and BBQ area, 24-hour desk service, and ping pong tables. If you want to catch some waves, surfboards and wetsuits are available to rent. The ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel offers free breakfast with coffee and tea. Within 3 miles of the hostel, you can visit San Diego Sea World and Belmont Amusement Park, one of the best amusement parks in the USA.

What makes ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel unique

The ITH is considered one of the best San Diego hostels, with plenty of common areas for entertaining and meeting other travelers. Free breakfast and morning views are just the cherry on top.

ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel pricing

There are private rooms and shared dorms to choose from at this Sand Diego hostel. Pricing starts at $52.00 for a 12-bed mixed dorm bed. This place books up fast, so make sure to secure your spot.

ITH Adventure Hostel

This friendly and fun hostel is conveniently located in Little Italy, and it's perfect for solo travelers, digital nomads, backpackers and couples looking to experience the real San Diego nightlife. The hostel has a unique design and features two buildings, one where breakfast is served and all activities happen and the other with a quiet vibe, ideal for digital nomads or travelers who need to work on the road.

There are private rooms and dorms to choose from, as well as shared areas like a kitchen and a lounge to relax at. Free wifi and iPads are also available for the hostel's guests.

What makes ITH Adventure Hostel unique

Besides its great location, the ITH Adventure Hostel is loved for its social vibe, friendly staff, free breakfast, and plenty of outdoor space for mixing and mingling with other guests.

ITH Adventure Hostel pricing

Some of the best San Diego hostels are also the cheapest. Budget travelers will appreciate the low cost of this property, with an average price per night of $38.00 for a 6-bed dorm room.

The best San Diego hostels for every budget and need

When it comes to lovely and cheap accommodation, San Diego is not short of it. This vibrant and sunny city offers hostels for every pocket and preference. Whether you're looking for an amazing location downtown San Diego, a swimming pool, a party hostel or a beachfront hostel, or all you care about is free breakfast, cleanliness and free wifi, the above-mentioned hostels have it all.

San Diego is an amazing city and has a lot to offer visitors, so you have to be prepared if you want to see it all but have limited time. To learn about San Diego, its top attractions and things to do on your vacation, we suggest that you read our guides Best Time to Visit San Diego: The Ultimate Guide and 3 Days in San Diego: Everything You Should Know.

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