10 Best Hostels in San Diego

Looking for a city break with a bit of everything? There’s loads of things to do in San Diego, which makes it a popular holiday destination for both US residents and international visitors.

Sna Diego is famous for it’s beaches, parks and attractive California climate, but San Diego also has a wealth of history and some fun kid-friendly attractions.

If you’re planning a trip with friends or family and you’re on a budget, you could stay in one of the many well-appointed, cheap hostels in San Diego, or go for one of the higher budget ones.

There are plenty of options to suit every budget and type of traveller, but to help narrow it down here are some of the best hostels in San Diego.

10. USA Hostels Ocean Beach

USA Hostels Ocean Beach

What more do you want? USA Hostels Ocean Beach is undoubtedly one of the best hostels in San Diego. It is well located only two blocks from the beach, it offers a free shuttle to and from all the popular tourist spots and downtown attractions, and it’s great for those on a budget.

If you’re looking for good, cheap hostels in San Diego where you can make the most of the city’s seaside setting, you won’t go wrong here!

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9. Hostiel Habibi

Hostel Habibi

Hostel Habibi is amazing if you want to go a bit more upscale than the typical hostel, maintain a bit of privacy and have your own room but still don’t want to break the bank.

Like all the San Diego hostels you’ll find on this list, it’s clean and well-serviced, but they offer some extra perks.

Hostel Habibi will pick you up from the airport in a limo (yes, really!) and have nice, modern rooms to keep their guests comfortable. They’re a bit of a ‘boutique’ hostel, so expect the setting to be a bit more intimate than the larger hostels.

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8. ITH Zoo Hostel

ITH Zoo Hostel

How many other cheap hostels in San Diego offer not only free breakfast, but free pizza for dinner? And not just any pizza, but handmade pizza from a local, authentic Italian restaurant? We’ll give you a clue – literally none of the other San Diego hostels do, so if you’re a pizza-lover looking for a cheap break, ITH Zoo Hostel is right up your street.

They are always praised by guests for going above and beyond to give you a memorable stay – the staff help to organise everything from bar crawls to sightseeing tours and snorkeling excursions.

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7. Lucky D’s Hostel

Lucky D's Hostel

Lucky D’s is one of the best hostels in San Diego for a really, really cheap getaway. If you want to spend a weekend partying, eating out and having a good time, you’ll love it here.

The vibe is incredible, it’s always busy and filled with people on the go and it’s well-located  in the East Village, only a few minutes walk from the Gaslamp quarter. Lucky D’s always has some kind of social event going on, making it a great choice for solo travellers who want to meet new people.

If you had to sum up their offering, it would be ‘free stuff! There’s a shared kitchen available, free iPads, free internet, free phone calls, free bike storage….you get the picture.

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6. ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel

ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel

If you’re heading for San Diego to soak up the sun and catch some waves, a stay at the Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel is sure to float your boat.

It’s a surfer’s paradise; there’s no need to walk or drive to the beach because it’s right on the sand in Pacific Beach. There’s barbecue facilities and a sun terrace overlooking the shore, free breakfast (and often free unadvertised dinners too).

Spend your evenings relaxing in the lounge, sipping on a beer with a sea view, or walk over to a local restaurant for a bite to eat.

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5. RK Hostel

RK Hostel

Don’t want to be bothered by kids? RK Hostel is your safest bet. This adults-only accommodation comes complete with free wifi and even allows you to stream movies for those days when you just want a bit of downtime.

It’s one of the leading cheap hostels in San Diego, thanks to its location in Little Italy (hello pizza and pasta galore!). The rooms are clean but homely, rather than modern and sleek.

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4. Hostel on 3rd

Hostel on 3rd

Probably one of the best hostels in San Diego location-wise. Smack-bang in the Gaslamp quarter but still quiet enough to get some shut-eye after a long day of exploring,

Hostel on 3rd is a beautiful newly renovated historic building. It’s only a short distance from the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the clincher is the amazing free pancakes on offer at breakfast.

3. California Dreams Hostel

California Dreams Hostel

Located only one minute from Pacific Beach and a short walk away from SeaWorld, California Dreams Hostel is a laidback, friendly place to stay. Guests can’t stop raving about how clean and modern the rooms are (think granite bathroom sinks, sparkling showers and spotless rooms).

Like a lot of cheap hostels in San Diego, breakfast is included but unlike most of them, there’s even a vegetarian option!

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2. HI San Diego – Point Loma

Point Loma

As you might have guessed, this welcoming and friendly hostel is based in the neighbourhood of Point Loma. Most of the other San Diego hostels on this list are based downtown or right next to the beach.

Point Loma on the other hand is a residential suburb and a quiet area about half an hour outside of San Diego downtown, and visitors to the HI San Diego hostel can take advantage of the weekly farmer’s market, free yoga, free taco Tuesday crawls and loads of spots to relax (like at the firepit!).

It’s perfect for a relaxed weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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1. USA Hostels San Diego Downtown

USA Hostels San Diego Downtown

An affordable, Gaslamp quarter hostel in a historic 1880’s building, the San Diego Downtown hostel is an amazing choice for couples on a city break. It’s nearby Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Petco Park, as well as close to public transport.

Another cool feature is that all of the guests stay in ‘privacy pods’ which each feature a screen, a light, a shelf and a plug for your phone so even though you’re in a dorm, you have maximum privacy.

Plus, fresh fruit and you can eat pancakes for breakfast?

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