The best hostels in Chiang Mai can be compared to the best of Southeast Asia.
This city has been on the tourism up-and-up for over a decade. It is quickly catching up to Bangkok in terms of accommodation options, too.
Chiang Mai is popular not only for the great cities surrounding it but also nature and history which it thrives on.
To make your stay a little more manageable, we’ve accumulated a shortlist of our favorite hostels in Chiang Mai.
Spend more time doing what you came to do, let our hostels in Chiang Mai information guide you to the right hostel for you!
Quiet Night — S*Trips the Poshtel
Social Atmosphere — Thailand Wow Hostel
Partying — Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae
Amenities — Family Home Chiang Mai
City Entertainment — Na La Da Hostel
Cheap Stay — Hug Hostel Rooftop
What to Look For
Chiang Mai is a bustling city which has developed with tourism in mind over the past decade. Now, it is easier than ever to find accommodation in Chiang Mai.
Although there is a multitude of neighborhoods and districts to check out in Chiang Mai, most backpackers who visit the northern capital of Thailand like to stay in one of three areas.
Old City, Riverside, or Night Bazaar
Old City, with its 700-year-old fortress and the surrounding moat, is where most travelers in Chiang Mai choose to stay.
Riverside offers a more tranquil experience than either of the other two districts. The Ping River can be beautiful, and along it is a plethora of waterfront bars, restaurants, and artisan shops.
There’s a certain ambiance to be found here which can’t be found elsewhere in the city.
The Night Bazaar district offers the best shopping in town with its nightly markets buzzing with randomness. Likewise, the area offers a wide array of accommodation options, too.
The nightlife, though not as lively as Niman across town, isn’t too shabby.
Cost of Hostels
Though there aren’t as many ultra-budget options for accommodation in Chiang Mai compared to Bangkok, rates are reasonable based on what you are given.
Expect to pay anywhere from $7-12 per night for a bed in most hostels in Chiang Mai during the high travel season.
When compared to other destinations in Thailand, this may seem a little steep, but your experience will likely be top-notch in Chiang Mai at any hostel you choose.
See also: The Cost of Travel in Thailand
Best Hostels in Chiang Mai
Let’s get on with the search. Below we have highlighted some of the best hostels in Chiang Mai based on what you may be looking for.
Best Hostel for a Quiet Night — S*Trips the Poshtel
From $10 for a dorm (10 beds)
S*Trips the Poshtel is perfect for a rest. It is near all the action at the heart of Chiang Mai’s downtown but separated enough from the buzz of daily/nightly life.
It is only a five-minute walk to the night bazaar and dozens of restaurants to try out.
We like S*Trips because it provides a few nice common areas which are perfect for relaxing with super-fast, reliable WiFi — making it easy to research the rest of your trip.
Not to mention, bottled water is complimentary, which is a luxury, and there are private rooms which will not break the budget (~ $22) for a rest and recover sort of visit.
Best Hostel for Social Atmosphere — Thailand Wow Hostel
From $5 for a dorm (11 beds)
Thailand Wow Hostel is Adam’s (Go Backpacking’s Community Manager) favorite hostel in Chiang Mai.
He stayed three nights at Thailand Wow Hostel and said it is the perfect blend for those looking for a social scene and party mixed into the center of all the action of Chiang Mai.
The staff organizes nightly events such as family dinners, group outings to the nearby night markets, trivia and movie nights, and more!
The hostel can provide you with all the tour information you want, and the bar also cooks delicious homemade Thai food. You will feel right at home in this cozy hostel.
Best Hostel for Partying — Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae
From $10 for a dorm (6-bed ensuite)
Around Thailand, Bodega is synonymous with a good time and, in Chiang Mai, it is no different.
Although Chiang Mai isn’t known as the party hotspot of Thailand, Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae does their best to bring the nightlife scene alive.
Pool parties, pub crawls, and nightly drinking games makes for a very social atmosphere, and it would be surprising if you didn’t meet a friend or two at this place.
They offer free cocktail shots to kick off the night for all guests, so, it can only get more hectic from there. Don’t come here expecting a quiet night!
Despite the reputation of being a loud party hostel, the staff at Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae are still friendly and willing to help you sort out any problems.
During Adam’s stay, they were more-than-helpful in setting up transportation to the train station even while the party had already started. A+ customer service!
Best Hostel for Amenities — Family Home Chiang Mai
From $8 for a dorm (8 beds)
Family Home Chiang Mai has cultivated precisely what they advertise — a ‘family-like’ atmosphere which all travelers can appreciate.
Although it is not a party hostel, there are still nightly events organized which add social value to the experience.
The reason we have listed it as best for amenities instead of the best social atmosphere is because of the sheer amount of services provided in your stay if you choose.
They can organize almost any tour, transport, laundry, or anything else you may need. There is also a hot tub for the ultimate treat.
There are board games, a cafe/bar, and nightly happy hour deals to keep everyone light on their feet.
Best Hostel for City Entertainment — Na La Da Hostel
From $6 for a dorm (6 beds)
Na La Da Hostel makes it easy on their guests! There is nothing better than checking into a hostel which has it all.
If you want tours, Na La Da makes it easy to book straight from the hostel, and they will organize pick-up/drop-off right outside the front door of the hostel.
We have listed Na La Da Hostel as the best for city entertainment because when you book tours through the hostel, free massages are provided.
Adam received a free hour-long massage for booking a tour. Talk about service!
Management is very friendly, and the hostel is located just a short walk to the night bazaar and Saturday market.
This place is quiet, cozy, and just what you need after a few weeks, months, (years!) of backpacking.
Best Cheap Hostel — Hug Hostel Rooftop
From $4 for a dorm (12 beds)
Our choice for top cheap hostel in Chiang Mai is Hug Hostel Rooftop (recently moved locations and changed the name from ‘Hug Hostel’).
Located in the heart of the old city at Chang Phuak Gate, Hug Hostel Rooftop is just around the corner from the best food stalls in the city and weekend markets.
The facility offers a lively rooftop bar with incomparable views of Doi Suthep Mountain — making you feel lost in nature while also being conveniently located in the city.
The beer is cheap, and the nightly rooftop parties are even better. It is a perfect way to meet company on your backpacking trip. It is the ideal place to stay, too!
Chiang Mai is a quieter alternative for those travelers who want the same richness in culture and history without the crazy party atmosphere of the Thailand islands in your face 24/7.
As of the past five years, it has become one of the most popular cities among digital nomads because there are strong internet connections in so many places around the city.
People travel to Chiang Mai for the temple-hopping experience, nature, adventure activities, and rising food scene.
Some of our favorite hostels in Chiang Mai are on this list. We hope you find one that suits you well!
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Last Updated on August 23, 2019 by Dave Lee