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Travel On A Shoestring: NYC’s Best Budget Stays

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nyc budget hotels

Photo courtesy of The Bowery House

It’s notoriously pricey to stay in New York City; however, there are a few hotels and hostels to suit shallower pockets. Whether you’re looking to make new friends or an accessible location to map your travel routes, these spots will fulfill your needs. Bonus: Free Wi-Fi is available at all the NYC budget hotels and hostels listed below.

For Socializing

1. The Bowery House | 220 Bowery

Nestled in the European-inspired neighborhood of Nolita, this property was once a temporary lodging for soldiers in World War II. It still retains old-timey elements such as original bed frames and lattice ceilings. There are private cabins, large shared room housing two to 12 people, and a women-only room. Connect with fellow travelers at the living room or over drinks at the landscaped roof garden. The walls here are thin so be sure to ask for earplugs. Nearest Subway Lines:  J, Z, F, 6, N, R Price: Dorms from $69; superior room from $78

2. The New York Loft Hostel | 249 Varet St, Brooklyn

As the saying goes: there are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met. Whether you’re staying at its spacious dorms or private ensuite, the hostel’s friendly vibe is infectious. It has spaces for you to mix and mingle: a well-equipped kitchen, a sun deck, and a spacious garden that hosts complimentary barbecue twice a week. Come nightfall, grab your new pals and mosey over to the nearby bars, like Tutus, Pine Box and Alaska. Nearest Subway Lines: L Price: Single occupancy from $70

3. HI New York | 891 Amsterdam Avenue

This 667-bed property offers plenty of room options from four to 12-bed coed and male/female dorms to private rooms with and without baths. While the decor is ho-hum, your chance to socialize is high with the hostel’s free activities, events and tours. You may be tempted to hang around though, thanks to the in-house theater, spacious patios, and a living room stocked with a pool table and Nintendo Wii. Nearest subway lines: 1,2,3,B,C Price: Single occupancy from $50
nyc budget hotels

Photo courtesy of the Harlem Flophouse

For Quiet Time

4. Harlem Flophouse | 242 West 123rd St

This 19th-century Victorian townhouse transports you to a jazzy era from its creaky wooden stairs to the junk-store furnishings and the soft murmur of jazz tunes playing in the background. There are two suites per floor, each pair shares a bathroom with antique claw foot tubs. You won’t find a flat screen TV here; but why not use the time to explore the eclectic Harlem neighborhood instead? Don’t miss the slick Paris Blues club around the corner. Nearest Subway Lines: A, B, C, D Price: Single occupancy from $128. There is a $25—$35 (depending on season) surcharge for each additional person, maximum of three.

5. East Village Bed & Coffee | 110 Avenue C

The ten private rooms in this 3-story guesthouse are each uniquely decorated to reflect the character and history of the East Village neighborhood; there are the Dutch and French rooms, for example. The perks are plentiful: fully equipped kitchens, complimentary bicycles and communal areas that are furnished with computers and large couches. Anne Edris, the amiable owner, is on hand if you need food recommendations around the area. Nearest Subway Lines: 6, L Price: Single occupancy from $130; double occupancy from $140 _________________________________________________________________________________

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6. Broadway Hotel & Hostel | 230 West 101st

Billing itself as New York’s first boutique hostel, the quiet ambience at this hostel-hotel combo is a welcome respite after a long day. At bedtime, choose between two-bed dorms or a private ensuite that spots an iPod docking station and flat screen TV. Among other pluses: plush blankets, a common area stocked with maps and guidebooks, and a subway station two blocks away — the 1 train takes you to Times Square, Broadway and the business district in 15 minutes. Nearest Subway Lines: 1,2,3 Price: Dorms from $55; private ensuite from $95  
nyc budget hotels

Photo courtesy of The Jane

For Location

7. The Jane | 113 Jane Street

The rooms in this riverfront building are modeled after European train sleeper cars and outfitted with modern conveniences including iPod docks and flat screen TVs. Its location can’t be beaten; a short stroll leads you to numerous bars, cafes, and boutiques in the vicinity of SoHo, Chelsea and Union Square. The Jane doubles as a lounge in the evening so bring along earplugs if you’re a light sleeper. Nearest Subway Lines: 1,2,3,L Price: Rooms from $99. Special off-season rates are available so check website for details.

8. The Larchmont Hotel | 27 West 11th St

Longing for a taste of comfort? The simple touches in this hotel will do the trick. A friendly bellhop greets you upon your arrival and each morning, you’re invited to savor the complimentary coffee, juice and pastries. Six rooms sit at each floor and shares two bathrooms, equipped with bathrobes, slippers and satchels of soap and shampoo. Its location in Greenwich Village means cozy cafes and trendy shopping spots are just mere steps away. Nearest Subway Lines: 1,2,3, 4,5,6,N, Q, R Price: Single rooms from $107; double rooms from $150

9. Hotel 91 | 91 E Broadway

Located four minutes away from the East Broadway station, this hotel maintains a clean, contemporary interior in its single and double rooms. Divide your time between sipping complimentary coffee at the hotel’s communal area and exploring the Lower East Side – home to numerous art galleries, boutiques and a lively nightlife scene. If you have an early morning, ask for a room facing away from the hustle and bustle of the Manhattan Bridge. Nearest Subway Lines: F Price: Single rooms from $90; double rooms from $120. Book in advance to secure lower prices.
nyc budget hotels

Photo courtesy of The Carlton Arms Hotel

For An Artsy Stay

10. Carlton Arms Hotel | 160 East 25th St

Within walking distance to Union Square and Madison Square Park, this bohemian hotel is an art lovers’ dream. Each hallway and room is a twist of culture and creativity with stimulating murals painted by international artists. Room amenities are kept to a minimum with central air conditioning, bedside lamp and a sink. There is no elevator, so if you’re carrying heavy luggage request for a room on the lower floor. Nearest Subway Lines: 6, N, R Price: Single occupancy from $80. Special off-season rates are available so check website for details.

About The Author

Suhana Sol writes at SuhanaSol, a website focused on travel and social good. In 2013, she left Singapore and a job in marketing to pursue a new life in Canada. You can follow her adventures on Twitter.

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is a New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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  1. Jackie De Burca on at 3:56 pm

    Hi Jess,

    I love the way you have categorised the types of stays. This is fantastic. I also really enjoyed the photos and the tips.There’s some really funky places here in NYC to stay at on a budget.


    • jess2716 on at 4:49 pm

      Hey Jackie: Thank you for the kind words! 🙂

    • John on at 8:00 am

      Yes @Jackie
      I completely agree with you that the way he elucidate the types of staying in NYC- is just awesome. I really like the article and the tips too.

  2. This list comes at the perfect time as I just had two people ask me where to stay when they come into the city 😀 Thanks!

    • jess2716 on at 4:08 am

      @Chanel: Sweet, hope they find what they’re looking for 🙂 PS: We should meet up sometime since we’re both NYC’ers!

  3. Nichelle on at 12:15 am

    I would choose to stay at those hotels perfect for quiet time. 🙂 I am a huge fan of silence and serenity. 🙂

    • jess2716 on at 3:42 am

      @Nichelle: Me too 🙂

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