Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

The 20 best hostels in Chiang Mai for every type of traveller

How to find the best hostels in Chiang Mai

Whether you’re a first-time backpacker or a seasoned traveller who’s visited the city before, chances are Chiang Mai is high up on your travel wishlist. This northern Thai city is adored by the backpacking community and every time we return, we fall in love with it a little more. But what is it that makes Chiang Mai one of the most popular backpacking destinations in the world?

Anyone who’s been before will know this city has a special vibe. It’s creative, spiritual and relaxed, so if you’re still reeling from the intensity of Bangkok, this is the place to take it easy. A typical Chiang Mai morning involves hanging out in a quirky coffee shop and watching the world go by, and this café culture is one of the things that’s cemented the city as a digital nomad hotspot. The nightlife is equally laid-back – forget swanky nightclubs with strict dress codes, in Chiang Mai it’s all about live reggae jams in casual bars.

But chilled doesn’t equal boring and there are heaps of things to do in Chiang Mai. Take a stroll inside the Old City walls to learn its history and discover incredible architecture – including some of Thailand’s most jaw-dropping temples that are a must visit. Sharpen your haggling skills at one of the city’s markets; like the Sunday Walking Street Market where you can pick up unique garments and handmade jewellery. Chiang Mai is also the best spot in Thailand to make friends with some elephants – just make 100% certain that you do your research and only visit sanctuaries that you know are ethical.

Oh, and one more thing. It’s no secret that food in Thailand is amazing, but Chiang Mai is on another level. You’ll find some of the best street food at the city’s markets, and one thing you cannot leave without trying is the famous khao soi noodle soup, a Chiang Mai speciality. If you can’t bear the thought of leaving it behind, sign up for a cooking class and take your skills back home!

Now that you’re suitably pumped for your adventure, here are the 20 best hostels in Chiang Mai.

Jump straight to:

  1. Best hostels in Chiang Mai for solo travellers
  2. Best hostels in Chiang Mai for couples
  3. Best party hostels in Chiang Mai
  4. Best hostels in Chiang Mai with private rooms
  5. Best hostels in Chiang Mai Old City
  6. Best of the rest hostels in Chiang Mai

Best hostels in Chiang Mai for solo travellers

Worried about visiting Chiang Mai solo? Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t be. Firstly, it’s one of the most popular destinations on earth for solo travellers, so you’ll be in great company. It’s a safe city with the friendliest locals, so you shouldn’t be concerned about heading out sightseeing on your own. Plus, it’s got awesome hostels where the atmosphere is so social it’s impossible NOT to make friends… here are a few!

Hostel Lullaby

The fact that our guests voted Hostel Lullaby among the top 10 hostels in the world for solo travellers at our 2019 HOSCARs means we probably don’t need to say any more… but we can’t shut up about this place! It’s not a party hostel, but group activities like free yoga sessions and Thai cooking classes provide an alternative to boozy ice-breakers. They know that food is the key to our backpacking hearts and offer a killer breakfast spread every morning for free, with everything from pancakes to grilled pork with sticky rice. And if safety is a concern to you as a solo traveller you’ve got 24-hour security and a prime location in the heart of the Old City.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Hostel Lullaby

Hostel highlights:

  • Free bicycle rental
  • Social vibes and chilled common areas
  • Free bottomless snacks served all day!

? Address: 24 Prapokklao Lane 7, Tambon Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Hostel Lullaby now

Thailand Wow Hostel

‘Wow’ pretty much sums up our feelings about this fantastic hostel and its superstar host Khai, who our guests say is “incredibly kind” and “welcomes his guests as friends”. He makes sure that no solo traveller stays solo for long, by cooking family style dinners and organising nights out, movie marathons and market trips. It’s easy to meet other guests at any time in the common areas, where there’s usually a game of cards or a guitar singalong to join in with. Don’t worry if your inner Beyoncé is a little shy, a couple of frozen cocktails from the bar are bound to bring her out!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Thailand Wow Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Central location
  • Delicious Thai kitchen
  • Fun group outings

? Address: 21/1 Samlan Road, Soi 7, Tambon Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Thailand Wow Hostel now

Stamps Backpackers

This hostel is great for all nomads, but is particularly loved by our female guests, who voted it the second best hostel in the world for solo female travellers at our 2019 HOSCARs! It’s the perfect balance between party and chilled, with a cheap bar and group activities every night that make sure guests feel part of the Stamps family. The dorm set-up is ideal if you like your personal space, as beds are inside their own spacious cubicles – you can enjoy the fun and games downstairs and retreat to your pod when you’re ready for some privacy.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Stamps Backpackers

 ? @hannahschupp_

Hostel highlights:

  • Cheap drinks
  • On-site restaurant
  • Perfect atmosphere

? Address: 1/11 Chaiyapoom Road, Soi 1, Chiang Mai 50300

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Stamps Backpackers now

The Entaneer Poshtel

The Entaneer is a bit of a newbie on the Chiang Mai hostel scene, but the reviews are in and our solo guests can’t stop raving about it! They love its ‘trendy warehouse style’, ‘brilliant location’, ‘lovely events’ and, most of all, the ‘amazing staff’. It’s run by a local family who love joining their guests for communal meals and activities, and you can feel the warm, homely vibes from the moment you step inside. Like seriously, you’ll probably want them to adopt you. But, you’ll want to mingle with other travellers too, so hang out in the gaming zone, outdoor terrace or stylish bar, where magical travel connections are formed (the cheap beer helps).

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - The Entaneer Poshtel

Hostel highlights:

  • Green outdoor common area
  • Moped rental
  • Warm, family feel

? Address: 93/1 Nantaram Road, Tambon Hai Ya, Chiang Mai 50100

? Neighbourhood: Old City (just outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at The Entaneer Poshtel now

 

Best hostels in Chiang Mai for couples

Glittering golden temples, fiery sunsets and world-class food – FYI, Chiang Mai can be a pretty romantic city! If you’re planning a visit with your significant other, don’t think you’ll have to miss out on the hostel fun. These couple-friendly options have that warm hostel atmosphere, plus a few additional creature comforts that’ll earn you some serious brownie points. ?

Baan Heart Thai

If you and your partner want to truly chill out Chiang Mai style, look no further than Baan Heart Thai, a hostel so laid-back it’s practically horizontal. This family-run joint has its own library, a yoga and meditation space and offers free bicycle rentals so you can take a slow cruise through the nearby Old City. The rooms are stunning – picture traditional Thai design with a chic twist – and there are even spacious pod-style queen beds in the superior dorms. And on top of all this, its central location means you’re never far from the action despite feeling like you’ve got your own private hideaway. Bliss!

Best hostels in Chiang mai - Baan Heart Thai

Hostel highlights:

  • Free breakfast
  • Super luxurious dorms
  • Hostel nights out

? Address: 1/8 – 1/9 Chaiyapoom Soi 1, Si phum, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City (just outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Baan Heart Thai now

S*Trips the Poshtel

If you’ve got an eye for design then you’ll love this ultra-stylish hostel in downtown Chiang Mai, close to the night bazaar, several temples and countless restaurants… did someone say date night? The bathrooms are modern and clean, the dorms are a thing of beauty and the privates are another-level-luxurious if you want to splash the cash (and even these start from just £25). There’s a killer free breakfast of waffles, eggs and fruit that’ll fix you up for the day’s adventures – just borrow a scooter from reception and you’re set to take Chiang Mai by storm!

Best hostels in Chiang mai - S*Trips the Poshtel

Hostel highlights:

  • Fantastic food
  • Chilled vibes
  • Top-notch facilities

? Address: 84/2 Sridonchai Road, Tambon Chang Khlan, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Downtown

Book your stay at S*Trips the Poshtel now

Lana Beds and Spaces

Travelling couples love this boutique hostel, set in a colonial-style building with some funky, contemporary twists. They’ve got peaceful co-working spaces, perfect for all you digital nomads or anyone who wants to stay in Chiang Mai for the long haul. Their luxurious rooms are the sort that make you wanna extend your stay too – the privates have en-suites, individual workstations and even a personal terrace, so you can enjoy your morning coffee in peace under the Chiang Mai sun. Make sure you join in with the fun, creative activities, like traditional lantern crafting and releasing in the garden – now you know that sounds romantic!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Lana Beds and Spaces

Hostel highlights:

  • Accessible facilities
  • Free breakfast
  • Amazing staff – hit them up for insider tips!

? Address: 2/1 Kaeo Nawarat Soi 3, Wat Ket, Chiang Mai 50000

? Neighbourhood: Wat Ket

? Nearest station: Chiang Mai railway station

Book your stay at Lana Beds and Spaces now

Haus Hostel

This homely, rustic hostel is impeccably clean, with modern facilities and cosy hang outs like the bright greenhouse lounge and hidden reading nooks. The rooftop terrace has mountain views and it’s worth getting up in time to catch a sunrise from up here, trust us! In the evenings this area turns into a chilled, social spot where backpackers swap stories over beers and good tunes. Don’t forget to make the most of the free cook-your-own breakfast in the morning.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Haus Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Beautiful design
  • Luxurious dorms
  • Top-notch facilities

? Address: 2/3 Rat Chiang Saen, 1 Kho Alley, Chiang Mai 50100

? Neighbourhood: Old City (just outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Haus Hostel now

 

Best party hostels in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s nightlife isn’t Full Moon Party, Khao San Road style craziness. It’s more about hanging out, listening to music and swigging beers from the side of a campervan (one of Chiang Mai’s coolest bars, BTW). Before heading to check out what the Old City has to offer, get the night started at one of these Chiang Mai party hostels!

Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae

Okay, I know what I just said, but this hostel didn’t get the memo – Bodega parties are wild! In the bar you can expect plenty of free shots and nightly games, like Saturday night beer pong tournaments and ‘thirsty Thursdays’ where there’s a new drinking challenge every thirty minutes. On Wednesdays, tag along to Chiang Mai’s biggest (and most legendary) pub crawl with the whole Bodega crew for the most memorable night you’ll ever forget. In the morning, join the group trip to wash away your sins with a dunk in the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon, or just chill in the pool if you’re particularly fragile. Then it’s time to do it all again!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae

Hostel highlights:

  • Excellent security
  • Amazing outings and events
  • Party-loving staff

? Address: 23 Ratchamanka Soi 3, Lane 3/1, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Bodega Chiang Mai Thapae now

Deejai Backpackers

Deejai knows how to party in the Chiang Mai sense – expect boozy BBQs, foosball tournaments and campfire jams. Whether you’re playing volleyball in the pool, swinging in a hammock or tucked away in the treehouse, the vibe is lively and friendly. The playlist in the bar is bound to get you in the mood, as are the cheap drinks deals (they had us at cheap). Be sure to take full advantage of the group trips that Deejai’s arrange too – mountain trekking and ziplining through the jungle are just more fun with new hostel bezzies!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Deejai Backpackers

Hostel highlights:

  • Free breakfast
  • Book exchange
  • Themed nights

? Address: 156 Ratchamanka Road, Tambon Phra Sing, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Deejai Backpackers now

Brick House Hostel

Brick House has only just reopened after a huge refurb, so expect brand-spanking new facilities and impeccable cleanliness. It’s a large hostel with 200 beds, so you can imagine the atmosphere when everyone’s gathered round the massive bar area or cheering on an intense volleyball tournament in the pool! It’s a hostel with true party spirit, so prepare for lots of cheap drinks (flaming cocktails have been known to make an appearance) and the time of your life. But there’s a healthy balance and plenty of spots to take it easy too – you can read on the sundeck, munch on delicious Thai or western cuisine in the café or sweat it out in the fitness centre.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Brick House Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • 24-hour reception
  • Pool games
  • Individual lights and power sockets on all beds

? Address: 20 20/1 Chang Moi Kao Road, Chiang Mai 50300

? Neighbourhood: Old City (outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Brick House Hostel now

 

Best hostels in Chiang Mai with private rooms

Life on the road can get hectic – it’s not just glampackers who need their own room sometimes! Even the most seasoned travellers can suffer from dorm fatigue and it’s important to put some you time aside. That’s where these hostels and their incredible private rooms come in – treat yo self!

Oxotel Hostel

You’ll find Oxotel right in the middle of Wualai Road, Chiang Mai’s busiest street on Saturday when the Walking Market takes place. After browsing to your heart’s content, you can observe the chaos from your own private balcony, in your dreamy room with a HUGE bed, plush pillows and towels and a flatscreen TV. Swoon! If you can pull yourself away, enjoy Chiang Mai’s café culture in the gorgeous artisanal coffee shop downstairs, or practice yoga in the green outdoor common area. Oxotel describes itself as ‘a relaxing resort hostel’ and we think this sums it up perfectly.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Oxotel Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Free breakfast, plus free tea and coffee all day
  • Free toiletries and hairdryer
  • Beautiful design

? Address: 149-153 Wua Lai Rd, Tambon Hai Ya, Chiang Mai 50100

? Neighbourhood: Wualai

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Oxotel Hostel now

Suneta Hostel Chiang Mai

The beautiful Suneta Hostel has a range of private rooms, so even if you’re pinching the pennies we think it’ll suit you. Their deluxe double bed privates are the most fancy, with a rustic, wooden design, large cosy beds and en-suite bathrooms for maximum pamper potential. But fear not budget traveller, their cabin-style dorms are private too – each single bed has its own mini room complete with a door and bedside table! Suneta, our wallets thank you. Oh, and if you’re not already hitting ‘book’, maybe the two cuddly cats that hang out in reception will sway your decision…

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Suneta Hostel Chiang Mai

Hostel highlights:

  • Central location next to Tha Pae Gate
  • Moped hire
  • Free breakfast

? Address: 20 20/1 Chang Moi Kao Road, Chiang Mai 50300

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Suneta Hostel Chiang Mai now

248 Street Hostel

You can’t help but be charmed by the quirky, industrial style of 248 Street Hostel – and when we say ‘quirky’, we mean that the bathroom sinks are made from tyres and there’s a vintage motorbike in the lobby. But hey, you’re probably more interested in the rooftop pool and open-air bar. Yeah, hanging out in the water with a Chang beer in hand, surrounded by mountain views and overlooking the Old City does sound pretty sweet! Their super-budget double and single bed privates mean that you can afford your own room even if you’re travelling solo – but thanks to the party space on the roof you’ll never miss out on the fun!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - 248 Street Hostel

? @thetravelingfreelancers

Hostel highlights:

  • Perfect location
  • Free breakfast
  • Incredible views

? Address: 248/8-9 Maneenopparat Road, Sriphum Muang, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City (just outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at 248 Street Hostel now

 

Best hostels in Chiang Mai Old City

The great news about Chiang Mai hostels is that they’re all pretty central, but if you’re all about location, location, location then these are the ones for you. They’re ideally situated in the Old City, close to all the best markets, foodie spots, temples and bars, so exploring Chiang Mai couldn’t be easier – what are you waiting for?!

Hug Hostel Rooftop

We’ve got another HOSCAR winner on our hands… this was our most popular hostel in Chiang Mai for 2018! We think that the epic rooftop bar with its nightly parties, live DJs and insane happy hour might have something to do with this. Three beers for £3? This could get messy… Inside things are more chill, with quiet cosy spots for group Netflix binges. Our guests recommend their day trips to elephant sanctuaries, cooking classes and jungle trekking for a unique experience with some awesome people. There’s also a restaurant on site serving up Thai classics with plenty of vegan options. The food is great, but even better when enjoyed from the roof with a view of Doi Suthep mountain.

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Hug Hostel Rooftop

Hostel highlights:

  • Individual reading lights and power sockets in dorms
  • Computer room
  • Perfect location for foodies – street food heaven!

? Address: 51/1-2 Changhuak Road, Chiang Mai 50209

? Neighbourhood: Old City (just outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Hug Hostel Rooftop now

Hobnob Hostel

If you’re a bookworm at heart (guilty ?) you’ll love the library layout, heaps of books and hidden reading spots at the cosy AF Hobnob Hostel. It emulates the city’s café culture, with lots of green, airy spaces to hang out with a coffee, chat to other backpackers or tap away at a laptop. It can be difficult to leave this tranquil little haven, but fortunately its amazing location means you’re only a stone’s throw from Chiang Mai’s most exciting attractions. The famously opulent Wat Phra Singh temple is just metres away, and the Sunday Walking Market takes place on the same street.

Best hostels in Chang Mai - Hobnob Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Free breakfast
  • Wonderful staff
  • Tour desk

? Address: 58 Intrawarorot Road, Tambon Si Phum, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Hobnob Hostel now

Hostel By Bed

This super modern hostel ticks all the style boxes with its minimal, monochrome design. It’s got enclosed, pod-style dorms with individual reading lights and power sockets for maximum comfort, while its welcoming atmosphere and plenty of co-working spaces make it an attractive option for digital nomads. They also throw in loads of extras at no additional cost – like toiletries, hairdryers, bottled water, barista style coffee and a buffet breakfast – because they know no one loves freebies more than a backpacker!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Hostel By Bed

Hostel highlights:

  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Beanbag and hammock zone
  • Long-term guests welcome

? Address: 54/2 54/4 Sri Poom Road, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Hostel By Bed now

 

Best of the rest hostels in Chiang Mai

A final shout out to a few more fantastic hostels that we couldn’t miss out…

D-Well Hostel

We could tell you all about D-Well’s modern facilities, fun social spaces, welcoming hospitality and prime location. But we think that this 10 out of 10 guest review says it best:

“I’ve stayed at D-Well at least 4 times now over the past few months. It has been my base as I check out the various areas of north Thailand, and every time I come back to refuel in Chiang Mai D-Well is where I go. It is immaculate, the staff friendly and helpful, beds comfortable. The location is great, close to the markets, coffee shops and the central square, but it’s the chilled-out atmosphere that I keep coming back for. Thanks D-Well, I’ll be back!”

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - D-Well Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Free breakfast
  • Bicycle hire
  • 24-hour reception

? Address: 202 Thapae Road, Tambon Chang Moi, Chiang Mai 50300

? Neighbourhood: Old City (outside the walls)

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at D-Well Hostel now

Thunder Bird Hostel

Thunder Bird Hostel is so cool it hurts. Picture chic, industrial style gone wacky, with things like giant black and white bird’s heads dangling from ceilings and painted on walls (stick with us here). Its on-site coffee shop and bakery ‘Greedy Beast’ wouldn’t look out of place on an East London street, and is a trendy spot to hang out and work over an Insta-worthy cappuccino. There’s even ping-pong tables to channel your inner Forrest Gump, and a grand piano if you’re partial to tinkling the ivories – because why not?

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Thunder Bird Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Old City location
  • Free breakfast
  • Awesome bar

? Address: 181 Soi Mun Mueang 6, Tambon Si Phum, Chiang Mai 50200

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Thunder Bird Hostel now

Muan Hostel

Foodies rejoice! Not only does Muan Hostel have an unbeatable Old City location opposite Thapae Gate (AKA street food heaven), they also serve out-of-this-world Thai cuisine from their local restaurant, plus a killer breakfast buffet that’s 100% free! They’ve got those chilled Chiang Mai vibes down to a tee, especially in the lantern-lit social spaces and quirky hammock café (yes, that’s a thing). Be sure to sign up to the cultural activities led by the staff, like traditional lotus folding workshops, and treat yourself to a few souvenirs from their local craft shop too!

Best hostels in Chiang Mai - Muan Hostel

Hostel highlights:

  • Free toiletries and hairdryer
  • Individual reading lights, power sockets, shelf and curtains
  • Female only dorms

? Address: 4/5 Chaiyapoom Road, Chiang Mai 50300

? Neighbourhood: Old City

? Nearest station: Tha Phae Gate bus stop

Book your stay at Muan Hostel now

 

BRB, just booking a flight to Thailand! ? Which of these awesome hostels will you choose for your Chiang Mai adventure? Let us know in the comments!

 

Keep reading: ?

? The 14 best hostels in Bangkok

? The best hostels in Phuket – Thailand’s beach paradise

? The 23 best hostels in Thailand

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