Hostels in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Get to know Johannesburg (no more "I wish I knew this before")

This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Johannesburg. To help you make friends with Johannesburg before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

 View from the Carlton Centre

Johannesburg is Africa’s economic heart and a starting point for many African adventures. As one of Africa’s main aviation hubs, many travelers find themselves beginning their African adventures here. "Joburg" (as it's affectionately called) has earned a bit of a rough reputation; however, just staying on your guard will let you enjoy everything this great South African city has to offer! Johannesburg hostels are spread out amongst the city’s various characteristic neighbourhoods, yet all are underscored by a commitment to security and quality.

As South Africa’s largest city, Joburg is home to some of the country’s best historical sights. A day trip to Soweto provides an insight into South Africa’s difficult past, whilst giving visitors the opportunity to visit the only street where two Nobel Prize winners lived. The Apartheid Museum is a must-visit on any South African itinerary, providing a real historical context for travel in this beautiful country. Both Soweto and the Apartheid Museum will enrich your South African adventure, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the "Rainbow Nation." All Joburg hostels will be able to arrange tours that include both Soweto and the Apartheid Museum, with friendly staff gladly answering any questions you have on the legacy of this divisive policy.

Given that Joburg is very spread out, Johannesburg hostels are spread throughout the city. For those looking for some diversification during their African adventures, your best bet for eating out will likely be Sandton area, with its wide array of international cuisine. However, for the more adventurous types, local eateries will gladly welcome you in the Soweto area. Joburg’s numerous shopping centers are also a great place to do some last-minute shopping, or alternatively to stock up on some quality supplies before heading into the wilds. Your Joburg hostel will be able to direct you as to the best form of transport to visit these areas.

For those short on time for a proper safari, Joburg’s Lion Park is a great place to get acquainted with South Africa’s most famous inhabitants. Here, you can drive your own car through or join a guided tour. For an additional cost, you can even grab a quick cuddle with some young lion cubs. This is definitely one experience you don’t want to miss in Joburg. For the best transport options, ask your Johannesburg hostel for details.

Johannesburg hostels are also invaluable sources of information about onwards travel in South Africa, whether you’re considering a visit to Kruger National Park or the Garden Route, your Johannesburg hostel will update you with the latest travel information. Johannesburg hostels are available year-round (you should probably book in advance if you're visiting at peak times, which include the dry season -- July to October -- and South African holidays).

Written by local enthusiast for Johannesburg hostels

Written by local enthusiast for Johannesburg hostels @dhersz

FAQ about Johannesburg Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in Johannesburg. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in Johannesburg. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right? shows all 20 Hostels in Johannesburg. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay.
Moafrika Lodge is the best hostel in Johannesburg for families.
Melville House is the best hostel in Johannesburg for groups. compares prices for 20 hostels in Johannesburg, South Africa. We list for you other cheap places to stay in Johannesburg such as
  • 6 hotels
  • 7 guesthouses
  • 2 apartments

This makes this very website the best place to find cheap accommodation in Johannesburg.

Explorer Backpackers is the best rated hostel for partying in Johannesburg.

It offers: Bar.

Your Packing List for Johannesburg

Your Packing List for Johannesburg

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for Johannesburg and South Africa.

You may wonder what to pack when staying in hostels? There is a few absolute basics you always have to pick. Other items are more optional and depend more on your location. Here is the must-packing items when staying in hostels:

These are the basics, yet there is more. We wrote a big, detailed guide on what to pack, tech gear and things you won't need.

Get your full Packing List here

Johannesburg Hostel Cheatsheet

Above we list every single hostel there is in the city. Let us take a broader look at what you can expect - and what not. We created this cheatsheet for you to get a more complete picture of the hostel quality in Johannesburg, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
20 Total number of hostels
$18 Average dorm price
$12 Cheapest hostel in Johannesburg
Melville House is the cheapest
13 Party hostels in Johannesburg
Explorer Backpackers is the best rated
Most Johannesburg hostels are located in
Benoni, Dunkeld West, Parktown North
6.6 Average rating of all hostels

Other Nearby Cities

Randburg (13 Km / 8 mi.)
Kempton Park (22 Km / 14 mi.)
Boksburg (22 Km / 13 mi.)
Benoni (28 Km / 17 mi.)
Lanseria (31 Km / 19 mi.)
Pretoria (53 Km / 33 mi.)
Hartbeespoort (55 Km / 34 mi.)

Travel Tips for Johannesburg - from the Community

Hey fam! Here are a few more tips from the community, from them to you, and you to them. This space is dedicated for travellers to share their best tips on backpacking Johannesburg. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of Johannesburg. Everyone is welcome to add something useful, funny, unexpected and the "absolutely necessary to know before you go" - share, share and then share a little more!

Johannesburg comments only. Don't discuss the hostels here, post a review on the hostel's page instead.

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