Hostels in San Diego, USA

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Get to know San Diego (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 San Diego. To help you make friends with San Diego before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!

 Mission bay marina at sunset

There are plenty of great San Diego hostels to choose from. San Diego is located at the southern-most tip of California, not far from the Mexican border. Known both as a beach destination and as the home of the United States Navy, San Diego is situated right on the Mexican border and has a population of over 1.3 million. San Diego is one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S, and has also been chosen as the fifth best place to live in the world (Money Magazine, 2006), but the San Diego hostels are still reasonably priced.

San Diego is divided into multiple districts. There are many interesting places to see Downtown, in Balboa Park, and in Old Town (as well as all the other districts of course). There is a selection of San Diego hostels with good quality and moderate prices.

Beaches are the one thing you probably won't want to miss in San Diego. There are miles and miles of beaches for swimming, surfing, sailing, boating, and more. San Diego also has one of the world's best zoos, situated in Balboa Park. The Sea World is also a well known destination. There is a lot of good shopping to do in the city too, with many shopping centers located around the city. Take a look at the San Diego hostels list and enjoy your trip.

Written by local enthusiast for San Diego hostels

Written by local enthusiast for San Diego hostels Miika

FAQ about San Diego Hostels

There are plenty of frequently asked questions about hostels in San Diego. We've collected the most common questions and doubts when it comes to picking your preferred accommodation in San Diego. The more you know, the better you can plan with confidence and ease, right?

A hostel in San Diego costs on average $40 for a dorm. A hostel in San Diego with private rooms costs on average $98.
Hostelz.com shows all 12 Hostels in San Diego. Simply filter by neighborhood and price to find your perfect budget place to stay.
Hostelz.com compares prices for 12 hostels in San Diego, USA. We list for you other cheap places to stay in San Diego such as
  • 6 hotels
  • 2 apartments

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

Your Packing List for San Diego

Your Packing List for San Diego

Pack smart, not hard

Hostel? Check! Now let's have at your hostel packing list for San Diego and USA.

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

San Diego 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 San Diego, average prices and types of hostels to choose from.
12 Total number of hostels
$40 Average dorm price
$98 Average private room price
$29 Cheapest hostel in San Diego
Hostel on 3rd is the cheapest
2 Party hostels in San Diego
Lucky D's Hostel is the best rated
Most San Diego hostels are located in
Gaslamp Quarter, Point Loma, Little Italy
7.4 Average rating of all hostels

Other Nearby Cities

Tijuana (28 Km / 17 mi.)
Rosarito (41 Km / 25 mi.)
La Paz (50 Km / 31 mi.)
San Clemente (90 Km / 56 mi.)
Ensenada (108 Km / 67 mi.)
Palm Springs (136 Km / 85 mi.)
Anaheim (143 Km / 89 mi.)

Travel Tips for San Diego - 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 San Diego. Have a closer look - the Hostelz community share real hidden gems, insider knowledge and overall impressions of San Diego. 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!

Summer is already here and I can't wait to visit San Diego. The place I like to visit the most is Ocean Beach because of its unique character, the beach, the location, and all the friendly people there. The place is a little out of the sixties from what I can tell, but you'd really have to ask someone who was around at that time to really confirm this. If you're young and want to meet people who are fun, try this place out first.

Bobbie B.

If you are looking for tweak, then San Diego is your place. They have the really good ephedrine-based, red-phosphorous washed stuff that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You'll be twacked for days off just a quarter-gram!

Anonymous

Just thought I would add my two cents about Ocean Beach. I am just a regular guy and I have add zero problems there. The tweaker stuff is overrated. I have never been threatened or hit or any such melodrama. Just be cool and friendly and you will have no problems in Ocean Beach -- or anywhere.

A regular guy

Ocean Beach is fine, it just has a seedier element then some of the other beaches.

john

I'm Italian and I used to live in San Diego for few months. My favourite neighborhood was OB. I never had problems there, I surfed near the pier often, and though my skills are poor not even a single local dissed me. I went skateboarding in OB almost everyday on the sidewalks, no one harrassed me. It's definitely one of the best beach communities in San Diego. If you give respect you get respect. And fools are everywere.

chitebbive

Unfortunately tweakers are everywhere anymore. All beach communities have trolls grubbing money. There are some positive things in San Diego. The O.B. Pier can be fun to fish from. Tide pools are cool. The surf is good. Sunset Cliffs is nice. South Beach fish tacos rule, along with a couple of other good places to eat. Good coffee shops. The true local people are very nice.

Anonymous

Just go to OB and see what it is really about. It's has a richer "cultural texture" than PB or MB. Worth a visit.

Caley

I love Ocean Beach. I felt at home there. I can't wait to finish school and maybe live there for a bit, but I'm not sure if I can afford an apartment. Great place, great people.

Kittie

San Diego is about the beach and the weather! There is a "downtown" San Diego but it's still developing and easy to miss (compared to San Francisco, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and many other cities that do have a downtown). If you're older, like to dress up, not too energetic, like yuppie bars and high end food, can handle cover charges, and don't mind paying some hefty coin to park, head to "downtown" San Diego and have a ball! One night should be enough. On the other hand, if you're into good value for your dollar, looking for outrageous times, nightclubs and pubs, want to meet people who are "experiencing" life and not on the treadmill yet, park free, surround yourself with a younger, more casual crowd, enjoy loads of good, lower priced eat and drink places, and want to find out what Southern California is really about, hang-out at the beach. Ocean Beach can't be missed!

John A.

All of San Diego's beach communities are wonderful! They are all home to different peoples from all over and everybody accepts you, if you are just nice. My friend and me stayed in OB, MB, and PB over the summer and had a awesome time! Met some of the nicest people ever. Excellant journey my friend and I had!

Anonymous

I was a tourist in Ocean Beach and it was a fun place to go if you like crowds and parties at the beach. I had a great time vacationing there, and would definately go back!

Kristen

It makes sense that these comments come from tourists and not locals. Regarding that OB comment, you were probably not respected because it was obvious you weren't from here. OB is not a tourist attraction. It's a tight, unique, and independent community that supports local merchants and businesses unlike any other town. The people here are the friendliest and neighborly people I've ever met. If you're coming to San Diego to get drunk, act a fool, pick up girls, and party - then please go to PB or snotty La Jolla. If you're interested in culture, social justice, ecological wisdom, civil rights, as well as gender and racial diversity - then come to OB. By the way, how can a slacker afford a million dollar house on the beach?? Keep the US (and ignorant people) out of OB!!

1 Proud OBecian

If you are going to visit San Diego make sure you stay in Pacific Beach. The beach is awesome with some great surf and the nightlife is impressive. Heaps of great bars with some really good drink specials.

Dan

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

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