All Hostels in Oahu

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Backpacking Oahu

There is a few things you should know about Oahu hostels and the city in general. Besides comparing you the best and cheapest hostels in Oahu, we also highlight what we have liked, disliked and things to look out for.

Oahu, properly spelled O’ahu, is affectionately called "The Gathering Place" by locals. The third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands (and home to the state's capital, Honolulu), it is also one of the most densely populated areas throughout the whole of the Hawaiian archipelago. Roughly divided into regions -- the City, the Town, the North Shore, the Windward Side, the East Side, and the Valley -- Oahu is a great place to vacation in Hawaii (if you’re planning on staying here, there are several options for hostels in Oahu with differing atmospheres and settings). Not only is the island rich in history and culture, but it is also a hotbed of life with the right mix of down-to-earth local fun and wonderful "high-life" style parties that appeal to more affluent tourists.

The island's many notable historical places, such as Pearl Harbor, make it a prime tourist destination. Here you can pay tribute to the victims of the 1941 bombing and also learn about its early history as a naval and aerial base, and be witness to the history of World War II aviation. If you’re more daring, you can even take an open-cockpit flight and see things from up high. For those who want the full immersion, boarding a period combat submarine is also up for grabs!

Visitors also come to see its rich natural wonders, which are typically comprised of volcanic formations, rocky outcrops, verdant fields, and small inlets of water that are interlinked with the vast ocean. Oahu is home to a peak -- Mount Ka’ala, a mountain rising to the highest point of the whole island, more than four thousand feet -- found in the Wai’anae Range.

Oahu is also home to a diverse range of ethnicities, ranging from native inhabitants, pure descendants, intermixed descendants, and settlers all of which refer to themselves as locals, regardless of their ancestry or place of origin (as is customary in the whole of the Hawaiian islands), as a nod to unity in the light of diversity and the openness of the islands to welcome all peoples to its collective embrace. Known as the original seat of aboriginal Hawaiian aristocracy, it was once ruled by the earliest kings of Hawaii.
Handwritten by local expert for Oahu hostels

Handwritten by local expert for Oahu hostels Angelica Burrage

Other Nearby Cities
Haleiwa Haleiwa (23 Km / 14 mi.)
Lahaina Lahaina (148 Km / 92 mi.)
Kauai Kauai (175 Km / 109 mi.)
Maui Maui (191 Km / 119 mi.)

Things to do in Oahu

Here is a few more tips from the community. Other travelers share their best tips on backpacking Oahu:

This is such a special place even though it is a tourist place. I loved being just a few steps away from the beach and people were very friendly. Buy everything you need from one of the many ABC stores that pop up everywhere. Do go on some of the tours. Have fun.

A solo traveler

Oahu is great because there is so much to do, and most spots are not more than an hour or two away from Waikiki (if that is where you are staying). I recommend staying away from there as it is so busy, but each to their own. Kailua is beautiful and quaint. Everyone should go to Hanauma Bay at least once -- the snorkeling is fantastic! And the North shore is very quaint and beautiful (this is where you will see expert surfers, waves are massive here). I'm going back to Oahu for my fourth time, and plan on returning to this wonderful island as many times as I possibly can!


Oahu is a beautiful Island. Many beautiful places to stay. But I stress that you should venture out of Waikiki. Haleiwa and the North Shore are the places to be. Such a wonderful part of the Island even if you are not a surfer. Book accommodation early though on the North Shore if you intend to go December through to February. So many travellers I've spoken to only do Honolulu and this is not what I believe Hawaii is about. East Coast is great too. Have fun.


Great place! I spent a week here last March (2005) and had a fantastic time. Make sure to get out of the city and enjoy some of the countryside and northshore too! The western side of the island is nice as well as its not too touristy due to the fact that the coastal road dead ends near the northwest corner of the island. If you've never been to the island before I would suggest one of the many circle island tours to get a feel for the place. When you've done this you can spend the rest of your time going back and seeing the things you liked. You can get a 4 day bus pass good for any bus on the island for $20 or buy a month pass for $40.


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