North American Travel > Hostels in Vancouver - Which One to Choose?

Hostels in Vancouver -
Which One to Choose?

Published: September 18, 2008

When it comes to hostels, Vancouver (like most major cities) has a few to choose from. However, deciding which of those to stay at can be confusing as pictures and descriptions on websites can be misleading. Price-wise Vancouver Hostels compare with most large(ish) cities in North America. So, let's start at the start.

The Cambie Hostel has two locations in downtown Vancouver, one at Cambie and Cordova, and one at Seymour and West Pender. With rates from $21/night for an 8-bed dorm room in low season, to $70/night for a private room with ensuite in high season the prices are reasonable (to say the least). Weekly rates are also available. Nightly prices include an optional breakfast charge of $3.50, so if guests decline breakfast the price comes down even further! Having said that, the optional breakfast is an amazing muffin and cuppa joe at the Cambie Street bakery, and there's probably not a tastier or better deal anywhere else.

Having said that the Cambie is cheap and the breakfast good, it's also important to note that the washrooms leave a little to be desired (the showers are TINY) and the location is just verging on eastside downtown - the lowest socio-economic area in all of North America. However, if you're up for a unique experience (and one of the only beer gardens in Vancouver at the Cambie Street location) then definitely give it a whirl.

The Samesun Hostel in Vancouver is a slight step above the Cambie in terms of cleanliness and location. However, it is still at the less-desirable end of Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. Dorm rooms start at $25 and private rooms at $70 (with no private ensuite). Weekly rates are available and there is free wi-fi in the common area. Samesun has other locations all over British Columbia with similarly high standards in cleanliness. The staff are friendly and helpful at all locations.

CNN Hostel in Vancouver is also at the arse-end of town and much further away from the downtown core. With two locations very close to each other on Main Street, just past China Town, the hostel is a great option for those arriving by bus or train that need somewhere handy to park for a night or two - it's right beside the Greyhound Bus Station and the train station. Free linen and towels, free high-speed Internet and bikes for rent at $10 a day are some of its plusses. If you're visiting in summer the bikes are definitely a must, Vancouver is incredibly bike-friendly, and it's the perfect way to see some of the best parts of the city. This has to be one of the cheapest hostels in Vancouver with dorm beds for $20 and private rooms for $50. Weekly rates are $120 (dorm) and $300 (private).

HI Jericho Beach has one draw card that all three others don't - location, location, location. The aptly-named hostel is right near Jericho Beach, and not surprisingly is only open in summer (May - September). Linens and towels are provided as well as lockers in every room. There is also wireless in every room. It's a great location to see some parts of Vancouver that many tourists will miss, and downtown is a 20-minute bus ride away. Rooms range in price from $24 for a shared room in the low season months (May, June, September) of summer to $80 for a private room in the high-season months of summer (July, August). This location definitely the safest of all three, but having said that, Vancouver isn't an incredibly dangerous place.

Of course there are other hostels in Vancouver, but these four are definitely a good starting point.

Happy travels!

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