The northern Thai hub sits among misty mountains and is brimming with streets littered with night markets, temples and cafes. Chiang Mai is a traveller magnet. A chilled-out, cultured city that brings together all that is amazing about Northern Thailand inside its old crumbling city walls,
The problem with Chiang Mai is that is such a backpacker enclave that there is almost too much choice when it comes to hostels and guesthouses. With so much accommodation on offer and with a wide variety of choice, it can difficult to know where to stay.
But there’s no need to stress. We’ve handled the situation with our list of the best hostels in Chiang Mai so you can find the perfect hostel for you.
Here they are in all of their glory, Chiang Mai’s coolest hostels are ready and waiting for you.
Editor’s note – Finished exploring Chiang Mai? Check out our 17 best day trips from Chiang Mai!
The Best Hostels in Chiang Mai: Round-up
Best Overall Hostel in Chiang Mai – Hostel Lullaby
Best Party Hostel in Chiang Mai – Slumber Party Chiang Mai
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Chiang Mai – Alexa Hostel
Best Hostel near Wat Chedi Luang – Counting Sheeps at CNX
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai Gate – Muan Hostel
Best Hostel near Wua Lai Road – Oxotel Hostel
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai International Airport – Fellow Hostel
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai Railway Station – Glur Chiang Mai Hostel
Best High-end Hostel in Chiang Mai – Thunder Bird Hostel
Best Cheap Hostel in Chiang Mai – Absolute House
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Chiang Mai – Rimnim Hostel
15 Best Hostels in Chiang Mai
Best Overall Hostel in Chiang Mai
• Hostel Lullaby •
Why we like Hostel Lullaby…
Why do we love Lullaby Hostel? Because it’s the best overall hostel in Chaing Mai. It’s simple: this hostel is an awesome all-rounder that’s hard to beat. Free snacks all day, free breakfast, free bicycle hire, ultra comfy beds, chilled vibe, very nice staff – what more could you ask for (or dream of) in a Chiang Mai backpackers hostel?
Hostel Lullaby is perfect for…
Basically, if you’re looking for the best hostel in Chiang Mai, you should definitely look this place up. Lullaby Hostel may not be the coolest hostel in Chiang Mai, but it is immaculately, tastefully designed and comes complete with a chilled garden area with throw cushions to luxuriate in the heat.
Best Party Hostel in Chiang Mai
Why we like Slumber Party Chiang Mai…
Well, if you like partying, how can you not love this place? Slumber Party represents a chain of pub-crawling, fun-loving hostels throughout Thailand and this branch in Chiang Mai is no different. The day trips and nights out are well organised, the staff are friendly and helpful and the dorms – mercifully – are nice, even by normal (let alone party) hostel standards.
Slumber Party Chiang Mai is perfect for…
Party people! Of course, if you like to get down and have a good time this is the best party hostel in Chiang Mai – and the best place for you to stay, probably. This is a famous brand of party hostels, so if you’re looking for fun times, you’ll definitely find ’em at this institution of a Chiang Mai backpackers hostel.
Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Chiang Mai
• Alexa Hostel •
Why we like Alexa Hostel…
Big wide open spaces that are just as good for a spot of hotdesking with a laptop and an ice coffee as they are for meeting and getting to know your fellow travellers – we love the social and workable aspects of this Chiang Mai backpackers hostel. It’s an absolute bonus that it looks the part, too!
Alexa Hostel is perfect for…
Being the best hostel for solo travellers in Chiang Mai means two things: there’s a social enough vibe so that, if you’re out to meet people, you can mingle and make friends at Alexa Hostel’s cool common areas; but if you want to stay incognito, you can do that too. It’s a great example of a place being social without being all about partying.
Best Hostel near Wat Chedi Luang
Why we like Counting Sheeps at CNX…
We love the location of this recommended hostel in Chiang Mai – not only is it the best hostel near Wat Chedi Luang, one of the city’s premium sights – a gold-domed Buddhist temple – but that also means that it’s one of the most central hostels going; nothing in the walled city itself is too far from here.
Counting Sheeps at CNX is perfect for…
Those interested in the actual sights, history and culture of Chiang Mai will thrive at this place – Wat Chedi Luang, and other hotspots besides, are in walking distance, and the central position basically gives you free reign of the city. The hostel itself, modern, stylish and comfy at the same time, also provides a great place to return after a day of exploration.
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai Gate
• Muan Hostel •
Why we like Muan Hostel…
The industrial-chic is strong at this budget hostel in Chiang Mai – and we absolutely love it. From raw wood and metal frame beds to polished concrete floors, a cool cafe as well as a rooftop area, the layout and tasteful design of this awesome hostel in Chiang Mai means you’ll be feeling pretty happy with your surroundings here.
Muan Hostel is perfect for…
Design-lovers will automatically love this place – it’s easily one of the coolest hostels in Chiang Mai. But in addition to that, it’s probably the best hostel near Chiang Mai gate; this area is centred around the preserved (and restored) old city gate, where many community and cultural events, as well as markets, are held.
Best Hostel near Wua Lai Road
• Oxotel Hostel •
Why we like Oxotel Hostel…
Not only is this top hostel in Chiang Mai awesome for its boutique-style private rooms, but we also rate it very highly for its proximity to Wua Lai Road – this part of town really gets buzzing every Saturday night when the road turns into a huge walking market, with all the trinkets, toys, clothes and – most importantly – food you could ever want.
Oxotel Hostel is perfect for…
If being near a vibey part of town is your thing, then here’s the place: it’s the best hostel near Wua Lai Road. Though far from the walled city itself, each Saturday sees a throng of people stream down this road, making for a great atmosphere. Equally, if you’re a fan of chic design you’ll be at home here, too.
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai International Airport
• Fellow Hostel •
Why we like Fellow Hostel…
We love the fact that this hostel is so near to Chiang Mai’s airport. If you’ve got an early morning flight, the worst thing is having to work out how long it’s going to take for you to get from bed to boarding (and all the stress that goes with it). But this Chiang Mai backpackers hostel is so near you don’t have to worry at all!
Fellow Hostel is perfect for…
Organised people! For those who like to have their lives in order when they’re abroad or travelling, well, Fellow Hostel is the place for you. Easily the best hostel near Chiang Mai International Airport, it takes under five minutes to get to the airport from this solid slice of accommodation. Not much atmosphere, but a whole lot of convenience.
Best Hostel near Chiang Mai Railway Station
Why we like Glur Chiang Mai Hostel…
Not only is this the best hostel near Chiang Mai railway station (which we love), but it’s in a great, more local location outside of the walled city of Chiang Mai – though that central area is still easily walkable. We also very much appreciate the pool and the awesome free breakfast – how could we not?
Glur Chiang Mai Hostel is perfect for…
If you don’t particularly care about being in the centre of everything and would prefer a different experience to the one everyone else seems to be having in the somewhat touristy square boundaries of the city’s epicentre, then you’d be better off at this top hostel in Chiang Mai. The settings are hotel-y, too, adding a just a sprinkle of luxury to the equation.
Best High-end Hostel in Chiang Mai
Why we like Thunder Bird Hostel…
We just can’t fault the elegant design involved in making this Chiang Mai backpackers hostel also one of the coolest hostels in Chiang Mai. It’s like staying in the pages of a design magazine – sleek furniture, polished concrete, minimalist aesthetics. It’s all here and – though the prices are happily budget – we’d say it’s the best high-end hostel in Chiang Mai.
Thunder Bird Hostel is perfect for…
If you’re a fan of design, if you love to slather your sleeping arrangements on Facebook, or Instagram the living daylights out of how cool your life currently is, you couldn’t choose a much better place than Thunder Bird. Not only is it awesome to look at, but also the staff are exceptionally lovely.
Best Cheap Hostel in Chiang Mai
• Absolute House •
Why we like Absolute House…
Can we say we like the prices best at this budget hostel in Chiang Mai? Because that’s definitely one thing that we really love about this place. And yes, it’s budget-friendly, sure, which means the surroundings are simple and not the cutting-edge chic of other Chiang Mai backpackers hostels, but this place sure is a bargain.
Absolute House is perfect for…
Those looking for the best cheap hostel in Chiang Mai should look no further – if you’re not bothered by Instagram-worthy interiors and polished concrete floors, and are more happy getting to know people in a ‘traditional’ somewhat basic hostel environment, then you’ll be right at home here.
Best Hostel with a Private Room in Chiang Mai
• Rimnim Hostel •
Why we like Rimnim Hostel…
When it comes to a space of your own, Rimnim Hostel is arguably the best hostel with a private room in Chiang Mai – not only are the privates pretty fancy spaces (we love that, of course), but the location of this hostel, in the alternative and fashionable area of Nimmanhaemin, is very cool, too.
Rimnim Hostel is perfect for…
Couples! Of course, couples like their own space and privacy – that’s basically a given – but those looking for their own slice of life in the city will do well to stay in this recommended hostel in Chiang Mai. Nimmanhaemin, a cool area to the west of the city walls, represents real, modern-day, trendy Chiang Mai – and it’s super fun to explore.
More Best Hostels in Chiang Mai
• 33 Poshtel •
Why we like 33 Poshtel…
We just can’t get our fill of cool hostels in Chiang Mai – 33 Poshtel is no different. The dark metal, tiles and polished concrete, the practicality yet minimalist-chic of the kitchen area, the clean ultra-modern bathrooms, the stylish and spacious dorms and bunks. We can’t really see much wrong with this – especially on the style front!
33 Poshtel is perfect for…
If you like the sound of being down a quiet, atmospheric soi in the old walled city itself, then this youth hostel in Chiang Mai is the place for you. Of course, there’s the absolutely immaculte cleanliness of the place on top of that, as well as the impeccably tasteful design. How could you not love this?
• Baan Heart Thai •
Why we like Baan Heart Thai…
Another great Chiang Mai backpackers hostel experience can be had at Baan Heart Thai. This top hostel in Chiang Mai is all about its staff, who are extremely helpful, very friendly and willing to lend their expertise when it comes to doing things in this Thai city. Sometimes it’s staff that makes all the difference – and that’s the case here.
Baan Heart Thai is perfect for…
Laid-back people. Yes, those looking to chill out without regard (or care) for partying, or even for much socialising (though it’s not an un-social hostel), will love it at Baan Heart Thai. When you’re travelling sometimes you just want to relax in peaceful surroundings, which is something you can certainly do at this top hostel in Chiang Mai.
Why we like Box Hostel n Cafe…
We love it when a hostel comes complete with a cafe and that’s no different with Box Hostel n Cafe – the free breakfast here is awesome and it’s something that definitely helps out when you’re on a tight budget. It’s a bonus when it’s super tasty, too. Oh, yeah: this place also looks like one of the coolest hostels in Chiang Mai.
Box Hostel n Cafe is perfect for…
Being located outside of the walled city, this top hostel in Chiang Mai is great for those who love to wander away from the main, regular tourists sights of a city. In fact, it’s quite near the modern and authentic Nimmanhaemin district, meaning great shopping and quirky cafes and bars are a stone’s throw fro this place.
• HAUS Hostel •
Why we like HAUS Hostel…
Located south of the moat, this is another Chiang Mai hostel that oozes cool, which is why we love it – obviously. Though the dorms aren’t exactly dripping in cool, it’s the shared spaces and common areas of this top hostel in Chiang Mai that make it feel like sitting in a Pinterest board of dream homes. Very cool.
HAUS Hostel is perfect for…
Fans of Instagram-worthy locations and design-lovers will love staying at HAUS Hostel – when it comes to cool hostels in Chiang Mai, this one is certainly up there as one of the best. Its location, south of the city walls, means a less central but arguably more local experience.
Headed to Bangkok? You gotta check out our most awesome backpacker hostels in Bangkok!
There you have it, Chiang Mai creme de la creme of hostels. We told you that there is whole load a great hostels and all with amazingly friendly staff and fantastic hospitality.
Now you’ll be able to figure out what type of hostel in Chiang Mai is he best for you. From designer boutique, to budget backpackers and whole lot in between.
All of these cool hostels are in the best locations so you can make the most of your time chilling out and soaking up the culture in the fun Thai city
If even after reading our selection of the best hostels in Chiang Mai, you are still having trouble making a choice, go with Hostel Lullaby – our best overall hostel in Chiang Mai has something for everyone.