If you’ve poked around this website a bit, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I love Oaxaca City. I’ve spent over three months in the city this year alone. As a result, I’ve personally stayed at every single one of these Oaxaca hostels and several more than once!
I’m not going to simply tell you which is the best hostel in Oaxaca City since that is a personal preference. What I will do is give you an honest opinion of each. I’ve listed the amenities, summed up my experience, and included any negatives I noticed during my stay. This way you are empowered to decide which hostel is best for you.
You’ll want to read the full descriptions too. There I’ve included more details about important things like water pressure, wifi, and mattress condition. That being said, let’s do a quick look at my picks for the top four hostels in Oaxaca.
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Quick Picks – Top Hostels in Oaxaca City
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads – Hostal Central
I continue to meet travelers that rave about Hostal Central. So much so that there was no question it would be featured as one of the best Oaxaca hostels. It’s located in a non-touristy neighborhood a few blocks from the Central de Abastos Market.
From Hostal Central, it takes 10 minutes to walk to the Zocalo and twenty minutes to Santo Domingo. The neighborhood is a business district, so during the day, there’s a lot of everyday life in the surrounding streets. At night, they are quiet and empty. For that reason, it’s smart to take a taxi home after dark.
The building itself is a large, three-story house that has been modified into a hostel without sacrificing the space. When you book your reservation at Hostal Central, I recommend reserving the more expensive “Single Bed in Dormitory Room.” It’s located at the back of the hostel, away from the street, and with a window overlooking the patio.
In this room, there are only three beds, each separated by a half wall partition for privacy. The shared bathroom is located within the room. Can you remember the last time you shared a hostel dormitory bathroom with only two other people?
The entire first level of Hostal Central comprises common areas, including a small living room and a cozy patio with an outdoor kitchen. In between is a dining room that doubles as a comfortable workspace. In fact with its free, on-demand coffee and tea, it feels like working in a cafe. And the two-course breakfast rivals some of the best places for breakfast in Oaxaca.
I can’t rave about this hostel enough. The only reason I would look elsewhere is if you want to walk out the door and be in the heart of the city. But keep in mind, Hostal Central books quickly, so I would recommend reserving as soon as you can.
Best Party Hostel in Oaxaca – Iguana Hostel
Iguana Hostel is a self-proclaimed party hostel. But even if you’re not into a party, there are some really nice features that make it one of my favorite hostels in Oaxaca.
Let’s start with the personal space. Perhaps the most unique feature of Iguana Hostel is the platform beds in the dorms. Yes, there are still two levels but they are not connected. This results in a more peaceful night’s sleep since you won’t feel your bunk neighbor’s every move.
It also means that those with a top bunk have a floor! I didn’t realize how amazing this is until I stayed at Iguana Hostel.
In addition, there’s ample space around each bed, a sheet curtain for privacy, a multiplug outlet, and large lockers. They’ve even thought of little things such as a side table that folds out from the wall. Alternatively, it can be folded up and locked with your small valuables inside.
If noise bothers you, I recommend reserving a bed in the 4 or 8 bedroom dorms located in the back courtyard. The staff is actually pretty good about keeping guests quiet after 11 pm, but I find the back area is quieter during the day as well.
Upstairs is a co-working space with really comfortable chairs. The multiplug outlets are continued here and it’s shaded enough to still get work done in the middle of the day.
It’s also separated from the rooftop bar and lounge area. During the day, you may find a few fellow travelers hanging out. But it gets most lively when they advertise drink specials on the Whatsapp group in the evenings. It’s always a great place to meet people.
Perhaps it’s due to the laid back atmosphere of the hostel itself, but I also found this hostel to have some of the best backpacking traveler vibes.
Most Chic Oaxaca Hostel – Ticuchi Hostel
Ticuchi Hostel is by far the most beautiful Oaxaca hostel. Its chic, minimalist design is consistent throughout the reception area, rooms, and back courtyard which features a bar and swimming pool.
And I’d argue it competes for the best party hostel in Oaxaca. There’s regularly a DJ in the pool area on Sunday afternoons. And most nights you can find a group heading out for a night in the city.
But at the same time, the noise stays relatively low when you are in the dorms. And the hostel is quick to shut the party down at 11 pm which is the typical quiet hour for hostels in Oaxaca.
If you are sensitive to noise or prefer more privacy, I recommend you book one of the smaller six-bed dormitory rooms. All of the beds have a curtain, but these dorms are quieter and open to the long side of the bed for easier access.
Each bed has a very comfortable mattress and there are plenty of bathrooms for guests. In addition, the private rooms each have their own bathroom.
I also love the ample outdoor space, including the open-air kitchen with two refrigerators and two stoves. The only thing to consider on this front is that during the rainy season, the consistent afternoon showers limit these areas some.
THINGS TO NOTE
- This is the most beautiful hostel in Oaxaca with a social bar and pool.
- The staff is friendly and constantly organizing late nights out.
- The internet is very fast in the back courtyard. There are some WiFi issues in the rooms.
Best Hostel for Solo Travelers – Casa Angel Hostel
At Casa Angel Hostel, travelers can easily meet others thanks to the large communal dining space and social rooftop area. But it’s the weekly events that turn this into the best hostel for solo travelers.
I’ve not seen such a regularly scheduled event calendar at a hostel in Oaxaca. Nearly every morning at 10:30 is a walking tour. And three mornings per week there is a rooftop yoga class beginning at 8:30.
The fun continues into the evening with a twice-weekly BBQ followed by a mezcal experience. And most other nights you can join the salsa dancing class.
The location is great too. It’s centrally located, slightly north, but just a few blocks from Santo Domingo Church.
You’ll find a range of room types at Casa Angel Hostel in both the shared and private accommodations. The private rooms are tastefully styled with modern furnishings. They feature a desk and reading lamps. The deluxe rooms have a private bathroom and include a small private balcony.
The shared dorms come in a variety of sizes (2-10 people), all with capsule-style beds and curtains for privacy. All of the beds have a reading light and access to an outlet. The deluxe dorms add more features such as a shelf and air conditioning. And the superior dorm adds a small window for each bed and a sliding door instead of a curtain.
The space inside the hostel is split into pods. As a result, shared bathrooms are designated per group of dorm rooms. The nicer rooms correspond to the nicer bathrooms.
Overall, this Oaxaca hostel is a beautiful concept with a great location, all of which is reflected in the slightly higher price.
THINGS TO NOTE
- It’s hard to find a fault with Casa Angel Hostel. My only wish is for better work spaces, but there are several comfortable areas without having a designated working space.
- The great ammenities, social events, and modern design is reflected in the price.
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Best Location in Oaxaca – Selina Hostel
This is the most centrally located hostel in Oaxaca City. It’s just two blocks from Santo Domingo, on 5 de Mayo, one of the most photographed streets in the city.
Every time I walked by Selina Hostel, the eye-catching decor drew my attention in, past the reception and to the central courtyard. I mistakenly assumed it was an expensive accommodation that lacked good traveler vibes.
The multi-level, refurbished colonial building includes different dorm rooms, private rooms, and several common areas with bohemian decor. And throughout the walls of the hostel, there are colorful modern murals to match.
The first level has places to work along a skinny ledge with stools. I found these workspaces slightly uncomfortable. And the small couches nearby lacked outlets. It’s clear they would rather you use the Selina co-working space, but keep in mind it is an extra cost.
There is a restaurant on-site as well as a small but accessible kitchen with two (much appreciated) refrigerators.
Upstairs you’ll find a large rooftop bar perfectly situated on an open corner for 180-degree views of the city. It’s not a full-on view of Santo Domingo but there are views of the hills, the auditorium, and the domes of the church.
The bar is also open to the public which creates a lively social space. When I stayed, there were long tables of Oaxacan residents enjoying beer and mezcal. Though it was also possible to sit at a small table along the balcony edge and watch over 5 de Mayo.
I hesitated to stay here, but I’m happy I gave it a chance. The mixed reviews don’t match my experience, as well as those from other travelers I spoke to at Selina Hostel. It’s possible that a lot of the noise issues are from travelers with rooms on the upper level near the bar.
Budget Hostel in Oaxaca City – El Cielo
El Cielo Hostel is a great value for budget travelers, especially when you consider the heated swimming pool and social bar. In fact, all guests receive a ticket for a free drink (beer or mezcal) upon arrival. It’s also centrally located, just a five-minute walk from Santo Domingo Church.
However, the shared rooms are extremely small. Two bunk beds are squeezed into a room that feels as though it should be a small private room.
Between the two sets of beds are lockers with a narrow path in front. This results in only one person being able to access the lockers at a time. It also proves hard to organize your belongings since you need to keep nearly everything in your locker. Oh, and the only outlets are located inside the locker, another logistical issue.
There is a fairly comfortable workspace in the common areas, though it is also lacking outlets. The kitchen is stocked and usable. The bathrooms are functioning but could use an upgrade, especially in the shower areas. And the wifi works but is strongest in the front sitting area which isn’t typically the place you want to hang out.
Overall, this is a great budget hostel in Oaxaca if you’re looking for a hostel with a pool and social scene that is close to the center.
THINGS TO NOTE
- This budget hostel is sufficient but lacking space in the shared dorms.
- The heated pool and social bar is a huge plus though.
- The bathrooms, especially the showers could be updated.
- WiFi could be improved in the back.
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Best Place to Relax: El Jardin Surfista
If you’d like to escape the city, El Jardin Surfista is a great option. This hostel feels like a large modern house you’d rent with your friends for a month.
There’s an open yoga and meditation room with yoga mats and views of the surrounding mountains. And you can spend the afternoon relaxing in a hammock on one of the several balconies.
Or set yourself up at the large dining table to focus and get some work done. This area, just off the well-stocked kitchen becomes a hub for both breakfast in the morning and coworking during the day.
El Jardin Surfista is located about 20 minutes by car and 50 minutes by foot to the center of Oaxaca. Alternatively, you can walk 20 minutes to take a bus into town for 8 pesos.
But If you’ve already spent time in Oaxaca City, you may not feel a need to go into town at all. There are several small tiendas and a large vegetable market within walking distance. As well, the nearby restaurants will deliver food if you prefer not to cook.
THINGS TO NOTE
- A fantastic location outside of the city to relax or get work done.
- Large dining table that functions as a coworking space.
- A close community forms among the guests here.
A Peaceful Oaxaca Hostel – Azul Cielo
The enchanting central garden and colorful decorations impart a whimsical vibe to Azul Cielo Hostel in Oaxaca. Attached to the garden is the open-air kitchen, dining, and living room. These areas become the social hub in the mornings as travelers discuss their plans for the day.
Upstairs is a small but social bar with delicious cocktails that also proved to be a comfortable spot to get some work done during the day. And above the bar is a large open rooftop with views of Oaxaca City. This is also where they host a weekly salsa dancing class.
The rooms include a four-bed female dorm, a larger mixed dorm, and a handful of very stylish private rooms.
The only reason Azul Cielo Hostel didn’t make my list of the top four hostels in Oaxaca is the location. While it’s a similar walking distance as Hostal Central to the Zocalo and Santo Domingo (10 and 15 minutes respectively), the residential neighborhood gets very quiet at night. You will definitely want to take a taxi back to the hostel after dark. Read this article next, which answers the question, “Is Oaxaca safe?“
THINGS TO NOTE
- I love the atmosphere at Azul Cielo Hostel. It feels comfortable, tropical, and dreamy.
- The location is close to center but the streets in the residential neighborhood are quiet at night. You will need to taxi home after dark.
Best Hostel for Families – Casa de Don Pablo Hostel
While Casa Don Pablo has dorm rooms, there are also several private rooms with more than one bed. In addition, it was fairly quiet for a hostel. I saw a few other solo travelers, but in general, there seemed to be mostly couples and families staying here.
The building itself is a colonial house featuring beautiful original tiles with colorful tables and chairs. The central courtyard is next to the kitchen where breakfast is prepared each morning. And there’s ample outdoor space including a covered rooftop with mountain views of Oaxaca.
The location of this Oaxaca hostel also makes it great for a family. It’s in a residential neighborhood, away from the busy Zocalo area but also a short walk to centro.
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Best Oaxaca Hostels for a Private Room
Most of the hostels in Oaxaca offer the option of a private room, but they tend to be rather expensive. However, I found two places in Oaxaca with affordable private rooms. While they are called hostels, they may lack the typical social dynamics of the others on this list.
Hostal Naba Nandoo
Hostal Naba Nandoo is the best value for a private room as a couple. And if you’re traveling solo, there are some other reasons I might choose this hostel over Andaina. First is the location. It’s just two blocks from Mercado La Merced and a 10-15 minute walk to Santo Domingo Church.
In terms of comfort, the beds and pillows are some of the most comfortable I’ve found while traveling. Each room has AC and a fan, as well as a comfortable desk and shelves. There are plenty of shared bathrooms and at least five showers, though the best water pressure is only found in one attached to a bathroom.
There is a rooftop sitting area with beautiful open views and a smaller dining area with an attached mini kitchen. This area has a fridge, microwave, and even a hotplate, but this area is clearly intended more to store and reheat food than make elaborate meals.
Near the reception is a table with free drinks and snacks. Coffee (instant and espresso machine), tea, popcorn, and nuts are available throughout the day. There are also two bottles of mezcal to sample, though slowly as it’s not meant to be an open bar.
Overall, I found this space to be very comfortable, the biggest downside is the lack of a kitchen that you typically find in other hostels.
Andaina Youth Hostel
If you prefer to rent a private room at a hostel in Oaxaca, Andaina is the best value for a solo traveler. I was quite shocked to find prices for a private single room lower than a bed in a dorm room at other hostels.
While there aren’t any shared rooms at Andaina Youth Hostel, the common kitchen and balcony foster a social atmosphere. There’s also a large open rooftop with views of the city. On the rooftop, there are tables and chairs as well as a few plants, but the space could be more inviting.
This hostel is centrally located, just a block from the sprawling market area of Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre. However, this is not my favorite area to stay in Oaxaca. The busy streets slap you in the face as soon as you walk out of the doors.
I also prefer to shop at the smaller markets of La Merced and Sánchez Pascuas as well as the organic market, La Cosecha. All of these are further north in centro, an area I find more pleasant to stay.