Hangzhou’s Top 5 Hostels: Traveling on a Backpacker’s Budget

Hangzhou’s Top 5 Hostels: Traveling on a Backpacker’s Budget
By Katie Letheren , eChinacities.com

Travelling in China is unlike travelling in any other country. One willing to take this challenge on must be open to every experience that comes his or her way. Even more, one must remove all possible barriers that separates you from the true Chinese experience. One barrier that I am referring to is the hotel. Large, garish, and highly impersonal, this is the nature of the Chinese hotel. Yes they are beautiful and yes they have breakfast buffets that are to die for, but what they are lacking is everything that you will find staying in a hostel. The Chinese do not do breakfast like we do in the West. In the morning they eat baozi. This is something you may only find out when speaking with the local staff at the hostel you have so wisely chosen. For just a tenth of the price of a hotel, staying at one of the top 5 hostels included in the list below will help aid you toward discovering that true Chinese experience you have been longing for. Each hostel is entirely unique and suitable for different audiences so be sure to take your time in choosing the right one!

1) Mingtown Hangzhou International Youth Hostel 杭州国际青年旅舍 View In Map
Located conveniently behind one of the best bars in town and just steps away from West Lake, Hangzhou International Youth Hostel does not find itself number one on this list by coincidence. In a city where public transportation has not yet hit its mark, location is key and this hostel has it nailed. Most hostels in Hangzhou are located around the south end of West Lake, which although beautiful, means you will have to take a cab or a bus into the city center. Mingtown is thus desirable for those travellers looking to walk out the door of their hostel and already be downtown. Mingtown also has its own restaurant just next door.  For every 25 RMB you spend there, you will receive 5 RMB off your order.

Although it is not the cheapest hostel on the list, what you will save on public transportation will surely make up for it. Mingtown has dormitory beds for just 60 RMB a night. If you prefer to keep your privacy, you also have the following private choices: a special room for two people for 160 RMB, a single room for 200 RMB, a private room with two beds for 295 RMB, or a double room for 335 RMB (prices accurate at the time of writing).

Add: 101 Nanshan Lu, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
地址: 杭州市上城区南山路101号
Tel: 571 8791 8948
Email: mingtown@foxmail.com
Website: www.yhachina.com
Getting there: Ride the No. 12, 25, 38, 102 bus, or the Y9 West Lake tour bus, or the No. 8 tour bus

4Eyes Backpacker’s Youth Hostel. Photo:  tehui.qmango.com

2) 4Eyes Backpacker’s Youth Hostel 杭州四眼井青年旅舍 View In Map
Perched at the top of a hill, this hostel has a décor and atmosphere that simply cannot be beat. Located outside of the city center and enclosed by the mountains of West Lake, 4Eyes is the perfect dwelling to retreat to after a busy day exploring what Marco Polo once hailed as the ‘heaven on earth’. As you are sitting on your own private balcony taking in the scenery that surrounds you, these famous words said by the Venetian explorer will take on a whole new meaning. Other features include a restaurant and bar, outdoor patio featuring an all-day Chinese barbeque, as well as bike rentals for 5 RMB an hour.

For just 40 RMB a night, you can stay in one of their 10-bed dorms. If you are travelling as a family on a budget, 4Eyes is definitely the place for you. The “Family Set Room” is extremely charming and delightful. It consists of a main bedroom with a twin room adjoining and it cost 266 RMB per night (prices accurate at the time of writing). Your children will also be exposed to true Chinese culture, as the hostel is located in a traditional neighbourhood filled with locals.

Add: 66 Siyanjingcun, Hupao Lu, near Manjiaolong Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 571 8643 5731
E-mail: foreyesbackpackers@hotmail.com
Website: www.hostelhangzhou.com
Getting there: Ride the No. 5, Y5, Y7 bus and get off at the zoo stop (动物园车站).

3) Starlight Youth Hostel 杭州榆园星光客青年旅舍 View In Map
Situated not far from Dragon Well, Starlight Youth Hostel is ideal for those looking to explore Hangzhou’s Longjing tea farms. In relation to West Lake, it is about a 20-minute walk away from the calm South end and just a one-minute walk away from Tiger Spring. Each room is extremely clean, recently renovated, and equipped with all the necessities including AC and flat screen TVs. However, one must not be fooled by its name. Although deemed a ‘hostel’ and although it has the prices of a hostel, Starlight feels more like a quiet B&B. Why is it called Starlight Youth Hostel you ask? Propped up under the stars is a telescope for you to use at your leisure before heading to bed after a busy and adventurous day.

Known for its entirely friendly and welcoming staff, Starlight Youth Hostel is best for those travellers in search of a calm and peaceful stay. For 45 RMB a night (50 RMB on the weekends), one can stay in the dormitory. The single room cost 160 RMB a night (195 RMB on the weekends). The twin room cost 180 RMB (230 RMB on the weekends). As you can see, the prices are excellent (prices accurate at the time of writing). 

Add: 53 Siyanjing, Hupao Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
地址: 杭州市西湖区虎跑路四眼井53号
Tel: 571 8715 3077; Mobile: 159 8810 4081
Email: 43821173@qq.com
Website: www.xgk.com.cn
Getting there: ride the No. k4, k315, k504, k514, k808, y1, y3, y7 bus and get off at the zoo stop (动物园车站)

4) Tour’an Hostel 途安青年旅舍View In Map
Although it is just steps away from Starlight, Tour’an Hostel has an entirely different vibe unmatched by any other hostel on this list. Immediately after walking from the outdoor patio into the dimly lit and tranquil foyer, one will feel this vibe I am referring to.  The traditional Chinese architecture, so pristine down to every last detail, is what puts Tour’an on the list. Appealing to a more mature audience, the location of Tour’an is outside the city centre in a quiet part of town. It is a smaller hostel with just 14 rooms.  Each room is very nicely done and includes at least one beautiful piece of Chinese art. Other features include: 24 free Wifi, Wii, continental breakfast, bar and café, outdoor garden and a laundry service.

If you are not sold yet however, I saved the best for last. It is the cheapest hostel on the list. To stay in one of the mixed dormitories, you only have to shell out 30 RMB! For the quality of the rooms and the service here at Tour’an, you will not find a better deal than this elsewhere. A single private room costs just 100 RMB per night, and a twin private room costs 180 RMB per night (prices accurate at the time of writing). If you are a lone traveller in search of a private room, I highly recommend Tour’an as the place for you, as their private rooms here were the best I have seen.

Add: 3 Siyanjing, near Hupao Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tel: 571 8609 4311
E-mail: tour.an@163.com
Website: www.touranhostel.com
Getting there: ride the No. k4, k315, k504, k514, k808, y1, y3, y7 bus and get off at the zoo stop (动物园车站)

5) No. 31 Dormitory, Zhejiang UniversityView In Map
Okay so this last one on the list isn’t actually a ‘hostel’ but I just couldn’t resist letting you in on a little secret that is unknown to many. For just 40 RMB per night, anyone can stay in the No. 31 Dormitory Building at Zhejiang University. If you prefer your own private room, it costs 80 RMB per night (all prices accurate at the time of writing). Staying here is ideal for both young people travelling abroad as well as for those who are unfamiliar with the city and/or the Chinese language. The No. 31 Dormitory is in a very safe environment and you will be surrounded by Chinese students eager to show you around and practice their English. It also doesn’t hurt that the maids will bring you fresh sheets and towels each morning!

Add: 38 Zheda Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Website:  goabroad.com
Getting there: ride the No. 15, 16, 21, 28, 79, 82, 89, 228, 527 bus and get off at the Zheda stop (浙大站) 

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Keywords: Hangzhou West Lake youth hostels cheap hotels in Hangzhou West Lake best hostels in Hangzhou West Lake


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