4-to-6-bed room, $39-$49 per-person; 8-bed room, $26-$42 per-person; 10-to-12-bed room, $23-$42 per-person; family room (1 queen, 1 bunk), $135; private room (1 queen, 1 bunk, private bath), $150
1 at 103rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Backpackers from around the world flock to the friendly, activity-oriented Hostelling International on the Upper West Side for good reason: It's just blocks from Central Park—a granola's wonderland—and major subway lines. Inside, the hostel's ground floor is equipped with a faux hotel-style front desk, cozy café, community TV lounge and kitchen, library with Internet portals and a charming outdoor garden, complete with picnic tables and umbrellas. There's also a private grassy area suited for basking in the sun or kicking around a soccer ball. The bright, clean and sparsely decorated, dorm-style accommodations offer all the essentials: bunk beds, lockers, fresh towels and linens. The variously sized rooms are some of the most affordable finds in Manhattan—just be prepared to share a bathroom or a bedroom with total strangers. (Special note for the shy: There are rooms with a private bath available for groups of four, for an extra fee.) The helpful staff hosts daily activity tours, such as guided outings to Greenwich Village or Harlem, and the low room rates should leave guests with extra cash to enjoy the city. Don't forget the hacky-sack.Pros
Large, clean rooms at very inexpensive rates. Social atmosphere and activities.
The surrounding neighborhood is rather run down and features few tourist destinations.