© The Bug Backpackers
© The Bug Backpackers

9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Nelson 🎒 [2023]

© The Bug Backpackers

Where to Find the Best Accommodations in Nelson for Backpackers

Wow! There are so many hostels to choose from in Nelson all competing to win backpackers’ affections. It was difficult to whittle the numbers down to a TOP 10, as Nelson is the place to be if you want to be a pampered backpacker. The backpacker hostels in Nelson have so many perks that are a rarity to find elsewhere in New Zealand that it’s a place many WWOOFers find themselves staying awhile.

Hostels are ideal for backpacking on a budget, so you have more money to spend on fun activities – like the 20 Best Things to Do in Nelson. It’s likely you’ll save more money in Nelson with the free bikes and nice big gardens to relax in.

For ideas on what to do in Nelson, visit the Nelson – Guide for Backpackers. In the meantime, here are the backpacker hostels we love the most in New Zealand’s sunniest city.

1. Tasman Bay Backpackers

Free pudding!!! Free bikes!!! Free breakfast!!! This place does get us a little excited. With a garden of various hammocks and picnic benches to relax on, a homely lounge and a friendly atmosphere, Tasman Bay Backpackers is definitely a top contender for the best backpacker hostels in Nelson. As well as the usual dorm and private rooms, there is also the rare “private single room” available too. And to find out where to take your bikes, check out our guide to Mountain Biking in Nelson Tasman.

Check Tasman Bay Backpackers out:

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2. Bridge Backpackers

The closest hostel to the Nelson bus station, you can’t get a better location than the Bridge Backpackers. With sleek minimalistic decor, this also has to be one of the most stylish backpackers in Nelson. Common areas include a large kitchen with multiple hobs and ovens, so you’re not fighting for space, and a small gym where you can work it all off. Note that all private rooms have ensuite bathrooms, while dorms and some private single rooms have shared bathrooms. For more awesome accommodations where you can cook your own meals, check out the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Bridge Backpackers out:

9 Best Backpacker Hostels in Nelson 🎒 [2023]© Bridge Backpackers

3. Accents Nelson

Welcoming all travellers, including families and wheelchair users, Accents Nelson offers a friendly place to stay in the town centre. There’s plenty to do here between the bike and e-bike hire, the TV lounge with hundreds of movies, the sauna and the games room. There are two kitchens, as well as a barbecue area, so self-catering is certainly made easy. Choose from a range of dorm rooms, twin-share rooms, private single, twin and double rooms with recently renovated bathrooms nearby. There are also ensuite rooms available. For more family-friendly stays, check out the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Accents Nelson out:

10 Best Backpacker Hostels in Nelson© Accents Nelson

4. Prince Albert Backpackers

This hostel is beautifully decorated with murals and Middle-earth themes. Borrow a free cruiser bike and enjoy the Nelson sun in the hammocks of the spacious courtyard. You don’t even have to walk very far to get a beer with the Prince Albert’s bar just downstairs. Meanwhile, all dorm, double, twin and single rooms have their own ensuite shower room. And, before we forget, free waffles for breakfast!!

Check Prince Albert Backpackers out:

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

5. The Palace Backpackers

No bunk beds, solar power, recycling: it sounds like Grandma’s eco-friendly house but better. Add in the free high-speed internet and you got us for the night! The Palace Backpackers offers a cheap place to stay in a charming Victorian villa set in gorgeous sunny gardens. Treat yourself to real coffee and daily baked goods, while knowing that you’re only a stone’s throw away from the city centre and its eateries/attractions.

Check The Palace Backpackers out:

© The Palace Backpackers

6. The Bug Backpackers

A long-established backpackers on the hostel scene of Nelson, The Bug Backpackers is still well worth booking. You’ll find a friendly and comfortable vibe here with hammocks in the garden, table football and a book exchange, as well as the all-essential free WiFi. There are large and small dorms available (with weekly rates if you want to stick around), while you can upgrade to a private room or a spacious studio with a small kitchenette area. Note that this hostel is a little out of town but at least bikes can be hired for a small fee. For more advice on staying long-term, check out Nelson: A Guide to Cheap Long-Term Accommodation.

Check The Bug Backpackers out:

© The Bug Backpackers

7. Paradiso

Need entertaining? Paradiso has tonnes to keep you occupied with a large swimming pool and a huge garden with a spa pool, beach volleyball court and hammocks; all free to use! Guests also receive breakfast and evening soup to enjoy in the large conservatory kitchen and dining area! As for rooms, most have their own bathroom in this huge villa-style building with a homely ambience. Also, check out Paradiso Apartments listed in the 10 Best Budget Accommodations in Nelson.

Check Paradiso out:

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

8. INNBetween Lodge & Backpackers

Super stylish, INNBetween Lodge & Backpackers looks like something from an IKEA catalogue. The flashpackers has some vintage town bikes and beach cruisers to hire, as well as friendly and knowledgeable staff to guide you on things to do in Nelson. Dorm rooms have free lockers in each room (no tripping over backpacks), while the bathrooms have underfloor heating and hairdryers/straighteners in the female bathrooms. There are also private family, queen and queen ensuite rooms available.

© Innbetween Lodge & Backpackers

9. Honeysuckle House

Located between Nelson town centre and the Centre of New Zealand walk, Honeysuckle House offers a decent location for backpackers ready to explore. The ultra-boutique hostel has just three rooms in a homely Victorian villa: a private double room, a twin room and a six-bed dorm room. The limited few who get to stay here reap the benefits of free WiFi, bikes and ice cream!

10 Best Backpacker Hostels in Nelson 🎒 [2023]© Honeysuckle House

[CLOSED] Almond House Hostel

Relax in one of the garden’s sun loungers while being connected to free WiFi! Enjoy the great outdoors with free bikes and BBQ.

[CLOSED] Abel’s Central Backpackers

Centrally located in the heart of Nelson, Abel’s Central Backpackers makes things convenient and super cheap with some of the cheapest dorm rates in town!

More About Hostels in Nelson for Backpackers

That’s it for our list of the best backpacker hostels in Nelson. For more Nelson travel tips, be sure to check out the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything that we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in the Nelson – Guide for Backpackers and The Travel Guide to Nelson on a Budget.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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