The Top 5 Best Backpacker Hostels in Mumbai
India is a spectacular country to backpack in because of the diversity of languages, food, and culture across the entire country. Mumbai (also still often refereed to by it’s old name – Bombay) is one of the most vibrant and lively cities in India, known for the Bollywood film industry, buzzing atmosphere and mix of modern and colonial architecture.
Mumbai is India’s largest and most exciting city and it’s always been my favourite big Indian city. The city is densely populated and accommodation here is often double the price of elsewhere in India. When I first came to India there were no backpacker hostels in Mumbai and the city has been slower than other cities in India to build hostels. Luckily now there is a good selection of backpacker hostels in Mumbai to choose from that offer affordable, fun and modern accommodation and are a great place to meet other travelers, especially important if you’re traveling solo.
Most of the tourist sites in Mumbai are found in the far South in the Colaba area. Here you can visit the famous Gateway of India stone arch, admire the charming colonial architecture of the Taj Palace hotel and the UNESCO listed Chhatrapati Shivaji Train Station, and take a boat from the Gateway of India to explore the rock cut cave temples on Elephanta Island.
Mumbai also boasts hundreds of street food stalls and restaurants with all types of Indian cuisine and some of India’s best nightlife. It’s also a huge cultural hub, with many museums, theaters, and art galleries throughout the entire city. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to Bombay now and it never gets boring – see my post on 21 things to do in Mumbai for more inspiration and check out my Backpackers Guide to Mumbai here.
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There are now several good backpacker hostels in Mumbai to choose from – however most of them are not situated in the main tourist district of Colaba – only Backpacker Panda Colaba and Travellers Inn is not far away in nearby Fort area. The roads and trains in Mumbai are always super packed so make sure you choose your location carefully to be close to the sights you want to see.
Many backpackers hostels in Mumbai are situated in the northern suburbs like Andheri and Bandra. These are still cool places to be and will show you a different side to the city. It’s also more convenient for the airport if you’re just making a quick stop but be aware that it can take 1 hour to travel through the city to reach the sights in Colaba from there.
These are my 5 favourite backpacker hostels in Mumbai:
The location alone makes Backpacker Panda Colaba the best backpacker hostel in Mumbai because it’s the only hostel situated in Colaba near to the majority of Mumbai’s attractions. It’s only a 5-minute walk to the Gateway of India and Taj Palace Hotel and 500 meters to the buzzing Colaba Causeway and the popular hangout Leopold’s.
It’s a great place to meet other travellers because there’s a common area, rooftop, darts, and a kitchen. They offer you free WiFi, air conditioning, and comfortable and clean rooms with a personal locker. You can choose between staying in a mixed dorm, female only dorm or a private room. It’s also a very safe hostel with friendly staff that will make you feel right at home the second you step foot inside. If you want to be centrally located then look no further, this is the best backpacker hostel in Mumbai. Click here to book!
Mumbai’s original backpacker hostel (hostels weren’t even a thing in India until a few years ago!) has been popular with budget travellers for so long and its still one of the best backpacker hostels in Mumbai despite the influx of funky new hostels. The Travellers Inn is where I stayed on my very first day in India in 2012! It’s located in the Fort area only a 5 minute walk to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus – the big famous, historic, UNESCO listed train station. They offer mixed dormitory rooms as well as basic private rooms.
Being so close to the train station means its easy to access all the other parts of the city and you can also easily walk to Colaba from here in about 10 minutes. It’s also only a 10 minute drive to Chowpati Beach. You’ll get a TV and telephone in your room, as well as air conditioning. It’s a great base to explore the city from or you could also just relax in the common area and meet other travellers. They even offer free tea and coffee all day!
Also don’t miss checking out Cafe Universal just round the corner. Travellers Inn doesn’t have the funky, modern design of some of the other hostels but for location and value this is one of the original and still best budget hotels and backpacker hostels in Mumbai, click here to book!
Zostel is the most popular chain of backpacker hostels in India and their Mumbai branch is one of the best backpacker hostels in Mumbai because of its funky, colourful design, friendly atmosphere and homey vibes. There’s a cafe, a common area full of games, and a Bollywood themed rooftop area which is the perfect place to meet other travellers if you’re traveling alone. It’s a sociable place but not a drunken party hostel.
Zostel Mumbai is situated in Andheri East, one of the hipper northern suburbs of Mumbai, near to the airport, Powai Lake and Phoenix City Mall but a bit of a trek from the tourist sights in Colaba. There are mixed dorms and female only dorms – all with ensuite bathrooms. There’s also a terrace and kitchenette. The staff will help you with any questions you may have, and are very friendly and welcoming with tons of local knowledge. You’ll feel right at home when you walk into Zostel Mumbai. Click here to book!
Bombay Backpackers makes it to my list of the best backpacker hostels in Mumbai because of the funky, colourful transport design themed dorm rooms and the cosy, friendly, fun atmosphere. The hostel has nice common room, air conditioning and free wifi throughout and includes a free breakfast.
It’s located in the northern suburb of Kurla which is convenient for the airport and there is a local train station not far away if you want to go down to Colaba. There are tons of delicious street food stalls near the hostel, and you can even get free laundry when you stay here. Click here to book!
Bombay Backpackers also have another property right near the airport – Airport Hostel by Bombay Backpackers It’s also right next to Vila Parle station which makes it easy to reach all areas of the city.
Horn OK Please hostel is named after the ubiquitous ‘Horn Ok Please’ signs that you see on all vehicles in India! The hostel is in a good location in the hip Northern Mumbai suburb of Bandra so you’ll experience where the cool Mumbaikers live not just the tourist parts. The hostel is also not far Bandra station so its not too hard to explore all the other areas of the city.
You can enjoy the buffet vegetarian breakfast in the morning, go out and sightsee and then chill with other travellers in the comfy common areas. The team here are focused on creating a safe community space for all travellers so it’s a great hostel if you’re travelling solo. It’s extremely clean and comfortable, and each bunk bed has its own electrical sockets.
This is one of the best backpacker hostels in Mumbai because as well as free wifi and air conditioning, there’s heaps of extras at Horn OK Please that you wouldn’t normally expect in a hostel – you’ll have access to a coffee machine that is in each room of the hostel, a hair dryer that’s in the shared bathroom, and even a microwave. Click here to book!
Have you stayed in any amazing backpacker hostels in Mumbai? Leave your recommendations in the comments below the post and help out other backpackers! 😊
By the way – this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you find my recommendations for the best backpacker hostels in Mumbai useful and choose to book through the links I provide I can earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you which helps me to keep traveling and to keep this site going. Thanks so much for your support!