The 6 Best Hostels in Rio de Janeiro (Updated 2023)

published: 2/5/2023 | February 5, 2023

Founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century (although many indigenous groups have lived in the area for thousands of years), Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil.

It is also one of the most visited cities in the southern hemisphere and more than 5 million people pass through the city each year. Its dramatic landscapes and urban landscapes – lush mountains hugging the sea – have been a powerful source of creative inspiration for centuries. Many artistic movements and styles were born here, including bossa nova (samba style).

Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of interesting cultural and natural sites to explore in Rio, including the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer (a new wonder of the world), Sugarloaf Mountain, several great museums and much more.

The city’s bustling energy makes Rio de Janeiro especially popular with backpackers and party-goers (especially during Carnival), which means there are plenty of hostels to choose from.

Below you will find a list of the best hostels in Rio de Janeiro. But, before we get too deep into the topic, I want to share four things you need to remember when choosing a hostel:

  1. location – Rio is huge, so keep that in mind when looking for a hostel. Choose a neighborhood close to things you want to see and do.
  2. price – As anywhere, you get what you pay for. If you choose a really cheap hostel, you’ll likely end up with a hostel that’s small, cramped, and doesn’t offer great service.
  3. means of comfort – Every hostel in town has free Wi-Fi, and most have self-catering facilities so you can cook your own meals. Many – but not all – include a free breakfast, so be sure to do your research to find the one that best meets your needs.
  4. Work crew – All of the lodges listed here have great staff who are very friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up the reviews so you have helpful and friendly staff. They can make or break an inn!

Here is a list of the best hostels in Rio de Janeiro. If you don’t feel like reading the longer list below, the following are the best in each category:

Best hostel for budget travellers: mambibi or books
Best hostel for solo travellers: Aquarella de Lime
Best hostel for couples: Selena Lappa or Aquarella de Lime
Best party hostel: Books or download Pura Vida
Best hostel for nomads: Selina Lapa
Best all inclusive hostel: Aquarella de Lime

Want details of each hostel? Here is a breakdown of the best hostels in Rio:

Price legend (per night)

  • One dollar = less than 75 Brazilian reals
  • $$ = 75-100 Brazilian reals
  • $$$ = more than 100 Brazilian reals

1. Aquarella du Lime

Rooftop terrace overlooking the city, beach, and ocean at the Aquarella do Leme Lodge, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This new hostel is just a few blocks from the world famous Copacabana Beach and 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of sand and boardwalk. It is ideal for travelers looking for a quieter time in Rio, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. The hostel itself is still quite sociable though with a welcoming staff who organize frequent group activities (eg tours and hikes), as well as a WhatsApp group at the hostel to make friends and plan outings. You really feel like you’re staying with family here (there’s even a lodge dog!).

The pod-style bunk beds have all the modern amenities, including privacy curtains, individual reading lamps and sockets, walk-in safes, and each room has an attached balcony. There are also female-only dorms and everything is always kept clean.

There are several common areas, including a co-working space and gym. There is also a rooftop terrace with stunning ocean views. If you’re on a tight budget, there’s a fully stocked kitchen and a free breakfast buffet (even homemade bread).

The only downside is that the lodge is at the top of a steep hill, but there are always cheap motorbike taxis waiting below to take you to the top if you prefer not to walk.

About Aquarela do Leme:

  • $$$
  • Super close to Copacabana beach
  • Free breakfast and fully equipped kitchen
  • Gym, co-working space and rooftop terrace

Beds from R$106, private rooms from R$375.

Book your Aquarela do Leme here!

2. Discovery Inn

Three-tier wooden bunk beds at Discovery Hostel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This award-winning hostel is housed in a restored colonial building and has been voted the best hostel not only in Rio but in all of Latin America year after year. It’s conveniently located, with a metro station at the end of the block and the lively Lapa district (known for its nightlife) just down the road.

The friendly hostel staff organizes nightly events, so this is definitely a place for you if you like to meet people and party. It’s also easy to save money here, given the extensive breakfast buffet in the morning and happy hour in the evening.

Many of the rooms have bunk beds as high as three (so try to avoid them), though all have curtains for privacy as well as individual lights and sockets. Another advantage? The water pressure is really good. But the Wi-Fi isn’t always the best, so it’s not a great place to stay if you’re working on the road.

About Discovery Inn:

  • $$
  • Great location next to the metro makes it easy to get around
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • A social hostel with a bar and events organized throughout the week

Bed from R$100.

Book Discovery Hostel here!

3. Pura Vida Rio de Janeiro hostel

Colorful outdoor terrace and bar at Pura Vida Hostel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Located between Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Pura Vida is another great place to stay if you’re looking for a party lodge. There are plenty of events organized, from karaoke nights to boat tours, a sociable staff, and an always busy inn bar, which makes it very easy to have fun and make friends here. There is also a huge communal kitchen where you can cook your own meals, as well as a small breakfast every day (for an additional fee).

Metal beds are basic, with no privacy curtains, reading lights, or individual outlets. But, again, this isn’t really a place to stay if you want to sleep. The bedrooms also do not have air conditioning, although the private rooms do. There are also female-only dormitories.

It is noteworthy that it is located right at the entrance to one of the many cities of Rio poor neighborhoods, and urban slums where crime is often on the rise. Conditions and security vary widely from one favela to another, but it is still important to take extra precautions around them. Stay alert when back here at night, you better not be alone (here are some safety tips recommended for Brazil in general).

About Pura Vida Hostel Rio de Janeiro:

  • $$
  • Party hostel with events every night and a bar to meet people
  • Kitchen facilities and BBQ area
  • Breakfast is available (small fee)

Beds from 95 SAR, private rooms from 235 SAR.

Book Pura Vida Hostel here!

4. Selena Lapa Rio de Janeiro

Metal bunk beds in a bedroom with colorful walls at Selena Lapa's hostel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Selina is a chain of hostels known to look more like trendy boutique hotels with a co-working space. There are plenty of common areas: a huge rooftop terrace, a restaurant, a cocktail bar (where you’ll get a free welcome drink), a kitchen, a cinema room, and like all of Selina’s locations, a co-working space.

All rooms are very clean, neat and modern and have air conditioning. The beds are new and the mattresses very comfortable with individual lighting, power outlets and under bed lockers. (Note: there are no curtains for privacy and the Wi-Fi is not always the best in the rooms.)

There is also Selena in Copacabana with pretty much the same amenities.

About Selena Lapa Rio de Janeiro:

  • $$$
  • Huge rooftop terrace
  • An arena for teamwork
  • Modern hostel with a hotel-like atmosphere

Beds from R$115, private rooms from R$515.

Book Selena Lapa here!

Book Selina Copacana here!

5. Mambebe Hostel

Rustic kitchen with wooden table and chairs, Mambembe Hostel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Mambembe is a homely and artsy hostel located in a quiet street in the bohemian district of Santa Teresa. The old mansion-turned-inn is a quirky place, with eclectic decor and art on the walls, a music room full of fiddles, and resident cats completing the ambience. It is on top of a steep hill so keep that in mind if strenuous walking isn’t your thing.

All bunk beds have lockers, privacy curtains, individual power outlets, and reading lights, but keep in mind that some bedrooms have bunk beds in three. Everything is kept nice and clean by the friendly hostel staff.

There are many indoor and outdoor common spaces (with hammocks!), including an indoor TV lounge and an outdoor sundeck, where you can relax and meet other travelers. It’s a social place, but it’s not a party hostel.

About Mambebe Hostel:

  • $
  • It is located in the artistic neighborhood of Santa Teresa
  • Fully equipped kitchen and free breakfast
  • Lots of common areas including outside terraces and sundeck

Beds from R$72, private rooms from R$200.

Book Mambebe Hostel here!

6. Download the books

A brightly colored kitchen covered in murals at Books Hostel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Also located in Santa Teresa, Books is a noisy party inn with design (there are murals throughout the interior). It’s definitely a party crowd (mostly Brits) staying here, and everyone is very open-minded and happy to meet other travellers. There are several common spaces that make it easy to do this, including a communal braai area, kitchenette, library, and TV room with Netflix and PS4. The party kicks off every night with happy hour in the bar downstairs, and in the mornings, there’s an amazing free vegan breakfast.

When you want to get some sleep, the sturdy wooden bunk beds are surprisingly comfortable, with great pillows too. Other than that, it’s very basic, with no privacy curtains, individual lights, or sockets. There is air conditioning in most of the rooms, and the water in the bathrooms is always hot (not always the case in Rio). And perhaps most importantly, despite the number of people coming in and out of the inn, it always stays spotless!

Books Hostel Overview:

  • $
  • Free breakfast
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • A bar inn with a great happy hour

Beds from 65 SAR, private rooms starting from 180 SAR.

Book Books Hostel here!


Rio is a wonderful city with so much to see and do that you could easily spend a month here without getting bored. And by choosing a great hostel, you will ensure that you make the most of your visit, allowing you to enjoy this vibrant and lively destination.

Book your flight to Brazil: logistical tips and tricks

Book your flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines all over the world so you will always know that no stone is left unturned!

Reserve your accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the largest inventory and the best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use as they constantly show the cheapest rates for cheap guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft and cancellation. It is comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Are you looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resources page for the best companies to use when traveling. I list everything I use to save money when I’m on the road. They’ll save you money when you travel, too.

Do you want more information about Brazil?
Be sure to check out our robust Brazil destination guide for more planning tips!

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