Manchester, the UK’s second urban area, is evolving at a rapid pace which makes it an exciting time to visit. A typical agenda in the city will involve football, music and top northern cuisine. And thanks to this guide, hopefully an epic hostel stay as well.
With a music legacy that includes Joy Orbital, Oasis and the Stone Roses, it’s no surprise that live music is a huge part of the culture here. Venues such as Albert Hall, The Ritz, Night and Day Cafe and the Deaf Institute offer choices across every genre imaginable.
Whether you follow football or not, you’ll be familiar with the city’s two major teams, Manchester United and Manchester City. A stadium tour might be on the cards for avid fans or maybe a visit to the National Football Museum for those visiting Manchester on a tighter budget.
Personally, I enjoy getting out into the countryside, and with the Peak District on the doorstep, this is the ideal destination to base yourself whilst you embrace the nature of Northern England.
My Top 4 Hostel Recommendations for Solo Travellers Visiting Manchester
However, you choose to spend your time in Manchester, here are the best hostels to choose from during your visit. As there are less than 5 hostels in the city, the list is pretty slim, so I’ve included a wild-card alternative at the end.
YHA Manchester **Best OVERALL Hostel**
This is my go-to hostel whenever I’m visiting Manchester, so I was never in any doubt about crowning it my overall best hostel for solo travellers in Manchester. The big common area had plenty of relaxation space, the staff were super friendly and there was a huge blackboard showing the best things to do in the city and upcoming activities.
The rooms were spacious and even had a great view across the canal, although I would point out that the toilets in the room were very small. The hostel had great amenities including a huge car park and a restaurant which serves an extremely good English breakfast (at an extra charge).
During my most recent visit, the hostel was holding a jumble sale in the foyer which I thought was a nice touch. I recommend this hostel to anyone visiting Manchester, whether you’re a solo traveller or not.
Hatters on Newtown Manchester **Ideal for LOW BUDGET Travellers**
Set right in the heart of the Northern Quarter, this hostel is in a prime location for exploring the city and within striking distance of Piccadilly station.
The hostel itself is a bit ‘rough and ready’ so I would only recommend it if you’re on a tight budget. However, once you look past the decor, the rooms are clean and you can get a good night’s sleep. Where Hatters does deserve a place amongst the best hostels in Manchester is it’s social atmosphere, something highly important when travelling solo.
The bar beneath the hostel holds regular activities including VR nights, stand-up comedy and a pub crawl. The staff were forthcoming in rounding up people staying in the hostel to attend which helped break the ice and make it easier to meet other people travelling alone. The bar is open to the public, so I often stay at YHA but visit this bar.
Selina NQ Manchester **Best for FLASHPACKERS or DIGITAL NOMADS**
Although it’s located in a Victorian building, Selina NQ has been refurbished to the highest standards giving it a very chic vibe. This hostel has both private rooms and dorm rooms but due to limited availability, I often find them to be sold out in advance. The beds are also a little more expensive than others on this list, but you get what you pay for.
The dorm rooms are modern and spacious with a privacy curtain for each bed which is always a winner. Unfortunately, the hostel doesn’t have a bar or kitchen itself, but they do offer discount of the bar next door. It’s not the most social of hostels for solo travellers but it’s near the aforementioned Hatters Hostel so I’d recommend heading to their bar if you’re looking to meet fellow travel buddies.
Sleep Eat Love, Liverpool **An ALTERNATIVE Idea**
Manchester doesn’t have much choice when it comes to hostels, but neighbouring city Liverpool has a little more on offer. If you’re struggling to get accommodation, why not stay in Liverpool and make a day trip to Manchester, this way you’ll get to visit two great cities in one.
Sleep Eat Love is your best option in Liverpool. This is a relatively new hostel but has quickly established a name for itself. The social areas have a welcoming vibe, perfect for solo travellers, and the staff are super friendly. The breakfast at this hostel will go down like a treat and it also has great facilities that include a games room, laundry and a gym.