Hostels in Colombo: Our Top Six

Hostels in Colombo: Our Top Six

When I speak to people of my age, often to my friends about hostels I stay and visit, they raise their eyebrows and ask me a question or two. Their idea of a hostel is our school hostel with cheap polyester sheets, unclean bathrooms and a nasty matron where I had to stay one year when my family had to work outside Kandy. Hostels are no longer lousy dark corners. They in fact no longer remind you of your boarding school days. They are human kind’s greatest alternative to expensive hotels and resorts. If Colombo’s on your bucket list, note down these six beautiful hostels in Colombo because we want you to save money for, well…pizza! ‘Cause Colombo’s got some really good pizza places but hey that’s for another day.

So, what are the six best hostels in Colombo?

1. Drift BnB

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Highlights: The Staff

Dorm rooms from $14, private rooms from $45

HostelWorld named Drift BnB the best hostel in Sri Lanka for year 2015. A bamboo fenced garden with two large cacti plants greeting you, photographs of the island and pot plants as you climb the steps, Drift BnB, one of the best hostels in Colombo brings you an eco-friendly minimalist theme. As soon as you enter, you are greeted warmly by the reception. Although the hostel is situated on Galle Road in Colombo 03, every room here is soundproof so you’re here for a peaceful stay. For solo female travelers who find it a tad uncomfortable staying in with smelly boys, Drift BnB’s got it covered with a 4-bed female-only dormitory. Offering a fully cooked breakfast including toast, eggs, Sri Lankan pol roti with fresh juice, fruits and tea or coffee, Drift BnB offers private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. Some rooms offer garden and sea views while every private room comes up with a flat screen TV. Drift BnB is in the vicinity of anything and everything – the nearby restaurants include Acropol, Green Cabin, Cricket Club Café, Bubblelement, Paan Paan and The Gallery Café (Pun Intended – cause which ‘budget’ traveler goes for a ‘budget’ meal in ‘The Gallery Café?’)

Image: Drift BnB

In a nutshell, we’ve got nothing to complain about this beautiful boutique hostel. We simply love it.

2. Hangover Hostels Colombo

Highlights: Kitchen

Hostels Colombo Sri Lanka

Dorm rooms from $10, private rooms from $35

One of the newest additions to hostels in Colombo. Part of the Hangover Hostels chain (the famous hostel in Mirissa and the one very next to the airport), their Colombo hostel is named the signature hostel. Located at the very end of Bambalapitiya with a few steps away from the sea, Hangover Hostels Colombo offers a spacious garden with outdoor seating facilities. And a modern lobby area with a minimalistic theme. You have free access to their kitchen and we think that’s a huge bonus. It’s no secret that culinary experiences bring people closer. Don’t hesitate to share your meal with a hungry looking backpacker who’s got a sad looking morning pastry from the little shop next door and two years later, you both, together, will be exploring the mysteries of tribal villages in Mongolia. Hangover Hostels are all about meeting people, sharing stories and making new friends. And we love that.

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Apart from that, the rooms here are spacious and clean coupled with good Wi-Fi. Each guest in dorm rooms is provided a spacious private locker which can fit your backpack easily and accessible only by a keycard lock.

Colombo Hostel NatnZin

If you’re too lazy to cook (and really suck at it), Tom Yum, Kandoori, KFC, Java Lounge – for good coffee, and Perera & Sons – for a quick bite, are some nearby restaurants we’d recommend.

3. Evergreen Colombo

Highlights: Restaurant, Custom-made bunk beds


Dorm rooms from $15, private rooms from $60 including breakfast

Located in the most loved part of Colombo, Evergreen Colombo is just minutes away from the famous and the oh-so-happening Mount Lavinia beach. We cannot not mention the custom-made wooden bunk beds in Evergreen Colombo which doesn’t squeak and sways when someone gets in. Each bed comes with a universal power plug with USB ports for both Android and iOS devices which we think is pretty cool. One part of the hostel is the guests’ kitchen where guests can cook their own meals.

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The other part of the hostel has the main kitchen with an in-house restaurant featuring outdoor seating. They’ve covered a wide range of local and international food items on their menu and has a specialized chef to prepare your meals. They also offer a fully cooked breakfast including eggs, toast, cornflakes, oats, fruits and tea or coffee.

4. Clock Inn Colombo

Highlights: Lobby Area


Dorm rooms from $14, private rooms from $50 including breakfast

Just 300m from Bambalapitiya Junction, Clock Inn Colombo is only a few steps away from many local and international restaurants. If we are to say only one thing we love about Clock Inn Colombo – that, of course, will be their colorful and cheerful lobby area. Clock Inn Colombo, one of the most quirky, bautifully designed hostels in Colombo features a spacious lobby area with an open area kitchen. Featuring a flat-screen TV, the lobby is the perfect spot just to chillax after a ten-hour train journey or build a meaningful conversation with the backpacker next to you.

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They offer unlimited breakfast with eggs, toast, cereals and fruits with fresh juices and tea or coffee. Remember, folks, it’s ‘unlimited.’ In Clock Inn Colombo, guests are offered tea or coffee throughout the day with no additional charge.

5. City Rest Fort

Highlights: Restaurant, Rooftop

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Dorm rooms from $14, private rooms from $60 including breakfast

Right in the middle of the historical and enchanting Fort area of the bustling commercial capital, this cute hostel not only features a female dormitory but a male dormitory, too. Gender equality, anyone?

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With an in-house restaurant and a rooftop offering city views, City Rest Fort creates the perfect backpack experience. Don’t forget to have a scoop of ice cream when you’re there.

Nearby restaurants include TGI Friday’s, Heladive Tea Club, t-lounge by Dilmah and Harpo’s Colombo Fort Cafe.

6. Clock Inn Dehiwala

Highlights:  Large Dormitories

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Dorm rooms from $10, private rooms from $40

The newly opened, a bit weirdly located Clock Inn Dehiwala has 12 and 16 bed dormitory rooms built to accommodate groups. They also have a 4-bed female dormitory featuring a female-only washroom (whoa) and a spacious 8-bed mixed dorm room and private rooms, and a private suite with an open air bathroom. It’s located on the famous Hill Street, so getting their by foot is a bit tough if you’re carrying heavy luggage.


The hostel also features an open area kitchen with outdoor seating, a lobby area and a rooftop offering sea view. Since they recently opened they still have bits and pieces of construction work going on but they make sure your stay is a pleasant one.

In addition to all the details above, all these dorms and private rooms are air-conditioned for a cozy and comfortable stay.

What is that one hostel where you’d stay in a heartbeat? Can you add to these hostels in Colombo? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy backpacking!

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