In the center of downtown Baltimore, HI Baltimore Hostel (Hostelling International Baltimore) transforms a historic 1857 brownstone mansion into a charming retreat for budget travelers. With pride flags, high ceilings, large chandeliers and a gorgeous multi-level private outdoor patio, HI Baltimore Hostel offers a warm and cozy place to stay for travelers visiting “Charm City”.
Significantly cheaper than hotels and other types of accommodations downtown, HI Baltimore is the only hostel in Baltimore. For HI USA and National Youth Hostel members, nightly rates start at $28 USD. Non-members pay an extra $3 USD membership fee.
HI Baltimore Hostel
The Not-Afraid-To-Be-Different Inner Harbor Hostel
Only 3.5 hours away from New York City by bus, I arrived late Friday evening eager to spend the weekend sightseeing.
HI Baltimore Hostel is conveniently located across the street from the Baltimore Basilica, America’s first Roman Catholic cathedral. The hostel is also within walking distance to other historic attractions like the Washington Monument (Baltimore) and Inner Harbor. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and food markets nearby. Since I just so happened to be in town for Maryland Fleet Week & Air Show, I also had the luxury of seeing the talented jazz ensemble, the U.S. Navy Commodores.
The common areas at HI Baltimore had large TVs, comfortable couches and musical instruments like a baby grand piano and guitar. There were also colorful art pieces and sculptures on display. If you like to read, the hostel has a variety of books that you can borrow.
Although volunteer-led events were not available during my stay, HI Baltimore Hostel now offers weekly events like pasta nights, graffiti alley tours, walking tours and more.
Is HI Baltimore Hostel Safe?
Despite Baltimore’s reputation, I felt safe at HI Baltimore Hostel because the hostel took all the necessary precautions. To enter the hostel, buzz in at the front door.
At check-in, you get a key card which grants you access to the dormitory area (upstairs) and your room. The common areas are also under 24-hour video surveillance. Lastly, private on-site parking is available for $10 USD per day.
12-Bed Female Dorm
HI Baltimore has 44 beds with en-suite bathrooms; here you can stay in a 12, 8 or 4-bed dorm.
By the time I arrived at 9 p.m., the lights were already out in my 12-bed female dorm. So right off the back, I knew that HI Baltimore Hostel wasn’t a “party hostel”.
Quiet hours start at 11 p.m. and end at 7 a.m. So rest assured that your roommates probably won’t wake you up in middle of the night. In fact, my room was quiet throughout the day and at night.
My top bunk came with clean linens and blankets. The hostel also provided towels. If you would like to do laundry, just bring enough change.
Decorated with plants, a large vanity mirror, and a chalkboard, my 12-bed dorm wasn’t as stylish as the 19th century inspired common area. However, it had everything I needed for a comfortable stay.
My dorm conveniently had an en-suite double shower and toilet. This meant that more than one person could use the bathroom at a time. There were also private bathrooms down the hall.
HI Baltimore Hostel Outdoor Patio
The HI Baltimore outdoor patio was my favorite hang out spot.
The newly built patio was perfect for getting some fresh air or admiring the Baltimore skyline. During my stay, I couldn’t resist having an early cup of coffee here.
The patio had all sorts of greenery including vegetables and potted herbs. The staff even converted an old bathtub into a lush flower bed.
Delicious Pancakes in Charm City
HI Baltimore Hostel has a fully stocked kitchen equipped with everything you need to cook a delicious meal. This includes an oven, blender, toaster, pots, plates, utensils and more. There’s even a vending machine that sells cold beverages. Throughout the day, enjoy unlimited Fair Trade coffee and tea.
The shared kitchen has a large island table with plenty of countertop seating, perfect for meeting other travelers. There’s also plenty of other seating options in the dining room.
Mo’ Pancakes, Please
At HI Baltimore, complimentary breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. It includes the standard toast, jam, instant oatmeal, and cereal. However, the DIY pancakes were probably the best pancakes I’ve ever had (and made) at a hostel.
With a flat skillet and the proper utensils, I made delicious golden brown pancakes. And although I’m not a chef by any means, my pancakes came out insanely good. I didn’t even need much syrup!
Overall, HI Baltimore Hostel is an affordable hostel close to all the must-see attractions in Baltimore. I also have to say that a hostel that believes in a hearty breakfast is my kind of place!
Thanks again HI Baltimore Hostel for welcoming me to Baltimore.
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 25 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.