Traveling isn’t always about 5-star luxury hotels, a leather-upholstered lobby fashioned from cow hide, caviar at breakfast, and a high-definition 60” TV in the bathroom. While all that sounds lavish, most of us look for clean, comfortable accommodation with an affordable price tag. Save the hard-earned money for exploring the city, and pinch pennies where you can on a decent crash pad, where you’ll linger just long enough to recharge before you hit the city again.

Beirut’s got a nice sampling of hostels, or budget-friendly establishments that provide discount lodging for students, travellers, NGO volunteers, and the like. If you find yourself in Beirut and in need of a clean crib that won’t empty your pockets, here’s where you should look to book.

Hostel Beirut

(Image via Hostel Beirut)

Hostel Beirut is the brainchild of Kristian Paulsen, a 37-year-old Norwegian do-gooder who structured the residence as an NGO. In fact, proceeds go toward scholarships for refugees unable to pay the high costs of university tuition. Located in Geitawi, a stone’s throw from the hip throngs in Mar Mikhael, Hostel Beirut offers a relaxed work/study environment with free Wi-Fi and breakfast. The fully-equipped kitchen is a godsend for guests and hosts various dinner events during the week featuring local and international cuisines. Rooms start at a mere $18/night, and you’ll actually get a discounted rate if you stay 2+ nights and extend internally through the hostel reception desk.

Hostel Beirut
Rue 56 No.11
Akram al-Eid Building, Top Floor
Mob.: +96178908966

Saifi Urban Gardens

(Image via Saifi Gardens)

Saifi Urban Gardens isn’t simply a lodge—it’s a lively hub for NGO workers, artists, expats, and students to mingle and dabble. Opened in 2010 on the former waterfront of Beirut’s East Side, the establishment is a colorful oasis in the heart of the Gemmayze district and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Simple private rooms, suites and dorm beds can be booked for short- and long-term stays, beginning at just $18/night. Lodging includes Lebanese breakfast and free Wi-Fi internet access. Be sure to enjoy a meal at the onsite Café Em Nazih, which serves home-cooked meals 7 days a week from 8am-4am. Ascend too to the famed Coop d’Etat rooftop, open year-round.

Saifi Urban Gardens
Pasteur Street
Tel.: +9611562509

Beirut YWCA

(Image via Lebanon YWCA)

Billed as a “home away from home,” the Beirut YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) follows in the practice of the worldwide organization and offers safe, comfortable and affordable housing facilities. Nestled in the heart of Ain Mreisseh not far from AUB and ESA, the hostel can house up to 90 young women and boasts internet access, a small fridge in each room, modern kitchens, a cafeteria, and a TV lounge for enviable rates. A single room with private bath can be had for $350/month, and if you’re okay with rooming, a double with a shared bath will only set you back $185/month. There are also rooms and special rates for visitors.

Beirut YWCA
Rustom Pasha Street
Ain el-Mraisseh, Beirut
Tel.: +9611367750//1

BEYt Guesthouse

(Image via BAYt Guesthouse)

At a time when every space along the Mar Mikhael main drag is being transformed into a restaurant, the BEYt guesthouse is a refreshing rebuke to that truth and is run by three friends named Tony, Jeanne, and Abdallah. A restored home with high ceilings, typical arcades, beautifully-tiled floors and its own private garden, BEYt is decked in vintage furniture but also provides all the amenities of a modern residence to ensure a comfortable stay. There are different room options, ranging from a corner private bedroom with shared bathroom ($50 single, $70 double) to a master bedroom with queen and single beds and an en-suite bathroom ($90 single, $110 double, $130 triple occupancy).

BEYt Guesthouse
Armenia Street
Mar Mikhael
Tel.: +9611444110

Nouveau Hotel du Liban

(Image via Lebanon Hotels)

To round up this lineup, who fancies a traditional house from the Ottoman period located centrally in Achrafieh between Damascus and Monot streets? The Nouveau Hotel du Liban is operated by a family from the Chouf region who go out of their way to make guests feel at home and even arrange local transportation for them at bargain rates. Three room types, all with shared bathroom facilities, are advertised: a 25-sqm. single for $40/night; a 32-sqm. double for $60/night; and a 45-sqm. family room outfitted with five twin beds for $150/night. If coziness, proximity to the city and a bit of history are what you’re after, then this is your certain nest.

Nouveau Hotel du Liban
Damascus Road
Tel.: +9611320332
Mob.: +9613823543
Mob.: +96170992847

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