Hostels began in Germany in 1909, but it wasn’t until the period between 1909 to 1934 that the first hostels appeared in the USA. From about 1935 through the end of World War II, the hostel movement screeched to a halt. It was revived after the war and has consistently grown since. Nationally, there is a network of hostels that provides more than one million overnight lodgings to guests. Hostels are generally cheaper than traditional motels or hotels, although some motels and hotels do offer hostel rates along with regular lodging options. In Philadelphia, there are a number of hostels to chose from, both in the city and in the greater metropolitan area.
Chamounix Mansion
3250 Chamounix Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 878-3676

Located in historic Fairmount Park, the Chamounix Mansion is part of the Hosteling International Organization. For more than 40 years, it has hosted overnight guests. The mansion was built as a country home in 1802 and sits on a bluff overlooking the Schuylkill River. Its accommodations include clean quarters for individuals, families and groups. The Carriage House is handicap accessible. Meeting rooms with kitchen and dining areas are available and workshops, retreats and other events are welcome. Amenities include a marble fireplace in the main parlor, a TV/VCR lounge, an internet kiosk, vending machines, a fully equipped kitchen/dining area, a recreation room with a piano and foosball table, a washer and dryer and lockers. Free bicycles are provided to guests.

Apple Hostels of Philadelphia
32 S. Bank St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-0222

Apple Hostels offer various lodging options, from dorm beds to semi-private and private rooms. Accommodations are clean and house security is excellent. The only hostel located in the Old City, Apple is within a short walking distance of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Visitors Center. Amenities include a foosball table, Nintendo Wii, complimentary coffee and tea throughout the day, free bed linens, free luggage day storage after check out and central air conditioning. It also offers free pub crawls on Thursdays and a $2 walking tour. It has on-site laundry, a fully equipped guest kitchen, a large lounge, Internet kiosks and security lockers.

Related: Top Bed and Breakfast Getaways In The Philadelphia Area

Motel 6 Philadelphia
815 W. Dekalb Pike
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 265-7200

Located about 19 miles from the Philadelphia International Airport in King of Prussia, Motel 6 offers youth hostel rates for holders of International Student Identity Cards (ISIC). Amenities include Internet access and TV, however, breakfast is not included. Handicap-accessible rooms are available. Each room offers free local phone service, there is morning coffee and children stay free. Rooms are clean and the motel is safe and secure. Each room also contains a private bath. There is an in-season outdoor swimming pool.

Quality Inn Gloucester City
1200 Crescent Blvd.
Gloucester City, NJ 08030
(856) 456-7400

The Quality Inn in Gloucester City, NJ features 24-hour reception service, an outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi, air conditioning, laundry facilities, and even a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning. The facility is also handicap accessible. Located within minutes of downtown Philadelphia, Quality Inn Gloucester City is situated near Penn’s Landing and the Pennsylvania Convention Center and is only a short drive from the airport.

America Best Value Inn
2389 Marlton Pike W.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
(856) 317-1900

America Best Value Inn of Cherry Hill is located within 15 minutes of Philadelphia, and public transportation is available for hotel guests. A two-story outdoor corridor facility, the inn features a 24-hour reception desk, cable TV with HBO, high-speed WiFi, free local calls and a free newspaper. There is also an on-site restaurant and bar. Area attractions include the Battleship New Jersey, Camden County parks, the Adventure Aquarium, Atlantic City and Six Flags.

Related: Top Hotels In Philadelphia On A Budget

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Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on