You’ll find that most budget hostels and guesthouses in the city centre are in downtown which can be a little rough and ready, but is a great central location and near to plenty of eateries and bars. Most of the sights in this part of the city are walkable, meaning you’ll also save money on transport.
A veteran member of the budget club, 20th Street Hostel (No. 23, 20 Street Lower Block, Lathar Township), enjoys a great central location close to the Strand Rd. with friendly staff who are happy to help; good value for money around the corner from Chinatown.
Agga Youth Hostel (No.86, 12th Street, Middle Block, Lanmadaw Township), also in downtown, offers dorms from just USD8 and is extremely highly rated. It is designed for backpackers on a budget and rates include breakfast.
There are some properties a little further out of the city in Baham township along Kandawgyi lake, which is a nice area of the city and a lot quieter and more peaceful than downtown, whilst some may choose to stay much further uptown and nearer to Inya Lake. Here is where you’ll find many residential areas for well to do locals, as well as modern shopping malls and some good quality Western restaurants. If you do stay outside of the city in one of the more remote spots, it’s very easy and cheap to travel around by taxi. These can be arranged with your hotel, or just wander onto the street and more often than not you’ll find one within minutes that will happily take you to the tourist spots in the city centre.
For quieter atmosphere skip the downtown and try Yangon Hub (Aung Myay Tharzi 1): located around 6km outside the centre but also offers rock bottom prices for dorms.
The most promising areas for mid-range and flashpacker accommodation stretches around Sule and Shwedagon Payas. You can try Cherry Guesthouse (No.278/300, Maha Bandoola Garden Street, Upper Block), which is a step up from the backpacker’s end of accommodation options, but still remains quite budget friendly. It’s clean and recently renovated, located centrally in downtown.
Another convenient spot between Sule Paya and the riverfront, Aung Tha Play Hotel (No 74/80, 38th and Merchant Sts, Kyauktada Township) is quite quiet with larger than average rooms and located in a historic building.
May Shan Hotel (115 Sule Pagoda Rd) sits two steps away from Sule and is comfortable and clean with friendly staff. It’s a good value for money option.
Luxury hotels are typically located in old colonial buildings that have been remodelled, often situated on the river or offering lakeside views. Chains like Shangri La and the Savoy have made their way into the city in recent years and offer top quality accommodation.
The Strand (92 Strand Rd.), a tourist attraction in its own right, this colonial hotel boasts a stunning location on the river and has been completely refurbished. It offers complete luxury throughout from the rooms to the food.
Another great choice in the top-end category is Belmond Governor’s Residence (35 Taw Win Road; Dagon Township) sits opposite the Lao Embassy. While the view is not so amazing as the one offered by The Strand, it’s a beautiful old colonial hotel with scenic grounds, a pool and warm, friendly service – also popular for the quality of the wifi!
Savoy Hotel Yangon (129 Dhammazedi Road) is a good deal away from the centre, about one km northeast of Kandawgyi Lake. Located in another old colonial property that has been remodelled, it offers classic experience: there’s everything you’d expect from the Savoy chain with authentic charm.