A stay in London doesn’t have to be expensive; it is possible to live it up on a budget in the capital. If you’re looking for an ideal location, comfort and (most importantly) fun, there are plenty of hostels dotted around the city just waiting to show you a good time; you just have to know where to look.
Hostel booking website Hostelworld has selected 10 of the coolest hostels in London:
The Dictionary, Shoreditch
Welcome to Shoreditch, the birthplace of London’s hipster scene, and what better way to enjoy the trendy area than staying in the first youth hostel ever to be built there? More than just a place to stay, The Dictionary offers a self-catering kitchen and super-friendly bar and café, making it impossible to leave here without new friends.
Safestay, Elephant and Castle
Just minutes away from London’s biggest tourism hotspots – including the South Bank, the Houses of Parliament and Borough Market – Safestay hostel gets top marks for convenience. It’s also a fine example of elegance on a budget; the chic Georgian building and artwork from up-and-coming British talent will add a touch of luxury to your budget stay.
Palmers Lodge, Swiss Cottage
With a free breakfast, funky décor and just 11 minutes from the centre of London by tube, Palmers Lodge is ideal for budget travellers with an upmarket taste. The historic building and committed staff have helped the hostel chain win numerous awards over the years, including one for Best Accommodation in the UK.
Clink 78, King’s Cross
This Victorian beauty was once the home of Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist was penned within its walls – along with being a former courthouse, where The Clash stood trial in 1978 for shooting a prize pigeon. Besides a seriously colourful history, Clink 78 is also a famed party hostel, ideal for impoverished backpackers in need of new friends and a good time.
Astor, Hyde Park
Kensington used to be an exclusive playground for the elite, but thanks to the budget-friendly Astor, shoestring travellers can now set up camp just minutes away from Kensington Gardens and The Serpentine. The townhouse boasts a stunning layout and free Wi-Fi.
The Walrus Hostel, Waterloo
Free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and right above a traditional English pub – what more could you ask for? The Walrus is just a short walk from the city’s main attractions and provides a booking service for tours around the country – Stonehenge is a popular choice.
Pride of Paddington, Paddington
Choose from a comfy private or shared dorm above a pub that serves some of the most delicious food in London. Not only does Pride of Paddington offer a free full English breakfast – with all the trimmings – but as a guest you are entitled to a discount on everything on the pub menu. Put that together with Portobello Road market, Oxford Street and Covent Garden all within a 30-minute walk, and you have everything you need to enjoy all the capital has to offer.
The Gallery, Hyde Park
Within easy reach of the central, circle and district tube lines The Gallery is perfectly positioned to explore London’s centre. If shopping on Oxford Street or dining in Mayfair doesn’t suit your budget, have no fear. Hyde Park is right on The Gallery’s doorstep, perfect for long scenic walks and people watching, and it won’t cost you a penny.
Generator London, Bloomsbury
If you’re into eccentric interiors and have a healthy appetite for partying, stay at Generator Hostel. Their facilities are extensive – including a bar, travel shop, lounge, café – and the location is probably as central as is possible to be in London. With hostels across Europe, the Generator attracts tourists from all over, so you’re guaranteed to make friends with some seasoned travellers.
Destinations at The Rose and Crown, Borough
The Rose and Crown is the perfect way to experience old fashioned English pub fun, with regular quiz nights, karaoke and hearty real ale. The warm and cosy atmosphere right below this Destinations hostel is ideal for a touch of homeliness in the big city.
Hostelworld.com is the world’s number one hostel booking website. As well as featuring independent and official youth hostels, the site now features campsites, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs and budget hotels. It currently lists over 27,000 properties in more than 180 countries.