London has a fantastic range of hostels, which are perfect for exploring the capital on a budget. With prices starting from just £6.99 it’s hard to go wrong, but we’ve written some tips to help you get the most from your stay.
Before you book: Check what’s included – some hostels offer breakfast, which usually consists of white bread and jam or cornflakes, but most have a kitchen you can use 24/7. Make sure you also note whether or not you have to pay to use a towel and, if so, consider bringing your own – they’re also useful for hanging over your bunk to ensure privacy.
What to pack: If you’re staying in a shared room then you may want to bring earplugs and a sleeping mask, which can help you get a good night’s sleep. If you’re trying to pack light, remember that you can buy toiletries and other essentials from local pharmacies and supermarkets.
When you get there: If you haven’t paid the full amount then remember to bring cash with you – many hostels charge extra for processing card payments. In most places you’ll have to make your own bed, so try to check in before you go out on the town!
Last but not least: Get involved! Hostels are always full of interesting, fun people, and the hostel common room or bar is often a great place to make new friends.
Five of the Best London Hostels:
- Generator Hostel, Russell Square. A typical party hostel, yo’’ll never be bored in this lively venue, even if you never sleep! Check out the special offers in the bar, which draw a big crowd.
- Clink 78, King’s Cross. You can stay in a prison cell at this converted courthouse, which is conveniently located near the Eurostar terminal.
- Safestay, Elephant and Castle. This new venue is at the higher end of the hostel spectrum and has the feel of a boutique hotel. All the rooms are small and curtains on the bunk beds ensure that you have some privacy.
- Travel Joy Chelsea, Pimlico. This basic but well-maintained pub/hostel has a great atmosphere and boasts spectacular river-side views of Battersea Power Station.
- Smart Hyde Park View, Bayswater. Their six-bed dorms have private bathrooms (although the beds are a little on the short side) and it’s right next to the beautiful Hyde Park, which is perfect if you’re in the mood for an early morning walk or run.
Do you have any other hostel recommendations? Please share your experiences in the comments below…