A visit to London doesn’t necessarily mean having to spend a fortune on accommodation. In fact, if you stay in one of London’s many hostels, you really can get superb value for money.
Nowadays, hostels aren’t only the haunt of teenage backpackers looking for the cheapest bed possible. Many different folk use hostels as a base, for all sorts of reasons. Sure, money comes into it, but so does location.
Add in the fact that you’re going to meet a ton of interesting people who’re also staying there, and the appeal of hostel life becomes more and more apparent.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of hostels in London. And it can be a challenge to sort out the good from the not so good. So with that in mind we’ve put together a list of the top 9 hostels in London. These made the list thanks to a variety of reasons, including price, cleanliness, ease of getting there and simply the fact that they’re interesting places.
1. The Dictionary, Shoreditch
The Dictionary in Shoreditch, East London is in a fantastic location. This inner city area is perhaps one of the trendiest regions of the city right now, thanks to an eclectic mix of inhabitants including artists, hipsters and techies. There are wonderful art galleries to visit, ethnic restaurants, unique shop and organic food markets.
This quirky hostel boasts 220 beds, a bar, laundrette, café and self-catering kitchen. You can choose from staying in a large dorm (16 beds), a small dorm (4-8 beds) or a private double room. Prices start from £15 per night.
2. St Christopher’s Inn, Shepherd’s Bush
If you’re searching for a lively place, then look no further. St Christopher’s Inn is in a fantastic location close to London’s West End. And for those into wild nightlife, then the infamous Belushi’s is right next door. This Shepherd’s Bush hostel is popular with Aussie visitors, as well as those from other parts of the globe.
There’s free Wi-Fi access, a 24-hour reception, free lockers in the rooms and its cleanliness is only second its greatness… Prices start from around £10 a night in an 8-bed dorm.
3. Clink 78, King’s Cross
If you’re looking for a hostel with a little history, then Clink 78 will be right up your street. This 200 year old former courthouse is the place that famous 70s and 80s punk band, The Clash, stood trial for shooting a prize pigeon. Located in funky King’s Cross, the hostel boasts beds for 500 guests, in a combination of dorms and private rooms.
There are plenty of facilities, including the aptly named, Clash Bar, a TV and film lounge and a well-equipped self-catering kitchen. Prices start from £13 per night.
4. Generator Hostel, Bloomsbury
Generator Hostel in Bloomsbury, is superbly located and is a great place for those who love to party. Granted, the Generator Hostel group is a brand that can now be found all over Europe, but don’t let this fool you into thinking that they’re all carbon copies of each other, because nothing could be further from the truth.
The interior décor is superb, with exposed brick walls, bespoke graphics and some pretty cool artwork. Accommodation is a combination of shared dorms and private twin rooms, with reasonable prices from around £15 per night. Facilities include a bar, lounge, café and a travel shop.
5. Palmer’s Lodge, Swiss Cottage
This little baby calls itself a ‘boutique hostel’ and with good reason. Palmer’s Lodge is located in a beautiful, Grade II listed Victorian building. Inside you’ll be surrounded by amazing décor, including genuine antiques and salvaged furniture, all made 21st century with the addition of some up to date classics. This Swiss Cottage located building boasts a bar in the chapel, and a restaurant in the old scullery – this really is a hostel with history.
Each bed, even in the dorms, is separated from everyone else by a curtain. Continental breakfast is included, cleanliness is great and the staff super friendly. A bed per night starts from around £19.
6. Safestay, Elephant and Castle
Billing itself as a ‘poshtel’ Safestay London Hostel is in a great location in the wonderfully named, Elephant and Castle. This wonderful Georgian building has eclectic interior décor, and also is a showcase for upcoming artists.
The hostel also has a wonderful heated garden, free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. Accommodation is in 4,6 and 8 bedded dorms, twin bunks and private singles and doubles. Prices start from £18 per night.
7. Astor Museum Inn, Russell Square
If location, location, location means everything to you, then the Astor Museum Inn might just be your perfect hostel. The building has been a hostel since 1771, and is literally right next door to the British Museum.
Recently refurbished, the hostel has a brand new kitchen and lounge. There’s also free Wi-Fi the use of safes and some great social spaces to mingle with other guests. Prices in a dorm start from around £17 per night.
8. Dover Castle Hostel, London Bridge
Dover Castle Hostel is close to London Bridge and Southbank. This lively hostel provides nightly entertainment, laundry facilities, lockers, a luggage room and free Wi-Fi. Accommodation is provided in dorms, private rooms and, for those who wish to stay for a longer period of time, the hostel can arrange for flat shares and private rooms in houses.
Prices start from £15 per night.
9. YHA London Central
Situated in Bolsover Street, just 5 minutes from Oxford Street, this YHA hostel is simple, social, clean, safe and great value for money. Free Wi-Fi, dorm rooms, private and family rooms are on offer, all from £18 per night. But be warned, this is a popular location, so get your reservation in early if you have dates that can’t be flexible.