The Best Hostels in Central London

Get the best skyline view of Central London from Primrose Hill
Get the best skyline view of Central London from Primrose Hill | © Greg Balfour Evans / Alamy Stock Photo

Hostels are the perfect option for those who want to explore the city without blowing the budget before they’ve even arrived – and proof that staying in London needn’t cost the earth. From swanky hotel-hybrids to backpacker hotspots with a great social atmosphere, this is Culture Trip’s selection of the best hostels in Central London.

Whether you’re after a social atmosphere where you can easily make new friends, or simply a low-cost accommodation option, hostels are great places to base yourself on any trip to London. An increasingly competitive market has seen many up their game – with rooftop bars, mini libraries and dedicated games rooms some of the standard facilities you can come to expect. To make your life easier, we’ve narrowed this list down to just a few that make the grade as one of the best hostels in Central London.

1. SoHostel, Soho


Courtesy of SoHostel /

Based in the heart of London’s coolest central neighbourhood, Soho, this hostel is perfect for people who want a party atmosphere. The on-site bar runs plenty of good-value drinks deals, and often puts on popular live-music and karaoke nights. Rooms range from en-suite doubles to six-bed dorms, so there’s something to suit all budgets, and everything is decorated in bold, loud colours. There’s also a roof terrace, a games room and even a pamper room with Hollywood mirrors and hairdryers.

2. Wombat’s City Hostel, Whitechapel


With its enormous underground bar, hammock-strewn terrace and lounge area, this place is by no means lacking in communal spaces where like-minded travellers can meet and mingle. The cavernous bar comes equipped with table football and a pool table and hosts beer pong tournaments at night. Both dorms and private rooms are sleek and modern in style, with personal charging points and reading lights in each bunk. For a unique experience, opt for a double in the dorms – housed within an arch, it’s like sleeping in your own personal pod. With Tower Bridge on your doorstep, and Spitalfields and Shoreditch a short stroll away, this hostel puts you in a prime location for exploring the city.

3. Rest Up London, Elephant and Castle


Rest Up London
Courtesy of Rest Up London / Hostelworld

Rest Up’s cool roof terrace is an excellent selling point, but the homely vibe and friendly staff certainly help seal the deal. Its interiors have been artfully put together and have a contemporary-meets-Victorian vibe, featuring glazed tiles in British racing green, panelled ceilings, wood floors and chesterfield sofas. It’s within walking distance of the Tower of London, Tate Modern and Ministry of Sound, so this hostel is ideal for anyone who wants to be out and about. Rooms have key card access and security lockers, and some come with en suites at no extra cost. There’s also a cheap all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, and the hostel has a great travel desk to help you plan your trip.

4. Clink261, King’s Cross


Courtesy of Clink261 /

Located near King’s Cross and Euston train stations, this hostel has been open for an impressive 20 years and has seen millions of backpackers pass through its doors, so the staff really know a thing or two about what guests are looking for. So, although you shouldn’t expect to be blown away by the decor, everything is clean and modern and there are plenty of useful touches, such as individual reading lights and USB charging ports beside each bunk bed; discounted tickets and tours are also on offer at reception.

5. Hostel One Notting Hill


Courtesy of Hostel One Notting Hill /

This social hostel is a great place to meet new people. The Notting Hill location is beautiful and close to local markets and sights such as Kensington Palace. Those who are new to the city will appreciate the friendly staff, who happily take guests on tours of local attractions before rounding off the day with a trip to local bars and pubs. But the ultimate plus? A free dinner for guests every evening.

6. Astor Museum Hostel, Holborn


Small courtyard space with wood bench seating, hammock and dartboard at Astor Museum Hostel in London
Courtesy of Astor Museum Hostel /

The clue is in the name, but when you look out of the window of your dorm or private room, it’s plain to see: the British Museum – the nation’s biggest museum – stands proudly across the street and is free to explore. Oxford Street is just a stroll away, too, making this hostel a popular choice for history buffs and shopaholics alike. Its fully equipped kitchen is a great place to meet fellow travellers over dinner, while the enclosed terrace feels a little like something out of Alice in Wonderland (don’t forget to look up!). Housed in a Georgian townhouse, the hostel doesn’t look or feel out of place in the shadow of such an historic museum, adding a quintessential touch to your stay in the UK capital.

7. St Christopher’s Inn London Bridge


St Christophers Inn London Bridge
Courtesy of St Christopher’s at the Village / Hostelworld

If sightseeing is number one on the to-do list, then location is key. The London Bridge branch of St Christopher’s Inn puts you mere moments away from the bridge itself, Borough Market (foodie heaven) and Tate Modern. Inside, rooms are monochromatic with whitewashed walls and odes to the city in the way of canvas prints of some of London’s iconic sights – think Big Ben and classic red telephone boxes. The 16th-century building is also home to a pub of the same name – if you’re interested in sampling a local brew or two, wander inside for special guest discounts before heading off to explore London’s world-famous nightlife.

Molly Codyre contributed additional reporting to this article.
Still haven’t found the perfect hostel in London? Check out our guide to the best hostels to book in London, England, bookable with Culture Trip.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article