Staying in central London can be cheap, and not necessarily at the expense of comfort. And hostels are the perfect option for those who want to explore the city without blowing the budget before they’ve even arrived. London’s hostels offer everything from swanky accommodation to backpacker hotspots with a great social atmosphere. This is Culture Trip’s selection of the best hostels in central London.
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.
If you want to be within easy reach of the city’s biggest sights, Wombat’s is located near Tower Bridge, London Bridge and Shoreditch. There’s also plenty going on, however, at home base. The hostel has a huge basement bar with exposed brick walls and a ping-pong table, a large, modern kitchen and a comfy lounge. Rooms are spotless (the hostel has won awards for cleanliness) and you’ll get a free welcome drink on arrival.
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, the Tate Museum 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.
Clink261’s laid-back vibe is more about post-sightseeing relaxation than partying | Courtesy of Clink261 / Hostelworld
Located near King’s Cross and Euston train stations, this hostel has been open for an impressive 20 years, and 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 on offer at reception.
St Christopher’s is a firm favourite in several European cities, and this London branch is no exception thanks to its convenient location, fun party atmosphere and recent renovations that make the place feel far more luxe than your average dorm rooms. It also has Japanese-style capsule beds with USB ports, mood lighting and curtains for added privacy. Those who want something fun and a bit different will love it here.
The grand common areas, with wood-panelled walls and period fireplaces, sit beside simple, minimal rooms at this South Kensington hostel. Doubles aren’t particularly large, but Hyde Park’s spacious expanse of greenery is right on the doorstop, as are must-sees for London first-timers, like the V&A Museum. The hostel keeps things very clean, and there’s an on-site cash machine, as well as a great kitchen and laundry for guests’ use.
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 will 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.