London is a traveller-friendly city with plenty of options that won’t break the bank. Not only are hostels a great way to make your budget go further, but they also tend to be more sociable spaces than hotels. Culture Trip has selected the best hostels in London that will make your stay more special.
SoHostel has an enviable location right in the centre of London with Oxford Circus, Covent Garden, the West End and many of London’s most popular retail stores, pubs and bars right on its doorstep. Guests can choose from six-room dormitories, single or double rooms with private en suites. The rooftop bar is a great place to hang out on a warm day, especially during happy hour with half-price drinks, daily cocktails and live music.
Although Safestay London Elephant and Castle is the southernmost hostel on this list, it’s well connected to central London with an underground station nearby. There’s a £5 continental breakfast for guests, margherita and pepperoni pizzas from the café, Friday ‘rock nights’ and street-art tours of East London on offer.
Wombat’s City Hostel London offers spacious dorms along with private rooms | Courtesy of Wombat’s City Hostel London / Hostelworld
Wombat’s City Hostel sits right in the heart of East London’s historic Tobacco Docks with St. Katharine Docks Marina, the Tower of London, Wilton’s Music Hall and Skylight, a rooftop bar and street food market, all nearby. The hostel boasts some of the coolest shared dormitories in London and a great on-site bar with exposed-brick arches, pool tables and more.
The Dictionary Hostel was founded in 2010 by native South African Eliska, who, after running five hostels owned by somebody else, decided to start her own inside a converted Victorian warehouse! There are plenty of thoughtful touches, from the clean, modern design to the free breakfast including toast, jams, cereal and coffee. Female-only dormitories are available, as well as mixed and private rooms. All guests enjoy a 20 percent discount at on-site bar Translate.
Located in Swiss Cottage, a leafy North London neighbourhood, Palmers Lodge has Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill and London Zoo on its doorstep. It’s close to Finchley Road and Swiss Cottage underground stations and only a handful of stops from Baker Street, Westminster and England’s impressive national stadium in Wembley Park. This characterful old building features original ceiling roses, fireplaces and warm wooden details.
Generator Hostel London is located between King’s Cross and Russell Square with the British Museum, Barbican Centre and Camden (a neighbourhood famous for its street-food market and alternative fashion boutiques) all within walking distance. The hostel has a flair for the dramatic with bold graphics, a replica London bus parked on its dance floor, and a patio perfect for socialising on a sunny day.
Clink261 celebrates ‘cool Britannia’ with its quirky Union Jack-inspired design. The best part about staying here? The Stay & Create programme that invites up-and-coming musicians, artists and illustrators to host weekly workshops and perform live for guests. Female-only, shared and private rooms are available.
Rest Up London is located in South London, only a short walk from Elephant & Castle underground station. The original Victorian building is easily the most stylish on this list, and the designers have spared no expense in making this an atmospheric place to spend your downtime in London. There’s a lively café where guests can enjoy continental or English breakfasts and an eclectic dinner menu of burgers, fish and chips, pasta, homemade pizzas and more.
Park Villa has many of London’s prettiest green spaces on its doorstep including Mile End Park, Victoria Park and the Olympic Park, which was the site of the London 2012 games. Here you can take an adrenaline-fuelled slide down the ArcelorMittal Orbit or dive off the high boards at the Olympic pool. Also nearby is West Ham’s home ground, where you can watch a Premier League match. This charming hostel offers a chilled-out place to rest your head while staying in the capital.
The Walrus Hostel | Courtesy of The Walrus Hostel / Hostelworld
The Walrus Hostel sits on top of a British pub, or ‘boozer’, in the heart of Waterloo. The Houses of Parliament, IMAX cinema, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Borough Market are all nearby. This characterful hostel offers free breakfast including toast, spreads, coffee and fresh orange juice.
Astor Hyde Park is located right next to one of London’s largest green spaces and near London’s museum district where you’ll find the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, not to mention the Royal Albert Hall, one of London’s most famous music and performance venues. The hostel occupies a charming old building that fits perfectly into this historic part of town.
St Christopher’s Oasis | Courtesy of St Christopher’s Oasis / Hostelworld
St Christopher’s Oasis is a female-only hostel between Southwark and Borough. The OXO Tower, Shakespeare’s Globe, Borough Market and Southbank, home to the London Eye and the London Aquarium, are all within walking distance. There are capsule beds with mood lighting and privacy curtains on offer, but if you’re looking for slightly more space, choose a shared or private dormitory, one of which has great views of The Shard!