London has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, and whilst that’s not entirely wrong, if you know where to look, there are ways to cut back on spending, especially regarding accommodation. If you’ve Googled places to stay in London, you might’ve initially panicked at the first price that came up, but staying in a hostel is a great way to cut back on spending and meet other curious travellers who are also exploring the ins and outs of the city. From female-only dorms to old Victorian hostels, here’s our guide to the best London hostels for travellers on a budget.
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Destinations Hostels @ The Gallery
First on our list of the top London hostels for travellers on a budget is Destinations Hostel, which offers a clean and comfortable stay right in the heart of the city. It’s located north of the River Thames, only moments away from Pimlico tube station and a mere 15-minute walk to the bucket list Elizabeth Tower (home to Big Ben). The hostel is located in The Gallery Pub, a lively, traditional pub built in 1841 by Thomas Cubitt as a part of his Pimlico Triangle, a British builder famous for his work on many historic streets and squares of London. They have six and four-bed dorms, family rooms and a welcoming common room perfect for meeting like-minded travellers, equipped with a microwave, ice machine and kettle. Rooms come with air-con, USB charging points (so you don’t need a UK power adaptor), memory foam mattresses and more than enough bathrooms and showers on each floor.
Book Destinations Hostels on Hostelworld | Pimlico
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Hostel One Notting Hill
Channel your inner Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant at Hostel One Notting Hill, set where the iconic film was shot in one of London’s prettiest neighbourhoods. The hostel is close to many of the city’s main tourist attractions and top-notch bars and restaurants (try neighbourhood favourite The Mall Tavern for craft beer and British fare). It’s designed and run by backpackers and is known for being particularly sociable, so it’s an excellent option for solo travellers and those on a budget. They host a range of free events, including a communal family-style dinner every evening, a daytime activity where they’ll take you to explore city highlights and a night activity where you’ll get to explore the city’s club and bar scene.
Book Hostel One Notting Hill on Hostelworld | Notting Hill
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YHA London Earls Court
YHA London Earls Court is just a few minutes’ walk from Earl’s Court Underground Station in a beautiful Victorian building on a typical, affluent London street. It’s one of the most popular London hostels for travellers on a budget and offers a spacious, comfortable place to base yourself, with the luxury of having a private room with an en-suite if you choose. It’s close to London’s most famous museums, The Natural History Museum, The V&A and The Science Museum, all free to visit, and the Royal Albert Hall, where you can catch a live musical performance.
Book YHA London Earls Court on Hostelworld | Earl’s Court
Image Courtesy of Park Villa
Next on our list of the best London hostels for travellers on a budget is this recently restored boutique hostel in Mile End. Park Villa has kept much of its former Georgian Regency charm with its regal stone exterior and traditional oak wooden floors inside. Though the rooms are clean, comfortable and equipped with everything you need, the main draw is the location. It’s in the heart of the East End, moments from Mile End tube station, which connects you to the city centre in less than 15 minutes. It’s also a short walk from the leafy Victoria Park, which is worth a visit on Sunday morning when the park springs to life with local vendors and market stalls serving everything from groceries and street food to drinks and more (it’s the best place to go dog spotting). Oh, and make sure you swing by Pavilion Bakery next to the lake for the best almond croissant of your life.
Book Park Villa on Hostelworld | Mile End
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YHA London St Pancras
Stay in the heart of the action at YHA London St Pancras, a warm and welcoming hostel opposite St Pancras station, a fine example of stunning Gothic Revival architecture. The station is also home to the longest champagne bar in Europe and the Eurostar, which links the UK with many other European cities via the Eurotunnel. They arrange daily activities like free walking tours, pub crawls, trips to West End shows, themed dinner nights and movie nights, so it’s a great spot to meet other travellers if you’re journeying solo. Bookworms will also like this hostel since it’s opposite the grand British Library, founded in 1753 and housing the world’s largest collection of books.
Book YHA London St Pancras on Hostelworld | WA | King’s Cross
Image Courtesy of Urbany Hostel
Urbany Hostel London
Urbany Hostel is in the boho neighbourhood of Notting Hill, around the corner from the iconic pastel houses that are synonymous with this west London borough. It’s also right around the corner from the bustling Portobello Road Market, renowned worldwide for its selection of antiques and stalls, which stretch for over a mile on Fridays and Saturdays. The hostel is set in a pretty Victorian terraced house built in the 1800s and has been restored to include a range of shared mixed dorms and a handful of private rooms. There are roomy common areas ideal for mingling with other travellers and an open kitchen so you can save some pennies cooking in-house.
Book Urbany Hostel London on Hostelworld | Bayswater
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Hostelle is a female-only hostel in London that provides a space for women travellers to feel safe and welcomed in a fun and empowering environment. There are a range of dorms, ranging from four to 16 beds, all only sleeping females. It’s located in the vibrant Bethnal Green district, near the tube stop, which will get you into the city centre in around 15 minutes. The area is chock full of traditional London pubs (check out Royal Inn on the Park) and several excellent restaurants, bars and cafés, like Satan’s Whiskers, Sager + Wilde and E.Pelicci, renowned for their classic English breakfast.
Book Hostelle on Hostelworld | Bethnal Green
Image Courtesy of Astor
Astor Hyde Park
Last but not least on our rundown of the best London hostels for travellers on a budget is Astor Hyde Park, which will plonk you right In the middle of the city’s action. It basically hugs the leafy park and is just a short stroll from The Natural History Museum, The V&A and The Science Museum (all free to visit). There are many rooms, ranging from four beds to 12, and twin and private rooms, with mixed and female-only options available. There’s a spacious, old Victorian lounge for mingling, with plump leather sofas, forest brown wooden floorboards and statement vintage wallpaper (it’s very quintessentially British). There’s also a fully-equipped kitchen and large dining space with plenty of tables, which are both great for meeting people and enjoying a cold beer post-city exploration.
Book Astor Hyde Park on Hostelworld | South Kensington
BTW, if you’re working on making your London trip budget but are having a bit of trouble, grab our London Spending Guide. It’ll tell you how much you should expect to pay for each part of your trip, give you recommendations for accommodation, food, and activities based on your budget, and it comes with a POWERFUL budgeting spreadsheet. Have a closer look at the London Spending Guide.