Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from the fine folks from HostelBookers.com about their choice of the 10 best Hostels in London. I’ve written a post for them as well on the Top 10 Day Trips from London. Click here to read it.
London has a reputation as one pricey city, and not all of us can afford to camp out at the Ritz or live like the Queen at Buckingham Palace. So why not book a London hostel for your next trip? Hostels are great value for money, and often have friendly staff, a sociable atmosphere and pound-stretching extras like free breakfasts, maps and city tours.
Aside from youth hostels, not all of these budget rooms are for backpackers only. From chic boutique hostels with their own bar and funky decor, to family-friendly self-catered apartments, there’s affordable accommodation for everyone in the capital. Here are ten of the best hostels in London:
1. Palmers Lodge
Housed in a beautiful Victorian mansion, it’s no wonder Palmer’s Lodge is one of the most popular hostels in London. Built in 1881, the house has been restored with modern facilities, but has bags of character – guests can relax in the elegant lounge and bar, both with flat screen TVs.. Located near Swiss Cottage tube, there are loads of restaurants, pubs and a theatre within walking distance, and it’s only a few minutes by tube into central London!
2. Astor Hyde Park
3. YHA London Central
This hostel is perfect for backpackers and students who want to be in the heart of the city – you’re a short stumble form the bright lights of the West End, the top shopping on Oxford Street and cool bars in Soho. Recommended for its clean, comfortable rooms, and laid-back chill-out areas, there’s a bar and cafe on site, as well as a fully-equipped kitchen for whipping up a cheap meal.
The Walrus is right by Waterloo station, ideally located for the cultural delights along the Southbank, from Shakespeare’s Globe, to the Tate Modern and the London Eye. The downstairs of the hostel is a cool bar, with great food, cheap drinks and a range of games for a fun night in. The hostel has a range of freebies, with free Wi-Fi internet, lockers and a delicious breakfast to kick off a day of sightseeing.
5. UMI London
Ideal for families and couples, these affordable apartments are in a quiet garden square in trendy Notting Hill, close to the cool antiques market at Portobello Road. All rooms are private and ensuite, and come equipped with digital plasma TVs, free internet and tea and coffee-making facilities.
6. Dover Castle Hostel and Bar
This party hostel is a great place to meet other travellers, with a bar on site serving cheap drinks, themed parties, and a free welcome drink on arrival! Close to London Bridge and Waterloo, it’s easy to get to the world famous Ministry of Sound Nightclub, and top sights like Tower Bridge. The staff are fun and friendly, and will help you find great places to go out, arrange free walking tours and sort serious stuff like airport shuttles.
7. The Generator
This huge hostel is London’s largest and liveliest place to stay, catering to fun-loving backpackers. The central location in Bloomsbury means the British Museum is five minutes away, and there’s plenty going on back at the hostel, with lively events in the bar every night. The Generator Bar is open until 2am every night, or head to the a chill-out room with nightly movies screenings for something a little more low key.
8. Access Apartments Marble Arch
These fully furnished apartments give a little more privacy than your average hostel, with plenty of home comforts -from washing machines and full cooking facilities to a living and dining area. Sleeping 4-6 people, these roomy apartments have the service and security of a hotel, with a concierge on site selling cheap tickets to the theatre and major attractions.
9. St Christopher’s Inn Camden
In the heart of cool Camden, this hostel has a rock and roll edge, with a bandstand for gigs and chill-out room in the basement. Rock chicks are a short walk from the famous market and high street packed with pubs, where pink Mohawks and copious tattoos are the norm. The hostel also has its own â€˜Belushi’s’ bar, great for cheap meals and drinks, and guests at the hostel get a 10% discount.
10. Clink Hostel
This hostel is a piece of rock and roll history -it was once the courthouse where punk band the Clash went on trial! Sleep in a former police cell and enjoy the futuristic rooms, with high-tech pod beds equipped with reading lights and personal lockers. There’s also two former courtrooms packed with computers for checking emails.
If you’re interested in booking a hostel – check out our website here.
What’s your favorite hostel in London?
Very disappointing that some of these hotels exclude travelers over a certain age. Just because I’m older doesn’t mean that I have enough money to stay in a fancy hotel
These aren’t hotels, they’re hostels. There’s a big difference.
Still it’s disappointing to learn there are age restrictions on some of these hostels. Just because we’re at a certain number of turns around the sun doesn’t mean we’re not hip or that we’re looking for the Marigold!
They’re afraid of our wisdom dears. After all, we were once their age,& now we know more.
Anne Chung says
I’m not aware that any hostels have age restrictions, even the YHA. Today’s hostels are just that, hostels and as in Europe admits everyone. I’ve seen families with babies at hostels, of course, they stay in private rooms and not in the dorms. I’m 63 and have never been excluded from any hostel, in the UK and in Europe. I’ve bedded down with other women of my age all over England. Surprisingly while I’ve stayed in mixed dorms too, I’ve yet to meet older men at hostels. The Generator chain of hostels are very welcoming, they are appearing in most major cities all over Europe. I’ve stayed at 3 Generators, London, Copenhagen and Paris.