London Eye

13 Best Hostels in London: Budget-Friendly Stays in the Big Smoke

15 min read  •  
  1. Home
  2. >
  3. England
  4. >
  5. London
  6. >
  7. 13 Best Hostels in London: Budget-Friendly Stays in the...

So, you’re visiting lovely London. Well, I’ve got some good news for you:  Over the past ten years, I’ve lived in London a few different times… and some of that time was spent in hostels.

So, in this guide, I’ve put that knowledge to some use. Expect sociable spaces, quiet ones, lots of trendy spots, and good proximity to big tourist attractions (like Westminster, Camden, and the Tower of London).

… oh, and because London is a pricey place, we’ve also brought you plenty of budget-friendly options (if we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t be living up to our name).

Today, Budget Travel Plans are taking you around the 13 best hostels in London. Pack your bag and come join the party!

Coming up in this guide:

  • Edgy neighborhoods
  • Loads of events and activities
  • Things you probably haven’t heard of
  • Some cut-price places to stay

Quick Answer: What Are the Best Hostels in London?

Best LocationSt Christopher’s Camden
Best Hostel for Solo TravelersBarmy Badger or Wombat’s City Hostel
Best Hostel for CouplesOnefam Notting Hill

Budget-Friendly Hostels in London

Wombat’s City Hostel London

Wombat's City Hostel London
Source: Wombat’s City Hostel London
Address:7 Dock St, London E1 8LL, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 680 7600
Location score:8.7/10
Hostelworld rating:9.0/10
Google rating:4.4/5
Shared dorm starting price:£44/night
Private room starting price:£167/night

Best for: endless events, a balance between sociable and calm, and close proximity to the Tower of London

One of the most popular hostels in London, and one of the best hostels in London. 

All open-plan and well-lit, this place is way more attractive and appealing than your average hostel. It has a near-hotel vibe, perfect if you want a sociable space that doesn’t look all grotty and grim. You’ll make friends, but you’ll also be able to get some sleep—a nice compromise.  

The buffet breakfast is great (though you need to pay extra for it), they offer events (karaoke, games nights, walking tours and more), and the fully-equipped kitchen (with a free food section!) is great.

And because it’s central and well-connected, Wombat’s is in a perfect location for getting to all other parts of the city. Massively recommended!

Local’s Insider Tip

While you’re staying here, make sure you visit Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, two of the city’s most impressive historical attractions (and this is coming from a man who doesn’t even like historical stuff).

Other must-tries in the area include the Jack the Ripper Museum (full of grisly gore), the informal eats at Cirilo Filipino Kainan, and old-school pub The Hoop and Grapes (which has been serving up tasty pints since the 1500s!).

Onefam Notting Hill

Onefam Notting Hill
Source: Onefam Notting Hill
Address:63 Prince’s Square, London W2 4PW, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 229 4944
Location score:9.8/10
Hostelworld rating:9.7/10
Google rating:4.0/5
Shared dorm starting price:£33/night
Private room starting price:£196/night

Best for: couples who want a combination of privacy and sociability (and don’t mind paying a little more to get it)

Onefam Notting Hill used to be called ‘Hostel One Notting Hill’. It’s a bit pricier than most other places we’ve brought you, but absolutely worth the money.

Much more upmarket than your average hostel, this place has a real hotel vibe. The bathrooms are clean and tidy, and the whole place feels modern.

Other perks include a pretty outdoor terrace, super-friendly staff, and (optional) communal dinners.

All in all, this place is best suited to couples. You can make friends and enjoy feeling like you’re in a ‘nice’ place—but you won’t have to tolerate drunken teenage backpackers waking you up at 3am. 

And get this: Onefam came first in Hostelworld’s ‘Most Popular Hostels London’ category in 2020!

Note: Their age limit is 18 to 36.

Local’s Insider Tip

Notting Hill is one of the classiest trendy areas in London. Some of the neighborhood’s best under-the-radar hangouts include informal Turkish restaurant Fez Mangal, tiki-themed bar The Beachcomber, and some tucked-away reggae venues in and around Ladbroke Grove.

Make sure you also explore the bizarre Museum of Brands, where you can see thousands of old-school packets and posters.

… oh, and if you’re here at the end of August, check out the iconic Notting Hill Carnival (although, in truth, you can hardly miss it).

St Christopher’s Camden

St Christopher's Camden
Source: St Christopher’s Camden
Address:48-50 Camden High St, London NW1 0LT, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 388 1012
Location score:8.5/10
Hostelworld rating:7.5/10
Google rating:3.8/5
Shared dorm starting price:£26/night
Private room starting price:£118/night

Best for: young party-minded budget travelers who want a central location and a quirky neighborhood 

St Christopher’s Camden isn’t the fanciest or cleanest hostel in the world… and it’s not suited to people with high standards. 

But it’s friendly, affordable, and an unbeatable spot for making friends (mainly with young solo travelers). The staff are also very welcoming and helpful.

Other perks include continental breakfasts (for £5), a great common area, free-of-charge earplugs, and daily pub crawls in the neighborhood.

The hostel sits above a busy bar (which is owned by the hostel), so it can be noisy at night. If you want late nights, stay here. If you don’t, don’t. 

Overall, cheap hostels in London aren’t normally this good.

Local’s Insider Tip

If you like weird neighborhoods, you’ll love Camden. 

Eclectic and edgy, it’s packed with food trucks, live music, happening hipsters, canalside stretches, and vintage stores. Explore it all on an aimless wander.

But my specific recommendations for the neighborhood are:

  • Camden Lock Market – colorful stalls, colorfully-clad people, and some of the strangest markets you’ve ever seen
  • The bizarre Cyberdog clothing shop,
  • The nearby second-hand bookshop Word on the Water

Make sure you also rent bicycles to ride along the canals (Santander Cycles are usually the most accessible option).

Oh, and for something a little more normal, London Zoo is just a short wander away.

Astor Hyde Park

Astor Hyde Park
Source: Astor Hyde Park
Address:191 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5EU, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 581 0103
Location score:9.1/10
Hostelworld rating:8.2/10
Google rating:4.1/5
Shared dorm starting price:£19/night
Private room starting price:£88/night

Best for: a good breakfast, exploring museums and green spaces, and people who want a central but quiet option 

The comfy and cozy decor in Astor Hyde Park’s shared spaces makes this feel more like a home than a hostel. Other homely perks include no focus on partying (yep, you can make friends here, but there are no pub crawls or drinking tours or anything of the type) and a relatively small size.

As a nice bonus, the tasty breakfast here is only £3.50 per person—a great budget-friendly way to start your day. 

And it’s a one-minute walk from Hyde Park, the city’s most popular green spaces.

Note: They only accept guests between the ages of 18 and 40.

Local’s Insider Tip

When exploring Hyde Park, head to the Serpentine Lido for outdoor swimming. And when you’re done with Hyde Park, wander over to much quieter St. James’s Park (one of my favorite parks in London).

Make sure you also hit some of the area’s museums. Some of the biggest include the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. But underrated options in the area include the National Army Museum, the Saatchi Gallery, and the Dopamine Land (which, in truth, probably isn’t a museum—but it’s in that ballpark). 

The Walrus Hostel

The Walrus Hostel
Source: The Walrus Hostel
Address:172 Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7RW, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 754 558 9214
Location score:9.0/10 rating:7.3/10
Google rating:4.2/5
Shared dorm starting price:£26/night
Private room starting price:N/A

Best for: some sipping and slurping at an in-hostel pub, and exploring the sights of Westminster

Westminster is the heart of political London—here, you’ll find Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, and loads more related stuff.

And… I’m sure you can see where this is going… The Walrus is in this part of the city. So if you want to be close to many attractions (and also in the center of London), this is where you want to stay.

It’s also one of the best London hostels for making friends. They have a cozy on-site pub (offering live music and a wide range of drinks), free earplugs, and a load of friendly faces. Other perks include sociable staff, good safety and security, and a decent kitchen.

Cons of the hostel include lots of noise (both from the nightlife and the very close-by train station) and small bathrooms—and it won’t be the cleanest place you’ve ever seen.

Local’s Insider Tip

We’ve already covered Westminster… but you should also explore nearby Southbank (The London Eye here is a big tourist hotspot, and the BFI Southbank is the best cinema venue in the UK). 

Other slices of fun include Immersive Gamebox, the old-school working-class eats of Bankside Cafe, and all the modern theaters in and around the area (favorites include The Young Vic, The Old Vic, and the National Theatre—and Shakespeare’s Globe is also pretty close). 

Barmy Badger

Barmy Badger
Source: Barmy Badger
Address:17 Longridge Rd, London SW5 9SB, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 370 5213
Location score:9.3/10
Hostelworld rating:9.0/10
Google rating:4.4/5
Shared dorm starting price:£28/night
Private room starting price:£88/night

Best for: solo travelers, making friends without drinking all day, and a central but varied location

Perks of this place include memory foam mattresses(!), a book exchange, two dogs (if you don’t like dogs, there’s something wrong with you), a free breakfast, a BBQ area, a little herb garden, electronic safes, and some board games.

It’s a sociable place, and it’s easy to make friends here—but it’s not a big nightlife spot. So you should be able to combine friend-finding with decent sleep.

For solo travelers, this is one of London’s best hostels. You’ll fall in love with it, like everyone else does.

Local’s Insider Tip

I’m tempted to say this is the best-located hostel in London. 

It sits in Earls Court, which is nothing special in itself…

… but you’re right in the heart of an intersection of endless great areas, including Hammersmith (where you’ll find the city’s Wetlands Center), Battersea (home to Battersea Park), and Kensington (where Hyde Park sits).

Other close-by worth-visiting areas include Brixton, Peckham, Richmond, Soho, and Camden. A genuinely brilliant part of the city, and a perfect location for a traveler like you.

St Christopher’s Inn, Liverpool Street

St Christopher's Inn, Liverpool Street
Source: St Christopher’s Inn, Liverpool Street
Address:52 Wilson St, London EC2A 2ER, United Kingdom
Location score:8.5/10
Hostelworld rating:7.7/10
Google rating:4.2/5
Shared dorm starting price:£41/night
Private room starting price:£163/night

Best for: being close to tourist sights, saving some money, and exploring some of the best hipster hangouts in London

Another St Christopher’s option (and owned by the same team who run St Christopher’s Camden).

St Christopher’s Inn sits near Shoreditch. One of the city’s most hip and happening parts, it offers LOADS of trendy venues and hangouts (more on them soon).

But it’s also one of the best London hostels for seeing the biggest sights. Here, you’re close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, the Tower of London, a load of iconic bridges, and more stuff you’ve heard of.

The hostel offers low prices and sits above a retro pub. It’s not the most comfortable or clean place in the world, and the £5 breakfast isn’t worth its cost. But it’s welcoming and modern, and it feels fairly homely—and if location and price are your priorities, you’ll love it.

Overall, St Christopher’s Inn is one of the best cheap hostels in London.

Local’s Insider Tip

If you like weird stuff, get yourself over to the Columbia Road Flower Market, which takes place every Sunday. You’ll see (and smell) a load of flowers and herbs and love the laid-back vibe.

Other high points of this trendy area include Spitalfields Market (one of the friendliest in London), Brick Lane (a graffiti haven, and offering the city’s best Indian food by a long way), and BOXPARK (a shipping container buzzing with loads of little independent stores and eateries).

And in nearby Dalston, you’ll find Ridley Road Market, my favorite of all the pop-up food markets in London. I guarantee you’ll find food there you’ve never munched on before.

Astor Kensington

Astor Kensington
Source: Astor Kensington
Address:45 Queensborough Terrace, London W2 3SY, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 229 7782
Location score:9.0/10
Hostelworld rating:8.0/10
Google rating:3.9/5
Shared dorm starting price:£34/night
Private room starting price:£123/night

Best for: good facilities, making friends with sensible people, and excellent proximity to green spaces

One of the most well-known hostels in London, and a place that’s won plenty of awards (most recently in 2019).

Though its main Hostelworld photo will trick you into thinking this is a party place, Astor Kensington is actually pretty laid-back. It’s sociable and friendly but not a massive nightlife hub. 

High points include comfy pillows, good safety, a massive communal kitchen (with good cooking facilities), polite staff, and good cleanliness (this is one of the cleanest hostels in London).

In terms of location, Astor Kensington is one of the best options on our list. You’re a one-minute walk from the northern part of Hyde Park and close to loads of famous neighborhoods (like Soho, Hammersmith, and Camden).

Note: you can only stay here if you’re between the ages of 18 and 40. 

Local’s Insider Tip

Make sure you go to Portobello Market, one of the most ‘oh my god this is so London’ London markets you’ll find. It features vintage stuff, street food, and a load of old hipsters. 

Other good spots include Malaysian food offering Tukdin (affordable for the area), Harrison’s Coffee (allegedly the only Chilean restaurant in the UK), and Farmacy (if you’re on the hunt for vegan food).


Source: Clink261
Address:261-265 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8QT, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 183 9400
Location score:9.1/10
Hostelworld rating:8.1/10
Google rating:3.9/5
Shared dorm starting price:£35/night
Private room starting price:£180/night

Best for: centrality without all the noise, sleeping in a pod, and coming in and out of Kings Cross and St. Pancras

Clink261 is a little pricier than some of the other hostels we’ve brought you, which keeps the party boys away. If you want to make friends with an older crowd of (relatively) sensible people, it’s one of the best hostels in London.

They have regular dorms as well as some trendy pod-style dorms that everyone loves nowadays. The decor is colorful and kooky, and the place serves up a near-homely comfy atmosphere.

Clink261 sits right beside King’s Cross St Pancras station. King’s Cross has endless connections to other parts of the UK, while St Pancras is England’s Eurostar depot (with connections to other parts of Europe, like Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and more). So, if you’re traveling in or out of London, Clink 261 is a good option.

Overall, Clink261 is not the most exciting hostel in London, but it’s a nice, quiet place to stay. Its proximity to King’s Cross St Pancreas station makes it perfect for starting or ending a multi-destination trip.

Local’s Insider Tip

Because this part of London is mainly only known as a travel hub, it’s a pretty underrated hangout.

The cute and cozy London Canal Museum is quirky fun (and this is coming from a man who doesn’t like museums)—and if you don’t hire a bike and head east to Limehouse, you’re missing out on quieter parts of London fun. 

For tapas in an old-school pub (nice combo), get yourself to the Norfolk Arms.

And if you’re a big child who likes Harry Potter, check out the 9¾ Platform at Kings’ Cross station.

Generator London

Generator London
Source: Generator London
Address:37 Tavistock Pl, London WC1H 9SE, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 388 7666
Location score:8.7/10
Hostelworld rating:7.7/10
Google rating:3.7/5
Shared dorm starting price:£24/night
Private room starting price:£116/night

Best for: drinking, dancing, and making lots of friends

Generator London is another option for party people and sits pretty close to Clink261. 

So, if you want to stay in the same area while chugging on some beers, you’ll think this is one of the best hostels in London.

The on-site bar has a pool table, quirky decor, and many friendly faces.

Other big perks of the hostel include good bathrooms, washing machines, and tumble dryers—but oddly enough, there’s no kitchen. The hostel is also a little cramped, and it’s not as clean as other options (but people, you’re probably not coming here for the hygiene).

One of the most well-known London hostels, this place is always busy. Despite the relatively high prices, it usually sells out fast. So our advice is: if you want to stay here, get your bed booked now.

Local’s Insider Tip

Because this hostel is a party place, we’ll assume that’s why you’re visiting. So here are my party tips for this part of the city…

Simmons Bar at Euston Square offers cheap drinks, a young crowd, and a laid-back but loud atmosphere. 

Zodiac is a popular LGBTQIA+ hangout.

… and the nearby district of Soho is possibly the best drinking area in all of London (it offers an eclectic mix of cut-price Sam Smith’s pubs, a load of late-night gay bars, and the hyper-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club).

YHA London St. Pauls

YHA London St. Paul's
Source: YHA London St. Paul’s
Address:36 Carter Ln, London EC4V 5AA, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 345 371 9012
Location score:9.1/10
Hostelworld rating:8.7/10
Google rating:4.0/5
Shared dorm starting price:£30/night
Private room starting price:£90/night

Best for: visiting a big cathedral, enjoying a chilled-out stay, and cheap vacationing with kids 

If you’re looking for an old-school-style London youth hostel, you’ve found it: 

‘YHA’ stands for ‘Youth Hostel Association,’ and these guys have been offering British hostels since the early 1900s. 

YHA London St. Pauls is a bit retro and outdated, but it’s very friendly and welcoming. 

It attracts a sensible crowd of sometimes slightly older people. If you’re looking for a peaceful but central place, you’ve found it. Because they have large private rooms, it’s also one of the best hostels in London for families. 

You can’t cook here (there’s no kitchen), but they have an on-site restaurant.

Overall, YHA London St. Pauls is one of the best hostels in London for the quiet crowd.

Local’s Insider Tip

As you’ve probably guessed by the name, YHA St. Paul’s is beside… St. Paul’s. One of the most famous sights in the city (but somehow a little overlooked by tourists), this hulking cathedral offers art, stained glass windows, and occasional talks and events. 

Lesser-known must-visits in the area include Grace (an independent spot offering some of the best cafe food in London), the super-unique Viaduct Tavern (a beautiful pub in a former jail), and the love-it-or-hate-it Karaoke Box.

YHA London Oxford Street

YHA London Oxford Street
Source: YHA London Oxford Street
Address:14 Noel St, London W1F 8GJ, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 734 1618
Location score:9.7/10
Hostelworld rating:8.9/10
Google rating:4.3/5
Shared dorm starting price:£30/night
Private room starting price:£100/night

Best for: another quiet stay, exploring Soho and Oxford Street, and nabbing a cut-price breakfast

YHA London Oxford Street is another old-style London youth hostel. It’s yet another place managed by the team behind the YHA at St Pauls.

The atmosphere here is similar to what you get at St. Paul’s. It’s not particularly sociable, and you won’t find any pulsating parties. But you’ll find basic clean rooms, a family-friendly vibe, and reasonable facilities.

It’s not the most inspiring hostel in the world, but it’s comfortable and safe, and the staff are very friendly. They have a small on-site bar, and they offer breakfast for the alluringly low price of £5.95.

Local’s Insider Tip

Chinatown is very close to Oxford Street. 

A busy area packed with Asian stores, restaurants, and bakeries, it serves the tastiest Chinese food I’ve ever eaten. The best spots are the grubbier ones (head here for classy food, and you’re doing it wrong), like Lanzhou Lamian Noodle Bar. 

And the dumplings at Dumplings’ Legend are… well… legendary.

Make sure you also head to The Photographers’ Gallery, a three-floor exhibition spot with some unique and unusual (and retro!) stuff.

St Christopher’s Oasis

St Christopher's Oasis
Source: St Christopher’s Oasis
Address:163 Borough High St, London SE1 1HR, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 207 939 9710
Location score:9.1/10
Hostelworld rating:8.2/10
Google rating:3.0/5
Shared dorm starting price:£25/night
Private room starting price:N/A

Best for: enjoying a female-only safe space

We’re rounding this one off with a female-only option for women who want a better guarantee of safety and privacy.

St Christopher’s Oasis is the best woman-only option in the city. It offers comfortable beds, daily cleaning, good security, and respectful guests. The female-only section sits in its own part of the hostel, separated by the rest of the place by a PIN code.

Other perks include a rooftop terrace, bedside curtains, a busy on-site bar, free towels, toiletries, and hair dryers. The rooms are a little small, but that’s the only major con.

Local’s Insider Tip

Sitting just south of the central part of the Thames, St Christopher’s Oasis is in a super-central location. 

Some of the area’s highlights include Borough Market (sitting under some railway lines, the foodie focus here is on artisanal and independent stuff), the Thai food at Champor-Champor, and the meaty treats at Texas Joe’s Slow Smoked Meats.

Lesser-known touristy options here include HMS Belfast (a 9-deck museum on a former warship—kooky!), and The Golden Hinde (another on-boat museum).

Things to Do in London

London offers an array of experiences for every traveler. Wander through the grand halls of the British Museum, marvel at the architectural wonders of the Tower Bridge, or take a leisurely stroll in Hyde Park. For a taste of the city’s diverse culinary scene, explore the bustling markets of Borough and Camden.

Guided tours are a fantastic way to delve deeper into London’s rich tapestry, whether you’re interested in royal palaces or the vibrant street art scene in Shoreditch. To make the most of your London adventure, consider the curated experiences on platforms like GetYourGuide.

Explore their selection of London experiences below:

FAQs about Hostels in London

What is the average price for a hostel in London?

The average price for a hostel in London massively depends upon what type of room you get, which part of the city you stay in, how nice the hostel is, and whether you get yourself a shared dorm or private room. 

Generally, you can expect to find hostel prices in London as follows:

  • £30 to £50 per night for a bed in a shared dorm room. Or perhaps a little less if you stay somewhere outside of the central zone.
  • £80 and £110 per night for a private dorm room

There’s no major variation between times of year, but summer can sometimes be slightly pricier. One top tip for you, though: the earlier you book, the more money you will save (no matter what time of year you’re traveling).

Where can I book London Hostels?

Our favorite place to book London hostels is through Hostelworld and to compare prices and read additional reviews.

Further Reading

Alright, that’s us done here—they’re the 13 best hostels in London!

To sum up, the best options for solo travelers are Barmy Badger and Wombat’s City Hostel—but if you’re looking for something a bit quieter, head to Onefam Notting Hill or one of the YHA options.

Looking for more accommodations in the UK? Read our articles below:

Thanks for reading and choosing Budget Travel Plans, and we’ll see you next time. Enjoy London!

???? Ready to Jet-Set on a Budget? ✈️

Maximize your savings with these travel essentials:

✈️ Sky-high Savings: Book budget-friendly flights with Skyscanner.
???? Rest Easy: Find the perfect accommodation on or Hostelworld.
???? Travel Light: Store your luggage securely with Bounce.
???? Stay Connected: Grab affordable eSIMs from Airalo or SimOptions.
???? Unforgettable Adventures: Find tours and experiences with GetYourGuide.
????️ Travel Worry-Free: Stay protected with travel insurance from SafetyWing!

Leave a Comment

Customer Testimonials

Leave a Comment

Get the latest travel tips directly in your inbox
Save 15% on
On stays before 1 April 2024
Book Now