Always alive and never boring, London is a city that everybody should visit at least once. And actually, the more you visit London, the more it grows on you. Created by a bunch of pagan Italians, savaged by a rogue bread guy (1666) and refurbished through the wonky morals of the British Empire, London has a history that is utterly perplexing.

Of course, none of this helps with the inexorable bane of travellers: where are you going to find a piece of foam, a tin roof, and companionship for the cold winter nights? The English capital is renowned for being one of the most expensive cities in the world.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to empty your pockets to stay there. In fact, finding affordable accommodation in London is more than possible. 

Thankfully, I have collected an array of the best hostels in London, created to WOW and prove that us British are still able to have fun. Failing that, you might at least enjoy the crassness of my salesmanship.

No more shelling out for over-priced accommodation or sleeping in sub-par digs. Contrary to what you may think, there are some incredibly modern, clean, and cheap hostels in London.

Here’s a round-up of some of London’s top hostels. 

danielle at a phone booth in london, england
Hey mum, I’m stuck in London. Send money for hostels.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

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Quick answer: The Best Hostels in London

The 5 Best London Hostels

It is a little-known fact: backpacking through London can actually be pretty cheap – especially if you’re staying at London hostels. Keep an eye out for things like free breakfast and free walking tours.

Okay, without further filler, let us tackle the top 5 hostels in London.

1. Wombats City Hostel – Overall Best Hostel in London

Wombats City Hostel - London best hostels in the UK
Wombats City is my top pick for the best hostel in London!
  • Dorm (mixed): 42-59£/night
  • Private Room: 192-233£/night
  • Location: 7 Dock Street, London

Calling the overall best hostel in London was easy, of course, it’s Wombats City Hostel, London! The Wombats team have won countless awards for their top-notch service and on-point hostel vibe.

With a bar and tons of board games, there’s never a dull moment around here and you’ll make plenty of friends. You can find Wombats right in the heart of London’s city centre which is partly why it is one of the most recommended hostels in the city! Light, bright and still cosy enough to relax, there’s a place for everyone at Wombats City Hostel, London! 

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Evening Entertainment
  • Prime Whitechapel Location
  • Buffet Breakfast

This top-rated hostel is fast becoming one of the best London hostels, and a backpackers’ favourite. Wombats City Hostel is one of the few places that has kept its cleanliness, value and amazing hospitality over the years. It’s one of the cheapest hostels in London and is great value for money.

You can choose from three different room types: dorms (mixed or female only) or private rooms. And the best thing is: that they all have their own private shower! No more sharing a smelly bathroom with loads of other travellers.

If you want to meet like-minded travellers, no place is better than the on-site bar. Share travel stories over an ice-cold beer and relax in the courtyard or comfy lounge. You’ll be located in a prime spot in Whitechapel, close to the famous Tower Bridge, Tower of London and the iconic Wilton’s Music Hall. With the free city map, it’s be a breeze to get around and explore the rest of London’s top attractions as well.

Wombats City Hostel will blow your mind. It’s one of the most well-known and popular hostels in London. It’s the epitome of a cool, contemporary hang-out, and is as stylish as they come. 

Part of an award-winning Europe-wide chain of hostels, this London iteration is situated inside a former seamen’s hostel. The original architecture has been lovingly updated, meaning the old arching brick cellar is now a funky bar, and rooms are clean and spacious.

There’s a ton of places to hang out from the lobby area to the cosy courtyard. This hostel is so cool, I challenge you to not have an awesome time here. 

2. Onefam Notting Hill – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in London

Onefam Notting Hill
No curfew? Excellent…
  • Dorm (mixed): 36-45£/night
  • Private Room: 156-234£/night
  • Location: 63 Prince’s Square, London

Onefam is genuinely one of the best hostels in London, no questions asked. The staff and setup make it super easy for solo travellers in the UK to meet new people, get involved, and live it up in London! To help make this easier, staff often cook dinner for guests, and there is a great choice of common spaces to put you in the right mood!

If you are looking to be social and explore London in the right way, this hostel is a great choice. While the prices are typically London hostel, the group dinners, activities, and atmosphere contribute to some serious value for money.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Multiple hangout zones
  • Drinking games and pub crawls
  • Free communal dinners

The location is still top-notch (Notting Hill), with major attractions like Hyde Park and Kensington Palace just a short walk away. Other parts of London can be reached via the London Underground, which will take you all over the city! If you’re only staying for a cheeky London weekend, you should be able to cover all the bases.

The hostel does operate amongst some great parties, but there is also a very active and social vibe, meaning that there is more to do than just wait for the following evening. Although you can do that too.

There is a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, personal lockers, outlets and lights on bunks, and private room availability. Sadly (or not) they also have a strict 18-36 policy. If you’re travelling outside these bounds, there ain’t no room at the inn. Sorry!

3. Prime Backpackers Angel – Best Cheap Hostel in London

Prime Backpackers Angel
A nice building for nice people
  • Dorm (mixed): 30£/night
  • Location: 333 City Road, 333 City Road, London

If you’re looking to extend that backpacker budget as far as it can go (and it is no secret the costs of London are high), you’ll want to stay at Prime. While there remain many cheaper hostels, none will be as comfortable, accommodating and classy as this London Hostel.

Another factor which makes this stay a great choice is the Angel underground station, which is only 150 metres away! You can ride into the excitement and buzz of London whenever you fancy. There is a super common room, a massive well-equipped kitchen, and a barrage of pubs nearby…

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Close to unbelievable nightlife
  • Cheap
  • The underground is super close!

There is free, high-speed wifi, free tea and coffee all day and lockers to make sure your stuff stays safe! There are both male and female dorm availability and private rooms.

You can get involved with the activities that are run at the hostel regularly, including game evenings, movie nights and delicious dinners. The cool staff make this one of the best hostels in the UK, too.

The thing about going any cheaper is that you will undoubtedly compromise with unsavoury characters, a low-tier location, and administrative mix-ups. This hostel is the perfect balance of money-sensitive, well-located, and straightforward. Definitely one of the best cheap London hostels. Thank me later 🙂

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Aether Backpack

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Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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4. St. Christopher’s Inn at The Village – Best Party Hostel in London

St. Christopher's Inn at The Village
Jagermeister #1 fan
  • Dorm (mixed): 15-39£/night
  • Private room: 74-168£/night
  • Location: 165 Borough High Street, London

London night owls may already have heard of St. Christopher’s reputation as one of the best party hostels in London. Let me chime in here to ensure that reputation stays true.

There is a restaurant, bar, nightclub, common room, and rooftop chill area. If you fancy throwing caution to the wind and getting exceptionally loose, this is where you should do it.

The hostel’s party bar (Belushi’s) offers a range of live events, from local bands to ear-melting DJ sets. Even if you want to go elsewhere, the quality of hostel connections is astounding, with two London Tube stops nearby.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Top-tier partying facilities
  • Two underground stops nearby
  • World-class burgers

The capsule bed formula means that you can get your own mood lighting, locker, outlets and night lights. It is also a little more private than an average hostel bed, although there are those available too.

If you head downstairs to the dugout, you can indulge yourself in live sports and some truly awesome burgers. There is an area for making basic food but isn’t well equipped enough to be a proper kitchen. Tea and coffee are no trouble though!

There are board games, free wifi, washing facilities, and high standards of cleanliness. If you get tired of eating burgers, you can always head out on a London food tour. A class A method of staving those hunger pangs…

5. The Walrus – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in London

Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in London - The Walrus
The Walrus is a good hostel that’s perfect for digital nomads.
  • Dorm (mixed): 23-31£/night
  • Location: 172 Westminster, Bridge Road, London

The top hostel for digital nomads in London is The Walrus because it’s quirky and charming, but quiet enough that online workers can knock the work out before exploring the city.

Digital nomads are a bit different from budget backpackers: they’re usually looking for somewhere interesting to pitch up for a little while so they can knuckle down to work. This certainly fits the bill, and if you ever need a change of scene, great transport links make it an awesome place for taking down London day trips!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Super spacious dorms
  • One of the best locations in London
  • Drink discounts for guests

Luckily, The Walrus Hostel offers you everything you could wish for as a digital nomad. Starting with the free wifi and onsite pub (which has its own unique style by the way), you can sit behind your laptop all day without being disturbed. However, at night it turns into a great local spot that is ideal to socialise, sip on a couple of affordable drinks and make new friends.

The rooms at Walrus Hostel are worth a mention themselves. The super spacious and bright dorms are some of the cleanest and nicest in London according to previous guests.

On top of that, you can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast every morning – the perfect way to start the day. Once you’re recharged, head out to explore London. You’ll find yourself in a super convenient location in the city centre, within walking distance of all major attractions.

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More Legendary Hostels in London

But we ain’t done yet! If you have questioned my choosing skills (which is unlikely because they are wicked) there are some extra great juicy London hostels right here…

Or you could grab a hotel with a hot tub? DISCLAIMER: not a backpacker option 🙂

Urbany Hostel London

Urbany Hostel London
Looks like a fun conversation!
  • Dorm (mixed): 29-35£/night
  • Private room: 128-230£/night
  • Location: 48-49 Princes Square, Paddington, London

Urbany Hostel London is another good London hostel with a great location in Notting Hill. With dorm rooms hosting up to 8 people, solo backpackers are definitely gonna find new buddies at Urbany. The communal area has plenty of seating and places to hang out, making it the perfect place for travellers looking to find some drinking buddies or a coffee companion.

Perhaps you prefer a bit less chaos in your sleeping space? No worries! Urbany has private rooms available too.

Hostel Astor Hyde Park

Hostel Astor Hyde Park
Astor Hyde Park is fun, clean, and one of the best-located hostels in London.
  • Dorm (mixed): 20-43£/night
  • Private room: 148£/night
  • Location: 191 Queensgate, South Kensington, London

Astor Hyde Park is one of the best cheap hostels in London. This isn’t a place for party-goers nor for families: there’s a strict age policy which means you have to be aged between 18-40 to stay here.

It’s not the most happening hostel, but for a budget-friendly hostel in London, it ticks a lot of boxes. The great location makes this an awesome place to stay in London.

The building is full of historic charm that will make you feel like you’re in an episode of The Crown. This award-winning hostel in London has clean dorm rooms offering guests modern rooms and secure storage lockers.

It’s centrally located in South Kensington on Hyde Park; you’re walking distance to the best places to visit in London, The Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as the stunning Kensington Gardens. Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, and public transport connections are also close by.

Astor Victoria

Best Hostel with a Private Room in London - Astor Victoria
Astor Victoria has private rooms at a sweet price.
  • Dorm (mixed): 15-31£/night
  • Private room: 148£/night
  • Location: 73 Belgrave Road, Victoria, London

Priding itself on its service and good vibes, Astor Victoria is a little more civilised than other hostels. Although breakfast isn’t free £3.50 is a remarkably cheap breakfast in London. And for every breakfast sold, the hostel donates £1 to charity.

They have comfortable (albeit simple) private rooms for one or two coming in at a good price. It’s the top of London’s hostels with a private room offering travellers a bit more privacy. The staff are super helpful and vow to give extras for free, if not, then for as cheap as possible.

Barmy Badger Backpackers

Another Top Hostel in London for Working Travellers - Barmy Badger Backpackers
Barmy Badger Backpackers is another vibrant London hostel where you can still get some work done!
  • Dorm (mixed): 27-38£/night
  • Private room: 80-115£/night
  • Location: 17 Longridge Road, Earls Court, London

Another perfect hostel for digital nomads in London coming up! With free breakfast, a great guest kitchen and ultra-fast, free WiFi throughout the building, Barmy Badger Backpackers is a haven for working travellers.

Barmy Badger has two USB sockets per bed AND two power sockets too, ideal! Free tea and coffee throughout the day are perfect for keeping those creative juices flowing or simply for fuelling the hard graft.

The outdoor terrace is lovely if you like working in the fresh air. It’s another top backpackers hostel for those who still got a job to do!

New Cross Inn

New Cross Inn
Charming and cheap.
  • Dorm (mixed): 23-37£/night
  • Location: 323 New Cross Road, London

Looking for a charming and cheap hostel in London? For those looking to keep costs down, the free breakfast and clean guest kitchen are ideal. I first stayed at New Cross Inn 5 years ago and it cost me £12 a night. The New Cross Inn team are super clued up about London and how to and will give you all the cheap local tips if you ask.

It comes in highly recommended, just 15 minutes by bus from the world-famous O2 arena. Be sure to check out who is performing while you’re in town.

PubLove @ The Exmouth Arms

Another London Hostel for Lovestruck Couples - PubLove @ The Exmouth Arms
See, there’s even a heart in the window – it’s a sign!
  • Dorm (mixed): 27-38£/night
  • Location: 1 Starcross Street, London

PubLove @ The Exmouth Arms offers couples a cute and cosy room for a great price and is super close to Euston train station too. As one of the best hostels in London for couples, a stay at The Exmouth Arms is a great opportunity for lovers to escape the busy dorms and enjoy a bit of privacy.

If you’re looking to mingle too, you’re in the perfect place. The Exmouth Arms is a cracking little pub with a bar that attracts locals and backpackers. This classic British pub is a nice hostel in the city, especially for couples.

Generator Hostel

Generator Hostel
Have a laugh and a brew at another awesome London youth hostel.
  • Dorm (mixed): 33-44£/night
  • Private room: 88-121£/night
  • Location: Compton Place, Off 37 Tavistock Place, WC1, London

If you’re looking to make some new friends while you’re in London you best get yourself to Generator Hostel for it is social and jammin’. No excuses to not get mingling as they have their own bar, restaurant, and mini-nightclub too!

The awesome staff are always on hand to help you figure out travel plans and suggest which of London’s landmarks to hit up and when. If you want a classic London backpackers hostel you’ll fall in love with Generator!

Safestay London Kensington Holland Park

Safestay London Kensington Holland Park
Safestay is a top youth hostel in London that looks bloody extravagant!
  • Dorm (mixed): 16-22£/night
  • Private room: 86-117£/night
  • Location: Holland Park Ave, Holland Walk, London

If you’re travelling as a group then you can stop your search now as Safestay is the best London hostel for big groups. The grand old building will make you feel like a king or queen for the night, even if you do opt for a 30-bed dorm room!

If you’re headed to London in the summer you’ll love exploring the Kyoto Japanese Garden; be sure to try a G&T on the outdoor terrace too! Sheets and pillows are provided but towels are £2 to hire. Safestay Holland Park is a brilliant youth hostel and the staff are super helpful too.

Hootananny Hostel

Hootananny Hostel London England
  • Dorm (mixed): 23-30£/night
  • Location: 95 Effra Road, Brixton, London

This self-proclaimed “lively hostel” is set inside an old Edwardian pub, with prices starting around $20 per night. The hostel comes with a bar (with guest discounts ;)) which doubles as one of the best live music venues in London. Plus, you get a free breakfast included.

The dorms are spacious, flaunting old wooden floors, high ceilings, and original fireplaces, but there aren’t any private rooms, unfortunately. Be ready to party though – the music goes on until 3:00 AM on weekends, and the dorm beds are situated right above. If that doesn’t phase you, this is one of the best cheap hostels in London.

Situated in buzzing Brixton, there are excellent public transport connections with 24-hour buses and Brixton Underground Station. Its central location puts you close to Covent Garden and Soho for all the best bars in the city.

PubLove @ The White Ferry, Victoria

PubLove at The White Ferry Victoria London England
  • Dorm (mixed): 26-30£/night
  • Location: 1a Sutherland Street, Victoria, London

Traditionally pubs are cheap places for people to stay the night. From around $30 per night, The White Ferry Pub offers travellers to stay in a proper boozer for a fraction of the price of London hotels.

With low prices and so many of London’s attractions close, including the London Eye, Oxford Street, the British Museum and Hyde Park, it’s definitely a great option. Not only that, but the location in central London is a short stroll to Buckingham Palace, Covent Garden, and the pub!

The only downside is that the bunks can come in triples, meaning you have to share them with two others. This top-budget hostel is walking distance from Victoria Train and Coach Station which is ideal if you’re planning on travelling around the UK.

Travel Safety Tips for London

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

What to Pack for Your London Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive hostel packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQs on London’s Best Hostels

Here’s what we’re usually asked about the best hostels in London.

How much does a hostel cost in London?

Average prices are between $30-$50 USD per night for a bed in a hostel, but there are places much cheaper. Private rooms will come in more than double usually. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, some of the cheapest hostels in London can be found further out of central London. Bear in mind, however, that you may end up paying more on transport costs.

What are the best hostels in London for couples?

Prime Backpackers Angel is the ideal hostel for couples in London. The private rooms are so cosy and cute with some nice homey touches too. PubLove @ The Exmouth Arms is great if you’re looking for a dorm bed.

Are there hostels in London near the airport?

Yes! Wombats City Hostel is a great option to stay close to the airport. It’s 27 km from London Heathrow Airport but you have great connections with the Underground.

Are hostels in London safe?

Yes, hostels in London are totally safe. Most hostels will come with key card access so only guests can enter. Security staff will usually be on duty 24 hours a day so there is nothing to worry about – just make sure you keep your valuables safely secured in a locker. Standard stuff.

Final Thoughts on the Best Hostels in London

Whether you’re staying in London for a weekend or longer, there are so many budget-friendly and stylish hostels on offer. From stylishly restored old buildings to historic pubs and modern hangouts, there’s something for everyone in the capital city. While it’s difficult to pick, I am confident that one of these quality hostels will be the hostel of your dreams while staying in London.

If you’re traveling on a budget, I hope this guide has helped you figure out where to stay in London. Let us know which one you end up choosing I’d love to hear all about your trip!

With the help of this guide, you’ll be able to know exactly which of the top hostels best suits your travel, so you can travel through England like a boss while saving some money!

Again, if you still can’t decide, my #1 recommendation for the top London hostel is Wombats City Hostel.

If you think I’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit me up in the comments!

An underground sign with Big Ben in the background in London
Oop, time to book that hostel!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short
Looking for more info on travelling to London and UK?