London is not only home to iconic landmarks like Big Ben, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, but a global city known for its live music, entertainment, shopping and nightlife. The city is also the perfect starting point for a backpacking trip through Europe.
Youth hostels in London have been catering to backpackers for a very long time, which is why they have so much to offer. The best hostels in London offer free walking tours, in-house bars for when you’d rather stay in, free breakfast, games rooms, live music and outdoor terraces for the summer.
Even with all the free perks, you won’t struggle to find a cheap hostel in London close to the city centre. You can choose from a shared dorm or get some peace and quiet in a London hostel with private rooms. There are plenty of memorable places to stay as well. How does spending a night in a police cell sound? Or maybe you’d prefer to get some beauty sleep in a 200-year-old former courthouse? There are London youth hostels to suit all tastes.
If you prefer a bit more peace and quiet, there are a number of hostels in London that offer private rooms. The prices might be slightly higher than a shared dorm or single room, but it’s the perfect option for travelling with a partner or when you need to rest after a long day of sightseeing.
The obvious choice is to find a hostel close to central London, which puts you within easy reach of Soho, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. There are plenty of budget options close to the city centre, but don’t forget about Shoreditch in the East and Camden in the North. The more you save on accommodation, the more you can splash out on some of London's best cheap eats. You can read more tips on finding the best hostels in London on our blog!
Travel back in time at The British Museum, watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, or get a bird’s eye view of the city from the London Eye. If you want to escape the busy city streets for a day, you can get lost in one of the many London parks that serve as the cities lungs.
If you prefer to see a more modern side of London, then don’t forget to check out Oxford Street for some of Europe’s best shopping. For those more interested in soaking up some culture, London is brimming with museums and art galleries waiting to be explored - many of which are free to enter or offer special deals on certain days of the week.
Trying to get by on a tight budget? Here's a long list of free things to do in London that your wallet will thanks us for later.
Chances are you’re flying into Heathrow, Gatwick or Luton, all of which offer easy access to central London via express train or the tube. If you’re arriving via train from another part of England or the UK, remember that there are plenty of cheap hostels close to King’s Cross St Pancras, Paddington, Victoria and Liverpool Street stations.
Once you’re in the city centre, you can get almost anywhere using public transport. If you're planning to use the underground for more than few journeys, it might work out cheaper to get an Oyster card, which is also valid on London buses.