Not only will you discover the best hostels, but also the best party hostel in London.
Travelling solo or exploring now the kids have left home?
Here’s your short to keep things simple:
- Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage – best for solo-traveller
- Palmers Lodge Hillspring – best for groups and families
- The Dictionary Hostel – best for backpackers
- Generator Hostel London – best party hostel
- Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage – best hostel for Older Travellers
London is the capital city of England. It has everything imaginable for your entertainment. Gorge on amazing food, visit a traditional pub and make new friends from around the globe.
Looking for where to stay in London on a budget? Forget affordable hotels in this big city; we’ve found awesome hostels with shared and private rooms to stay in.
The only thing left to do is following our 4 days itinerary for London and collapse on a super comfy bed at a groovy London hostel.
This guide is perfect for YOU, when …
- tired of bad and crappy hostels
- want to avoid the “young party kids”
- happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience
We condensed it all to the 3 coolest hostels in London.
And guess what?
Quick Intro to the Best London Hostels
Average price for a bed: A bed in a dorm can be as cheap as £12 up to £20 per night. This is a rough average to give you an idea. Bear in mind prices might be a bit more expensive on Friday and Saturday night, as well as special holidays or events. Well-rated hostels will be more expensive, around £25-£40/night (maybe you can find special offers).
You can also find super budget hostels, which costs around £15 per night. Don’t expect much quality at those hostels.
Booking hostels in London: The beds in London’s fill up pretty quickly (especially in the summer season). Make sure you book early if you want to get a good deal in the best hostels in London. If you want to learn about the best sites for finding hostels read our tips for booking hostels.
Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.
Exploring London: Distances in London are huge. That is why, the most important thing when booking your accommodation is to have a bus stop or underground/ tube station nearby. You will use the underground to visit the different places around the city.
After a long day walking and exploring, you will be glad if the tube station (or bus stop) is not further than 10-15 minutes to your hostel. Plus points if on the way you find a supermarket to buy your dinner ingredients. Find more info below with public transport tips.
Hostel with private rooms: All hostels offers dorms. There are many hostels with private rooms in London as well; from budget to luxury options. Below we created a full list of all hostel accommodations offering private rooms.
New to Hostels? Read our full hostel starter guide here. We especially recommend to read:
- how to book hostels (and websites to use)
- 23 items for the hostel packing list
- Are hostels safe? 13 safety tips for hostels
Before you delve in and start planning, here’s what we cover:
- 3 best hostels in London
- Best party hostel in London
- Best hostels in London for solo travellers
- Best hostel in London for older travellers
- Where to stay in London cheap
- Handy map
- 7 secret tips to London
- Flights to London
Phew, that’s a lot of helpful planning information!
The 3 best hostels in London, UK
Let’s jump right in and introduce the awesome hostels London has to offer.
- Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage – best for solo-traveller
- Palmers Lodge Hillspring – best for groups and families
- The Dictionary Hostel – best for backpackers
Let us tell you a little secret: we LOVE London!
- 44 fun things to do in London guide to help inspire you on your journey.
- backpacking on a budget? Read 62 Things to do in London for Free
- perfect 4 days London itinerary to explore with no rush
- Where to stay in London – a guide with handpicked hotels, apartments put on a map
1. Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage (5 Star Hostel, 5 Star Stay)
Welcome to our prized 5 Star Hostel in London: Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage.
This recently renovated Victorian mansion boasts charm, comfort, and creativity that will have you saying
“this is so wonderfully, typically English”.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
You can enjoy here several huge common areas, a pool billiard, more board games and even an in-house bar. Awesome!
The younger brother-hostel is Palmers Lodge Hillspring, as well a 5 Star Hostel in London (find out more in #2).
By the way: we’ve stayed here and absolutely loved it!
Rooms available will suit every type of traveller: female-only dorms, mixed dorms and private rooms.
The decoration might you feel you are staying at Hogwarts.
The biggest dorm (21 beds) never feels that big because it is on 2 floors. The beds are well separated
Every room (bed) has a locker, linen and privacy curtain. You do also have an individual reading light and a socket to charge all your electronics. Convenient!
The privacy curtain allows you to choose whether to socialize or not.
The storage locker is under your bed. Remember to bring your own padlock to close it.
If you upgrade to one of the private rooms, you’ll have your very own en-suite and hot drink station.
Reception is pretty cool because…
- It’s open 24/7
- Towels can be rented here
- Free ear-plugs are on offer
- Tours and tickets can be acquired hassle free
It’s a wonderful hostel for the sociable kind, both in the rooms and out.
It has different common areas.
Explore the huge building and find a spacious bar, conservatory/BBQ area and antique-styled living room.
As with most other amazing hostels, Swiss Cottage arranges some fun events including movie nights and a local pub crawl. Just ask the staff what’s on when you arrive.
There are many, many more reasons that we love this hostel:
- Happy hour,
- cozy social areas,
- free WiFi,
- full equipped kitchen,
- free tea and coffee all day long,
- a bar opened until 11PM to chill out with your new friend…
Take some more time to check out our full review of Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage.
The London Underground is less than a 5-minute walk away. It is just 5 stops from the city center. Reach top sights such as the London Eye in just 15-minutes from here.
Swiss Cottage is located near the Finchley Road stop of the National Express A6 bus to Stansted Airport, which means you can walk to the airport bus. On Finchley Road, you will also find may shops, restaurants,…
Tip: bear in mind traffic in London is horrific. If you are traveling by bus, make sure you have plenty of backup time just in case there is an accident or a traffic jam.
Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is the best hostel in London for:
- female solo-travellers
2. Palmers Lodge Hillspring (Best for Families and groups)
You may be wondering why we have two 5 Star Hostels in London. Well, let us show you why Palmers Lodge Hillspring deserves the award.
It used to be a police academy and was transformed into a boutique hostel. Cool huh?
Stylish common areas combined with a great social atmosphere makes the Palmers Lodge Hillspring Hostel a great and unique place to meet other travellers during your stay!
This family hostel London has lots of space, family-rooms and a huge common area for breakfast and other meals.
So if you are travelling to London as a family with children, stay here!
All of the rooms on offer match that of Swiss Cottage, apart from the design.
The entire concept is matched so you can expect the same high standards of comfort, staff and atmosphere here too.
- cozy social areas,
- storage room,
- free reliable WiFi,
- full equipped kitchen,
- free tea and coffee all day long
Your bed at Palmers Lodge Hillspring will also have a curtain.
The lockers are spacious. Depending on your dorm, you will have a key card for the locker too or a locker located under your bed where you will need a padlock.
If you forget to bring your own padlock, you will be able to buy one at the reception desk.
Tip: download our free hostel packing list.
Both the showers and toilets are very spacious. Showerhead are very strong so it is very convenient to use. They are cleaned various times along the day. Cleaning is important for Palmers Lodge hostels.
A few extras to be aware of:
- Full restaurant w/ meals from £5
- Washing + drying facilities
- Events hall available to accommodate 300 people (great for groups)
A basic continental breakfast is included (toasts, cereals, apples, jam, butter, cold and hot drinks).
The social areas are spacious and bright. The common room or chill out area in the garde for relaxing, reading and catching up with the news and other programmes on the TV. Settee”s and chairs scattered around are a great comfort when coming in after a long day at work or site seeing.
At the bar, you will get the feeling of a huge hostel with international vibes.
There is also a garden, with some tables and benches. Perfect to socialize on those summer evenings, and play a few games with the ids. Again, this is a very family-friendly hostel in London.
Grab some food and a drink at the bar after a long day, and enjoy a live event in the garden.
It’s always nice to hear that there is complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day – find it in the lounge room.
Also, if you have a private room, you will get a kettle, teabags etc, hairdryer, and even mini toiletries.
Once again we’ve written up a full review of Palmers Lodge Hillspring for you. It’s full of detailed reasons why we deem it a 5 star hostel in London.
Hillspring is located in Willesden Green, just around 10-15 minutes walking to the metro station Willesden Green, on Jubilee line. This line will connect you to the main sights.
They have a car park available, one of the few hostels in London with parking.
The area around is nice and the hostel is very secure. You need your keycard to access to the premises. You need the keycard to open the main door, your room (and your locker depending on the dorm you are staying at).
A good and safe hostel in London for:
3. The Dictionary Hostel (hipster heaven)
Now let us head to Shoreditch – London’s alternative scene – and discover The Dictionary Hostel.
This hostel was once a Victorian warehouse and has retained a wonderful industrial feel.
Hipsters will surely love the quirky style and independent vibe around the place.
It’s a top choice for solo travellers, both male and female, that want to relax with a coffee in a cosy space.
The rooms come in all shapes and sizes; from 4-16 bed dorms to female-only and double rooms.
Although basic in their design, you’ll find locker space and ready-made beds on your arrival. The large Victorian windows allow so much light in, it’s wonderful.
Have you spotted the fun piece of furniture in the picture below…? That’s right, a swing!
We told you this hostel is quirky.
As for social spaces, there are many including:
- Rooftop terrace
- Bustling on-site bar
- Self-catering kitchen
- Coffee shop
- Luggage storage
Good to know: the bar and cafe are open to the public too. Hostel guests receive a special 20% discount on food and drinks. Just show your keycard and get a deduction.
Breakfast is included as well as WiFi throughout the property.
There are bit lockers to accommodate your belongings. Just remember to bring your padlock to avoid extra costs.
Possibly the coolest thing about this hostel is its location. Dictionary is situated near two Banksy pieces!
Also, it is the best place to join the trendiest Shoreditch nightlife.
They offer also many activities: movie nights, free dinners, or beer pong amongst the most loved ones.
Brick Lane, Tower of London, Convent Garden and The Old Truman Brewery are all just short bus rides away. Shoreditch High Street is well connected to other parts of the city via public transport.
A great London for Hostel for Partying and:
- party lovers
What about the Best Party Hostels in London?
It wouldn’t be right to create a hostel guide to London without including a great party hostel.
London could be considered as the party hub of England, but where is good to go?
We highly recommend Generator Hostel London as a great hostel for partying.
Here you’ll find an impressive bar, one of the best hostel bars in London with cocktails on the menu, open until 2 am every night.
Everything you need for a great party is there:
- a snack machine,
- delicious meals,
- friendly staff,
- drinks and
- great beds to collapse in to.
Camden Town is also on the doorstep for further pubs, bars and clubs for all kinds of people.
What is the Best hostel in London for Solo Travellers?
This might not surprise you but we have no doubt that Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is the best hostel in London for solo travellers.
We’ve already stressed how spacious and friendly this place is.
If you’re surrounded by social spaces and have the option of large mixed-dorms, there is no room left for loneliness.
Solo women have the added comfort of female-only dorms too remember!
If you’re a little shy, join an organised event or two. Failing that, challenge a room-mate to a friendly game of ping-pong.
What is the Best Hostel in London for Older Travellers/ adults?
In this day and age of hostels, I feel it’s fair to state that most hostels these days cater for the mature traveller.
It just depends on what you’re looking for!
Read: 7 types of hostels – an overview
I am pretty sure as someone looking for best hostel in London for adults, you want to avoid the hard-core party hostels and opt for a ‘London hotel cheap and cheerful’ vibe.
We have to say that Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage exceeds itself yet again as a perfect hostel in London for older travellers and adults.
Why, might you be asking?
Well, they care so much about welcoming all kinds of travellers, that they put together this piece entitled Hostels for Older Travellers. Same as Hillspring Palmers Lodge, Swiss Cottage caters to a wide range of travellers.
Bonus points for our 5 Star Hostel in London!
Cheap Lodging in London
Are you in search of budget accommodation in London? Perhaps your whole trip depends on finding places to stay in London cheap.
Of course, there are always cheap hostels.
However we think it’s not worth it to go with the cheap places to stay in London.
The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen. Although, keep in mind a bad location far away from the city center costs you more in transport.
Bare in mind it’s not exactly possible to enjoy a London cheap stay – this is an expensive city.
However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget ergo backpacking London, and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find cheap places to stay in London.
- Open Hostelworld with full list of accommodations & cheap areas to stay in London
- Order the listing by price
Simple as that.
Hostels with Private Rooms in London
Fancy some private time?
We get it. After all, nowadays you can stay n a private double room in a hostel and enjoy the social character of a hostel at the same time.
So, below you find a list of all hostels in London with private rooms, great for couples!
Single Private, Twin Private, 3 Bed Private, 4 Bed Private, 6 bed Private.
Offers Double Bed Private in a cool ambiance.
They offer Twin Rooms with and without ensuite bathrooms. Couples can get a lovely Superior Double Bed Private. As for families, you have the choice between Standard 4 Bed and 6 Bed Family Room.
A fantastic hostel with inhouse bar and even a cinema. Great choice! Discover a real slice of British history and soak up the lively atmosphere at Clink78 hostel.
At Clink you can get a Twin Room with and without ensuite facilities. They also have basic private Double Bed room available.
A super social hostel with a pub; by backpackers, for backpackers. Here you can sleep in a Standard Double Bed Private. Just make sure this is the kind of hostel you want; at least have a drink with your hostel mates!
Superior Double Bed, Standard 4 Bed, and Twin Private. That is the offer at Palmers Lodge Hillspring. If you ask me, this is a great hostel for couples looking for a private room and a chill-out hostel.
Here are two more examples for you. Please note, there is a lot of accommodations in London listed as “hostels”. Yet, they do not have any dorms. Just be aware. St Christopher’s Inn do have dorms alongside private rooms, however!
Besides 6 to 18-bed dorms, SoHo offers Standard Twin Private rooms.
Located in South London, Safestay is a hip design hostel with standard 3 Bed privates. You cannot find any double or single room here, but a wide range of dormitories.
Chose between Double or Twin Room with Private Bathroom or a Single Room. This hostel has a self-catering kitchen, but not dorms.
Budget Double Room, Trip Room, Quadruple Room and Family Rooms. Yet again, no dorms here.
How you can find more London hostels with private rooms?
It is actually simple.
- Visit this link with all hostels in London on Hostelworld
- Add your travel dates to filter
- Then filter by “ensuite rooms”
- Here you have your options.
Things to know BEFORE travelling to London
If it’s your first time to London you may find it a little overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be!
It’s important to be well prepared for a new city as big as this one. We’ve put together some tips to help you.
We even wrote a guide to help you spend 4 days in London with itinerary.
By far the best way to get around London is by Underground. Either pre-order an Oyster Card online, or purchase one at any station.
Tip: top up £10 per day, enough for the daily cap-pricing of £9.60. Travel as much as you like (underground, bus) per day without exceeding this price.
Download the Oyster app for simple top-up and handy map of the entire metro system.
The underground works until midnight during weekdays and even later on Fridays and Saturdays. It is a perfect connection in case you want to party with the locals on the weekends.
The voltage is 230V in the UK. Come prepared to charge your devices – bring an adapter for the 3-pin UK outlets. Even better, invest in an universal adapter and forget worrying about charging all our electronics while your travels.
Get your universal power adapter here.
London can be very expensive, so take advantage of the FREE things to do in London. Many museums are free, but there are also many other cool things to do!
Check our article about Free things to do in London.
Did you know the major museums in London have free entry?! Amazing, right!
- The Natural History Museum,
- Science Museum,
- British Museum,
- National Gallery,
- Victoria and Albert Museum,
- Museum of London,
- War Museum,
- National Maritime Museum,
- National Portrait gallery,
- Serpentine Galleries,
- and many more
Let’s just say they are always popular, but even more so on rainy days.
If you want to visit the British Museum or Natural history Museum (the most known), here is our best advice: aim to be at the museum entrance shortly after opening time to avoid big queues. Take a packed lunch too as they make up for the free entrance with over-priced cafes!
Even-though London isn’t cheap, you can find inexpensive lunches. Sainsbury, Boots, Co-op & Tesco supermarkets offer inexpensive deals.
They cost around £3 and consist of a sandwich, a snack (such as chips (crisps), fruit or chocolate) and a drink. You can also find inexpensive meal also at many markets: Candem Market, Borough Market… These are places you might visit anyway, so plan it good and be there at lunch time.
Take advantage of your smartphone and download the London App. It provides directions, recommendations, history and more.
There are two options to ensure you get a good price and good seats at your chosen performance.
- Book online: there are always discounts on offer, usually a few weeks in advance. Spend time comparing prices on the many sites that offer cheap theatre tickets.
- Buy last minute tickets: we did this and got a fantastic deal! There are ticket stands around Piccadilly and Convent Garden selling on-the-day cheap tickets.
Day trips from London
London is the capital of the United Kingdom but the country is very diverse. Try to plan time during your trip to get outside of London and see more! You could visit:
Map of the Best Hostels in London + Sights
There are enough things to do in London that could keep you busy for a lifetime. With this in mind, we’ve pinpointed (most of) the major sights below.
You’ll also notice our awesome hostels in London are on the map, too. Convenient!
As you can imagine there are plenty of tours on offer.
Although most things can be booked on the day, we suggest pre-booking tickets for the following popular attractions:
- Madame Tussaud’s
- Camdem Market
- Hyde Park
- Natural History Museum
- Harry Potter Studio Tour
- Science Museum
- Buckingham Palace
- Big Ben
- Coca-Cola London Eye
- Piccadilly Circus
- Trafalgar Square
- The London Dungeon
- Covent Garden
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- The Shard
- Tower Bridge
- Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise
- Comedy Horror Show: London Ghost Bus Tour
The list goes on, and on! Best thing would be to have a scroll through all of the activities on offer in London.
Not much time? Explore faster with the Big Bus Open Hop-on Hop-off.
Need more information about things you can do in London? Check out:
Any Discounts or Promo Codes?
Currently, we have no special hostel discounts or Promo Codes for hostels in London. They all expired already and we would not give you discount codes that are not valid any more.
Yet, you can always get the 35€ discount for Airbnb here.
Wanna be updated? Subscribe to our newsletter.
Here we share our newest promo codes for hostels and hotels in London and all other destinations first.
Flights to London?
London has several airports such as Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport or City Airport.
Make sure you get to the right one when flying back. However, it does not really matter where you are flying into London. The distances are almost the same, and transport is easy.
Here is a map of all London Aiports and how to get to the city center.
We enjoy Kiwi.com to find cheap flights all over the world, including London, Paris and more.
This new website has super cool features like a so-called radius search.
Just draw a circle over Europe and find the cheapest rates for the area.
Here is our full review of Kiwi.
More guides for UK and Europe
Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in London in style and on a budget.
We did the leg work for you and bring you more hostel guides to destinations:
- best hostels in Manchester
- best hostels in Brighton
- 19 BEST hostels in Scotland, including best hostels in Edinburgh
- 24 best hostels in Ireland, including best hostels in Dublin
- best hostels in Paris, France
- best hostels in Rotterdam, Netherlands
You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.
Fancy authentic Secret London Tips?
But wait there’s more!
So, we travelled to London to visit the two 5 Star Hostels in London: Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage and Palmers Lodge Hillspring.
Before we went, we asked the Hostelgeeks community for recommendations.
The result was so amazing, incredible – THANK YOU, fellow travellers!
Many followers sent us great secrets for London. Out of all those recommendations we created this unique slow travel guide to London:
- Tiny local café with a creamy flat white and delicious muffins (close to Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage)
- Street Food and Street Market you cannot miss!
- Panoramic view for free? The place to be plus how to get the panoramic view for free
- Cycling in London? Yes, we mean it! A route to see London from the bike
- A big green spot in London to slow down and mingle with the locals
You can download the 7 Secret Tips to London straight to your inbox:
Over to you
By now you should have all the necessary information to make an educated decision on which hostel to choose.
London holds some seriously special accommodation – it’s time to explore and enjoy.
Any questions, doubts?
We want to make this guide as useful and detailed as possible. Your question(s) actually help us to improve and helps you to get your travels sorted out.
Therefore, do not be shy, please. Write your questions below in the comments and we will get back to you right away.
Last note: Our commitment
This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter and find the best place on a budget!
We ONLY recommend places we know you will enjoy, no matter what.
Also, we will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by.
Here we share with you exclusively places we recommend to our best friends and family!
Enjoy this fine hostel selection and all 5 Star Hostels.
– – –
Pin it for later
Your Smart Packing List
It is time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack. Here is our ultimate hostel packing list. It features 23 items you should really throw in your backpack.The most important things to pack are:
- eye mask
- key chain flashlight
- the right backpack, the Nomatic (our review of Nomatic here) or Lowe Alpine Lightflite 45 Pack
- packing cubes
- generic padlock (fitting all locker types)
- quick-dry travel towel
- universal power adapter
- travel-sized toiletries