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12 of the Best Hostels in London for 2024

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12 of the Best Hostels in London for 2024

Welcome to my guide to the best hostels in London! I rounded up a bunch of travel bloggers to get recommendations, as well as including some of my own personal favourites.

If you’re travelling to London on a budget, a hostel could be the perfect accommodation option. But with so many to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve divided this post into four sections to make life easier…

  • Historic Hostels, housed in listed buildings or crazy conversions which ooze character.
  • Social Hostels for folks who want to make friends or party (but still get an unbroken night’s rest).
  • Premium hostels for those who like the finer things in life.
  • And finally some of the best Budget Hostels in London – cheap and cheerful, not dank and dirty!

Use the contents list below to skip ahead to the section that suits you best, or scroll through the whole post for inspiration. There’s also a map to help you find all the best London hostels.

Wherever you end up staying, you’re sure to have a fab trip in the UK’s beautiful, historic capital…

Aerial panoramic cityscape view of the London Tower Bridge and the River Thames, England, United Kingdom. Beautiful Tower bridge in London.
London view, Depositphotos

Best Hostels in London: Map

The map below shows where all these fab London hostels can be found.

Remember, London has a lot of different districts, each with its own personality. So you don’t need to stay right in the city centre, as every part of London has great things to see and do.

Historic Hostels

Looking to soak up a little of London’s atmosphere in a hostel with a bit of history? These character-filled London hostels in converted properties could be right up your street…

RELATED POST: Unusual Things to do in London

A converted courthouse with cells for rooms!

Recommended by: James, World Travel Chef

best hostels in London

The hostel I always stay in and swear by is Clink78, an old courthouse that has been converted into a hostel. It was the old Clerkenwell Magistrates Court.

From the moment you check in and get your free drink voucher, Clink 78 is buzzing with atmosphere. There’s a funky bar downstairs with a pool table and dance floor, as well as a large kitchen area with ample seating. The unique part is that both the original courtrooms remain unchanged – including the judge’s chair – and are now used as common areas.

best hostels in London
At Clink 78, you could find yourself sleeping in an old cell!

For a little extra, the old cells have been turned into double rooms complete with original doors. For me, this is a home away from home. The staff make you welcome from the moment you check in until you leave and the hostel is run as well as any 5-star hotel.

Book now: 

(Both images courtesy of Clink Hostels)

Astor Hyde Park, South Kensington

A converted Victorian mansion with a great social vibe

Recommended by: Me

Astor Hyde Park Hostel London

I first discovered the Astor brand when I did a review stay with them, but since my first stay at Astor Hyde Park this is always my first choice when I’m visiting London on a budget. In upscale South Kensington, and housed in a converted Victorian mansion, this is a surprisingly glamorous hostel option – and I love it!

Location is a huge selling point at Astor Hyde Park. It’s two minutes from Hyde Park and within walking distance of South Kensington’s museums. Many of the original features are still found throughout the building, and those high ceilings make a world of difference in the dorm rooms, which are big, light, and airy.

This is a great hostel for socialising. There are plenty of comfy common areas, as well as daily activities including tours, pub crawls, and drinking games. But it’s in a huge building, and the room where all the action takes place is housed in the basement – which means no noise up in the rooms. It’s the perfect balance!

Book now: Hostelworld | 

Safestay London Holland Park, Kensington

Magical location in one of London’s beautiful parks

Recommended by: Kathi, Watch Me See

best hostels in London
Grade 1 exterior with pond (Credit: Safestay)

Even though the Safestay Holland Park only opened its doors a few years ago, it’s a hostel with great history. Located in a listed mansion in the middle of Holland Park, it connects beautiful architecture with a rich local history and a great opportunity to explore Kensington with style.

It is a perfectly quiet getaway; close to nature and yet very well connected to city life and sights. I loved waking up in the mornings and listening to the park’s peacocks’ calls before heading out.

Despite the building’s age, there’s no need to worry about this hostel being kept clean. Anyclean is one such company which provides carpet cleaning to hostels across London. Its eco-friendly cleaning solutions ensure the carpets are always fresh and inviting for guests.

Book now: Hostelworld | |

Social Hostels

Want to make friends, get your party on, or join in some top-notch social activities? These social hostels in London are known for their great atmosphere…

St Christopher’s Oasis, London Bridge

Tranquil, female-only hostel in the city centre!

Recommended by: Jeanette Cheney, Traveling Honeybird

There’s nothing quite like a smiling face when you walk into a hostel in a wonderfully new and strange city. This was the first thing I saw when I walked into St Christopher’s The Oasis Hostel in London.

RELATED POST: Local’s Guide to Bermondsey and South East London

I had a small inkling that I was in good hands with the ease of booking myself a private room and the superb directions to get from the airport to the hostel via the tube. After a day waltzing around London in a jet-lagged haze, I came back and was immediately impressed by the cleanliness of the room and facilities, as well as the additional safety for female travellers. The staff here went above and beyond, with their local knowledge and tips to see most of London on a budget.

The Oasis really was exactly that. An oasis away from the hustle and bustle of London Street life. My room came complete with fresh linen, towels, excellent wifi and in the morning a breakfast fit for a hostel queen. Read more.

Book now: Hostelworld | |

St Christopher’s Inn, Liverpool Street

The best private rooms, in an ideal location!

Recommended by: Tara, Where is Tara

best hostels in london

I love the St.Christopher’s Inns chain of hostels. However, it’s their newest hostel, just minutes away from Liverpool Street station, that I’ve really fallen for. The location was so unique. The hostel is located above “The Flying Horse” pub in the financial/business district of East London. So, unlike most parts of London, the streets are relatively quiet. You’ll be sleeping like a baby!

RELATED POST: East London Street Art Walk

It feels A LOT less touristy than other parts of London. And only a ten-minute walk away are the Spitalfields Markets full of quirky vintage clothing, great food (red velvet brownie anyone?!) and colourful art. Plus you’re not far from Shoreditch’s famous street art, and trendy Boxpark, the shipping container mall.

I stayed in a private room and it was gorgeous. The bathroom has a rainfall showerhead, not a common fixture in London hostels! The room also has a TV, great WiFi, a fridge, AC, and tea/coffee-making facilities. If it weren’t for the reasonable prices and fun vibe, I’d almost forget I was in a hostel!

Book now: Hostelworld | |

Safestay Elephant & Castle

Couldn’t be in a better location for sightseeing, partying and shopping

Recommended by: Kathi, Watch Me See

best hostels in London
Safestay Elephant & Castle (Credit: Safestay

The Safestay Elephant & Castle is a huge hostel, specifically catering to groups, but also great for individual travellers, as there are loads of social areas, a bright bar and an outdoor lounge. The immediate neighbourhood gives you London off the beaten track (visit the Electric Elephant Cafe!), but by public transport, you’re in West or East London within half an hour!

Book now: Hostelworld | |

Wombats Hostel, Whitechapel

Awesome underground bar – that won’t disturb your sleep

My only experience at Wombat’s London was at a party in the bar. However, a friend of mine was staying there so I did get to nosy around the dorms and take a peek at the view from the top floor balcony (which is incredible, by the way). I also know it’s in an ideal location for exploring East London

There’s a lot of history in this building, which has been a hostel for over 150 years – it was originally opened as a hostel for seamen in 1865. Today the design is sleek and well thought out, with plenty of modern touches – including an all-important lift!

Downstairs is a huge bar: it’s perfect for socialising and usually has a lively party atmosphere. But because it’s down in the basement, the noise doesn’t creep up into the rooms – so you can still get a good night’s sleep if you don’t feel like partying.

Book now: Hostelworld | 

Astor Victoria, Victoria

Friendly hostel with daily social activities

Recommended by: Joanna, The World in My Pocket

best hostels in London

The first ever hostel I stayed at was Astor Victoria, in London, right at the beginning of my travelling “journey”. But, since moving to the UK, I’ve stayed at Astor Victoria more than a dozen times.

What I love about Astor Victoria is that is a very friendly hostel, with volunteer staff always there to give you advice. It’s in a residential area, so the nights are usually quiet and you can get a good night’s sleep. Each bed has a large storage box underneath where you can easily fit a big case or backpack.

Also, the location of the hostel couldn’t be more perfect: it’s merely a 15-minute walk from the Victoria train and coach stations – and you can take a bus to Westminster and central London right outside the hostel.

Book now: Hostelworld | 

Generator London, Kings Cross

Design-led party hostel from my favourite brand

best hostels in London
Quirkily designed common areas at Generator London. (Credit: Mike Massaro)

I love the Generator brand hostels – I’ve stayed in a few across Europe now and always have a great experience. Like all Generators, the dorms and Generator London are super clean, modern, and really well thought out. The idea behind the brand is to create affordable luxury rooms, and the ones in London are no exception.

This is one of London’s coolest hostels. Industrial-chic design in the common areas, tons of unique events, and quirky furnishings that Shoreditch would be proud of! If you want to socialise, the bar has a huge party scene. I’ve heard a few (unconfirmed) reports that the bar noise can creep into some of the rooms at night, so ask for a room on a higher floor if necessary.

Book now: Hostelworld | |

London’s Premium Hostels

Luxury hostels, poshtels, or premium hostels… whatever you call them, stylish, design-led hostels are the new big thing in budget accommodation. These are some of the coolest hostels in London, where design is everything…

Palmers Lodge, Swiss Cottage

A renovated mansion labelled five-star by Hostel Geeks

Recommended by: Matt, Hostel Geeks

best hostels in London

Our top hostel in London is without a doubt the Palmers Lodge family. The Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is a charming hostel with lots of character – in and outside. The building is a renovated Victorian mansion with lots of space and different common areas to enjoy.

The biggest room is the living space, which is filled with sofas to chill on – as well as computers for free usage. Downstairs, you can get a drink and some delicious and reasonably priced food, and play a round of pool. The rooms are also high-quality. Every single bed in the dorm features a privacy curtain, a plug to charge your phone, and a light.

What about the location? We love the area of Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage. You are within two minutes of the metro stop Swiss Cottage with direct access to downtown. The infamous Camden Market is also within walking distance.

Book now: |

Palmers Lodge, Hillspring

A converted police academy with a great social vibe

Recommended by: Matt, Hostel Geeks

best hostels in London

The bigger brother of Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage is located in a former police academy and hotel. Stylish common areas combined with a cool social atmosphere make the Palmers Lodge Hillspring a unique and fun place. The bigger common area includes an on-site bar and a pool table. Together hostel also offer free walking tours and even pub crawls.

At first, we had our doubts – thinking this hostel may be too far from the city centre. But in fact, Hillspring Hostel is well-located in the neighbourhood of Willesden Green. It is close to a direct metro connection to the very heart of London. Famous Big Ben is a short 13-minute train ride away.

Book now: |

Budget Hostels

Trying to make the pennies go further? Being a generally more expensive city, it’s hard to travel London on a budget. Luckily, there’s still some pretty decent accommodation to be found that won’t break the bank. These are a few of the better budget hostels in London…

UPDATE: I previously recommended Keystone House, mostly for its proximity to Kings Cross and St Pancras train station. However, after a recent renovation Keystone House is now operating as a hotel with only private rooms. It’s a good budget choice if you need somewhere to stay near the Eurostar and other trains.

Via Limehouse, Limehouse

Modern, clean hostel not too far from the city centre

best budget hostels London

Rebranded as a “poshtel”, Via Limehouse is still one of the cheaper hostels in London – probably because it’s a little further from the city centre than many would like. However, it’s just across the road from Limehouse DLR station so you can be in Bank or Tower Gateway within 10 minutes – so the location really isn’t a problem.

Design is sleek and modern throughout, and I loved the big common areas and chillout zone. There’s also food available 24 hours a day. The main downside is the size of the dorms, which can feel a little crowded – some have triple bunks! But if you don’t plan to spend much time in your room, this hostel is ideal, and the huge common areas make up for the poky dorms.

Book now: |

What’s your favourite hostel in London? If I’ve missed it from this list, drop me a comment below with why you love it. I’ll see if it deserves to be added! 

A Definitive guide to the Best Hostels in London

8 thoughts on “12 of the Best Hostels in London for 2024”

  1. Love this list. Contains most of the ones I look at when staying in London plus of course my favourite. Palmers Cottage at Swiss Cottage is another I stayed at and loved. Great post Emily.

  2. Thank you for this ? I am planning a budget trip to London this year. I am planning on going in September, or perhaps November, when it is cheaper. I believe most of the touristy things that I want to do is indoors anyway, if it is cold. I am nervous about staying in a hostel. But that is what i need to do to keep the budget! But I would rather go later in the year when it is colder than to stay in a complete dive of a hostel :/

    1. Yeah it can be cheaper during winter months, as long as you avoid big events and things! But hostels are a lot cheaper than London hotels, which are extortionate. And the nicer hostels are far better and more comfortable than the cheapest hotels! If you find a good one I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised :) good luck with your trip!

    1. I’ve been to the bar of Wombats and it is a cool hostel!! Also the bar is underground so I don’t think it disturbs the rooms at all. Not sure about Clink but it does look like such a cool concept! Good luck with your decision haha

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