There is so much to see and do in the historic city of London; landmarks, museums, pubs, architecture, culture, and more—with something for every traveler. However, the city can get expensive, and this is why many visitors decide to bunk up in more affordable accommodations like hostels.

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But don’t be intimidated by the word ‘hostel,’ as these offerings are a far cry from a dingy, dirty room packed with saggy beds in someone’s attic. The new wave of hostels is chic, trendy, clean, affordable, and best of all, social! For the backpacker traveling on a budget, to the thrifty traveler looking to save on a room but splurge on food, activities, or shopping, these hostels are the best of the best in the bustling city of London.

*All hostels below are less than $30/night. Individual room rates vary by location.

8 The Birds Hostel

Want to be close to many of London’s most famous tourist attractions without breaking the bank? Then The Birds Hostel is a great option as it is just steps away from the Leytonstone underground station, making it easy for travelers to get to the best Central London spots in about 30 minutes. With an on-site pub that offers a 20% discount to guests, cool décor inspired by famous director Alfred Hitchcock (hence the name), and free breakfast, this hostel is both budget-friendly, convenient, and fun.

7 The Walrus Hostel

For those who want those quaint, Ye Olde English vibes, the Walrus has got ‘em. Antique, eclectic furnishings, and a comfy common area where visitors can socialize are just some of the perks of this hostel close to attractions like Big Ben and Parliament. There’s also a kitchen if you feel like saving even more dough, and free breakfast.

6 Clink78

For those who don’t mind rooms with a dormitory feel, Clink78 has rooms with 8 bunk beds each that do offer some privacy with curtains, lockers, and individual lights/outlets. This is a great spot for those who want to get social, as the hostel is known for hosting fun events like Bingo, traveler meet-ups, and DJ nights. There is also a large downstairs common area with a kitchen and bar for those who want to hang out and relax. Its location close to King’s Cross makes it easy to get around the city.

5 Park Villa

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with a relaxing stay at the Park Villa. Located in a Georgian Regency-style estate, this hostel looks great on both the outside and the inside. There is a kitchenette for guests that want to cook, fresh coffee and tea available all day, and continental breakfast available for about $4.00. The common areas are also a great place to meet other travelers, though this hostel is generally not as rowdy as some of the others on the list.

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4 Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage

A repurposed Victorian house is the site of this lovely hostel replete with beautiful wooden floors and traditional English furnishings. There’s a cool bar on-site for those who want to have a pint and meet people, and travelers say the beds are comfy and have privacy curtains. Palmers has a homey, rustic feel that any vacationer will love—full of British charm and close to iconic sites like Abbey Road and Regent’s Park, this hostel is a win-win.

3 Wombat’s City Hostel

Centrally located and close to famed attractions like the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and City Hall, Wombat’s is full of good vibes and has comfy, decent-sized rooms with wooden bunk beds. Once a sailor’s hostel, the hostel was refurbished and tastefully decorated to reflect its past. Visitors say that the staff is friendly and plans activities for guests that are great for socializing, including karaoke and group walking tours.

2 Astor Museum Hostel

Located right in front of the British Museum and close to fun spots like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Covent Garden, this hostel is a great bargain. Though visitors day the rooms are pretty standard and basic, what makes this spot special is its proximity to so many iconic attractions. With a nice lounge and kitchen area, affordable breakfast (around $2.00), and occasional free dinners, the Astor Museum Hostel is a fun, budget-friendly spot for any traveler. There is also an Astor Hyde Park location for those who want a different vibe and neighborhood without sacrificing affordability.

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1 The Barmy Badger

With the Earls Court Tube Station and the District and Piccadilly lines close by, visitors have access to many of the city’s top attractions; and within walking distance, there’s plenty to see, too! The Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum are just some of the fun spots close to this homey hostel. Visitors say the beds are uber comfy and love the individual reading lights and USB sockets. There’s also a breakfast included with the stay, and always free coffee. Travelers will also love their fun, social events such as BBQs and guest socials.

Anyone looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of London while saving some $$ will love these comfy, fun hostels that offer a social, laidback, affordable alternative to large, expensive hotels. Enjoy all that this iconic city has to offer while traveling in style—and on a budget.

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