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For those who aim to see the world but have limited funds, hostels are a lifesaver. These budget accommodations offer a good night’s sleep to those on the go, offering a variety of rooming options at various price points.

London is an expensive city, in which a hostel can make a significant impact on your travel budget. Here’s some expert advice from Safestay London for choosing the hostel of your dreams and avoiding the horror stories that deter so many from this great travel option.

How to Choose a Hostel in London

Towels and Linens

Hostel bed RF

When you’re looking for a place to stay, check to see if towels and linens are provided. In many of the nicer hostels, they are. In lesser hostels, they are not.

While many travelers prefer to bring their own towels and linens, it can be challenging to do so if you have limited room in your bags.

It also means finding a place to do laundry before continuing your trip, especially if you bring your own towels and linens out of hygiene concerns.

Check the Room Options

One of the things that make hostels so affordable is the group rooming options. Many hostels have a dormitory, shared with other guests, as their most affordable option.

Others have private rooms and even private bathrooms for an extra fee. Often, the dormitories are unisex, so you’ll have to assess your feelings of comfort with this before booking.

Additionally, if you’re traveling with your family or people under 18 years of age, you may not be allowed in the dormitory at all. Get familiar with the hostel’s room options and age limits.

Safety and Curfew

Hostel lockers

One of the most important aspects of choosing hostel accommodation are the measures taken to keep you and your belongings safe.

Find out if your hostel has a curfew that patrons are expected to be in bed by or if it’s a 24-hour access location. Evaluate what steps are taken to monitor the people in the building, especially if it’s the latter.

Unlike hotels, you might not have a lock on your door to separate you from the other guests. You’ll also want to ensure that they have somewhere you can lock up your possessions– such as a safe for your passport– before booking.

While London is typically a safe travel destination, it’s important to always be vigilant in protecting your belongings.

Food Options

Food options aren’t always necessary when you’re traveling, as you won’t be spending much time in your hostel throughout the day. However, it can be nice to wake up early, eat breakfast, then start the day’s adventure.

Check to see if your hostel has food and beverage options and what times of day they are available. This factor shouldn’t make or break your decision to stay, but it should help with planning.

London is very much a meat and potatoes country, with filling pub food and traditional fare you won’t want to miss.


London RF

The whole point of your trip is to see the world, so finding a place that is near your desired sightseeing attractions is ideal. In London, the most common sights are Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London.

Find a hostel that is near one of these attractions or along the major travel routes where it is easy to get a cab. Apps like Sygic Travel can help you prioritize your sightseeing and create an easy to follow route from your hotel, along with timing expectations, to help you make the most of your trip.

London is an incredible city that everyone should visit at least once, regardless of the costs associated. Staying in a hostel can help offset these costs and make the city more accessible to all.

Pro Tip: Find the cheapest flights to London by downloading the free Skyscanner app. Click for:

Apple Store free download (iOS)  Google Store free download (Android)


UK Great Britain Guide Amazon

Lonely Planet Great Britain Travel Guide

UK Great Britain Guide Amazon

Fodor’s Travel Essential Great Britain

UK Great Britain Guide AmazonFrommer’s England & Scotland


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. We rarely do hostels these days Meg save 1-2 stays per long term trip but love the 24 hour option as far as staff. Cutting costs is big so many hostels lose human support at 8 PM or some similar time. I dig having a person to speak too for issues around the clock but get the budget conscious nature of hostels too. Rocking post as always 🙂

    • I agree, a 24 hour desk with someone there at all times is really important for me if I’m staying in hostels. Glad you enjoyed the post even if it’s not your usual travel style 🙂

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