The UK capital can be an expensive place to visit, but did you know that you can stay there for as little as zero pounds per person, per night? That’s right! Find out where and how to bag a bed in some of the cheapest hotels, hostels and campsites in central London.
Where: All over London Price: Free Best for: Pet lovers with very few pennies
Live like a local and pay no rent with Trusted House-sitters. It costs just £6.60 a month to register with this website. After creating a profile, potential house-sitters are then selected by home-owners who need you to look after their house, water the plants, feed the cat for a few days, weeks or even months. Although many of the house-sitters have full criminal records background checks done, solid experience is just as valued. It’s a win-win situation; home-owners can jet off on their holidays safe in the knowledge that it’s being safe-guarded by someone they trust, and you get a comfortable base from which to explore a completely new area, all for the small price of having to walk the dog and take the bins out.
Where: 42 Adler Street, E1 1EE Price: From £58 per night Best for: Eco-friendly folk who want to sleep in style
Concerned about your carbon footprint while travelling the globe? Then head to this compact but quirky hotel, which is one of the greenest in London. Every single piece of waste is recycled, there are solar panels on the roof and there are no chemicals in any of Qbic’s toiletries. It’s also seriously chic, with beautifully styled public areas and surprisingly large bedrooms decorated with trinkets sourced from around the world. Other perks include early check-ins, late check-outs and free bicycle hire.
Where: Holland Walk, Kensington W8 7QU Price: From £20 for a bed in a dorm room Best for: Its West London location and little green spaces
There are 351 beds at this hostel, which can be found inside a beautiful Grade 1-listed Jacobean building. Guests can chill out in a beautifully landscaped garden – complete with pond and fountains – but the interior is equally easy on the eye. The sheets, duvets and modesty curtains in the dorm rooms are all bright purple, and enormous maps cover the walls of public areas. In addition to the dormitories there are several private rooms, and two of these (411 and 414) have huge private terraces. At just £20 a night for a dorm room bed, it’s got to be one of the cheapest places to stay in London.
4. Tune Hotels
Where: Westminster, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Kings Cross, Canary Wharf Price: From £55 per night Best for: No frills but brilliant quality
While guests at Tune Hotels shouldn’t expect five-star luxury (TV, towels and WiFi are all extra) you can expect ridiculously comfortable beds, great views from the upper floors and modern, cheery décor at every one of their London hotels. There are no restaurants or bars, but the central locations means you’ll always be just a few metres away from a tube station and some of London’s best pubs and restaurants. Start planning your nights out and take your pick from this list London’s best watering holes.
Where: 37 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9SE Price: From £17 for a bed in a dorm room Best for: Party-goers who don’t want to fall far at the end of the night
This colourful hostel has a whopping 880 beds and accommodation options include dormitories and private rooms. Perhaps unsurprisingly it’s one of London’s livelier bars – the dance floor at the Generator Bar is packed to the rafters most nights of the week. The public area has satellite television, a games room with pool tables, video games and table football, but there’s also a reading room for those craving some peace and quiet.
Where: 10-20 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E2 8DA Price: From £15 for a dorm bed Best for: Hipsters who want to save cash and explore East London
The best bit about the Dictionary Hostel? The swing in the dormitory room! This is definitely a hostel for hipsters. Hackney’s coolest cocktail bars and restaurants are all close by, and inside, the décor is a mix of graffiti and mismatched furniture. It feels more like a student halls of residence than a hostel – you’ll find travellers strumming guitars in the lobby area and walls are plastered with posters torn from comic books. Although dormitories are small, potted plants and shiny red bunk beds add a welcome splash of colour. Find out how to be a hipster – were to hang out, where to eat, drink and shop – with our guide to 20 of the world’s most hipster neighbourhoods, including London.
Where: 7 Dock Street, E1 8JN Price: From £19 for a bed in a dorm room Best for: Central location and charming staff
The Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast and the Shard are all just a short walk away from Wombat’s, which was originally a hostel for sailors. There are plenty of original features, including an exposed brick ceiling and ornate fixtures. Staff are young, multilingual and enthusiastic, and you’ll be given a very welcome free drink on arrival. The real selling point though has to be its outside terrace, which has hammocks for visitors to laze in and great views of Canary Wharf and the Shard. Spend the money you’ve saved by bagging a bed in Wombat’s on a slap-up dinner with one of the best views over the city at the Shard, just one of many skyscraper restaurants in London you could flash the cash in.
Where: King’s Cross Price: From £13 for a bed in a dorm room Best for: Solo travellers looking for free entertainment and friends
This stylish hostel runs a varied programme of events designed to keep guests’ boredom at bay. For example, local artists can stay for free in return for playing gigs or exhibiting their work, and there are regular movie nights. Although the dorm rooms are on the small side, bright colours and large windows create a feeling of space, and the public areas are kitted out with games consoles and huge television screens. Room categories include private rooms, mixed and single-sex dorms.
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