Where: All around London Cost: Free Best for: Animal lovers with a very low budget Hotel or hostel? Neither
With Trusted House-sitters you can live like a London local but avoid the high rents. Pay £6.60 (Dh31) a month to register with the website. Once your profile is created you can be selected by home-owners who need someone to look after the house, feed the cat or dog, and water the plants for a few days or even a few months. Many of the potential house-sitters have full criminal records checks done, but trusted and solid experience is just as valued. The set up is win-win; home-owners jet off without having to worry about their home and possessions and you get a base from which you can explore the city.
Where: Holland Walk, Kensington, W8 7QU Cost: From Dh71 for a dorm bed Best for: The West London location Hotel or hostel: Hostel
This stunning Grade 1-listed Jacobean building has 351 hostel beds inside. You can relax in the beautifully landscaped garden with fountains and ponds or use it as a base to explore the handsome streets of West London. It has free WiFi, a games room, luggage store and is a very short walk from Holland Park Tube Station. As well as the dormitories, which are decorated with bright purple sheets, quilts and curtains, there are several private rooms. Two of these rooms – 411 and 414 – have large private terraces. From Dh71 for a bed in a large shared dorm, this has to be one of the best cheap accommodation options in London.
Where: 42 Adler Street, E1 1EE Cost: From Dh585 per night Best for: Environmentally friendly folk looking to sleep in style Hotel or hostel: Hotel
This compact and quirky hotel is good for eco-warrior visitors who are concerned about their carbon footprint and is one of the greenest hotels in the capital. All the hotel’s waste is recycled, all the toiletries are chemical-free and the solar panels on the roof provide much of the power. It doesn’t sacrifice style though; the public areas are beautifully styled and the surprisingly big bedrooms contain little trinkets from across the world. Extra perks include free bicycle hire, late check-outs and early check-ins – perfect for a cheap hotel in London!
Where: 10-20 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E2 8DA Cost: From Dh83 for a dorm bed Best for: Hipsters wanting to explore East London and save cash Hotel or hostel: Hostel
The Dictionary Hostel was definitely designed for hipsters. How do we know? The swing in the dormitory room! Ahem. Anyway, the coolest bars and restaurants are on the doorstep of this Hackney hostel and the interior is decorated with mismatched furniture and graffiti. You’re likely to find travelers playing guitar in the lobby and the walls are covered with posters ripped from comic books. While the dorms are small, the shiny red bunk beds and pot plants add nice splashes of color. Read more: Top 12 restaurants in London
Where: Westminster, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Canary Wharf, Paddington Cost: From Dh642 per night Best for: Brilliant quality but no frills Hotel or hostel? Hotel
You shouldn’t expect five-star luxury (towels, WiFi and TV are extra) at London’s Tune Hotels but you can expect incredibly comfy beds, cheery decor, and great views from the top floors of each one of their outposts. There aren’t any restaurants or bars but the central locations mean its unlikely you’ll be wanting to stay inside your hotel for food or drinks anyway! You’re just a few meters away from a tube station and some of the best pubs and restaurants the city has to offer. Read more: New and fun things to see and do in London
Where: 37 Tavistock Place, Russel Square, WC1H 9SE Cost: From Dh102 for a bed in a dorm Best for: Night owls who don’t like to travel far to party Hotel or hostel? Hostel
This hostel has a huge 880 beds and you can take your pic of private rooms or dormitories. As well as being a busy hostel it’s also one of London’s busiest bars and is popular most nights of the week. There’s satellite television and a well-stocked games room (pool table, table football and video games) as well as a reading room for the quieter guests.
Where: 7 Dock Street, E1 8JN Cost: From Dh137 per night for a bed in a dorm Best for: Great location for exploring London Hotel or hostel? Hostel
Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, the Tower of London and the Shard are all within comfortable walking distance from Wombat’s City Hostel London, which was originally exclusively for sailors. Lots of original features remain, including some exposed brick ceiling. The staff are young, charming, enthusiastic and multilingual and will happily offer you a drink on arrival. Our favorite bit is the outside terrace with hammocks and some great views across to Canary Wharf and the Shard. What more could you want from a cheap hotel in London?
Where: King’s Cross Cost: From Dh83 per night for a bed in a dorm Best for: Single travelers looking for fellow explorers and free entertainment Hotel or hostel? Hostel
This King’s Cross stylish hostel has a varied program of events to keep guests’ boredom at bay. Local artists are allowed to stay for free on the condition they play their music or exhibit their artwork, and there are regular movie nights. The dorm rooms are a bit on the small side but the large windows and bright colors give the impression of space, and the public recreation rooms have games consoles and large television screens. You can choose from private rooms, or single-sex or mixed dorms.
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*Published May 2017. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.