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So you’ve just rocked up in London; backpack strapped to your shoulders and an iPhone in your hand. What next?

If you’re the adventurous type, you haven’t got anywhere to stay, preferring to play it by ear, or crash on mates’ sofas for a while.

The easiest thing to do is book into a hostel, especially if you’re travelling alone; you’ll meet plenty of like-minded people, and have a place to call home while you find your feet in this big bad city.

And you don’t have to be a new arrival – staying in a hostel is way cheaper than a hotel for a night out. Not sure where to start? Here’s our pick of the best.

Clink78, King’s Cross

What: Set in a 200-year-old magistrates’ court, this popular temporary digs has guests staying in refurbished prison cells with the old courtroom transformed into communal areas.

Surf the internet in the same room where The Clash famously went on trial in 1977; relax in the former workplace of Charles Dickens; or watch films in the old wood-panelled courtroom.

Sup cheap pints in the Clash Bar – a basement, punk-themed space, with a late licence until 3am on Saturdays.

Checking in: From 2.30pm – out by 10am.

: From £9pppn in a mixed dorm, including all-you-can eat breakfast in the large kitchen.

Where: 78 King’s Cross Road, WC1 9QG

Tube: King’s Cross


Generator, Russell Square

What: With plenty of themed parties (Michael Jackson tribute night anyone?)
and regular entertainment, this central London hostel is the place to make friends. Take part in the Monday night quiz, belt out a few tracks on karaoke Thursdays, or check out the live sport on the big screen in the bar, which is open until 3am every day.
The rooms are clean and boast colourful decor – choose from private, mixed or
female-only dorms.

Checking in
: From 2pm – out by 10am.

Damage: From £12.80pppn, including free walking tour and wifi. All-you-can-eat breakfast is £4.50 in the Generator Cafe.

Where: 37 Tavistock Place, WC1H 9SE

Tube: Russell Square



St Christopher’s Inn, London Bridge

What: Dating back hundreds of years, to when travellers in horse-drawn carriages would stop overnight to recharge by
a roaring fire, this homely hostel is above a traditional English pub.

It’s next to St Christopher’s flagship venue, The Village, which boasts an onsite nightclub, cinema, comedy club and a chill-out room.

As well as top DJs at Belushi’s (licensed until 4am on weekends), there are karaoke nights, beach parties and big screens showing live sports.

The location is perfect for wandering through some of London’s best sights – including Borough Market for top grub.

Checking in: 2pm – leave by 10am.

Damage: £11.50pppn including free breakfast and wifi.

Where: 161-165 Borough High St, SE1 1HR

Tube: Borough



Top five hostels in London: Where to stay when you first arrive in the capital
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