Finding cheap places to stay in central London is quite an achievement. London is known for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe and in the world. There are thousands of places to stay in London but it is hard or rare to find hotels with a central location for under USD $200. I’ve put together this list of the best budget places to stay in central London to save you some time when searching where to stay in London and so you can explore the city without spending all your money in accommodation. The list includes a selection of hostels, hotels and apartments.
In this post you will find:
Best areas to stay in London
Central London or London city centre is the innermost part of London, composed by several boroughs. This is were most tourist attractions in London are located. These are some of the best neighborhoods to stay in London:
1. Soho and Trafalgar Square: the heart of London
One of the most central and tourist areas in London. Hotels in this area tend to be a bit more expensive and exclusive due to being in such a central area, just meters from important points such as Piccadilly Circus, Oxford St and Trafalgar Square.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: Oxford street, Chinatown, Carnaby Street, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square
2. Bloomsbury: next to the British Museum
Next to Soho you will find Bloomsbury neighborhood which is my favorite area to stay in London. Although it is a very central area, it is also quiet and has some residential areas. Bloomsbury is home to the British Museum, one of the many free museums in London.
Another thing I like about this area is that it is close to St Pancras International and King’s Cross train stations from where trains depart to other European cities and England.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: British Museum, Russel Square, Charles Dickens Museum, St Pancras Station and King’s Cross.
3. Covent Garden: shops and theatres
Covent Garden is a very small area next to Soho in London’s West End. It is an ideal area for those who want to be in the center of London’s nightlife since it is where most of the theaters, several shops and bars are located.
4. The city of London: the financial district
The City of London is the financial area of the city. It is also a very touristy area because it is where St Paul’s Cathedral and London Bridge are located. In this area there are many hotels for business travelers.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: St Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Sky Garden, London Bridge and Leadenhall Market.
5. South Bank: next to the River Thames
South Bank is the area located on the south side of River Thames, where the famous London Eye is located. It is a quieter area but still located in the city center. There are many accommodation options and some hotels offer incredible views of the river and the city.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Borough Market, and The Shard
6. Westminster: historic Lodon
This neighborhood is one of the most touristy in London because it is where some of the most recognized places in England such as the Palace of Westminster, the Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are concentrated.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: Westminster Palace, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Hyde Park and Tate Britain.
7. Knightsbridge: south of Hyde Park
Knightsbridge is one of the poshest neighborhoods in London where some of the most luxurious hotels in the city are located. This is where you can find the famous Harrods store. This area is very close to several museums and Hyde Park.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: Harrods, Hyde Park and Victoria & Albert Museum
8. South Kensington: luxurious and residential
South Kensington is an area that is a little further away from the most central and commercial area of London but I still thinks is a good option for those who want to stay in a quieter area. Kensington is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods to live in London.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN THIS AREA: Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum and Hyde Park.
Best budget places to stay in central London
The most important thing for me when choosing accommodation is its location. While there are cheaper hotels in other areas, I’ve decided to include only properties located in central London. From all the properties listed you can easily get to the London’s main attractions on foot or metro and save you as much time getting around as possible.
Important: Prices vary greatly depending on the dates of your trip. Rates almost always go up. That’s why I suggest booking your accommodation in London as soon as possible.
CHEAP HOSTELS IN LONDON:
Generator is a hostel that stands out for its modern, cool and fun vibe. Generator Hostel London is probably the coolest hostel I’ve ever stayed in. You can stay in double private rooms or shared rooms of 4, 6 and up to 10 people where you can stay for USD $30-40 per night. The hostel’s common areas include: a bar, a restaurant and a movie room. The best thing about the hostel is its central location, super close to Russel Square underground station. It’s definitely one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in London and if available, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.
Cons: no kitchen
Location: close to Russell Square metro station, St Pancras train station and the British Museum.
The SoHostel is ideally located right in the middle of Soho neighborhood, close to the restaurants, shops and attractions at Oxford Street. You can stay in shared rooms (USD $30-50) or private double rooms (USD $100-130). The hostel is very modern and colorful. It has a bar, a games room and a terrace. If you’re looking for budget hostel but want to be located in the heart of London, this is the best hostel.
Cons: no kitchen.
Location: 3 minutes’ walk to the shops on Oxford Street and Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road underground stations.
Smart Russell Square Hostel is a budget hostel located some meters away from Russell Square Underground Station in Bloomsbury district. The hostel has private double rooms and shared rooms for 4, 6, 9 15 and up to 18 people where you can stay for USD $20-30 per night. I don’t know what the rooms will be like for 18 people but I stayed in a room for 6 and honestly we were already pretty tight. Every room (even if shared) has a private bathroom. A great thing about this hostel is that breakfast is included. The hostel also has a kitchen for guests to use.
Cons: There is no elevator and it can be hard to get to the upper floors carrying a bag.
Location: A few metres away from Russell Square station, St Pancras train station and the British Museum.
The Clink78 is centrally located, just a 10-minute walk from King’s Cross metro station and St Pancras International station. The hostel has private double rooms (USD $80-100) and shared rooms for 4, 6, 8 10 and up to 14 people where you can sleep for USD $20-30 per night. The hostel is located in a stylishly renovated Victorian 200 year old courthouse. Facilities include an onsite bar and for just USD $3, you have a full breakfast included.
Cons: The rooms are a bit tiny.
Location: Close to King’s Cross underground station and St Pancras International station (which is very convenient if you arrive to London by train).
CHEAP HOTELS IN LONDON:
St Giles London is a 3-star hotel located near Tottenham Court underground station and Oxford Street shops and restaurants. The rooms are a bit old but they are fully equipped with everything you need. Breakfast is optional. With rates from USD $140 (double base), St Giles is an ideal hotel for couples.
Cons: rooms are small
Location: some meters away from Tottenham Court underground station and Oxford Street shops.
Sidney Hotel is a bit far away from the most centric area of London (Soho, Picadilly, etc) but I’ve decided to include it on the list because this hotel is located just a 5 minute walk away from Victoria station where you can take public transportation to any area in London. With rates from USD $130 (double base), this hotel is ideal for couples and families who want to be in a quiet area of the city but still well connected. All rates include continental breakfast.
Cons: No elevator
Location: A few meters from Victoria Station.
St Athans Hotel is a small family-run hotel, located close to St. Pancras Station and the British Library. The building is located in several single-family houses of Georgian style, so it has original elements and a very warm and cozy atmosphere. With rates from USD$120 (double base), this hotel is ideal for couples and families.
Cons: the rooms look a bit old and the bathroom is shared.
Location: A few minutes away from St. Pancras and British Library.
Saint George’s Hotel is a 4-star hotel with an excellent location, just a few metres from Oxford Street and its shops and restaurants. The rooms are spacious, modern and include all amenities. In addition the rooms on the upper floors offer very nice views of the city. Rates start at USD$170 (double base).
Cons: In high season the prices tend to increase a lot.
Location: A few blocks from Oxford Circus station.
APARTMENTS IN LONDON:
If you travel for a long time or with a group of people, it may be more convenient to rent an apartment. If you are new to Airbnb, sign up using this link to get USD$18 off your first booking (minimum purchase of $52).
This apartments have capacity for two people. Apartments are fully equipped and located a few minutes away from Oxford Street. It is a very modern and comfortable partment, ideal for couples. Rates are around USD$200 per night.
Fully equipped apartments located in central London, just a few minutes away from the British Museum and Tottenham Court Station. There are apartments for 2, 3, 4 and 6 people. Rates start at USD$177 per night. Ideal location and very modern and spacious rooms.
I hope this post has helped you to find where to stay in London on a budget and save you some time. Do you recommend any place to stay in London? Please share any tips in the comments!
Other London posts that you might like:
- Complete 4 day London itinerary
- London Pass vs London Explorer Pass
- Best free museums in London
- Visiting the Tower of London: is it worth it?
- Stonehenge day trip from London
- How to get to Oxford from London
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