Our first stop of our Europe trip was London. While visiting the city we needed a place to stay. Preferably a cheap one that wouldn’t break the bank. After some quick searching I came across hosteling. Hostels are cheap places to stay and a great alternative to hotels if you don’t mind bunking with a few strangers.
The hostel we chose to stay at was London Backpackers Hostel. We booked our hostel online at Hostelworld.com and payed 72.33 total for 2 of us to stay 3 nights. Which is right around 12.06 a night per person. Not a bad deal at all when hotels can sent you back our total cost for one nights stay.
One of the few “downsides” (I use that term lightly in this case) is the location. The hostel located is about 15 minutes outside central London when traveling via “the tube” (train). This was not a problem for us as we didn’t have a real need to stay in the city center nor did we mind sacrificing a little bit of time for travel. Also, it’s important to note that we bought tube tickets that allowed us unlimited travel with the city. These tickets cost us 31.86 for the two of us. Upon arriving at the train stop the hostel is a literal 3 minute walk and the giant orange sign is hard to miss. The area around the hostel has supermarkets, and resterants if you need food and an ATM machine up the street if you need to withdraw some cash.
Right when you enter the building the front desk is on your immediate left and all the staff we met were very nice. They advise you on a few rules the hostel has (see picture for details) and let you know about the door lockout times. However you can make a deposit of 10£ for a Key card the allows you 24 hour access to the building. You get your deposit back when you return the key card at the end of your stay. The building has multiple leavels that are accessible via the stairs. It is equiped a basement social area that has a pool table and couches for guests to use free of charge. However, we found that more people preferred to gather in the kitchen / dining area. The kitchen was equiped with a couple of burners, a microwave, and cooking utensils. You could make almost anything you need that didn’t require an oven. There were numerous mini fridges stacked atop each other for you to store food. Although space may be hard to find as the other guest are all storing food as well. The eating area was a shelf like table that wrapped around the room. As well as a couch. Along the walls there were hindreds of VHS tapes that could be played via the tv on the wall. Also, it’s worth noting that there is s washing machine, but is is a pay machine. The area always seemed clean and we had no problem utilizing the space. Also, I wanted to note they have FREE breakfast! The last thing I want to comment on is the restrooms. The hallway in which they are located had a bit of a funky smell to it but the bathroom itself didn’t. They were kept relatively clean for how many people are constantly going in and out of them and they had showers with hot water. The men’s room had doors that you could close on the showers however whe women’s room did not. Again we had little problems with the restrooms as a whole.
There are a number of different room options available when staying at this hostel. The options range from a private room to a 15 bed mixed dorm. We staying in the 15 bed mixed dorm as it was the cheapest option. We were a bit hesitant about sharing a room with strangers but that presented no problem in the end. The room is relatively small for 15 people to share but they used the space efficiently by having 5 sets of bunk beds that were 3 beds high. Every bunk had its own locker / cage locked under the bottom bunk that you could store and lock your gear in. Each bunk had a shelf that had built in outlets, USB ports, and a light. Also each bunk had a privacy curtain you could use to block out the light or just close yourself off from others, which was very nice. The bunks also had sheets, blankets, and pillows ready and folded on them when we arrived. The people we were with all minded your space and we had no problem with other guests of any kind. Also, each room is locked and can only be entered via a key pad to which only the people staying in the room had the code to.
We really enjoyed our stay in the hostel and found in 100% worth the money. We would stay in this particular hostel again, and do plan on utilizing hostels in our future travels. If you are the kind of person who needs to be in the city center without traveling, needs your own bathroom, and does not like being around people this isn’t a good option for you. If you are traveling on a budget, enjoy new experiences, meeting new people, and don’t mind a shared living space then we highly recomend staying in this hostel and hostels in general.