Affordable Hotels in London

Here's how: our guide to the best yet affordable hotels in London

White, clear room with a dog picture behind the bed

In a nutshell: How to stay in London on a budget

  • Not only are we true London experts, but we’re also very good at finding hotels that don’t make you choose between cheap and nice.
  • Our good and low-budget hotel favorites in London are The Corner London City and The Z Hotel Strand.
  • London’s suburbs are super affordable. Our tip is The Drayton Court Hotel in Ealing.
  • In central London, you’ll find cheaper hotels in the King’s Cross and Paddington districts. The least expensive months are August and the winter months. Hotel prices are lowest on Sundays and Mondays.

Those were our most important tips at a glance. Read on if you want to know all the tips about affordable accommodation in London.

Affordable accommodation in London: here's how!

If there’s one thing we really know about, it’s travel planning.

And our knowledge on the question “How to find affordable hotels in London that are still cool and good?” is what we want to share with you here.

Ready? Let’s go!

The problem: hotel prices in London

Staying in London is expensive. Very expensive. A good, central hotel can easily cost 260 pounds or more during the peak travel season. But we’re not talking about luxury hotels or the many nice boutique hotels in London, but about ordinary accommodations.

For example, when looking for accommodation for a long weekend (three nights) in September, you’ll find an average three-star accommodation in a central location for 300 pounds per night.

There are also somewhat cheaper options. For only 215 pounds per night, there is a room of 13 square meters, but unfortunately in the “lower first floor” – which means as much as in the basement. By the way, breakfast is not included in the price. Phew!

Is that a reason not to travel to London?

Of course not!

London is far too great for that and besides, it goes cheaper – and we show you how.

The solution: our tips for a low-budget stay overnight

We know London very well and are real experts at finding affordable hotels everywhere. Affordable is not a synonym for low quality, though. No, we are talking about affordable and good hotels in London.

We want to come home in the evening after a busy day in London and feel comfortable.

Sure, there are cheaper hotels in London, but they don’t fall into the “feel good”-category for us.

Good affordable hotels in central London

White, clear room with a dog picture behind the bed
You can find very cool and comparatively large rooms at good prices at The Corner London (© The Corner London)

There are some very good budget hotels in London. The concept is often very similar:

  • good location
  • small rooms
  • modern design
  • relatively low prices

You can make really good bargains in these hotels, but unfortunately not always.

At certain travel times they’re also very expensive. So the tip doesn’t always work. We’ll introduce you to our favorite budget hotels in a moment.

Your task is to see if there are cheap rates on your travel dates.

These are our 5 favorite budget hotels in London:

The Z Hotel Strand: Unbeatable location in the middle of Westminster. Small, modern rooms. Some start at 85 pounds per night, but can go up to 215 pounds at peak travel times.

Motel One London: The German budget hotel chain is also in London now. The standard is very good, as usual for Motel One, and the location is very close to Tower Bridge. Rooms start at about 130 pounds per night.

citizenM Shoreditch: We love the citizenM hotels. The rooms are small, but well laid out. The beds are comfortable and the ambience is very stylish. The location in the middle of the trendy Shoreditch district is also great. Rooms start at about 170 pounds per night.

The Corner London City: Good location near Tower Bridge. Cool, unconventional design and large rooms for a budget hotel. You can check in here from 130 pounds per night.

Point A London Liverpool Street: Very small, but functional rooms. Good location at Liverpool Street station. Rooms start at 110 pounds.

As already said, prices vary a lot and can be double or triple in some cases. When we travel to London, we always check the prices in these hotels first.

Are the rooms on your travel dates too expensive? Then check out our other tips for affordable accommodation in London.

Affordable neighborhoods to stay in London

Map of London showing the most important sights and the neighborhoods of King's Cross and Paddington
Hotels are a bit more affordable in the two central London neighborhoods of King’s Cross and Paddington

Most visitors stay in the well-known districts right in the center: West End, Westminster, Covent Garden. These are the most central parts of the city, but also the most expensive.

If you move just a little outside the tourist core zone, the overnight stay quickly becomes 80 pounds cheaper.

Our recommendation for good, affordable hotels in central London are the King’s Cross and Paddington neighborhoods.

Both neighborhoods are located in the center and perfectly connected for visitors. Hotel prices are on average 20-30% less expensive than in other central neighborhoods.

Affordable hotels in King’s Cross

The area around the King’s Cross/St Pancras station is the most popular area to stay on a budget and close to London’s center.

By metro, you can reach most of London’s attractions in about 20 minutes. You can even walk to some of the famous highlights, such as Camden Market or various museums.

Affordable hotels in Paddington

Paddington is a convenient neighborhood with many lower-priced hotels.

From Paddington station, various subway lines will take you to the main highlights in no time, and most of London’s airports are also very well connected.

Good, cheap hotels
Really good hotels

Affordable accommodation in London's suburbs

Map of London showing the most important sights and the borough of Ealing
There are affordable hotels in the suburb of Ealing

In the two neighborhoods of Kings Cross and Paddington, an overnight stay is a bit cheaper, but still not a bargain.

If you want to stay budget-friendly in London for real, you have to look even further outside the center.

In the suburbs, the outskirts of London, you often pay less than half the price for a good hotel room compared to the city center. For a whole week, you can save several hundred pounds.

The downside is that you have to drive into the center every day and you’re not in the middle of action. If you don’t mind that, an accommodation in the suburbs is the most affordable option to stay in London.

Even during peak season, you can get a good hotel room in the suburbs for 85 to 130 pounds per night.

Our tip: affordable accommodation in Ealing

If you want to stay outside of London, we recommend booking a hotel in Ealing. Ealing is a pretty suburb located about 15 km west of the city center.

Ealing is connected to London by several subway lines. It takes you about 30-45 minutes to get to the city center. Another plus is that Heathrow Airport is also not far away.

A low-budget alternative to a hotel are the many hostels in London. If you really only care about the lowest price and want to stay as central as possible, then a bed in a dorm is the best option for you.

For a bed in a dormitory you pay from 35 pounds per night. However, hostel prices vary greatly and especially for short-term bookings they are often much higher.

Many hostels also offer private rooms – sometimes with a shared bathroom, sometimes even with a private one. Price-wise however, these rooms are not always worth it, as classic budget hotels usually offer better value for money.

We can recommend these 5 hostels in London:

Lee Abbey: Lee Abbey is a student hostel in the quiet Kensington district that also rents rooms to travelers. There are only twin rooms, many with private bathrooms. Very good value for money.

Urbany Hostel: Simple but modern hostel in Kensington. Good location and pleasant atmosphere.

Hostelle: This hostel is for women only. Good location close to the trendy Shoreditch neighborhood and right by the subway.

Wombat’s City Hostel: Stylish accommodation from the well-known Wombat’s hostel chain. Very good location within walking distance to the Tower Bridge.

Onefam Notting Hill: Very cool hostel in Notting Hill. Perfect for meeting other travelers due to regular events and the hostel puts a lot of emphasis on bringing its guests together.

The most affordable months to stay in London

London is a popular destination all year round, but there are definitely months with less tourists and therefore much more affordable prices.

In these months, hotels in London are the most expensive or the cheapest:

Most expensive months: April, May, September
Cheapest months: August, December, January, February

April, May and September are generally the most popular months for city breaks in Europe. Therefore, hotel rooms are the most expensive in London during these months.

The winter months from December to February are the cheapest time to visit London.

A cruise on the Thames or strolling through one of the markets in London – it’s also possible in winter, but just not as nice.

However, if you want to visit the many museums in London, the season almost doesn’t matter.

Our tip: It doesn’t rain much in February compared to December and January – in our opinion the best winter month to come to London.

However, our top month for affordable travel to London is August.

During the summer vacations, most travelers are drawn to the seaside and business trips are also less frequent in August. Therefore, hotels in August are affordable in comparison and the weather is perfect.

The most affordable days to stay in London

It’s not only the month that matters for hotel prices, but also the day of the week. That’s why you should schedule your city trip to London on a Sunday and Monday if flexibility allows.

Sunday is generally always the most affordable day, followed by Monday. All other days are much more expensive. The difference is huge. Often the night from Sunday to Monday costs only half as much as the night from Saturday to Sunday.

So if you plan three days in London, it’s cheapest if your trip covers Sunday and Monday.

Book early

Booking early is often claimed an insider tip for affordable hotel rates, but that’s only somewhat true in London.

London hoteliers know exactly which dates are popular. So you’re not going to get an absolute bargain for a May night, even if you book a year in advance.

But if you book a year in advance for January, which is not very popular anyway, you can find very good prices.

Another thing that is definitely true is booking at short notice is usually very expensive.

So if you decide to travel to London next week at the last minute, it will be much harder to find something affordable.

Not everything is expensive in London!

Finally, if you’re frustrated by the high room prices in London, we’d like to give you some encouraging info.

Aside from hotels and a few attractions, you can experience London on relatively little money.

Don’t think so? Here are a few examples:

  • Most museums in London are free. This includes the top-rated art museums, such as the Tate Modern.
  • There are many great markets in London, all of which don’t charge admission. Many markets also have very tasty street food that doesn’t cost the earth.
  • Of the 22 highlights we present in our article on the best places to visit in London, you can visit 14 without paying an entrance fee.
  • Public transport in London is very cheap. With the Oyster Card, you’ll pay a maximum of 8.10 pounds per day – no matter how much you come around.

So if your hotel room is a bit over your budget, you can save money in other places.

Extra tip: If you want to visit a lot of attractions in London with fees, be sure to check out our London Citypass comparison. With one of the passes, you can definitely save quite a bit.

Do you have any tips for affordable accommodation in London?

Have you found a good, affordable hotel in London that you can recommend? Do you have any other tips or questions about staying in London? Then we look forward to your comments!