5 Family-Friendly Hostels in London: An Insider's Guide

5 Family-Friendly Hostels in London: An Insider's Guide

London, a city known for its rich history, captivating sights, and impressive culture, also has some top-notch hostels for families. Having traveled the world and stayed in countless hostels with my family, I understand the importance of finding a spot that’s both family-friendly and budget-friendly.

Without further ado, here are my top 5 family-friendly hostels in London.

  1. Best Hostels for Families in London
    1. Safestay London Elephant & Castle
    2. Kabannas London St Pancras
    3. Pax Lodge
    4. Astor Victoria
    5. Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage
  2. Why Stay in a Hostel with Family?
  3. How to find Family-Friendly Hostels?
    1. Utilize Platforms Like Hostelz.com
    2. Check for Family Amenities
    3. Location
  4. Summary

1. Safestay London Elephant & Castle

A hidden gem within the bustling neighborhood of Elephant & Castle, Safestay has worked hard to ensure its appeal to families.

The Georgian building, complete with its historical charm, houses large private family rooms that can accommodate both small and larger families. The lounge area is spacious, allowing families to engage in board games, reading, or just relaxing after a day in the city. Their garden is a peaceful haven — imagine sipping tea while your kids play in a secured environment.

Plus, its location means that iconic sights, such as the London Eye and the Shard, are merely a short bus or tube ride away.

Check Safestay London here

Check prices: Booking.com | Hostelworld


safestay london

2. Kabannas London St Pancras

Proximity is a huge plus for Kabannas London St Pancras. Especially if you're arriving in London via the Eurostar, you’ll be delighted by how close this hostel is.

The family rooms vary, from ones perfect for a single child to those fit for a mini-squad. But what stands out is their dedication to families – a lounge area specifically designed for families ensures that the little ones can play without interruptions.

The café is not only budget-friendly, but also serves a kids’ menu, taking the guesswork out of meals.

Update: Kabannas London St Pancras was formerly named YHA London St Pancras. It is the same property.

Check Kabannas St Pancras here

Check prices: Booking.com | Hostelworld


3. Pax Lodge

Pax Lodge is not just a hostel, but a unique experience, especially for families. Located in the tranquil Hampstead area, it's a part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts World Centres. This means that staying here isn't just about accommodation; it's about embracing a global community.

What about the rooms? Families will appreciate the spacious rooms that are tailored to suit their needs, from twin rooms to larger rooms accommodating up to six people.

The property also boasts a communal lounge and kitchen, making family meal times a breeze. For children, the global educational programs they offer provide a fun learning experience about different cultures. Plus, its location is an added advantage – Hampstead is known for its green spaces, making it perfect for families to relax, play, or have a picnic.

The famous Hampstead Heath is just a stone's throw away, offering panoramic views of London.

Check Pax Lodge here

pax lodge

4. Astor Victoria

Situated right in the midst of London's beating heart, Astor Victoria’s location makes exploring central landmarks a breeze.

The family rooms come equipped with snug bunk beds that the kids will adore. But it's not just the accommodation that’s a hit — the hostel is renowned for organizing events which are family-centric, ensuring entertainment for all ages.

Whether it’s a movie night or a city tour, there's always something happening at Astor Victoria.

Check Astoria Victoria here

Check prices: Booking.com | Hostelworld


5. Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage

Walking into Palmers Lodge is like stepping into a time capsule.

The Victorian building retains its old-world charm, coupled with modern amenities. The family rooms have been tailored to ensure maximum comfort, and the presence of a game room means evenings can be spent over a competitive board game session. There is also a pool billiard table and a dart board.

Their conservatory, draped in fairy lights, offers a serene atmosphere, ideal for families looking to take a quiet moment and bond.

Check Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage here

Check prices: Booking.com | Hostelworld



Why Stay in a Hostel with Family?

A hostel isn't just for solo travelers; they’re gems for families too! Here’s why:

  1. Budget-Friendly:
    More affordable than many hotels, meaning more money for adventures.
  2. Kitchen Facilities:
    Prepare meals the way your kids love them.
  3. Meet Other Families:
    Kids make new friends and so do you!
  4. Sleeping Arrangements:
    Many hostels offer private family rooms, ensuring privacy and comfort. You can also book entire dorms as private rooms. Therefore, big families can stay in one room together.

Important to know: Dormitory Limitations

In many cases, children under 16 or 18 are not allowed in mixed dorms for safety and comfort reasons.

Pay attention to these restrictions. Some hostels show these restrictions more obvious than others.

kids dorms

How to find Family-Friendly Hostels?

Ah, the joys of backpacking!

But as you know, when you throw family into the mix, the game changes a bit. It's not just about finding a budget stay but ensuring the place is welcoming for your little adventurers too. You are looking for a safe, clean, and maybe even fun place. Right?

So, how do you find that perfect family-friendly hostel? Let's dive in.

1. Utilize Platforms Like Hostelz.com

The most straightforward way to begin is by using reliable platforms like Hostelz.com. Here's a simple guide on how to navigate it:

Guest & Room Number: Input the number of guests and the room count. This ensures the search is tailored to your family's size. Here you find all hostels in London to filter.

Filter Options: Opt for the 'family-friendly' filter. This narrows down your choices to hostels that specifically cater to families.

Read and filter Reviews: Always, always read reviews. Past travelers often drop hints on how genuinely family-friendly a hostel is. Here on Hostelz you can filter reviews for keywords. Try to filter for words like “families, kids, child, children, family”.

Also, it makes sense to filter for keywords to rule out a hostel, such as “party”.

Check Restrictions: Some hostels have age limits, either minimum or maximum. Some establishments don't allow children below a certain age, while others are exclusively for younger travelers, often capped at 30 or 40.

2. Check for Family Amenities

Once you have a shortlist, dive deeper:

Private Rooms: Does the hostel offer private family rooms?

Safety: Check for 24/7 reception and lockers for valuables.

Recreational Areas: Kids need space! Lounges, play areas, or gardens are a plus.

Kitchen Facilities: Ideal for whipping up quick meals for picky eaters.

3. Location, Location, Location

Choose hostels close to public transportation or main attractions. This means less transit time, which is a blessing with kids.

We also highly recommend reading our first-hand blog. We cover for you:

Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage


The experience of staying in a hostel as a family is unique. Not only does it offer an affordable stay, but it also provides an avenue to meet other traveling families. Kids get to make friends from all over the world, and so do you. Plus, the communal vibe ensures you get insider tips on exploring the locale.

Remember, every family is different. What works for one might not work for another. So, tailor your search based on your family's unique preferences and needs.

Safe travels and may your family adventures be ever memorable!

Travel Cheaper, Travel Longer

Smart Hostel Price Comparison

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