If you’re looking to travel on a budget, there is no better way than to utilize hostels as your accommodations. Once thought of as cheap places for college kids, hostels have come a long way. Thanks to renovations and modern features, hostels have become the choice of accommodation for the budget conscious traveler as well as the discerning with special credit card deals at their disposal. Here are eight hostels you shouldn’t miss in the United Kingdom:
Clink78 – London
This 200-year-old building was once a courthouse and is rich in history. Not only were The Clash on trial in this famous building, but also Charles Dickens came up with his idea for the popular novel “Olive Twist” while in residence. Stay in your choice of police cell, dorm or private room. A free daily walking tour will give you access to all things that make London fabulous.
Blue Skies Hostel – London
Located just outside a tube station, the hostel lends itself to easy travel through the city. Dorms are located above the pub and are available in co-ed and single gender versions. Live music can be found downstairs most nights and free breakfast is served every morning. If you’re looking for a cheap meal, be sure to take advantage of 1/2 pizza on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Riverhouse Backpackers – Cardiff
Consistently rated as a top hostel by loyal guests, and given multiple best staff awards, you will be treated like long-lost family at this hostel in the city center. Located on the banks of the Taff River, plan on renting a bicycle from the hire center and take a ride on the Taff Trail.
Downhill Hostel – Castlerock
This quaint villa is tucked into the cliffs and looks out over a railway line and to the north coast’s longest beach. As soon as you step through the doors you’ll feel as though you are visiting a friend’s cozy home. In fact, this Irish hostel is so comfortable that you may find it difficult to leave and tour the countryside at all.
Kipps Independent Hostel – Canterbury
Only a ten minute walk from the famous Canterbury Cathedral, many tourists use this hostel as a stop-over while journeying on the Eurostar. There’s plenty going on in this charming hostel; from Luigi’s free pasta and sing-a-long evening on Fridays to Wii and pancakes on Tuesdays, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get to know your fellow travelers.
Smartcityhostels – Edinburgh
Who ever thought a hostel could keep up with a five-star hotel? This huge hostel has 620 beds, a roof terrace and a wide variety of rooms and amenities to choose from. Family rooms, handicap accessible rooms and even rooms that cater to business clientele make this hostel a top choice in the city.
Derry City Independent Hostel – Derry
This ultra-affordable hostel is a gem very near the Derry City walls. Step into the hostel and step into another world. The dining room is designed to give guests the feeling of an exotic Indian café and guests can enjoy particularly wonderful deals on traditional Asian meals in the heart of the summer.
Hostels are a great place to stay whether you are traveling on a budget or have unlimited funds. While hostels are safe choices, you do need to stay smart. Lock up your credit cards and don’t leave valuables out in the open; while most people won’t have any problems in these types of accommodations, every country has its unsavory element. With a bit of common sense, and a great desire to experience the unique, you can enjoy a hostel just as much as you would enjoy a five-star resort.
Author Andy Trace is a money consultant and content contributor for Finance Choices a site offering detailed comparisons for the top providers, and offering bad credit cards for those who’ve experienced an unfortunate hit to their credit score. Image by foilman