Staying in London is expensive. There's no getting around that unpleasant fact. Hotels in London can eat up your travel budget very quickly, even the "inexpensive" ones. Prices are cheaper as you get further away from the major attractions of central London, but the further out you stay, the more of your sightseeing time is eaten up by travel. As good as London's transport systems are, you don't want to spend half your time staring out the window of an underground train or bus.

There are other options, though, if your pockets give new meaning to the term "threadbare". London has a variety of budget accommodation - some of it aimed specifically at youth and student travellers. If you are willing to forego a few amenities - like en-suite toilets and baths, you can cut your costs considerably. Here are some options for you to consider:

Many London colleges and university open their student dormitories to travellers when school is not in session. Some of these student residences are operated as bed and breakfast, and some as self-catering apartments. There are often family rooms available, though often there is a low age restriction. Some of these schools are:

The University of Westminster (numerous campuses around Greater London)

Cartwright University Halls, 36 Cartwright Gardens WC1H 9BZ

King's College London, 3rd Flr, Strands Bridge House, 138-142 Strand, London

There are also numerous youth hostels scattered about. Be aware that although there are hostels affiliated with the Youth Hostel Association, several are independently operated and will not accept a YHA membership card for discounted rates. Here are a few chosen hostels:

Holland Park Youth Hostel, Holland Walk. Kensington, London. W8 7QU

Earl's Court Youth Hostel, 38 Bolton Gardens, SW5 0AQ

In some cases, budget hotels can be even cheaper than hostels. Here are a few that truly deserve their "budget" tag:

Astor Quest Hotel, 45 Queensborough Terrace, London, W2

Astor Museum Inn, 27 Montague Street, WC1B 5BH - Note: this hotel is directly opposite the British Museum. Same website as above.

Boka Hotel, 33 - 35 Eardley Crescent, SW5 9JT

The best source of information for budget accommodation in London is the "London Accommodation for Budget Travelers" booklet put out by the British Tourist Authority. You should be able to obtain a copy from any BTA office in your country of residence, or through your local travel agent.

Budget London Accommodation on the Web: Check out our own London hotel guide, where you can browse hotels by price as well as rating and location.

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