When I think back to my last trip to London, I no longer have memories of exploring Westminster Abbey with my high school English teacher eagerly watching his reaction (he was known for getting excited and passionate about literature, so I knew his reaction would be good), wandering around the city with classmates and musing about how they say “mind the gap” at all the tube stops (something us Americans love to love). No no … now my most recent memories to London involve a lovely blogger meet-up with Faded Spring and Mal Into the City, wandering the city in the rain, being mistaken Aussie or a Kiwi at one point (score) and my comfortable stay with Astor Hostels. My only experience in London before last weekend was a high school trip. While that was such a great first experience in Europe, I was wanting to see London in a different way. After all ages 18 and 29 are very different.
How I got there
So as many of you know, I teach English in Spain. This allows for weekend trips within Europe every so often. When I saw a Ryanair flight for only 50 euros roundtrip, I just went ahead and booked it. It really cannot get much better than that.
If you are looking to fly cheaply within Europe, here are a few sites to check out:
- Skyscanner (they have this awesome “everywhere” feature. So if you have a weekend free and just want to go where you can find a good flight deal, this is perfect!)
Of course this list is not comprehensive. If you know of a good budget airline to check out or a website to find good flight deals, feel free to share it in the comments. I’m always wanting to find more ways to travel and save.
The one downside of flying Ryanair was that it has you fly into Stansted Airport, which is a tad farther outside of the city. There is a bus and a train. However it just meant that I had to leave my hostel at like 3:30-4 a.m. Monday morning to get to the train station.
Astor Queensway Hostel
After taking the train to the metro, I finally arrived to my hostel. And to my surprise, they put me in a lovely private room on the sixth floor. It was so nice to have my own space for the weekend. I spend a lot of my travels staying in dorm-style rooms with other travelers. While a lot of those places really make the space as comfortable as possible, someone always ends up snoring. And snoring can be hard for me to fall asleep to (I mean is it ever easy?).
Within my room, I had my own sink, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and hand soap. It’s perfect because I often travel without shampoo thinking I’ll find some when I arrive.
I loved the little table with treats, coffee/tea and a mirror. While I just opted to have my coffee downstairs at breakfast, it was nice that it was an option up in my room. Of course it got cluttered with my makeup as soon as I arrived.
The bathroom was next to my room. I liked that it was a single bathroom rather than a communal one. I liked having my own space and I never had to wait to use it. The actual bathroom itself was basic but clean. All I needed was a nice shower to freshen up before meeting my blogger friends. The shower was nice.
The next morning, I wandered downstairs to eat a good breakfast. Breakfast at the hostel is only one pound and the money goes to charity. They had coffee the way I like it and cream cheese. It was wonderful.
The kitchen also seemed like a nice, clean space as well.
The hostel is in an older, 6-story building. I am impressed with how they make the space work and feel homey. They have lots of beautiful artwork throughout the hallways to give you sort of a more “London feel”
Overall, my stay at Queensway Astor Hostel was comfortable. The staff was friendly and helpful. The location was only a few blocks from a tube stop as well. Was it my favorite hostel ever? No. But it was a great place to stay during my weekend in London which went by too fast.
If you’re looking for a fun and affordable place to stay in London, make sure you check their hostels out at all these spots:
I was provided with a complimentary stay at the Queensway Astor Hostel but all opinions are my own.