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Reviewed on 14 Jul 2020
Reviewed on 1 Aug 2020
Reviewed on 31 Jul 2020
Hostels in Leeds are a bargain ticket to a buzzing city. With cutting-edge British kitchens, multicultural vibes and industrial-chic bars and cafes with "bohemian" written all over them, the town is the epitome of Yorkshire's modern edge and style. Choosing a low-cost stay as your base doesn't mean ditching somewhere interesting, either. In fact, Leeds' hostels come infused with touches of retro design, 1960s pizzazz and that distinct northern creativity. They have dorm rooms and double beds to cater to solo backpackers, families and couples alike, along with lively common spaces and self-catering kitchens. And that's not even mentioning the array of extras you get by choosing hostels in Leeds, whether that's a simple breakfast or a chance to join guided walking tours and evening pub hops with like-minded travellers.
First and foremost, hostels in Leeds are affordable. Offering stripped-down bedrooms in low-key doubles or dormitories, they are able to tout some of the shortest rates in the whole city. This sort of accommodation usually means sharing a bathroom, though you're also likely to get the added bonus of common spaces, outdoor terraces and kitchens, all of which can come alive with the hubbub of travellers' chatter. Smaller dormitories with just a few bunks are top picks for families who are keen to stay together. Twins are great for globetrotting duos wanting a space to call their own. It's normal to get complimentary breakfasts of English tea, pastries, cereal and fruit thrown in for good measure, while reception desks can often organise extras, like bike rental, and help with tour booking.
Design-wise, hostels in Leeds are never shy to showcase a little of Yorkshire's flamboyance. Egg chairs, bespoke mirror art, wall murals, Pop Art portraiture, photography exhibitions – there's a whole load that sets these establishments apart from the crowd. There's even an edge of the vernacular style to enjoy, coming through in the red-brick exteriors and 18th-century industrial architecture. What's more, some hostel stays in the city double up as art galleries and exhibition venues, so you might just catch the collections of local artists during your stay.
If you're eager to be close to the museums, galleries and sights in the heart of Leeds, then the Russell Scott Backpackers Hostel is a fine pick. You'll find it just over a mile down the road from the foot-stomping O2 Academy, where some of the world's highest-profile rock and pop acts perform, and the Leeds Art Gallery, a free-admission institution that hosts masterworks by Rodin, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore. The most dedicated art lovers, however, might prefer a stay at the appropriately-named Art Hostel. It doubles as a collective workshop and experimental arts space for local students. It also enjoys a perch straddling the pretty walks of The Calls district, where charming brick-fronted buildings mingle with barges on the canals by the River Aire.