Where To Stay In London: The Ultimate Neighborhood Guide
What do you plan to do when in London? Is the British Museum on your list? How about wandering through St. Jame's Park? No doubt the National Gallery will be a highlight! If you are looking for a specific vibe or attraction, find the neighborhood that best suits your needs and then find a hotel within your price range. Whether staying in central London, east London, or even west London, there are plenty of terrific places to stay in the city!
If you are visiting for work, figuring out where to stay in London is pretty simple; you want to be close to your meeting places so you do not have a tremendous commute. But, if you are visiting for pleasure, searching for where to stay in London may take a bit more investigating.
Several upscale neighborhoods are dotted with five-star hotels and resorts, but if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, there are plenty of neighborhoods that offer cozy hotels that won’t break the bank. Take a few minutes to learn more about some of the more prominent neighborhoods and decide where to stay in London from there. Need to know how to make your way around London? Read our guide here!
South Bank – Best neighborhood to stay for sightseeing
If you are visiting London to do a bit of sightseeing, you will definitely want to find a hotel in the South Bank neighborhood. Great accommodations can be had at reasonable prices, although, there are a few luxury hotels with private rooms and elegant rooms that are in the mix with fantastic amenities.
South Bank is near the Heathrow Airport and also has great choices when it comes to restaurants and shops. Staying in this neighborhood means you are within walking distance to the Tate Museum and the London Eye. After a little sightseeing, enjoy afternoon tea at The Shard, one of the most popular sights in London.
Meander through the South Bank District and take in all the sights! You can even sign up for a walking tour or two to familiarize yourself with the area. Store your backpacks and large bags at one of our London bag storage lockers and nab tickets for a show at one of the West End Theatres, Shakespeare’s Globe, or the National Theatre. Sit in a public park and watch as people scurry from place to place, or put your feet up at a local spa and relax.
Make the time to see the Southbank Book Market, an outdoor shop situated along the River Thames where you can find vintage posters, postcards, and unique secondhand books. Drop by BFI Southbank, a cinema that is over 70 years old. The Southbank Centre Food Market is the perfect place to find classic pub fare, craft beer, and fine wine.
Chelsea – Best place to stay for fashion and shopping
Trendy Chelsea is the neighborhood where fashionistas and shopaholics flock, especially during fashion week. There are also plenty of fine dining establishments where you go to see and be seen. Check into one of the luxury hotels in Chelsea and spend a few days exploring all this higher-end neighborhood has to offer.
There are even a few budget-friendly or economy hotels dotted throughout the neighborhood for those who like to be in the more upscale part of town but are still on a tight budget. Before you hit the shops, take a little stroll through the streets and learn more about the area so you can make a plan on where to visit. For the best shopping, head to King’s Road.
Look out over the Albert Bridge at sunset for one of the most breathtaking and romantic views of the London skyline. Chelsea is adjacent to South Kensington and has been dubbed one of the prettiest neighborhoods in London. The Chelsea Physic Garden in the heart of the community is a central location of the area, you will never want to leave.
While staying in Chelsea, be sure to check out several of the highlights such as the Royal Court Theatre, Stamford Bridge, Tower Bridge, Sloane Square, Saatchi Gallery, Trafalgar Square, National Portrait Gallery, and Cadogan Hall. Whether here for the weekend or the entire week, you will definitely not be bored when staying in Chelsea.
Square Mile – Best area to stay for top attractions and luxury hotels
The actual city of London, known by the locals as the Square Mile, is a great place to hang out when visiting London. Staying in downtown London is the best way to be near some of the best attractions and the financial district. It is also filled with trendy cafes and amazing shops and is a great central location in the city.
When figuring out where to stay in London, the Square Mile has a glorious mix of accommodations ranging from midrange to luxury including modern rooms with free WiFi, you can even check out an Air Bnb. The River Thames is easily accessible, so hop on a tour boat and relax over a glass of wine or take a dinner cruise for a wonderful night in London.
There are plenty of markets filled with delicious street food vendors, kitschy shops, and trendy boutiques, especially Spitalfields Market. The history and architecture of this neighborhood will draw you in and make you want to learn more and more. Situated on the eastern side of London, the architecture is so much different than the rest of London.
Check out the Tower of London, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Centre, and St. Paul’s Cathedral they are all a short walk from several hotels in London. You can also find several amazing rooftop bars where you can kick back and relax after a day of sightseeing.
Kensington and South Kensington – Best places to stay for families
Two of the most historic neighborhoods in London, Kensington and South Kensington are the perfect places for you to stay if you have the family in tow. Kensington is best known for its famous museum quarter so staying here means you are within walking distance to the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. What else can you do with kids in London? Read about the Harry Potter tour in our fun guide!
Iconic Hyde Park is also located in this neighborhood and is the perfect place to meander along and imagine all the historical figures who have passed through this park. Take a stroll along Oxford Street, a famous shopping street, while here. The quietness of the neighborhood is welcoming when you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy London streets.
One of the more elegant areas in London, Kensington is filled with royal residences and mews streets. Take a stroll along the Kensington Palace Gardens and check out the beautiful houses along the way, be sure to meander down Kensington Church Street for even more impressive homes and a great way to explore London.
South Kensington is a more vibrant neighborhood and does have some more budget-friendly accommodations. Connected to the areas west of London along with the Piccadilly Circus, you will want to catch a live show at the Royal Albert Hall, which is over 150 years old. Sit down and enjoy a meal at an outdoor table along Exhibition Road near the Ham Yard Hotel.
Camden and Kings Cross – Best places to stay for music and style
Located only about a stone’s throw from each other, Camden and Kings Cross are two historic neighborhoods you will want to explore when you are in London. Discover several hotels with amazing amenities when deciding where to stay.
Camden used to be where the musicians and hippies used to live and hang out, but now it is a more prosperous neighborhood filled with fashion gurus and hipsters. It is still one of the best places in London to hear live music, especially from up-and-coming bands. Be sure to visit the Camden Market!
Camden was also once home to the late Amy Winehouse and is filled with excellent music venues like Koko and Roundhouse. This vibrant and colorful neighborhood is perfect for music lovers to explore. There are plenty of places to stay such as a quaint boutique hotel and of course, plenty of cheap hotels.
Kings Cross was also a rather down-and-out neighborhood that has been reinvented into a stylish, historic district filled with young professionals. One of the best landmarks in this neighborhood is the King’s Cross Station. This iconic station has some of the most breathtaking architecture in London.
The station is also famous for being featured in the Harry Potter series with the magical 9 ¾ platform. Fans of the series love to explore the station and snap photos along the way. The St. Pancras Station is near the Kings Cross Station and is home to Eurostar.
Coal Drops Yard, across from Regent’s Canal is filled with casual and fine dining restaurants, artisan shops, and amazing architecture you do not want to miss. Take a stroll through the streets and check out the markets and sights along the way.
Covent Garden – Best neighborhood for first time visitors
If this is your first trip to London, the best place to stay in is the Covent Garden neighborhood with so many historic landmarks, must-try eateries, quaint shops, and of course a wide mix of hotels ranging from a luxury hotel to a boutique hotel and plenty of cheap hotels.
Theatre lovers will want to check out the Strand where several of the best theatres in the West End are located. The Savoy, Vaudeville, and Adelphi are all located in the Strand. Covent Garden is also known for the street artists that perform day and night. Pull up a park bench and watch a couple of great performances then get out and explore London!
The London Eye, National Galleries, and House of Parliament are all within walking distance when you choose to stay in the Covent Garden area. Buckingham Palace is also nearby and is an absolute must-see if this is your first visit to London.
You will also want to visit the actual Covent Garden Market which was once a fruit-and-vegetable market located in the main square, very similar to farmers’ markets in the United States. Covent Garden is the central square where locals tend to congregate. The Royal Opera House is found in Covent Garden.
Notting Hill –Best area for fans of Notting Hill movie
Located in north London, Notting Hill is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in all of London and it probably looks very familiar if you have seen the 1999 movie starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Many of the scenes were filmed on the streets of Notting Hill and it is such a picturesque area of London. When you visit London it is an ideal place to stay, with several romantic hotels.
The vibrant and colorful houses lend charm and cheerfulness to an already fun neighborhood. The lively Portobello Road Market is a definite must-see in a great location with so many wonderful sights, sounds, and smells. Check out some of the street food vendors found throughout the market.
When trying to find where to stay in London, Notting Hill should certainly be a contender. This amusing, colorful neighborhood beckons, especially if you love antiques and scouring the Portobello Road Market for amazing finds. You will find the best hotels including luxury hotels, boutique hotels, and budget-friendly hotels in this neighborhood, as well as a few inexpensive hotels.
Hotels in London near Leicester Square and more
Finding where to stay in London can be a challenge especially since there are so many great attractions to see such as the London Zoo, St James Park, Hyde Park, Oxford Street, and Westminster Abbey. You will want to find a London hotel with a convenient location to all you want to see and experience. Plan your London trip to include cool hotels, great restaurants, and interesting train stations.
London's West End is the perfect place to catch the latest live show. If you have kids, the Science Museum in South Kensington is a great place, as is Big Ben near the Palace of Westminster. Hotels in London are plentiful. Make use of the London underground to make your way through the city. For instance, if you pick lodgings near Waterloo Station, the mainline trains to all the excitement are nearby!