Last Updated on 17 October, 2023
When it comes to where to stay in London, it can sometimes feel as if each area in London is its own thriving city. Essentially each and every part of London has its own unique vibe.
There are plenty of cool and amazing places to stay in London. Below is a guide to help you decide on which area to stay in London whether visiting London for 2 days, 7 days, longer or when moving to London.
Best Areas To Stay In London And The Neighbourhoods To Consider
One of the most important aspects of planning a trip to London is deciding which neighbourhood to stay in London. Whether you are staying North or South of the Thames in London each area has its own unique vibe.
Below are the neighbourhoods many London visitors should consider staying.
West London is one of London’s most expensive areas to live and stay. This is where you will find areas like Chelsea, Mayfair, Soho, Belgravia, Kensington, and Knightsbridge, as well as historical sights like Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Westminister Parliament Houses, Downing Street, Oxford Street Shopping.
West London is also popular for its luxury boutiques, legendary nightlife, Michelin star restaurants. Not to mention an area where many celebrities have homes, the likes of Brad Pitt, Kylie Minogue. Also if you are ever in need of somewhere to stay for shopping then it does get better than West London.
This is the leafy North of London where you can find London’s successful young professionals. A welcoming vibe with amazing collections of independent cafes, restaurants in addition to the famous Camden Markets. Nearby you have easy access to Regent’s Park, The Regent’s Canal, not to mention Regent’s part boasts one of the best Open Air Theatres.
Neighbourhoods in North London: Camden, Finsbury Park, Clerkenwell, Islington, Haringey, Enfield. Note that for first-time visitings we strongly advise keeping to, Clerkenwell, Islington and Camden. Click here to find accommodation in West London.
East London is another area of London that is full of charm and plenty of historical neighbourhoods. This is where London’s 2012 Olympics were held where the City of London is located.
Although technically within the postcode EC1, Eastern Central, you can find the city’s financial district here, Shoreditch, Whitechapel, Hackney, Newham, Waltham Forest.
East London is also famous for its colourful streets of Shoreditch which are covered in street art, Indian restaurants on Brick Lane, Old Spitalfields market with its independent designer stalls, Columbia Road Flower Market, the Whitechapel Gallery, Westfields London Mall as well as cool and quirky restaurants.
East London has been gentrified in recent years so now has an eclectic mix of creatives and professional living in the area.
Neighbourhoods in North London: Shoreditch, City of London, Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway. Avoid Hackney, Tower Hamlets unless you are already familiar with London. Click here to find accommodation in East London.
South London falls on the South-East of the Thames and where you can find many of London’s famous landmarks like the London Eye, The Shard, Tate Gallery, O2, Emirates Cable Cars, Greenwich Observatory as well as many of London’s photogenic streets.
London neighbourhoods like Greenwich are home to Greenwich Park, magnificent World Heritage Site Naval ships and docks, Thames Barrier and many more.
While on the map it might seem far, South London offers not only a mix of affordable and luxury accommodation but also one of the best places to stay in London for tourists and first-time visitors alike.
Although many places mention above fit in the other parts of London mentioned above, when it comes to staying in Central London, most refer to places within Zone 1 and someone zone 2.
Places like London Bridge, Elephant and Castle, Borough, parts of Bermondsey, parts of Lambeth, Westminster, Blackfriars, Vauxhall are all part of central London and very much attractive places to stay as they offer easy access to tourist places for visitors in London.
If you are visiting London the first time you are most likely to want to stay in central London but note that because of how amazing transportation is in London, even as a new visitor you don’t necessarily have to stay in central London.
Staying in places within Zone 3, 4 and sometimes 5 may offer you cheaper accommodation but also allows you to be within central London by Underground transport within 30 minutes. To find accommodation in Central London click here.
Where To Stay In London For First Time Visitors
When it comes to tourists visiting London, we recommend looking at your London itinerary and all the things you are going to be doing. Depending on where you are likely going to be spending most of your time.
Then book hotels or apartments close to that. Let’s say if your trip to London is all about shopping and galleries then we recommend staying in West London as this gives you access to galleries, shopping in Oxford Street, Kensington and Chelsea too.
If you are a first time visitor to London and are visiting all of London tourist sites then we recommend staying in South or East London (includes Central London areas).
Areas like London Bridge, Waterloo, Blackfriars, Lambeth, Bermondsey, Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Elephant and Castle or give you a mix of cheap to luxury hotels like St Christopher’s hostels located or 5 star Shangri-La at the Shard.
Both are located in London Bridge just a stone’s throw from the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the famous Borough Market.
Where To Stay In London On A Budget
The beauty of London is that even in some of the most expensive areas of London, you will likely find Airbnbs, Hostels, B&Bs so the only thing to decide on is really what area of London you want to stay in.
As I have illustrated above with the hostel and 5-star hotel in close proximity in central London. You can also find a hostel in West London, one of London’s most expensive areas to stay.
Below the move shows accommodation marked out by price to make it easier to find a place in your budget when you visit London.
Below is a map to help you locate accommodation within your budget and area of London.
Map of Best Areas To Stay In London
- Things To Do In Notting Hill
- Cool And Fun Place To Visit In Kensington
- How To Get From Heathrow To Central London
- Best Afternoon In London
- Cool Breakfast And Brunch Spots In Notting Hill