Last updated on January 03rd, 2023
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. If you are planning a trip to London then you might be up to a big challenge, especially when you have to find the right place to stay. There are so many neighbourhoods to choose from in this city and every neighbourhood (Borough or District) offers (first time) tourists something different.
In London, there is no ‘best’ neighbourhood since all neighbourhoods are unique in their own special way. In this city there are many sights spread out, and there is no downtown since everything depends on the tourists’ interests and budget. It is very easy to find accommodation in several areas in London.
The districts in London are not named like the way other places are named. For instance, in other European cities districts are usually numbered but London has been divided in a unique way. The city has 33 local authority districts which means that it is quite a large city.
Finding a perfect district is not that hard but it can take a lot of your time. That is why this article will make things better for you by providing you with details about the best district to stay in London.
Looking for accommodation in London can be a nightmare, and not because there aren’t hotels in the area, it’s because you will be spoilt for choice such, and in many different neighbourhoods, that it will be confusing. There are so many hotels in London and you can book accommodation in any of these hotels, and in different district. The question is, Where to Stay in London?
The West End (Theatre district) has the greatest concentration of hotels, theatres and restaurants. If you travel by train staying close to one of London’s many train stations can be very convenient. See our hotels near Victoria Train & Coach Station railway station. Business travelers coming to London can search for places to stay in the city of London district or near the London Stock Exchange or ExCel Exhibition centre.
What’s the best area to experience the city as a local, a first time visit or what’s the best district for shopping, nightlife and theatre, or where to stay on a budget? Read on below to find out the best neighbourhoods to stay in London UK.
Quick Overview – Contents
- What is the Best Area to Stay in London
- Best Area for First Time Visit
- Best District for Nightlife
- Best Neighbourhood for Local Experience
- Best Area for Theatre & Arts
- Best Area to Stay for Shopping
- Where to Stay in London on a Budget
- Where to Stay in London when flying into Heathrow
- Where to Stay in London when flying into Gatwick
- 6 Best Neighourhoods to Stay for Tourists
What is the Best Area to Stay in Central London UK?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): Covent Garden – Bloomsbury Russell Square area – Westminster
If you love sightseeing and you happen to be looking for the best neighbourhoods to visit, then you should go to South Bank, Westminster, Covent Garden, and Bloomsbury Russell Square area. These areas are excellent for seeing big attractions such as the London Eye, the Shard, Tate Modern among others. There are several museums present and shopping centres. You can find plenty of hotels in such areas since they are top touristic centres.
Where to Stay in London City Centre
- Best Luxury Hotels in London
Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London • The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Motel One London-Tower Hill • Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo
- Best Cheap Accommodation in London
MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park • Kensington Gardens Hotel
- Best Bed & Breakfast in London
The Grafton Arms Pub & Rooms • Parklands B&B
- Best Budget Hostels in London
Wombat’s CITY Hostel – London • YHA London St Pancras
Best Areas to Stay in London
Where to stay in London for best nightlife? The West End – Soho – Shoreditch – Camden
Camden town, Soho and Shoreditch are the best places to stay in London if you love nightlife. Camden town is around the northeast reaches of Regent’s Park that is close to London Zoo. This is home to British rock music, it is young, and has a studenty vibe. There are so many live music venues with many lively pubs. In such areas you will find multiple clubs, bars and restaurants where you can have fun and party the night away.
What’s the best district to stay in London for a local experience? Camden – Shoreditch – Hampstead – Notting Hill
There are some charming parts of London where you will find amazing scenery and great views of the city. If you want to experience the local foods, culture and life you should go to neighbourhoods such as Camden, Shoreditch, Hampstead or Notting Hill. They have quaint shops and cafes, beautiful architecture, and hotels that have unique décor. These areas are much silent and there are so many activities to be done in such neighbourhoods. You can take walks along beautiful gardens or watch as the sun sets from a local view.
What’s the best neighbourhood in London for theatre/arts? The West End – Covent Garden – Leicester Square area
Covent Garden and Leicester Square area in the West End are some of the most visited parts of London. Covent Garden is at the heart of London, it has so many shows, and musicals which make it the best neighbourhood for entertainment. You can find so many art galleries in these areas where you can go see some artistic works. You can also find restaurants and high end-shops in these areas where you can go for shopping and food.
Best neighbourhood in London for shopping? Regent Street – Oxford Street – Knightsbridge (Harrods) – Kensington & Chelsea (high-end Shopping)
Chelsea and Kensington are bordered by the large Hyde Park to the north and the Green Park to the east. These are the moneyed neighbourhoods in London and they are famous for their superb museums, art galleries and most important for being London’s upmarket department stores. You can find stores such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Near the Kensington Palace you can find so many attraction sites and if you adore fashion, the Elizabeth Street should be perfect for you. Both Regent Street and Oxford Street are located in central London, in the heart of the city.
Where to stay in London on a budget? Kings Cross St Pancras – Paddington – North London (Hampstead – Islington – Camden Town) – Bayswater
London is a large city and you can book accommodation in so many hotels and neighbourhoods. You can get cheap hotels in areas such as Paddington, Kensington and some parts of North London. There are also some shops where you can go shopping while staying in these sides of the city.
Where to stay in London when flying into Heathrow? ( Piccadilly line and Heathrow Express) South Kensington – Earl’s Court – Gloucester Road – Paddington
At times you might need to fly in and out of the city, and you have to find the right means of transport. The best way to get around is by plane. One of the biggest airports in London is Heathrow airport and you have to stay as close to the airport so that you won’t struggle to get through to the airport. The best area to stay if you want to easily access the airport is West London. Stay in South Kensington, Earl’s Court or Gloucester Road tube stations for easy access to Heathrow via the Piccadilly Line. When taking the Heathrow Express, stay near Paddington station.
Where to Stay in London when flying into Gatwick? Victoria Station area – London Bridge – London Blackfriars – Farringdon – St Pancras International
When you fly into the city and probably into Gatwick you could find hotels that are near the airport. This will be less strenuous especially when it comes to flying in and out of the city. Since the Gatwick airport is in South London the best areas to stay in London are Victoria area (Gatwick Express or Southern airport trains), London Blackfairs, Farringdon, London Bridge and St Pancras Internationa areas (Thameslink Trains).
The 6 Best Areas to Stay in London for First Time Visit (Tourists)
1. Buckingham Palace – Big Ben area
One of the things you have to do while in London is visiting the Buckingham Palace. The Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public. This is the London’s residence of the Queen and it has so much to show you. You will get to explore the lavishly furnished state rooms which are among the world’s only remaining working royal palaces. You can also visit the palace and see the Royal Collection’s greatest treasures.
Big Ben is one of the most touristic areas in London, with many places for accommodation within easy reach. Big ben is another name for the Great Bell of the clock that is on the north side of the Palace of Westminster. This area is famous for the clock tower and the clock itself. The clock that is inside the tower is one of the largest in the world and it was installed in the 19th century. Big Ben area is one of the most visited places in London and it is obvious that the main reason is the clock and the clock tower.
- Best Hotel : 41
- Best Cheaper Hotels / Great Value: The Z Hotel Victoria • The Sanctuary House Hotel
2. Victoria St. Area
Victoria is a neighbourhood in London that is around the Victoria station. This area is dominated by international coach stations and the train. This district predominantly consists of commercial property and some social housing facilities.
There are also shops such as the major shopping complex at Cardinal Place. You will also find the Victoria Palace Theatre that has shown so many musicals such as Grease and Billy Elliot. There is also the Stephen’s Tower that stands by the station near the theatre.
- Best Hotel: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences
- Best Cheap Hotels / Great Value: Comfort Inn Buckingham Palace Road • Luna And Simone Hotel
3. The West End District (Covent Garden & Soho)
These are the best areas in London for nightlife. These neighbourhoods have a mix of great cocktail bars, of which many of them have good food and you can find many traditional English pubs, basement clubs and theatres.
There are even clubs that have DJ nights over the week. These are so many places and activities to do over night.
- Best Accommodation: The Savoy
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road • Mimi’s Hotel Soho
4. Kings Cross Station area
King’s Cross station area is famous for the many train stations that link London to the other parts of the country. There are so many developments in this area and you can find bars, pubs, restaurants, and clubs.
There are also music venues and museums in the nearby areas where you can have fun.
- Best Accommodation: Pullman London St Pancras
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Premier Inn London King’s Cross • Alhambra Hotel
5. Southbank (Waterloo) – Lambeth
For visitors who love sightseeing, South Bank is an excellent neighbourhood for them. This area has access to large attractions such as London Eye, the Shard, Tate Modern among others.
There are other popular sights in South Bank but the main disadvantage is that there are less hotels that can be booked for accommodation in this neighbourhood.
- Best Hotel: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Point A Hotel London Westminster • The Tommyfield Hotel
Mayfair is one of the most romantic neighbourhoods in London. There are several charming honeymoon hotels, so many romantic things to do and enchanting restaurants.
Mayfair is old and it has a lot of wealth and charm when it comes to romantic environments. Book your hotel with your loved one and enjoy what Mayfair has in store for you.
- Best Hotel: The Ritz London
- Best Cheap/Mid-Range Hotels: Holiday Inn London Mayfair • Mermaid Suite Hotel
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