Where to Stay in London 🇬🇧: Best Areas, Neighborhoods & Hotels to Stay

I’ve written a comprehensive guide to the best places to stay in London to help you choose the perfect place to suit your travels.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels in London 💎

London offers endless possibilities when it comes to choosing accommodation. With a variety of neighborhoods and the vibrant character of the city, choosing the right place to stay can make your vacation unforgettable. The key is to choose the neighborhood that best suits your interests.

Regardless of your travel style, there is a neighborhood in London where you can feel at home. In this article, I’ll explore the best neighborhoods and recommend the perfect places to stay in each.

I will suggest hotels that reflect the essence of these distinctive neighborhoods. Read on to see where your place is in this world-class, historically rich and endlessly interesting city. Your neighborhood awaits you with anticipation.

Remember: London is a very touristy place and accommodation prices can be high, especially during peak season. My advice is to always book accommodation in advance to have more choices and, most importantly, to find the best deals.

Quick Guide to the Best Places to Stay in London 📋

1. Westminster & St James – Where to Stay in London for Sightseeing 🕍

💂 Historic charm: The Westminster & St James area offers visitors a central London location steeped in classic charm.

🏰 Top attractions: This historic neighborhood provides easy access to major attractions like:

  • Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard ceremony
  • Westminster Abbey and Big Ben
  • Trafalgar Square
  • The National Gallery
  • St James’s Park

Also don’t miss Westminster Cathedral – one of the most famous cathedrals in London and the site of the coronation and burial place of British monarchs for nearly a thousand years.

🛍️ Shop & dine: Westminster & St James maintains a special vibe with fine dining, high-end shopping, and luxury hotels centered around St James’s Street. Visitors can also find quaint cafes and indie boutiques on the area’s quiet side streets.

St James’s Park
St James’s Park
St James’s Park
St James’s Park
St James’s Park

🚇 Well-connected: The nearest London Underground stations are Westminster, St James’s Park, and Green Park on the Jubilee, Circle, District and Victoria lines. However, much of the neighborhood is walkable, especially along the tree-lined Mall linking Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.

While not as bustling as nearby Soho or Covent Garden, the historic architecture and high-end shopping make Westminster & St James one of the most visited neighborhoods in London.

All hotels in Westminster →

Where to stay in Westminster?

Luxury Hotels:

  • The Corinthia London – an elegant five-star hotel with luxurious interiors and a magnificent spa in the heart of London.
  • The Stafford London – a historic luxury boutique hotel with exquisite rooms in traditional English style.
  • Taj 51 Buckingham Gate – chic suites with private butler service in a historic mansion opposite Buckingham Palace.

Expensive hotels:

Medium price range:

2. Covent Garden – Best Area for the First Time in London 👀

🎇 Iconic neighborhood: Covent Garden is a must-see neighborhood for first-time visitors. Just a short walk from iconic attractions like the British Museum, Covent Garden offers a taste of London’s bustling atmosphere, unique culture and history.

🗺 Top things to do are:

  • Wander through the Apple Market and Jubilee Hall Market
  • Stop at a pub like The Lamb & Flag, which dates back to 1772
  • See a street show at the open-air Piazza

Don’t forget to visit the London Transport Museum to see the historic buses and trolleybuses.

🏘 Historic heart: At the heart of Covent Garden lies its most famous landmark—the covered shops and market halls of the 19th century. Don’t miss the Royal Opera House, home to The Royal Ballet and Opera companies.

🌮 Dining hub: Come hungry, as Covent Garden offers top international cuisine—from Indian to Italian—often with outdoor patio seating for soaking up London’s excitement.

🚊 Conveniently located: Covent Garden couldn’t be easier to reach. Three Underground stations—Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Holborn—sit on the edges of the neighborhood. Key bus routes also pass right through, making Covent Garden easy to access from nearly anywhere in London.

With so much to see and do in Covent Garden, it’s easy to understand why locals and visitors alike are drawn to this dynamic neighborhood.

All hotels in Covent Garden →

Where to stay in Covent Garden?

Expensive Hotels:

  • One Aldwych – a luxury 5-star hotel with elegant interior design and panoramic views of the Thames.
  • The Savoy – legendary upscale hotel with a rich history, located in the heart of London.
  • Covent Garden Hotel – A chic boutique hotel with a personalized approach to room design.

Medium price category:

Inexpensive hotels:

3. Soho – Best Area to Stay in London for Nightlife 💃🏻

🌃 Lively locale: Soho offers visitors an lively neighborhood with a blend of entertainment, dining, independent boutiques, and more.

Soho, London
Soho area
Soho, London
Soho area
Soho, London
Soho area
Soho, London
Soho area
Soho, London

👣 Walkable streets: Getting around the neighborhood is remarkably easy thanks to its compact size and pedestrianized streets. Key sites not to miss include:

  • Carnaby Street – the famous home of swinging 60s London with its colorful boutiques and hip fashion brands
  • Chinatown – An aromatic area with authentic Chinese eateries and Asian grocery stores
  • Old Compton Street – The lively main thoroughfare with an energetic nightlife scene

As well as the famous Admiral Duncan’s, a historic Victorian pub with strong musical roots.

🚶 Well-connected hub: Centrally located, Soho connects many of London’s top attractions. To the east lies bustling Covent Garden while the major shopping destinations of Oxford Street and Regent Street border the area to the north and west respectively.

🌆 Transforms at night: By day, the streets bustle with a diverse crowd seeking out vintage fashions. Come nightfall, the neighborhood transforms with its vibrant theater scene and award-winning restaurants, cocktail bars and members-only clubs.

All hotels in Soho →

Where to stay in Soho?

Expensive Hotels:

  • The Soho Hotel – elegant boutique Firmdale-style hotel with individually decorated rooms and personalized service.
  • 37GS Residences – chic premium apartments with panoramic views of London.
  • Chateau Denmark – a luxury boutique hotel with sophisticated interiors and upscale service.

Medium price category:

4. Mayfair – Best Area in London for Luxury Vacation 👛

💰 Posh neighborhood: Mayfair is an upscale central London neighborhood known for its luxury shops and five-star hotels. Though quite compact in size, spanning only about 1 square mile, Mayfair packs quite a punch when it comes to attractions.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable area: The area is easily walkable and very central, located near Green Park and Hyde Park Corner underground stations. Key spots like Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and more are less than a 30 minute walk away.

🖼️ Art hub: Art lovers won’t want to miss the world-renowned Royal Academy of Arts founded in 1768, located on Burlington House on Piccadilly. Other top attractions include:

  • Mount Street Gardens – An oasis of greenery popular for picnics
  • Bond Street – Considered one of the most exclusive shopping streets in the world
  • The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
  • The striking sculpture “Eagle Squadron»
Royal Academy of Arts
Kraliyet Sanat Akademisi'ni
Mount Street Gardens
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin D. Roosevelt-monumentet
The striking sculpture “Eagle Squadron
Den slående skulpturen

The neighborhood also lies adjacent to famous Green Park, providing easy access to Buckingham Palace.

🛍️ Shopper’s paradise: With iconic luxury brands like Burberry, Chanel and Rolls Royce calling it home, shopping is unmatched in Mayfair. The district is also home to several historic pubs and Michelin-starred restaurants like Alain Ducasse.

Come ready to spend and soak in timeless British grandiose.

All hotels in Mayfair →

Where to stay in Mayfair?

Luxury Hotels:

  • The Connaught – a legendary hotel with luxurious interiors, high levels of service and a 2 Michelin star restaurant.
  • Claridge's – an elegant 5-star Art Deco style hotel with a long history, fine dining and well-trained staff.
  • The Ritz London – a symbol of British luxury, a neoclassical mansion with opulent suites, famous for its English tea party.

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price category:

  • The Cumberland – a comfortable mid-range hotel with good value for money, located just off Oxford Street.
  • The Chesterfield Mayfair – A charming small hotel in the heart of Mayfair with a personal touch and homely atmosphere.
  • 44 Curzon Street by Mansley – an elegant small hotel with personalized service and sophisticated interiors.

5. Marylebone – London Neighborhood For History Lovers 🗿

💍 Refined: Marylebone is an upscale historic neighborhood known for its refined townhomes, quaint cafes and boutiques, and top museums. Despite its central location, Marylebone has a village-like ambiance with tree-lined streets and quiet garden squares.

🗺️ Surrounded by attractions: Marylebone is in an ideal location for visitors, surrounded by many of London’s main attractions. To the south lie famous destinations like Oxford Street, Mayfair and Hyde Park. Heading north you quickly reach Regent’s Park and Lord’s Cricket Ground.

🏛️ Key attractions within Marylebone itself include:

  • The Wallace Collection – an exquisite fine and decorative arts museum housed in a grand 18th century mansion
  • Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum – see eerily lifelike wax figures of celebrities and historical figures
  • Sherlock Holmes Museum – dedicated to the fictional detective who resided on Baker Street

Be sure to check out The Beatles Store, which offers plenty of Fab Four memorabilia and merchandise.

👟 Well-connected: When your feet grow weary of pavement pounding, Marylebone Station has direct connections to transport hubs like Paddington Station and is well-serviced by buses and the London Underground. So exploring further afield is convenient too.

With its central location, yet cozy village-like feel, Marylebone strikes an ideal balance for visitors.

All hotels in Marylebone →

Where to stay in Marylebone?

Expensive Hotels:

Medium price range:

Budget Hotels:

  • Marylebone Inn – simple and inexpensive hotel with basic facilities, suitable for budget travelers.
  • Central London Rooms – a reasonably priced hostel with shared rooms in the heart of London.

6. Kensington & Chelsea – Great Place to Stay for Couples 💖

🛎️ Posh neighborhood: Known for its luxury hotels, trendy shops and cafes, this walkable part of town makes for an ideal romantic getaway in London.

🚇 You can easily access Kensington & Chelsea via the Tube; key stops include Sloane Square, South Kensington, and High Street Kensington on the Piccadilly, District, and Circle lines.

🖼️ Famous museums: The area’s most famous museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, is a must-see with its collection of decorative arts spanning 5,000 years. The Science Museum and Natural History Museum located in South Kensington are also hugely popular.

In addition to museums, tourists flock to:

  • Kensington Gardens for green space
  • King’s Road & Kensington High Street for shopping
  • Harrods department store, an iconic London retailer

And, of course, Royal Albert Hall, the famous concert hall opened in 1871 in memory of Prince Albert.

💵 Luxury & cuisine: With its refined reputation, it’s no surprise that Kensington & Chelsea boasts some of London’s best high-end dining and luxury hotels. Top local restaurants channel both British and international cuisine, while boutique accommodations like Draycott Hotel offer five-star English hospitality.

In short, few places offer such a perfect package for tourists as Kensington & Chelsea.

All hotels in Kensington & Chelsea →

Where to stay in Kensington & Chelsea?

Expensive hotels:

  • The Kensington – This luxury hotel offers exquisite rooms and high-end services, including 24-hour room service and specialized concierge services.
  • Milestone Hotel Kensington – The hotel offers luxurious rooms and superior service in a historic building overlooking Kensington Gardens.

Mid-priced hotels:

Inexpensive hotels:

  • YHA London Earl's Court – The hostel offers clean and simple rooms with access to a shared kitchen and laundry facilities. It is ideal for budget travelers and young people.
  • The Mowbray Court Hotel – This affordable hotel offers basic amenities and a convenient location for exploring London.

7. The City of London – The Bustling Center of England’s Сapital 👨🏻‍💼

🏰 Historic hub: The City of London forms the historic core and financial center of England’s bustling capital. As you explore this cosmopolitan neighborhood, you’ll uncover a mix of medieval alleys, glitzy modern architecture, and bustling urban energy.

🚶‍♂️ Walkable: Getting around the area couldn’t be simpler. The City boasts over 20 stations on the London Underground, making even distant spots readily accessible. Walking still reigns as the best way to soak up historic sights though.

⚜️ Striking architecture: Meander down Cheapside to gaze upon the striking Gothic architecture of St Mary-le-Bow church. Pop over to Postman’s Park to discover its poignant memorial to ordinary people who displayed heroic acts.

And while here, don’t miss these City must-sees:

  • St Paul’s Cathedral – climb up to the Golden Gallery for panoramic city views
  • Museum of London – uncover the capital’s riveting history

🍸 After-work drinks: As night descends, the City transforms into a glittering hub of theater, bars, and restaurants catering to the influx of office workers.

💸 Affordable stays: And as a tourist, you can save money by booking discounted hotel rates on weekends when business travelers have cleared out.

So venture beyond the heart of London into the City itself. Its bustling streets hold centuries of commerce, culture, and stories.

All hotels in the City of London →

Where to stay in the City of London?

Expensive hotels:

  • Vintry & Mercer – an elegant boutique hotel in a historic building with luxurious rooms and a high level of service.
  • The Ned – a fashionable hotel with a magnificent interior, located in a former bank building near St. Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Andaz London Liverpool Street - Concept by Hyatt – A stylish designer hotel in a Victorian building with panoramic views of Liverpool Street.

Medium price range:

  • Leonardo Royal London St Paul's – modern hotel conveniently located opposite St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • COVE Cannon Street – a mid-range hotel with a good location in the heart of the City near Cannon Street.
  • Counting House – an elegant boutique hotel in a former bank building with a good location in the financial district.

Budget hotels:

8. South Bank – Best Place in London for Families 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

💃 Lively: With its convenient location, wealth of dining and entertainment options, South Bank packs a lot into a small area.

🎭 Arts central: The heart of South Bank centers around the Southbank Centre, a sprawling complex comprising the Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and other venues for the arts. Here you’ll often find free exhibits, musical performances, and family-friendly activities happening throughout the day.

🌉 Scenic views: Just west lies London Eye, the famous 443-foot tall Ferris wheel overlooking the Thames and offering spectacular 360-degree views of the London.

Other notable attractions include:

  • Sea Life London Aquarium – enter an underwater world teeming with sharks, stingrays and over 500 marine species
  • London Dungeon – experience the darker side of London’s history at this lively and mildly spooky attraction

And, of course, Shakespeare’s Globe – tour a painstaking recreation of Shakespeare’s 16th century theatre

⌚ Well-located: Getting around South Bank is a breeze, with its location directly across the river from landmarks like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. It also offers easy access to the West End’s world-class shopping, dining, shows, and nightlife.

Whether you want to marvel at riverside views, explore museums and landmarks, take in a show at the National Theatre, or sample London’s diverse culinary scene, the South Bank has something for everyone.

All hotels in South Bank →

Where to stay in South Bank?

Expensive hotels:

Medium price range:

  • Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo – A modern hotel with a convenient location near Waterloo Station and affordable rates.
  • H10 London Waterloo – an elegant hotel in a Victorian building offering comfortable rooms and good value for money.
  • Marlin Waterloo – a small cozy hotel with friendly staff and reasonable prices for the area.

Budget hotels:

9. Kings Cross – Where to Stay in London on a Budget 💸

Kings Cross puts you right in the heart of the action.

🚆 Famous station: The main draw of the area is the iconic King’s Cross Station, a beautifully restored Victorian railway station that serves as a major hub on the London transit map. Many visitors choose to stay near King’s Cross station for easy access around town via the Underground.

🚍 Coach terminal: In addition to trains, King’s Cross is also a major coach terminal with buses departing to destinations across Britain and mainland Europe. So it’s an ideal area to stay for for business travelers.

🌆 Revitalized area: The streets outside King’s Cross station have undergone major redevelopment in recent years. What was once a post-industrial wasteland has been transformed into a vibrant neighborhood with lots to see and do.

Highlights include:

  • Granary Square – open plaza with 1,000 fountains for summer splashing
  • British Library – national library with fascinating exhibits
  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – grand Gothic revival hotel perched over St Pancras station

And for Harry Potter fans 🧙🏻‍♂️  – the Harry Potter Shop on Platform 9 3⁄4, where you can buy wizarding merchandise and have your picture taken with the carts.

🍽 Affordable eats: The area also has loads of affordable hotels, hostels and restaurants thanks to the student population attending the nearby University of London campuses.

While it might lack the quaint charm of some London neighborhoods, King’s Cross offers loads of amenities for travelers.

All hotels in Kings Cross →

Where to stay in Kings Cross?

Medium price category:

  • The Great Northern Hotel – A sophisticated Victorian-style hotel with elegant interiors and a restaurant with panoramic views.
  • The Standard London – A modern designer hotel with stylish rooms and a restaurant with a rooftop terrace.
  • Megaro Hotel – A comfortable eco-style boutique hotel with a gorgeous courtyard and sauna.

Budget hotels:

10. Camden – Famous Markets & Alternative Culture 🔮

💡 Trendy spot: Known for its markets, live music scene, and alternative culture, Camden is a must-visit for first-time tourists looking to experience one of London’s most iconic and diverse areas.

🚇 Well-connected: Getting to Camden is convenient, as it is accessible via the Northern line on the London Underground, which has a Camden Town station right in the heart of the neighborhood.

👣 On foot: Once in the area, walking and taking the bus are the easiest ways to get around. Key spots like Camden Lock Market and Camden High Street are very compact and walkable.

🛍️ Shopper’s paradise: The allure of Camden lies in its famous markets where you can spend hours perusing through a diverse array of shops and street stalls selling everything from unique fashion and vintage finds to delectable international food. The three main markets not to miss are:

  • Camden Lock Market – best for unusual clothing, accessories, and souvenirs
  • Stables Market – over 700 diverse shops and stalls located in the historic former stables
  • Camden Market – originally Buckingham Street Market, best for handicrafts and global food

In these markets, you can find anything you want and more.

Regent's Park
Regent's Park
Regent's Park

🎸 Live music: Come evening, Camden transforms into a lively scene where tattoo parlors share walls with grungy pubs and music venues that have launched major British bands like Amy Winehouse. The atmosphere here is bursting with creative energy, counter-culture, and talent that simply can’t be found anywhere else in London.

Incomparable character make it a fantastic neighborhood for first-timers to uncover a unique corner of one of the world’s most celebrated cities.

All hotels in Camden →

Where to stay in Camden?

Expensive hotels:

  • York & Albany – elegant boutique hotel in a 19th century Georgian mansion with a gourmet restaurant and large garden.
  • Mirabilis Apartments - Bayham Place – chic apartments in a Victorian mansion with modern design, located in a quiet location close to the tube station.

Medium price range:

  • Camden Enterprise Hotel – a convenient hotel 10 minutes walk from Camden Market with clean rooms and friendly staff.
  • The Wesley Camden Town – a stylish hotel in an eco-friendly building with bright interiors and a good location near Regent’s Park.

Budget Hotels:

  • Central Victorian House – a guest house with a homely atmosphere and spacious rooms, set in a Victorian building at a reasonable price.
  • Camden Habitat – a hostel with minimalist design and clean rooms at an affordable price for young people and budget travelers.

London for Tourists: Must-See Attractions 🔝

🔥 This is my Top-5 must see places in London:

1. The Tower of London. This historic castle on the River Thames houses the crown jewels and offers fascinating royal history. You can see the famous Yeoman Warders or «Beefeaters» who guard the tower in their colorful Tudor-style uniforms.

2. The British Museum. With over 8 million objects spanning human history and culture, this impressive museum lives up to its name. Marbles from the Parthenon, Egyptian mummies, and the Rosetta Stone are just a few famous artifacts you can discover here.

3. Buckingham Palace. The London home of the royal family is only open a couple months each summer. But you can watch the iconic Changing of the Guard out front year-round. Then explore the lavish State Rooms on a tour when available.

4. The London Eye. For panoramic city views, ride this giant Ferris wheel along the South Bank of the Thames. On clear days you can see 25 miles from inside one of its 32 glass observation pods slowly rotating 443 feet in the air.

5. Platform 9 3⁄4 at King’s Cross. Let your inner Harry Potter fan run free at the magic railway platform that takes wizards to Hogwarts. Pose pushing a trolley through a seeming brick wall next to the real Platform 9 at this busy London station for a fun photo-op.

Top Tips to Make Your London Trip Unforgettable ❗

📋 Here are my Top-5 tips for making yout visit to London comfortable and memorable:

1. Get an Oyster card for easy, cashless access to public transport. Top it up and just tap to ride buses, tubes, and trains. It’s the simplest way to get around.

2. Pack layers and an umbrella, as London weather changes often. Bring waterproof shoes as well for all the walking you’ll do. That way you’ll stay dry and comfortable.

3. Make the most of free museums like the British Museum, National Gallery, and Natural History Museum. They offer fascinating glimpses of culture and history.

4. Wander through iconic neighborhoods like Notting Hill, Borough Market, and Covent Garden to experience local culture, food, and shops. There’s something delightful around every corner.

5. When night falls, take in an amazing West End musical or Shakespeare production. From the sets to the acting, it’ll be a highlight you’ll never forget.

👍🏻 Follow these tips and London will captivate your senses with its vibrant sights, sounds, flavors, and culture.

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in London on the Map 🗺

FAQs about Trip to London

What is the most touristic part of London?

The most touristic part of London is Central London. It includes famous areas like Westminster, where you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Also popular are the West End, with its theaters, Trafalgar Square, bustling Soho, and shopping hotspots like Oxford Street.

Where do celebrities stay in London?

Celebrities often prefer elite luxury hotels in swanky areas like Mayfair or exclusive private members clubs. The iconic Savoy or Shangri-La in the Shard attract VIP guests.

Where is cheap to stay in London?

For budget accommodation, look to student areas like King’s Cross or Elephant & Castle. Hostels near major stations cater to backpackers and offer cheap dorm beds and private rooms. Avoid far-flung suburbs to minimize transportation costs.

Which area to stay in London for the first time?

First-time London visitors may appreciate a central location to easily explore multiple neighborhoods. Covent Garden, Soho or Marylebone deliver boutique charm and walking access to key sightseeing, dining and nightlife.

Where to Stay in London 🇬🇧: Best Areas, Neighborhoods & Hotels to Stay