If you are heading to London, the first thing you will want to do is find a place to stay. But which is the best area to stay in London? With so many boroughs and neighbourhoods in London, it can often be challenging to find the right accommodation in London for you.
Finding a place to stay in London is hard but in this blog post, I go into detail about the best area to stay in London and the best hotels in London.
London, the capital of England, is one of the most iconic cities in the world offering tourists, food, history, people and culture. The best time to travel to London depends entirely on your London itinerary and the places you want to visit in London. Also, check out my free places to visit in London guide or if you are spending 4 days in London.
And if you are visiting London at Christmas check out my guide.
I have lived just outside of London for most of my life, and more recently have been working in London meaning I have been staying at some of the best hotels in London’s best areas.
But where is the best area to stay in London?
Check out my guide to the best time to travel to London
How to get to London
London is really easy to get to by plane, train or by car. You can travel to London via flights from nearly every country in Europe, as well as globally. London has five airports; Heathrow, City or Luton, Stansted and Gatwick. If you are flying into London the best way to get to the city is on the train as it will take you to your accommodation more directly.
You can also travel to London by train from France via Eurostar, and you can also travel by ferry, coach, or car. Or if you are like me, based in the UK, the quickest way to get to London from anywhere in the country.
If you are flying into London the best way to get to the city is on the train. The transport network in the UK is great all year round making the best time to travel to London anytime. Once you’ve arrived and chosen the best area to stay in London, you will need to travel on the tube network.
Weather in London
- London Weather in January: 4° – 9° with avg. 12 days of rain
- London Weather in February: 5° – 9° with avg. 9 days of rain
- London Weather in March: 6° – 12° with avg. 9 days of rain
- London Weather in April: 7° – 15° with avg. 9 days of rain
- London Weather in May: 10° – 18° with avg. 8 days of rain
- London Weather in June: 13° – 21° with avg. 8 days of rain
- London Weather in July: 15° – 23° with avg. 7 days of rain
- London Weather in August: 15° – 23° with avg. 8 days of rain
- London Weather in September: 13° – 20° with avg. 8 days of rain
- London Weather in October: 10° – 16° with avg. 10 days of rain
- London Weather in November: 7° – 12° with avg. 10 days of rain
- London Weather in December: 5° – 9° with avg. 10 days of rain
Best Areas to Stay in London
The best areas to stay in London depends on where you want to explore and there is no simple answer to the question ‘where should I stay in London?’.
The main tourist sights of London are spread all across the city, so I would start by deciding what you want to visit whilst in London, and then work out which area of London is best for you.
London is a safe place no matter where you stay and there isn’t an area I would say is a no-go zone.
- Best Neighborhood in London for Art and Culture: South Bank
- Best Neighborhood in London for Theatre Fans: Piccadilly and St James’s
- Best Neighborhood in London for Nightlife: Soho and Trafalgar Square
- Best Neighborhood in London for Literary Fans: Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia
- Best Neighborhood in London for Riverside Pubs: Chelsea
- Best Neighborhood in London for Parks and Festivals: Regent’s Park
- Best Neighbourhood in London for Families: Victoria
- Best Neighbourhood in London for exploring outside of London: Camden
- Best Neighborhood in London for History and Museums: Kensington and Knightsbridge
- Best Neighborhood in London to Stay for First Timer: London City or Covent Garden
- Best Neighborhood in London for Royalty: Mayfair
- Best Neighborhood in London for Street Art: Shoreditch
- Best Neighborhood in London for Markets: Smithfield and Spitalfields
- Best Neighbourhood in London for Foodies: East London
- Best Neighborhood in London for Local’s Life: Greenwich and Blackheath
How to Get Around London
In order to explore London, you need to be aware of the best way to get around London. The transport system in London is the tube, bus or boat and can be accessed from nearly every area of London.
The tube map can look complicated at the beginning but don’t get intimidated – it’s easier to navigate the tube in London than it looks.
Here are a few things you should know about using the tube in London:
- Use the train from the airport as taxis and Uber’s can be expensive
- Only use private transport if arriving in the night
- The tube system is easy to use, refer to the coloured lines to plan your route
- Download the tube map app to insert your destination
- Not all tube stations have lifts so if you need accessible station please refer to the TFL website
- Buy an Oyster card if you are in the city for London than one weekend
- The tube does day tickets – it might be worth getting one of them!
READ MORE: 30+ FREE Places to Visit in London
Best Areas to Stay in London
Knowing where to stay in London can be difficult, but using this guide you will be able to work out the best area to stay in London, for your needs. The best neighborhoods to stay in London depend on what you want out of your trip to London, so I have pulled together a guide below to the most popular areas of London and why visitors love them.
Major Tube Stations: Waterloo Station, Embankment
Attractions Nearby: The London Eye, Southbank Centre, Festival Hall, Somerset House, Westminster Abbey
Best for: Art and Culture
Major Tube Stations: Piccadilly Circus Station
Attractions Nearby: Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, St James’ Park
Best for: Theatre Fans
Major Tube Stations: Leicester Square Station
Attractions Nearby: Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, British Museum, Dishoom
Best for: Nightlife
Major Tube Stations: Baker Street Station, Marylebone Station
Attractions Nearby: The Sherlock Holmes Museum, ZSL London Zoo, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Madame Tussauds London
Best for: Parks and Festivals
Major Tube Stations: Camden Road
Attractions Nearby: Camden, The British Library, ZSL London Zoo, Little Venice, Kings Cross
Best for: Exploring outside of London (check out this guide to getaways outside London)
Kensington and Knightsbridge
Major Tube Stations: High Street Kensington, South Kensington Station
Attractions Nearby: Harrods, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Kensington Palace, Notting Hill Carnival
Best for: History and Museums
Major Tube Stations: Barbican, Moorgate, Bank
Best for: First Timers
Major Tube Stations: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street
Best for: Street Art and Food
Where to Stay in London
The best Hotels in London
You may have decided on the best area to stay in London, but now you need to decide which hotel, hostel or Airbnb to stay at during your time in London. Keep reading for advice on where to stay in London…
Best Luxury Hotels in London
Some of these hotels are reviewed by myself below.
Best Mid-Range Hotels in London
Some of these hotels are reviewed by myself below.
Best Cheap Accommodation in London
Some of these hotels are reviewed by myself below.
The Hospital Club
The Hospital Club was founded by Paul Allen and Dave Stewart in 2004 with the unique 15 bedrooms added early this year. I stayed at The Hospital Club when I was in London in August visiting friends and it was a rare chance to stay in central London and really enjoy the bright lights of the city.
The story behind the club follows the story of Paul and Dave having a drink in Covent Garden one night when they spotted a boarded-up building, the former St Paul’s Hospital. They hatched a plan to revive the building and transform it into a hub of creativity – full of people, ideas, music and life – and in 2004, The Hospital Club was born. Allen and Stewart decided they wanted to create a place where artists of all industries could come together and “Create. Connect. Collaborate.”
Now in its second decade, the club has gone from strength to strength, with the creation of the new charitable h.Club Foundation, its commitment to sustainability, the h.Club 100 awards, the Club Art programme and much more.
Inside the club there is a restaurant, four bars, 15 bedrooms, a screening room, function areas and gallery space. Few London hotels can compete for entertainment and socialising opportunities and they really do set the standard for trendy nights away.
Check out my blog post when I stayed at The Hospital Club.
Royal Lancaster London
Any festive weekend in London requires somewhere comfy to lay your head and the perfect hotel for doing so is the Royal Lancaster London. As Michael Bublé would sing, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”.
Make sure you plan a luxurious Christmas with loved ones with a stay at the magical Royal Lancaster London, perfectly located in the centre of London. Take a stroll through the beautiful Hyde Park to the Royal Albert Hall for a festive show, or experience the magic of Winter Wonderland, before returning to the warmth and sparkle of a hotel that makes Christmas it’s own. This is the perfect place to stay during a weekend in London in December.
A contemporary, stylish hotel next to Hyde Park and walking distance to Paddington station, Bayswater and Marble Arch, the Royal Lancaster London has Hyde Park as it’s the main attraction with many of the bedrooms looking over the park’s lime and silver maple trees, and you can nibble on homemade bircher muesli while enjoying views of the Italian Gardens from your breakfast table. The convenience of Lancaster Gate is often underappreciated – with Oxford Street is a 15-minute walk away and Paddington Station a 20-minute amble.
With rooms starting at £259 per night, the Winter Wonderland package enables you to experience a luxurious stay with guaranteed early check-in at midday and late check-out at 3pm, a delicious buffet breakfast, a surprise festive gift on arrival, and fluffy Paddington Bear for the little ones.
The hotel’s convenient location just above Lancaster Gate Tube Station will whisk you to the sparkling lights of Oxford and Bond Street. After a day of shopping for Christmas presents, head back to the hotel for some delicious food. Relax in the elegant Park Restaurant, which overlooks Hyde Park.
The ultimate place to stay during your 2 Days in London Itinerary is at The Hoxton. There is an abundance of gorgeous hotels, B+Bs, places for hire and even canal boats. For me though, I had always wanted to stay at trendy The Hoxton in Shoreditch. The Hoxton hotels offer a unique sleep, eat, work and play experience in London and Europe with creative meeting space, on-site dining and private venue hire.
I really love their style and how trend-led they are, with a great atmosphere and cleverly designed bedrooms. They’ve also their own restaurant downstairs, The Hoxton Grill restaurant, which is run in partnership with Soho House & Co, they have a destination bar and The Apartment, which is their meetings and events space.
Each of the rooms comes with free fresh milk and water (they knew I loved a brew!), a free light breakfast bag to keep those hunger pangs at bay including granola, yoghurt, banana and fresh orange juice, free wi-fi and international calls and a neighbourhood guide in each room so you can explore the area at ease.
Premier Inn South Bank
The best way to spend the festive season in London is at one of the capital’s hundreds of Christmas markets. One of my absolute favourites has to be the Southbank Christmas Market, close to Waterloo Station and across the river from Somerset House and Trafalgar Square. Winter at Southbank Centre always pulls out all the stops to throw its biggest and best ever Christmas celebration and it is the perfect way to begin the seasonal festivities, and what better way to enjoy it than staying a stone’s throw away in London Waterloo Premier Inn.
I spent the evening here last weekend, in the run-up to the festive season with my boyfriend, we checked in to our hotel just around the corner at Premier Inn London Waterloo, and then headed out to the Southbank to experience one of the nation’s favourite Christmas markets.
London Waterloo Premier Inn is ideal for a hassle-free festive weekend being a handy 6-minute walk down to the winter market. Housed between a former historic hospital and a modern 14-storey tower, this perfectly located hotel is a 5-minute walk from Waterloo station and only minutes from Southbank Christmas Market.
London Waterloo Premier Inn has arguably some of the best views of the London eye as well as the comfiest beds, due to their incredible luxury Hypnos mattresses in all rooms with a choice of firm and soft pillows. In every room, there is also Freeview TV, power shower in the ensuite bathroom, blackout curtains (for those sneaky lie-ins) and tea and coffee facilities.
Check out my blog post when I stayed at Premier Inn South Bank.
Sofitel London St James
I stayed at the stunning Sofitel London St James located in the former home of Cox’s and King’s bank in the very heart of London. Built to house the headquarters of a successful army of banks, the building only became a hotel in the last century when Sofitel saw its hidden potential and transformed it into a 125,000 sq ft luxury 5-star hotel.
Behind a stunning neoclassical facade lies an exceptional 5-star hotel with a warm heart and stylish interior. Located in central London, only round the corner from Trafalgar Square and on the corner of Pall Mall, the hotel is on the doorstep of London.
The district is a posh area with lots of beautiful buildings and it looked even better when I visited last month as all the Christmas decorations were up and lighting the way! It is also within walking distance of a myriad of attractions including the National Gallery and National Portrait Galleries, Institute of Contemporary Arts, shops of Regent Street and tourist hotspots of Piccadilly Circus.
From the moment you walk through the door, in fact before then, from the moment you step out of your taxi, or Uber, you are welcomed by the doorman in his traditional wear, to welcome you to the hotel and take your suitcase and bag from you as you check into your room. The entrance of the hotel is stunning with not a bland shade of neutral insight.
The black and white marble floors are topped with huge Persian rugs, and dotted around the room are decadent red-velvet chairs and sofas, which make the place seem magical. Then because it is Christmas there was a huge tree in the corner of the room and Christmas inspired decorations dotted around both the entrance hall and other rooms in the hotel.
Check out my blog post when I stayed at Sofitel London St James.
Imagine waking up in your king-size bed opening your eyes and being overwhelmed by indulgence and interior design to die for. You are at The Goring in London.
The hotel is best known for being the place where Kate Middleton and her family stayed the night before the Royal Wedding and is situated close to Victoria underground station and more importantly Buckingham Palace. Set on a quiet, leafy street in Belgravia, across the road from Buckingham Palace The Goring is set in one of London’s most desirable areas.
The Goring is a favourite with the royals and tourists to London but it is also exclusive and most importantly the hotel defines luxury in London. The Belgravia hotel is one of the few hotels in London to have been given the Royal Warrant from the Queen and proudly displays the Royal coat of arms.
The family-operated hotel was opened in 1910 by Otto Goring and remains in the family to this day, run by Jeremy Goring. The hotel is steeped in history, has been running for over a century by four generations of the Goring family and has been hailed as the oldest and most decadent hotel in London.
The hotel is not just a favourite to the Middleton’s, the hotel has been a favourite for many famous icons and celebrities over the years including Winston Churchill who was a frequent guest here back in the day, and his mother, Lady Churchill even lived here for a short period after the First World War.
Check out my blog post when I stayed at The Goring.
So has this helped find out the best area to stay in London for your trip?
Other UK blog posts…
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Photography and Technology
Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:
- Canon G7X Mark II
- Canon EOS M50 and lens
- GoPro Hero Black 7
- DJI Mavic Pro
- RØDE VideoMic GO On Microphone
Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE
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