Choose the best area to stay in London it's not easy, especially if it's your first time visiting the English capital.
You have to take into account several factors and understand how the city is made and where the main points of interest are located. Also consider that the costs of the hotels are quite high and the quality is not always in line with the prices.
In this guide I therefore decided to explain in a very simple way which are the best areas to stay in London for any need.
Where to sleep in London: The Central Areas
First let's see how the city is composed. London is divided into 9 zones and 33 districts (which in turn are divided into districts). The 9 zones are distributed in a ring from zone 1 (the center) to zone 9, which is the most peripheral area.
The first important tip is to stay within areas 1 and 2, where the main attractions are concentrated.
The best neighborhoods are in fact the central ones served by metro and buses and full of restaurants, bars and pubs, comfortable for visiting the city during the day and relaxing in the evening.
Obviously the central areas are the most expensive, but moving away from the center would mean wasting time for travel and spending more money on transport.
I recommend choosing the neighborhood also based on the airport of arrival and its connections with the city. Also consider the time of arrival and departure. If you arrive late in the evening or leave early in the morning, it is best to choose areas with direct connections to the airport.
The Areas To Stay In London
1. City Of London District: Business Travel
The City of London it is the best neighborhood to stay in London for business trips. It is in fact the financial district with many offices and most of the business oriented hotels.
It is a lively area during the week, with pubs opening at 17,00pm to welcome customers who have finished work. On the other hand, in the evenings and on weekends, the area is rather quiet.
The area is also convenient for connections to the airports.
2. West End: The Central Borough of London
The West End (Westminster District) is the real center of London, where many attractions are located and where tourists and residents spend most of their time.
It is the shopping area, the home of theaters and is full of bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and pubs.
Several important areas of the capital are part of this area: Covent Garden, Chinatown, Leicester Square, Soho, Mayfair, Oxford Street e Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus e St. James
Staying in one of these areas of the West End is certainly a good choice to make the most of your stay in London.
3. Victoria: Central Location and Budget Prices
Victoria is a central area convenient for travel, close to most attractions, lively during the day and quieter in the evening.
The neighborhood is located in zone 1, from here you can easily reach everything by public transport but also by walking, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Cathedral are within walking distance.
It is also a good area for connections to airports, thanks to the presence of Victoria Station, the most important railway hub in London.
The neighborhood offers a wide choice of hotels at affordable prices, a great advantage given the central location.
In general it is one of the best areas to stay in London, ideal for families and for those looking for a quiet but strategic area.
4. Covent Garden: for a First Trip to London
Covent Garden is perhaps the most visited area in London and is close to several points of interest such as the National Gallery and the London Eye. The area is well connected with the rest of the city.
It is a neighborhood also recommended for shoppers and all those who love a bit of liveliness with its street artists and a wide choice of pubs and restaurants, among the best in the city.
For a first visit to London, Covent Garden is the perfect base to stay.
5. Soho: Lively but Safe Area
Soho, not far from Covent garden, is the quintessential district of London's nightlife.
Once it was the neighborhood of transgression today it is a lively area full of restaurants, pubs and clubs and home to the London arts community.
Despite maintaining a trendy vibe, Soho is still a quiet and safe area.
6. Bayswater: Great Pubs and Restaurants
Also the area of Bayswater is a great choice, is located in the west center of London, near Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens e Notting Hill, is one of the most multicultural areas of London.
The neighborhood is full of very nice pubs and excellent ethnic restaurants. Within walking distance of Bayswater are Portobello Market and Little Venice.
The area, well connected to the center from London, is particularly suitable for students or tourists on a limited budget. However, there is no shortage of hotels of a certain level.
7. Paddington: the cheapest district in London
Paddington, which is part of the Westminster district, is a central area full of restaurants and clubs where you can find cheaper solutions than other neighborhoods.
The area is ideal for those arriving at Heathrow Airport, thanks to the Heathrow Express. The location is convenient for getting around by public transport, in a few minutes you will arrive in Notting Hill.
It is a quiet neighborhood, perhaps too much, but if you are looking for a bit of movement with the metro in a few minutes you can reach more animated neighborhoods. The hotel offer is varied and solutions can be found at very advantageous prices in good quality structures.
For all this Paddington proves to be a good choice if you are on a budget
8. Bloomsbury: Central and Convenient for Families
Bloomsbury is certainly one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in London, it is located on the northern edge of the West End just 15 minutes walk from Covet Garden.
It is a bohemian neighborhood with its typical Georgian style houses, home to many museums including the British Museum.
Bloomsbury is within walking distance of the center, close to shops and restaurants, for that matter it is the ideal solution to stay in London for those looking for a hotel at lower prices than the west end but always in an excellent position.
9. Chelsea: The trendy area of London
Are you looking for the trendiest neighborhood in London? Then you should choose Chelsea, a rather posh residential area. It is the perfect place to get off the beaten track and get in touch with Londoners. Here you will find upscale restaurants, luxury boutiques and art galleries.
And if you are passionate about football, remember that here is the Chelsea stadium, the Stamford Bridge!
Adjacent to Chelsea is the Kensington district famous for some museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum. There are many restaurants, pubs and shops.
10. Notting Hill: for a couple's getaway
Notting Hill is one of London's most beautiful neighborhoods, with its distinctive Victorian-style houses, antique shops and the famous Portobello Road market.
The location is good and well connected to the center by public transport. The perfect choice for those who want to experience a quiet and charming London.
Earls Court: Good Location and Great Prices
On the edge of the boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington it is located Earls Court, an excellent starting point for visiting the city.
The Earls Court district is a safe area to walk even in the evening, quiet and less chaotic than the center, recommended for families with children.
However, there are several restaurants and pubs where you can spend an evening without necessarily having to go to other neighborhoods.
Overall it's a great choice to stay in London, cheaper but well served by public transport to reach the most central areas in a few minutes. Convenient for those arriving in Heathrow thanks to the direct connection to the subway.
Where to Stay In London: Some Tips
- Look for accommodation that is as central as possible and with a nearby metro station;
- Always check if the rooms do not have shared services;
- Many hotels have affordable rates on Sundays;
- There is no real low season, but generally the least expensive months are winter (January and February);
- Some affordable hotels are chains such as Ibis, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and Travelodge.
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