Best Neighborhoods in London for Tourists
London’s attractions are spread out over a wide area which sometimes makes it difficult deciding where is the best place to stay. The choice of neighborhood can depends on a number of factors including your interests and accommodation budget. At London Guide we recommend some of the more central areas however the fantastic public transport network and beautiful walkable streets means that even some of the outer areas are just as convenient. The best hotels in London are also spread over a wide area with budget, family and luxury accommodation easy to find in most of the London boroughs.
First time visitors to London tend to favour The West End which consists of Covent Garden, Soho, Oxford Street and Leicester Square. This area is very central and close to the London theatre district, nightlife and shopping. This area is packed with tourists and is very well connected to the London underground. You will find a lot of 4 star and 5 star hotels in The West End however if you look carefully you will also find some budget gems.
To the north of the West End are the Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury areas that are also very centrally located for visitors. This part of London is home to the amazing British Museum and also St Pancras international train station which is the final destination of the Eurostar service from Paris. We love the quiet street around this area, it seems to be just far enough from the crowds of the West End. Some great hotels and airbnb apartments are available in this part of London. Moving west from the West End are the neighborhoods of Kensington, Belgravia and Palace Green which have some great attractions including Buckingham Palace and hotels of different budgets. This part of London is also on the London Underground Piccadilly line making it easier to get to and from Heathrow Airport.
To the south of the West End is Westminster which is full of attractions and home of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament. This also means that is is extremely busy with the area constantly filled with tourists from around the world. On the other side of the river Thames you have Southwalk and South Bank which is a fantastic area to stay and where you will find London Eye, the London Dungeon and the London Aquarium. The East End of London is home to some amazing multicultural areas with amazing restaurants and shopping, the area features less of the big London attractions meaning you can get some great budget accommodation deals.
Best Hotels in London
- Best Luxury Hotel in London: Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, 5-star hotel on the South Bank
- Best Mid-level Hotel in London: Premier Inn London County Hall, London Eye and great restaurants
- Best Budget Hotel in London: Qbic Hotel London City, City of London near Aldgate East tube station.
- Best Apartments in London: Airbnb apartments, Amazing apartments in London
Best London Area for Sightseeing – Covent Garden
If you are trying to book a hotel close to the best London attractions then you should consider Westminster, Covent Garden, South Bank or South Kensington. These areas are home to most of the big London attractions that you will definitely want to see on your first trip to London. For the best London area for sightseeing London Guide recommends Covent Garden in London’s West End for it central location and ease of getting to all of London’s attractions and quality restaurants. Best hotels in Covet Gardenback to menu ↑
Best London Area for Budget Travel – East End
If you are trying to save money on accommodation when you travel then you might be best to avoid the inner part of London with its fancy and expensive hotels. Budget offerings are available however it is a trade-off between price and quality. We like the Kings Cross area or the East End of London for some better quality budget accommodation. You can also book a single room using Airbnb, if you have never used the service before click here for a free credit. The Clink78 Hotel is perfect for younger travellers and located only 10 minutes from Kings Cross.back to menu ↑
Best London Area for Restaurants and Dining – West End
London is home to some of the best restaurants n the world from luxury Michelin star winners to budget family favorites. The West End has including SOHO has a fantastic range of restaurants, you can also visit the amazing smells and tastes of nearby Chinatown which makes this area a great place to stay. We love some of the amazing multicultural dishes served in Shoreditch and around Brick Lane which is home to some of the worlds best curries. View some of the great hotels around Brick Laneback to menu ↑
Best London Area for First Visit – Covent Garden
If you are visiting London for the first time we recommend staying around Covent Garden. Close to attractions, shopping and amazing restaurants this area is a perfect place to setup base while in London. The area is very safe, particularly during the day. It is easy to walk down to the river and the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, or west to the parks and Palaces. We really love the Z Hotel Covent Garden. You are also close to Carnaby Street and some of London’s Best Shopping locations.back to menu ↑
Best London Area for Families – Notting Hill, Southbank or Covent Garden
back to menu ↑
If you are staying in London with your family you need to ensure you pick an area close to attractions, easy public transport and great kid friendly restaurants. The area around Notting Hill is home to some great family attractions including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum. It is also home to some amazing family friendly hotels and apartments like Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments making it a great place to stay with your family. The South Bank area is also a fantastic place to stay with families, full of attractions, restaurants and amazing hotels. The Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is in a perfect location and fantastic for all families. Covent Garden also offers some great family hotels and apartments as well as plenty of attractions and family friendly restaurants. Explore the Best Family Hotels in London.
Best London Area for Couples – Mayfair
If your on a honeymoon or just after a bit of romantic luxury while you stay in London then you have plenty of options including some amazing hotels around Mayfair. Our favorite luxury hotels are the 5 star Claridge’s or why not try The Sanderson located in upmarket Fizrovia.back to menu ↑
Best Neighborhoods in London for Tourists
To help you decide on the best area to stay in London we have looked at each area and the suitability for the following criteria: nearby attractions, restaurants, quality of hotels, pricing and location. The best area for a family might be different that the best area for a couple seeking a romantic getaway. We have tried to cater for all types of travellers.
Covent Garden: Covent Garden is a massively popular part of London dating back to the early 17th century. The most popular attraction is the famous Covent Garden Market. This area is always busy with tourists and locals however it is definitely worth a visit. Covent Garden is centrally located within easy walk to Soho, The West End and Leicester Square. It is also well connected to the London underground with its own tube station and is part of zone 1. Covent Garden is a perfect place to spend the whole afternoon browsing the many shops, eating at one of the fantastic restaurants or just people watching while having a few beers in a local pub.
While the market piazza is the main drawcard, we recommend heading outside to the Seven Dials area for some even better shopping. This area gets its name from the seven interconnecting streets, and contains over 96 fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores and over 90 independent restaurants, cafés and bars. Getting lost in the lane ways dating back to the 1600’s is one of the pleasures of London. The area is also home to some of the many London theatres and a lot of restaurants will offer discounts if you have theatre tickets. The nearest station is Covent Garden, which is seconds away from the main market building. Other underground stations which are close by include Leicester Square and Charing Cross. Recommended Hotel: Z Covent Garden
The City of London: Not to be confused with London as a whole, The City of London goes by many names. Also known as The City and The Square Mile, The City of London houses the London Stock Exchange and serves as the world’s economic headquarters. Often vying with New York City when it comes to financial industry dominance, The City of London’s glass towers and critically acclaimed skyscrapers (The Gherkin, anyone?) are responsible for London’s iconic skyline. Check out some of the great hotels in the City of London. Best Hotel: Montcalm Royal London House
Westminster: Westminster with its incredible attractions is the first stop for most tourists when they visit London. Westminster is political center of the UK (and previously the world) with landmarks including Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and even Buckingham Palace. The photo opportunities looking from Westminster bridge towards them are amazing which also makes it extremely busy with tourists who flock across the River Thames trying to get the perfect shot. Recommended Hotel: The Grosvenor Victoria
South Bank: The South Bank area of London is located south of the River Thames and opposite Westminster and. South Bank is a great place to see a lot of London’s most famous attractions.The most popular attraction is London Eye, this offers an amazing view of London and has become extremely popular. The Queens walk is a pedestrian walking track along the river and is a great way to see the sights. South Bank hosts a series of outdoor events and festivals during summer. Recommended Hotel: Premier Inn London County Hall
Mayfair: If you have ever played Monopoly then you know that Mayfair is an upmarket area of London. It is home to some of the city’s best parks, luxurious hotels and galleries as well as amazing award winning restaurants. While it is expensive to stay in some of the fancy hotels in Mayfair it is a great place to people watch and see how the upper class British people live. Mayfair is located east of Hyde Park and surrounded by Covent Garden, Marylebone and Westminster. It is easy to walk to some very popular London attractions including Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. Mayfair is surrounded by underground stations including Oxford Street, Green Park, Bond Street and Hyde Park Corner making it very convenient getting to other areas of the city. Recommended Hotel: The Beaumont Hotel
Knightsbridge: Knightsbridge is an upmarket area of London and home to many expensive shops, including the department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Located south of Hyde park and north of Brompton Road Knightbridge sits between Kensington and Belgravia. The area is also home to some extremely fancy restaurants and boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Recommended Hotel: The Capital
Whitechapel: Whitechapel is located in the East End of London about 5km east of the centre of London. Due to its proximity to the docks of London it has traditionally been a working class suburb and very popular with immigrants. It was the location of the infamous Whitechapel Murders carried out by Jack the Ripper in the 1880s. It is now used for all of the Ripper Tours operating throughout London. Brick Lane in Whitechapel has become home to a large Bangladeshi population and the nearby market is a great place to visit for some authentic curries.
Belgravia: Belgravia is a cosmopolitan area of London and is one of the most wealthy and exclusive regions of the city. This is a great area if you would like a bit of luxury during your London holiday. It is also home to a lot of London’s diplomatic homes and embassies. The area is full of world class and fashionable boutiques and fantastic fine dining restaurants and trendy bars. Luxury hotels are common in this part of London and it is a perfect area to explore by foot. Nearby attractions include Buckingham Palace which is a short stroll to the east, Hyde Park to the north and the River Thames to the south. Belgravia is serviced by Sloan Square, Victoria, Knightsbridge tube stations which make it easy to connect to the rest of the city. Recommended Hotel: The Lanesborough
Camden Town: Camden Town is one of the most iconic areas of London and home to many artists, musicians and writers and is well known for the foundation of British punk and Britpop. In the late 70’s American band The Ramones played a famous gig in the area that influenced The Clash, Sex Pistols and other bands who became the face of the British punk movement. To this day the area still has an awesome live music scene. It is still common to see plenty of leather and Goth clothing around area and sitting by the Camden Market is a perfect place to people watch. Camden is also great for shopping with plenty of hip shops, bars, pubs and fantastic restaurants. The best way to get to Camden is the London Underground with a tube station located at Camden Town. Recommended Hotel: The Standard London
Looking for more options? Check out London’s best Airbnb’s