The 7 Best Areas to Stay in London

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The 7 Best Areas to Stay in London

Whatever brings you to London, the area you stay in will have a noticeable effect on your stay in the city. If you’re searching for nightlife hotspots, you’ll want to be located in a different place within London from people who want a more family friendly spot.

While it’s easy enough to get around London, choosing the perfect area to lodge will give you more opportunities to experience the sights and sounds of the city you’re most interested in. Of course, other factors (such as your budget) can also have a big impact on where you can stay.

This article will help you learn about some of the best areas to stay in London for all sorts of travelers, so you can best decide which one meets your needs. 

Kensington

If you have no idea where to stay when you visit London, Kensington might be your best bet. It’s safe and has a wide variety of activities, and also has some of the most accessible public transit in the city. That makes it great for first-timers to London, and also for families (or group of friends) with diverse interests.

One of the best aspects of staying in Kensington is the wide variety of accommodation. Whether you want the finest 5-star hotel or something a bit more budget-friendly, there’s likely a place for you to stay in Kensington.

There are also several major attractions in Kensington, ranging from the world famous Kensington Gardens to a wide variety of museums and historical sites, such as the Kensington Palace. If you like shopping, this might also be the best place for you, with plenty of high end retailers such as Harrod’s.

While Kensington isn’t known for its wild parties, there are plenty of pubs if you enjoy the nightlife, and the restaurants in this neighbourhood are known as some of the finest in London.

In addition to being great for families and high end travelers, Kensington is known as a romantic getaway destination because of its beautiful architecture and sensual old-world feel.

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Camden

If Kensington is the best choice for families and upmarket travelers looking for shopping and Michelin Star dining, Camden is a bit more geared toward the young and adventurous crowd.

With its huge variety of nightlife ranging from dance halls to punk clubs, it’s got something to please everyone looking to hit the town. This is also one of the easiest neighbourhoods to get around in on foot, as many of the best pubs are located on pedestrian-only streets.

One of the major attractions in the area is the massive Camden Market, where you’ll find everything from unique art and high-end eating to vintage clothing and records. Even if you don’t stay in Camden, the Market is worth looking into no matter what your interests.

Lodging and dining also tend to be a bit cheaper in this area, though there are also options if you want finer accomodations: the Primrose Hill area, which borders Camden on the west, is a bit more upmarket, and also features some of the best coffee to be found in London.

The greater Camden area also has plenty to offer families and tourists who aren’t as interested in the nightlife, like the nearby London Zoo.

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SoHo and Leicester Square

Although these are technically two different areas, their proximity and similarity makes them easy to cover all at once. Both are known for their nightlife and pedestrian friendliness, and both are extremely close to the small but exciting London Chinatown.

SoHo and Leicester Square both have plenty of nightlife and art. Their club scene tends to be a bit higher end than Camden’s, but still fair for most budgets. Leicester Square is also known around the world for its movie premieres, making it a great spot for both film buffs and anyone looking to spot a celebrity.

There’s a great variety of lodging options, ranging from the veritable palaces for Leicester Square celebrities to cheap hostels perfect for students or backpackers. The famous hotel that bears the SoHo neighbourhood’s name is also around, and is great for a visit even if it’s out of your price range (or booked solid).

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City of London

While all of these neighbourhoods are in London, the City of London is the name for the city’s heart, which is also its major financial district. For historical sightseers and families, there’s nothing like the Square Mile, where a huge number of beautiful and historically significant attractions are all concentrated within walking distance from one another.

The City of London is also one of the major spots for business travelers, as many of the city’s national and international businesses are located there. While the City is often packed during the work week, it can be extremely quiet on weekends, save for the tourists on the Square Mile, and is easily navigable by foot.

Of course, the city center also has the advantage of being extremely connected to the rest of London, which might make it a great choice for first time visitors. On the other hand, lodgings here can be a bit more expensive than in other parts of town, though there are some cheaper options available if you know where to look.

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Westminster

While this is one of the big destinations in London, due to its proximity to the royal family, the government of the UK, and several excellent museums and historical sites, lodgings are a bit harder to find in Westminster.

If you can afford it, The Ritz hotel in Westminster may just be the best in London for the luxury-minded, and there are also several midrange chain hotels available for family or business travels. Whether you stay in this area or not, you simply have to go and check it out.

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Oxford Street

Oxford Street, one of London’s major thoroughfares, touches several neighbourhoods that showcase some of the best London has to offer.
Madame Tussaud’s waxworks, one of the most famous among the city’s attractions, sits comfortably among the high end eateries and shops of the Marylebone district to the north.

The the south, the similarly high-end Mayfair area attracts tourists and well to do locals alike with fancy shops and restaurants, including Saville Row, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.

Further to the north, the more student-minded and offbeat Bloomsbury–home of the British Museum–sits, making the greater Oxford Street area attractive to families and young wanderers alike.

The Oxford Street area is also located near King’s Cross and St Pancras, making it an ideal area for anyone looking to travel the rest of the UK or Europe by rail.

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Getting Around London

While it’s perfectly fine to stick around the neighbourhood you’re staying in, most travelers will want to get to see a bit more of the city. The best things to do in London are pretty spread out, after all!
While London traffic can be rough, the city is easy to navigate on foot and also features an excellent underground public transit system, the Tube.

The Tube is one of the best ways for both tourists and business travelers to get from one neighbourhood to another. That being said, its sheer size can be confusing, so be sure to carry a map!

The good thing about the Tube’s massive scope, though, is that almost any neighbourhood you choose to stay in will have easy access to the underground network connecting all of London.

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you find the perfect neighborhood to stay in when you get to London, no matter what your budget and interests. With all the city has to offer, it’s truly something everyone should see at least once.

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