Where to stay in London? In such a big city, with each neighbourhood offering something unique, you need to consider what you want to see and do when choosing a location to rest the night. Whether history and sightseeing, stage shows or fine food are on your priority list, there’s a London neighbourhood to match.
Home to a number of the city’s big ticket sights, including Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Covent Garden, Oxford and Regent Streets, West End is definitely one of the best areas to stay in London for its location. Technically part of the City of Westminster, West End is a place that never sleeps, day and night a hive of activity. From the bustling squares and world-acclaimed stage shows to the many bars hidden down winding walkways, West End offers offers a kaleidoscope of entertainment, shopping, galleries, dining, nightlife and iconic city sights set amongst architectural grandeur.
Kensington & Chelsea
One of the wealthiest regions in London, Kensington & Chelsea are more than just a borough of London, they’re classed with ‘Royal’ borough status. Where streets are lined with beautiful Georgian mansions and apartment buildings, many of which offer boutique accommodation, this is one of the best areas to stay in London, because you’ll find the Victoria & Albert, Science and Natural History Museums in the area, as well as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. This part of London is also home to chic designer shopping areas including Kings Road in Chelsea, Kensington High Street, and Harrods.
Technically a part of Kensington, Notting Hill is one of the most famous areas in London, and a tourist hot spot. Famous for its Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill is a quaint suburb filled with perfectly kept townhouses and gated gardens. Of all of the places to stay in London, Notting Hill is one of the most traditionally London neighbourhoods, to the north of Hyde Park and a stone’s throw from Kensington Palace. You’ll find classic British pubs, great restaurants, and of course the aforementioned market, which is open daily, with the most stalls open on Saturdays.
London City & Tower of London
Also known as the ‘Square Mile’, The City is London’s historical heart, where the very first stirrings of settlement took place. Now the financial district, it poses a fascinating mix of old and new. Buildings such as the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and Mansion house showcase architectural splendour, as does the length of Fleet Street, while modernity prevails in the ever-increasing number of shiny skyscrapers. The main drawcards for tourists include the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, the Museum of London and the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral – just one of many centuries-old churches in the area. But you can also discover graceful old pubs, interesting converted warehouses, and plenty of shopping potential in the boutiques and markets of Spitalfields and Brick Lane.
Westminster & St James
Outside of the fabulous West End district, Westminster is chock full of things to see and do for travellers. It’s home to many of the iconic sights that every traveller wishes to tick off their list. Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace are all here. Other key favourites include the London Zoo, Serpentine Galleries, Haymarket Theatre, Royal Opera House and Admiralty Arch. For a break from all that city rumble, head to the green oasis of St. James’s Park or sprawling Hyde Park, perched not far from each other.
South Bank & Southwark
The city’s cultural heart, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do and see – and hear – around Southwark. The historical home of arts and entertainment, much of the action revolves around South Bank, which sits nestled on the river banks. It’s brimming with museums, galleries and theatres showcasing everything from music and dance to film and festivals. Explore Tate Modern and Florence Nightingale Museum, or catch a performance at Royal Festival Hall, The Old Vic, the National Theatre or the Globe, a circular playhouse built to replicate the Shakespearian-era original. You could also wander the foodie finds of Borough Market, take the kids to SEA LIFE London Aquarium or explore the historical sights of Tower Bridge and London Dungeon. When it’s time to relax, stroll the beautiful green parks and atmospheric plazas lining the river as the city skyline soars across the river.