Where To Stay In London – A Guide to The Best Areas and Places for 2020

Where To Stay In London – A Guide to The Best Areas and Places for 2020
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London. Not only the capital city of England but one of the most visited cities in the world. And for good reason.

With its beautiful architecture, interesting history, great food, and vibrant nightlife, London has something to offer every type of traveler.

The city of London is huge and there are a lot of different neighborhoods that offer a lot of different things to do.

That is why, when choosing where to stay in London, you have to know what you want to see and how much you want to spend.

London is a massive city. It can take over three hours to get from one side to the other by the Underground – or Tube, never mind how long it would take by bus or car.

Therefore, the most important thing to consider when deciding where to stay is how you get from there to the main things you want to see.

Whether you are only spending 3 days in London or a whole week, you are going to want some help on deciding which neighborhood to base yourself in.

We asked local London expert Karen Worrall to create a guide on the best areas to stay in London and share her opinions on what she thinks a first time visitor to London should see.

The Best Areas to Stay in London

Where is the best place to stay in London for sightseeing?

South Bank is where you want to base yourself if you want to be close to attractions like Big Ben, The London Eye and the Tate Museum to name a few.

Where should you stay in London for the first time?

Covent Garden: If this is your first time in London, Covent Garden is great because it is central and close to most of the attractions. It also has great transportation options.

What is the best area to stay in London for families?

Kensington and South Kensington are the best family-friendly neighborhoods in London. They are quiet, close to places like Hyde Park and appeal to kids of all ages.

Where is the best area to stay in London for shopping?

If you love to shop then Chelsea is where you will want to base yourself. It is close to all the high-end stores in London.

Where to stay in London neighbourhood map
Where to Stay in London Map

Map courtesy Peter Fitzgerald – Wikimedia

Best Area to Stay in London For First Time Visitors

COVENT GARDEN

Where to stay in London | Covent Garden

Covent Garden is my personal favorite and definitely the best place to stay in London if you are a first-timer.

To me, it is the very heart of authentic London where you can see the living history of the place, wandering around the market seeing many local characters that wouldn’t be out of place in an Alan Jay Lerner production.

So many of the main attractions like the National Gallery, Houses of Parliament and the London Eye are walking distance from each other.

If you are into theatre then don’t miss visiting The Strand as it has many of the West End’s best theatres including the Savoy, the Adelphi, and Vaudeville.

Best Places to Stay Near Covent Garden and The Strand

  • Best Airbnb in Covent Garden: This luxury studio apartment, with separate kitchen, is beautifully decorated, spotless, and really close to the Covent Garden Tube station. You have the whole apartment to yourself.

Check out prices and availability on Airbnb

Luxury: Covent Garden Hotel – One of the best hotels in London, with a central location right in Covent Garden, exquisite French-style decorated Luxury boutique.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Mid-Range: Strand Palace – Great location, minutes walk from Covent Garden. The clean chic rooms, excellent service every time, stylish common areas, and a high-quality restaurant.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Budget: Seven Dials Hotel – Friendly small hotel in the perfect location. Helpful staff, one of the top-rated budget places. Single, double * triple rooms, breakfast included.

Check out Availability and Prices on Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Attractions Near Covent Garden:

  • Covent Garden Market
  • Jubilee Market
  • The Crusting Pipe
  • Transport Museum
  • British Museum
  • The Theatre – West End Shows currently playing: The Lion King, Mama Mia, Phantom of the Opera, Thriller Live

Best Area to Stay in London for Families

KENSINGTON AND SOUTH KENSINGTON

Kensington is one of the best places to stay in London for families

This part of London houses the famous museum quarter and is full of British history.

If you are a history and museum buff this is the perfect place to base yourself.

Not only are you close to museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, but you are also close to Hyde Park for some quiet strolls.

I really love this area because it is so typically British. Everyone is incredibly friendly and it is a quiet neighborhood away from most of the hustle and bustle of central London.

Where to Stay in Kensington/South Kensington

  • Airbnb in Kensington Located on the ground floor of a Victorian House this studio comes with a double bed and is located right across from Kensington Palace.

Check Prices and Availability on AirBnB

  • Best Mid-Range Hotel: The Resident Kensington – Perfectly located in the heart of Kensington this hotel gets rave reviews for its great staff and beautiful rooms.

Check out Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel: Park Grand London Kensington – Perfect family-friendly hotel with great rooms and amenities. Close to the Earl’s Court Tube station.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

Attractions near Kensington/South Kensington

  • Kensington Palace
  • Natural History Museum
  • Science Museum
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • High Street Shopping
  • Kensington Gardens

Best Area to Stay in London for Nightlife

SOHO

Where to stay in London for Nightlife | Soho

If you are wondering where the best place to stay in London is and want fashion and history, Soho is it.

One of the most fashionable areas of London meets history with Nelson’s column, and art at the National Gallery.

Trafalgar Square is for many, the most iconic spot in London, with the towering statue of the diminutive Lord Nelson watching over the city, with his trusty lion guards.

Just behind it is Leicester Square, and right behind that, the cool cat that is Soho.

Soho is one of the best spots for culinary fans of haute cuisine, with Michelin star restaurants, such as Social Eating House and Lima London, starting many food trends here.

Where to Stay in Soho

  • Best Air BnB in SOHO: Beautifully decorated and centrally located right next to Trafalgar Square. 2 Bedroom Flat that has everything at your doorstep.

Check Prices and Availability on AirBnB

  • Best Hotel in Soho/Trafalgar Square: The Savoy – This is pure 5 star living. Located right on the Thames it has impeccable rooms, over the top service, free wifi and a pool.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid-Rage Hotel Trafalgar Square: The Grand at Trafalgar Square – Just off Trafalgar Square, you can find four-star luxury in this Victorian building, which is just meters from all of the area’s main attractions.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel in Soho: The Z Hotel in Soho – Economically friendly option, but still with clean crisp décor and all the amenities you could need in a central area. This is such a great location for theatre goers.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Attractions Near Soho and Trafalgar Square:

  • Take in some Jazz at Ronnie Scott’s
  • Chinatown
  • Leicester Square
  • National Gallery

Best Area to Stay in London for Sightseeing

SOUTH BANK

South Bank is the best place to stay in London for Sightseeing

One of the things I love the most about the the South Bank neighborhood is its easy access to a lot of the main attractions and it is a great place to people watch.

I loved being so close to the Tate Museum, London Eye and treating myself to afternoon tea at the Shard.

This is what makes central London such a great place to stay if you are into sightseeing and like to be in the heart of things.

There are also some great restaurants in this area and if you are into street food then you have come to the right place.

Although most of the area is populated with luxury hotels there are a few midrange and budget options.

Where to Stay on the South Bank

  • Best Air BnB in the South Bank: This lovely 1 bedroom flat is perfectly located in the centre of it all yet is quiet. Super clean, Wifi, kitchen and a washer and dryer.

Check Prices and Availability on Air BnB

  • Best Hotel in South Bank: Shangri-La at The Shard – Unparalleled service, beautiful rooms and a true luxury experience. Make sure to check out afternoon tea at their restaurant.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid-range Hotel in South Bank: Sea Containers London – A beautiful boutique hotel on the banks of the Thames. Gorgeous rooms and an award winning restaurant.

Check prices and Availability on TripAdvisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel in South Bank: Ibis London Blackfriars Hotel – Clean basic rooms that are close to some of London’s best markets, independent stores and live music venues.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

Attractions Nearby

  • London Eye
  • Tate Museum
  • The Shard
  • Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament
  • Globe Theatre
  • National Theatre

Best Area to Stay in London for Fashion and Shopping

CHELSEA

Kensington is a great area to stay in London with families

The Chelsea area is a perfect place to stay in London especially if you love to shop and take in some fine dining.

Known as the fashion capital of London, Chelsea has a charm all to its own.

With colorful buildings, incredible shopping, great galleries and some of the coolest restaurants in the city, it is no wonder people flock to this area.

Make sure to take a break from the stores and wander the streets.

There are some great scenes that are crying out to be photographed, and if you are there with a loved one make sure to take in the view from the Albert Bridge at sunset. It is magical

Where to Stay in Chelsea

  • Best Air BnB in Chelsea: Bordering both Kensington and Chelsea this comfortable and stylish flat has a great location. It is walking distance to the Tube, museums, markets and several excellent pubs.

Check Prices and Availability on Air BnB

  • Best Hotel: Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park: Located right on Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, The Mandarin offers luxury accommodations at a luxury price. If you want o be pampered stay here!

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

  • Mid Range: Sloane Place: Located in the heart of Chelsea this boutique hotel has beautifully decorated rooms, a bar and a spa.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

  • Budget: My Chelsea: With a great location this boutique hotel has smallish rooms but they are comfortable and the price is right.

Check Prices and Availability on TripAdvisor and Booking.com

Attractions Nearby:

  • Shopping at Harrods
  • Natural History Museum
  • Kensington Palace
  • Hyde Park
  • London Zoo

Best Area to Stay in London for Budget Travellers

CAMDEN AND KING’S CROSS

Best Area to Stay in London for Budget Travellers | Camden Lock
Camden Lock

Photo courtesy Myrabella – Wikimedia

Weird and wonderful Camden, was once a scruffy area only for hippies and artists. Camden is now a thriving popular place full of hipsters and fashionistas.

Camden is London’s Harajuku. It has its own distinct style and flavour and people there dress to stand out and show their personality.

It is my favourite spot for clothes shopping with such a variety of personality-filled finds in shops and markets and is a foodie haven too.

Regents Park in Camden is a good neighbourhood to stay in if you are on a budget

Kings Cross is another area that used to be seedy but is undergoing a re-generation. Now home to great eateries and nice hotels, it has transformed itself into an excellent neighbourhood to base yourself especially if you are a return visitor.

The prices for staying here are still lower in general than the other neighborhoods in London featured.

It has more hostels and B&Bs than expensive hotels, but with its gentrification and rising popularity, that won’t last long. So come and enjoy that aspect while you can.

Where to Stay in Camden

  • Best Air BnB in Camden: Located on a quiet street next to Regent’s Park this beautifully decorated flat is close to Camden Markets and the Tube station.

Check Prices and Availability on Air BnB

  • Best Hotel in Camden: York & Albany -Ideally located between Camden and Regent’s Park, this is a refined hotel to base yourself in the Camden area. Relaxing with a book in the hotel’s library and creating your own cocktail at the bar are some of the highlights.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid-Range Hotel in Camden: Holiday Inn – Camden Lock – Camden doesn’t really do luxury, but this extremely well located, comfortable hotel right on Camden Lock is a good choice if you want to be in this area. It is a little nicer than the hipster digs which are the norm.

Check out Availability & Prices on Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget hotel in Camden: Christopher’s Inn – Camden – This low priced hostel offers double & twin rooms as well as bunk dorm beds for the budget traveller. Right on Camden High Street, a 2 min walk from a tube stop, with friendly staff & discounts at the restaurant for guests, it’s a popular choice.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Camden Market is close to hotels in the area
Quirky Food Stall at Camden Market

Attractions Nearby:

  • Camden Markets
  • Regents Canal
  • Live Music
  • Platform 9 3/4 for Harry Potter fans
  • Camley Street Natural Park

Best Place to Stay in London for Luxury

Mayfair

Where to Stay in London Luxury | Mayfair Neighborhood

If you are coming to London for a bit of pampering and luxury then you have to stay in the Mayfair area.

Located between Hyde Park and Soho, Mayfair is London’s most wealthy neighborhood. Everything here is 4 and 5 star.

With Michelin star restaurants, high-end designer stores, and chic cocktail bars, it is the perfect place to indulge yourself for a night or two.

It is also a beautiful neighborhood to stroll around at night as it is often quiet and not too busy.

Where to stay in Mayfair

  • Air BnB in Mayfair Newly refurbished two double bedroom apartment in a listed period Mayfair block, moments from Piccadilly. The property is situated on the second floor with a lift and benefits from large windows which offer excellent light throughout.

Check Prices and Availability on Air BnB

  • Best Luxury Hotel in Mayfair: The Connaught: This famous hotel offers on-site Michelin-starred dining, a holistic spa and 2 chic bars. The rooms are quite comfortable and luxurious.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid Range Hotel in Mayfair: Z Hotel at Gloucester Place: Located in the north part of Mayfair this hotel had modern rooms, comfortable beds, and friendly staff. Note, the rooms are a little “cozy”.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel in Mayfair: The Mayfair Guesthouse: In an area know for luxury hotels this is the best value in the area. Great location, close to the tube but basic accommodation.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Best Area to Stay in London for Top Attractions

City of London

Best Neighbourhood to stay in London for Top Attractions | The city

The City of London area is great neighbourhood to stay in if you want to be close to the top attractions..

Centrally located and relatively moderate when it comes to prices, this area of London has a lot of history and is central to most attractions.

It is the financial district of London and is filled with hip cafes, great shopping and a mix of both traditional and modern acrchitecture.

Most of the accomadation here is a mix of mid-range and luxury but Air Bnb has some great properties as well.

Make sure to jump on a boat along the Thames and visit one of the many markets in this area.

Where to Stay in the City of London Area

  • Air BnB in City of London These one-bedroom apartments with comfort cooling are perfect for a stay in The City. The living and dining area features a luxurious sofa, designer soft furnishings and a large flat-screen Smart TV packed with plenty of TV channels as well as an Apple TV box, so you can easily stream your own content. 

Check Prices and Availability on Air BnB

  • Best Luxury Hotel in The City: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square: Situated near the Tower of London and the Thames this is pure luxury. Everything you expect from a Four Seasons property. Amazing location, elegant rooms, and Afternoon Tea.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Mid-Range Hotel in The City: Apex Temple Court Hotel: Contemporary design, beautiful rooms, and friendly staff make this a perfect choice for The City. Free Wifi, cozy restaurant and bar with a gym as well.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

  • Best Budget Hotel in The City: Wombat’s The City Hostel London: Perfect for those wanting to save some money. Centrally located with rooms with private or shared bath. Free Wifi and a bar on the property.

Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor or Booking.com

Attractions Nearby:

  • Museum of London
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tower of London
  • London Bridge
  • Leadenhall Market

So there you have it. My choices on where to stay in London.

The ever-popular London is world-famous and filled with such a variety of things to do that whatever your interests are, you’ll find things to fulfill them here with many world-class attractions, museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants and so many pubs.

It offers variety, and freedom to be yourself in it, and have a royally good time.

So book your flights and pack your bags, as London’s calling.

Check out more London Resources below

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Where to stay in London the best areas
Where to Stay in London

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About Karen Worrall

Karen Worrall is a travel blogger and freelance writer.
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, she has lived in six countries, including London in England, and sailed the seven seas entertaining on cruise ships for 13 years.
You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and on her website Cruise Ship Karen.





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