London is an immense city with a myriad of things to do including tons of historical sites, world-class museums and art galleries, high-end restaurants and traditional pubs and of course a unique shopping experience. London contains over 8 million people and 48 neighborhoods, each with its own charm, spread over 607 square miles! Deciding where to stay in London can be overwhelming as there are so many options, but there is no such thing as “best neighborhood to stay in London” since the city’s best attractions are spread out in different areas. Which area is best to stay in depends on your interests and budget, if you rather be in the center or in a more quiet area. In the article below we have gathered our personal best neighborhoods to stay in London and detailing why they are good areas and what area is better for what type of traveler.
Recommended reading: 7-Day London Itinerary
6 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in London
1. Covent Garden
First on our list of the best neighborhoods to stay in London is the Covent Garden area, which is a very Central District, situated at a walking distance from Picadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, the British Museum, and many other top tourist attractions. The area is home to some of London’s best theaters, the dense cluster of streets packed with restaurants ranging from affordable Indian, Mexican, and Brazilian mini-chains to upscale fine Japanese dining and traditional pubs serving traditional local food and tap beers. Top art galleries and excellent 4-star and 5-star hotels. If you were wondering where to stay in London with kids, Covent Garden is perhaps your best option. It’s easy and safe to walk around the area any time of the day and has handy public transport connections to other parts of London.
Recommended hotels in Covent Garden:
St Martins Lane 5*. With stunning, innovative design located within London’s Covent Garden, St Martin’s Lane boasts stylish public areas and guest rooms created by Philippe Starck. Guests can exercise in the largest hotel gym in Europe. Rooms feature striking floor-to-ceiling windows and benefit from interactive light installations and flat-screen HD TVs.
Covent Garden Hotel, Firmdale Hotels 5*. Situated in the heart of London’s theatre district, Covent Garden Hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Royal Opera House, and surrounded by some of London’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife. A fully equipped gym is on-site, as well as a treatment room offering massage and beauty treatments.
2. South Kensington
Another area ideal to stay with kids in London, South Kensington is located to the north of Hyde Park. This posh and picturesque neighborhood is relatively quiet and very safe. South Ken – as it is called by Londoners – is home to three stellar museums, the Natural History Museums, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum, which feature plenty of interactive exhibits fun for people of all ages. The shopping scenery is ideal for those looking to indulge in some shopping therapy, but want to avoid the hassle of Oxford Street. The Kensington Gardens, planted with formal avenues of magnificent trees and ornamental flower beds, is the ideal destination for a sunny day, perfect for picnics and long walks. Additionally the world-famous all year round destination Hyde Park, is on a very short walking distance from South Kensington and so is the poshest area in London, Knightsbridge.
Recommended hotels in South Kensington:
The Ampersand Hotel 5*. Behind an elegant Victorian facade, lies a refined luxury 5-star hotel infused with the style of the local London neighborhood housed in an 1889 building. The interior design of this exquisite boutique hotel in South Kensington is characterized by five central concepts: botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy. For availability and rates click here.
Blakes Hotel 5*. Ideally located in a quiet part of South Kensington, the 5-star Blakes Hotel is known to be the world’s first luxury boutique hotel. Boasting fine dining and sumptuous interior design by Anouska Hempel, it is just over 10 minutes’ walk from central London’s museum district.
The Kensington Hotel 5*. The luxurious Kensington Hotel is situated in the heart of South Kensington and within a 20-minute stroll of Harrods, Harvey Nichols and The Royal Albert Hall. The Natural History Museum and The V&A are just 5 minutes on foot. A state-of-the-art fitness room is provided for exclusive use of the hotel’s guests.
Paddington is tucked between two of the poshest areas in London, Marylebone to the East and Notting Hill to the West. Located very centrally, Paddington is at a walking distance from a few of London’s top attractions, the world famous Hyde Park and its beautiful sister Regent’s Park, Oxford Street, The British Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Little Venice and Sherlock’s Holmes former house. Paddington has its own charm, which distinct the area from its neighbors. The tree-lined streets and Victorian apartment buildings make the area a pleasant place to take long walks on a good day. Head to Paddington Basin, home to some of the best restaurants in the city and a great spot for an evening drink as you can find an abundance of cozy cocktail and craft beer bars. Additionally, London Paddington station is a Central London railway terminus and London Underground station, making the area perfectly connected to other areas of London, Heathrow Airport and the United Kingdom.
Recommended hotels in Paddington:
The Chilworth London Paddington 5*. Less than a 5-minute walk from London Paddington Station and Hyde Park, this boutique hotel offers elegant rooms with free internet and satellite TV. Oxford Street’s shops are a 10-minute Tube ride away, while Buckingham Palace can be reached in 15 minutes.
Hilton London Paddington 4*. Connected by footbridge to Paddington Station, this 4-star Hilton has Art Deco-style rooms and a gym. Hyde Park and Kensington Palace are within 10 minutes’ walking distance.
Also located very centrally, Bloomsbury is a beautiful neighborhood marked by its quiet and tree-lined streets, laid-back character and it’s preserved old-school ambiance. The neighborhood is one of the safest places to stay in London, hence perfect for solo travelers, but also families with children. The area is a “microcosm” of cozy cafés, bookstores, libraries, green squares, museums and the historic home of artists and academics. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will identify a few spots, as a few scenes have been filmed on the grounds of this area. At a walking distance from Bloomsbury is King’s Cross railway station which links London to Heathrow and Gatwick airport, to other parts of England and to Paris, Amsterdam and Belgium via the Eurostar.
Recommended hotels in Bloomsbury:
Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth Hotel, London 4*. This luxury 4-star hotel is located just 50 m from the British Museum and a 5-minute walk from lively Oxford Street. Radisson Blu Edwardian, Kenilworth features stylish rooms and delicious English Breakfast every morning.
Kimpton – Fitzroy London, an IHG hotel 5*. Kimpton Fitzroy London is a Grade II listed landmark building that occupies the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury. The lavish property boasts a striking terracotta exterior and luxurious contemporary designer interiors, and is within a short walk from Covent Garden, Fitzrovia and The British Museum.
One of London’s most vibrant and trendy neighborhoods, Soho is located in the very center of London, home to hundreds of restaurants of all types of cuisines and budgets, traditional pubs, quirky boutiques, chain stores, artisanal coffee shops, all-day bars, Jazz lounges and theaters. If you are visiting London, not only to sightsee the city’s marvelous attractions but to also experience its nightlife, Soho is the best area to stay. The area is within a walking distance from Chinatown, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, and the posh areas of Mayfair and Marylebone, plus it is well-connected transport-wise. Accommodation in Soho range from budget hostels and small airbnbs to 5-star boutique hotels. Check out: Twilight Soho Food Tour with Eating London
Recommended hotels in Soho:
Hazlitt’s 4*. In London’s Theatreland, in the heart of the gorgeous capital city, this 4-star boutique hotel built in 1718, Hazlitt’s features priceless antiques and historical features including chandeliers, Victorian baths and carved wooden beds.
SoHostel. Ideally located in the heart of Soho, SoHostel is perfect for young people. The Hostel offers a bar, a restaurant and 24-hours front desk and all rooms feature hardwood floors and access to ensuite or shared bathroom facilities. Bed linen is provided and towels can be hired at a surcharge.
Brixton district, located in the South of London, is a cool, diverse, creative and laidback area. Although it is not located centrally, near the top tourist attractions, this area is filled with culture making it one of the best areas to stay in London for those seeking to experience the international city vibe and also explore the best live music venues in London. The area has been shaped by the Afro-Caribbean community, giving the neighborhood a different happy and festive vibe from any other London part. The most popular attraction in the area is the Brixton Market, where you can find everything from art, handicrafts, vinyl, retro clothes, antiques and handmade cookware, fresh fish and meat and enjoy the delicious Caribbean and African food, think Ethiopian Stews and Spicy Caribbean delights. The area is marked by its impressive street art, where you can take the coolest shots. Additionally, the area is relatively inexpensive, perfect for young backpackers and there are also a lot of apartments and shared flats to rent for a few days.
Check this cool tour in the area:
London: Private Tour of Brixton with a Local. Over the last few years, Brixton has become a hotbed of London’s music, fashion and alternative culture. Discover it with a local in the know who’ll tailor a tour based on what you like and what you’re eager to experience.