Best Area To Stay In London For First-Time Visitors & Tourists
London is one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists with millions of people visiting the British capital yearly. However, given the large size of London, one of the most challenging issues for all travellers and especially first-time visitors is determining what is the best area to stay in London for tourists. Each London neighbourhood can provide travellers with a completely different experience of the city.
Furthermore, given London is fairly spread out, choosing the best area to stay in London for first time visitors is particularly crucial to ensure you don’t spend unnecessary time commuting to the sites you want to see.
So without further to do, here’s our guide to the best London neighbourhoods for tourists to help you decide where to stay in London for first time visitors or if you’re a returning tourist who simply wants to experience another side of one of the most exciting cities in the world!
Want a quick answer? Here are some of the top areas and accommodation choices for your trip!
Best Area in London For Sightseeing – Belgravia, Kensington or Knightsbridge: Astor Hyde Park Hostel (Budget), Eden Plaza Kensington (Mid-Range) & Park Grand London Kensington (Luxury)
Best Area in London For Shopping – Soho: Astor Museum Inn (Budget), Z Hotel Soho (Mid-Range) & Sanderson Hotel (Luxury)
Best Area in London For Families – Paddington or Knightsbridge: Publove @ The Green Man (Budget), Hotel Edward (Mid-Range) & The Capital (Luxury)
Best Area in London For Nightlife – Shoreditch: Prime Backpackers Angel (Budget), The Hoxton (Mid-Range) & Batty Langley’s (Luxury)
Best Area in London For Live Music – Camden: Hostel One Camden (Budget), Selina Camden (Mid-Range) & Kimpton Fitzroy London (Luxury)
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Where to Stay in London For First Time Visitors
If it’s your first time in the British capital, it’s easy to get confused about where the best area in London for tourists is. After all, the city is huge, many of the attractions are spread out across the city and prices vary across the city.
The first thing to remember is that you simply can’t be close to everything in London and you will, therefore, need to prioritise. If you want to stay in London to be close to the typical sightseeing spots then West London is ideal. If you’re visiting London to experience the nightlife then areas like Shoreditch or Camden are where you want to be.
Wherever you choose to stay in London for the first time, you’ll need to make use of the extensive public transport system to get by.
I suggest downloading the CityMapper app before arriving as it provides real-time public transport times and tells you exactly how to get from point A to B using the transport network. If you’re arriving from outside of the EU, then buying a prepaid SIM card with data before you arrive is a good idea so you can easily get your accommodation.
Regardless of where you stay in London as a first-time visitor, you’ll never be able to experience and see everything that the city has to offer in one trip so I suggest choosing from the places below based on your trip preferences!
Famous Brick Lane in Shoreditch, London
Best Place To Stay in London For Sightseeing – Belgravia, Kensington or Knightsbridge
If you’re wondering where to stay in London for your first time visiting and the primary aim of your trip is to see all the major sites and visit the world-famous museums then you might as well stay as close as possible to them!
All three of Belgravia, Kensington and Knightsbridge are located in West London and are only minutes walk from some of London’s most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminister Abbey.
Whilst this part of London is undoubtedly more expensive, the proximity to the sites makes these three suburbs the best area to stay in London for first-time visitors and tourists whose primary aim is to sightsee!
Budget: Astor Hyde Park Hostel – A great budget option in this area offering a mix of dorm and private rooms. The hostel has a brilliant common area, large kitchen and cheap breakfast available with proceeds going to charity. Click here to see their availability
Mid-Range: Eden Plaza Kensington – A mid-range hotel located just a few minutes walk from the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. Also well connected with nearby Tube stations. Click here to see their availability
Luxury: Park Grand London Kensington – A luxury option located close to Earl’s Court Tube Station. The hotel has a contemporary design and is popular with business travellers in London. A good option if you want to splurge in this area! Click here to see their availability
Click here to browse other options in the best area to stay in London for sightseeing!
You’ll be close to many of London’s landmarks in West London!
Best Place To Stay in London For Shopping – Soho
If you’re coming to London for the first time to explore some of the world-famous shopping that the British capital has to offer then look no further than staying in Soho.
Soho is located within walking distance of Oxford Street, arguably London’s most famous shopping street with over 300 shops featuring some of the world’s best-known brands. You can also walk to Covent Garden for more boutique shops and possibly even go to the Knightsbridge to visit Harrods department store.
Soho is also full of restaurants and bars, as well as being within walking distance of most of the major theatres if you want to see a West End show during your time in London.
All these things undoubtedly make Soho one of the best places to stay in London for first-time visitors and tourists who want to enjoy one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in London.
Budget: Astor Museum Inn – A great hostel located right next to the British Museum and only a short distance from the Soho neighbourhood. They offer a range of different dorms and private rooms as well as organised social events so you can meet other travellers. Click here to see their availability
Mid-Range: Z Hotel Soho – A cool boutique hotel located right in the centre of Soho. The rooms have been stylishly decorated and there are a number of great cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. Click here to see their availability
Luxury: Sanderson Hotel – A sleek luxury hotel that is only two minutes walk from Oxford Street. The hotel has amazing facilities including a modern gym, spa and a restaurant/bar downstairs. Very spacious rooms! Click here to see their latest prices
Click here to browse other options in the best area to stay in London for tourists who want to shop!
Harrods Department Store
Best Place To Stay in London For Family – Paddington or Knightsbridge
Paddington and Knightsbridge are located on opposite sides of Hyde Park, making them a great option if you’re visiting London as a family.
In case you’re not aware, Hyde Park is one of the largest green spaces in London with a number of playgrounds for children to choose from.
The advantage of Knightsbridge is that you will also be close to the museums, many of which have exhibitions tailored specifically towards children such as the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
However, as Paddington is more of a residential area it means there’ll likely be larger places to rent for cheaper prices compared to Knightsbridge which is popular with many first time visitors to London. Paddington is also close to the London Zoo and has plenty of places to see for children that are fans of Paddington Bear!
Budget: Publove @ The Green Man – if you want to full English experience of staying above a pub then this is a great option! This hostel has been recently refurbished and sits above a London pub that is open 24 hours. Dorms only. Click here to see their availability
Mid-Range: Hotel Edward – Located a few minutes walk from Paddington station, this is a great mid-range hotel that offers basic amenities. Click here to see their availability
Luxury: The Capital – If money isn’t a factor, then staying at this 5-star hotel will undoubtedly be an amazing experience. It’s located close to Harrods, has a Michelin-starred restaurant and offers traditional afternoon teas! Click here to see their availability
Click here to browse other options in the best area to stay in London for tourists travelling as a family!
Natural History Museum in London
Best Place To Stay in London For Nightlife – Shoreditch
Once considered the dodgy part of London, gentrified Shoreditch is now arguably the most trendy part of England’s capital making it the best area to stay in London for first-time visitors who want to experience London’s best nightlife, hip restaurants and cool cocktail bars.
Whilst Shoreditch might be best known for its evening activities there is also plenty to keep you occupied throughout the day including exploring famous Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market or gazing at all the street art that lines Shoreditch’s streets.
Shoreditch is without a doubt one of the coolest parts of London and potentially the best area to stay in London for tourists who want to experience the city through a hipster’s eyes and also reduce their overall London trip cost.
Budget: Prime Backpackers Angel – This hostel is located in Angel just a few minutes walk along the canal to all the action in Shoreditch. They offer a range of dorms and private rooms and organise regular events that makes it easy to meet people while you’re in London. Click here to see their availability
Mid-Range: The Hoxton – A boutique hotel with funky and stylish rooms, located only a few minutes from Old Street Tube Station. Downstairs is a popular bar and restaurant that gets busy on weekends, however, rooms are completely soundproof. Click here to see their availability
Luxury: Batty Langley’s – A stylish hotel located within a few minutes walk of Liverpool Street Station. There are a wide range of rooms including double rooms and suites making it the perfect luxury option in Shoreditch. Click here to see their availability
Click here to browse other options in the best area to stay in London for first-time visitors and tourists who want to enjoy the nightlife!
Lovely Regent’s Canal
Best Place To Stay in London For Live Music – Camden
Whilst these days Shoreditch might be considered London’s capital of cool, if you’re primarily interested in listening to live music during your evenings then it’s worth staying in Camden.
In a lot of ways, Camden is quite similar to Shoreditch with its own set of cool markets to explore, hip eateries to try and bars to have a drink at.
However, what makes Camden stand apart from the rest of London is its live music scene which has many venues where world-famous artists have performed such as Prince, Blur, Coldplay and many more. Camden has also produced many musicians, most famously Amy Winehouse who has a statue dedicated to her in Camden Market.
The sheer music history in Camden makes it the best area to stay in London for tourists who want to immerse themselves in live music and see as many gigs as they can during their stay in London!
Budget: Hostel One Camden – One of the highest rated hostels in London, undoubtedly due to the great atmosphere they have created. There are regular free dinners, nightly activities and a homely atmosphere making it easy to meet other travellers. Click here to see their availability
Mid-Range: Selina Camden – A great mid-range hotel, located in the heart of Camden. They offer a range of standard double, family and single rooms with the option to include breakfast in your nightly rate. Click here to see their availability
Luxury: Kimpton Fitzroy London – A lavish high-end hotel with a striking exterior located in Russell Square. Another great place to consider if money isn’t a factor! Click here to see their availability
Click here to browse other options in the best area to stay in London for tourists who want to listen to live music!
Camden Lock Market
There’s a reason why London is one of the most popular cities in the world for travellers. The sheer number of neighbourhoods in the British capital can make it difficult to decide on the best place to stay in London for tourists.
However, the fact of the matter is that you’ll never be able to see all of London in one visit and therefore it’ll probably only be a matter of time before you return and get a chance to experience a different London neighbourhood.
When travelling in London, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you planning to visit London? What do you think is the best area to stay in London for first time visitors and tourists? Let us know in the comments below!
Best Places to Stay in London – The Insider’s Guide to Where to Stay on Your Trip
Maybe I’m biased as it’s my hometown, but there’s something so special about London.
To the uninitiated, this city, packed with more than 9 million people, is a mystery. There are so many things to do and places to see in London that it can be a boggle.
Well, worry no more – I’ve written a comprehensive guide to the best areas to stay in London and where to stay in London to help you choose the perfect spot to suit your travels.
Best Area to Stay in London At A Glance: Covent Garden
The best area to stay in London is Covent Garden, particularly if you are a first-time visitor. Covent Garden is home to lots of London’s attractions, has tonnes of cool bars and restaurants and is in (really short) walking distance to other London hotspots like Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Soho and Piccadilly Circus.
Covent Garden properties come at a price, but are well located for getting around and proximity to the big sights.
Suggested Stay in Covent Garden: The Henrietta Hotel
A chic pick in the centre of town.
Prestigious Hotel In the Heart of Covent Garden
The Henrietta is one of my favourite places to stay in London. It’s cool and (ever so) chic yet doles out spectacular 5* service, making guests feel comfortable.
Inside the hotel feels like someone’s (very expensive) home. That’s partly down to the size (18 rooms) and partly down to the decor.
Think contemporary minimalist with quirky art deco touches.
Interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon has gone to town in the bedrooms – gold lamps, mirrors, upholstered headboards. It all sounds too garish for words when you describe it, but in reality it’s just beautiful.
It’s nice to see something a bit different to the standard white walls with neutral accents favoured by many hotels.
That’s all before you get to the incredible location, mere paces away from Covent Garden Market. Highly recommended.
Search for accommodation in London
Best Places to Stay in London
The West End – Best for First Time Visitors
Yes, the West End is busy, but it’s enchanting. For many, The West End is London – buzzing, packed and always lively.
The West End – which generally refers to Covent Garden, Piccadilly and Leicester Square – is undoubtedly the best area to stay in London for sightseeing and shopping. But it’s got a lot more to it than West End theatres. Although, if you’re looking for where to stay in London for theatre, this is it.
Day or night, there’s always a play to see, music to hear and something to keep you occupied.
I think that the West End is the best area to stay in London for first time visitors and, of course, where to stay in London for theatre, as it offers the London experience.
Prepare yourself for London at its most exuberant and you won’t be disappointed.
West End Highlights
- A play at a West End Theatre
- The British Museum – Britain’s most visited attraction and a tour around the world throughout the ages.
- Oxford Street – The UK’s most famous shopping street can be an eye-opening, if slightly overwhelming experience – plus its festive lights are practically a rite of passage for Christmas in London.
- Piccadilly Circus – The bright lights and large adverts are one of London’s most iconic sights.
Hotel Cafe Royal, Piccadilly Circus
An oasis of calm in the heart of Piccadilly Circus
Even if you haven’t been to London before, chances are you’ve seen a picture of Piccadilly Circus – one of the iconic London views. Guests staying at Hotel Cafe Royal are lucky enough to see this view as soon as they step out of the hotel – thanks to its Regent Street location.
Still, it takes much more than a great location to garner a reputation as one of the best places to stay in London. Lucky for us, Hotel Cafe Royal has a lot more on offer – most notably, its spa.
The Akasha Spa is reason enough to book your trip. This London spa hotel is a quiet enclave of peace and serenity, complete with a spa menu that will excite even the most dedicated (and dare I say it, jaded) spa-goer.
Book in for a session in one of the nine treatment rooms. Looking for something a little different? The Akasha Spa boasts London’s first Watsu pool, which is used for a range of specialist hydrotherapy treatments. I challenge you to finish one without feeling completely relaxed (be warned: I’m pretty sure that it’s impossible).
Hotel Cafe Royal, 68 Regent Street, London, W1B 4DY.
Rooms start from £330
Westminster – Best for Tourists
If you’re wondering which area is best to stay in London for tourists – I’m going to say that Westminster is a great bet.
Stretching back from the River Thames, Westminster is at the top of many London visitors’ lists thanks to sights such as The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the National Galleries. For this reason, Westminster is the best London neighbourhood for tourists.
It’s a short walk to the West End and there are good transport links to most parts of London. When it comes to the best neighbourhood to stay in London for sightseeing, Westminster is at the top of the bill.
- Westminster Abbey – Royal weddings, coronations and royal burials – Westminster Abbey has seen them all.
- The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – The seat of British parliament is a suitably ornate affair on the banks of the River Thames. Plus you can’t come to London without seeing Big Ben. – There may be fewer pigeons these days, but London’s most famous square is still a great spot to people-watch in the shadow of Nelson’s Column.
- The National Galleries – The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery each house an impressive collection. Entry is free of charge, apart from to special exhibitions.
The Corinthia London, Westminster
London’s best spa hotel – you’ll never want to leave
What’s not to love about The Corinthia? A grand hotel that opened less than a decade ago, it’s got luxury London lifestyle stamped all over it.
While you might be attracted by the fine-dining restaurants, stellar bars and uber-luxe rooms and decor, there’s one thing that you shouldn’t miss in The Corinthia, and that’s its spa.
Why have I chosen the Corinthia as one of the best spa hotels in London? ESPA Life is not only the city’s largest spa, but also its most luxurious.
Imagine 3,300 square metres of pure decadence, ready for you to spend some serious pamper time in. There are 17 treatment rooms and, rather enticingly, private sleep pods for you to have a snooze in after you finish your treatment.
The treatment list is extensive – covering the usual massages and facials as well as several “journeys” exclusive to ESPA. Skilled therapists will advise you on the perfect combination of treatments if you’re not sure where to start.
The Corinthia London, Whitehall Place, Charing Cross, London, SW1A 2BD.
Rooms start from £350
London Bridge and the South Bank – Best for Tourist Attractions
More than just a common nursery rhyme, London Bridge makes a good base for exploring London thanks to its central location and excellent transport links.
London Bridge might not be the first place you think of when you ask where to stay in Central London, but it’s an excellent choice.
London Bridge and the South Bank Highlights
- Afternoon tea at Ting in the Shangri La. You can enjoy the views (and the food) from the Shangri La in the Shard by booking in for their afternoon tea. – London’s most famous food market. Go with an empty stomach, buy gourmet treats to bring home before settling in to one of the excellent restaurants in the area (Wright Bros. and Brindisa are particularly good).
- The Viewing Platform at The Shard – Survey the city from the top of its tallest building
- The London Eye – Observe London as you circle around this giant observation wheel.
- The National Theatre – Groundbreaking plays, old classics and more – the National Theatre consistently puts on the best shows in town. Tickets can be hard to come by but can often be bought on the day if you have the time to call or queue (or can sometimes be bought online too).
- Skylon – Dinner and cocktails with views in the Oxo Tower.
- The Tate Modern – London’s largest modern art gallery towers above the South Bank. A must visit for all contemporary art lovers.
Shangri La at The Shard, London Bridge
Rooms with an incredible view
The Shard is London’s tallest building, so it makes sense that its hotel, the Shangri La, has some of the best room views in the city. Still, that doesn’t do it justice.
Perched on floors 34 to 52 of the building, Shangri La is an excellent luxury hotel in London that just happens to have an absolutely amazing view everywhere you look.
The hotel is everything you would expect from luxury brand Shangri La – service is friendly yet efficient, with an excellent roster of restaurants and bars and a free breakfast.
There are L’Occitane toiletries in the room, and marble bathrooms with heated floors. It’s a business-oriented hotel, but still has obvious appeal for leisure travellers too.
Relaxation wise, the infinity pool on the top floor is a must. I won’t blame you if you get distracted from your laps by the sight of London from above. If you do completely give up on the pretence of swimming, the adjacent loungers come with full service and the same views.
Don’t forget to book into Ting for one of the best afternoon teas in the city either.
The Shard is right next to London Bridge station – as in less than a minute away, so you can get around the capital with ease. Borough is full of foodie treats to explore, including the legendary Borough Market.
Shangri La, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9QU
Rooms start at £340
Sea Containers, South Bank
Whimsical style with River Thames views
I know it’s wrong to have favourites, but the Sea Containers really is one of my favourite hotels.
Why? Well, it’s located on the South Bank, a short walk away from the National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and a fabulous street food market. It overlooks the Thames and rooms come with the view to match. More than that though, it’s just got the whole luxury hotel thing down to a T.
Designer Tom Dixon has excelled here, creating a five star London hotel that is both playful and high-end at the same time. The whimsical style is meant to emulate a transatlantic ocean liner – a play on its Thames-side location.
Don’t feel like going out? Mondrian at Sea Containers has you covered: whether it’s seeing a film in the in-house Curzon cinema, sipping on cocktails in the rooftop Rumpus Room or spending an afternoon in the spa, you could occupy yourself for a whole weekend without stepping foot outside of the hotel.
Mondrian at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Rooms start at £140
Soho – Best for Nightlife
I’ve chosen Soho as the best area to stay in London for nightlife. There are a number of clubs and late-night bars in Soho itself, it’s within walking distance to some of the capital’s liveliest clubs too.
Trendy Soho has undergone something of a regeneration in the past decade. What used to be a rather seedy part of the city centre has been transformed into one of liveliest parts of town.
While it’s still a lively hub, with some of London’s best restaurants and bars, Soho has also welcomed a range of high-end hotels. If you’re looking for the best nightlife and you’re asking yourself, where should I stay in London, Soho is your new best friend.
- Yautcha – Delicious all-day dim sum at affordable prices. – Gorgeous Russian-European hotel serving up gastronomic treats and cocktails. The ultimate date night dinner.
- Curzon Cinema – Watch the latest indie flicks in comfort and style. Also hosts live talks and panel interviews.
Ham Yard Hotel
Maximalist decor and… a bowling alley to boot.
If you’ve heard of Ham Yard Hotel, you might be thinking “Ham Yard Hotel – is that the hotel with its own bowling alley?”.
It’s the very same.
One of London’s best boutique hotels, Ham Yard combines eclectic and maximalist decor with oodles of personality and bags of comfort.
This is my favourite property from award-winning hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp thanks to its unusual style and unpretentious feel.
Sound like your kind of place (the only answer to that is yes)? You’ll be glad to know that it’s tucked in a handy location at the bottom of Regent’s Street – perfect for your central London break.
Rooms start at £310, One Ham Yard, Soho, London, England, United Kingdom, W1D 7DT
Kensington – Best Place to Stay in London With Family
It’s not called Museum Mile for nothing. Kensington has some of the city’s best-known museums: The Natural History Museum, Science Museum and gloriously eclectic Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A).
Kensington is the best area to stay in London with a family, thanks to the number of free museums within walking distance and its slightly more relaxed pace.
It is relatively expensive, but there are so many pluses. It’s also easy to hop on the underground or a bus to get into the centre quickly.
Away from the museums, do like the locals do and enjoy leisurely alfresco coffees in the summer before popping into a high-end restaurant for a culinary treat.
- The Natural History Museum – Dinosaur skeletons, geology more – explore the natural history of the world.
- The Science Museum – Wacky experiments, interactive exhibits and thought-provoking facts. Learn something new during a visit to the Science Museum.
- Victoria & Albert – The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design is an eclectic array of over 4.5 million objects.
- Cambio de Tercio – One of London’s best Spanish restaurants.
The Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington
Family-friendly luxury in the heart of South Kensington
Round the corner from the famous so-called “Museum Mile” The Ampersand’s location is draw enough to families planning on spending some time in the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and V&A.
It can sometimes feel like family-friendly luxury hotels in London are few and far between, but the Ampersand excels at balancing the two.
Billing itself as one of London’s best family hotels, the hotel offers additional beds for certain room categories and there is also the option of an interconnecting room.
Families will be particularly interested in the suites, which come with mini kitchenettes. Perfect for preparing kids’ snacks or babies’ meals in. There’s also a full children’s menu in Mediterranean style Apero Restaurant downstairs.
The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ER
Rooms start from £175
Blakes Hotel, Kensington
A sumptuous series of townhouses – a long-established luxury London gem
OK, this one is most certainly not family friendly, but if you are planning on staying in Kensington sans kids, take a look at Blakes.
One of the original London boutique hotels, Blakes has been providing London’s visitors with a decadent place to lay their heads since 1978.
The hotel is the perfect destination for a romantic break in London, thanks to the dramatic and individual decor. Four-poster beds, gilt frames, freestanding baths – it’s theatrical style provides a fitting backdrop for a couples escape.
Well-heeled Kensington is brimming with dining and drinking options for a special meal. Alternatively, cosy up in the opulent Blakes Below bar for a romantic date night in the hotel.
Blakes Hotel, 33 Roland Gardens, South Kensington, London, England, SW7 3PF.
Street food markets, street art and container shopping centres – Shoreditch never ceases to reinvent itself.
Stay in Shoreditch if you want to see London like a local, and if you’re looking for where to stay in East London. In fact, Shoreditch is one of the best places to stay in London, period.
Yes, there are high end hotels and swanky bars, but a lot of Londoners live, sleep and play in Shoreditch too.
Shoreditch is the best neighborhood to stay in London for those who want to experience a different side of London. One that’s less glamorous, a bit grittier but that’s full of low-key bars, cool cafes, pop up restaurants and lots to do.
A slew of luxury hotel openings in recent years means that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a place to sleep in Shoreditch. And, regardless of who you are and what you enjoy, while it may not be the best area to stay in London for sightseeing, Shoreditch is without a doubt the best area to stay in London if you’re looking for that local flavour.
- Boxpark – The original London shipping container hub of restaurants and shops is still its best. – Get up early at the weekend for a dazzling display of floral arrangements at this long-standing market.
- The Clove Club – No menu – just five courses of perfectly-made food for a show stopping dinner.
Ace Hotel, Shoreditch
One for the cool kids in buzzy Shoreditch
Shoreditch is one of London’s coolest neighbourhoods and a fitting home for the Ace Hotel London.
This London outpost of the achingly cool US chain burst onto London’s hotel scene, paving the way for the many stylish and hip hotel properties that have followed in its wake.
So, what’s to love? The great location for starters, the vibrant decor, the blink-and-it’s-there service, the effortlessly chic decor – the list is endless. Think sixties decor paired with light wood and splashes of colour.
Bedrooms are some of the most stylish in town – with denim APC bedcovers and mid-century modern touches. Bathrooms are suitably on-trend too, with concrete sinks and an industrial vibe.
The lobby / coffee shop and bar is always buzzing, filled with a mix of the city’s creative types and hotel guests.
Ok, I’ll admit, Ace is not the kind of hotel to book for if you want to escape for a weekend from it all, but if you are looking for somewhere a little different for your stay, this should be the first port of call. Ace Hotel effortlessly pairs five star surrounds with the kind of atmosphere that other hotels can only dream of.
Night owls can hang out in any one of Ace’s bars. The Gallery Bar makes the perfect pre-dinner drinking spot, whereas Miranda’s, the basement bar is more suited to the late evening and early hours of the morning.
Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, London E1 6JQ
Rooms start from £128
The Curtain, Shoreditch
A slice of New York in a Shoreditch location
It’s hard to gain a reputation as being cool in Shoreditch these days. In an area that’s brimming with some of London’s coolest hotels, restaurants, pop ups, bars, shops – not to mention street art, you have to be pretty outstanding to stand out from the crowd.
Well, certainly New-York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the man behind new(ish) hotel The Curtain is doing something right. Less than a year after its opening, The Curtain has cemented a loyal following thanks to its too-cool-for-school attitude and impressive digs.
The rooms walk the line between contemporary and rough-luxe, with exposed brick bedroom walls metres away from marble bathrooms.
Yes, The Curtain knows that it’s cool and it’s not afraid to flaunt it – hence the sneaker shining service to bring new life to your trainers, and the customised Carhartt uniforms worn by all the staff.
You’d have to be pretty jaded not to do a double take at the 1,600 square metre rooftop – which boasts an outdoor pool, day beds and bar that are made for whiling away hot summer days in.
It’s Shoreditch, so it should come as no surprise that The Curtain has an extensive bar and club offering, including a few restricted to members and hotel guests.
The Curtain, 45 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3PT
Rooms start at £155
Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria
Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria are actually three neighbourhoods next to each other in Central West London. But for anyone visiting London, they are united by their luxury clientele and some of London’s most prestigious addresses.
So why have I chosen these neighborhoods as the best areas to stay in London for a luxury city break?
Well, anywhere that’s good enough for the Queen is certainly good enough for me. Buckingham Palace might dominate the headlines when it comes to things to see, but there’s a whole wealth of things to discover in this salubrious area.
Named after the May Fair that used to be held there until the 18th century, Mayfair’s fairground days are long gone. It’s home to some of London’s best hotels (and certainly some its most expensive), with the high-end restaurants and shops to match. While it’s certainly not the best area to stay in London on a budget, this part of the city is certainly a good area for those looking for luxury.
Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria Highlights
- Buckingham Palace – Visit the state rooms for a glance at the Queen’s official residence.
- St James’s Park – The best of the central London Royal Parks, St James’s is made for summer picnics and lakeside strolls.
- Sketch – It’s plastered all over Instagram for good reasons, the pink interiors are good enough to eat. Settle for a deliciously decadent afternoon tea there instead.
- Royal Academy of Arts – Rotating exhibitions, talks and debates at this acclaimed institution.
The Goring, Belgravia
Grand Dame Hotel For a Downton-Style Escape
The only original London grande-dame hotel still under family ownership, The Goring is a quiet enclave of luxury and tradition in Belgravia. Genteel and elegant, everything about The Goring discreetly ticks boxes for high-end decadence.
Spacious rooms, opulent decor and the kind of service that comes from centuries of practice, it’s no wonder that the Middleton family stayed at The Goring before the last Royal Wedding. The hotel also has one of the best afternoon teas in town, which is well worth a trip even if you aren’t staying there.
The Goring, 15 Beeston Pl, Westminster, London SW1W 0JW
Rooms start at £295
James Bond, Martinis and High-End Sleeps
A few steps away from Green Park (one of London’s Royal Parks), Dukes has everything going for it when it comes to location and history. Luckily, nothing else disappoints.
This old-school cool hotel is the place to stay for the quintessential London break. Dukes is one of the best choices for where to stay in London thanks to its long-standing heritage of perfection.
No want is too big, no question too difficult for the staff to help you out with. A recent refurbishment has seen the rooms brought bang up to date with all the expected mod-cons (and a few extras too).
Location-wise, it’s hard to believe that the frenetic pace of Mayfair is mere minutes from the muffled hush of the hotel. Yet a there’s easy access to Green Park station and in the heart of all.
Dukes Hotel, 35 St James’s Place, London, SW1A 1NY, England.
The iconic hotel that never fails to deliver
Oh Claridge’s. You simply can’t have a list of the best hotels in London without including one of the long-standing darlings of British hospitality.
While many of the older hotels can err on the dated side, Claridge’s never fails to impress. Guests are welcomed with a striking Dale Chihuly chandelier in the lobby – after that it’s an exercise in the very best of class and style.
Everyone stays at Claridge’s darling. Royalty, celebrities – you never know who a discreet glance around might uncover. The hotel is half-jokingly called “the annex of Buckingham Palace” thanks to the near-unbelievable number of royals who patronise the hotel.
The hotel remains very much true to the Art Deco style of the 1920s – think mirrored surfaces and ornate designs that are tempered by an understated colour scheme. Marble bathrooms, Egyptian cotton bed sheets, Claridge’s doesn’t fail to live up to its reputation.
Book an evening in Michelin-starred Fera, where Simon Rogan oversees a kitchen that sets out (and achieves) to excite and delight.
Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Rooms start at £400
Although it’s a mere hop, skip and a jump from more popular areas like the West End, Marylebone is a more low-key neighborhood. It’s one of the best London areas to stay thanks to a combination of lots of things to see and lower prices.
Offbeat museums, trendy restaurants and traditional pubs: Marylebone has been the hub of London’s more genteel social scenes since the 17th century.
Paddington, just down the road, also has a few cool hotels and tends to be a bit cheaper. So, while it may not be where to stay in London on a budget, Marleybone offers so much in the way of chic and quirky experiences that make it the best location to stay in London for a luxurious but unique time in the capital.
- Daunt Books – Browse the collection in Daunt Books. It’s a book-lover’s dream.
- The Wallace Collection – An eclectic collection of 18th century finds and one of London’s best museums.
- Pachamama – Riding the trend of Peruvian restaurants in London, this one is a cut above the rest.
Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone
Bags of luxury and eccentricity in a central London location
Gloriously quirky, booking into the Zetter Townhouse is like taking a trip into the rabbit hole – full of wonderful surprises and almost too surreal to be believed.
You might wonder what to expect from one of the most romantic hotels in London? Read on…
Sister to the original Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell, the Marylebone outpost has inherited all of its sibling’s eccentricities – including the fantasy that it’s the home of some (slightly zany) relative.
Stepping into Wicked Uncle Seymour’s (the relative in question), prepare to be wowed by the Zetter Townhouse’s colourful yet endearing interiors.
Though it might feel like a world of its own, in reality, the Zetter Townhouse is only minutes from Marble Arch and Hyde Park. Where better for a romantic picnic, complete with champagne and strawberries? Finished with that? The rest of central London is right on your doorstep, ready for you to explore.
The Zetter Townhouse, 28-30 Seymour St, Marylebone, London W1H 7JB
Rooms start from £190
The PILGRM, Paddington
A new kind of hotel in Paddington offering luxury for less
Why the missing I in the name? Why not? The Pilgrm isn’t afraid to break the rules. From the absence of a hotel reception, lack of check-in process, in-room telephones and air-conditioning The Pilgrm has done away with some of the traditional hotel norms.
Has it been a success? The answer is a resounding yes: it’s become one of the coolest hotels in London since it opened – a difficult feat given the less fashionable (but very practical) location.
Four townhouses have been transformed into a beautiful property that makes for the perfect place to stay in West London.
One of Pilgrm’s big draws is affordability – the prices are low (well, by London standards anyway) but the quality is high. Yes, rooms are small, but filled with little luxuries such as Bluetooth speakers and the very crispest and comfiest bed linen.
The Pilgrm goes by the mantra that “luxury is care” – in other words you don’t need lots of bells and whistles in a hotel, but the things you do need should be done well and with care.
The Pilgrm, 25 London St, London W2 1HH
Rooms start from £99
Kings Cross and St Pancras – Best for the Eurostar
Kings Cross and St Pancras is an area reborn. It’s also, for convenience, one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in London.
What was once an outpost of grimy bars and late night entertainment has transformed itself into one of the best places to stay in London outside of the centre.
St Pancras International is London’s Eurostar station – bringing continental visitors to the area in large numbers. It’s easily the best area to stay in London if you are travelling on the Eurostar – there are great transport connections into the centre and a lot to do in the area itself.
Kings Cross and St Pancras Highlights
- Drink, Shop, Do – A lovely cafe come bar where you can learn a new skill at one of the ever-changing workshops. Gets lively in the evening.
- London Canal Museum
- German Gymnasium – Large restaurant in the style of grand cafes of days gone by.
St Pancras Renaissance
Belle Epoque luxury with all the mod cons, in close proximity to the Eurostar.
Minutes away from the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras International and from Kings Cross Station, the St Pancras Renaissance is one of the great railway hotels of the Victorian times reimagined for the modern age.
There are several nods to the hotel’s Victorian heritage – the elaborate wrought iron balusters winding up the stairs and Chesterfield-style banquettes being two examples. Not to mention the wood panelling and chandeliers. It’s like stepping back in time, but with all the mod cons and conveniences of the contemporary age.
St Pancras Renaissance, Kings Cross St Pancras, Pancras Road, London, N1C 4TB
Rooms start from £245
The City – Best for Business Travellers
London’s financial and business hub has a lot going for it.
As London’s financial hub, it’s where a lot of corporate entities have their offices. The City is the best area to stay in London for business travellers because of this.
Don’t think that this means it’s boring though. Some of London’s oldest (and most beautiful) pubs are in the City, plus there are cool destinations like Leadenhall Market and St Dunstan in the East for you to check out during your down time.
Be warned, it tends to get a lot quieter during the weekend (but this can also translate into lower prices, so not all bad).
The City Highlights
- Duck & Waffle – Everything at Duck & Waffle is a stroke of culinary genius translated to your plate. Plus it’s open all night, perfect for late-night, high-end eats and drinks.
- Spitalfields Market – A renovated market building brimming with trendy restaurants and bars, and cool vintage stalls (depending on the day). – A gorgeous wrought-iron market housing a range of restaurants, shops and bars. – Walk around the ruins of this old church, tucked away in the heart of the city. Ivy climbs up the walls of this long-abandoned church, which was bombed in
The Ned, City of London
The new City hotel that’s fast becoming the hottest bed in town
There’s a good chance that if you’re in London for business purposes, you are going to have to spend some time in the City. So where better to base yourself for your stay?
Before The Ned came along last year, staying in the City could be a bit… dull. But Nick Jokes (of Soho House fame) has brought a breath of life to the area with this 252-room luxury hotel.
The striking listed building used to be Midland Bank’s HQ – built in the 1920s, you can still spot many of its original features in the hotel today. Decor wise, The Ned draws heavily on the Twenties and Thirties for inspiration – adding to the overall sense of exclusivity of the property.
The eighth-floor, which boasts a pool with views out over the city, and a rooftop bar – is reserved for hotel guests and members only – as is the Lutyens Grill restaurant downstairs.
In London a lot for business travel? The Ned also doubles as a private member’s club – handy if you plan to visit quite a lot.
The Ned, 27 Poultry, London, EC2R 8AJ
Rooms start from £210
Shepherd’s Bush – Best Value
A residential area with a lot to love.
Shepherd’s Bush is a peaceful area with a memorable name – the origins of which nobody can agree on.
It’s the best place in London to stay for value thanks to its convenient location and Tube access to the most touristy areas of London, but thanks to its more residential atmosphere, it’s a little more on the cheap side, making it the number one choice if you’re looking for where to stay in London on a budget. So you get a cheaper hotel without feeling like you’re missing out.
Shepherd’s Bush is also a great place to shop, with two shopping areas within easy reach. Shepherd’s Bush is also a great option when looking for where to stay in London with kids, given its relaxed and residential atmosphere.
It might not be the best place if you wondering where to stay in London first time, but if you’re looking instead for where to stay in London on a budget, this is a great choice.
Shepherd’s Bush Highlights
- Westfield London – An enormous and exciting shopping centre with every kind of highstreet shop you can think of, as well as a cinema and various workshops, events, and activities like yoga and candle making.
- Shepherd’s Bush Market – A staple of Shepherd’s Bush, this famous market is a traditional, multicultural hub of foods and fabrics from across the world. A great place to wander and explore.
- Bush Hall – This iconic hundred-year-old venue hosts local musicians, stand-up comedians, and cabaret shows. Check what’s on during your visit and you’re guaranteed to find something you’re interested in!
K West Hotel & Spa
A boutique hotel with a modern spa in a great location.
K West Hotel & Spa offers a wide selection of award-winning treatments at its luxurious spa, making it a great choice of hotel if you’re staying in Shepherd’s Bush.
Given the area’s already low-key and less busy atmosphere, a hotel with a spa where you can unwind, relax, get a massage, and feel rejuvenated is a great option.
Staying in Shepherd’s Bush means having central London within reach but also being able to retreat to a quieter area at the end of the day. And after you retreat, why not treat yourself to dinner and a massage?
They also have a hydrotherapy pool and an herbal steam room for the ultimate in relaxation. The bar also offers fantastic cocktails and has a live DJ playing every weekend if you want something a little more lively. The rooms have a hyper-modern decor that’s bright, colourful, and welcoming.
So there we are, the guide to where to stay in London, area by area.
I hope that you have an enjoyable stay during your time in my hometown!
Where to Stay in London: Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Get Around in London?
The simplest way to get around in London is the Underground (what Londoners call The Tube). London’s subway system is old but very reliable, with stations at every landmark, tourist attraction, and area that you might find yourself in. You can also take a taxi, if you prefer. London’s black cabs are iconic and their drivers know London’s streets better than anyone.
Where Should I Stay for my First Visit in London?
If it’s your first time in London and you’ve got the money, you’ll want to be as central as possible, and surrounded by all the best sights and things to do. For that, you’ll want to stay in the West End or Westminster. In London’s West End you have all the best theatres, shopping and shows at your fingertips, and Westminster features most of the must-see sights of London. This is absolutely the best area to stay in London for tourists.
What is the Best Neighbourhood to Stay in London?
That depends on what you’re looking for but, as a London native, I don’t think there’s a better neighbourhood in London than Shoreditch. The hipster capital of London is where all the young Londoners like to hang out. There, you’ve got the best bars and cafes, cool street art, and awesome food markets to explore. Far removed from the glamorous tourist attractions of Westminster, Shoreditch is what you could call the ‘real London experience’.
Any questions about what area in London is best to stay, or just about London generally, leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
The Best Places to Stay in London
Not sure what Places to Stay in London? Our selection of London’s best hotels will help you plan the perfect getaway.
- The London Info
- October 4, 2022
Are you planning a vacation to London but aren’t sure where to stay? Don’t miss out on our thorough list of the finest places to stay in London, which will help you plan the ideal vacation. This metropolis of more than 9 million people is a mystery to the uninitiated. There are so many things to do and see in London that it might be overwhelming.
Worry no more – We’ve compiled a detailed reference on the finest places to stay in London and where to stay in London to assist you in selecting the ideal location for your trip.
Covent Garden Is The Best Area To Stay In London
Covent Garden is the ideal place to stay in London, especially if you are a first-time tourist. Covent Garden is home to many of London’s attractions, as well as a plethora of fashionable pubs and restaurants, and is within (very short) walking distance of other London hotspots such as Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Soho, and Piccadilly Circus. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best place to stay in london for tourists.
Covent Garden houses are expensive, but they are conveniently located for travelling about and close to the major attractions.
London’s Covent Garden
Yes, the West End is crowded, but it’s also fascinating. The West End is London to many people, bustling, crowded, and constantly active.
The West End, which includes Covent Garden, Piccadilly, and Leicester Square, is without a doubt the greatest place to stay in London for sightseeing and shopping. However, it is much more than just West End theatres. However, if you’re searching for a place to stay in London for theatre, this is the place to be.
There’s always a play to watch, music to listen to, and something to keep you entertained, day or night.
I believe that the West End is the ideal spot to stay in London for first-time tourists, as well as where to stay in London for theatre, since it provides the authentic London experience.
Prepare to be wowed by London at its most vibrant, and you will not be disappointed.
The UK’s most renowned retail street can be an eye-opening, though somewhat overwhelming, experience, and its Christmas lights are almost a rite of passage for Londoners.
Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s most recognizable landmarks, with its bright lights and enormous advertisements.
A Tranquil Haven In The Midst Of Piccadilly Circus
Even if you’ve never been to London, you’ve probably seen a photograph of Piccadilly Circus, one of the city’s most recognizable sights. Because of the hotel’s Regent Street location, this is a place to stay in London which is most popular. Guests of Hotel Cafe Royal may enjoy this scene as soon as they walk outside.
However, establishing a reputation as one of the greatest places to stay in London requires much more than a wonderful location. Fortunately for us, Hotel Cafe Royal has much more to offer, most notably its spa.
The Akasha Spa alone is incentive enough to plan a visit. This London spa hotel is a tranquil haven of peace and tranquillity, equipped with a spa cuisine that would entice even the most ardent spa-goer.
Make an appointment in one of the nine treatment rooms. Looking for something out of the ordinary? The Akasha Spa is home to London’s first Watsu pool, which is utilized for a variety of hydrotherapy therapies.
Westminster Is Ideal For Tourists
If you’re wondering where the best place to stay in london for tourists fare, I’d recommend Westminster.
There are many luxury hotels in Westminster, which stretches back from the River Thames, and is at the top of many London tourists’ lists due to attractions such as The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the National Galleries. As a result, Westminster is the greatest London neighborhood for visitors.
It’s a short walk to the West End, and there are excellent public transportation connections to the rest of London. Westminster is the best neighborhood in London to stay in for touring purposes for first-time visitors.
From royal marriages to coronations to royal funerals, Westminster Abbey has seen it all.
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
The Houses of Parliament are an elegant affair on the banks of the Thames. You can’t visit London without seeing Big Ben.
Although there are fewer pigeons these days, London’s most renowned square remains a terrific place to people-watch under the shadow of Nelson’s Column.
The National Galleries
The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery both have extensive collections. Except for special exhibits, admission is free.
Westminster Corinthia Hotel
A recent influx of luxury hotel launches means that you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a place to stay in Shoreditch.
And, regardless of who you are or what you love, although Shoreditch may not be the greatest neighborhood to stay in London for sightseeing, it is without a doubt the finest area to stay in London for that local flavor.
The original London shipping container restaurant and shopping district is still at its finest.
Columbia Road Flower Market
Get up early on weekends to see a stunning display of flower arrangements at this long-running market.
You should keep in mind all the travelling rules and regulations for Visiting London before booking a flight.
The Clove Club
No menu, just five courses of freshly prepared cuisine for a spectacular night.
So, what’s not to like? For starters, the amazing location, the vivid design, the blink-and-it’s-there service, the effortlessly elegant decor – the list goes on. Consider sixties style with light wood and pops of color.
You can find the best mid-range hotel according to your preference here. The bedrooms are among the most fashionable in town, with denim APC bedcovers and mid-century contemporary embellishments. Bathrooms are also trendy, with concrete sinks and an industrial feel.
The lobby/coffee shop/bar is often busy, with a mix of creative individuals from the city and hotel guests.
Night owls may unwind at any of Ace’s bars. The Gallery Bar is ideal for pre-dinner drinks, whilst Miranda’s, the basement bar, is more suited to late nights and early mornings.
A Taste Of New York In The Heart Of Shoreditch
It’s difficult to establish a cool reputation in Shoreditch these days. In an area teeming with some of London’s best hotels, restaurants, pop-ups, pubs, boutiques, and street art, you have to be rather exceptional to stand out. Best place to stay in london for tourists.
New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the guy behind the new hotel The Curtain, is obviously doing something right. The Curtain has a devoted following less than a year after its debut, due to its too-cool-for-school attitude and spectacular surroundings. It could easily be one of the most romantic hotels of London.
The rooms are a mix of modern and rough-luxe, with exposed brick bedroom walls just meters away from marble baths.
Yes, The Curtain is hip, and it’s not ashamed to show it – thus the shoe polishing service to restore new life to your sneakers, as well as the tailored Carhartt uniforms worn by all personnel.
You’d have to be quite jaded not to notice the 1,600 square metre rooftop, which has an outdoor pool, day beds, and a bar perfect for wheeling away hot summer days.
It’s Shoreditch, so it’s hardly surprising that The Curtain offers a diverse bar and club scene, including a handful exclusive to members and hotel guests.
Also, know all the tourism statistics of London to get the full experience before staying in London.
Best London Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay
It may be difficult to decide where to stay in London, but there is a region named “City of London” that does not describe the whole city, but rather a tiny area in the city center full of tall skyscrapers! Similarly, Moscow has “Moscow-city” , a skyscraper complex that is just a minor portion of the real metropolis.
For The Urban Atmosphere
This is the heart of London, a wonderful location rich with history and intriguing sights. It’s also known as “The Square Mile,” and if you choose to stay here, you’ll be surrounded by a plethora of fantastic markets, stores, skyscrapers, restaurants, and cafés.
If you’re wondering what sights are in this London area, here are a few examples: St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, and the Tower of London are all worth a visit.
Where to Stay in London for Nightlife in Soho
I’m sure you’ve heard of Soho, which is one of the top places to stay in London for nightlife!
If you like live music, theatres, cafés, underground clubs, and distinctive pubs where you can party till the wee hours of the morning, Soho is one of the greatest neighborhoods to stay in London for you!
The region is also a component of the city’s theater district, which is located west of the City of London and north of the River Thames. The Phantom of the Opera and Matilda are two of London’s most iconic shows. So, if you like musicals, we strongly suggest checking out what’s playing at the theatres here!
Visiting London: Soho
Why is Soho renowned for this, you may wonder? This was formerly the city’s Red Light District, but things have changed dramatically since then. Soho is secure, and it’s one of the greatest spots to have a beer with your buddies.
Walking around the streets is a rush, particularly when folks get off work. That’s when the pubs fill up and everyone becomes overjoyed, and you can hear people laughing, drinking, and dancing!
The City of London region is a wonderful neighbourhood to stay in if you want to be close to the key attractions. Centrally placed and reasonably affordable when it comes to costs, this district of London has a lot of history and is near to most attractions.
It is the financial area of London and is packed with chic cafés, wonderful shopping, and a mix of both old and contemporary buildings. Most of the housing here is a mix of mid-range and luxury, but AirBnB has some fantastic apartments as well.
Make sure you hop on a boat down the Thames and visit one of the numerous markets in this region.
Frequently Ask Questions About The Best Places To Stay In London
What area of London is best for tourists to stay?
The West End – Best for First Time Visitors.
Westminster – Best for Tourists.
London Bridge and the South Bank – Best for Tourist Attractions.
Soho – Best for Nightlife.
Kensington – Best Place to Stay in London With Family.
Mayfair, Belgravia and Victoria.
How much does it take to stay in London?
Family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,897$ (3,196£) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,119$ (918£) without rent.
How much does it take to party in Nightlife in UK?
The cost of entry to a club can vary from nothing (free admission) to as much as £15-£20 depending on the venue, the night of the week.