Where should I avoid staying in London?

SD London Best Places to Stay in LondonUpdated: August 4, 2022My Favorite London Hotels 5-Star Hotel: Connaught 4-Star Hotel: Marylebone 3-Star Hotel: Strand Palace Boutique Hote

Where should I avoid staying in London?

SD  London  Best Places to Stay in London
Updated: August 4, 2022

My Favorite London Hotels

5-Star Hotel: Connaught
4-Star Hotel: Marylebone
3-Star Hotel: Strand Palace
Boutique Hotel: Soho Hotel
Cheap Hotel: Z Soho
Family Hotel: Taj 51
Hotel Pool: Berkeley
Suites with Kitchen: Cheval Knightsbridge
Near Big Ben: Conrad
Hyde Park: Mandarin Oriental
London Eye: Marriott
Buckingham Palace: The Goring
Victoria Station: Comfort Inn
Paddington Station: Hilton
Kings Cross: St. Pancras Renaissance
East London: Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square
Best New Hotel: Mayfair Townhouse

Where to stay in London.
Where to stay in London.

Hotels on map: 1. St. Pancras Renaissance  2. Hilton  3. Marylebone  4. Soho Hotel  5. Z Soho  6. Strand Palace  7. Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square  8. Connaught  9. Mayfair Townhouse  10. Cheval Knightsbridge  11. Mandarin Oriental  12. Berkeley  13. The Goring  14. Comfort Inn  15. Taj 51  16. Conrad  17. Marriott

Best Areas to Stay in London

  • London Hotel MapThere is no universal best neighborhood in London. Since Londons best attractions are spread out, theres no downtown as such, and much depends on your interests and budget. Some neighborhoods are more central and convenient than others, given that most visitors to London walk or use public transport to reach the attractions.

    Similarly, the best hotels in London are not focused in one neighborhood and its easy to find great luxury accommodations in most areas of London.

    The West End (Covent Garden, Soho, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, Mayfair) is a central and convenient district with most of Londons theatres, top art galleries, excellent, varied dining for all budgets and much of Londons nightlife. 4-star and 5-star hotels dominate, with some midrange bargains. Its easy to walk around and handy public transport connections to other parts of London. The West End is excellent for families staying in London.

    Just north of the West End, Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are also centrally located, walkable to West End, with lots of bookshops, quiet streets, and the British Museum as the star attraction. A wide range of accommodation, cheaper than the neighboring West End. Kings Cross, with its train stations, is north of Fitzrovia. Its low on sights, but has excellent transport links to other parts of London, to Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, and to Paris and Amsterdam via the Eurostar. Mostly inexpensive guesthouses and chain hotels.
Good 4-star hotel in central London.
Good 4-star hotel in central London.

Covent Garden is the area I recommend for most first time visitors to London. Fun vibe, close to everything, lots of great places to eat. The good-value Strand Palace Hotel is smack in the middle of it all.

The Victoria Station area, just south of Westminster and St Jamess and on the fringes of the West End, has excellent transport links to Gatwick airport, and lodgings ranging from cheapies to pricey hotels.

Kensington is southwest of the West End. Its on the Piccadilly line, useful for reaching both central London and Heathrow Airport. Plus, it has several star attractions and while the area has numerous 5-star hotels, there is something for all budgets.

South Bank and Bank Side are across the Thames from the West End. There are numerous attractions here and its handy for getting to and from Gatwick airport. Some boutique hotels as well as chains. City of London is good for sights, with some budget chain hotels and weekend bargains at pricier ones. Camden and the East End  bargain accommodations but less convenient for sightseeing.

The Best Places to Stay in London

Boutique hotel near British Museum in London.
Boutique hotel near British Museum in London.

The Mandrake boutique hotel in idyllic Bloomsbury  near the British Museum and the shopping of Oxford Street.

  • Best Luxury Hotels in London
    Connaught  Shangri-La The Shard  Savoy  Four Seasons at Park Lane  Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
  • Best Boutique Hotels in London
    Mandrake  The Soho  Montague on the Gardens  Batty Langleys  Ham Yard
  • Best Midrange Hotels in London
    Strand Palace  Best Western Victoria Palace  Park Plaza County Hall  Park Plaza Westminster Bridge  Marriott County Hall
  • Best Cheap Hotels in London
    Z Soho  Clink78 Hostel  SoHostel  Generator
  • Best London Hotels for Families
    Taj 51 Buckingham Gate  Athenaeum  Royal London  Central Hotel
  • Top TripAdvisor Hotels (Best Value)
    Tower Hotel  Resident Covent Garden  Montcalm Royal House  Leonardo Royal Tower Bridge  Resident Victoria

Best Areas in London for

  • Best Neighborhood in London for Sightseeing: South Bank and Bankside
    When it comes to sightseeing, South Bank and Bankside are excellent for access to big attractions  London Eye, Tate Modern, the Shard  and the City of London also has its share of popular sights, but both have few places to stay. South Kensington is great for museums and shopping; hotels tend to be pricey. Covent Garden and Soho are good all-rounders due to their proximity to the river, Westminster, and other top sights, and ample accommodations are a boon.
  • Best Neighborhood in London for Nightlife: Soho
    The best area in London for nightlife is Soho. The neighborhood is a good mix of trendy cocktail bars (many of which also do great food, traditional English pubs, theatres, and basement clubs with DJ nights, including a number of gay venues. There are only a few hotels in Soho, slightly set back from the action. Other good areas for nightlife include Camden with its live music venues and East End, with its legendary clubs.
  • Best Neighborhood in London for Food and Restaurants: Covent Garden
    Some of Londons best eating is done around Covent Garden. The dense cluster of streets is packed with restaurants ranging from inexpensive Indian, Mexican, and Brazilian mini-chains to upscale fine dining and traditional pubs serving excellent local food. Covent Garden is a 5 min walk to Chinatown and also Soho, jam-packed with artisan coffee shops and global offerings. Hotels around Hyde Park offer Londons best Michelin-starred dining. Camden, the East End, and Kings Cross are great for street food.
  • Best Neighborhood in London for Families: South Kensington and Marylebone
    South Kensington is one of the best places to stay in London for families. The neighborhood is relatively quiet, and there are two stellar museums with plenty of interactive exhibits for all ages. Just to the north is Hyde Park, with its playgrounds and the family-friendly Winter Wonderland during the colder months. Marylebone is another good option, within easy reach of both Hyde Park, London Zoo in Regents Park, and Madame Tussauds  popular with older children.
  • Best Neighborhood in London to Stay for First Timer: Covent Garden
    If its your first time in London, then Covent Garden is the best neighborhood to base yourself. Its centrally located, has a great dining and theatre scene and is within easy walking distance of numerous big attractions, such as the National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye. There are excellent public transport connections to other parts of London and its easy to take a boat along the Thames to reach other places of interest. Accommodation for all budgets, too.
  • Most Romantic Neighborhood in London: Mayfair, Marylebone, or South Kensington
    Charming honeymoon hotels, enchanting restaurants, and romantic things to do are easy to find in Mayfair, Marylebone, and South Kensington. Mayfair is Old World wealth and charm, with renowned 5-star hotels such as The Ritz and the Connaught, and some of Londons most celebrated restaurants, including La Gavroche and Corrigans Mayfair. In South Kensington, you can opt for the 5-star hotels that fringe Hyde Park, while Marylebone has a hip vibe, some excellent boutique hotels, and less formal dining.
Best hotel near Buckingham Palace in London.
Best hotel near Buckingham Palace in London.

The historic Goring is the best hotel near Buckingham Palace. Everything from the doorman to afternoon tea is classy, refined, and quintessentially British.

  • Best Neighborhood in London for a Local Vibe: Camden
    Its hard to get more local then Camden. The graffiti-tagged, gritty streets still resist gentrification and, Camden Market and the tour narrowboats on Regents Canal aside, this is still a working-class neighborhood. Stop by Barfly, Underworld, or another local pub and you might catch the next big thing in alternative rock. In the East End, Brick Lane is Banglatown; like other parts of east London, it retains a strong immigrant feel, with curry houses, Bangladeshi cafes and sari shops.
  • Best Neighborhood in London for Walking: Covent Garden/Leicester Square/Soho
    The Covent Garden/Leicester Square/Soho area is very popular with visitors on foot  its a neighborhood made up of numerous little streets lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, some of them completely pedestrian, and theres little in the way of traffic. Its very central, right in the heart of Londons West End. Youll find Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, and you can easily walk to the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and the London Dungeon (just across the river), Westminster Cathedral  theyre a 15-minute walk southwest from Leicester Square. Buckingham Palace is a 15-minute walk west of Westminster  most of it away from traffic, through St James Park. The British Museum is a 20-minute walk north of Covent Garden.
  • Safest Areas of London
    Londons safest neighborhoods tend to be the most affluent ones. Mayfair, South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea  all these are largely safe to walk around any time of day. Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are also very safe, but standard precautions apply at night. Covent Garden is generally fine but things can get lively late on weekend nights.
  • Unsafe Areas of London
    Parts of the East End, such as Hackney and Shoreditch, can be sketchy at night. While the Kings Cross area has been rejuvenated, the area around the train station is still grotty and its best not to wander around late at night. Camden is fine during the day but has a reputation for robberies and assaults outside daylight hours. The Soho and Leicester Square area can also get rough late at night and Hyde Park is best avoided after dark.

The 10 Best Neighborhoods in London for Tourists

Best 5-star place to stay in London.
Best 5-star place to stay in London.

The luxurious and magical Savoy Hotel in Covent Garden.

1. Covent Garden

The most visited part of London is at the heart of the capitals Theatreland, with shows and musicals forming a large share of the neighborhoods entertainment. Covent Gardens central feature is its cobbled piazza and restored 19th-century market, with its quirky and increasingly high-end shops and a supporting cast of buskers and other street entertainment. There are plenty of restaurant bars, cafes and pubs in the surrounding tangle of streets and several major attractions lie within easy walking distance.
  • Best Hotel: Savoy
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Strand Palace  Fielding

2. Kensington, Belgravia, & Chelsea

Bordered by the vast Hyde Park to the north and Green Park to the east, these three moneyed neighborhoods are known for their trio of superb museums, a couple of excellent contemporary art galleries and Londons most upmarket department and lifestyle stores: Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Nearby Kensington Palace is a heavyweight attraction, and if youre serious about fashion, Elizabeth Street in Belgravia is lined with powerhouse designer outlets. The dining scene includes some of Londons finest restaurants.
  • Best Hotels: Berkeley  Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Melia Kensington

3. Westminster & St James

Sandwiched between the River Thames, Mayfair, Belgravia and Soho, Westminster is Britains seat of power. Restaurants and accommodations here are few, but Londons biggest attractions are concentrated in this central part of the city, including the Houses of Parliament, three of Londons top art galleries, Big Ben, and Trafalgar Square. Theres a strong royal connection as well: Buckingham Palace in St Jamess Park is Her Majestys home and office, while Westminster Abbey is the coronation and burial place of British monarchy.
  • Best Hotels: Ritz  Taj 51 Buckingham Gate  Conrad St. James  Goring
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotel: Citadines Trafalgar Square

4. Soho & Leicester Square

Boutique hotel near London nightlife.
Boutique hotel near London nightlife.

Soho Hotel  great central location close to nightlife.

Bars, clubs, and a diverse clutch of restaurants are the hallmarks of Soho, Londons liveliest nightlife area and former red-light district. Centrally located and an easy walk away from the river and several major attractions, Soho is also the heart of Londons gay scene and one of the best parts of London for independent designers and record stores. Soho is bordered to the south by the small, bustling Chinatown and touristy Leicester Square, famous for its movie premieres.
  • Best Hotels: Soho Hotel  Ham Yard  W London
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: SoHostel  Premier Inn Leicester Square  Z Soho

5. The City

Studded with Londons iconic skyscrapers, the financial heart of the city has a 2000-year-old history. This is where the Romans originally founded Londinium, and no other part of London packs so many heavyweight attractions into so small a space as the Square Mile. Besides Roman ruins, St Pauls Cathedral, and the Tower of London, there are also the citys finest small museums in Holborn and fantastic dining in Clerkenwell. The City bustles with professionals on weekdays and is eerily quiet on weekends.
  • Best Hotels: Rookery  Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Clink78 Hostel (in Clerkenwell)  Citadines Barbican

6. Mayfair and Marylebone

Best luxury hotel in London.
Best luxury hotel in London.

The Connaught in Londons wonderful Mayfair neighborhood.

Lined with high street fashion outlets, centrally-located Oxford Street bisects two distinguished neighborhoods. To the north is fashionable Marylebone, attracting moneyed Londoners with its designer shops and upmarket eateries, while the waxworks of Madame Tussauds, just south of Regents Park, panders to crowds of visitors. South of Oxford Street, Mayfair oozes class and wealth, its grid of tree-lined streets dotted with 5-star hotels, antique shops, and the finest menswear outlets in town along its famous shopping street, Saville Row.
  • Best Hotels: Connaught  Claridges  Four Seasons at Park Lane  Athenaeum Hotel & Residences  Marylebone
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotel: Z Gloucester Place

7. East End/Spitalfields

East of The City, the East End used to have a bad reputation, with its Victorian slums, Jack the Ripper stalking the streets, and the squalor surrounding Londons docks and heavily industrialized neighborhoods. The East End retains its immigrant neighborhoods and lively ethnic vibe. Must-visits include Spitalfields Market and the excellent restaurants surrounding it, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Brick Lane street market and vintage fashion shops, the designer shops of Shoreditch, and Hoxtons frenetic nightlife.
  • Best Hotels: Batty Langleys  Redchurch Townhouse
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Corner London City  ibis London City Shoreditch

8. The South Bank, Bankside, London Bridge, and Greenwich

Best market to stay near in London.
Best market to stay near in London.

The awesome Borough Market with the Shangri-La The Shard in the background.

The Thames is Londons lifeblood and many of the citys attractions are concentrated along the promenade that stretches along the rivers south bank in central London  from historic theatres and the countrys top contemporary art gallery to the London Eye and the Shard skyscraper. Boats along the Thames give easy access to attractions in other parts of London, including Greenwich, further east  a UNESCO World Heritage collection of museums. Dining includes some standout street food and Londons loftiest restaurants.
  • Best Hotels: Shangri-La The Shard  Sea Containers
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Marriott County Hall  ibis Blackfriars  Novotel London Bridge

9. Camden Town & Primrose Hill

Grungy and rough around the edges, Camden Town nestles in the northeast reaches of Regents Park, near London Zoo. Its centered on the sprawling Camden Market  four adjoining markets selling anything from vintage clothing and records to art and gourmet street food. The birthplace of British rock music, Camden has a young, studenty vibe, numerous live music venues, and lively pubs, while Primrose Hill, just to the west, is a celeb hangout with artisan coffee shops, gastropubs and chic stores.
  • Best Hotel: York & Albany
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotel: Holiday Inn Camden Lock

10. Bloomsbury, Kings Cross, & Fitzrovia

London hotel near train station.
London hotel near train station.

The St. Pancras Renaissance hotel.

The bookish and offbeat neighborhoods of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are just north of Oxford Street. Bloomsbury is centered around the British Museum  the UKs best  which is surrounded by a buzzy grid of streets filled with cafes and restaurants. Just west of Bloomsbury is trendy Fitzrovia  short on sights but with lively pubs and bars frequented by young professionals. To the north is the regenerated Kings Cross, with the international rail hub of St Pancras, some excellent street food and the British Library.
  • Best Hotels: Mandrake  St. Pancras Renaissance  Montague On The Gardens
  • Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Generator  Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street

Read More

  • London Travel Guide
  • Best Hotels in London
  • Best Hotels in London for Families
  • Best London Boutique Hotels
  • Best London Budget Hotels
  • London Choice Hotels
  • London Hotels with Pools
  • London Airport Hotels & Transportation
  • Gatwick Airport Hotels
  • Heathrow Airport Hotels
  • London Hotel Map
  • Best Things to Do in London
  • Best Time to Visit London
  • London with Kids
  • Best Restaurants in London
  • Best Bars & Pubs in London
  • Best Shops & Markets
  • London to Paris by Eurostar
  • Bath Travel Guide
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  • Bath  Family Hotels
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  • Ireland Travel Guide
  • Ireland  Best Dublin Hotels
  • Ireland  Best Dublin Family Hotels
  • Ireland  Best Dublin Boutique Hotels
  • Ireland  Where to Stay in Dublin
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Top Travel Sites for London  My Recommendations

Planning hotels, tickets, and tours in London.
Planning hotels, tickets, and tours in London.

Best For Flights: Kayak.com  Skyscanner  Momondo

Kayak is the easiest to use. Skyscanner finds the cheapest rates. Momondo is the best for first and business class tickets.

Best For Renting A Car: Rentalcars.com

Great prices from all the biggest rental companies. Easy to use, safe, and reliable.

Best For Hotels: Booking.com

Awesome rates and great for vacation planning. All price ranges. Luxury hotels, 5-star boutiques, cheap hostels, house and apartment rentals.

Best For Tours: GetYourGuide.com

My favorite for booking tours and private tour guides.

Best for Travel Insurance: InsureMyTrip

Compare costs from over 30 insurance providers.

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