The capital city of London is a vast sprawling metropolis that consists of 32 different boroughs and makes up over 1,500 kilometres of urban landmass.
The city consists of thousands of different streets, districts and communities which are all massively unique in style and culture – and then combine this with its massive underground subway network known as the Tube. For the unaware, it can be a little difficult to decide where the best place is to stay in London.
This is why we have provided a breakdown of the 10 best neighbourhoods and hotels in London which will help you to decide the best place to stay for your London trip!
The City of London
The confusingly named City of London is the ceremonial borough which contains the historic centre as well as the central business district of the Greater London Area.
This borough was the majority of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD until the late Middle Ages and this area is now only a small part of the metropolis of London, though it is still considered the centre and historic capital of England.
The area contains the impressive Saint Pauls cathedral, the Bank of England and the Museum of London so is an absolute must-visit borough for your trip and is filled with pubs, restaurants and cafes which cater for all the business workers based here and the tourist wishing to see the centre of this ancient capital.
The city of London’s main tube station is called Monument and will bring you right out in the centre of the area next to its namesake the Monument to the Fire of London, meaning you can easily reach the heart of this urban centre in moments!
The 5-star Montcalm Royal London House is one of the best hotels in the City of London and provides chic rooms as well as a rooftop bar and indoor pool.
The South Bank is a centrally located Borough and is just across the Thames from the City of London borough. This neighbourhood is great for easy access to London’s main sights and attractions such as the London Eye, the Shard or the Tate Modern Art Museum.
The area is a central part of the Greater London skyline and has hundreds of restaurants and tourist attractions while also being a perfect location to stroll along the River Thames and bask in the shining London skyline.
A great South Bank borough hidden gem is Flat Iron Square which runs one of London’s many outdoor food markets and it is a great place to try anything from Argentinian steak to authentic Nigerian cuisines.
The areas main tube station is Waterloo station and is served by 5 of Greater London’s main tube lines making it easy to reach and a great stopping point for the vast majority of the southern side of central London.
One of the best hotels in South Bank is the Bankside Hotel which provides a fantastic view of Blackfriars Bridge and is a contemporary style hotel equipped with a Bar & Kitchen, a library and an outside terrace.
Covent Garden is a district in London located on the western fringes of the city centre and is a symbol of this great city.
The area was a former fruit and vegetable market located in the central square which has been redesigned as a popular shopping and tourist site built around the Royal Opera House.
The central square of Covent Garden hosts a plethora of street performers as well as the majority of the area’s elegant buildings, theatres and entertainment facilities which are located in this Borough, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and the London Transport Museum.
Make sure to visit the Bageriet bakery, a Nordic bakery & cafe with traditional Swedish cakes and coffee as it is a perfect place to watch the world flow by.
A great centrally located hotel in Covent Garden is the Waldorf Hilton which is based in an original 1908 building and includes a grand restaurant, 2 elegant bars and an indoor pool.
The West End
The Main Commercial and Entertainment district of London the West End is west of the City of London and north of the River Thames.
This area is a massive part of London’s culture and it contains many of the city’s major tourist attractions and entertainment venues including the West End theatre district where some of the world’s best plays are performed.
The West End is a culture lovers paradise and contains 39 theatres, the iconic Piccadilly Circus, the world-class National Art Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. There is a huge variety of Michelin starred restaurants, tea rooms and street markets meaning you will never lack for things to do while in London’s classy West End district.
Make sure to visit London’s historic Chinatown in the West End which is decorated with vibrant Chinese architecture and contains a huge variety of Chinese restaurants, souvenir shops and cafes.
There are a variety of tube stations located around the West End but the main stop that most use is the Oxford Circus station which will bring you out onto Regent Street.
There are a variety of top-end hotels in the West End such as the luxurious Café Royal or the modern and vibrant Marriott W London hotel which is just steps away from London’s bustling theatre district.
One of London’s most infamous neighbourhoods, Soho is located in the centre of the West End and is a hotbed for the music, fashion and nightlife industry in London.
Soho is known for its lively vibe and the streets and bars of this area are regularly filled to bursting every night. It is also the centre of London’s LGBT+ community and has been since the 1960s so you can find a host of gay bars located around Old Compton Street where the community was born.
However, this neighbourhood isn’t just for night owls as it is filled with a great mix of London sights such as the trendy Carnaby shopping street, the iconic Shaftesbury avenue and the quaint Soho square park which hosts open-air concerts throughout the summer months.
A great gem for the Soho London neighbourhood is Ham yard which is a tiny lane that is located off Shaftesbury avenue and contains a variety of Bistros as well as a monument to the world war 2 bomb which landed directly on the lane.
The two best tube stations in the Soho area are Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus which are located just a few minutes walk from Soho and have excellent transport links throughout London.
A great hotel in the Soho area is the Mandrake boutique hotel which provides luxury accommodation as well as access to two bars and a greenhouse terrace and you can book a room at this fantastic hotel here.
This London Neighbourhood is aptly named due to its location to the west of the city of London borough and it contains some of the city’s most historic sites, beautiful parks and a fascinating mix of restaurants, guild halls and members clubs.
Westminster is the heart of the United Kingdom’s system of governance and contains a variety of sites dedicated to this including Parliament square, the giant Beg Ben clock tower and the Palace of Westminster which is the UK’s House of Parliament.
Westminster also contains the royal residence of Buckingham Palace and is a must-see attraction for any visitor to London.
A hidden gem rarely seen in Westminster is the Churchill war rooms where you can visit an underground bunker and learn about the history of the United Kingdom’s fight during the Second World War.
As the heart of UK politics, this area has a range of tube stations and Westminster Underground Station is the main station which is served by the Jubilee Line, the Circle Line and the District Line meaning it is easy to reach from anywhere in London. You can also go to St James’s Park and Embankment Underground stations which are nearby and both connect to the Circle line and District lines.
The Corinthia Hotel is a great centrally located hotel in Westminster with some of the best views in all of London as well as two bars and restaurants that offer premium dining experiences. You can book a room at this elegant hotel here!
The smallest of all of London’s neighbourhoods the royal borough of Kensington is located immediately west of the borough of Westminster.
This borough is one of the most affluent in all of England and contains a huge number of University campuses and museums including the free to enter Natural History Museum, the art-based Victoria and Albert Museum and the interactive British Science Museum.
The area isn’t just an education powerhouse however as Harrods is found in the neighbourhood and is one of the largest department stores in the world, providing shopping lovers with seven floors to browse!
The tube stations of South, West and High Street Kensington stations all provide easy access to the borough and it is one of the best-connected districts in the entire Greater London area, making it by far one of the easiest to get around!
The Park Grand Hotel in Kensington provides a modern and relaxed accommodation experience with a good central location near Earls Court station as well as coming equipped with a bar, restaurant and fitness centre.
Camden Town is one of the more famous London neighbourhoods and is recognised globally for its unique open-air market which has over 300 stalls selling vintage clothing, unique street food and a host of crafts and other objects.
However, this London neighbourhood offers a wide range of other activities for tourists and travellers to do and the beautiful Regent Park is located nearby. Regents Park contains the London Zoo which is a perfect day out for families or the Regent Open Air theatre which host plays and concerts throughout the summer months.
Make sure to visit nearby Primrose hill where you can enjoy the best view of the entire capital skyline and enjoy a picnic in one of the quietest parks in the whole of London.
Camden is located five miles north of the London city centre but is still easy to get to by just taking the Northern line which will bring you to the Camden Town tube station located directly on the neighbourhood’s high street and from there it is a five-minute walk to the canal side market.
One of the best hotels in London is located in Camden, The Standard Hotel is a modern building set in the old Camden Town Hall Annex and comes fully equipped with comfortable rooms, a greenhouse terrace bar and a casual dining restaurant. You can book your room at the Standard here.
A well-known and widely respected London Neighbourhood, Notting Hill is a vibrant and bohemian style area that has a host of cafes lining its main pavilion on Portobello Road which also holds an outdoor market and there is an upmarket shopping district near Westbourne Grove.
The area is well known for its hosting of the Afro-Caribbean Carnival every August and the area comes to life with street stalls and live music which attracts nearly 1.5 million people every year, making it one of the largest street markets in Europe!
Notting Hill also contains the Electric Cinema, which is an updated 1910 cinema with a bar, acting as a community centre for much of the neighbourhood and attracting hundreds of visitors every day!
The main tube station for the area is Notting Hill Gate which is serviced by both the Circle and Districts line, meaning like much of London it is easy to reach in a short amount of time.
Far off the beaten path for tourists, Islington is a London neighbourhood hidden gem as its leafy streets are dotted with antique dealers, unique pubs with backroom theatre spaces, beer gardens and dozens of pedestrian paths overlooking Regent’s Canal that make for a perfect summer stroll location.
In Islington, you can find the London Canal Museum which teaches you all about how this vast network of waterways helped build London into the global powerhouse it is. You can also view a variety of parks, churches and the charterhouse monastery museum in this London neighbourhood without the crush of thousands of tourists which is felt more keenly in other central London Boroughs.
The area’s main tube station is Highbury and Islington station, which is served by the Circle and Northern lines, meaning you can reach the centre from this relaxed London neighbourhood in just twenty minutes!
A great hotel in Islington for a more relaxed London stay is the DoubleTree by Hilton which provides a great central London location as well as access to a bar, restaurant and fitness centre. You can book a room at the DoubleTree here.
No matter where you stay in London you will always have an endless list of things to do and every neighbourhood provides a new day’s adventure, each with its own unique sights and culture, meaning no matter what your London trip is guaranteed to be an unforgettable city escape!