When planning a trip to London, you must think about what you’re going to visit such as the Tower of London, the London Eye, or Madame Tussauds. These are just a few of London’s unmissable attractions but you also need to think about where you’ll stay in London.

From Oxford Street to Portobello Road, the British and English capital is full of wonderful areas with tourist attractions, pubs, and shopping centres, but it’s not always clear which part of London is the best place to stay to see everything.

In this article, we’re looking at different parts of London so you can choose which is best for your trip to the capital. Your holiday in London will be perfect if you choose the right place to stay.

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Central London: Soho and Covent Garden

The areas of Soho, Covent Garden, and Piccadilly make up the central part of London. They’re bright, full of storefronts and entertainment both night and day, and the perfect destinations for those interested in tourism.

Where is Piccadilly Circus?
While quite famous, Piccadilly Circus is technically the junction. (Source: christoph_s)

These cosmopolitan neighbourhoods include places like Hazlitt's, a boutique luxury hotel. There is cheaper accommodation available, but generally, you’ll have to pay a premium to stay in the heart of London.

You could start by heading to Covent Garden Market, walk down pretty little streets and peruse boutique shops, head to Chinatown for some food, visit the National Gallery, and finish the day off with some drinks in the bars in Soho.

You can also visit the famous Trafalgar Square! Take in a show at one of the many famous theatres around Leicester Square. You can choose from the Piccadilly Theatre, the Prince Edward Theatre, or even the Palace Theatre.

If you’re visiting London and staying in Covent Garden or Soho, you won’t be disappointed by the huge number of activities and places to explore. The accommodation won’t be cheap, but if you can afford it, we highly recommend it.

Find out more about visiting London.

Chelsea and Kensington

Chelsea and Kensington are two areas of London just to the south of Hyde Park. They are the epitome of upmarket London and full of high-end hotels. This is where you can enjoy the finer things that English life has to offer.

You can visit:

  • The Saatchi Gallery
  • The Royal Albert Hall
  • The Natural History Museum
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The National Army Museum
  • Kensington Palace

If you head a bit to the east, you’ll find Harrods, the famous upmarket department store. You’ll need a bit of money to stay in Chelsea or Kensington as some of the prices are eye-watering.

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Camden Town

In the north of London, Camden Town is the promised land for punks, students, and alternatives. It’s the perfect place to shop, enjoy shows, and rub elbows with London’s countercultures.

What is there in Camden Town?
Camden Town is the alternative side of London and well worth visiting. (Source: VIVIANE6276)

The Camden Town market is the biggest draw for tourists in the area and you’ll find plenty of artisan clothes and products. You can enjoy the Inverness Market, Camden Buck Street Market, or even Cyberdog.

Accommodation in Camden isn’t that expensive if you find the right places and it’s a great part of the city for tattoos, piercings, vintage t-shirts, and vinyl records.

On the other hand, if you want a quiet holiday in London, Camden Town isn’t the place for it. The nights are as lively as the days and 100,000 visitors pass through Camden Town every day. Whether you’re staying there or not, you should definitely visit!

Find out how long you should spend in London.

Mayfair: The Place to Stay in London

Mayfair, much like Marylebone, is an upmarket neighbourhood in London. You can find prestigious homes, luxury hotels, and plenty of the city’s embassies. Just to the west of Soho, Mayfair is the perfect place outside just outside of the city centre.

Did you know that John Lennon and Ringo Starr lived in Mayfair?

Of course, Mayfair comes at a cost and as you’re next to 3 large parks and the centre of London. However, hotels are rather expensive and you'll begin to understand the reason why Mayfair is the most expensive property on the British version of Monopoly!

Saint Pancras and Bloomsbury

For those arriving in London from mainland Europe by train, you’ll arrive at the Saint Pancras station, the station alongside the famed King’s Cross Station where Harry Potter ran through a wall to arrive at the famed Platform 9 3/4 to catch the train to Hogwarts. Even if you don’t have the time to do the same, you can visit or stay in the area.

Saint Pancras is home to plenty of cheap hotels and is in a safer area than most train stations around Europe. It’s not far from the British Museum and the Grant Museum of Zoology. The accommodation here is quite affordable.

The Fitzrovia area is a shade more expensive but also somewhere worth considering.

Westminster: The Heart of the Capital

Staying in London is even better when you’ve got the Royal Family for neighbours. The Westminster and Victoria areas to the south of Soho make up the historic heart of the city.

What is there to do in Westminster?
Westminster is home to most of London's famous monuments. (Source: skeeze)

You can visit:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster Abbey
  • The banks of the Thames river
  • Big Ben
  • The Palace of Westminster
  • Saint James’s Park
  • The Tate Britain

If you head a bit to the north, you can visit Hyde Park, the largest park in central London. It covers 140 hectares and is the perfect spot for a walk. In Westminster, you can also watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

This area is full of history and cultural, but if you want to stay there, you’ll have to pay a good amount. The cost of accommodation here is rather high, but you will be a stone’s throw from some unmissable sights.

If you’re looking for nightlife, though, the place is a ghost town after dark. You can always head to Soho on an evening as it’s not very far on foot or the Tube.

South Bank

The South Bank area of London is to the south of Westminster on the other side of the River Thames. This is the perfect place to stay as there’s a lot of affordable accommodation such as hotels and youth hostels.

It’s a charming area with places to walk and things to do. Here you’ll find the Tate Modern, a contemporary art gallery in a former power station.

On the banks of the river, you can also take a ride on the London Eye, the big wheel overlooking the river, explore the London Dungeon, or visit the Sea Life London aquarium. There’s also a food market where you can relax. In winter, there’s also the Christmas market.

Staying in South Bank isn’t expensive and a lot of the accommodation is modern and near tourist attractions. However, the area might be a little too touristy for some.

Find out more about the cost of visiting London.

Notting Hill

There are few areas of London with more charm than Notting Hill. With its colourful houses and kitschy shops, you can spend hours looking around the area.

What is there to see at Notting Hill?
While most famous for the carnival, Notting Hill also has a popular market. (Source: anizzz32)

During the week, the area is quiet. On the weekend, however, the Portobello market is full of antiques, books, and musical instruments. If you’re spending the weekend in London, staying in Notting Hill could be a good idea.

Accommodation can be found at a reasonable price. You can enjoy the retro ambience of Notting Hill in every one of its streets. However, it might be too boring during the week. The main issue is that this area might be a little too far from most of the main tourist attractions and you don't want to spend your entire trip going to and from the area in the Tube.

Generally, when it comes to finding the best area to look for a hotel in the city, it's really down to what you like, your budget, the amount of time you'll spend in London, and where you need your hotel to be located to access the attractions and places you want to visit.

If you want luxury rooms and world-famous restaurants, then it'll cost you. If you're just looking for rooms to leave your stuff while you're off seeing the entire city, then something cheaper may suffice.

Now you should know a little bit more about London and where to stay when you visit. To learn even more about London or plan a trip there, consider reading our other articles.

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.