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Want to Know Where to Stay in London? We’re Here to Help!

Wondering where to stay in London? You’re not alone! Whether you’re in London for one night, four nights, or the weekend, finding the right place for you to stay is so important. The UK’s capital city is massive, spread out, and full of neighbourhoods that have their own vibes and unique charm. The trick is figuring out which ones will be a great “base” for you when you visit London.

We love London – Eric got the chance to explore the city quite frequently when he lived in Edinburgh for school. Over the years, he has been back to visit friends who live in the city. Lisa has been, too – but funny enough we have never visited together! We plan on changing that soon!

If it’s your first time in London, you’ll want to stay close to all the action. The best places to stay in London for walking around are definitely the more central areas. Luckily, you can stay fairly central on a budget!

London has luxury but it can also be an affordable city for couples, families with kids, and even backpackers! So, let’s check out some of the best areas to stay in London. We’ll walk you through the main ones and provide examples of places to stay in each.

Also, if you are planning a bigger UK/Europe trip, you should check out some of our other posts:

Where To Stay in London – Accommodations Types

Like most big cities, London has lots of accommodation options to suit basically all styles. If you want a hotel, you can find some great ones. If you want a hostel, there are quite a few as well.

If you want your own space for a family or to cook your own meals, apartments are an option, too. If you’re a couple looking for a cute and cozy bed and breakfast, London even has those! Below are these accommodation options with a little more detail.

Hotels in London

As the largest city in the United Kingdom, there are lots of hotels in London. As you can imagine, hotels come in all shapes and sizes – from the budget ones to mid-range ones to the very, very expensive ones. The hotel styles also differ greatly – from charming and historic to modern and design hotels.

Basically, there’s a hotel to suit your needs in an area you like somewhere in London. If you want to find a hotel in London, check here to get started! You can also keep reading to learn about specific hotels in specific areas around London!

Hostels in London

If you are on a budget or backpacking through, London has a TON of hostels to choose from dotted all over the city. There are boutique hostels in London, fun/party hostels, peaceful hostels, and some that are done by the big hostel chains like Meininger or Wombats. London is such a crossroads for travellers that it honestly caters to loads of different travel styles and budgets.

Eric stayed at Clink78 Hostel with friends and really liked it. It’s a popular choice up by King’s Cross Train/Tube Station. This makes it easy to get around! The location is good, the staff was friendly, and the room was nice for a dorm room. You can check here for great hostels in London if you are looking for that kind of accommodation.

Apartments and Airbnbs in London

Another accommodation option that you might consider is renting an apartment or a room in an Airbnb. London is a huge city and so of course there are a variety of apartments available to stay in. There are a few pros to staying in an apartment: getting your own space, having a kitchen to cook a few meals (to reduce your expenses if you are on a budget), or if you are travelling with family and need a space that works well for the group.

Apartments can be found in most central areas – with many being available in the more residential areas. These areas tend to be quieter with shops around and still well connected to the centre via walking, taxi, or the Tube! In any case, if you are staying for a few days and want your own space to cook and relax, you can check here for apartments in London.

(We are currently trying to avoid staying in apartments in big cities due to the debate over housing shortages in some major cities and the role holiday apartments play in that. If you want an apartment, try renting an extra room in an inhabited apartment – we have done that a few times before.)

Bed and Breakfasts in London

A nice touch about London is that you can actually find classic bed and breakfasts to stay a night or two. Bed and breakfasts have their unique feel that can make for a more “homey” experience while on the road.

Most of the Bed and breakfasts are in old houses in quieter, more residential neighbourhoods like The Village. You can check here for bed and breakfasts in London!

Where To Stay in London – Neighbourhood Map/Legend

The map below covers a pretty good portion of central London. The General Rule of Thumb: Hotels closer to top attractions are generally more expensive BUT you can still find deals in many areas close to/around the city centre. Basically, Central London covers all travel budgets and styles – from upscale areas with shopping to museums and artsy, hipster areas.

The map above shows the highlighted areas we recommend staying in. You can see the legend on the map or read about the coloured icons below to see which areas are where. We will dive into each of these areas further below so you can learn more about them:

  • Westminster (Blue Tower)
  • Pimlico (Navy Blue Art Palette)
  • South Bank/Southwark (Orange Binoculars + Utensils)
  • Kensington (Purple Shopping Bag)
  • Knightsbridge (Black Martini Glass)
  • Marylebone (Pink House)
  • Mayfair (Green Dollar Sign)

Where To Stay in London – Areas to Avoid

London is generally a safe and pleasant city. But with any major metropolitan centre, you have to watch what’s going on around you. Pickpocketing can happen anywhere – especially in touristy areas or tightly packed areas like Soho or on the Tube. If you wander around Central London at night you will (very likely) be fine.

That said, people argue all the time that parts of East London or the Camden Market area are more dangerous – while others might tell you the exact opposite. If you are new to the city and plan on checking out the most popular areas you will most likely not venture into anywhere that’s overly unsafe!

Where To Stay in London – Featured Areas & Accommodations

In the section below, we’ll cover each of the London areas/neighbourhoods to stay in. We give you a brief description of the neighbourhood, what you can see and do there, and then provide top accommodation choices. As mentioned, the neighbourhoods correspond with the map above.

Just to be clear, these are NOT all the areas where you can stay in London. This is simply a selection of the best areas which are geographically close to the attractions while also offering some peace and quiet since some of them are not right in the centre. As we will outline, these areas all cater to slightly different interests and budgets!

Westminster

parliament building with river from above where to stay in london
There’s Westminster – with Pimlico up the river in this photo.

Oh, Westminster. You popular spot, you. It’s funny – everyone flocks to Westminster for the attractions but it’s actually not that great to stay in! The area itself is definitely central in location – but it’s overall more of a governmental/administrative area tucked between Victoria Station, some large (important) parks, and the River Thames.

Of course, the area is loaded with things to do and see like the Palace of Westminster (Parliament) with iconic Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Mall, the Tate Britain, Trafalgar Square at the north end, and much more. Because of this, it can be quite touristy during the day but quieter in the evenings.

It’s also easy to hop on the Tube from Victoria Station, St. James’s Park, or Westminster – depending on where you stay! You can search for accommodation in the Westminster area here. Below are two featured properties for you to check out!

St. James’ Court – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Charming Historic Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Upscale
  • Location: In the heart of Westminster, close to St. James’s Park Tube Station
  • Featured Amenities: Friendly staff, spa, fine dining onsite

41 – Check Now

  • Style: Chic and Boutique Luxury Hotel + Apartments
  • Price Range: Upscale
  • Location: Basically right behind Buckingham Palace
  • Featured Amenities: Fine dining onsite, 24/7 butler service, all-day free snacks

Pimlico

Pimlico is a small area just south of Westminster (it’s technically in Westminster but don’t worry about that). The area is more upscale and residential as it hugs the River Thames. This makes it a great place to quietly retreat to each evening. There isn’t a ton going on in Pimlico – but you can walk the riverbank path.

Staying in Pimlico means that you are very close to London Victoria Train Station, Pimlico Tube Station, gardens, the Tate Britain, pubs/restaurants on Vauxhall Bridge Road, and you can walk to all the top attractions in Westminster. You can search for accommodation in the Pimlico area here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

Best Western Victoria Palace – Check Now

  • Style: Modern and Cozy Hotel in Townhouse
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: Near London Victoria Station, close to things on Vauxhall Bridge Road
  • Featured Amenities: Simple rooms, nice staff, great location

Georgian House Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Stylish and Georgian Townhouse Hotel + Apartments
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Quiet residential area close to gardens
  • Featured Amenities: Friendly staff, apartments with kitchenettes, continental English breakfast

Park Plaza Victoria London – Check Now

  • Style: Classic and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Upscale
  • Location: Right near Victoria Train Station – not too loud, though
  • Featured Amenities: Large rooms, sauna/fitness centre, restaurant and bar onsite

South Bank/Southwark

ferris wheel on river bank where to stay london south bank
Just to the right of this photo is the Park Plaza Hotel – so close to Big Ben and the London Eye!

Another great area to stay in the South Bank of the River Thames. This area is – conveniently – known as South Bank, with the area to the east (closer to where Tower Bridge crosses the Thames) is called Southwark. To be clear, this is a huge area but we included it as one since there are numerous options for accommodations here.

There are also massive transport hubs here (London Bridge Station and Waterloo Station) that make both getting into the city by train and getting around the city using the Tube quite easy.

The area is popular given that you can walk the river the whole distance with great views of the city. There is also plenty to do and see in the whole South Bank area – like The Shard, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The London Eye, Borough Market, The Tate Modern, and much, much more! You can search for accommodation in the South Bank / Southwark area here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London Check Now

  • Style: Clean and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: Near the base of Westminster Bridge
  • Featured Amenities: views of the city, indoor pool, onsite restaurants, cafe, and bar

Sea Containers (Formerly Mondrian London) – Check Now

  • Style: Colourful Modern Design Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: On the South Bank of the Thames near the Tate Modern
  • Featured Amenities: River views, spa, restaurant, rooftop lounge
glass building with church tower in london the shard where to stay
Want to stay up there? You’d get incredible views in the Shard at the Shangri-La!

Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard London Check Now

  • Style: Modern and Sophisticated Hotel
  • Price Range: Luxury
  • Location: In the Shard from the 34th to 52nd floors!
  • Featured Amenities: Stunning views, upscale bars and restaurants, infinity pool.

Kensington

cobble stone streets in kensington where to stay in london
Kensington is an upscale area with plenty to check out! // Photo: Unsplash

Kensington is actually a large area with smaller defined areas (South Kensington, for example). Located at the west end of Hyde Park, Kensington borders some nice areas like Notting Hill. Often, the area is grouped in with nearby Chelsea. Kensington itself is very upscale with beautiful older buildings throughout.

The area surrounds Kensington High Street – known for upscale shopping and places to eat and drink. As for things to do, you can check out the Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Holland Park, more museums, and of course – Kensington Palace! 

It’s also great because there are Tube stops throughout meaning you can explore the rest of the city and get home easily at the day’s end. You can search for accommodation in Kensington here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

Park International Hotel  – Check Now

  • Style: Victorian-era Townhouse Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget/Mid-Range (for Kensington)
  • Location: In South Kensington right on Cromwell Road
  • Featured Amenities: Free breakfast, cozy modern rooms, onsite bar/restaurant

Royal Garden Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Chic and Sophisticated Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Overlooking Hyde Park very close to Kensington Palace
  • Featured Amenities: Chinese restaurant onsite, lounge with terrace, cozy bar

Baglioni Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant and Classy Hotel
  • Price Range: Luxury
  • Location: Also overlooking Hyde Park
  • Featured Amenities: Some rooms with butler, dining and spa onsite

Knightsbridge

red building corner with london underground sign where to stay in london knightsbridge harrods
Stay in Knightsbridge for access to the famous department store – Harrods! // Photo: Unsplash

Known for shopping and nightlife, Knightsbridge is a small but lively area tucked away under Hyde Park and between both Kensington and Westminster. Connected to the rest of the city by Knightsbridge Tube Station, the area is a shopper’s dream.

One of the most famous attractions in the area is Harrods – the famous department store selling basically everything you can think of! You will also find the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others in the area.

Because of the shoppers, there are loads of places to eat and go for drinks – and there are also plenty of hotels to choose from. The area is considered more upscale so there are lots of great accommodation options with interesting history and architecture. You can search for accommodation in Knightsbridge here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

The Beaufort – Check Now

  • Style: Cozy and Elegant Townhouse Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: On a quieter residential street very close to Harrods
  • Featured Amenities: Bar onsite, complimentary cream tea

The Rembrandt – Check Now

  • Style: Colourful and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Across the street from the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Featured Amenities: Indoor pool, full English breakfast, cocktail bar onsite

The Egerton House – Check Now

  • Style: Historic and English Townhouse Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Upscale
  • Location: Between Harrods and the Victoria and Albert Museum on the edge of Knightsbridge
  • Featured Amenities: Lounge with bar and breakfast, garden onsite

Marylebone

With a more residential vibe but still an upscale and lively, Marylebone is a larger defined area north of the centre with a southern border of Oxford Street  – popular with shoppers looking for Selfridges. The area is centered (more or less) around Marylebone High Street, where you’ll find restaurants and boutique stores.

The area is home to the Baker Street Tube Station and known for top attractions like The Sherlock Holmes Museum and others like The Wallace Collection and, of course, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

It is well connected to the Tube but it’s also easy to walk to other areas close by like Soho, Mayfair, and beyond. You can search for accommodation in the Marylebone area here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London – Check Now

  • Style: Contemporary and Boutique Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Up near The Sherlock Holmes Museum, close to Baker Street Station
  • Featured Amenities: Family-friendly suites, British onsite restaurant, bar/lounge

The Marylebone Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Modern and Stylish Hotel
  • Price Range: Upscale
  • Location: In the heart of Marylebone close to Marylebone High Street
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurant/bar, indoor pool, cafe

The Langham London – Check Now

  • Style: Historic and Elegant Hotel
  • Price Range: Luxury
  • Location: Close to Oxford Circle Underground Station
  • Featured Amenities: French onsite dining, pub, art deco lounge, indoor pool

Mayfair

old building with patio and green bushes in london mayfair where to stay
Mayfair is a beautiful, upscale area close to all the action. // Photo: Unsplash

If you are looking for one of the poshest areas in the whole city, Mayfair is for you. Located north of Westminster and the top attractions but tucked away from the best shopping areas of Oxford Street and Regent Street with Hyde Park to the west, Mayfair is a small haven-like area in the heart of the city.

While there aren’t a ton of attractions in Mayfair, the area is home to upscale shopping, hotels, and restaurants. Burlington Arcade and Shepherd Market are two such areas of high-end shops and pubs in Mayfair, while green spaces like Grosvenor Square mark an unofficial centre of the area.

New Bond Street and the pedestrian-only S Moulton Street are also for shopping and lead to Bond Street Tube Station. You can search for accommodation in the Mayfair area here. Below are three featured properties for you to check out!

Sheraton Grand London Park Lane – Check Now

  • Style: Classy and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range/Upscale
  • Location: Overlooking Green Park (south end of Mayfair) close to main attractions
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite Italian restaurant, art deco lounge, views of Green Park

Washington Mayfair Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: Boutique and Stylish Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: South end of Mayfair, close to Green Park between Burlington Arcade and Shepherd Market
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurant and bar, exercise room, good breakfast

Claridge’s – Check Now

  • Style: Elegant, Historic, and Iconic Hotel
  • Price Range: Luxury
  • Location: In the heart of Mayfair, close to Bond Street Station
  • Featured Amenities: Valet parking, 1930s cocktail lounge, restaurant, lounge with afternoon tea

And there you have it – a rundown of where to stay in London! We think these are some of the best areas (that we have loved exploring ourselves) and we’re confident that you’ll find a hotel, hostel, or apartment that works great for you! Let us know where you end up – we’d love to hear about your experience of staying in London!

As always, Happy London Waddlin’,
-L&E

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Where to stay in London

Author

Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content writer with over 45 countries under his belt. From volunteering in Australia to studying his Master's degree abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, his travel experiences have taken him across the globe. Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has also contributed to companies in the travel space such as Matador, GoOverseas, and Spot.

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