Where to Stay in London → 10 Best Areas for Tourists

westminster bridge

If you’re planning a trip to London, you might be wondering where to stay in London, am I right? If the answer is yes, I’m here to help!

It’s challenging to find the perfect hotel and area in this capital, but you’ll see that you’ll know for sure which one to pick after reading my post. The neighborhood guide to London includes the perfect hotels for every budget! 

I visited London numerous times and I did all the exploration needed to understand which areas would be the best for booking a hotel. From Covent Garden to Camden, Soho to the West End, I’ve got all the important neighborhoods covered near Big Ben, the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, and all the London attractions!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

If you’re in a hurry…

Don’t have too much time to read the whole post? Here’s a short list of the best hotels, all located in Covent Garden the top area to stay in London if you’re visiting for the first time:

Here is a map of the safest areas to stay in London for tourists where you can clearly see all the areas I’ll be talking about in this post:

Map of best places to stay in London 1
Covent Garden
for first-timers
Victoria & Westminster
for culture
City of London
an urban atmosphere
South Bank & Southwark
for sightseeing
King’s Cross & Camden Town
for families
Brixton & Peckham 
for budget travelers
Shoreditch & Spitalfields
for artsy people
Kensington & Chelsea
for luxury

1. Covent Garden – where to stay in London for first-timers

Covent Garden

Covent Garden, located East of Soho, is very often recommended as being the best area where to stay in London for first time. Why? Well, it’s easy – because Covent Garden caters to all types of travelers and interests.

You’ll find tons of amazing restaurants here, as well as markets, pubs, shops, charming cobblestone streets, and more. It’s also very conveniently located and connected to the rest of the city, so getting around will be a breeze.

The attractions in Covent Garden will entertain every type of traveler! Whether you prefer to visit museums or maybe to walk around the streets and enjoy the atmosphere, you’ll be able to do that and more in this neighborhood in London!

What about hotels? You can find something for all types of pockets here! I have some great recommendations for you below but make sure to book in advance as Covent Garden is super popular and hotels here can book out 6 months in advance!

5 star hotels in central london

Luxury (US$220 and up):

Covent Garden Hotel – Are you looking for beautiful, luxurious places to stay in London close to all the popular attractions including Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, and the Royal Opera House? This one’s for you! It has an on-site gym and 5 star service!

Middle-priced (US$180 – US$220):

Z Hotel Covent Garden – If you’re on the search for great mid-range hotels in London’s West End that have an amazing, central location, look no further! This accommodation is only a short walk away from Oxford Street, countless bars, restaurants, and major landmarks!

Budget (up to US$180):

Z Hotel Holborn – Here’s my recommendation for people traveling on a budget to London’s West End who want to be close to all the important attractions including Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, and the British Museum. During your stay, you’ll benefit from free Wi-Fi and clean, comfortable rooms.

2. Victoria & Westminster – best places for culture & museums

buckingham palace

I thought it would be a great idea to put these 2 areas together as they’re located super close to one another and both offer the same sort of attractions. Victoria and Westminister are perfect for those of you who want to learn more about the city’s culture.

In these areas, you’ll find the best museums, restaurants, and places to visit such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Also if you stay here you’ll have great travel connections from Victoria Station and plenty of tube stations that can access 3 different subway lines!

Westminister is the “political center” of London with a very rich history behind it and the perfect place for people who are interested in finding out cool facts about the city. Trafalgar Square is also located here, and a handful of cafes and pubs.

Choosing to stay here means you’ll be steps away from the Houses of Parliament (also known as the Palace of Westminster) and Westminster Abbey.

4 star hotels in london

Luxury (US$160 and up):

Hotel 41 – Here’s one of the best hotels in London ever! It’s located in London Victoria, walking distance to all the unmissable spots in the city including Buckingham Palace! You can expect to be fully spoiled here and receive royal treatment!

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$150):

Nox Hotel – Looking for a place that offers great value for the money and is only a short walk away from Trafalgar Square, restaurants, and bars? I have an excellent choice for you here! You will surely love it, regardless if you only spend one night here. Plus, you’ll be right in the city centre!

Budget (up to US$100):

Urbany Hostel London – Here’s one of the best, cheap hotels in London that you can find right in the city center! It’s just perfect if you want to save some money during your trip, while still being super close to Trafalgar Square. You will also have easy access to the rest of the city and you’ll be surrounded by plenty of nightlife places!

3. City of London – for the urban atmosphere

where to stay in London

I know, I know, it might be confusing, but there’s an area called “City of London” which doesn’t define the entire city, but just a small area in the city center full of big buildings! Similarly, they have “Moscow-city” in Moscow – a complex of skyscrapers, a small part of the actual city.

This is actually the very center of London and a great place full of history and interesting attractions. Some people also call it “The Square Mile” and if you choose to book your hotel here, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of amazing markets, shops, skyscrapers, restaurants, and cafes.

If you’re curious what attractions are in this neighborhood in London, I’ll just name a few: St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London, and the Tower of London.

Here is my hand-picked selection of hotels in this neighborhood!

best cheapest hotels in london

Luxury (US$190 and up):

Cheval Three Quays at The Tower of London – In case you want to be only a few minutes walk to countless popular attractions such as the Tower Bridge and River Thames, look no further than this boutique hotel! It awaits with daily breakfast, modern rooms, and a fitness room as well. The beds are super comfy, perfect for a good sleep during the night!

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$170):

Leonardo Royal London City – Here’s an excellent hotel that’s within walking distance to countless public transport options as well as important sights such as Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge. This 4-star hotel in London has a spa, a swimming pool, a cocktail lounge, and more!

Budget (up to US$60): 

Marylin Lodge –  If you’re traveling with your friends or kids, this apartment would be perfect as it has lots of space and it’s located just a short walk away from the Tower of London. The family-friendly accommodation has 2 rooms, a kitchen, and a fitness center.

4. South Bank & Southwark – where to stay for sightseeing

Where to stay in London

If you’d love to stay close to Thames river, surrounded by important sights and attractions, then South Bank is the right place for you!

Book a hotel in South Bank and Southwark if you want to be located within walking distance of some of the best things to do and see in London, including the Tate Modern museum, the London Eye, and the Shard as well. Sounds excellent, right?

There are also plenty of cafes and one of my favorite things to do here is to get a coffee, a pastry and sit on the benches near the Tate Modern museum and just soak in some of the amazing atmosphere and London vibe. Try it, and let me know if you’ve enjoyed it!

Usually, these areas are filled with tourists but still, they are 2 of the best areas to stay in London for people who like to walk for hours and admire the architecture.

Below you can find my selection of the best hotels in South Bank:

best London hotels for couples

Luxury (US$200 and up):

Sea Containers London – Are you looking for some of the best 5-star hotels in London, close to Waterloo Station? Well, you just found a great option! This one’s located a short walk away (7 minutes) from Tate Modern and it will provide all the upscale facilities you might need!

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160):

Holiday Inn Express Southwark – Here’s a great middle-priced hotel that’s walking distance to plenty of nightlife options, as well as important sights such as the London Eye and the Tower Bridge. They have an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioned rooms.

Budget (up to US$100):

The Walrus Bar and Hostel – Are you traveling on a tight budget but still want to be a short walk away from Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, and Big Ben? Hurry up and book your room here, the prices are super good! Plus, you’ll have plenty of awesome things to do in the area, regardless of whether it’s day or night.

5. Soho – best neighborhood to stay in London for nightlife

where to stay in London

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Soho before, as it’s one of the best areas to stay in London for nightlife!

If you’re interested in live music, theatres, cafes, underground clubs, unique bars where you can party until the morning comes, Soho is one of the best areas to stay in London for you!

The area is also part of the famous “West End” a district west of the City of London and north of the River Thames which is the city’s theatre district. London is famous for its cool shows like the Phantom of the Opera and Matilda. So if you’re a musical lover, I highly recommend checking whats on at the theatres here!

Why’s Soho so famous for that, you might wonder? Well, this used to be the former Red Light District of the city, but things have changed a lot since then. Soho is safe and it’s considered to be one of the best places to have a beer with your friends.

It’s such a thrill walking around the streets, especially after people get off work. That’s when the pubs get filled and everyone is suddenly supper happy and you hear them having a great time, laughing, drinking and dancing!

Unfortunately, Soho doesn’t have a tonne of hotel options out there, but I managed to find some great ones for you below:

best London hotels with a view

Luxury (US$250 and up):

The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels – This superb 5-star hotel in Soho is my recommendation for anyone that wants to be spoiled during their stay. It’s ideal for nightlife lovers that want to be near Trafalgar Square. Some of the best things about this hotel are the on-site gym, beauty treatment room, on-site restaurant, and bar.

Middle-priced (US$120 – US$180):

Soho Stables – In case you’re searching for amazing mid-range hotels in London located in the district that never sleeps, you just found the perfect one for you! It has easy access to the rest of the city and some pretty great facilities. I surely recommend it to nightlife lovers!

Budget (up to US$120):

SoHostel – If you want to stay in Soho on a budget and still be near many major attractions such as Trafalgar Square, this hotel is for you! It’s located within walking distance to an underground station, a park and it will surely make your trip unforgettable!

6. King’s Cross & Camden Town – best places in London for families

where to stay in London

I have decided to group these two awesome neighborhoods together, as they’re very close to each other and they don’t have many hotel options by themselves. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll be in an excellent, central location, very close to the main sights.

King’s Cross is great because of its public transportation links, including the train. It’s also easy to reach the airports from here, which I think is a nice bonus especially if you’re looking for a place to stay in London for families.

Plus, it’s a great place to find budget-friendly accommodations here! Ah, and by the way, King’s Cross Station is where the famous Platform 9¾ from Harry Potter is located! I’m sure the kids will love that!

Camden Town, on the other hand, is one of the best areas to stay in London if you want a local, authentic atmosphere. It’s vibrant, eclectic, and far from boring. It’s a great place for young people, as you’ll be permanently surrounded by beautiful street art, pubs and unique, surprising shops while you’re here (especially near the Camden Market).

That being said, here are the best hotels I could find for you around here:

London hotels with parking

Luxury (US$250 and up):

Rosewood London – Do you want to enjoy the ultimate luxury stay in London? Then you should check out this hotel that has family rooms! It’s surrounded by tons of restaurants, bars, and even some park options and it’s right in the heart of the district.

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$150):

Central Victorian House – If you want a mid-range hotel in the Northern part of London in the Camden district with easy access to the major attractions, this one will be the accommodation of your dreams! You will surely enjoy it here, regardless if you’re only staying for one night!

Budget (up to US$100):

The Morning Camden – This budget accommodation has a garden and it offers free bikes for its guests. You can chill on the sun terrace before heading out to explore the area and enjoy the nice weather (if you’re lucky enough to catch a sunny day in London)!

7. Notting Hill  – best area for a romantic couples getaway

best places to stay in London for sightseeing

Notting Hill is full of pastel-colored Victorian townhouses and narrow cobblestone streets, perfect for some unforgettable pictures and plenty of quiet romantic strolls with your partner.

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen pictures of Notting Hill before, as it’s one of the most Instagrammable neighborhoods in the entire London! 

You may not bump into Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant on the streets as in the famous Notting Hill movie, but this neighborhood in London is so unique that you’ll fall in love with it instantly and it’s been featured in so many rom-coms that it will be hard not to feel the romance!

There are tons of antique shops, boutique stores, and cool cafes in this neighborhood but my favorite thing has to be the Portobello Road Market, which takes place during the weekend.

I found some of the coolest items here that went into my personal collection and they’re all one-of-a-kind pieces, so if you’re into vintage products, old clothes then you’ll probably want to spend your whole weekend here. (Don’t do it though because there are more things to see!)

Here are some of the best hotels in Notting Hill:

London hotels cheap

Luxury (US$150 and up):

The Laslett – In case you’re looking for a luxury place on the West side of London, it’s time to tell you that you just found it! This superb accommodation is located on a gorgeous street and it has 5-star service and many quality facilities. It’s also great for couples, your partner will love it!

Middle-priced (US$80 – US$150):

Blue Bells Hotel – Here’s my middle-priced recommendation in this superb London neighborhood, on a gorgeous street. It’s only 15 minutes on foot from Portobello Road and you can take one of the many buses available right to the center of London!

Budget (up to US$80):

Portobello Apartments – This lovely apartment is equipped with all the amenities you need including a kitchen and free wifi. Drink your coffee, watch some tv and get ready to spend a fun day in one of the best areas to stay in London!

8. Brixton & Peckham – where to stay in London on a budget

where to stay in London

If you’re looking for some budget-friendly areas that backpackers love, then Brixton and Peckham are the right choices for you!

If you want to base yourself in a very vivid area where it seems there’s always something happening and want to meet other travelers, then these two areas (which are close to each other) are just perfect!

Brixton is also the place where David Bowie was born and it’s one of my recommendations if you’re interested in cool food places (especially at Brixton Market), live music venues, or lively pubs.

This is what I love about London, no matter where you are there’s a cool market, incredible boutique shops where you can find the best (and sometimes cheapest) hidden gems and fun people!

Even though there aren’t many luxury hotels here, below you can find some great choices I have selected for you:

best London hotels for afternoon tea

Luxury (US$160 and up):

Half Moon – In case you’re interested in nightlife and bars during the night and visiting the main sights during the day, this luxury accommodation might be just the right place for you! Every visitor that stays here will be able to enjoy the superb rooms, free toiletries, daily breakfast, and more.

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$170):

Victoria Inn – A cozy accommodation that has modern rooms but a super authentic British pub feel in the downstairs restaurants and bar. Grab an English breakfast in the morning and get ready for another day of exploring in London!

Budget (up to US$110):

Helena Host – Enjoy your stay in London in this budget hotel that has cozy and comfortable rooms!  Guests will have access to a shared bathroom and also to a flat-screen tv if you’re in the mood for a chill night during your trip!

9. Shoreditch & Spitalfields – where to stay in London, UK, for artsy people

where to stay in London

If you love vintage shops, art galleries and street art, then I dare to say that Shoreditch and Spitalfields should be your top choices!

Shoreditch and Spitalfields are just great for young people interested in art and culture. They’re also bursting with vibrant nightlife, so there will always be something to do here, regardless of whether you’re visiting during the day or during the night!

Plus, Shoreditch is a great place to go if you want to taste as many international cuisines as possible. Shoreditch was also the neighborhood where I stayed during my first visit to London – and I just loved it!

I had tons of awesome shops around and I stayed very close to Liverpool Street Station, which means I could reach any central area in London I wanted in no time (20 minutes to the Big Ben on the Circle Line, for example). Definitely recommended!

If this sounds good enough to you, here are the best places to stay in this area:

where to stay in London for first time

Luxury (US$160 and up):

Redchurch Townhouse – Do you want to enjoy the ultimate luxury experience in East London, only minutes away from the most important attractions in Shoreditch? The choice should be easy, as this property is just great! This is the perfect place where you can enjoy world-class service and bright rooms!

Middle-priced (US$110 – US$160):

Shoreditch Private Studio – A cozy apartment that has a spacious room and private bathroom. Located near Brick Lane this apartment is perfect for those of you who want to be near all the big attractions in this area.

Budget (up to US$110):

The Z Hotel Shoreditch – If you want to stay right in the heart of the district on a nice street where you can choose from countless nightlife, parks, bars, and food options, look no further! This is a really good hotel in London and it has hand-crafted beds as well!

10. Kensington & Chelsea – best place for luxury in London

best places to stay in London

Kensington and Chelsea are 2 of the wealthiest areas in the entire London and they’re extremely well connected to the center of the city!

Kensington and Chelsea are located south of Hyde Park and they’re excellent choices for people who don’t mind paying some extra cash to stay in the fanciest hotels in the city. These areas are also hosting London’s Museum Quarter, so they’re absolutely recommended for culture lovers.

Some of the most well-known museums in South Kensington are the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, just to name a few. You’ll also be close to Hyde Park, for example.

I’m sure you’ve heard about that one area in London that’s home to a few celebrities like Stella McCartney and Robbie Williams!  Yep, Chelsea is where you’ll find them! It’s one of my favorite spots to walk around on a Sunday afternoon. Especially in the morning when there’s barely anyone on the street!

So if you enjoy that, grab a coffee, explore the areas start daydreaming about owning a house here!

Below I have selected the best options I could find in these West London areas:

London hotels 5 stars

Luxury (US$160 and up):

Milestone Hotel Kensington – In case you’re on the search for luxurious properties in West London, you might love this boutique hotel! It’s only a few minutes away from awesome attractions including Hyde Park and it offers 5-star service, a fitness center, a luxurious spa, and more.

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$160):

Oliver Plaza Hotel – Here’s a great choice for all those of you looking for a mid-range place near all the unmissable attractions in the area such as the Natural History Museum and Hyde Park. This 4-star accommodation was recently fully refurbished so you can only expect the best service!

Budget (up to US$90):

Knaresborough Boutique Apartments – Located just a short walk away from Earl’s Court tube station, in a Victorian house this boutique apartment provides air-conditioning, a flat-screen tv, and a kitchenette.

👑 Luxury price:£350
💵 Mid Range:£170
🛏️ Budget:£70
💰 Accommodation prices:high
📍 Best area:Covent Garden
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Covent Garden Hotel, Firmdale Hotels
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Z Hotel Covent Garden
👛 Best budget hotel:Z Hotel Holborn

BONUS 1: Best apartments in Central London

what neighborhood to stay in london

You might be the type of traveler that prefers apartments instead of hotel rooms or hostels. And there’s nothing wrong with that, I assure you! Apartments are great if you want a homey feeling, if you want to save some money (as some of them have more affordable prices) or if you’re traveling in a bigger group or with your family.

Needless to say that London has TONS of awesome apartments on Airbnb that you can choose from, right? And below I have selected the best ones I could find only in the central London neighborhoods:

Luxury (US$150 and up)

short stay in london apartment
  • Modern Studio Apartment – This beautiful and spacious studio will be perfect for your trip to London! It’s located in Fitzrovia, a residential area in Central London, and you’ll be able to reach places like Leicester Square and Hyde Park on foot and has a pre-stocked fridge!
  • Citadines Studio – Enjoy those city views from the ceiling-to-floor window of this studio apartment that’s located less than a mile (1 km) away from Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square. You’ll have a small kitchenette, a private bathroom, and free wifi at your disposal.
  • Covent Garden Flat with a Charming Sunroom – If you want to stay in a beautiful place that will help you save some precious time because of the central location, minutes from all the important attractions, this apartment is for you! It’s just great if you want to enjoy a personal touch and a super clean space.

Middle-priced (US$100 – US$150)

  • 202 Apartments – A modern apartment studio, perfect for 2 guests, that is located less than a mile (1 km) of Portobello Market Road in Notting Hill. You will have a small kitchenette and a dining area, a coffee machine, and a terrace – the perfect spot to have your morning coffee!
  • Clover Court – Fancy accommodation with a stunning city view? You’ve come to the right place then! This modern apartment has ceiling-to-floor windows, lots of space, and a kitchen! Spend a quiet night in, watch some tv, and regain your strength for more adventures in London!

Budget (up to US$100)

  • Cozy Studio – Looking for a cozy room in London? This studio is super affordable and it has all the amenities you need for a great stay. With access to a flat-screen tv,  storage room, and a shared kitchen and bathroom this accommodation, which is located in Plumstead, is a keeper!
  • Brand New Extension – Relax after a full day of exploring Leicester Square and Hyde Park on the little terrace that has a garden view of this cozy apartment. The accommodation also has a fully-equipped kitchen, a dining area, and a flat-screen tv. It’s located in North Acton a bit further away from the central area, but you can always use the tube to get to your favorite attractions!
  • My Place home from home – If you want to visit London on a tight budget, I found some superb apartment choices for you that are not expensive at all! I hope you’ll have a nice time here! This private room is located on a central street and it has some very good reviews!

BONUS 2: Best hotels near the London airports

Where to stay near the London airportsThere’s nothing that I love to do more after a flight (especially one that took ages) than to sleep for hours (or even a day)! If you’re arriving super late or you have a layover then I recommend staying in a hotel near the airport.

Let’s see which are the best hotels near the London Airports:

London Heathrow Aiport (LHR)

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Hilton Garden Inn – Tired after that long flight? Don’t you worry, the comfortable bed at this luxury hotel will help you rest and wake up feeling like a brand new person! Located a 3-minute walk away from the airport, this accommodation has family rooms and a restaurant.

Mid Range (US$150 -US$190)

  • Staybridge Suites London – Offering a continental breakfast and a terrace, this hotel which is located a 10-minute bus drive from Heathrow airport, is perfect for you. The rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and a flat-screen tv.

Budget (up to US$115)

  • Premier Inn Heathrow – This hotel is situated a 20-minute bus drive from the airport and it offers family rooms and a restaurant. Get your keys and head up to your room to sleep after your flight.

Gatwick Airport (LGW)

Luxury (US$200 and up)

  • Sofitel London Gatwick – I’m sure we all love a quiet sleep without any disruptions, especially after a flight. The rooms of this hotel are soundproof so you can rest for as long as you want. The airport is only a 20-minute bus drive away and once you get here make sure you check their 3 restaurants and 2 bars!

Mid Range (US$150 -US$190)

  • Bloc Hotel – Turn on your ambient light and relax in your cozy room at this hotel that’s located in the South Terminal of London’s Gatwick Airport. The accommodation offers a smart tv and family rooms.

Budget (up to US$115)

  • The Maple Manor – Feel at home in this lovely house that has everything you need for a tranquil stay in London! Located 4.3 km from Gatwick Airport South Terminal, this accommodation has family rooms and lots of places nearby that you can check out like a cinema, parks, and a shopping center.

Frequently Asked Questions about London

Best views in London

💯 Which area is the best to stay in London?

Covent Garden is the best area to stay in London, especially if you’re visiting for the first time, it has many attractions, it offers easy access to transport and you’ll find some of the best hotels like Covent Garden Hotel, Firmdale Hotels.

🛑 Where should I avoid staying in London?

Croydon, Newham, and Tower Hamlets are the areas that you should avoid during your trip, but I would also avoid any secluded spots and alleys.

🚗 Are there any hotels in London with free parking?

Parking in London can be expensive so if you have a car but don’t want to worry about the cost of parking, here are some great hotels with free parking in London: The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, Tulse Hill Hotel, Antoinette Hotel Wimbledon

✈️ What are the best hotels close to the LHR Airport?

Hilton Garden Inn and Staybridge Suites London are 2 of the best hotels to stay near London Heathrow Airport. Both are located just a short walk from the airport and they offer amazing services.

🛏️ Where should I stay overnight in London?

If you just have one night in London it’s best to stay in the Covent Garden area as it will put you right at the heart of all the biggest tourist attractions that you will want to squeeze into those precious few hours. Covent Garden Hotel and Z Hotel are two great hotels here.


downtown skylines buildings london

What an amazing city, I don’t think anyone could get bored here, there’s something to do no matter what time of the day it is! I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in London, and which hotel to pick!

I know it’s hard to decide which accommodation to choose in such a big city like London, so here are my top 2 favorite ones, both located in Covent Garden:

Have fun in this amazing city, learn all about its culture, explore Hyde Park, Leicester Square and all the other fun place! If you have any other questions or concerns, let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to help!

Have a great time in London,


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london hotels

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london best area to stay

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