What is The Best Area to Stay in London?


Choosing where to stay in a major city like London can be difficult. You want a location where you can easily get around, but you want the area to be safe too. You also don’t want to pay through the nose for your accommodation. We live in London but have traveled here as tourists too (we moved to London a couple of years ago). Anyway, hopefully, our experiences can help you out here.

So, what is the best area to stay in London?

The best areas to stay in London are near London Bridge and London Liverpool Street underground stations. Most places are walk-able and you have good public transport links.

Best ForBest Area to Stay in London
Popular Attractions & LandmarksWestminster or Trafalgar Square
Nightlife Soho or Camden
Convenience (Transport Links)London Bridge or Liverpool Street
Price (Best Priced Areas)Bayswater or Paddington

There is obviously more to each of these areas, and it’s important to note that you’re not restricted in terms of travel around London wherever you choose to stay. London is super accessible wherever you are. That said we do have some nuggets of wisdom we can share on each of these areas as well as recommendations of where to stay.

Westminster or Trafalgar Square – See What London is Most Known For

Houses of Parliament

All the famous places and landmarks of when you think of London are here or near here. We’re talking about the likes of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and the London Eye.

Key Landmarks to check out in Westminster or Trafalgar Square

Westminster- The Main Landmarks

Big Ben – You can take a tour of Big Ben. An iconic British Landmark recognized all over the world. You can take a tour of Big Ben, however, due to restoration works they are suspended currently until 2021. Still worth taking a stroll past it though!

Houses of Parliament – The UK is one of the oldest democracies in the world. Given the crazy politics at the moment it’s worth taking a visit. You can even go when Parliament is in session. Maybe you can knock some sense into our politicians for us?

Make sure you book in advance though. Here’s a link to the UK parliament’s official website where you can book a tour.

Buckingham Palace – Knock on the door and see if the Queen is free for a spot of tea? The Palace is worth checking out. Lots of tourists gather there to watch the guards change which happens every day at 11.00 am. You can also take a tour of the palace, which is pretty cool. It’s worth taking a tour just for the decor, to be honest.

Here’s a link to the official Royal Collection Trust Website for details of tickets and opening times.

Trafalgar Square – Places to see

Covent Garden – A great place to check out some street entertainers. There’s always magicians, singers, and comedians entertaining the crowds. It’s a great spot for shopping, food. There are lots of places for tea too!

China Town – Choose from over 70 authentic East Asian restaurants, shops, bars, and cafes. It’s worth going for this tour for your taste buds. Try the bubble tea if you can and the egg custard tarts at the China Town Bakery. Here’s a link to a Trip Advisor review. We love them though!

The West End – You cannot go to London without visiting the West End. We’ve never seen a bad production of anything, to be honest. You can get some great deals if you buy tickets on the day from Leicester Square, but you will have to go in person.

We’ve included more details in our How to Enjoy London like a Local article. Here’s the link to read into our local tips – we actually go to these places.

Hotels and Estimated Budgets in Westminster or Trafalgar Square

All of the following hotels/hostels are within or just over a mile/1.6 km away from major attractions in Westminster or Trafalgar Square.

As you should review any hotel or hostel before you stay there, we’ve included Trip Advisor links against each of the hotels or hostels that we’ve recommended.

AreaBudget hotel (<£30/$40)Mid- Range (<£ 200/$270)Luxury Hotel (>£200//$270)
WestminsterThe Walrus HostelThe Hub Premier InnRubens Palace Hotel
Trafalgar SquareWigram HouseGrange Lancaster HotelCitadines Trafalgar Square

Top Tip: If you are staying for extended periods of time in London, and have tight budgets, hostels can be great. Always ask about individual room bookings and en-suites. If you can get them, you’ll have all the perks of a hotel, but for a great price.

Binge Travelling

How to Get to Other Areas of London & Distances from Westminster or Trafalgar Square

Westminster and Trafalgar Square are both central locations of London and are well connected to other areas of central London too.

To give you a rough idea of how long/how far you’d have to travel to get to other popular locations in London, have a look at the following. It’s also about ease of access as well.

Westminister and Trafalgar Square – How easy is it to get around the rest of London

WestminsterTravel to Soho (Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, West End)

  • Bus – 24 minutes (Number 24 Bus to Hampstead)
  • Underground – Victoria Line – 20 minutes
  • Walking – 30 minutes (1.4 miles / 2.25 km)

Trafalgar SquareTravel to Soho (Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, West End)

  • Underground – Bakerloo Line – 10 minutes
  • Walking – 12 minutes (0.6 miles / 0.96 km)

WestministerTravel to Kensington, Belgravia and Chelsea (Areas around Hyde Park)

  • Bus – 22 minutes (Number 52 Bus to Willesdon)
  • Underground – District Line – 22 minutes
  • Walking – 36 minutes (1.6 miles / 2. km)

Trafalgar SquareTravel to Kensington, Belgravia and Chelsea (Areas around Hyde Park)

  • Bus – 22 minutes (Number 14 Bus to Putney Heath)
  • Underground – Piccadilly Line – 24 minutes
  • Walking – 36 minutes (1.8 miles / 2.89 km)

Where is the Nightlife in London? Go to Soho or Camden

If you’re looking for a fun night out in London, Soho is the place to be when it comes to quirky bars and lavish clubs. Camden, on the other hand, is great for live music as well as some great bars and clubs too!

Clubs and bars in Soho & Camden to check out

Soho

Be at One Greek Street – probably one of the coolest cocktail bars you will go to. This bar is ideal if you’re looking to let your hair down and go a little bit nuts for the rest of the night. Here’s a link to their website if you’re looking for more information.

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Covent Garden
  • Address (for google maps): 17 Greek Street, London W1D 4DR, England

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club – If you’re not looking for a wild night out, but enjoy Jazz and Soul music coupled with some awesome food, this is the place for you. An iconic venue is every single way. Be sure to book way in advance though before you think about going here. Here’s a link to Ronnie Scott’s official website if you want to know more.

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Covent Garden
  • Address (for google maps): 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT, England

Cafe de Paris – If you’re feeling a bit wild, looking for something completely different, Cafe de Paris is the place for you. With a variety of Cabaret shows including Burlesque performances, it’s a night to remember. The food’s good too! If you want to know more, here’s a link to Cafe de Paris’ official website.

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Piccadilly Circus
  • Address (for google maps): 3-4 Coventry Street, London W1D 6BL, England

Camden

Dublin Castle – This is an iconic pub that has hosted the likes of The Madness, Blur, The Arctic Monkeys and many other iconic UK British bands as they were coming up in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. It’s a great night out and a great place to check out current and up and comers.

For opening times, as well as what’s on check out the official Dublin Castle website here.

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Camden Town
  • Address (for google maps): 94 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN, England

Green Note – If you’re looking for a more intimate venue where you can just kick back and enjoy some great music, but also have a chat, this is the place for you. The acoustics are great. And apparently the Asian savory treats are pretty good too (we haven’t tried them yet).

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Camden Town
  • Address (for google maps): 106 Parkway, London NW1 7AN, England

For opening times, as well as what’s on check out the official Green Note website here.

Top Tip: Green note only accept cash payment, so make sure you take some with you when you go.

Binge Travelling

BYOC Camden – A really unique place. This a cocktail bar that sells no alcohol! But don’t worry you can bring your own, and the bar staff and mixologists will make you your own. With roulette tables and booths for private parties, you’re set to have a lot of fun at this place.

To find out more about this place or make bookings, check out the official BYOC Camden website here.

  • Nearest London Underground Stop: Mornington Crescent
  • Address (for google maps): 11-13 Camden High Street, Basement, London NW1 7JE, England

Hotels and Estimated Budgets in Soho and Camden

As you should review any hotel or hostel before you stay there, we’ve included Trip Advisor links against each of the hotels or hostels that we’ve recommended.

AreaBudget hotel (<£30/$40)Mid- Range (<£ 200/$270)Luxury Hotel (>£ 200/$270)
SohoSohostelMimis Hotel SohoThe Soho Hotel
CamdenThe GeneratorAmbassadors BloomsburySt Pancras Rennaisance Hotel

How to get to other areas of London & Distances from Soho and Camden

SohoTravel to Westminster (Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and London Eye)

  • Bus – 26 minutes (Number 38 Bus to Victoria)
  • Underground – Victoria Line – 22 minutes
  • Walking – 28 minutes (1.4 miles / 2.25 km)

CamdenTravel to Westminster (Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and London Eye)

  • Bus – 24 minutes (Number 24 Bus to Pimlico)
  • Underground – Northern and District Line – 28 minutes
  • Walking – 1 hour 7 minutes (3.3 miles / 5.3 km)

Stay in an Area in London where everywhere is Walkable – London Bridge or Liverpool Street

London Liverpool Street is located in the heart of the ‘City’, (London’s traditional Financial District) and is really well placed near some great landmarks. It’s also less than a mile from Shoreditch (London’s cool-hip area at the moment).

It has great London Underground links and is within walking distance to lots of popular tourist destinations.

London Bridge on the other hand is well placed next to the popular tourist hot spots like the Shard, Borough Market and The Tate Modern, but again it’s also got great London Underground links, should you want to use them.

Picking locations where underground stations have multiple lines is always preferable as you more travel options and ways to get home if you can’t be bothered to walk!

Places to check out in London Bridge or Liverpool Street

Liverpool Street

Broadgate Circle – With bars, restaurants all in the heart of the city, this is a great place to experience London City life. The best time to go is on a Thursday night as that’s when the atmosphere is the best.

Heron Tower – We plug this place a lot, but we love it. Probably the best free panoramic view of London in the whole city. We go into more detail about it in our – How to Enjoy London like a Local article, which you can check out here.

St Pauls Cathedral – A short walk from London Liverpool Street Underground, this cathedral was the site of many historical events including the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana’s wedding as well as Winston Churchill’s funeral.

London Bridge

The Shard – Probably the most famous view in London, and it’s the tallest building. Wherever you are in Central London you can spot it. For an amazing view or meal, it’s worth checking out.

Oblix – a restaurant in the Shard, serves a brilliant afternoon tea. You can read more about it with links in our High Tea vs Low Tea article here

Tate Modern – For great free modern and contemporary art come here. Host many exhibitions for lots of famous artists, it’s worth taking a wander. If you’re interested in finding out more as well as finding out what collections are on display, here’s a link to the official Tate Modern Art Gallery website.

Borough Market – If you’re interested in buying some bread from France, some spices from the East or if you just fancy a burger, Borough Market is for you.

Hotels and Estimated Budgets in London Bridge or Liverpool Street

As you should review any hotel or hostel before you stay there, we’ve included Trip Advisor links against each of the hotels or hostels that we’ve recommended.

AreaBudget hotel (<£30/$40)Mid- Range (<£200/$270)Luxury Hotel (>200/$270)
Liverpool StreetThe DictionaryBrick Lane HotelAndaz Hotel
London BridgeSt Christophers InnBatty Langley’sNovotel LondonTower Bridge

How to get to other areas of London & Distances from London Bridge or Liverpool Street

London BridgeTravel to Westminster (Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and London Eye)

  • Bus – 30 minutes ( (Number 381 Bus to Waterloo & Number 211 to Hammersmith)
  • Underground – District Line – 20 minutes
  • Walking – 50 minutes (2.6 miles / 4.18 km)

Liverpool StreetTravel to Westminster (Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and London Eye)

  • Bus – 26 minutes (Number 381 Bus to Waterloo & Number 211 to Hammersmith)
  • Underground – Hammersmith followed by District Lines – 32 minutes
  • Walking – 1 hour 8 minutes (3.8 miles / 6.11 km)

London BridgeTravel to Soho (Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, West End)

  • Underground -Central Line from Bank Station – 23 minutes
  • Walking – 57 minutes (2.8 miles / 4.5 km)

Liverpool StreetTravel to Soho (Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, West End)

  • Underground -Central Line – 20 minutes
  • Walking – 57 minutes (2.8 miles / 4.5 km)

Cheaper places to Stay in London to avoid overspending on hotels – Paddington and Bayswater

Paddington is located in West London between Notting Hill and the West End. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking to enjoy Londons theater as well as its pretty parks, you’re well placed.

Similarly, Bayswater is equally picturesque. Bordering Hyde Park (one of London’s famous Royal Parks) as well as being super close to Kensington, there’s plenty to do and lot’s of great restaurants as well!

Hotels and Estimated Budgets in Paddington and Bayswater

As you should review any hotel or hostel before you stay there, we’ve included Trip Advisor links against each of the hotels or hostels that we’ve recommended.

AreaBudget hotel (<£30/$40)Mid- Range (<£200/$270)Luxury Hotel (>£200/$270)
PaddingtonThe Pride of PaddingtonEuropa House HotelRoyal Lancaster Hotel
BayswaterPalmers Lodge Corus, Hyde ParkThe Lanesborough

Are there areas in London that you should Avoid?

London is generally safe, and you can generally go about your business without any hassle for the most part.

That said it is important to keep your street smarts about you especially in areas like Hackney, Elephant and Castle, Clapham Junction and Tooting at night.

As a general rule of thumb, if you are worried, stay within the boundaries of the Circle Line Underground. This would exclude a few places that are perfectly safe but outside the Circle Line.

Summary

We hope you enjoyed this article and have gained some perspective on which area would be best for you to visit when you come to this incredible city.

Like all major cities, there are a number of places that are solely focused on tourists, which can give you a false view of the true character of the place you are going to see.

With that in mind, we’d recommend you go and see the places that are popular with tourists but also visit some of the places that we have mentioned in our How to Enjoy London like a Local article, to get a real feel for London.

We hope you enjoyed our article, feel free to check out some of our other content:

4 thoughts on “What is The Best Area to Stay in London?

  1. On the west side you have Chiswick, Hammersmith & Fulham. All in easy reach of pubs along the river, particularly Hammersmith, which are great for the summer in London.

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