From regal boulevards to gritty neighbourhoods, elegant shopping to vibrant nightlife, discover the best places to stay in London to experience the capital in all its glory.

By: Paul Healy | Published: 15 Feb 2024

Planning a trip to the capital can be an exhilarating experience. But, with so many neighbourhoods to choose from, finding the best place to stay in London can take time and effort.

You could either base yourself near the iconic landmarks of Westminster, or the trendy streets of Shoreditch. Stay close to world-class museums and historical sites nearby, or enjoy the city’s best foodie neighborhoods.

We’ve lived in London for the last 25 years, so we know the area well. This guide includes a breakdown of the best neighbourhoods in London to help you decide where to stay.

Best places to stay in London

IN THIS GUIDE

WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON


MAP | LONDON NEIGHBOURHOODS & WHERE TO STAY

The map below splits London into nine different areas. We have recommended three or four different places to stay in each area. The first hotel listed is towards the budget end, the second is mid-market, and the last is a premium or luxury property.

For our recommendations on what to do, read our guide to the best things to do in London.

How to use this map / Click on the top left of the map to display the list of locations, then click on the locations to display further information. Click on the top right corner of the map to open a larger version in a new tab or the star to save to your Google Maps.  


1 – WESTMINSTER

Best place to stay for a royal experience in the heart of London.

Located in the heart of the city, Westminster is the royal and political core of the capital. Experience the history and grandeur of Britain in this very walkable region, nestled along the northern bank of the River Thames.

Westminster has several famous landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms.

Who? — Westminster has important London landmarks and a wide range of accommodation including the odd, good-value hotel. It’s a great option for first-time visitors who want to see all the main attractions.

HIGHLIGHTS OF WESTMINSTER

  • Take a guided tour of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
  • Walk through St James’s Park, Green Park, and Hyde Park to experience the best royal parks and palaces walk in London.
  • Take a multi-media tour of the State Rooms in Buckingham Palace for an immersive royal experience.

WESTMINSTER HOTELS


FAMILY HOTEL

LUNA & SIMONE HOTEL

This modern, clean, and comfortable hotel is family-run and conveniently located near Victoria bus and train stations.


BOUTIQUE HOTEL

THE GUARDSMAN

Only opened in October 2020, staying at this boutique hotel feels like you are part of a well-kept secret. More private members club than London hotel, it oozes sophistication on the edge of St James’s Park.


GRAND TRADITION

THE GORING

A grand hotel that feels like a stately home. The Goring has an elegant style with a large private garden, smartly decked doormen and a Michelin-star restaurant.


where to stay in London, Westminster
WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

2 – SOHO & THE WEST END

Where to stay in London for nightlife, theatre, and restaurants.

Soho and The West End are two of London’s most dynamic and exciting neighbourhoods, known for their nightlife and cultural diversity. Enjoy world-class theatre, live music, art, as well as some of London’s best bars, pubs, and clubs.

The food scene in Soho is continually evolving with everything from celebrity chefs through to local street food markets.

For serious shoppers, Regent Street and Oxford Street form the retail centre of the capital.

Who? — Soho and The West End is a very busy part of London. It’s a great place to stay for anyone looking to be in the centre of the action.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOHO & THE WEST END

  • Catch a legendary West End show or an indie performance in Soho.
  • Visit the National Portrait Gallery – our favourite free gallery in London which as recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment.
  • Eat Dim Sum in bustling Chinatown.

SOHO & THE WEST END HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

THE Z HOTEL STRAND

It’s not easy to find decent-value London hotels near the West End, but Z Hotels have a few with the pick being on The Strand.


OLD WORLD CHARM

HAZLITT’S

In the heart of Soho, I’ve walked past this hotel many times and never known it was there. Oozing old-world charm across four Georgian townhouses, it has a wood-paneled library, leather-bound books, and antique furniture.


QUIRY BOUTIQUE HOTEL

L’OSCAR LONDON

On the northeastern corner of Covent Garden, this exquisitely designed boutique hotel is opulently decorated with purple poufs and black walls trimmed with gold. It’s somewhere between 1920s glam and Studio 54.  


where to stay in london, soho
HAZLITT’S, SOHO

3 – MAYFAIR

Best place to stay in London for grand hotels and elegant luxury.

Mayfair is a refined neighbourhood known for its upscale atmosphere, exclusive boutiques, and opulent Georgian architecture.

Located beside Soho, leafy streets and grand squares exude a timeless charm. Mount Street is one of the world’s most luxurious shopping destinations, flanked by the iconic Connaught Hotel on one side and the Grosvenor House Hotel on the other.

The neoclassical Burlington Arcade is considered the precursor to modern shopping malls and Ritz London is one of the most elegant addresses in town.

Mayfair is also the heart of fine dining in London with a whopping 16 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Who?— Mayfair hotels are not cheap, but it’s a great place to stay in London if you want to be surrounded by all the grandeur the city has to offer.

HIGHLIGHTS OF MAYFAIR

  • Shop in exclusive boutiques and high-end fashion houses on New Bond Street.
  • Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at The Beaumont.
  • Relax in Mayfair’s green spaces including Grosvenor Square or Brown Hart Gardens.

MAYFAIR HOTELS


RARE APARTMENT

9 HERTFORD STREET

A complete apartment in the heart of Mayfair. It sleeps up to 4 people, using fold-out beds in the living room. It’s a great place to stay in London for families with young kids.  


ST JAMES BOLTHOLE

THE STAFFORD

Opened in 1912 and with a premium address in St James, the Stafford has maintained its elegant grandeur for over a century. It’s great restaurant and stylish art-deco bar are a stone’s throw from Green Park.


GLAMOROUS OPULENCE

CLARIDGE’S

One of the most famous and glamorous hotels in London, Claridge’s is still serving kings and queens, prime ministers and presidents, plus A-list celebrities. It’s not cheap but it might be that once-in-a-lifetime treat you’ve been waiting for.


the connaught where to stay in london
THE CONNAUGHT

4 – MARYLEBONE, FITZROVIA & BLOOMSBURY

Best place to stay in London for a neighbourhood feel in a central location.

Marylebone and Bloomsbury are two neighbourhoods in central London that are steeped in history, intellectual heritage, and timeless charm.

Marylebone has a refined character and village-like vibe with boutiques and independent shops filling Georgian. The area includes the renowned Wallace Collection, a private art gallery open to the public.

Bloomsbury has a rich literary history. Russell Square and Bedford Square were once home to famous literary heavyweights, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster.

The British Museum has a vast collection of art and artifacts from around the world.

Who? — The streets of Marylebone, Fitzrovia, and Bloomsbury feel like a local neighbourhood while only a 15 to 20 minutes walk from many of the best sights in London. It’s perfect for visitors who want to enjoy a mix of local and popular attractions.

HIGHLIGHTS OF MARYLEBONE & BLOOMSBURY

  • Take a guided walking tour of the British Museum to explore one of the oldest museums in the world.
  • Shop at the iconic Selfridges Department store.
  • Experience the village-like charm of Marylebone at Opso – a fantastic Greek restaurant.

MARYLEBONE & BLOOMSBURY HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

MARYLEBONE INN

It’s not easy to find decent-value London hotels in Marylebone, but the Marylebone Inn ticks most boxes. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from Baker Street tube station.


ECCENTRIC TOWNHOUSE

THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE MARYLEBONE

In a Georgian townhouse, a few streets back from busy Oxford Street, this boutique hotel is packed with strange curios with a Victorian theme.


NY ICON IN LONDON

THE STANDARD LONDON

The Standard Hotel has been an icon in the meatpacking district of Manhattan for over a decade. In 2019 it brought its cool interiors to London, conveniently located near Kings Cross Station where the Eurostar arrives from Paris.


PRESTIGIOUS LUXURY

THE LANGHAM LONDON

Just off Regents Street, The Langham has provided world-class service for 150 years. It’s old school style with black and white marble floors and pillars decked with flowers. Don’t miss the cocktails at the Artesian Bar.


where to stay in london marylebone bloomsbury
THE STANDARD

5 – SOUTHBANK & BOROUGH

Best place to stay in London for riverside vibes and gastronomic delights.

Southbank and Borough are two vibrant neighbourhoods along the southern bank of the River Thames.

Along the Southbank you’ll find Tate Modern, showcasing contemporary art, and the Southbank Centre, hosting a variety of performances and exhibitions.

Take a stroll along the Thames Path, enjoying some of London’s iconic landmarks including the London Eye and the Tower Bridge.

Borough, just a stone’s throw away, is a diverse inner-London hub. Explore the bustling Borough Market, one of the best markets in London.

Who? — The Southbank has a great range of hotels at various price points and walking over the bridges spanning the Thames is a great way to get to the top London sights. It’s great if you want to be close to the action rather than on top of it.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTHBANK & BOROUGH

  • See a world-class performance at the National Theatre.
  • Stroll the South Bank perusing the South Bank Book Market with views over to St Paul.
  • Stock up on produce at Borough Market – one of the best food markets in London.
  • Admire the incredible collection of street art at Leake Street Arches.

SOUTHBANK & BOROUGH HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

THE MAD HATTER HOTEL

A good value hotel in Southwark with a hearty breakfast and decent-sized rooms. It’s just back from the South Bank and near the National Theatre and Tate Modern. 


WHY NOT NAUTICAL

SEA CONTAINERS LONDON

Set right on the South Bank of the Thames, this hotel has one of the best locations in the city. The design is all things nautical, and the décor feels like you may be on a grand liner.


BREATHTAKING VIEWS

SHANGRI-LA THE SHARD

Occupying levels 34-52 of the Shard, this 5-star hotel has unparalleled views of the city, uniquely designed guest rooms and the highest bar in London.


where to stay in london southbank
LONDON EYE

6 – CLERKENWELL & THE CITY

Where to stay in London for hipster scenes amongst modern skyscrapers.

Clerkenwell and The City, are two distinct neighbourhoods that showcase London’s rich history, architectural beauty, and bustling financial centre. It’s the best place to stay in London for a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication.

Clerkenwell has a strong creative vibe. Cobbled streets are full of design studios, artisanal shops, and hip restaurants.

The City – London’s financial district – gleams with both modern architecture and old historic buildings. See the best of the area on our City of London walking tour.

Who? — The city might not be the obvious choice to stay in London as a visitor, but the new Elizabeth Line can whisk you into the West End and Mayfair in 5 minutes. It’s great for modern and stylish hotels.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CLERKENWELL & THE CITY

  • Climb to the Whispering Gallery in St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Get the best views over London from the Sky Garden– London’s highest public garden.
  • Take a guided tour of the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels.

CLERKENWELL & THE CITY HOTELS


BOUTIQUE HOTEL

THE ROOKERY

A warren of dark and moody rooms, this atmospheric London boutique hotel is right next to the bars and restaurants of Farringdon and only a short walk from St Pauls.


ECCENTRIC TOWNHOUSE

THE ZETTER TOWNHOUSE

Perched overlooking a cobbled square in Clerkenwell, this wonderfully quirky Georgian townhouse is packed with all sorts of Victorian curios. There’s not a surface without some strange object on it.


1920’S CLASSIC

THE NED

A spectacular hotel, located in the former Midlands Bank HQ, packed with intriguing architectural designs. Its ten restaurants and bars make it hard to leave.


places to stay in london sky garden view
VIEWS FROM THE SKY GARDEN

7 – SHOREDITCH & EAST LONDON

Best place to stay in London for edgy-cool and cultural energy.

Shoreditch and East London is a dynamic corner of the city, bursting with creativity and edgy culture.

Shoreditch is renowned for having some of London’s best street art, cool galleries, and independent shops. Brick Lane is a vibrant street with vintage shops, curry houses, and market stalls.

In East London, discover the multicultural neighbourhood of Spitalfields an interesting area to stroll around. The highlight is the Spitalfields market.

Who? — The East End is not very central for seeing the main sights, but it’s great for anyone who wants to experience the artsy and urban side of London.

HIGHLIGHTS OF SHOREDITCH & EAST LONDON

  • Stroll the Columbia Road Flower Market on Sundays to grab some flowers and peruse the independent shops.
  • Take a fascinating Street Art walk, learn about the movement, and discover the best Banksys.
  • Have a cocktail in the super cool Discount Suit Company – our favourite cocktail bar in London.

SHOREDITCH & EAST LONDON HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

THE Z HOTEL SHOREDITCH

It’s not easy to find decent-value London hotels near Shoreditch, but the Z hotel has good clean rooms just a short walk from Hoxton Square.


HIPSTER HOTEL

CITIZENM SHOREDITCH

This East London hotel marries stylish designer furniture with modern artworks and a trendy vibe. A great hipster outpost in the heart of Shoreditch.


PLUSH PERIOD TOWNHOUSE

BATTY LANGLEYS 360

This Georgian terraced house on a cobbled street in Spitalfields is set under the glass and steel of the city. Inside its gloriously plush with crushed velvet, wood-panelled walls, and rows of old books.


where to stay in east london
COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET

8 – PADDINGTON & NOTTING HILL

Where to stay in London for budget hotels and an eclectic local neighbourhood.

Paddington and Notting Hill are two picturesque neighbourhoods in West London with colourful houses and charming tree-lined streets.

Paddington has handsome Victorian architecture that contrasts with a central canal area lined with modern buildings.

Notting Hill is famous for its vibrant energy and contributions to pop culture. Immerse yourself in Portobello Road Market, and several other great things to do in Notting Hill.

The inner west has excellent dining options especially in the morning, with brunch in Notting Hill the perfect way to kick start a day of sightseeing. 

Who? — There are lots of cheapish hotels wedged between Paddington and Notting Hill so it’s a great place to stay in London for anyone looking for a rare bargain.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PADDINGTON & NOTTING HILL

  • Walk along the canals in Paddington, stopping off at local pubs in Little Venice.
  • Shop for antiques and vintage collectables on the Portobello Road Market.
  • Try some of the best coffee in London in these diverse Notting Hill Cafes.
  • Photograph houses in Lancaster Road, Notting Hill’s most colourful street.

PADDINGTON & NOTTING HILL HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

KENSINGTON GARDENS HOTEL

There are lots of good-value London hotels near Paddington, but this 2-star hotel is one of the best.


STYLISH MODERN ROOMS

THE HAYDEN

A cool pub with well-priced rooms just a few minutes’ walk from Hyde Park & the boutiques of Westbourne Grove.


BOUTIQUE HOTEL

THE LASLETT

A wonderful stylish boutique hotel in a Grade II listed white-fronted Victorian Townhouse near the trendy cafes of Hillgate and the antiques of Portobello Market.


where to stay in london notting hill
NOTTING HILL

9 – SOUTH KENSINGTON & CHELSEA

Best place to stay in London for grand museums and stylish living.

South Kensington and Chelsea are two of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. Located in the inner west, south of Hyde Park, they are known for their grand white pillared architecture, world-class museums, and refined atmosphere.

South Kensington is home to an impressive array of museums. Marvel at the treasures of the Victoria and Albert Museum or delve into the scientific wonders of the Natural History Museum. Stroll through the picturesque Kensington Gardens, stopping off at the palace on the way to the Royal Albert Hall.

Chelsea offers high-end boutiques, stylish accommodation, and a vibrant arts scene. Visit the iconic King’s Road, then soak up the exclusive ambiance of Sloane Square, before hitting many of the other great things to do in London nearby.

Who? — On the edge of central London, Chelsea retains its upmarket village feel. It’s a great place to stay for anyone looking for high-end shopping, lazy lunches, and mews pubs. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTH KENSINGTON & CHELSEA

  • See art and design from the past 3,00 years at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
  • See a show or take a guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall – one of the most iconic theatre halls in London.
  • Pick up some tasty morsels at the Harrods Food Hall.

SOUTH KENSINGTON & CHELSEA HOTELS


GOOD VALUE

THE RESIDENT KENSINGTON

A surprisingly good value hotel wedged between upmarket Kensington & Chelsea. Conveniently located near Earl’s Court & Gloucester Road Underground stations.


BOUTIQUE TOWNHOUSE

THE EGERTON HOUSE HOTEL

Enchanting boutique townhouse hotel with 5-star facilities. Its understated elegance is a bolthole of relaxation in glitzy Knightsbridge.


ART DECO LUXURY

THE WELLESLEY KNIGHTSBRIDGE

This 5-star luxury boutique hotel sits at the junction of Hyde Park, Mayfair, Belgravia & Knightsbridge. Addresses don’t come much grander than this, nor do the rooms.


chelsea where to stay london
CHELSEA EMBANKMENT GARDENS

10 – LONDON AIRPORTS

London airports have great facilities and some very good accommodation options if you’re flying early or late and need somewhere to stay.

HEATHROW AIRPORT

Heathrow Airport is 16 miles west of central London. Trains from Heathrow arrive at Paddington Station. The Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes, runs every 15 minutes and costs around £37 for a return ticket or £25 for a single. The Elizabeth Line – a new underground line – takes 30 minutes and costs £12.80 each way.

HEATHROW

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT

This new property is just 3 kilometres from the terminal building with stylish rooms and all the facilities you need for a stopover. Some rooms overlook the runway.

London southank
LONDON SOUTHBANK

GATWICK AIRPORT

Gatwick Airport is 28 miles south of the city centre. Trains from Gatwick arrive at Victoria Station. The Gatwick Express takes 30 minutes and costs around £38 for a return and £19 for a single, although discounts are possible if you book online.

GATWICK

SOFITEL LONDON GATWICK

It’s contemporary luxury all the way at the Sofitel Gatwick, with a direct link to the north terminal via a 5-minute walk through a covered walkway.

STANSTED AIRPORT

Stansted Airport is 40 miles north of London. The Stansted Express arrives at Liverpool Street Station in the City. Journey time is 50 minutes, and it costs around £16.50 for a single or £30 for a return.

STANSTED

HAMPTON BY HILTON

The Hampton by Hilton is a 5-minute walk from the Stansted terminal near the train station making it very easy to get into central London.

LUTON AIRPORT

Luton Airport is around 34 miles north of London. The Luton Airport Express arrives at St Pancras International Train Station in Kings Cross (near Marylebone & Fitzrovia) and takes 45 minutes. The fare is £10 for a one-way ticket or £20 for a return. The train station is a 5-minute shuttle from the airport terminal.

LUTON

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT

Courtyard by Marriot is less than a kilometre from Luton Airport with all-day dining and easy access to the train station to get into central London.

where to stay in london regent street
REGENT STREET

MORE LONDON GUIDES

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