Where To Stay In London – A Guide to The Best Areas

Where to stay in London: A local's advice on the best area to stay and the best hotels in London for all budgets. We break down 5 different neighbourhoods and the best things to do in each one.

If you want to skip directly to any of the neighbourhoods in London, click on the links below.

  • Covent Garden and The Strand – if you want to be in the heart of old fashioned Eliza Doolittle’s London and enjoy its charms.
  • Westminster – The political capital of the city.
  • Soho & Trafalgar Square – Hip nightlife and restaurants meet museum culture in this ever-trendy area.
  • Victoria – Great transport links, decent theatre and general lower priced hotels make this a good base.
  • Camden – The once weird and wacky, now simply a cool hang place with one of the best markets around.

Deciding on where to base yourself in London can be confusing.  Many of its top attractions and things to do are spread throughout different areas.

With so many neighborhoods, selecting the ideal places to stay can be overwhelming for the first time visitor. But we are here to help.

Sometimes local resident, sometimes visitor, and travel writer shares the knowledge she’s picked up over the years during her time in this epic city. Here you'll get the low-down on some of the best neighborhoods in London to make your base.

Plus insider tips on interesting things to see and do.

Where to Stay in London

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The city of Sherlock Holmes, the stomping ground of Charles Dickens novels, the birthplace of smog and Jack the Ripper, but also the Swinging 60s and royalty, London intrigues and beguiles. No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone here.

Where to stay in London. The best neighborhoods and accommodation

Where to Stay in London

London has been in a center of ‘civilized’ society for centuries. With attractions like the royal family, palaces, pristinely manicured parks, the Houses of Parliament and world-class museums drawing in curious folk from outside the city for millennia.

It has been, since the 1200s, one of the world’s most fashionable places, with many global trends starting here.

More recently, the 1960s saw Carnaby Street become the epicenter of fashion and style, while musically, the British Invasion made London one of the most important musical havens and places for aspiring stars to be, and still is.

where to stay in london eye best areas

 

London is chic, relaxed, chill, “too cool for school” in that it doesn’t have to try to impress. It just is London. Prices for real estate and rent are often astronomical, but with good reason. It is a fascinating place to be.

 

In London, Anything Goes

The culture of London is very much that of ‘anything goes’ as Cole Porter said in his musical of the same name.

I once went to a screening of Sing-along-a-Sound-of-Music with a good friend, with us dressed up as brown paper packages tied up with string in London, and not one person batted an eyelid at us in the six-block distance that we giggled our way from the post office where we procured said string, and packaging to the theatre. (True story).

That is what London is like. You can do whatever, whoever, and be, whoever you like, and I love it for that.

I have spent a lot of time in London over the years, and I always return when I want to feel ‘like me’ again. It feels like a place to be you, and reset.

where to stay in London Greenwich

London is huge. It can take over three hours to get from one side to the other by the Underground – or Tube, never mind how long it would take by bus or car.

Therefore, the most important thing to consider when deciding where to stay in London is how you get from there to the main things you want to see.

Central London Neighborhoods

Since London is so massive, the different neighborhoods and areas in it often feel like completely different cities. However, many of the main sights are in the nucleus of the city, which is a relatively small area of London’s total distance of over 600 square miles.

If you’ve ever played Monopoly (UK edition) you’ll know all areas in London are not created equal.

As it is very easy to spend 90 minutes or more commuting to the ‘good stuff’, (as many London residents who have to live way out to be able to actually afford their rent on regular waged jobs will tell you), I will focus on neighborhoods that are all fairly central to the main sites, so you don’t spend half your time in London on the tube.

I’ll outline my top picks of the best places to stay in when visiting London.

Where to stay in London St James Park

St James Park - A perfect place for Picnics

Best Areas To Stay in London

London Quick Tips

As I said, London is huge, but public transport is widely available and pretty easy to navigate.

Day Pass: If you are planning on visiting several areas in a day, getting a day pass, weekend pass or week pass for the Tube, or bus system is a smart move.

is a worthwhile investment to get the discount on each trip if you’re there for a week or more, or if you are planning on hopping about the zones a lot. You can find locations to buy an Oyster Card and places to top it up on this website

  • Single tickets on the bus start from £1.80 and the tube from £2.90.

Tickets for the Tube work within certain zones, so check which zone your final destination is in before boarding. If you’re not doing a lot of traveling on transport, you can get single tickets, simply type in your final destination in the machine (or tell the human if you buy it from the window), to find out the fare. If you are planning on traveling a lot around London in one day or week, or month even, it is worth getting a London Travel Card.

  • Tube transport up to zones 1-4 cost £12 per day using it at any time, and across all public transport using the tube, bus or tram systems.
  • A weekly tube pass starts from £32.10 for zones 1-2.

It is worth checking which zone your accommodation is located in, in relation to the places you’ll want to visit most so you don’t spend the money you save on hotel price back on public transport anyway. Check full details and prices for the travel card here

As you see, public transport is expensive in London, so it is always worth weighing up the cost you’ll pay on transport to the main sights you wish to visit against savings you’d make on having accommodation a bit farther out.

The Best Places To Stay in London

London officially has 33 Boroughs, it isn’t a small compact, walkable city like many other European capitals such as Edinburgh, Vienna, or Rome. As the actual surface area of London covers over 600 square miles.

While there are 33 Boroughs, not all of these have amazing attractions in them that you might be desperate to see if you only have a few days to get to know the capital of the UK. There is no universal best neighbourhood to stay in London, so I’ll focus on the most popular areas, and places I have come to enjoy the most.

Where to stay in London neighbourhoods

Map courtesy - 


back to top - return to top of page for the full list where to stay in London by districts.

Plan Your London Trip

London is on the Pound Sterling, or Great British Pound (GBP), being the capital city of the United Kingdom. £1 = 1.13 Euro as of July 2018 - For up to date conversions get the

Being situated in the south of the UK, and the volume of buildings everywhere helping shelter it from winds that may come in off the Thames, the temperature is generally a little warmer than the rest of the country.

However, it is still Britain, and expect rain at any time of the year, or day, even if it was sunny when you left in the morning. Dressing in layers is always a smart move, and bring a small umbrella.

For more advice on how to pack check out our Packing for Europe – Tips That Will Make Your Travel Life Easier post!

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If you are looking for some more quirky places in London check out Londons Top 5 Alternative Attractions.

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Top 3 Tours in London You Won't Want to Miss

Delve into the magical world of Harry Potterâ„¢ at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, with round-trip luxury coach transport included. Follow in the footsteps of Hogwarts’ students as you walk around original sets like Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾.

See London on a full-day sightseeing tour of the city, led by a guide. Hear the history of top London attractions like Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, and receive fast-track entry and a guided tour of St Paul's Cathedral.

Discover Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath on this day trip from London. Leave the city behind you and travel by air-conditioned coach to Windsor Castle, home of the British Royal Family for the last 900 years. An amazing trip for the whole family.

#1 Covent Garden and The Strand

Literary London in the Flesh

 

Where to stay in London best places Covent Garden

The best area for first-time visitors to London: Covent Garden

Not actually a garden, this market come meeting place is lively, bustling, full of music, street performers, market stalls, and enticing aromas from food sellers.

Covent Garden is my personal favorite place to stay in London. To me, it is the very heart of authentic London where you can see the living history of the place, wandering around the market seeing many local characters that wouldn’t be out of place in an Alan Jay Lerner production.

It is easy to walk to many attractions from Covent Garden and also there is something to see there from morning until night, with several theatres just around the corner.

At Covent Garden, you’ll find the famous market, covered old market with local crafts, food, and musicians performing, and the London Transport Museum.

If you’ve ever seen My Fair Lady, this is Covent Garden territory, to this day there are flower sellers, amusing accents, and it feels very like what London a century ago must have been like, as all the buildings are exactly the same. But you can also enjoy modern shops like L'Occitane cosmetics and buy memorabilia from your childhood in The Moomin Store.

Best Place to stay in London Covent Garden's main market

Covent Garden's main market

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Suggested Hotels Near Covent Garden and The Strand

Covent Garden

With some of the largest suites in London, along with the uber central location right in Covent Garden, this exquisitely French style decorated boutique does not come cheap at over £700 a night.

However, if you’re looking for luxury right in the capital’s center, and you have the budget for it, this is your place.

Check out Availability & Prices

Trip Advisor / Booking.com

Strand Palace

Great location within a minutes walk from Covent Garden.

The clean chic bedrooms and modern glass panelled bathrooms, along with reputed excellent service every time, stylish common areas, and high-quality restaurant makes this hotel a popular choice.

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Seven Dials Hotel

This friendly small hotel with over 1600 reviews is in the perfect location to explore the Covent Garden area.

Close to the old market and with a reputation for friendly, helpful staff, this is one of the top rated places for two person trips. Single, double and triple rooms available, breakfast included.

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Things to see near Covent Garden and The Strand

Where to stay in London best areas The Crusting Pipe

Classical musicians and opera singers often play outside The Crusting Pipe

Covent Garden Market – This traditional market has the more upscale section right in the center with artists stalls, food and crafts, while away from the main building around the outside of the square is where you can buy from a real London geezer and barter for your wares, which will be more on the tourist souvenir side or antique and vintage style.

Street Performers – The square around the main building is where you’ll see all manner of street performers. To perform here, there are strict licensing laws, so usually, the caliber is pretty high.

Anything from men on stilts, to magicians, or beatboxers can be found, especially during summer. This is where the best (and biggest) Christmas tree in London lives for the whole month of December, and the decorations make it look like something out of a real Christmas carol.

Be wary of pickpockets here whenever it is busy.

Classy Free Performances – Inside the main market area, there are two parts, which are lower than the rest, going down a level, with railings all around.

Down here, by the pub The Crusting Pipe, is the spot I like to spend time the most in London. Here is where you will enjoy the classiest ‘buskers’ I have seen anywhere. Classical musicians and opera singers from the nearby schools perform here daily, with performances throughout the day changing every 30 minutes.

For the price of a coffee or wine in the bar (which is quite reasonably priced for London, and they have a nice food selection too), you can sit in a prime spot for the music. When the performers finish, they will go round with a hat asking for tips and do sell their CDs, and it is very easy to end up going home with several CDs while you get caught up in the talent.

Transport Museum – The London Transport Museum is free and right on the corner of the square. It pays homage to how people have got around the metropolis over the years and sometimes has special exhibitions on such as, the transport of James Bond (which there is a charge for).

Drury Lane – One of London’s oldest and most interesting theatres lives here – the Theatre Royal. Many of the West End’s most prestigious shows and actors perform here, in London’s reputedly most haunted halls.

Take a backstage tour in the daytime to learn all about the theatre’s ghosts, that many tourists have met, and almost every employee there has at least one personal story about, so ask them! Check out the creepy statue of Noel Coward, one of the theatre’s most famous patrons, in the lobby before you leave too.

The Strand – This long street which runs parallel to Covent Garden has many of the West End’s best theatres along it, including the Savoy, the Adelphi and Vaudeville. Many shops and restaurants, and wonderful authentic Neapolitan restaurant make it a good spot to grab dinner before the show too.

Long Acre – This street behind Covent Garden main has the Covent Garden tube station right on the corner and is one of the best spots in London for retail therapy.

From bourgeois boutiques, high street stores, high-end designer shops to good old Marks and Spencer, this is a good spot to spend your money and take home the London look.

The famous Pineapple Dance Studio is also here, where on any given day you can see hundreds of aspiring performers lining up around the block warming up bodies and vocal chords while waiting for their chance to show their star potential.

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Suggested Tours

3 Hour Private Walking Tour of London – Get to know all the history with a knowledgeable local guide dishing you all the dirt on the area over the years.

Theatre Royal theatre tour – Learn about London’s oldest theatre, hear stories about memorable performances, and performers, and maybe even meet the ghost.

London Hop On Hop Off Tour – If you don’t have a long time in London, this is a great way to get an overview of the city, with stops right by Covent Garden and at both ends of The Strand.

London Transport Museum – This is the place to learn about the intricate history of London’s public transport systems. With interactive exhibitions, exhibitions for families as well as adults, it is an interesting place to see.

– Take a tour of the stunning opera house by a bona fide opera student, or knowledgeable guide to learn just what it takes to become a prima donna, and that the reputation that goes with the name is actually well earned.

Getting There

Take the Tube on the Picadilly Line to get to Covent Garden Tube station for Covent Garden.

Take the Tube on the Circle or District Line to get to Temple Tube station for The Strand.

Or take the Bus 11 or 24 coming in from Victoria (if you arrive by train, Eurostar or coach).

For more information, check the London transport site

Day, weekend, three day, or weekly passes can be bought here and worth it if you’re traveling a lot about the city.

and are both good Apps to get transport information easily.

The London Pass with the Oyster Card option lets you travel on the Underground as well as skip the line tickets to some of London's most popular sites and attractions

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#2 Westminster

Parks, Palaces and Politics

 

Where to stay in paris best areas Changing of the guards

Changing of the guards

This is the most iconic part of London, where the most famous skyline of the Houses of Parliament next to ever-reliable Big Ben, is.

The political center of London, and indeed the United Kingdom is Westminster. This town within the city is where all the important stuff happens. If you are interested in politics, it is the best place to stay in London, or if not, the stunning architecture, and many excellent pubs might tempt you.

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Suggested Hotels near Westminster

Corinthia Hotel

If you’re looking for luxury right in Westminster, in a lavish building with opulent décor and an exquisite restaurant, and you’re not worried about the price tag, then this is the place for you.

 

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Doubletree by Hilton

Just a five-minute walk from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and overlooking the River Thames, this is a great place to have as a base while you are visiting the Westminster area.

 

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The Walrus Bar and Hostel

Westminster isn’t known for being a budget location, but this clean & friendly hostel is about the cheapest to be found here.

There are dorm rooms and private rooms for those who prefer basic hotel facilities.

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Things to See in Westminster

Best areas to stay in London The House of Commons, which together with the House of Lords make up the Houses of Parliament

The House of Commons, which together with the House of Lords make up the Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament – The Houses of Parliament and the House of Lords are where the politicians of the UK convene to make decisions, hold votes and debates between parties, hold the Prime Minister’s Question Time, and where new legislation is born.

Big Ben – You can always be guaranteed of what the time is by checking probably the world’s most famous clock – Big Ben – while you’re in the area. Take a requisite selfie in front it ‘him’ and enjoy the bells on the hour, with 12 o’clock being a particular treat.

Pall Mall – The long street which takes you from Trafalgar Square all the way down to Buckingham Palace has fine architecture, important headquarters buildings and Downing Street veering off from it, and is a very pleasant walk, where you can also watch the Changing of the Guards every day at noon.

Downing Street – While you can’t actually walk along Downing Street, you can peek in through the railings of the gate at the end of it to see the guards outside Number 10, the residence of the British Prime Minister, and take a quick pic. This is actually where the Prime Minister (currently Teresa May), lives and holds a lot of meetings, so you can often see her or other famous politicians or important visitors coming in or out here.

St James Park – From Pall Mall, you can also walk into St James Park, where there is a serene respite from the bustle of city life. Green areas, ponds, swans and ducks make this an ideal spot for a picnic or to just sit under a tree and enjoy a book.

Buckingham Palace – While it isn’t possible to go in and tour the palace – as its royal residents reside there most of the year – it is still certainly worth visiting for a peek outside and photo op. The mall in front of the palace is the place for any royal celebration parades, so check for the Queen’s Birthday or Coronary Celebrations that may be on, before you go.

London Eye – The London Eye is one of the city’s newer attractions, and located along the River Thames, is situated in a great spot for a wonderful vista of the surrounding area. Not to be taken if you have a fear of heights!

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Suggested Tours

Houses of Parliament Tours – Skip the line at Westminster Abbey and head inside the soaring church, where your guide will share facts about its royal history. Next, you’ll have the rare opportunity to explore the interior of the Houses of Parliament, which is frequently off-limits to the public.

– The House of Lords is open to the public and you can watch selected committee business happening for free. Get more info and book a tour here.

Walking tour –Immerse yourself in the rich history of World War II on an enriching and emotionally stirring tour of London Westminster with a knowledgeable guide.

– You will see and learn about Big Ben on any walking or bus tour in the area, but fewer people know you can actually arrange to go on tour actually up the Elizabeth Tower. Right now, it is closed for renovations, but from 2021 you can walk right up to behind the face of Ben himself.

Buckingham Palace – For ten weeks each summer, the State Rooms of Her Majesty’s residence are open to the public in this world famous, working palace.

London Eye –Bypass the long queue and enjoy priority access and boarding for a standard flight in a shared capsule. Then admire panoramic views over the Thames River, Big Ben and other landmarks on your 30-minute flight.

 

Getting There

Take the Tube on the Circle, District or Jubilee Line to get to Westminster Tube station.

Or take the Bus 11, 24, 148, 211 coming in from Victoria (if you arrive by train, Eurostar or coach).

For more information, check the London transport site

Day, weekend, three day, or weekly passes can be bought and worth it if you’re traveling a lot about the city.

and are both good Apps to get transport information easily.

The London Pass with the Oyster Card option lets you travel on the Underground as well as skip the line tickets to some of London's most popular sites and attractions

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#3 Soho and Trafalgar Square

History Meets Modern Sophistication

 

Where to stay in London best areas Trafalgar Square's iconic fountain

Trafalgar Square's iconic fountain

If you are wondering where to stay in London and want fashion and history, Soho, one of the most fashionable areas of London meets history with Nelson’s column, and art at the National Gallery.

Trafalgar Square is for many, the most iconic spots in London, with the towering statue of the diminutive Lord Nelson watching over the city, with his trusty lion guards.

Just behind it is Leicester Square, and right behind that, the cool cat that is Soho. Soho is one of the best spots for culinary fans of haute cuisine, with Michelin star restaurants, such as Social Eating House and Lima London, starting many food trends here.

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Suggested Hotels near Soho and Trafalgar Square

WestEndStay Wanderluxe

This impeccably decorated apartment is ideal for those looking for private luxury in Soho. A home from home, but probably even nicer, chic décor and location makes this a winner.

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The Grand at Trafalgar Square

Just off Trafalgar Square, you can find four-star luxury in this Victorian building, which is just meters from all of the area’s main attractions.

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The Z Hotel in Soho

A more economically friendly option, but still with clean crisp décor and all the amenities you could need in a central area.

This is such a great location for theatre goers.

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Things to see near Soho and Trafalgar Square

Where to stay in London National Gallery

London's National Gallery just in front of Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square – This superstar of a square is a must for any London goer. Stand on the steps of the National Gallery for the best views and photos of Nelson’s Column, and the view of Pall Mall veering off in the distance. A photo actually climbing on one of the lions will make your Instagram audience proud.

Soho – Cool area has some of London’s swankiest nightlife. Restaurants such as French fare at Gauthier Soho, Spanish tapas at Barrafina, and Blacklock Soho for good meat dishes are here.

– This famous Jazz Bar is where some of London’s finest talent over the years, such as Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, and more recently Winton Marsalis and Curtis Stiger, have played here. It is still reliably one of the best spots to find great live music. Reasonable cover charges (of around free until 8pm, £8 up until 10pm and £10 after 10pm on weeknights) are paid on the way in, while weekends have bigger hitters, with Wednesday nights are jam nights from September to June.

Chinatown – On Gerrard Street, right beside Soho, is London’s small but perfectly formed Chinatown. With gates on either side letting you know you’ve arrived, the street in the middle is full of tasty restaurants for all budgets. There are several fascinating Chinese supermarkets, street food stalls, and the Kowloon Bakery, which has all manner of delicious Chinese sweet treats, such as the mung bean patties. It is a little taste of China, which is an excellent place to stop for food. Skip the buffet restaurants, and you shouldn’t go far wrong. Prices here are in general quite a bit lower than in Soho, but very nearby.

Leicester Square – From Trafalgar Square, walk along the side street by the National Gallery, and you’ll come to Leicester Square. This always-bustling square is the home to the Odeon cinema, which hosts most of London’s movie premieres, so is often a good place to spot famous people when new flicks come out.

National Gallery – Situated in Trafalgar Square itself, is London’s largest and most prestigious gallery. Home to a vast impressive permanent collection which includes; French Impressionism, Italian Renaissance, Dutch Masters, and Pre-Raphaelite art, this free (although donations are invited), the gallery is one of London’s great treasures. My favorites include The Turner Room, Pre-Raphaelite section, Delaroche’s Execution of Lady Jane Grey, and the portrait of Doge Loredan by Bellini.

Where to stay in London Chinatown

London's Chinatown

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Suggested Tours

Soho walking tour –Counterculture and civil protests collide on this 2 to 2.5 hour private tour of London’s iconic Soho neighborhood. Follow your local guide through the tangle of streets that light up at night in the city’s entertainment district.

– Learn about London’s most loved Corinthian Column, its history and make a splash in the Thames – literally – with London Duck Tours.

National Gallery Tour –Explore the National Gallery — one of the most visited art museums in the world — on this private, 2.5- to 3-hour tour. With your specialist art historian leading the way, make a beeline for the gallery’s most impressive works.

Getting There

Take the Tube on the Bakerloo or Picadilly Line to get to Picadilly Circus Tube station for Soho.

Take the Tube on the Bakerloo or Northern Line to get to Charing Cross Underground Tube station for Trafalgar Square.

Or take the Bus 38 coming in from Victoria (if you arrive by train, Eurostar or coach).

For more information, check the London transport site

Day, weekend, three day, or weekly passes can be bought and worth it if you’re traveling a lot about the city.

and are both good Apps to get transport information easily.

The London Pass with the Oyster Card option lets you travel on the Underground as well as skip the line tickets to some of London's most popular sites and attractions

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#4 Victoria

A Hub of Museums and Activities

 

Where to stay in London MI5 building as seen from Victoria

MI5 building as seen from Victoria

Victoria is where central London meets the world.

If you are here for a very short time, or have a very early or late arrival or departure time from London by Eurostar, train coach, or even the Venice Simplon Orient-Express, this is the best area in London to practically to base yourself. However, Victoria isn’t just a stopover spot, it has its share of attractions too.

Home to the Apollo Victoria Theatre, some great world cuisine, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, Victoria is worth more than traveling through.

Pimlico is just a short saunter away, and Belgrave Road is home to some of the nicest hotels for the price in the city. Things are open early and late here, as there’s always someone on their way to one of the stations.

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Suggested Hotels near Victoria

St James Court, A Taj Hotel

This stylish, Victorian on the outside, modern on the inside hotel is one of the best in the area. Recently refurbished rooms are immaculate a& the inner courtyard with outside seating is sure to impress.

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Victor Hotel, Belgrave Road

This mid-priced hotel is located on the desirable Belgrave Road, close to Victoria stations, and local amenities.

It features well equipped, decent sized, comfortable rooms.

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Easyhotel - Belgrave Road

Right on Belgrave Road, it's close enough to the practical transport of Victoria Station, but close enough to gastropubs and Italian cafes. The rooms are basic but clean. Like their airline cousin, you can pay for the ‘extras’ you choose, like hairdryers.

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Things to See in Victoria

Where to stay in London best areas Tate Britain - just over the water from MI5

Tate Britain - just over the water from MI5

Victoria & Albert Museum – Or the V & A, is another wonderful (and free), London museum, which is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design.

The Apollo Victoria Theatre - Has been home to Broadway and West End smash hit musical Wicked for 12 years now, since 2006, so if you’re a fan, based in this area, its an easy short stroll back to your hotel after a show.

Shakespeare pub – One of the oldest pubs in London boasts some of the best fish and chips along with great locally brewed beers, and is a close and easy stop to make before heading out of Victoria.

MI5 Building – A 15 Minute walk along to the waterfront from the Victoria area will take you to a sight very familiar to James Bond fans – which is the actual MI5 building. Not actually blown up, as in The World is Not Enough; this modern fortress where many national secrets are kept is interesting to see (and take Bond-esque posed photos in front of).

Tate Modern – Situated along Bankside, this is one of the UK’s biggest and most comprehensive modern art galleries. With giant installations and most of the exhibitions changing regularly, there is always something to see here that will include opinions. Free.

Tate Britain – Just across the water from the MI5 building is the much-loved Tate Britain gallery. This free gallery (except for special exhibitions) showcases much of Britain’s finest artists’ work, from 1500 onwards, such as John William Waterhouse, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and William Turner.

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Suggested Tours

Spy Tour – Learn about what James Bond would really do in MI5 on a Spy Tour of London.

Tour the Tate Modern and Britain –Admire some great British and international art on this 3.5-hour private tour of London’s Tate Britain and Tate Modern. With a private art-expert guide, admire each gallery’s highlights, and enjoy a sightseeing boat trip along the Thames River in between.

Victoria and Albert Museum –Explore London’s V&A (aka the Victoria and Albert Museum) and Apsley House with art-history expert as your guide. The 3.5-hour private tour is a great way to learn about the art inside these two prestigious museums.

Getting There

Take the Tube on the Circle, District or Victoria Line to get to Victoria Tube station.

If you arrive by train, Eurostar or coach Victoria is where you will likely be dropped off. It's easy to get everywhere in London from here using the tube, train or bus network.

For more information, check the London transport site

Day, weekend, three day, or weekly passes can be bought and worth it if you’re traveling a lot about the city.

and are both good Apps to get transport information easily.

The London Pass with the Oyster Card option lets you travel on the Underground as well as skip the line tickets to some of London's most popular sites and attractions

 

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#5 Camden

Cool and Quirky, Markets and Music

 

Where to stay in London Best Area Camden Lock

Camden Lock

Photo courtesy -

Weird and wonderful Camden, was once a scruffy area only for hippies and artists, Camden is now a thriving popular place full of hipsters and fashionistas.

Camden is London’s Harajuku. It has its own distinct style and flavor and people there dress to stand out and show their personality. It is my favorite spot for clothes shopping with such a variety of personality-filled finds in shops and markets and is a foodie haven too.

The prices for staying here are still lower in general than the other neighborhoods in London featured, with more hostels and B & Bs than expensive hotels, but with its gentrification and rising popularity, that won’t last long, so come and enjoy that aspect while you can.

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Suggested Hotels near Camden

York & Albany

Ideally located between Camden and Regent's Park, this is a refined hotel to base yourself in the Camden area. Relaxing with a book in the hotel's library and creating your own cocktail at the bar are some of the highlights.

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Holiday Inn - Camden Lock

Camden doesn’t really do luxury, but this extremely well located, comfortable hotel right on Camden Lock is a good choice if you want to be in this area. It is a little nicer than the hipster digs which are the norm.

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Christopher’s Inn - Camden

This low priced hostel offers double & twin rooms as well as bunk dorm beds for the budget traveller. Right on Camden High Street, a 2 min walk from a tube stop, with friendly staff & discounts at the restaurant for guests, it's a popular choice.

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Things to see in Camden

Best area in London and where to stay Camden Market

Quirky Food Stall at Camden Market

Camden Markets - The famous markets deliver with fascinating things for sale from weird and wonderful clothes, locally crafted jewelry and paintings from local artists, to vintage clothes and bric-a-brac.

Stables Markets – This array of stalls and stores are the spot to find the best vintage gear around. From furniture to vinyl, posters, and pre-loved clothes, shoes, and accessories, you can time travel with your purchases.

Food Market – The food market area of Camden market, (located just across the street for the main market), is worth the trip to Camden itself. Many nationalities of cuisines are represented here, with some of my highlights being the ‘roti wraps’ which are wraps made out of naan bread, with your choice of curry inside, and the crepe station which has all manner of sweet and savory French fillings.

Camden High Street – There are a plethora of shops selling very Camden style clothes and accessories along Camden High Street, with punk and Goth style clothing, Doc Martin, and piercings galore available, along with all the Union Jack souvenirs you could possibly want.

Pubs – There are all types of pubs available here, from relaxed traditional English pubs like The Lock Tavern by the locks of the canal, to livelier nightspots like The Good Mixer, all tastes are catered for.

Regent’s Canal – Running through the middle of Camden and its markets is London’s Regent’s Canal. It is fun to walk along or stop for a drink in one of the many pubs that line it to rest up from time shopping or eating in the markets.

Irregular Choice – The flagship store for this statement British shoe brand is located in Camden. The quirky and memorable shoes here are worth a look, even if you’re not actually considering buying heels with a T-Rex or ice cream cone on them. I personally am a big fan.

Live Music – Many of London’s biggest acts like Blur, Madness, The Doors and Amy Winehouse started in Camden. It is still one of the best places for live music, in venues like Dingwalls, and The Dublin Castle showcasing the potential next big thing.

ZLS London Zoo – Just a 17-minute walk from Camden High Street is this popular animal-filled attraction. With exhibits including a petting zoo, gorillas, tigers and penguin areas, this is one of the area’s best attractions for families.

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Suggested Tours

– Free Tours by Foot provide a good offering of rock and roll history and Cultural Revolution information in their tour around Camden town.

London’s Camden Town Rock History Tour – This tour is specifically designed for rock fans so you know all the stories, civilized and otherwise, about the past and present of the area.

Food Tour of Camden – Take a food tour of Camden’s famous markets and the area, to eat tour way around some of the tastiest spots in the area.

Getting There

Take the Tube on the Northern Line to get to Camden Town Tube station.

Or take the Bus 24 coming in from Victoria (if you arrive by train, Eurostar or coach).

For more information, check the London transport site

Day, weekend, three day, or weekly passes can be bought and worth it if you’re traveling a lot about the city.

and are both good Apps to get transport information easily.

The London Pass with the Oyster Card option lets you travel on the Underground as well as skip the line tickets to some of London's most popular sites and attractions

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So there you have it. My choices on where to stay in London.

The ever-popular London is world famous and filled with such variety of things to do that whatever your interests are, you’ll find things to fulfill them here with many world-class attractions, museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants and so many pubs.

This sprawling metropolis is made up of so many small ‘villages’ and ‘towns; within its many Burroughs, that half the fun is getting to know the characters of a few of them.

It offers variety, and freedom to be yourself in it, and have a royally good time.

So book your flights and pack your bags, as London’s calling.

Do you have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments below. Our readers would love to have as many ideas and reasons for choosing as they can.

 

Author Bio

Karen Worrall is a travel blogger and freelance writer. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, she has lived in six countries, including London in England, and sailed the seven seas entertaining on cruise ships for 13 years.

You can find her on , , and on her website .

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