Best Places to Stay in London: Top Areas & Accommodation 

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If you’re looking for the best places to stay in London, check out this helpful guide with the top areas and accommodations.

With a city as large as London, there are a lot of different options areas to stay in and even more for different accommodations. You can stay right in the city center, or choose one of the different nearby neighborhoods.

Where you choose to stay will largely depend on what you’re doing while in London. Though, thanks to the underground subway (called the tube) and extensive bus system, you can easily get to attractions even if they’re far from your hotel. 

To help you easily find a place, I created this guide with my top three London neighborhood

choices and the best hotels found in each in a range of budget options. 

London also has tons of choices for apartments, hostels, and Airbnbs as well if you prefer something a little different. 

tower bridge at night, best area to stay in london, tower bridge, london tourist attractions, things to do in london
Tower Bridge

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London Accommodation Quick Guide 

Trying to find a nice place in London quickly? Here are my top 3 recommendations throughout the city for the best places to stay in London! 

BudgetPremier Inn London Wembley Stadium Hotel: This is one of the best budget hotels in London, even though it’s a bit outside the city center. They offer clean rooms with free Wi-Fi. You can also get a traditional English breakfast in the morning. 

Mid-RangeDouble Tree by Hilton London-Docklands Riverside: I love this hotel because it’s located right next to the ferry station on the River Thames. The rooms are basic but have all the amenities you need including coffee machines and balconies to enjoy the views. 

LuxuryCorinthia London: If you’re visiting London and want to splurge, this is the place to do so! It’s only a 6-minute walk to Trafalgar Square, so it’s very centrally located. The 17-room spa is amazing, offering some of the best facials in the city. They also have a nice lounge that serves traditional afternoon tea and treats. 

big ben at sunset, where to stay in london

South Kensington 

South Kensington is one of the top areas to stay in London when visiting as a tourist. It’s perfect for first-timers in London if you plan to visit all the main museums and attractions. If you’re looking for the best places to stay in London, look no further!

Since the neighborhood has endless museums and interactive art centers, it’s a nice place to stay as a family as well, especially if you have small children. The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are both in South Kensington. 

Most streets in this neighborhood are also lined with restaurants where you can take the family. If you’re a solo traveler or traveling with friends, you’ll also enjoy the many bars around South Kensington. 

BudgetYHA London Earl’s Court Hostel: Choose between a dorm room or a private room, depending on how you like to travel. It’s only 2 miles from Hyde Park and one mile from the Natural History Museum. They have free breakfast and a shared kitchen if you want to make other meals! 

Mid-Range100 Queens Gate Hotel London: This is one of the best upscale options in South Kensington. The main metro station is only a 6-minute walk away, and Buckingham Palace is only 2 miles away. The rooms are modern with mini kitchens. There’s also a bar and restaurant on-site. 

LuxuryThe Kensington Hotel: If you’re seeking luxury, this is the place to be. All the rooms have amazing views of the city as well as marble bathrooms, espresso machines, and sitting rooms. The on-site cocktail bar is a nice place to hang out and have a few drinks. 

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Notting Hill

Notting Hill will always be my favorite part of London, and not just because I love the movie with Hugh Grant. It’s considered one of the best places to stay in London for couples since it’s quiet and many of the places have a romantic ambiance. You don’t have to be with a significant other to enjoy it, though.

This suburb of London also has some of the best shopping. Most of the small boutiques are locally owned and you’ll find both vintage and new clothes shops. There’s also the famous Portobello Road Market where you can find all kinds of fun things to bring home like clothes and antiques. 

BudgetLondon House Hotel: This is a great centrally located place in Notting Hill. You can reach the Portobello Road Market in about 12 minutes on foot. All the rooms have coffee machines and Wi-Fi. Make sure to take advantage of the free full English breakfast. 

Mid-RangeThe KPH: KPH is an adults-only hotel, making it a great spot to check out if you’re traveling to London as a couple! There are only seven rooms, so you’ll also get all the peace and quiet you need. You can reach the tube station and the Portobello Road Market in less than 5 minutes. 

LuxuryThe Portobello Hotel: Stay at this luxury hotel, and you’ll only be 8 minutes away from the Portobello Road Market and 7 minutes away from the Notting Hill tube station. The rooms are beautifully decorated with local paintings. You can have dinner and drinks in the lounge and complimentary breakfast in the morning. 

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I recommend Camden primarily to solo travelers or those traveling with friends. The nightlife is the best in the city, and the prices are fair at the clubs and bars. You won’t find the same you’re trying to party in central London!

Camden is also full of history, including old Parliament buildings. If you’re here in warmer months, head to Primrose Hill or Regents Park. Camden also has a large market worth exploring. 

BudgetThe Mornington Camden: Solo traveling and want to meet people? The Mornington has dorm-style rooms, so you can easily make new friends. There are private room options if you prefer. It’s also on a street with tons of nightlife choices, including bars and clubs. 

Mid-RangeHoliday Inn London-Camden Lock: This hotel is right in the center of Camden. Consider upgrading to a canal view room, as you get really nice views of the city and parks. There’s also a penthouse suite if you’re traveling with a large group and have some extra money! 

LuxuryCamden Enterprise Hotel & Pub: This hotel is amazing and located in an old 1860s Victorian Mansion. You can reach Camden Market in less than 7 minutes and Regents Park in about 20 minutes. 

camden market entrance sign, coolest hotels in london

Top Things to do in London

The best thing about London is that there are so many activities for anyone. It can be a huge nightlife and party city if that’s what you’re seeking, or it can be a relaxing vacation for the family. You’ll also meet many solo backpackers coming in and out of the city. 

Here are my top recommendations for things to do in London:

  • Visit the Natural History Museum. This is one of the top things to do for all ages. I loved the dinosaur exhibits. They also have rotating exhibits depending on the season. The gift shop is also amazing, with fun things to buy and bring home!
  • See the Change of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Stand outside the gates of this famous palace and see the guard ceremony that happens every day around 11 a.m. You can also go inside and tour the staterooms during the summer months for a fee. 
  • Shop at Borough Market. This market has everything from fresh seafood to cheese to wine. They also have food stalls with ready-to-eat food. In the spring, there are really beautiful flower stands. 
  • Walk along the Thames. If you’re in London during the warmer months, taking a nice sunny walk along the River Thames is a must. You can also see iconic sites like Tower Bridge and London Bridge. 
  • See a few shows. If you’re a big Broadway or theatre fan, you can head to West End during one of your nights in London. Make sure to research the theatres and shows beforehand so you can buy tickets in advance.  
  • Get an aerial view of the city on the London Eye. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can take a ride on the London Eye observation wheel. The views of the city and the River Thames are incredible from the top. 
london eye, best places to stay in london

How to Get to London

London has several different airport choices. If you’re coming internationally, you will probably fly to London Heathrow (LHR). It’s the busiest and largest of the airports. 

From other places in Europe or in the United Kingdom, you might fly to London Gatwick (LGW) or London Stansted (STN). These airports are smaller and further away from the city. 

You’ll find public transportation options to get to the city center from any of the airports. You will have to take a combination of different metros and buses to get to your accommodation from the smaller airports, though. 

If you’re coming from another part of England, you can take a bus or train to London. 

How to Get Around London

The best way to get around London is to use the city buses and the underground metros. The routes are extensive and reach every part of the city, including the surrounding suburbs. You can then reach your destination by walking from the station. 

There are bike rental options if you’re a confident biker. London has some pretty heavy traffic, though, so be careful. And don’t forget that drivers are on the other side of the road from most countries. 

If you’re staying in the same neighborhood for a day, you can easily walk to many places. 

However, London is pretty spread out. Take the metro whenever you can. It’s safe, timely, and has frequent cars for most routes. 

underground sign near big ben

When to Visit London

For the best weather, visit London between March and May. There’s always a lot to do in and around the city, so if the wet or cold weather doesn’t bother you, you can visit anytime. 

The holiday season can be very cold and rainy. And during the summer it can be really hot. Make sure no matter when you go, to pack layers and a rain jacket just in case. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before heading to London, make sure to check out the answers to these most asked questions!

Where to stay in London on a budget? 

In the center of London, it can be hard to find a cheap hotel. Staying in nearby neighborhoods like Greenwich is a good idea if you’re on a budget. The area is less touristy, so they tend to have lower prices. 

Check out St. Christopher’s Inn Greenwich for a casual hostel close to a tube station. It’s also close to everything you would want to see in Greenwich. 

The Rose & Crown London Bridge is one of the best-priced places I stayed at that’s more towards the city center. It’s a hostel above a pub, and they also have private rooms. 

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Where to stay in London for the weekend?

If you’re only in London for a few days, I recommend staying in the South Kensington area. It’s not only one of the best places to stay in London, but it’s a really convenient area.

This neighborhood is the best for a short getaway because you’re close to all London’s main attractions. The food and drink scene is also great, so you won’t need to travel far for anything.

Where to stay in London near the airport? 

London Heathrow Airport is pretty far away from all the London attractions. But staying near the airport is sometimes the best idea if you have a really late or really early flight. Depending on where you’re staying in London and how many times you need to switch metro lines, it can take over an hour to get to the airport. 

London Heathrow has some cheap hotels, which makes it a bit easier! Check out Premier Inn London Heathrow Terminal 4 for a hotel at the airport. Hotel Ibis London Heathrow Airport and Best Western London Heathrow are also good choices. 

international arrivals sign at heathrow airport

Is London Safe? 

London is a huge city. Like all cities, there are some areas that are safer than others. All of your tourist places and the neighborhoods listed in this guide are very safe, even for solo travelers. 

You should still exercise caution, though, and keep your belongings close to you. I took the buses and metro in the evenings alone when everyone was coming home from work or coming home from the bars.

However, the underground waiting areas can get pretty empty as the night goes on. If you’re alone, I would recommend taking an Uber once it’s past 10 or 11 p.m. 

The Best Places to Stay in London are Waiting for You!

Ready to book the best places to stay in London? Now you should have a pretty good idea of the best areas of the city! 

London is an amazing place to visit solo, with friends, or as a couple! With the endless hotel options and many things to do, you’ll be dreading leaving London! 

Since the city is so spread out, you can easily switch up your hotels and neighborhoods to experience different parts of the city. I did this my first time in London to make traveling much easier. 

What’s your favorite London hotel experience? Share it below.

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