Where to Stay in London | The Best Areas of London to Stay (+ Hotel Recommendations)

Where to Stay in London, St Pauls and Millennium Bridge

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Last Updated on August 23, 2023 by London City Calling

Post last updated: August 2023

London is a huge city with so many different and diverse areas and neighbourhoods that it’s sometimes difficult to believe you’re still in the same place.

This makes figuring out where to stay in London a difficult and daunting task, especially if you’ve never visited the capital before.

So to help you out, I’ve used my lifetime of London knowledge to create this detailed guide to the best areas of London to stay, including the best London hotels to suit each budget…

Where to Stay in London by Area

I’ve split this London accommodation guide into three main areas – Central London, West London, and East London – then broken up again by individual London neighbourhoods.

Within each area, I’ve also included information about the neighbourhood, a few hidden gems, transport links, as well as recommendations for the best London hostels and hotels for all budgets.


Where to stay in Central London


Central London – Soho

Resident Hotel Soho Exterior1

Soho is one of the capital’s most popular neighbourhoods and certainly one of the most exciting places to stay in London to be right in the heart of everything. 

Located in London’s West End, Soho has a large concentration of boutique shops, cool cafes, international restaurants, and busy late-night bars and clubs.

Not only is there a buzzing nightlife scene, but the area is also the heart of London’s LGBTQ+ community, meaning there are plenty of colourful gay bars and clubs hidden within the maze of narrow streets too.

Within Soho, you’ll also find many West End theatres, making Soho one of the best areas to stay in London for those who don’t want a long journey back after a night out at the theatre.

This London neighbourhood is also an ideal location for exploring many of the capital’s other highlights. By staying in Soho, you’ll have the shopping mecca of Oxford Street just a short walk to the north, and the many famous sights of Westminster a short walk to the south.

HIDDEN GEM: The many restaurants of Kingly Court, just off from better-known Carnaby Street.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Soho has excellent transport links for reaching all areas of London, with Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square all a few minutes walk away.

SOHO HOTELS:

HOSTEL: SoHostel

A colourful backpackers hostel in the heart of Soho, with shared dorms and private rooms.

Summer 2023 – hostel is currently closed for renovations.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Z Hotel Soho London

BUDGET: Z Hotel Soho

Simple, compact rooms with a sleek contemporary vibe from as little as £60 a night in central Soho.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

You’ll also find Z Hotels in Picadilly & Covent Garden.

MID-RANGE: The Resident Soho

78 modern and spacious boutique hotel rooms with a mini-kitchen, located between Oxford St and Soho.

Read my full hotel review

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

LUXURY: The Soho Hotel

A luxurious design-focused 5* hotel with an on-site restaurant, bar, gym, and cinema room.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Central London – Victoria

Victoria London Where to stay

Victoria is one of the best areas of London to stay in if you want to be close to a key transport hub AND many of the city’s most iconic tourist attractions.

Located in the Borough of Westminster, you’ll have the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace all within a short walking distance.

There’s also plenty to do in Victoria itself, such as watching Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre or grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many fantastic eateries at Nova Food.

HIDDEN GEM: Pretty Australian cafe and popular brunch spot Timmy Green.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Victoria is home to Victoria Train Station and Victoria Coach Station, which provide many convenient links in and out of the capital to different parts of the UK. These include direct trains and coaches to several London airports, as well as direct transport to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for Harry Potter fans. Victoria Underground sits on the Victoria Line and District Line, so can easily transport you to other parts of the capital.

VICTORIA HOTELS: 

Astor Victoria Hostel in London

HOSTEL: Astor Victoria Hostel

A cosy and affordable budget hostel in a renovated townhouse, catering to guests 18-40 years old.

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Z Hotel Soho London

BUDGET: Z Hotel Victoria

Simple, compact rooms with a contemporary vibe from as little as £50 a night, just minutes from Victoria Station.

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MID-RANGE: The Windermere Hotel

A lovely family-run 4* hotel in a historic Victorian home, with welcoming staff and an awarding-winning brasserie.

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LUXURY HOTEL IN LONDON, Rubens At The Palace

LUXURY: Rubens At The Palace

A bright and elegant 5* hotel with historic roots, overlooking The Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Central London – Fitzrovia

House in Regents Park area London

Fitzrovia is a lovely residential area located just to the north of Oxford Street and on the western edge of Tottenham Court Road. It’s extremely central but still manages to retain a local charm.

Fitzrovia is home to many elegant townhouses, as well as the offices of many of London’s creative agencies in industries such as advertising, TV production, and architecture. The neighbourhood also has a great restaurant and pub offering centred around lively Charlotte Street.

The BT Tower is Fitzrovia’s most iconic landmark, while the British Museum sits just a few minutes to the east, Regents Park (home to London Zoo) is a short distance to the north, and Oxford Street, the West End Theatres, and Soho are all within walking distance to the south.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Fitzrovia is surrounded by several underground stations, including Tottenham Court Road (at the end of Oxford Street), Goodge Street, and Warren Street, while Great Portland Street and Euston Square sit on its Northern corners. Fitzrovia is also walkable to large overground transport hubs Euston (10-minute walk) and Kings Cross St Pancras (20-minute walk) which are great for travelling in and out of London.

FITZROVIA HOTELS: 

YHA LONDON HOSTEL

HOSTEL: YHA London Central

A modern and affordable backpackers hostel with free breakfast, a shared kitchen, and an on-site cafe and bar.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Cheshire Hotel Central London

BUDGET: Cheshire Hotel Central London

Small but cosy and charming rooms just 2 minutes from Oxford Street. Super affordable for a great location!

I stayed here after a night out in Soho in May ’23 and really couldn’t fault it! There’s a 24hr cafe just around the corner.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Holiday Inn Regents Park Lobby Area

MID-RANGE: Holiday Inn Regents Park

A large, modern 4* hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Regent’s Park, with an on-site restaurant and bar.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Charlotte Street Hotel London

LUXURY: Charlotte Street Hotel

A contemporary 5* hotel with a touch of classical elegance, with its own gym, cinema room, and popular restaurant and bar, right on bustling Charlotte Street.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Central London – Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury is sat on the opposite side of Tottenham Court Road to Fitzrovia (above).

Not only is Bloomsbury known for its fashionable residential area and pretty green squares, but it is also home to many of London’s top cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions.

The attractive London neighbourhood is home to the British Museum, the largest museum in the UK, London Universities such as University College London, SOAS, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and the famed Bloomsbury publishing house.

HIDDEN GEM: The Welcome Collection, the free museum and library for the incurably curious.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Bloomsbury’s main underground station is Russel Square on the Picadilly Line, just a couple of stops away from London’s West End. Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, and Euston Square also line the boundaries of the district. Just like Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury is within a short walking distance of main transport hubs Euston and Kings Cross St Pancras.

BLOOMSBURY HOTELS: 

HOSTEL: Generator Hostel London

Vibrant hostel with a coworking area, games room, lounge, and bar, running nightly events such as karaoke, movie nights, and live DJs.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Staunton Hotel - B&B London

MID-RANGE: Staunton Hotel B&B

A beautiful B&B in a Georgian townhouse with traditional rooms, period furnishings, and free breakfast.

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The Bloomsbury Hotel London

LUXURY: The Bloomsbury Hotel

A stylish high-end hotel with a luxury 1920s cocktail bar and beautiful English terrace restaurant.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com


Where to stay in West London


West London – Earls Court

Where to Stay in London

Located just on the edge of the beautiful high-end neighbourhood of Kensington, Earls Court is an affordable option for staying close to one of central London’s most affluent areas.

While there’s not a huge amount to do in Earls Court itself, other than restaurants and pubs, the neighbourhood sits just a short distance from popular High Street Kensington, the free museums of South Kensington, and the greenery of Kensington Gardens and Holland Park.

Earls Court is far enough removed from the busy areas of the city that it has an authentic local vibe. But it’s still on the edge of Zone 1 and close to many of the things you’ll want to see and do in London.

HIDDEN GEM: Evans and Peel Detective Agency, Earls Court’s secret speakeasy.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Earls Court Station is one of London’s main interchange hubs, with the District Line, Circle Line, Hammersmith and City Line, and Picadilly Line all meeting here. This makes Earls Court one of the best places to stay in London for quick and convenient access to numerous areas of the city.

EARLS COURT HOTELS: 

HOSTEL: Saint James Backpackers Hostel

A cosy family-run hostel in a Victorian townhouse, with a gym, lounge, kitchen, and free breakfast and dinner.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

MID-RANGE: K&K Hotel George

Chic modern rooms in a Victorian hotel with a large private garden, wellness gym, bistro lounge, and bar.

Note: I lived right across the street from this hotel and would often visit the terrace restaurant and bar. It’s a lovely space in a great location close to Earls Court Station.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

LUXURY: The Bentley Hotel

Sitting between Earls Court and South Kensington, this 5* hotel screams opulence and luxury, with elegant rooms, a fantastic spa, and an award-winning on-site restaurant.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

West London – Notting Hill

Where to Stay in London

Made famous by the film of the same name, Notting Hill is conveniently located on the North-West corner of Kensington Gardens, so you’ll be nice and close to Kensington Palace for a bit of royalty spotting.

There are plenty of great things to do in Notting Hill, but the area is probably best known for its pretty rows of colourful houses and the charming Portobello Road antiques market.

HIDDEN GEM: Electric Cinema Portobello Road, one of the oldest working cinemas in Britain.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Sitting on the Central Line, Notting Hill Gate underground provides quick and easy access for those wanting to make the most of London’s impressive shopping scene, with Westfield Shepherds Bush just a couple of stops westbound and well-known Oxford Street a few stops eastbound.

NOTTING HILL HOTELS: 

Hostel One Notting Hill London

HOSTEL: OneFam Hostel Notting Hill by Hostel One

A super social party hostel with free daily activities, family dinners, and fun evening events.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

APARTMENT: Notting Hill Glamour

A spacious and stylish two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and terrace, just 5mins from Notting Hill Station.

Book on Booking.com

LUXURY: The Laslett

A beautiful 4* boutique hotel spread across 5 converted Victorian mansions, with curated artwork and books in each room and an on-site coffee shop, bar, gallery, and shop.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com


Where to stay in East London


East London – Shoreditch

Shoreditch is one of London’s coolest and most alternative neighbourhoods and is particularly popular with the city’s young creative crowd.

There are plenty of independent shops and cafes, hip late-night bars, busy nightclubs, and loads of colourful graffiti murals perfect for those all-important Insta-photoshoots.

Brick Lane is the place to go for the capital’s best curry houses, Old Spitalfields Market is great for quirky crafts and fashion, while Colombia Road Flower Market is a popular weekend spot with locals and tourists alike.

HIDDEN GEM: Pizza and Prosecco Brunch at Bounce Ping Pong, Old Street.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Shoreditch spans a fairly large area of East London, with a few different transport options. Old Street on the Northern Line sits on one side of Shoreditch. While major Overground and Underground station Liverpool Street sits on the southern edge and is more convenient for heading into the city centre via the Central Line or Circle Line, as well as for jumping on the train to other areas of the UK.

SHOREDITCH HOTELS: 

HOSTEL: St Christopher’s Liverpool Street

A contemporary and social hostel with a classic British pub, nestled amongst the skyscrapers of Liverpool Street, just a short walk to the bars and clubs of Shoreditch.

Book on Tripadvisor | Book on Booking.com

CitizenM Shoreditch London Hotel

MID-RANGE: CitizenM Shoreditch

An “urban chic” hotel in the heart of Shoreditch, with vibrant modern artwork, plenty of smart technology, a 24/7 canteen, and a communal lounge and workspace.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

Mondrian Shoreditch London Hotel

LUXURY: Mondrian Shoreditch

A stylish boutique 5* hotel with a variety of elegant rooms and suites, plus an on-site tapas cafe and a rooftop restaurant, terrace bar, and year-round pool.

Book on Trip Advisor | Book on Booking.com

East London – St Pauls

Where to Stay in London, St Pauls and Millennium Bridge

St Pauls is the district on the top of Ludgate Hill surrounding Sir Christopher Wren’s iconic 300-year-old St Pauls Cathedral.

The area is most popular amongst business travellers, due to its location in the heart of the City of London (the capital’s historic financial district). But it can also be a great place to stay as a tourist too thanks to its central location close to the river.

The Cathedral itself is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, so this area can get particularly busy. However, stray off of the beaten path and St Pauls is a maze of old narrow streets (it’s one of the oldest parts of the city) with plenty of hidden gems such as quaint British pubs and independent shops.

St Pauls also has a rich literary heritage, with many famous authors such as Charles Dickens and Dr. Johnson living and working around the area, making it one of the best places to stay in London for history buffs.

HIDDEN GEM: Madison Rooftop Bar with amazing views over St Paul’s Cathedral.

TRANSPORT LINKS: St Paul’s Underground station is on the Central Line. Jump on the tube Westbound to Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Street stations for an easy interchange to most of London’s other main attractions.

ST PAULS HOTELS: 

YHA LONDON HOSTEL

HOSTEL: YHA St Pauls Hostel

A cool backpackers hostel with a TV lounge, games room, and restaurant, just 1 min from St Paul’s Cathedral.

Book on TripAdvisorBook on Booking.com

MID-RANGE: Club Quarters Hotel St Pauls

Stylish and elegant modern 4* hotel with a fitness room, “Private Club Room”, and on-site French Bistrot.

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LUXURY: The Ned

A large luxury hotel inside a Grade-I listed former bank building boasting 1920s glamour, elegant vintage furnishings, a private members club, and 10 on-site restaurants.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

(South) East London – Greenwich

Greenwich is where to stay in London if you’ve got a longer period of time to explore the capital or if you’re travelling with young children and need space away from the faster-paced parts of the city.

The area is set on the bank of the River Thames and is known for its maritime history, with attractions such as the National Maritime Museum, the Cutty Sark, and the Old Royal Naval College. Greenwich Park is a large and peaceful green space and has fantastic views out across the city from the Royal Observatory at the top.

North Greenwich is also home to London’s biggest music venue, the O2 Arena, which makes it a convenient area to stay if you’re in London for a gig.

Most people visiting London will spend at least a day exploring everything Greenwich has to offer. But it’s also one of the best areas of London to stay for those who prefer a more relaxed village-like pace of life.

HIDDEN GEM: Greenwich Market, one of London’s lesser-known markets.

TRANSPORT LINKS: Ease of transport is one of Greenwich’s only downfalls as an area. Located in South East London, south of the River Thames and East of the City of London, Greenwich is only accessible by DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and National Rail trains. It can take around 30-40 minutes to get to many of the city’s more central attractions. Alternatively, you can get the Thames River Service (boat) direct from Greenwich Pier to Westminster Pier which is a fun and unique way of travelling in the capital – just not the fastest!

GREENWICH HOTELS: 

BUDGET: St Christophers Inn Greenwich

Affordable hostel with dorms and private rooms, sitting above a lively bar and restaurant, just seconds from Greenwich Station and 20mins from the O2 Arena.

Book on TripAdvisor | Book on Booking.com

MID-RANGE: The Mitre by Innkeeper’s Collection

Spacious rooms in a boutique hotel, with a lounge, conservatory, and garden, sitting above a cosy traditional British pub right next to Greenwich Park.

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LUXURY: InterContinental London – The O2

A modern and stylish 5* hotel on the Greenwich Peninsula, with a spa, 5 luxury restaurants, and rooms with views of the Thames River and The O2. One of the most affordable luxury hotels in the capital.

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I hope this post has helped you decide where to stay in London or has at least shown you the best areas of London to stay in. Please let me know if you have any further questions in the comments below or drop me an email at emily[at]londoncitycalling[dot]com.


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Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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