Everyone knows about London. It’s the capital of Great Britain, one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, and one of the most popular tourist spots in Europe (even though it’s technically no longer part of it).
So, since everyone already knows about this place, let’s cut to the chase and just get straight into the part where we tell you where to stay in London.
Where to Stay in London
London is one of the most famous cities in the world, so you’d better believe it has some sights to see. We won’t be able to cover all of them in this format, but we can show you some of the most famous attractions the city is known for.
The obvious attractions that come to everyone’s mind when mentioning London would have to be the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. These attractions are as quintessentially British as tea and arguing about football, so it’s only natural that everyone that goes to London will want to visit them. However, that’s not all the city has.
London is famous for the hundreds of museums that are scattered all over the place. How these museums “obtained” these artifacts from other countries is a bit questionable, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of interesting exhibits that you can see.
London is also known for its thriving nightlife. You’ll find entire streets covered by bars on both sides, so you’ll have plenty of choices if you’re looking for a place where you can grab a drink.
Before you decide where to stay in London, keep in mind that this is a huge city. If you want to see as much of it as you possibly can, then you’ll need to get acquainted with the subway system because you’re going to need it.
The 5 Best Parts of London
London is divided into far too many areas to feasibly cover, so we’ve selected what we thought were the most interesting places to visit for tourists.
- Soho: The most bombastic nightlife scene in the entire city
- Westminster: The best area for first-time visitors
- Covert Garden: Most of the major attractions seem to orbit this area
- City Center: There’s something for everyone in this area of London
- Kensington: The Natural History Museum and Hyde Park alone warrant visits to Kensington
London’s Best Areas and Hotels
The good aspect about staying in London is that all of the major attractions will naturally have a lot of hotels around them because there are many visitors that want to be as close to the sights as possible. The bad news is that most of these hotels will almost always be overbooked or a bit too expensive.
That’s why we grouped the hotels into several categories. We’ll point out the rooms that come at an affordable price but without many amenities, the ones that are luxurious but will burn a hole in your pocket, and the ones that are reasonably priced and offer decent comfort.
It’ll be up to you to decide on whether you’d prefer to spend your time in London in the swankiest rooms available or if you’d like to save a few bucks on the hotel so you can have a bit more spending money to use around town.
Soho is one of the most colorful parts of London. The area is known as the party district of London, but it’s also had quite a colorful history as well. Over the centuries, this area has been a red-light district, a gambling den, and even served as a home to the likes of Karl Marx and the Sex Pistols.
It still retains some of that history in the form of strip clubs and a few casinos here and there, but it’s safe to say that this region isn’t as wild as it was a few decades ago.
That being said, while things in Soho aren’t as crazy as they may have been back in the ‘70s or the ‘80s, there’s still a party on every street corner. Soho is where you’ll find the largest number of bars, cocktail lounges, and restaurants in the city.
If you’re looking to grab a bite, you’ll be able to find everything from Asian and Mediterranean to Turkish or Mexican fare. If you’re looking for something to do during the day, then you can find plenty of interesting attractions as well.
One of these attractions is the Photographer’s Gallery, where you’ll see some incredibly creative images, and another is the Revue Gallery, where you’ll find some more traditional art pieces.
With this being such a popular spot at night because of the nightclubs, the drinks and the rooms in this area quill cost you an arm and a leg, so make sure you bring your wallet if you want to party in Soho.
Things to Do
- As we mentioned before, both Karl Marx and the Sex Pistols called this place home, and you can visit their houses if you’re a fan of either.
- The Notre Dame de France church is worth a visit even if you’re not religious, just for the beautiful murals.
- Visit Carnaby Street and check out the dozens of great clothes boutiques and different shops that can be found here.
- Take the Rock and Roll Tour that takes you around the most interesting spots in London, including several places in Soho.
Where to Eat
- The French House is arguably one of the most famous pubs in London, and it’s definitely worth a visit.
- Yauatcha is the best place to go if you’re in the mood for some Cantonese dishes, especially Dim Sum.
- Chin Chin Dessert Club offers a fantastic selection of different treats.
Soho Budget Hotels
- Mimi’s Hotel Soho has a room with a flat-screen TV and an AC unit, free wifi throughout the property, and a private parking spot for all of the guests.
- Zedwell Piccadilly Circus comes with a fitness center, free wifi throughout the property, and an AC unit in every room.
Soho Mid-Range Hotels
- Langham Court Hotel provides all of the guests with a coffee maker and a flat-screen TV in every room, an in-house restaurant and bar, and a complimentary breakfast every morning.
- The Z Hotel Soho has an in-house bar where you can grab a drink at night, a front desk that’s open 24/7, and a 40-inch flat-screen TV in every room.
Soho Luxury Hotels
- The Cavendish London comes with an in-house restaurant with a giant menu of different dishes, an in-house bar/lounge where you can enjoy a cocktail, a complimentary breakfast every morning, and a coffee maker in every room.
- NYX Hotel London Holborn has a full-service spa and wellness center with plenty of health treatments, a well-equipped fitness center that’s open 24/7, and a massive indoor swimming pool.
Anyone that’s visiting London for the first time will obviously have a number of attractions that they’ll want to check out. This list varies from person to person, but there are a few that most people mark as must-see tourist spots, and a lot of those same attractions are either found in Westminster or at least close by.
Here, you’ll be able to find both the famous London Eye and the even more famous Big Ben. In all honesty, the London Eye is actually on the other side of the river, but we’re sure that a 20-minute walk won’t stop you from going up in one of the biggest Ferris wheels in existence and getting a fantastic view of the entire city.
Big Ben, on the other hand, is indeed located in Westminster, and it offers tours that take you directly to the bell itself, which a lot of people don’t know is the actual Big Ben that the clock tower is named after.
Westminster is also the home of Westminster Abbey — one of the most grandiose and arguably most famous churches in the city.
If you’ve ever wanted to walk around the place where the kings and queens of Britain were crowned, you might be interested in taking a tour. And finally, you can also find St. James’s Park to the north and Buckingham Palace immediately next to it.
We’d obviously recommend visiting the latter, especially around 10:30 am if you want to witness the changing of the guard. The only downside of this area is the fact that since this is the first spot that most tourists come to, the hotels are almost always booked up all year round.
Things to Do
- Take a tour of Buckingham Palace and the nearby Westminster Abbey if you want to see where the royal family lives and gets coronated.
- Visit the famous London Eye and check out what the view is like from the top of the world (it’s especially beautiful at night btw)/
- Go on the clock tower tour if you want to see what the actual Big Ben looks like and where it’s housed.
- The Queen’s Gallery hosts quite a few paintings, all of which come from the personal collection of the loyal family.
Where to Eat
- Zzetta offers a wide array of Italian dishes.
- Mio Restaurant bar has a large selection of exquisite beer and wine.
- Caxton Grill is the best place in the area that you can visit if you’re in the mood for some BBQ.
Westminster Budget Hotels
- Chester Hotel has a coffee maker and a digital TV in every room, a front desk that’s always open, and free wifi throughout the property.
- St George’s Hotel comes with a flat-screen satellite TV and free wifi in every room, around-the-clock room service, and the hotel itself is located close to quite a few lounges and bars.
Westminster Mid-Range Hotels
- The 29 London offers a front desk that’s available 24/7, a complimentary breakfast every morning, free wifi, and a coffee maker in every room.
- Mornington Hotel London Victoria comes with a flat-screen TV in every room, free wifi throughout the property, and an airport shuttle that will take you to and from the airport.
Westminster Luxury Hotels
- Luna And Simone Hotel serves a full English or a continental breakfast every morning, all of the rooms come with a TV, a work desk, and free wifi, and there’s a front desk that’s open 24/7.
- Wellington Hotel by Blue Orchid has a fully-equipped fitness center where you can do a few raps, an on-site restaurant where you can grab some breakfast, and room service that can bring everything that you want up to your room.
3. Covent Garden
While the previous entry on our list was the spot that most people go to when they first come to London, Covent Garden would be our own pick for first-time visitors that want to get as much out of their trip as they possibly can.
This area is pretty much in the middle of all of the most notable attractions in London, and it also serves as sort of a bridge that connects most of the other locations that we go over in our article as well.
Covent Garden is where you’ll find the British Museum and a massive haul of antiques and artifacts from all over the world. There’s also the Somerset House, where you’ll find the Courtauld Gallery, and even an ice rink where you can learn how to skate.
The most notable attraction in this area, though, would have to be The National Gallery, where you’ll find works from different parts of the world, but especially from acclaimed European artists.
Additionally, you can also visit the Gallery at Foyles, the Artist Room, and the many other museums and exhibits that can be found in this area. Covent Garden also has quite a few bars, restaurants, cafes, and other entertainment venues that you can visit.
As you can see, this area has a number of attractions that any tourist would love to check out, but unfortunately, you’ll likely see massive crowds everywhere you go. This isn’t much of an issue, but it might take some time to get a table at a restaurant or get into a certain museum.
Things to Do
- Go to the Royal Opera House and either take a tour of one of the most famous performance venues in the city or try and catch a performance.
- Both the National Gallery and the British Museum have artifacts and historic pieces that are definitely worth checking out.
- There are a ton of different galleries and museums in the area, so look them up and see what they have to offer.
- The London Transport Museum is particularly popular among tourists thanks to its many exhibits on all forms of old-school transportation.
Where to Eat
- Pivot Bar & Bistro is a chic restaurant with a menu full of fantastic dishes.
- Opera Tavern offers both Spanish and Italian dishes, as well as a large selection of wine.
- Clos Maggiore has quite the selection of French dishes.
Covent Garden Budget Hotels
- Seven Dials Hotel comes with free wifi throughout the property, a reception desk that’s always open, and a coffee maker in every room.
- Fielding Hotel has room service and a front desk that’s available 24/7. Rooms that come with a cable TV and a coffee maker, and free wifi throughout the property.
Covent Garden Mid-Range Hotels
- The Z Hotel Trafalgar comes with a flat-screen TV in every room, an in-house bar where you can grab a stiff drink, and a front desk that’s always available.
- Strand Palace Hotel offers free wifi throughout the property, a fully-equipped fitness center, and rooms that come with a flat-screen satellite TV and a coffee maker.
Covent Garden Luxury Hotels
- Radisson Blu Edwardian Mercer Street Hotel comes with a complimentary breakfast that’s served eerie morning, a fully-equipped fitness center, an in-house bar with a decent drink selection, and a smart TV in every room.
- NoMad London serves an a la carte breakfast every morning, has an in-house restaurant and bar where you can grab a bite and a drink, and has a fully-equipped fitness center where you can work out.
4. City Center
As you might expect from the center of the city, you can find everything from bars to museums and everything in between here. There aren’t quite as many bars as you might find in Soho, but anyone that’s looking for a party just needs to go down to the Shoreditch area.
There, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, nightclubs, and lounges where they can enjoy their night. Most of the bars also have themes, like the Draughts bar, where you can enjoy a drink while playing a board game with your friends, or the Four Quarters, where you can try out some arcade games.
This area is also the home to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is probably the second most famous church in London, right behind Westminster Abbey. You’ll also be able to take a tour of the Tower of London and learn a bit more about the history of this monumental castle.
If you want to learn a bit more about the admittedly checkered history of the British Empire, then you need to look no further than the Museum of London.
While a great number of the other museums focus on artifacts and pieces that were “procured” from around the world, this museum focuses more on the history of the country itself, regardless of if it’s good or bad.
As you might expect from the center of London, the prices will be significantly higher than in any other part of the city. If you don’t like getting overcharged for drinks, then we’d suggest visiting the attractions in this area but staying and going for a drink in another part of town.
Things to Do
- Take a tour of the Tower of London and learn a bit more about the history of one of the most important buildings in the city.
- Go to Shoreditch and explore the area to see all of the different bars and other entertainment venues that can be found here.
- Even if you’re not that into Christian imagery, St. Paul’s Cathedral is still worth a visit just to see the architecture of the building.
Where to Eat
- Sky Garden is the restaurant on top of the skyscraper that offers you an amazing view of the city while you dine.
- The Ivy Asia St Paul’s serves Asian fare, as well as quite an assortment of cocktails.
- Duck & Waffle is an upscale restaurant that serves both British and European cuisine.
City Center Budget Hotels
- Great St Helen Hotel has a front desk that’s always open, rooms that come with a flat-screen TV and a coffee maker, and free wifi throughout the property.
- Club Quarters Hotel London City comes with a complimentary breakfast in the morning, an in-house restaurant, and a fully-equipped fitness center.
City Center Mid-Range Hotels
- Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s offers a fitness center with plenty of gear, a massive indoor swimming pool, rooms that come with a flat-screen TV and an AC unit, and an in-house restaurant and bar.
- Apex London Wall Hotel has an in-house restaurant and bar, a fully-equipped fitness center, a flat-screen TV and coffee maker in every room, and free wifi throughout the property.
City Center Luxury Hotels
- South Place Hotel comes with a full-service wellness center with plenty of treatment options, a fitness center with plenty of different exercise gear, and an in-house bar where you can grab a drink.
- Andaz London Liverpool Street offers a complimentary breakfast every morning, as well as a restaurant with a decent menu, room service, and an in-house bar with a great drink selection.
The most notable attraction in Kensington would probably have to be the palace that carries the same name. While Buckingham is obviously much more famous, Kensington Palace still has a lot to offer to any visitors that want to take a tour around the property.
The nearby Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are also fantastic places for anyone that just wants to stroll around and experience all of the natural beauty the places offer.
While it might not technically be in Kensington, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the famous Baker Street that’s located just to the north of Hyde Park. This is where you’ll find the fictional home of the most famous detectives to ever grace a page — Sherlock Holmes.
We’ve gone over dozens of museums already, so we’re aware that there needs to be something special in order to grab your attention at this point, but we believe that the Natural History Museum can do just that.
Here you’ll find skeletons of massive dinosaurs, fossils that date back tens, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and many more interesting exhibits. The Victoria and Albert Museum is another great tourist hotspot in the area.
This is the home of hundreds of traditional paintings and sculptures, as well as more contemporary and imaginative exhibits that can’t be described and can only be seen. While the attractions that we just mentioned are great, there’s really nothing much else to this area other than that.
Things to Do
- The Victoria and Albert Museum is called the greatest museum for art and design in the world, and it’s easy to see why thanks to all of the fantastic exhibits that are on display here.
- If you have a kid with you or if you’re a fan of dinosaurs, then the Natural History Museum is an attraction that you won’t want to skip.
- Take a tour of Kensington Palace and maybe check out the nearby Kensington Garden and Hyde Park.
Where to Eat
- The Churchill Arms is a flower-covered little restaurant that serves Thai dishes.
- The Hillgate is a small restaurant with a homey feel where you can grab some breakfast in the morning.
- The Castle is a classic pub with a large selection of different beers.
Kensington Budget Hotels
- Chelsea House Hotel – B&B has a cable TV and a coffee maker in every room, as well as free wifi throughout the property and a complimentary continental breakfast every morning.
- Heeton Concept Hotel comes with an in-house bar where you can grab a drink at night, a cable TV in every room, and free wifi throughout the property.
Kensington Mid-Range Hotels
- The Bailey’s Hotel London Kensington provides you with room service that can bring your meals to you, a fully-equipped fitness center, and a complimentary breakfast that’s served every morning in the in-house restaurant.
- The Queens Gate Hotel comes with a complimentary breakfast every morning, an in-house restaurant and bar, a fully-equipped fitness center, and an LCD TV in every room.
Kensington Luxury Hotels
- 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London has a fully-equipped fitness center that’s always open, an in-house restaurant and bar, a complimentary breakfast is served every morning, and a flat-screen smart TV in every room.
- The Ampersand Hotel comes with a flat-screen TV that has satellite channels, an in-house bar with a decent selection of drinks, and a fully-equipped fitness center.
So, Where Should You Stay in London?
If you’re looking for a good time out on the town, then Soho has some of the most fun bars and restaurants in the entirety of London. Westminster is home to some of the most famous attractions in Brittain, including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and even Big Ben.
The city center has a lot of different entertainment venues, as well as several museums and historic buildings, so it’s the best place to go if you can’t decide on what sort of attractions you want to check out first.
However, whichever area you choose, you’re sure to find some great hotels, amazing restaurants, and fun activities to do, regardless of your budget and agenda. Happy travels!