Where to Stay in London?

The best neighborhoods and hotels in London

The Standard London

In a nutshell: 4 tips for staying in London

  • London is huge! Therefore, a good location for your London accommodation is important.
  • For first time visitors, the West End is the best option because of its central location. Our hotel tip: Z Hotel Strand – Very central but still very affordable. The rooms are small, but very modern and clean.
  • In Kensington and Chelsea you will find many galleries and top restaurants. Our hotel tip: Blackbird – Small, cozy boutique hotel with a delicious breakfast.
  • In Shoreditch you can experience the alternative London. Our hotel tip: CitizenM Shoreditch – Great value for money and very comfortable beds.

These were our top tips for staying in London.

If you want to know even more, read our full article with the best tips for finding a hotel in London, which neighborhoods of London are the best to stay and our personal hotel tips for every budget.

Hotel prices in London

You’re probably well aware that a city trip to London isn’t exactly a budget vacation.

The cost of accommodation in London varies considerably depending on proximity to the city center and the main sights and attractions, and on your requirements for a good hotel.

In a nutshell: If you want a double room in a good, clean, and comfortable hotel offering good value for money in a convenient and central location you should expect to pay between 150 to 200 euros per night.

There are also some slight seasonal variations in room rates. Don’t expect any miracle off-season deals, however, since London is a popular tourist destination all year round.

If you’re on a budget and don’t mind longer transit times to the sights, we’ve also included a few cheaper places to stay in more affordable neighborhoods further down in the post.

The best neighborhoods to stay in London

Each of the districts is suitable for different types of travelers. Carry on reading to find out which district is right for you.

  • West End: Ideal for your first time in London.
  • Kensington and Chelsea: Ideal for luxury lovers who love the elegant side of London.
  • Shoreditch: Ideal for hipsters and nightlife.
  • King’s Cross: Ideal for everyone on a budget.

Our tip: Choose a hotel north of the Thames. Despite ongoing urban renewal projects in parts of South London, some of the neighborhoods there, such as Brixton, can be a bit rough for tourists. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you’re better off staying north of the Thames.

Overview of the districts on a map

We’ve prepared a map for you to give a first idea of where all the neighborhoods we’ll be covering are located. The map highlights all the neighborhoods we recommend for staying in London as well as a selection of the most famous sights for quick orientation.

Map of London highlighting the best neighborhoods to stay.

Staying in West End

London red bus
If you stay at a hotel in the West End, you’ll be right in the center of London and close to Piccadilly Circus.

Staying in the West End of London is the best option if you’re visiting London for the first time and want to be within walking distance of the main attractions.

So where would you say is the center of London? Good question! There’s no official definition.

The real heart of the city beats in the West End, which includes Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square. It has a similar vibe to the Times Square/Broadway area in New York, but with a distinctly British flavor.

The West End has great shopping options and most musicals in London.

Restaurants in the West End range from high-end to casual. Regent Street and Piccadilly in particular are especially well known for their fine dining options. Many have Michelin stars. But there are also plenty of restaurants near Leicester Square and in Chinatown that offer delicious food at reasonable prices.

Many major tourist attractions, such as Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, are within a 15 to 20 minute walking distance from the West End, or just a few minutes by Tube.

Pros of staying in the West End:

  • It’s located right in the heart of London with most of the main attractions within walking distance.
  • There are several conveniently located Tube stations with great connections to the rest of the city.
  • The West End offers a huge selection of hotels and restaurants.
  • Easy transfer from Heathrow Airport to London West End

Cons of staying in the West End:

  • The West End is very touristy. For a ‘real’ taste of London life, you should probably consider staying elsewhere.
  • It’s always very busy and crowded. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, the West End definitely isn’t for you.

Our hotel recommendations for the West End

If you don’t want to spend a lot on your accommodation in London, we recommend staying at Z Hotels.

The Z Hotel Covent Garden and the Z Hotel Strand are not far apart. Just a few minutes walk to Trafalgar Square, the location is just great.

Z Hotels are very affordable and you will stay in a simple and small but very clean and modern room.

Staying in Kensington and Chelsea

Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of many highlights in Kensington

Staying in Kensington and Chelsea is the best option if you’ve fallen in love with London’s elegant and posh lifestyle.

Kensington and Chelsea are located to the southwest of the center of London.

A wide variety of Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury boutiques, and some of London’s most beautiful museums and galleries await you here. However, hotel prices in these neighborhoods reflect their lavish lifestyle, so you’ll need deeper pockets to partake in the glitz and glamour.

But with a bit of luck, you might even spot a celebrity or two on the street among all the Gucci and Prada bags.

Getting to the center of London and most of the sights takes 20 to 25 minutes by Tube from here. Then again, Hyde Park and the charming neighborhood of Notting Hill are just a 15-minute walk away.

Pros of staying in Kensington and Chelsea:

  • Kensington and Chelsea are two of the most elegant neighborhoods in London.
  • The two neighborhoods offer excellent restaurants and high-class shopping.
  • Kensington and Chelsea are relatively quiet, but you are still right in the middle of one of the world’s most exciting cities.

Cons of staying in Kensington and Chelsea:

  • The prices for hotels, restaurants, and shopping are higher.
  • The travel times to London’s most famous sights are slightly longer.

Our hotel recommendations for Kensington and Chelsea

We love the Blackbird. The rooms in this boutique hotel are very chic, the breakfast is excellent and the whole atmosphere is very cozy.

The hotel only has nine rooms and each one is very individually designed. It’s perfect if you’re looking for an unusual place to stay in London.

Staying in Shoreditch

Shoreditch nightlife
At night, Shoreditch transforms into one of London’s coolest nightlife districts (© AlenaKr)

Staying in Shoreditch is the best option if you want to experience the alternative side of London and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Once a problem district, Shoreditch has evolved into one of London’s hottest neighborhoods and is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. So if you want to stay in the epicenter of cool, Shoreditch has everything you’re looking for.

The neighborhood is located just northeast of the city center, about 30 minutes by Tube from most of the famous sights.

Some of London’s coolest flea markets set up shop here on the weekends, and Shoreditch has plenty to offer during the week too: hip bars, restaurants, an alternative scene, street art, thrift stores, you name it.

Shoreditch also boasts a wide variety of restaurants from all over the world, from Indian chicken tikka masala and Thai curry to German bratwurst and the quintessentially British Scotch egg. You’ll never run out of dining options here.

Pros of staying in Shoreditch:

  • You are staying in one of London’s most happening neighborhoods.
  • Shoreditch offers a huge variety of restaurants and pubs.
  • You get to know a different side of London.

Cons of staying in Shoreditch:

  • The neighborhood is located about half an hour by Tube from the main sights.
  • Shoreditch isn’t as pretty or elegant as many other parts of London.

Our hotel recommendations for Shoreditch

We are huge fans of CitizenM hotels and can only recommend the CitizenM Shoreditch. All rooms have the same layout and are very modern. The beds are very comfortable and the price-performance ratio is excellent.

There are two other CitizenM hotels in London besides the Citizens in Shoreditch, which we can also recommend to you: CitizenM Tower of London and CitizenM Bankside.

Staying in King´s Cross

Photo of the road leading to Camden Lock Market with the turquoise railway bridge in the center and yellow-brick houses on the left-hand side.
Camden Market is not far from King’s Cross railway station

Staying near the King’s Cross St. Pancras Tube station is the best option if you want to spend a little less on your hotel in London while still being close to the center.

In the King’s Cross district, accommodation is generally a little cheaper than in the other parts of the city. If you’re on a budget, be sure to take a look at our other hotel tips in the article Affordable accommodation in London.

King’s Cross is located in the wonderful neighborhood of Camden in North London with perfect public transport connections to the rest of the city. It takes about 30 minutes by train to get to the London Eye.

You can visit the Charles Dickens Museum and Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter right here in King’s Cross. It’s a very modern district with loads of museums and galleries. It’s also home to the British Library, a popular hangout for students, but also very interesting for tourists.

In recent years, King’s Cross has made great strides in urban development and is very popular among Londoners. There are lots of restaurants, bars, and pubs at very reasonable prices. You can sample the latest food trends, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, why not tuck into some traditional English food?

Pros of staying in King’s Cross:

  • King’s Cross offers many good and cheap places to stay.
  • The railway station is the perfect transport hub for inner-city travel and long-distance rail.
  • King’s Cross is not as overrun with tourists as the rest of the city.
  • The neighborhood is a very safe area that’s beloved by Londoners.

Cons of staying in King’s Cross:

  • Travel times to the city center are longer despite great transport links.
  • Some hotels may look a bit shabby next to all the modern buildings.

Our hotel recommendations for King’s Cross

The Pullman London St Pancras is just five minutes from King’s Cross. The view from the upper rooms is fantastic. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the breakfast is delicious.

For a bit of luxury, we recommend The Standard London. You’ll get a cool rooftop bar, stylish rooms and cool designs.

Do you have a hotel tip for London?

Those were our tips for the best places to stay in London. Have you ever been to London? Which part of the city did you stay in? Do you have a hotel you would recommend? Do you have any questions about staying in London? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!