London is one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists with over 19 million people visiting the British capital in 2016. However, given the large size of London, one of the most challenging issues for visitors is determining what is the best area to stay in London for tourists. Each London neighbourhood can provide travellers with a completely different experience of the city. Furthermore, given London is fairly spread out, choosing the best place to stay in London for your visit is crucial to ensure you don’t spend unnecessary time commuting to the sites you want to see. So without further to do, here’s our guide to the best London neighbourhoods for tourists based on what interests you most about visiting the British capital!
Best Place To Stay in London For Sightseeing – Belgravia, Kensington or Knightsbridge
If it’s your first time visiting London and the primary aim of your trip is to see all the major sites and visit the world famous museums then you might as well stay as close as possible to them! All three of Belgravia, Kensington and Knightsbridge are located in West London and are only minutes walk from some of London’s most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminister Abbey.
Whilst this part of London is undoubtedly more expensive, the proximity to the sites makes these three suburbs the best area to stay in London for tourists whose primary aim is to sightsee!
Best Place To Stay in London For Shopping – Soho
If you’re coming to London to explore some of the world famous shopping that the British capital has to offer then look no further then staying in Soho. Soho is located within walking distance of Oxford Street, arguably London’s most famous shopping street with over 300 shops featuring some of the world’s best-known brands. You can also walk to Covent Garden for more boutique shops and possibly even go to the Knightsbridge to visit Harrods department store.
Soho is also full of restaurants and bars, as well being within walking distance of most of the major theatres if you want to see a West End show during your time in London. All these things undoubtedly make Soho one of the best places to stay in London for tourists.
Best Place To Stay in London For Family – Paddington or Knightsbridge
Paddington and Knightsbridge are located on opposite sides of Hyde Park, making them a great option if you’re visiting London as a family. In case you’re not aware, Hyde Park is one of the largest green spaces in London with a number of playgrounds for children to choose from. The advantage of Knightsbridge is that you will also be close to the museums, many of which have exhibitions tailored specifically towards children such as the Science Museum and Natural History Museum.
However, as Paddington is more of a residential area it means there’ll likely be larger places to rent for cheaper prices compared to Knightsbridge which is popular with many first time tourists to London. Paddington is also close to the London Zoo and has plenty of places to see for children that are fans of Paddington Bear!
Best Place To Stay in London For Nightlife – Shoreditch
Once considered the dodgy part of London, gentrified Shoreditch is now arguably the most trendy part of England’s capital making it the best place to stay in London for nightlife, hip restaurants and cool cocktail bars. Whilst Shoreditch might be best known for its evening activities there is also plenty to keep you occupied throughout the day including exploring famous Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market or gazing at all the street art that lines Shoreditch’s streets.
Shoreditch is without a doubt one of the coolest parts of London and potentially the best area to stay in London for tourists who want to experience the city through a hipster’s eyes.
Best Place To Stay in London For Live Music – Camden
Whilst these days Shoreditch might be considered London’s capital of cool, if you’re primarily interested in listening to live music during your evenings then it’s worth staying in Camden. In a lot of ways, Camden is quite similar to Shoreditch with its own set of cool markets to explore, hip eateries to try and bars to have a drink at. However, what makes Camden stand apart from the rest of London is its live music scene which has many venues where world-famous artists have performed such as Prince, Blur, Coldplay and many more. Camden has also produced many musicians, most famously Amy Winehouse who has a statue dedicated to her in Camden Market.
The sheer music history in Camden makes it the best area to stay in London for tourists who want immerse themselves in live music and see as many gigs as they can during their stay in London!
How To Find Accommodation in London
So now that you know where to stay in London as a tourist, you’re now probably wondering how to find accommodation in the British capital. One of the cheapest ways to find a place to stay in London, particularly if you’re travelling as a couple is to book a room via Airbnb. Airbnb has a range of different room types available including private and ensuite rooms in a shared house as well as entire places to rent. I would particularly recommend this option if you want to stay close to Shoreditch or Camden as there are a number of Airbnb options available in East London. If you have never used Airbnb before, click here to receive £25 off your first trip with Airbnb!
If you prefer to stay in a hotel then I recommend finding a place with Booking.com. They offer free cancellation on many rooms as well as being able to price match if you find the equivalent room cheaper on another site. We use Booking.com whenever we want to book a hotel in a city and find it has the largest number of affordable budget options in Europe. Click here to find a room in London with Booking.com!
There’s a reason why London is one of the most popular cities in the world for travellers. The sheer number of neighbourhoods in the British capital can make it difficult to decide on the best place to stay in London for tourists. However, the fact of the matter is that you’ll never be able to see all of London in one visit and therefore it’ll probably only be a matter of time before you return and get a chance to experience a different London neighbourhood.
Are you planning to visit in London? What do you think is the best area to stay in London for tourists? Let us know in the comments below!