Are you looking for accommodation in London? Not sure which is the best area to stay in London to suit your interests and budget? Overwhelmed with the choice? This guide will help you to choose the best place to stay in London!

In this article, you will find an overview of the main areas of central London to help you decide which area is best suited to your interests. We recommend choosing a central location so you can spend more time seeing the sights of London than travelling into the city.

Once you have decided which area/s interests you there are links to detailed posts which offer our selection of the best accommodation options to suit a variety of tastes, styles and budgets.

In this London accommodation guide will also find links to articles listing the top 10 London hotels in a variety of categories including luxury, mid-range, boutique and family-friendly because we know that finding the right area for your stay in London is just one side of the story.

4 easy steps to help you select the best area to stay in London

Step 1 – Consider your budget

Are you looking for a luxury hotel, a boutique hotel or are you more budget-conscious? You will find options whether you are looking for a luxury stay, family-friendly accommodation or best value/budget as well as apartments in this article.

Expect to pay around £65 for budget accommodation per night (double room), £150 + per night for mid-range accommodation (double room) and the sky really is the limit for luxury accommodation (from £400+ per night for a double room)

Prices also vary due to demand. Expect the highest rates during the months of May, June, early July, late September, October and during the Christmas period.

Step 2 – Consider which London area best suits your needs

(solo/couple/family/group etc)

Consider how you are arriving into (and departing) from London. With 5 major airports surrounding London, it is important to consider how you will get from the airport to your hotel.

Are you travelling onwards via train to France/Scotland or wish to take day trips from London by train so need to be near a transport hub?

Are you looking for a family-friendly area or somewhere with lively nightlife?

Or do you simply want to stay near certain attractions or sporting events or within walking distance of theatres? 

You will find a summary about each London area below to help you determine the best one/s for your trip.

Step 3 – Research hotel options in each area

Once you have identified which area/s of London is best for your trip step 3 is to choose your accommodation.

You will find links to accommodation recommendations for each area further down the page.

Step 4 – Book your accommodation!

Once you have chosen your perfect accommodation it is time to book!

I recommend booking.com. We use booking.com for all our accommodation around the world (and have done for years) They have a wide range of hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses to choose from with the option to book many rooms with free cancellation.

Map showing areas of central London

If this is your first visit to London and are unfamiliar and/or unsure of the location of the various areas check on the map below.

As you can see all but one area (South Bank, Southwark & Bank Side) are located north of the River Thames.

Comparison table of the areas of Central London

London areaBest area in London for..Main attractions
BLOOMSBURY & FITZROVIABloomsbury is an excellent option for solo travellers, families, theatre and culture lovers and shoppers.Museums, cafes, bookshops, pretty leafy garden squares abound in this area.
* British Museum
* British Library
* Bloomsbury Squares such as Russell Square & Tavistock Square.
* Grant Museum of Zoology.
* Pollock’s Toy Museum
* Oxford Street
CITY OF LONDONThis area is dominated by history but while today it is London’s main business district it is still a great area for history lovers.* Tower of London
* Sky Garden
* Tower Bridge
* Leadenhall Market (Harry Potter)
* St Paul’s Cathedral
* Millennium Bridge
COVENT GARDENCovent Garden is a fantastic area for first-time visitors to London, families with older children, theatre lovers, art lovers and shoppers.* London Transport Museum
* Royal Opera House
* Theatres – Lyceum, Palace, Novello
* Covent Garden restaurants and shops
EAST END –
SHOREDITCH SPITALFIELDS
Great area for those wanting a more immersive experience.* Brick Lane
* Street Art
* Columbia Road Flower Market
* Jack the Ripper Tours
KENSINGTON, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, BELGRAVIA,
CHELSEA
This is the perfect area for families (wonderful museums), culture lovers, and shoppers! (particularly shoppers….)• Kensington Palace
• Victoria and Albert Museum
* Natural History Museum
* Science Museum
* Harrods
* Harvey Nichols
KINGS CROSS,
CAMDEN
Kings Cross is an excellent location for those catching the Eurostar to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam or trains to the north of England or Scotland, Harry Potter fans and music lovers seeking a live music scene and more local vibe.* St Pancras International (Eurostar)
* Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
* Harry Potter Shop
* Camden Market
* Camden Lock
MAYFAIR,
MARYLEBONE
& OXFORD STREET
Mayfair and Marylebone is great for shoppers and lovers of fine dining.* Sherlock Holmes Museum
* Madame Tussaud’s
* Hyde Park
SOHO,
LEICESTER SQUARE
Soho is a great area for those who enjoy nightlife!* Regent Street
* Trafalgar Square
* National Gallery
* Carnaby Street
SOUTH BANK,
BANKSIDE,
SOUTHWARK
The best area for art and culture lovers, sightseers and foodies.* The London Eye
* Tate Modern
* The Globe Theatre
* Borough Market
* The Shard
* The Clink Museum
WESTMINSTER/
ST JAMES
Westminster and St James is an excellent option for those who want to see all the sights, enjoy walking and relaxing in beautiful parks and a little bit of luxury!
Good transport links to Heathrow airport.
* Westminster Abbey
* Buckingham Palace
* Big Ben
* Houses of Parliament
* Trafalgar Square
* The National Gallery
* 10 Downing Street – the home of the British Prime Minister
* Churchill War Rooms

London accommodation options by area

Westminster/St James

Changing of the Guard near Buckingham Palace in Westminster which is the best area to stay in London.

Westminster and St James is an excellent option for those who want to see all the sights, enjoy walking and relaxing in beautiful parks (such as St James’s Park) and a little bit of luxury! There are good transport links to Heathrow airport from this area.

Attractions in the area include

* Westminster Abbey
* Buckingham Palace
* Big Ben
* Houses of Parliament
* Trafalgar Square
* The National Gallery
* 10 Downing Street – the home of the British Prime Minister
* Churchill War Rooms

Read more about staying in the Westminster/St James area of London

South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia & Chelsea

Belgravia

This is the perfect area for families (wonderful museums), culture lovers, and shoppers! (particularly shoppers….)

Attractions in the area include

* Kensington Palace
* Victoria and Albert Museum
* Natural History Museum
* Science Museum
* Harrods
* Harvey Nichols

Read more about staying in South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Belgravia & Chelsea

South Bank, Bankside and Southwark

London Eye and Houses of Parliament

The best area for art and culture lovers, sightseers and foodies.

Attractions in the area include

* The London Eye
* Tate Modern
* The Globe Theatre
* Borough Market
* The Shard
* The Clink Museum

Read more about South Bank, Bankside and Southwark

Covent Garden

Covent Garden in London

Covent Garden is a fantastic area for first-time visitors to London, families with older children, theatre lovers, art lovers and shoppers.

Attractions in the area include

* London Transport Museum
* Royal Opera House
* West End Theatres – Lyceum, Palace, Novello
* Covent Garden restaurants and shops

Read more about Covent Garden

Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia

London Museum

Bloomsbury is an excellent option for solo travellers, families, theatre and culture lovers and shoppers. Museums, cafes, bookshops, pretty leafy garden squares abound in this area.

Attractions in the area include
* British Museum
* British Library
* Bloomsbury Squares such as Russell Square & Tavistock Square.
* Grant Museum of Zoology.
* Pollock’s Toy Museum
* Oxford Street

Read more about staying in Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia

Mayfair, Marylebone and Oxford Street

Marylebone London

Mayfair and Marylebone are great for shoppers and lovers of fine dining. Oxford Street is, of course, a famous shopping street and is always busy whatever time of year you visit!

Attractions in the area include

* Sherlock Holmes Museum
* Madame Tussaud’s
* Hyde Park

Read more about Mayfair, Marylebone and Oxford Street

City of London

London Tower Bridge and clipper

This area is dominated by history but today London’s main business district. A great area for history lovers.

Attractions in the area include

* Tower of London
* Sky Garden
* Tower Bridge
* Leadenhall Market (Harry Potter)
* St Paul’s Cathedral
* Millennium Bridge

Read more about the City of London

Soho and Leicester Square

Shakespeare statue in Leicester Square London
Shakespeare statue in Leicester Square London

Soho is a great area for those who enjoy nightlife!

Attractions in the area include

* Regent Street
* Trafalgar Square
* National Gallery
* Carnaby Street

Read more about the Leicester Square/Soho neighbourhood of London

East End – Shoreditch & Spitalfields

Colombia Road Flower Market
Colombia Road Flower Market

East London is a great area for those wanting a more immersive experience.

Attractions in the area include

* Brick Lane
* Street Art
* Columbia Road Flower Market
* Jack the Ripper Tours

Read more about the East End areas of Shoreditch and Spitalfields

London King’s Cross & Camden

St Pancras Hotel in London.

Kings Cross is an excellent location for those catching the Eurostar to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam or trains to the north of England or Scotland, Harry Potter fans and music lovers seeking a live music scene and more local vibe.

Attractions in the area include

* St Pancras International (Eurostar)
* Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
* Harry Potter Shop
* Camden Market
* Camden Lock

Read more about staying in the King’s Cross & Camden

London airport hotels

London accommodation guide – Options by budget or travel style

More Accommodation Guides for the UK

In addition to this London accommodation guide, you will find other great places to stay in the UK in my England accommodation guide, Scotland accommodation guide and accommodation guide for Wales.

You can also read more to help you plan a trip to London in my step by step guide to planning your first visit to London.

Links to all my London articles are included in my London Travel Guide including must-see sights in the capital, how to get around London, a guide to 9 of London’s principal train stations and my budget guide to visiting London.

If you have specific questions about a destination in London or the UK why not join my UK and London Travel Planning Group on Facebook where you can chat to others planning their trip.

Join my UK and London travel planning group on Facebook for more tips, inspiration and help from other travelers planning future travel to London and the UK.