The Best Places to Stay in London
The best place to stay in central London depends on lots of things. Do you want to be right in the centre so you can sightsee easily? Do you want to stay in a cool, hipster area? Or would you prefer somewhere quiet and classy? Luckily for you, London has lots to offer so you are sure to find the perfect spot.
When you are looking for the best neighbourhood to stay in London, don’t forget that our sightseeing tour will take you to all of the top attractions. If you stay in central London, you will never be far away from an Original Tour bus stop, so book your tickets to go sightseeing around London.
Best for: Great nightlife for groups of adults
If you’re looking for a lively area in the capital, Soho is one of the best places to stay in London. Situated in the middle of the West End, Soho is in a prime location for theatre, bars, restaurants, transport and great nightlife. There is a mix of shops and small streets with lots to do in the area. You will be surrounded by Leicester Square, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, with Covent Garden close by. Soho is just a 15-minute walk from Trafalgar Square and is a popular area for tourists. Due to the buzz from the West End and bustling nightlife, Soho is often lively at night so it is not always quiet but is great if you want to party.
Catch The Original Tour bus at stop 41 on Shaftesbury Avenue for the Orange Route or head to stop 17 on Whitcomb Street for the Yellow Route around the city.
Best for: A quiet neighbourhood in London, great for families
If you are travelling with children, South Kensington is one of the best areas to stay in London. Kensington is a quiet neighbourhood with some beautiful, luxurious properties. It is one of the more affluent areas in London with plenty of expensive shops for those who are into fashion. Situated in Western London, near Hyde Park, there are some great museums close by as well as some popular children’s playgrounds making the area a good choice for families. Don’t miss Kensington Palace, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Albert Hall, or visit Harrods which is just a 30-minute walk away. You should also bear in mind that Kensington is not as central as Soho or Westminster so you will need to use public transport to get around the city.
Kensington is also in a great place to take our Blue Route tour from stop 36 at Kensington Gore and tour around some of London’s best museums.
Best for: Central location for popular tourist attractions
If you want to be right in the middle of all the main attractions, then Westminster is probably the best location to stay in London. If you are staying in Westminster you will be right in the centre of Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, St James’s Park, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street, on the north bank of the Thames. Everything at the top of your ‘must see in London’ list is all in one place. Westminster has great access to London’s South Bank and is also convenient to reach if you are travelling from Gatwick airport. Westminster is less than 10 minutes walk away from the London Eye and you can reach Trafalgar Square in less than 15 minutes. Although Westminster is in the heart of the top tourist spots, there are fewer restaurants and places to stay. However, it is easy to walk around and reach many busier areas with lots of bars and restaurants from here.
From Westminster, take the Yellow Route from stop 13 at Westminster Pier for a tour around London’s best tourist attractions.
Best for: Central location, shops, restaurants and West End theatre
If you struggling to decide where to stay in central London, Covent Garden is a great choice if you have never visited before. Covent Garden is a lively area with lots going on. Visit the stunning Covent Garden Market, shop til you drop on the high-street and be spoilt for choice with an endless list of bars and restaurants. Aside from shopping, Covent Garden is in a great place in London to experience the West End with lots of theatres in the area and is also very close to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Pay a visit to the Royal Opera House or go off the beaten track to Seven Dials where you will find lots of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Covent Garden is a busy area with lots going on at night and gives you easy access to the rest of the city.
Travel along our Orange Route by taking an Original Tour bus from stop 43A in Leicester Square. Alternatively, take the Red Route from stop 71 or the Yellow Route from stop 7 in Aldwych.
Best for: A quieter stay at the weekend
The City of London is known as the ‘square mile’ and is the financial district of London. With towering skyscrapers and medieval streets, the City of London has lots to offer. It is a bustling business area during the week but it is much quieter in the evening and of a weekend. The City of London is home to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Barbican centre, Millennium Bridge, London Bridge and the Museum of London. You will find plenty of bars, restaurants, galleries, shops and churches whilst Smithfield Market is definitely worth a visit. The City of London is right next to Whitechurch, where Jack the Ripper committed many of his murders, so it is the perfect place to take a Jack the Ripper tour.
Explore the city by taking the Yellow Route from stop 8 or the Red Route bus tour from stop 73 near St Paul’s Cathedral.
Best for: Young adults, hipster atmosphere
Would you prefer a more vibrant area in the capital? If so, Shoreditch is one of the best neighbourhoods to stay in London. With cool bars and restaurants and colourful artistic graffiti, Shoreditch is quieter during the day but is buzzing with nightlife. This hipster area is popular with young adults and is home to Columbia Road Flower Market, Old Spitalfields Market and the infamous Brick Lane Market. Head to Brick Lane for some great street food, vintage shops and choose from a number of curry houses. This area also offers some unique rooftop bars, restaurants and swimming pools where you can experience a different side to East London. Shoreditch has some great transport links and it will take around 35 minutes to reach Westminster by taking the bus and the train.
To take The Original Tour from Shoreditch, simply take the Northern Line tube from Old Street to Bank where you can get on the Yellow Route at stop 9 on Queen Victoria Street.
Best for: Cosmopolitan local area away from busy tourist traps
A little quieter than Shoreditch, Brixton is a trendy local area, away from the busy tourist areas in London. Brixton is a popular place to live in London as you can reach Victoria station in under 20 minutes and are always guaranteed a seat on the tube as it is at the beginning of the line. Although it is more residential, there is still lots going on. Visit the O2 Academy and Ritzy Cinema for entertainment or try the Pop Brixton community project for some great independent pubs, bars and retailers. There are plenty of bars and restaurants in the area and you can grab some groceries at Brixton Village, Market Row or Electric Avenue Street Market to live just like the locals.
Hop on The Original Tour Yellow Route at stop 25 once you get off the tube at Victoria station for a full city tour.
Best for: History and a quieter area with lots to see
If you are deciding where to stay in London and want to be surrounded by a rich history, the Tower Bridge area is a great choice. You will be close to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and there are lots of buses and great train networks close by. Tower Bridge is usually more expensive during the week as it is close to the financial district but it can sometimes be cheaper than other areas of a weekend. There are lots of lovely restaurants and bars on the north side of the river and it is close to St Katharine Docks, a thriving modern community. You may struggle if you are travelling from Heathrow airport as there are no direct transport links to Tower Bridge and it is on the opposite side of the city. However, Tower Bridge is a great base for exploring London and depending on your budget, you might find a great hotel alongside the river.
Take the Yellow Route from stop 11 or the Red Route from stop 74, which are both just a short walk from Tower Hill underground station, for great tours of the city.
Best for: High-end luxury in the centre of London
One of the best places to stay in London, if you are looking for a lively, upscale neighbourhood, is Mayfair. In the heart of the city, with easy access to many great tourist attractions, Mayfair is close to lots of major tube stations. You can walk to Buckingham Palace through Green Park in less than 20 minutes and it is also close to Piccadilly, Oxford Street and Hyde Park. Mayfair is one of the most exclusive parts of London with high-end shopping at Savile Row or Bond Street and world-class hotels such as The Ritz. There is a great mix of modern bars and restaurants as well as older pubs and touristy restaurants in the area. It is also perfectly located with the buzz of the West End to one side and the peaceful Hyde Park to another. The only drawback is that staying centrally with everything on your doorstep comes at a price, and staying in Mayfair can be pretty pricey.
There are lots of places to hop on The Original Tour along Piccadilly. Jump on the Yellow Route at stop 20 or 21, the Red Route at stop 79 or the Pink Route at stops 78 or 79.
When you are deciding where to stay in central London, make sure that the area you choose gives you exactly what you are looking for. If you are travelling with children or want somewhere quiet, it may be better to stay in a local or more residential area. However, if you want to get swept away by bustling London life, head straight to the centre where you can party all night long.
Whilst you are in London, see the best parts of the city on a sightseeing bus with The Original Tour. We have 6 different routes and you will never be far from one of our bus stops when you are in central London so you can explore the city at your own pace.
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