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The Best Neighborhoods In London: From Elegant To Edgy

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London is a vibrant and busy city divided into a diverse collection of neighborhoods — each offering its unique range of experiences, attractions, and accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for the perfect vantage point in London, or simply want to explore the city’s many facets, learning about its coolest neighborhoods beforehand will certainly make your trip planning easier. To help you decide which area to stay in and visit, we’ve compiled a guide to the 9 best neighborhoods in London and the very best things to do in each of them.

Quick Jumplinks

  • Notting Hill
  • South Kensington
  • Camden Town
  • The City of London
  • Covent Garden
  • Westminster
  • Bloomsbury
  • Shoreditch
  • Chelsea
  • Frequently Asked Questions

The 9 Best Neighborhoods To Stay In London

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Notting Hill

📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Portobello Road Market
• Museum of Brands
• Graffik Gallery
🤤 Top places to eat? • The Ledbury
• GAIL’s Bakery
• Farm Girl
🛏️ Top places to stay? • The Laslett Hotel
• The Knight of Notting Hill
• Ruby Zoe

Notting Hill is often regarded as one of the “prettiest neighborhoods in London”. Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, west London, this alluring area charms locals and visitors alike with its pastel-colored houses, chic brunch spots, and charming boutique shops.

Some of the best-known attractions in Notting Hill include the iconic Portobello Road Market, where you’ll find an array of stalls selling vintage clothing and knick-knacks, and the colorful Notting Hill Carnival, which happens in August every year.

If you decide to stay in this upscale area (note that this is not the most budget-friendly neighborhood in London), you’ll also be close to big-name attractions such as Holland Park, and the Kensington Gardens.

This affluent and fashionable neighborhood also flaunts great transportation links with other areas in London. The closest tube station is Notting Hill Gate.

South Kensington

Best Neighborhoods in London - South Kensington, in London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Kensington Palace
• Science Museum
• The Royal Albert Hall
🤤 Top places to eat? • Scoff & Banter Kensington
• Casa Brindisa
• Kensington Gardens Cafe
🛏️ Top places to stay? • Hotel Indigo London – Kensington
• The Resident Kensington
• Hilton London Kensington

South Kensington is a real treat for the eyes. Located just west of Central London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this atmospheric neighborhood was Nicknamed Little Paris thanks to its breathtaking beauty. 

Here, you’ll find dreamy tree-lined streets dotted with white-washed mansions and idyllic garden squares. Not by chance, this lovely area is consistently ranked as the best place to live in London

South Kensington is incredibly family-friendly, featuring a dazzling array of museums and cultural landmarks that please both adults and kids alike. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall.

South Kensington also provides visitors with easy access to the lush Hyde Park. One of London’s eight Royal Parks, Hyde Park encompasses a large wetland area, spectacular gardens, children’s playgrounds, sports facilities, and historic sites.

The area is also home to a variety of restaurants and cafes catering to all tastes and budgets, as well as shopping destinations (be sure to check out High Street Kensington’s incredible shops).

South Kensington has a Tube station served by the Piccadilly line, the Circle line, and the District line. There are also some bus routes that go through the area.

Camden Town

Best Neighborhoods in London - Camden Town, in London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • The Cob Gallery
• Camden Market
• The Roundhouse
🤤 Top places to eat? • Poppies Fish & Chips
• Primrose Bakery
• The World’s End
🛏️ Top places to stay? • Camden Lock by CAPITAL
• Melia White House Hotel
• Smart Camden Inn Hostel

The eccentric Camden Town district, in London’s West End, is the ultimate destination for offbeat travelers seeking to discover the quirky side of the city. 

Here, you’ll come across a delightful mix of live music venues, independent boutiques, vibrant pubs, cute cafes, and picturesque street performers.

Well-known attractions in Camden include Camden Market, home to over 1000 unique shops and food stalls, Camden Lock, one of London’s first antique markets, and the well-known Abbey Road thoroughfare.

Camden Town also features a good selection of budget-friendly accommodation options, including a plethora of stylish hostels.

From Camden Town, you’ll be able to easily reach other areas in London. The neighborhood is just a short walk from green spaces such as Regent’s Park, and Primrose Hill, one of the top North neighborhoods in London featuring a lush park that offers the most sweeping views of London!

The City of London

Best Neighborhoods in London - London Bridge, in London, England.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • St. Paul’s Cathedral
• Tower Bridge
• Leadenhall Market
🤤 Top places to eat? • Coq d’Argent
• Sweetings
• City Social
🛏️ Top places to stay? • Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel
• Dorsett City London
• The Ned

The City of London is a vibrant area located at the center of Greater London. Located on the northern bank of the River Thames, it comprises around 2 square miles of space with only around 10,000 residents.

Nicknamed “The City” or the “Square Mile”, the area also corresponds to the London financial district, as several prestigious institutions such as the Stock Exchange and the Bank of England are located here.

The City welcomes around 400,000 commuters every day, making it one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in all of London. Here, travelers are happily surprised by the wide range of restaurants, cafes, stores, and hotels.

This non-stop neighborhood also encompasses a range of attractions such as the Museum of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Leadenhall Market, and Barbican Center. A lesser-known place that is worth visiting in The City is the Sky Garden, which is tucked into a towering skyscraper and offers spectacular views of the city skyline.

Situated opposite the central City of London is the London Borough of Southwark. A bustling district by the River Thames, in south London, Southwark harbors several cultural attractions like Tate Modern Gallery, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge (aka the London Bridge), and the Tower of London.

Foodies visiting Southwark can’t pass up the chance to stop by Borough Market, which is punctuated by a myriad of delectable street food stalls.

Covent Garden

Best Neighborhoods in London - Neal's Yard, in London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • London Transport Museum
• Royal Opera House
• Infinity Chamber
🤤 Top places to eat? • SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden
• Cinnamon Bazaar
• Clos Maggiore
🛏️ Top places to stay? • The Henrietta Hotel
• One Aldwych
• The Savoy

Covent Garden is a wonderful place to base yourself in London. Situated in the West End of London, between St Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane, this stylish district has a little bit of everything — independent shops, award-winning restaurants (try Clos Maggiore), historical buildings, and world-class museums.

Tried and true activities in Covent Garden include visiting the multicolored Neal’s Yard, a tiny alley with lovely cafes and shops, and watching The Royal Ballet of London at the Royal Opera House. Be sure to also drop by the iconic Apple Market, which holds a signature fruit and vegetable market, and the London Transport Museum, home to a collection of vintage vehicles.

While staying in this London neighborhood, you’ll be within walking distance of other bucket-list attractions such as the National Gallery, and Leicester Square.

Westminster

Best Neighborhoods in London - Westminster, in London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Westminster Abbey
• Big Ben
• Hyde Park
🤤 Top places to eat? • Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
• The Red Lion
• Quilon
🛏️ Top places to stay? • The Goring
• Corinthia London
• Conrad London St. James

Westminster is a charismatic city and area of Central London. This lively area plays host to many of London’s top attractions, like Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace, making it a prime destination for first-timers visiting the city.

The area is also known for being one of the best places to go shopping in London. Running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus, Oxford Street is home to over 300 stores, making it the busiest shopping street in Europe.

Aside from a glorious central location, Westminster is well-served by public transport (St. James Park is the closest underground station), so you’ll easily reach other parts of London.

Bloomsbury

Best Neighborhoods in London - Woman traveler walking in front of a store in Bloomsbury, London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Brunswick Centre
• St. George’s Gardens
• The British Museum
🤤 Top places to eat? • Ciao Bella
• Noble Rot
• Ristorante Olivelli
🛏️ Top places to stay? • The Grafton Arms
• Kimpton Fitzroy London
• Radisson Blu Edwardian

Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London. This charming area is a go-to destination for cultural vultures, as it harbors a range of respectful museums, art galleries, and bookstores.

While meandering through Bloomsbury’s quiet streets, you’ll stumble upon prestigious institutions like the British Museum, aka one of the best London museums, and the renowned University College London.

And there are lesser-known options here, too. Gay’s the Word, the UK’s oldest LGBTQ+ bookstore (actor Ian McKellen is a fan of the library) is located in Bloomsbury. This creative neighborhood is also home to the Charles Dickens Museum, which was the place in which the notable English author wrote Oliver Twist.

Mouth-watering restaurants catering to every taste and budget also abound in Bloomsbury. Must-visits include Bloomsbury Street Kitchen, where you’ll feast on Mediterranean-inspired dishes, and Ciao Bella, famous for its trattoria-style Italian dishes.

Shoreditch

Best Neighborhoods in London - Columbia Road Flower Market, in London, UK.
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Columbia Road Flower Market
• Shoreditch pub crawl
• BOXPARK
🤤 Top places to eat? • Seed Library
• Cycene
• Bistro Freddie
🛏️ Top places to stay? • Shoreditch House
• Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
• Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch

If eclecticism were the theme for your stay, Shoreditch would be one of the best neighborhoods in London. Regarded as the “beating heart of east London”, the area is a favorite among young creatives and trendsetters thanks to its intriguing collection of nightclubs and bars, bustling high streets, alternative cinemas, and top-notch independent shops (head over to Brick Lane to discover London’s best vintage shops)

There are several free things to do in Shoreditch, making it a top London area for budget travelers. For free, you can explore the area on foot and spot irreverent street art murals by famous artists like Banksy, ROA, and Stik.

Every Sunday, Shoreditch hosts the Columbia Road a long-running flower market that market gathers small and independent traders selling a variety of colorful flowers, houseplants, herbs, bulbs, and shrubs from around the world.

Last but not least, Shoreditch is served by two underground stations — Old Street and Shoreditch High Street —and several bus routes.

Chelsea

Best Neighborhoods in London - Neighborhoods In London - Chelsea
📌 Where is it? Find on map
🧐 Top things to do? • Sloane Street
• The Royal Court Theatre
• Saatchi Gallery
🤤 Top places to eat? • VQ Chelsea
• Marco Grill
• Bluebird Cafe
🛏️ Top places to stay? • 11 Cadogan Gardens
• Sydney House Chelsea
• Sloane Place

Chelsea is a wealthy area in west London. The neighborhood is bordered by the north bank of the River Thames, Pimlico, Belgravia, Kensington, Fulham, and the city center, so you’ll be within easy reach of several popular London areas.

This affluent neighborhood is home to quiet residential streets that are simply a joy to explore on foot. Some of the most beautiful are Bywater Street, Burnsall Street, Godfrey Street, and Swan Walk, which are lined with candy-colored houses.

Another great spot for an idle stroll is the Chelsea Embankment, a mile-long stretch along the Thames’s north bank. While making your way through this scening pathway, you’ll find many London treasures, including the beautiful Albert Bridge, and Swan House at no.17.

Be sure to go for an idle walk in Battersea Park, a 200-acre green space that has a riverside promenade, a large lake, and alluring gardens.

Chelsea also features bustling shopping areas like King’s Road, which is smothered top to bottom with an array of trendy shops, and culture-filled places such as the iconic Saatchi Gallery, and Physic Garden, one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the best neighborhoods in London?

  • Central London: Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Soho, Marylebone (Upscale, historical landmarks, great for sightseeing)
  • North London: Camden, Islington, Hackney (Trendy, artistic, nightlife)
  • South London: Greenwich, Brixton, Clapham (Green spaces, family-friendly, multicultural)

Which are the best neighborhoods in London for families?

  • Greenwich: Home to the Royal Observatory and beautiful parks.
  • Primrose Hill: Charming village atmosphere with a large park.
  • Holland Park: Spacious and safe, with access to Holland Park itself.
  • Dulwich: Suburban feel with excellent schools and green spaces.

Which are the best neighborhoods in London for nightlife?

  • Soho: Bustling and diverse nightlife options.
  • Shoreditch: Trendy bars and nightclubs.
  • Camden: Live music scene and alternative bars.
  • Brixton: Lively Caribbean atmosphere with pubs and clubs.

Which are the best neighborhoods in London in terms of safety?

  • Pimlico: Smart and safe, close to Victoria for transport links.
  • Belsize Park: Peaceful area with a Hampstead village vibe.
  • Muswell Hill: Suburban feel with good transport connections.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 10 May 2024

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