London is the worlds most visited city. The area known as Greater London, which forms the administrative boundaries of the city, spans more than 1500 square kilometres. Comprising 32 separate boroughs (local authorities) which themselves are split into numerous neighbourhoods with nebulous boundaries, deciding where to stay in London can be mind-boggling. Our guide will break down the central area of the city into bite size pieces, to help you decide the best places to stay in London for your visit.
Samuel Johnson famously said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” and even a short visit to the city will explain why this is the case. A world leader in the arts, fashion, education, media, cuisine and entertainment, there is enough in London to keep you entertained for months or years.
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Where to stay in London
Planning your itinerary in London may be overwhelming, but choosing your London accommodation needn’t be. Our guide below will help you to navigate London hotels and neigbourhoods to pick the best place for your visit.
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Where to stay around Soho, Leicester Square and Covent Garden
Soho is the heart of London’s entertainment district, within easy proximity of the West End theatres as well as the neon lights of Leicester Square and the shopping and street performances of Covent Garden.
It’s a great place to stay in London if you want to be in the hub of the action. The area comes alive at night with many bars and diverse restaurants staying open until the small hours.
Although its reputation as being London’s red light district has turned around, Soho is still the most permissive area of London, with a lively scene of LBGTQ bars and burlesque shows being a major draw to the area.
Our top pick > Hazlitt’s Hotel
This historic 4-star boutique hotel was built in 1718. It is decorated with antique furniture in a period style, including chandeliers and Victorian baths. It has a great location on Soho Square and was referred to by Harpers Bazaar as “one of London’s best kept secrets”. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com or HotelsCombined.
Luxury > Ham Yard Hotel
One of the 5 star hotels in London from the Firmdale chain, Ham Yard features a garden, terrace, theatre fitness centre and sauna. Many of the individually designed en-suite rooms have a balcony or terrace. Within ten minutes walk of Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square tube stations. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Mid range > Karma Sanctum Soho Hotel
A funky and modern hotel within 5 minutes walk of the London shopping mecca Oxford Street. The roof terrace has a private bar and its own hot tub. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Budget > SoHostel
Cheap places to stay in London around these parts can be difficult to find, but SoHostel is well-rated. Bright and clean, and offering a rooftop bar and restaurant onsite with a selection of single and double rooms, and dorm beds.
Check out some great tours in Soho, Leicester Square and Covent Garden
- Evening Food Tour of Soho in London
- London Harry Potter Walking Tour
- Pub Tour of London’s West End: Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Soho
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Where to stay around Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia
Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are the two neighbourhoods immediately north of Oxford Street, either side of Tottenham Court Road. Either one can be the best neighborhood to stay in London if you want to be close to the action, but without the hustle and bustle of Soho and Leicester Square outside your window.
Bloomsbury is the home of the British Museum and has a number of pretty garden squares dotted throughout. Fitzrovia does not have any notable sites, but has dozens of chic restaurants and bars for evening entertainment and is close to Regents Park on the north side.
Our top pick > Rathbone
Within walking distance of Oxford Street, the Rathbone offers comfortable and elegantly decorated rooms on a quieter side street in Fitzrovia. Guests can take advantage of a 10% discount at some of the neighbourhood restaurants. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Luxury > Charlotte Street Hotel
This elegant five-star hotel is decorated throughout with a “Bloomsbury Group” theme, featuring art from the early 20th century designed to reflect London life. One of the leading boutique hotels London has to offer, Charlotte Street Hotel features a gym and 24 hour room services, as well as a wood-panelled library room. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Mid range > Saint George’s Hotel
Five minutes walk from Regents Park and with bright and modern rooms with all amenities. Saint Georges hotel also features a 15th floor bar and restaurant with European cuisine or afternoon tea served with panoramic views. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Budget > Astor Museum Hostel
Located directly across the street from the British Museum in the heart of Bloomsbury and close to Russell Square tube station. The hostel offers a mix of beds and dorms, with shared bathrooms all at a great price for the location. One of the best rated cheap hotels in central London. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Check out some great tours London:
- Classic London Bike Tour of Central London
- London in One Day Sightseeing Tour Including Tower of London, Changing of the Guard with Optional London Eye UpgradeLondon Day Tour Including London Eye
- London Thames River Dinner Cruise
Where to stay around Mayfair and Marylebone
Mayfair is Londons most exclusive neighbourhood and is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The original game of Monopoly has Mayfair as the most expensive property – although the original cost of £400 would barely cover one night in a mid-range Mayfair hotel these days!
Marylebone is less exclusive but nevertheless affluent neighbourhood in the west-central part of London. Marylebone is a great choice for proximity to Paddington station and the Heathrow Express train, Regents Park, London Zoo and Baker Street.
This neighbourhood is where you will find many of the best hotels in London.
Our top pick > The Landmark London
Built in 1899 and featuring over 300 rooms and suites, it is now one of the Leading Hotels of the World and one of the most romantic hotels in London. If it is within your budget, it is our absolute top pick for hotels in this neighbourhood. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Luxury > Claridge’s
Art deco icon and a London institution – there could be no other for our luxury pick in Mayfair. Rooms are as luxurious and sumptuous as you would expect. If your budget doesn’t stretch to a stay, maybe you can treat yourself to one of their world-famous afternoon teas instead. Absolutely one of the top hotels in London. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Mid range > The Duke Rooms
A great choice among affordable hotels in London, especially considering this is an otherwise very neighbourhood. The Duke Rooms features an onsite bar, as well as rooms with all amenities in a convenient location close to Hyde Park and Marble Arch. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Budget > Publove @ The Green Man Paddington
Budget stays in this part of London are thin on the ground, however Publove @ The Green Man Paddington is an award-winning hostel with rooms above a traditional London pub. Guests can take advantage of meal discounts in the pub. A great value bed and breakfast London stay. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Check out some great tours London:
- Tour to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament in London
- Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Tour of Haunted London
- London Rock Legends Small Group Tour by Minivan
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Where to stay in the City of London
The historic center of London, founded more than two millennia ago by the Romans under the name Londinium. Today, it is the central business and financial district of London.
Notable historical sights include St Pauls Cathedral, the Monument and the Guildhall. The City is also home to modern architectural sights such as The Gherkin.
Top pick > QBic
A quirky and bright pod-style hotel with easy transport connections via nearest tube stations at Aldgate East. Rooms offer contemporary touches such as USB charging stations, rain showers with anti-steam mirrors and complimentary organic toiletries. It also has an onsite bar and restaurant. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Luxury > The Ned
5-star luxury, just a few steps away from Bank station in the heart of the City. The hotel is set in a listed building designed by Sir Edwin “Ned” Lutyens in the 1920’s and the decor is characterised by the 1920’s style. The hotel offers an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and Moroccan hammam – and no less than ten restaurants. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Mid range > The Napoleon
Within close proximity of the City as well as the trendy neighbouring Hoxton Square and Brick Lane (famous for the curry mile), The Napoleon is one of the very nice hotels in London for a mid-range choice The hotel was refurbished in 2017 and rooms have a very cool decor. Check the latest price on Booking.com or HotelsCombined.
Budget > Wombats City Hostel
With a mixture of dorm beds and private rooms, the uber-hip Wombats Hostel boasts a building that was historically a hostel for passing sailors to lay their heads.
Today part of the European hostel chain, this branch is one of the new budget hotels in central London. It offers lockers, a kitchen, laundry facilities and a bar, all within easy reach of Aldgate East tube. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Check out some great tours in London:
- London Eye: Champagne Experience
- Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea
- Warner Bros. Studio: The Making of Harry Potter with Luxury Round-Trip Transport from London
Where to stay in the South Bank in London
The only neighbourhood in our guide on the South side of the Thames, the South Bank one of the best places to stay in London if you are looking for a hub of arts and entertainment outside of Theatreland.
Home to the London Eye, the Tate Modern (among other art galleries) and the London Dungeon. There is also a buzzing street art scene around the area. It can be easier to find cheap hotels in London around this area.
Top pick > Citizen M London Bankside
The property has a urban-style coffee shop and co-living/co-working area where guests can take advantage of free iMacs with printing services. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Luxury > Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
The Shard is a modern London icon. Designed by Renzo Piano, the Shangri-La hotel is housed on floors 34-52. Five-star rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, offering a pair of binoculars to look out over the simply breathtaking views of the city. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Mid range > South Point Suites – London Bridge
Four-star, stylish apartments within easy reach of London Bridge station. All come with a fully equipped kitchen and separate living area, and some also feature a balcony. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Budget > Safestay London Elephant & Castle
A luxury hostel within easy reach of Elephant & Castle tube. Safestay offers both dorm beds and private rooms at a great budget price. The property also has a bright and trendy communal area and boasts a garden with a water feature. Among the best cheap hotels in London. Check the latest price on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or HotelsCombined.
Check out some great tours in London:
- Viator VIP: Exclusive Access to Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral
- Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour from London Including Highclere Castle
- London Food Walking Tour: London Bridge and Borough Market
London sights are fairly spread out due to the size of the city. However, all London neighbourhoods are connected by the extensive tube and bus network, making it easy to get to your favourite sights no matter which of the hotels in central London you choose for your stay.
We hope that this overview of where to stay in London helps to make choosing your hotel in this iconic city that little bit easier!