Not sure where to stay in London? This INSIDER GUIDE covers what to do in each neighborhood, and the top hotels & hostels by area!
Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

The Big Smoke. The Swinging City. London is a city that offers so much more than Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, fish and chips, and cheeky curries.

London is a massive city and good accommodation here don’t come cheap. Which is exactly why we put together this insider’s guide for where to stay in London.

Written exclusively for The Broke Backpacker, this in-depth guide looks at the best places to stay in London organized by your interests. We’ll highlight the top neighbourhoods for first-timers, for families, party animals and culture vultures and we will share with you exactly what to see, where to eat and where to stay – plus, a few hidden gems along the way. So, no matter what you’re into, we’ve got you covered.

Here is our comprehensive guide for where to stay in London, England.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in London

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Covent Garden
This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is located in the centre of the city. It is home to incredible tourist attractions and boasts a fantastic selection of world-class restaurants, high-quality shops and boisterous bars.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Stand at the centre of bustling Trafalgar Square.
  • Take a short walk to St. James Palace and Buckingham Palace.
  • Marvel at St Paul’s Church.

 

Where to Stay in London

Looking for a specific place to stay? It’s not easy. There are hotels, hostels, homestays & London B & B’s spread across the great city. But these are our highest recommendations for places to stay in London.

 

Best Hostel in London: The Walrus Hostel

The Walrus Hostel in South Bank wins our vote for the best hostel in London because of its excellent location, fantastic facilities and great prices. It boasts spacious and comfortable rooms with cozy beds and modern features. Free wifi and a simple breakfast are also included with each reservation.

Head over to our comprehensive guide to the best hostels in London before starting your backpacking adventure!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in London: Private room in central location

This massive room is great for travellers who visit London for the first time. The apartment is located in central Leicester Square. There are lots of great places, cafes and restaurants around. You’ll also get free breakfast every morning. The main bathroom is shared, however, you’ll have a private toilet. If you’ve seen enough of the city, you can enjoy the free Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on your TV.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in London: Citizenm London Shoreditch

Citizenm is the best hotel in London. Set in the trendy Shoreditch neighbourhood, this four-star hotel is surrounded by options for nightlife, dining, shopping and sightseeing. It offers a range of comfortable and spacious rooms that come complete with wireless internet, en suite bathrooms and essential amenities.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Homestay in London – Double Room in Kings’ X House share

There are few better locations in town than this London share house, and that’s just the beginning of what makes this place so awesome! Your friendly homestay hosts will welcome you each morning with a complimentary breakfast, and there’s beer too (although you don’t have to have that in the morning)! There’s an open plan living space and a garden, so a couple of great places to relax with your host too.

If you’re feeling competitive, challenge them to a game on the pinball machine.

VIEW ON AIRBNB

London Neighbourhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in London

tbbn-table__image

Covent Garden

  • This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is located in the centre of the city. It is home to incredible tourist attractions and boasts a fantastic selection of world-class restaurants, high-quality shops and boisterous bars.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

South Bank

  • The South Bank and Southwark neighbourhoods are located on the southern side of the Thames River. These are two of London’s best neighbourhoods for sightseeing because of their excellent location
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Soho

  • Set north of the city centre is the lively, vibrant and trendy Soho neighbourhood. It boasts an excellent mix of cocktail bars, traditional pubs, theatres, speakeasies, restaurants and cafes, which is why this is our top recommendation for where to stay in London for nightlife.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Shoreditch

  • Without a doubt, Shoreditch is one of the coolest places to stay in London. Located east of the city centre, this neighbourhood is a hipster haven complete with art galleries, cafes, vintage shops, bars and restaurant.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

South Kensington

  • London’s South Kensington neighbourhood is a luxurious neighbourhood set west of the city centre. It is one of the more affluent areas of the city and boasts a variety of incredible museums, world-renowned shops, delicious restaurants and delectable bakeries.
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel

 

London is a megalopolis bursting with history, culture, music, art and nightlife. It is the capital and largest city in the United Kingdom and is the biggest city in the European Union. London is generally a safe place to travel for tourists.

Greater London consists of 32 London boroughs as well as the City of London. It is home to more than 8.8 million people and covers a vast area of 1,572 square kilometres. Because there’s so much to see and do, we’ve decided to focus this London neighbourhood guide on the five best areas to stay in based on your specific travel needs.

Covent Gardens is the city’s main tourist district. Here you’ll find a great variety of lively theatres, bustling shops and boisterous restaurants. It is centrally located in the city and allows for easy access to top tourist attractions, which is why it’s one of the best places to stay in London.

Head across the river and you’ll arrive in Southbank. A fantastic neighbourhood for sightseeing, here you’ll find the London Eye, the Tate Modern and a whole host of budget accommodation, making it a great choice for where to stay in London for one night.

North of the city centre is the energetic and eclectic Soho neighbourhood. Packed with cocktail bars, theatres, underground speakeasies and world-class restaurants, Soho is definitely the best area in London to stay in if you’re looking for nightlife.

Set northeast of the city centre is Shoreditch. One of the coolest places to stay in London, Shoreditch is a vibrant neighbourhood home to trendy restaurants, hip bars, cool art galleries and independent shops.

And finally, west of the city centre is South Kensington. Home to parks, museums, restaurants and shops, South Kensington is our top pick for where to stay in London with kids because it’s packed with great activities and attractions.

Still not sure where to stay in London? Don’t worry because we’ve got all the info you need – and more – coming right up!

Make sure you know as much as possible before visiting London. Use our backpacking London guide to gain valuable information and to travel like a pro!

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

 

London’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at the best areas to stay in London.

 

#1 Covent Garden – Where to Stay in London for Your First Time

If you’re not sure where to stay in London for your first time, look no further than Covent Garden.

This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is located in the centre of the city. It is home to incredible tourist attractions and boasts a fantastic selection of world-class restaurants, high-quality shops and boisterous bars. Covent Garden is also where you’ll find the vast majority of London’s world-renowned theatre scene, where you can see top performers strut their stuff on stage.

Thanks to its incredible location, Covent Garden is also one of the best places in London to stay for sightseeing. In Covent Garden, you’re in close proximity to popular tourist attractions and landmarks, including Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, as well as the National Gallery, the London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

Covent Garden, London

 

Things to See and Do in Covent Garden

– Stand at the centre of bustling Trafalgar Square.

– Take a short walk to St. James Palace and Buckingham Palace.

– Marvel at St Paul’s Church.

– Admire the architecture of Somerset House.

– Delve deep into the world of cars, buses and beyond at the London Transport Museum.

– Shop for handmade goods and unusual items at the Apple Market.

– View an incredible collection of art at The National Gallery.

– Dine on excellent seafood at The Oystermen Seafood Bar & Kitchen.

– Feast on modern British cuisine at Drury 188-189.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ben’s Cookies.

– Grab a pint at the Marquess of Anglesey pub.

 

Best Hostel in Covent Garden: Strand Continental

This is one of the best places in London to stay thanks to its friendly atmosphere, excellent location and unbeatable price point. It offers mixed dorms as well as single, double and family rooms. There’s also free wifi, shared bathrooms, and free continental breakfast.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Covent Garden: Private room in central location

This massive room is great for travellers who visit London for the first time. The apartment is located in central Leicester Square. There are lots of great places, cafes and restaurants around. You’ll also get free breakfast every morning. The main bathroom is shared, however, you’ll have a private toilet. If you’ve seen enough of the city, you can enjoy the free Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on your TV.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Covent Garden: LSE Grosvenor House

This three-star hotel is located in Covent Garden, the best neighbourhood in London to stay in for sightseeing. It is close to great shops, restaurants, theatres and tourist attractions. They offer a variety of facilities and features, including laundry, luggage storage to keep your valuables safe, and wifi.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Covent Garden: Strand Palace Hotel London

The Strand Palace Hotel is situated at the heart of the city. It is an easy walk to the West End Theatre District and is close to popular tourist attractions and landmarks. Rooms are comfortable, spacious and luxurious and each is outfitted with a variety of modern amenities.

View on Booking.com

 

#2 South Bank/Southwark – Where to Stay in London on a Budget

The South Bank and Southwark neighbourhoods are located on the southern side of the Thames River. These are two of London’s best neighbourhoods for sightseeing because of their excellent location. Not only do they boast a number of popular landmarks and attractions, like the London Eye and Tate Modern, but South Bank/Southwark are a short walk from Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Covent Gardens, Soho and more.

These neighbourhoods are also our top pick for where to stay in London on a budget because of their high concentrations of backpacker hostels. Here you can enjoy the very best of London without bursting your budget.

South Bank Southwark, London

 

Things to See and Do in South Bank/Southwark

– Explore The Queen’s Walk.

– Rest and relax in Jubilee Gardens.

– Snack and sample your way through the South Bank Centre Food Markets.

– Catch a classical or musical performance at the National Theatre.

– See your favourite sea creatures and aquatic animals at SEA LIFE London Aquarium.

– Enjoy a feast at Pieminister.

– Slurp a hot and filling bowl at Neds Noodle Bar.

– Dine on a cheeky curry from Chilli Chutney Waterloo.

– Excite your sense at the Borough Market.

– Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

– See The Shard.

– Browse the exhibits at the Tate Modern.

 

Best Hostel in South Bank/Southwark: The Walrus Hostel

The Walrus Hostel wins our vote for the best hostel in London because of its excellent location, fantastic facilities and great prices. It boasts spacious and comfortable rooms with cosy beds and modern features. Free wifi and a simple breakfast are also included with each reservation.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in South Bank/Southwark: Affordable room in shared flat

Wanting to stay in London but you’re on a budget? This Airbnb might be worth having a look at. The private room in a shared flat is affordable, spacious and clean. You can use all the amenities in the apartment. The host is known for being very helpful and offers great advice during your stay. Previous guests felt very comfortable and have left only the best reviews.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in South Bank/Southwark: St Christopher’s Inn Village

This charming property is ideally located in London. It is close to well-known tourist attractions, including the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern, as well as restaurants, bars and shops. It offers comfortable and affordable accommodations and boasts modern rooms with heating, wireless internet and a shared garden.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in South Bank/Southwark: The Wellington Hotel London

The Wellington Hotel is in a great spot for sightseeing. It is within walking distance of museums, landmarks, and theatres, and is surrounded by eateries, pubs and shops. Rooms have historic charm and modern amenities. Guests can also enjoy free wifi and an on-site coffee bar.

View on Booking.com

 

#3 Soho – Where to Stay in London for Nightlife

Set north of the city centre is the lively, vibrant and trendy Soho neighbourhood. It boasts an excellent mix of cocktail bars, traditional pubs, theatres, speakeasies, restaurants and cafes, which is why this is our top recommendation for where to stay in London for nightlife. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away, sip a cheeky pint, or watch a lively play, Soho is a neighbourhood bursting with options for after dark fun.

Although Soho is one of the best areas to stay in London, it should be noted that some parts can be a little rough at night and noisy on weekends. Take a bit of extra caution when exploring Soho after dark, and you’ll no doubt enjoy the neighbourhood.

Soho, London

 

Things to See and Do in Soho

– Shop until you drop on Oxford Street.

– Excite your senses in lively Leicester Square.

– Feast on steak and other delicious English options at Blacklock Soho.

– Grab a snack at Cahoots.

– Indulge in amazing treats at Choccywoccydoodah.

– Listen to live jazz at Ronnie Scott’s.

– Enjoy amazing views of the city from the Soho Sky Terrace.

– Sip a cheeky pint at John Snow Pub.

– Dance the night away at The Box.

– Let your hair down at Freedom Bar.

– Drink sophisticated cocktails at The Bag O’Nails.

– See and be seen at Aqua Spirit.

 

Best Hostel in Soho: SoHostel London

This lively, bright and airy hostel is a fantastic option for London accommodation. It is conveniently located in London’s Soho neighbourhood and there are plenty of bars, restaurants and clubs nearby. It has more than 100 comfortable rooms, a sun-soaked terrace, as well as a café and bar.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Airbnb in Soho: Private room in luxurious flat

You really can’t get any close to the cities nightlife! This Airbnb is right in the middle of great bars and pubs. Located in central Soho, close to Oxford street, you can be sure that you’ll always find a place for a great night out. You’ll have a room to yourself, including a private bathroom. The flat itself is luxurious and well designed, with high-quality amenities in the common areas.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Soho: Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road

Located in nearby Westminster, this hotel is in an ideal location for walking to London’s best bars, clubs and restaurants. It is also close to Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus and offers easy access to tourist attractions and museums. Each room comes complete with air conditioning, a private bathroom, and modern amenities.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Soho: Mimi’s Hotel Soho

Mimi’s Hotel Soho is a charming and modern four-star hotel. It offers comfortable and cosy rooms that are outfitted with a range of essential features. Guests of this hotel can enjoy free wifi as well as luggage storages and concierge services.

View on Booking.com

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy - Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

#4 Shoreditch – Coolest Place to Stay in London

Without a doubt, Shoreditch is one of the coolest places to stay in London. Located east of the city centre, this neighbourhood is a hipster haven complete with art galleries, cafes, vintage shops, bars and restaurant. It boasts an exciting mix of informal hangouts that attracts creatives, entrepreneurs and independent spirits from all corners of the city. Shoreditch is perhaps the best area of London to stay in for hipsters.

In addition to being the best neighbourhood to stay in London for hipsters and trendsetters, Shoreditch is also a fantastic shopping destination. Tucked throughout this northeastern London borough are a myriad of local and independent boutiques as well as vintage shops where you can find gently used fashions, accessories and furniture, as well as books, jewels and more.

Shoreditch, London

 

Things to See and Do in Shoreditch

– Explore the trendy shops, bars and food huts at Boxpark Shoreditch.

– Eat your way through Urban Food Fest.

– Experience one of London’s most dynamic arts centres, Rich Mix.

– Sip cocktails at Hoxton Hall.

– Sample a range of drinks at The Cocktail Trading Company.

– Indulge in outstanding Italian fare at Popolo Shoreditch.

– Dine on delicious Asian food at 100 Hoxton.

– Drink refreshing cocktails at Callooh Callay.

– Snack on great pub fare at Old Street Records.

– Marvel at the views from the rooftop terrace at the Golden Bee.

– Enjoy excellent cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere at Found.

– Sink your teeth into a great burger at Bar Kick.

 

Best Hostel in Shoreditch: The Dictionary Hostel

The Dictionary Hostel is located in London’s hippest neighbourhood. It is just minutes away from Shoreditch High Street and is a short walk from excellent bars, clubs and restaurants. This hostel is housed in a converted Victorian-era warehouse and boasts a quirky style and comfortable furnishings.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Shoreditch: Stylish 2nd floor studio

This Airbnb isn’t just located in the coolest areas in London – it’s also pretty unique itself. The stylish and very well designed studio offers the perfect experience of the central London city life. You’ll have every amenity you might need, as well as super-fast wifi and a smart TV. Great for spending a day inside or working online if you’ve seen enough of the busy streets.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Shoreditch: Point A Hotel London Shoreditch

This hotel is conveniently located in the best area to stay in London for hipsters. It is in close proximity to a variety of trendy bars, world-class restaurants and energetic clubs. Rooms for comfortable and cosy and each has modern amenities and features.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Shoreditch: Citizenm London Shoreditch

Citizenm is the best hotel in London. Set in the trendy Shoreditch neighbourhood, this four-star hotel is surrounded by options for nightlife, dining, shopping and sightseeing. It offers a range of comfortable and spacious rooms that come complete with wireless internet, en suite bathrooms and essential amenities.

View on Booking.com

 

#5 South Kensington – Where to Stay in London for Families

London’s South Kensington neighbourhood is a luxurious neighbourhood set west of the city centre. It is one of the more affluent areas of the city and boasts a variety of incredible museums, world-renowned shops, delicious restaurants and delectable bakeries. Because there’s so much to see, do and eat in South Kensington this neighbourhood is our top pick for where to stay in London for families.

South Kensington is home to three of the best museums in the city, which is why we think it’s the best neighbourhood to stay in London with kids. Covering everything from the sciences and natural history to decorative arts and sculpture, South Kensington is a neighbourhood that will broaden your horizons and spark your curiosities.

South Kensington, London

 

Things to See and Do in South Kensington

– Delve deep into history at the Natural History Museum.

– See the Tardis Police Box, a must for Dr Who fans.

– Browse the exhibits at the incredible Science Museum.

– Grab a slice at Pizzetta Pizza.

– Indulge in delicious Indian dishes at Khan’s of Kensington.

– Enjoy a sweet treat from Oddono’s Gelati Italiani.

– View an awesome collection of art and design at the V&A – Victoria & Albert Museum.

– Shop until you drop at Harrod’s.

– Catch a performance at Royal Albert Hall.

– Drink afternoon tea at Town House Kensington.

– Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in Hyde Park.

 

Best Hostel in South Kensington: Safestay London Kensington

This is one of the best London accommodation options if your family is travelling on a budget. Set in the heart of London, this hostel is close to shops, restaurants, parks and museums. It has three different houses that offer a range of standard rooms as well as private family suites.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in South Kensington: 2 floor family home

Accommodating up to 6 people, this Airbnb is perfect for big families. The apartment is spread over two floors. There are two massive bedrooms and 1,5 bathrooms. The kitchen is fully equipped and ready to be used. The host also provides a couple of table games- a great way to get together after a busy day. The area is family-friendly with cute cafes and restaurants just around the corner.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in South Kensington: The Harrington

The Harrington is conveniently located in one of London’s best neighbourhoods. It is close to the London tube and is within walking distance of great museums and verdant parks. This property provides spacious apartments that are well-outfitted and ideal for families.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in South Kensington: Crowne Plaza London Kensington

This is our top pick for where to stay in London with kids because it offers spacious rooms in a great location. This four-star hotel offers a range of features, including a sauna, a gym, and a continental breakfast each morning. Rooms provide modern accommodation with ensuite bathrooms and comfortable beds.

View on Booking.com

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in London

London is a vibrant and multicultural city that is bursting with history, culture, food, nightlife, shopping and entertainment. It’s one of the largest cities in the world, and no matter how long you stay, you’ll leave feeling like there’s so much more to see. That’s why, for us, a trip to London is always a good idea.

In this London neighbourhood guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in the city. If you’re still not sure which neighbourhood is right for you, here is a quick recap.

The Walrus Hostel in South Bank is our favourite hotel because of its excellent location, modern facilities and unbeatable prices.

Another good option is the Citizenm London Shoreditch. Set in London’s coolest neighbourhood, this four-star hotel is in close proximity to nightlife, shopping, dining and sightseeing.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

 

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

Like this post? PIN ME!!!

Not sure where to stay in London? This INSIDER GUIDE covers what to do in each neighborhood, and the top hotels & hostels by area!