Planning a trip to London can be confusing.
Particularly when it comes to choosing where to stay in London.
All the areas have such a contrasting vibe and there are many different things to see.
Some are best for sightseeing, some for nightlife and some are better for those visiting on a budget!
I have lived in London for a little while now and have been lucky enough to visit several times before I moved here.
So I have been able to stay and explore quite a few different areas.
That is why I have managed to compile this list of where I think are the BEST places to stay in London for every type of trip, budget and person.
Let's get into it …
Best suited to: First-timers on a budget!
If you are wanting to stay in central London without the central London prices, I would always recommend staying in the Waterloo and Southbank area.
Not only are you close to a ton of main attractions in London but Waterloo Train Station has excellent transport links to all across London and to other places in the UK.
For some reason, hotels seem to be a lot more affordable in the Waterloo area despite being so central. You are only a short walk over the bridge and you will find yourself in the West End. This makes Waterloo a great base for a trip to London.
Best suited to: Frequent visitors
Angel is one of my favourite areas in London. While it is becoming very trendy with its boutique shops, cute cafes and an assortment of pubs and eateries, it still has a real traditional London feel. The canal runs alongside Angel making it a beautiful area to grab a coffee and wander around taking in the sights and the hidden gems. Especially wonderful if visiting London in Winter time.
Angel is located on the northern edge of central London but still in Zone 1 on the Northern Line which makes it really accessible to other areas in London.
If it is your first time visiting London, you might want to stay somewhere closer to the major attractions, but if you have visited a few times and want to get a real feel of London life, I would highly recommend staying in the Angel area.
£ - Prime Backpacker Angel - Prime Backpackers is your classic backpacker-style hostel in London. It is super close to the tube station and has a communal lounge room and kitchen, perfect for saving you some money on meals.
££ - Peaceful House by Regents Canal - A beautiful guest house in a quiet area along the canal, perfect for both solo travellers and couples. Opting for a guest house over a hotel is often a great option if you are planning to stay in London for more than a couple of days.
£££ - Hilton London Angel Islington - A great hotel that is known for its incredible customer service and modern design. The last time we walked past, the whole Arsenal football team were staying here and had quite the crowd!
Best suited to: Young couples and groups of friends
Shoreditch is definitely one of the trendiest areas of London. With top cocktail bars, restaurants, cheap eats and fun activities for couples like Hijingo and Junkyard Golf, you will not struggle to find something to do in the evening here!
It's one of the best areas in the city to see street art and these murals take over whole streets, making the perfect photo backdrop. The arts and culture doesn't stop there, only a short walk from the famous Brick Lane full of vintage clothing, art installations and incredible street food from all over the world.
Although slightly east of central London, Shoreditch is close to great transport links so you won't have any issues getting around to other parts of London.
£ - The Z Hotel Shoreditch - Z hotels are an amazing budget hotel chain in London. All their hotels are in ideal locations, have a modern interior and whilst small it has everything you could need for a city break.
££ - Hart Shoreditch Hotel London - For the location and quality of Hart Shoreditch Hotel, it is very reasonably priced. Within walking distance to bars, Spitalfields Market and Columbia Road Flower Market.
£££ - Mondrian - Ideally located in the heart of Shoreditch and Hoxton, this luxury hotel boasts an incredible restaurant and bar as well as a heated outdoor swimming pool which is definitely rare for London!
Best suited to: Families
Notting Hill is one of the most charming neighbourhoods in London and a gorgeous place to base your trip. If you are a fan of food markets, antiques, beautiful houses and cobbled streets, Notting Hill has it all to offer.
The charm of the area really shines at the Portobello road market which is best visited at weekends but Notting Hill has great transport links giving access to all the main attractions in London.
£ - Hostel One Notting Hill - Hostel One is a famous hostel company throughout Europe and this hostel is one of the top-rated in the whole of London! It's in an ideal location and is the perfect way to make some like-minded friends during your trip.
££ - Blue Bells Hotel - This hotel is set in a stunning Victorian building, encompassing the real vibe of Notting Hill. Only a short walk from all the highlights of the area for a reasonable price.
£££ - The Portobello Hotel - An absolutely stunning luxury hotel just a stone's throw away from the famous Portobello Market, All the rooms are beautifully decorated, some featuring round beds and stand-alone baths in the room.
Best for: Budget travellers
Brixton is an area which is always bustling from the moment you step out of the station, there is always something going on! This lively area is popular with backpackers and the younger crowd thanks to its assortment of bars, pubs, live music venues & other London date night locations.
Being slightly outside the city centre, it is a more affordable option for accommodation and restaurants. However, Brixton underground station is located on the Victoria line meaning you can be in the centre in a matter of minutes.
As Brixton was once the home of the legendary David Bowie, there is an unofficial memorial opposite the tube station, as well as other incredible street art scattered around Brixton.
£ - Hootananny Hostel - This lively hostel is located just a 10-minute walk from Brixton tube station. While it may be simple in terms of dorms and facilities, it has a kitchen and common room ideal for meeting like-minded people.
££ - Premier Inn Brixton Hotel - Premier Inns are always worth checking out in London. They are a great option for affordable stays, usually in really convenient locations and this one in Brixton is no different as it is only a short walk away from the tube station and all the other things to do in Brixton.
£££ - Half Moon - If you are looking for luxury without the price tag, you might want to check out the Half Moon. While it's around a 10-minute bus ride south of Brixton, this hotel is absolutely beautiful and has great transport links to the rest of London.
Best for: Nightlife lovers
If you are after some nightlife in the city centre, Soho needs to be top of your list!
The area of Soho has so much to offer in itself as it’s bordered by the famous Oxford Street, and has Chinatown running through the middle offering amazing restaurant options. It is also within walking distance of other major attractions and is just an all-around bustling area of the city.
Soho is one of my favourite spots for after work drinks. Much like the other locals, summer is extremely popular when the bars and restaurants have outdoor seating that takes over the streets all day.
While Soho was once upon a time the city’s red light district, it is now a safe area, perfect for basing your trip to London in.
£ - Zedwell Picadilly Circus - While not your most affordable hostel, you can not get a better location than Zedwell Piccadilly Circus! Offering private rooms and dorms, this hotel aims to give the best night sleep by removing distractions (including windows)! While it might not be the best option for long stays, to refresh after a long day in the city, it is a modern but affordable option.
££ - Z Hotel Soho - An ideally located hotel for an extremely reasonable price in the heart of Soho. Z Hotel offers simple but modern rooms with all the facilities you would see in a more expensive hotel including, TV’s, breakfast options, late check-in, perfect for nights out, and some of the rooms even have windows!
£££ - The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels - A beautiful hotel with amazing facilities including an on site gym, restaurant, hotel bar and stunning rooms. The Soho Hotel is in a great location, just a 5 minute walk away from Oxford Street.
South Kensington is one of London's prettiest neighbourhoods! Full of history, quaint cafes, museums, traditional pubs, greenery, restaurants, high-end shops, cocktail bars and some really friendly people (unfortunately a rarity in London)!
With South Kensington housing loads of upmarket hotels, it is not the most affordable place to stay in London, but for a fancy getaway, there are tons of boutique hotels to choose from.
I recommend South Kensington as a great idea to stay in with kids as there are so many fun activities in the area, the nightlife isn't as busy as most areas, it's very safe and its great transport links make it easy to get around the city and to go on some day trips from London.
£ - The Resident - You won't find any real budget options in Kensington but The Resident has some affordable options, especially for longer stays. Set in a beautiful townhouse, The Resident has family rooms including a kitchenette for self-serving which will really help you to keep costs down.
££ - The Kensington Hotel - To say this hotel counts as mid-range, really shows just how luxury Kensington really is. This gorgeous hotel is situated just a short walk away from the museums and the underground station.
£££ - Blakes - Blakes is a luxury 1920s 5-star hotel and is famous throughout London. Tucked away in South Kensington it really is a stay like no other. Every room is styled with unique fabrics and antiques and you will feel like you have stepped back in time from the moment you enter.
Best for: Couples and foodies!
Camden is an area full of young people, travellers and the alternative crowd!
One of my favourite things about this area is that there really is something for everyone. Full of cool bars, markets, eateries, unusual shops, and street art, the beautiful canal runs straight through it.
While still being in Zone 1, Camden is slightly out of central but thanks to the famous Camden Market, there's never a dull moment. If you are not a fan of crowds, Camden might not be the spot for you.
£ - Selina Camden - While definitely more on the luxury end for hostels, Selina is a really popular hostel and hotel chain across the world. We stayed in several during our time in Central America and have checked out the one in Camden and it lives up to those in places like Costa Rica. A beautiful, clean hostel with private rooms as well as dorms with a sociable vibe and tons of facilities!
££ - Holiday Inn Camden Lock - Considering the location and comfort of this hotel, it is extremely well-priced! Set right on the canal and a short walk from all of Camden's highlights, with Holiday Inn, you can't go wrong.
£££ - York & Albany - A beautifully decorated hotel with glowing reviews located in the heart of Camden town, looking over regents park and London Zoo, ideal for families!
Best suited to: Business travellers
Most people hear Canary Wharf and think of a grey concrete jungle, full of corporate offices and empty by 6pm, but actually, if you know where to look, it is really quite beautiful.
Surrounded by the River Thames, when the weather is nice, Canary Wharf makes a stunning walking spot and there are ample things to do, from fun themed bars, excellent eateries, outdoor activities and art installations.
Thanks to the new Elizabeth Line, getting around London, especially from Canary Wharf, has never been easier.
£ - Point A Hotel - For budget accommodation in the financial district of Canary Wharf, Point A Hotel is a perfect option. It is closeby to both the Canary Wharf tube station and The Museum of London Docklands.
££ - ibis London Docklands Canary Wharf - Only a 10 minute walk away from Canary Wharf’s station is Ibis Docklands. With free parking and only a 15 minute walk away from the O2 arena, you can not find a better mid-range hotel option.
£££ - Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel - There are some amazing riverside hotels in London, and this one is no exception. The views are beautiful, the rooms are modern and what can be better than their indoor swimming pool overlooking the Thames river?
Best suited to: First-time visitors
If it is your first time visiting London, there is no better place to stay in London than in Westminster, the political capital and largest borough in central London.
Westminster is home to many of London’s most famous attractions, including Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and No 10 Downing Street, home to the UK Prime Minister.
Not only is the area just beautiful to walk around and the fact there is a photo stop on every corner, but it is also an ideal place to base your stay in London. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants nearby, as well as some of London’s best parks and it is nestled right next to the Thames river.
£ - Hub by Premier Inn London Westminster - As I mentioned in my visiting London on a budget guide, Premier Inns are a great option when looking for cheaper hotels in London. The Hub is run by Premier Inn but has a more modern touch with screens to control lights, temperature and even check-in! While the rooms are small, the convenient location and price of your stay by far make up for it.
££ - Conrad Hotel St James - Located on the doorstep of St James’s Park, The Conrad Hotel is in the ideal location in Westminster, there are plenty of restaurants nearby but be sure to sample some of the food at The Pem Restaurant.
£££ - The Guardsman - Basically a next-door neighbour of the royals, The Guardsman is a beautiful luxury hotel, with a stylish bar offering incredible views of the city, close by to all of Westminster’s attractions.
Best suited to: Luxury travellers
Although touristy (and expensive) Covent Gardens is still an ideal area to stay in London, especially for first time visitors. The area is absolutely beautiful, full of cobbled streets, London bookshops, high-end restaurants, pubs, markets and plenty of things to do.
Accommodation options are pricey along with everything else in the area but it has great access points to all the must-visit areas in London for first-timers including Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Carnaby Street, Soho and Oxford Street.
£ - The Z Hotel Covent Garden - As I have mentioned previously, you can not find better budget hotels scattered around central London than The Z Hotels. While small, they are affordable, clean, modern and work as a perfect base for your exploring of the city.
££ - Amano Covent Garden - Amano is a very stylish hotel right in Covent Garden, hosting an open rooftop bar, modern furnishings, and some rooms even come with a free-standing bath in the room.
£££ - NoMad London - NoMad is one of London's best luxury hotels, with beautiful traditionally decorated rooms, impeccable service, and world class cocktail bar. The grade II-listed building is as stunning on the outside as its interior and the whole hotel oozes luxury.
Best suited to: Foodies and history buffs
London Bridge was once quite a grimy area in London but is now a bustling hub for tourists and locals alike. London Bridge train station has great transport links to the rest of London and a lot of other locations in the UK meaning a lot of commuters pass through.
Located nearby to lots of London’s top attractions like Tower Bridge, Borough Market, The Tower of London, Shakespeare’s the Globe, The Shard and of course, London Bridge.
While still very central, London Bridge is a more affordable area to stay in London with its nearby food markets and an assortment of hostels and budget hotels.
£ - St Christopher's Inn - London Bridge - This is one of the most conveniently located hostels in London with great access to landmarks and street food options to help you save even more pennies! The hostel is sociable enough but it luckily hosts all of its real parties in its sister hotel, allowing you to still get a decent night's sleep.
££ - Hilton London Tower Bridge - The Hilton at Tower Bridge would be an excellent base for a stay in London. It is a beautiful modern hotel only a 3-minute walk away from London Bridge station with its own bar and restaurant serving a highly rated free breakfast every morning.
£££ - Shangri-La The Shard - If you are looking for a luxury stay in London, there is nothing better than The Shard’s Shangri-La hotel. The 72-storey skyscraper is one of the tallest buildings in Europe and as you can imagine, has the best views over the city. The hotel has three dining and drinking options and an indoor heated swimming pool overlooking London.
Best suited to: Architecture and history lovers
Bloomsbury is a beautiful area, rich in history, in the centre of the city. If you are wanting to explore some of London’s many museums, Bloomsbury would be an ideal base for your trip.
If you are a fan of architecture, Bloomsbury has a beautiful mix of Georgian, Victorian, and Tudor buildings along its streets, many of which now host boutique shops, especially down the beautiful Woburn Walk.
If you happen to be visiting on a Thursday, be sure to check out Bloomsbury Farmers Market where you can grab some lunch and head to one of the picnic tables and watch the world go by.
£ - Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel - While you won't find budget accommodation in Bloomsbury, this hotel is on the lower end of the price range. The hotel is in the perfect spot in the heart of Bloomsbury, offering modern rooms and an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast.
££ - NYX Hotel - The NYX Hotel is one of the most unique luxury hotels in London. It boasts an eclectic style of modern and retro with vibrant furniture and neon lights. The glass roof bar and retro arcade games are popular with visitors as well as their stunning indoor swimming pool and spa.
£££ - Kimpton Fitzroy - If you are a fan of lavish hotels, you might have heard of Kimpton Fitzroy already! This hotel is iconic in London as it's a beautiful Grade II listed landmark building in the heart of Bloomsbury famous for its luxury rooms. Oh, and it's also home to one of London's best cocktail bars!
If you are looking for ways to visit London on a budget, staying in a location like Clapham will definitely help! It is slightly outside central in zones 2 and 3 but thanks to the Northern Line you can be in the city centre in minutes.
Clapham is an area that has risen in popularity over the past few years and is now a hub for students, expats and young professionals.
This rise in popularity has made Clapham the place to be for lively bars, bakeries, cafes, and every kind of trendy and cheap eateries you can imagine.
£ - Pub Love, The Crown - This hostel is located on the Battersea side of Clapham Common making it the ideal location to get over the Thames, onto an Uber Boat or to explore what the Clapham area has to offer. While the dorms are simple, the location is ideal.
££ - Premier Inn, Clapham - You can't go wrong with a Premier Inn, they are clean, affordable and conveniently located!
£££ - The Windmill On The Common - This gorgeous hotel is located in the heart of Clapham Common inside a traditional pub. The Windmill has glowing reviews for its rooms and is only a 5 minute walk to the tube stations! Don't forget to go down for your free full-English breakfast in the morning!
Best suited to: Luxury visitors
If you are looking for a bit of luxury from your trip to London but still want to stay slightly out of the touristy areas, look no further than Fulham and Chelsea.
Fulham was one of the first areas that I stayed in when visiting London and I have been in love with it ever since. I have included Chelsea in the same category as they are right next to each other and have a similar kind of vibe. Chelsea is home to the uber-rich and obviously the famous reality tv show, Fulham is slightly less posh (but still very posh)!
You won't find any real budget accommodation in these areas but there are some that are reasonably priced alongside the assortment of luxury hotels.
Both Chelsea and Fulham are full of beautiful streets, impressive houses, boutique shops, world class dining options and Chelsea is home to the famous Chelsea Flower Show.
£ - DoubleTree by Hilton London Chelsea - Located right next to Imperial Wharf tube station, this Hilton Hotel is a great choice for accommodation in Chelsea. It is affordable for the area while still having great service and a real luxury feel.
££ - Mowbray Court Hotel - If you are travelling as a family, Mowbray Court Hotel would be a great option for you. This beautiful hotel is highly rated for its family rooms and is conveniently located near Earls Court Station making it easily accessible to all of London’s major attractions.
£££ - The Chelsea Harbour Hotel and Spa - This hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in the Chelsea area as it offers great transport links, views overlooking the marina, a spa and wellness centre, indoor swimming pool and an incredible brasserie restaurant.
As you can see, there really is an area in London for everyone!
Hopefully this has helped you narrow down your list and plan your trip.
No matter where you choose to stay, I'm sure you will have the best time exploring this amazing city!
Now over to you …
Where are you planning to visit?
Or do you have any other area recommendations you think I should include?
Drop a comment below and let me know.
If you are planning on visiting London soon, do check out some of my other guides of the city!