While Greater London covers an enormous area of 1,500 square kilometers, the areas where you will look for a hotel are more limited and most of them are located north of the Thames River and adjacent to it.

The map courtesy – By Peter Fitzgerald, OpenStreetMap CC BY-SA

The West End which includes Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Oxford Street and Soho is a good start for those looking to be close to the city’s theatres, good food and a rich offer of nightlife. This is a recommended area for example for families looking for a hotel in London, but generally everyone who comes to London for the first time, will want to look for a hotel in the West End.

Hotels in West End (booking)

We will start with your permission with Covent Garden , probably the best recommendation for those looking for a hotel in London and from there we will move on to other options.

You can’t go wrong with Covent Garden

To the east of Soho , Covent Garden awaits you with a flood of excellent restaurants, markets, shops, bars, pubs, cobbled streets that put you in the atmosphere of a foreign country, museums and, not least, great connectivity to the rest of the city. This neighborhood has everything you need to start traveling from the moment you step outside the door of the hotel you have chosen.

Accordingly, you can find hotels in a range of styles and price ranges and the only thing you need to be careful about is to book as much time in advance as possible, even six months before your trip (if possible). Remember that you are not the only ones who have discovered Covent Garden and you are competing with many others who want to spend the night in the most convenient area for tourists in London.

In the neighborhood itself you can visit the city’s famous transport museum , see a show at the Royal Opera House , try Covent Garden Square and the market , jump to Leicester Square and maybe also try a guided tour of the neighborhood.

An example of a recommended hotel in Covent Garden that is suitable for a lower budget is The Z Hotel Trafalgar with a somewhat minimal breakfast, but plenty of options for breakfast in the area and the location is a bomb: walking distance from Buckingham Palace and Oxford Street and close to many theaters (no Believe it or not).

 The Zee Hotel Trafalgar
The Zee Hotel Trafalgar

Local tip: Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in Europe, with about half a million visitors every day and about three hundred shops. For those looking for a hotel close to this street, here is a list of hotels showing the distance of each hotel from the street.

What to do on Oxford Street (official website, English)

North of the West End , the Bloomsbury area is also worth checking out, especially if you want to stay close to a variety of bookstores and enjoy quiet streets and excellent access to the British Museum. Hotels in Bloomsbury are generally cheaper than in the West End area.

King’s Cross is another option, although not particularly glamorous, but with excellent transport access to other parts of London, to the airports and even to Paris and Amsterdam via the Eurostar train . Don’t look for luxury hotels here, but more “popular” solutions.

Hotels in the Kings Cross area

Everyone loves St. James

We are still near Buckingham Palace . The St. James neighborhood is located next to Hyde Park, St. James Park and Green Park . For children, getting away from excess stimuli and bustle is extremely essential and when you allow them to run in the parks or take them out for a picnic on the grass, their vacation will also be better.

Besides the many nearby theaters that we have already told you about, you will also discover the National Gallery in the area. For fathers or mothers who have to be close to shopping as well, then don’t worry, Piccadilly is at a minimal distance from you. This is not a cheap neighborhood at all (even quite expensive) but it is very useful to search in Booking before you arrive, maybe there are specials or offers that fit your budget.

Hotels in the St. James neighborhood area (Bucking)

A recommended hotel in the area is the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, a luxurious five-star hotel.

 Taj 51 Buckingham Gate
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate

There is much to do in Westminster

Westminster , which stretches right from the banks of the River Thames , includes leading sites and attractions in London such as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column inside it as well as the National Galleries with free entry to them. You are still very close to the West End .

The connectivity to the other areas of the city is easy and this is a good choice for those who want to get to know London as a tourist and are less interested in experiencing the life of the locals.

Hotels in the Westminster area

The Westminster London Hotel (The Westminster London, Curio Collection by Hilton), which is only a few minutes’ walk from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, is a recommended choice in the area. The hotel is clean and located close to Westminster Bridge, walking distance from many major tourist sites as well as the underground stations. The staff is helpful and kind, the rooms are clean and closed and the breakfast chef will pamper you.

The Westminster Hotel London
The Westminster Hotel London

The nights of Soho

Soho is probably the best area to stay in London for those looking for an active nightlife scene. Thanks to quite a few clubs and bars that operate even late at night, Soho, which has undergone renewal in the last decade, is one of the most lively areas of the city.

The fact that this is an active nightlife area does not mean that the hotels here are of an inferior standard. On the contrary, you will find a variety of luxury hotels in Soho. The food is also improved and you might want to try delicious bad sum at affordable prices. There is also a special cinema for indie films for those looking for the cultural side of Soho.

Hotels in London’s Soho (booking)

The Resident Soho hotel is two minutes’ walk from Oxford Street . The location guarantees plenty of cafes and restaurants. When you are close to everything, you won’t even need the train. The rooms have a refrigerator, a coffee machine and a large bed. The staff goes out of their way for your every request.

The Resident Soho Hotel
The Resident Soho Hotel

There’s no place like Shoreditch

Shoreditch is the place if you are looking for the less glamorous London, the London of street food markets, street art and also the London of the locals as there are still quite a few of them here, meaning the tourists haven’t conquered it all.

In recent years, the luxury hotels have also entered here (we said that the tourists are on their way), so that even the pampered among you will find places that suit them. This is not the area from which to go for walks or to explore the city, but it is the place to connect with the colorful vibe of London.

Boxpark is a well-known attraction for local and international food and next to it is also the flower market on Columbia Street with weekends of beautiful flowers.

Local tip: Spitalfields Market just south of Shoreditch is the place to be on Saturdays. An excellent selection of food and drinks and the possibility to wander between the stalls and discover flavors you never imagined.

Hotels in Shoreditch

A worthy hotel in the neighborhood is One Hundred Shoreditch with a ton of style, art, lots of atmosphere and also a fun rooftop to climb on.

One Hundred Shoreditch
One Hundred Shoreditch

Family friendly South Kensington

We will approach the Museum Quarter with all the respectable British history. Museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum are some of the prominent attractions for families who come to London for a trip. The proximity to Hyde Park is also a major reason to focus on looking for a hotel in this area. Also within easy reach are the London Zoo in Regent’s Park and the Madame Tussauds Museum .

To the east of the neighborhood is Green Park , which also has museums and contemporary art galleries as well as London’s leading department stores: Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Kensington Palace is another attraction.

A typical British neighborhood, tourist friendly and relatively quiet.

Hotels in South Kensington

Hotels in Kensington

The Queens Gate Hotel located in an area housed in a 19th century house very close to the Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park . A suitable hotel for those looking for a pleasant London street, at a reasonable distance from an underground station (Gloucester Road). Next to the hotel you will find the Museum of Natural History, another excellent attraction for children.

The designer shops of the Knightsbridge area are a 15-20 minute walk away.

Queens Gate Hotel in the Kensington area
Queens Gate Hotel in the Kensington area

Delicious Chelsea

Another recommended place to stay in London, especially for those looking for a fine dining and shopping experience. After you have finished admiring the sunset from the Albert Bridge, take the time to discover the fashion scene, the galleries and, as mentioned, the excellent restaurants. A neighborhood with a lot of charm.

Hotels in the Chelsea and Kensington area

The ever-renewing Camden

Once it was the area of hippies and artists and now it is the temple of hipsters and fashionistas. Just like Tokyo’s crazy Harajuku area, Kamden functions as an area where extroverts can express themselves more.

Despite the great value that the neighborhood has undergone in recent years, hotel prices are still generally lower than the other neighborhoods in London and you should take advantage of this. There are more hostels and B&Bs here than luxury hotels, but don’t expect it to stay that way for long.

Local tip: Regent’s Park is A huge park west of Camden Town and a great place to spend the afternoon.

Booking hotels in Camden

NYX Hotel London Holborn Leonardo (NYX Hotel London Holborn by Leonardo Hotels) with a lot of splendor and style is located in the Bloomsbury district just a few minutes’ walk from the British Museum . The rooms are comfortable and very clean, tidying up the room and changing towels every day. A satisfying breakfast. Much loved by Israelis thanks to the location, cleanliness and comfort.

NYX London Holborn Leonardo Hotel. Located and clean
NYX London Holborn Leonardo Hotel. Located and clean

Welcome to the South Bank

The southbank and southwark areas offer proximity to the Tate Museum , London Eye and also to London’s iconic Shard tower . Lots of cafes in the area. Among the experiences offered here are The Dungeons London (a scary experience), a cruise on the River Thames (a relaxing experience), the delicious food at the Southbank Market (a satisfying experience) and, as mentioned, the art experience of the Tate Modern Museum .

The hotels in the area are for a medium to high budget.

Hotels in the southwark area

Native Bankside accommodation relatively close to Borough Market offers a large and well-equipped apartment suitable for a family (furnished and beautiful just like in the pictures on booking), everything is very clean and beautiful and this includes the public areas as well. The Thames is right next to you and so are a variety of cafes and restaurants.

Native Bankside on London's South Bank
Native Bankside on London’s South Bank

The prestige and splendor of Mayfair

The opposite option from Camden? Mayfair is all about pampering and luxury. The neighborhood is between Hyde Park and Soho and if you are thinking of looking for a hotel here that is below four or five stars, think again. There are restaurants with Michelin stars, luxury boutiques and nightlife here.

The luxury hotels of Mayfair

The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel located in Mayfair is a 4-star hotel near Berkeley Square and not far from Oxford Street and Buckingham Palace . The location of the hotel is excellent between Hyde Park and Green Park .

What will you get for your money? An English experience at a good price. Very good service, very comfortable bed, white linens with golden embroidery and downstairs in the dining room also courteous waiters.

The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel

There’s more to Notting Hill than Instagram

This is the neighborhood you’ve probably seen on Instagram with its pastel-colored Victorian houses and cobbled streets that makes couples want to understand what it’s all about and if it’s an area worth staying in on a London vacation. So the answer is yes, not because of the romance of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant who filmed here for their famous movie but because of what is here today: an abundance of antique shops, boutique shops and totally cool cafes and the highlight, the Portobello Road market , which takes place every weekend.

Lovers of vintage products, second-hand clothes and other bargain bags have already heard of this area, but even if this is not your interest in life, you will find several other things to do here, such as gin tasting at Ginsitute , a visit to Ladbroke Square Garden or just couple trips throughout the neighborhood.

Booking hotels in Notting Hill

The Portobello Serviced Apartments is located next to Portobello Road Market and is an excellent choice for couples. The apartments are small but very well equipped and the check-in process is easy.

The Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill
The Portobello Hotel in Notting Hill

The hub of the City of London, The Square Mile

The area called “the City of London” in English does not include the entire city of London, but defines the business area of the city. Within the boundaries of this central neighborhood you will find, besides some impressive skyscrapers, St. Paul’s Cathedral , the Museum of London and the Tower of London . It is recommended to go on a guided tour to discover some of the darker stories of the city and maybe try the coffee in St. Dunstan’s courtyard . Shoppers will definitely want to visit Leadenhall Market.

Booking hotels in the area

Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s is a 4-star hotel with a pool and luxurious design near St Paul’s Cathedral. Quite a few Israelis stayed there and all in all it is a good choice that will allow you to enjoy a comfortable hotel in a convenient location.

Leonardo Royal London St Paul's Hotel
Leonardo Royal London St Paul’s Hotel

The wealth of Marylebone

Looking for another luxury hotel option? Marylebone is a sophisticated neighborhood that exudes luxury and feels like a village within the city. In the neighborhood, Bakers Street with the Sherlock Holmes Museum , Madame Tussauds and Regents Park. The main shopping street which is full of Victorian architecture is called Marylebone High Street and has excellent shops and restaurants. At the southern end of Marylebone Oxford Street and London’s shopping district.

Another attraction in the area is The Wallace Collection , an interesting museum that tells the story of the eighteenth century through diverse art, starting from paintings, through sculptures, furniture and weapons.

Prepare your wallets as the cost of a night’s stay here is around 150-250 pounds per night. The offer here is mainly luxury boutique hotels, and you may also be able to find something with a more comfortable budget.

Hotels in Marylebone

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square is a 5-minute walk from Oxford Street and Hyde Park. A perfect breakfast according to a menu and by personal order, unlimited, delicate and very tasty. A perfect hotel to stay in London.

Novo London Portman Square Hotel
Novo London Portman Square Hotel

Budget-friendly Victoria

A small area with a large concentration of low-budget hotels. Very good location for walking to Buckingham Palace. One of the busiest tube stations in London is here so you are well connected to the whole city.

Tips for the road

London with children? Where to choose a hotel

Central Kensington, Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Chelsea and Notting Hill are the preferred locations for families thanks to a wealth of activities and attractions. Piccadilly is a great neighborhood for families, being home to sites such as Kensington Palace, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Hyde Park. Chelsea is close to the Natural History Museum and Notting Hill is a treasure trove of charming shops and cafes and also offers proximity to Kensington Gardens and Holland Park. In any case of booking a hotel in these neighborhoods, try to find out if the hotel has children’s clubs, babysitting services and family rooms. Always book places in advance.

Choosing a hotel outside the center of London is not a very good idea because you will need to travel a lot and the children will tire quickly before you even have time to start your daily travel experience.

What to see in London?

There are numerous things to see and do in London, as it is a vibrant and culturally rich city. Here are some of the top attractions and landmarks you may want to check out:

  1. The British Museum – This museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from around the world, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles.
  2. The Tower of London – This historic castle and fortress was once a royal palace and is now home to the Crown Jewels.
  3. Buckingham Palace – The official residence of the Queen, this palace is famous for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
  4. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben – The iconic clock tower and home of the UK government, located on the banks of the River Thames.
  5. The Tate Modern – A contemporary art museum that features works by Picasso, Warhol, and other famous artists.
  6. The National Gallery – A world-renowned art museum that houses paintings by Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and many other masters.
  7. Covent Garden – A bustling shopping and entertainment district that offers street performers, food stalls, and boutique shops.
  8. St. Paul’s Cathedral – A stunning example of English Baroque architecture, with a dome that offers spectacular views of the city.
  9. The Shard – A modern skyscraper that offers panoramic views of London from its observation deck
  10. The British Library – A national library that houses an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and other historic documents.
  11. The National History Museum – A museum dedicated to natural history, with exhibits that include dinosaur skeletons and a life-size model of a blue whale.
  12. The Victoria and Albert Museum – A museum dedicated to art and design, with collections that range from fashion and textiles to sculpture and ceramics.
  13. The West End – A vibrant entertainment district that features theaters, restaurants, and nightclubs.
  14. Camden Market – A bustling marketplace with over 1,000 stalls selling everything from vintage clothing to street food.
  15. The Globe Theatre – A replica of the original theater where Shakespeare’s plays were performed.
  16. The Royal Observatory – A museum and observatory located in Greenwich, where you can see the Prime Meridian and learn about astronomy.
  17. The Tate Britain – A museum that houses British art from the 16th century to the present day.
  18. The Serpentine Galleries – Two contemporary art galleries located in Hyde Park.

These are just a few of the many sights and attractions that London has to offer. Depending on your interests, there is sure to be something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Areas to avoid

While London is generally a safe city, there are some areas that are known for being more dangerous than others. Here are some areas that visitors may want to avoid or exercise caution in:

  1. East London – Some areas of East London, such as Hackney and Tower Hamlets, have higher crime rates than other parts of the city.
  2. Elephant and Castle – This area is known for being run-down and having a higher crime rate than other parts of London.
  3. Brixton – While it has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, Brixton is still known for its higher crime rate and should be approached with caution.
  4. Tottenham – This area has a history of social unrest and higher crime rates, and visitors should be careful when traveling through the area.
  5. Stratford – While it has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, parts of Stratford are still considered to be more dangerous than other parts of London.

Woke travel in london

London is a diverse and multicultural city, and there are many ways to travel that align with a “woke” or socially conscious approach. Here are some tips for travelers who want to experience London in a socially conscious way:

  1. Support local businesses: Instead of sticking to big chain stores and restaurants, try to support local businesses and independent retailers. This not only helps to support the local economy, but it also helps to promote diversity and sustainability.
  2. Be mindful of cultural differences: London is a multicultural city, and visitors should be respectful of cultural differences and be open to learning about new cultures and traditions.
  3. Use public transportation: London has an extensive public transportation system, including the Tube, buses, and trains. Using public transportation helps to reduce your carbon footprint and supports a more sustainable way of traveling.
  4. Avoid single-use plastics: Try to bring your own reusable water bottle and shopping bag, and avoid single-use plastics whenever possible.
  5. Learn about social issues: London has a rich history of social activism and progressive movements. Learning about these issues can help visitors to gain a better understanding of the city and its people.
  6. Engage with local communities: Consider volunteering or participating in community events to gain a deeper understanding of the city and its people.
  7. Respect the environment: London has many parks and green spaces, and visitors should be respectful of these areas by avoiding littering and following other environmental guidelines.

By approaching travel in a socially conscious way, visitors can help to support the local economy, promote sustainability, and gain a deeper understanding of the city and its people.

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