Complete Neighbourhood & Accommodation Guide


London is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to the UK. It’s also the capital and largest city in the UK, meaning that visitors have a huge amount of choice when it comes to deciding where to stay in London.

In this post, we’re going to share everything you need to know to help you decide where to stay in London. We’ll share all the neighbourhoods, our tips on the best areas to stay when visiting London, and suggestions on how to find accommodation in London.

We’re also going to provide you with a range of accommodation options across different areas and budgets, to save you from having to spend ages trying to find the perfect hotel in London.

This is based on our years spent living in London, as well as multiple trips to the city as visitors.

We’ll also tell you what to look out for when booking, suggestions on saving money on accommodation in London, and lots more. Let’s get started with this detailed guide to where to stay in London!

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Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in London

London is a big city, home to over 8 million people and covering an area of 1,572 square kilometres. The city is officially divided into 32 administrative boroughs, which date from 1965.

However, London has been around as a place of habitation for around 2,000 years, since “Londinium” was founded by the Romans on the banks of the River Thames. Over the millennia this small city expanded and started to incorporate towns and villages all around it.

This has led to a variety of place names being used over the years, which can be somewhat confusing to both visitors and residents. The names of historical boroughs and districts are still very much in use, even if these days they are officially a part of the administrative boroughs.

So whilst there are the official boroughs, each of these contains areas with names that you will likely be familiar with. These include areas like Covent Garden, SOHO, Knightsbridge, and Brixton. If you look at an official map of London boroughs, these names don’t necessarily appear, but they are certainly in common use!

I like to think of London as a set of interconnected villages each with its own distinct feel.

In this guide I’ll use the most common name for an area, and if it’s not a borough, I’ll also indicate which administrative borough it is in.

I’ll also divide London up into five geographic regions, which is how Londoners often describe the city. These are Central London, South London, East London, West London and North London.

 

Central London

Our recommendation for the first time visitor to London, or for any visitor who plans on visiting the major attractions in the city, is to stay in central London or near central London. This will put you close to the majority of the major tourist attractions in the city.

Neighbourhoods in central London

As with all the geographic regions we’ll be discussing in this post, there is no official definition of “central London” when it comes to boroughs or districts.

As a point of reference, the central point of London is defined as Charing Cross train station, which is just a few minutes walk from Trafalgar Square. If you happen to be driving and see a road sign which tells you how many miles you are from London, it’s referring to the distance to the Charing Cross train station.

The following boroughs are where we would define as central London:

  • City of Westminster
  • City of London

For a first time visitor to London we usually recommend staying in either the borough of the City of Westminster or the City of London, which adjoin each other and are found on the northern bank of the River Thames. 

The districts and areas contained within these boroughs within central London that we’d specifically recommend staying in are:

  • Westminster
  • Covent Garden
  • Soho
  • Mayfair
  • Holborn
  • City of London

Some definitions of central London also include Camden, which is just to the north of the city of Westminster. In this guide we consider Camden to be north London; however, many of the hostels and hotels in the southern end of Camden are worth checking out as a centrally located option.

 

Reasons to stay in central London

The City of Westminster and the City of London between them are home to a great many of London’s most popular attractions, from St. Paul’s Cathedral to Westminster Abbey.

Staying in either of these boroughs will put you within easy walking distance of most of these attractions.

In addition, as you’ll be within Zones 1 & 2 of London’s public transport system, you will only need to take a short and cost-effective public transport ride to visit the majority of the other attractions that you will likely want to see.

Speaking of transport, central London is where you’ll find Paddington train station and Victoria train station. Paddington offers a fast train connection to London Heathrow airport, and Victoria offers a fast connection to London Gatwick airport. So this area is also handy for those arriving by plane into London, as well as visitors coming from the west of the UK.

Overall, convenience is really the reason we advise picking central London, especially as a first time visitor to the city who is looking to see the main sights.

The main disadvantage to staying in central London is cost. Convenience comes at a price, so expect accommodation in central London to cost more. Space is also at a premium and accommodation is limited, so expect to pay more for smaller sized rooms than elsewhere in London.

If you are on a tighter budget, you might want to widen your accommodation search a little out of the centre to save money. Although you can still sometimes find a good budget option as there are a few hostels and budget hotels in this area of London.

 

Top Attractions in central London

Central London is home to the some of the most popular attractions that visitors to London will want to visit. These include:

  • Westminster Abbey
  • Covent Garden
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Downing Street
  • National Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • West End theatres
  • Royal Opera House
  • Houses of Parliament
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Museum of London
  • Tate Britain

As you can see, basing yourself in the centre of London will give you quick access to some of London’s most well known attractions.

It’s also worth noting that both Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are right on the edge of central London, found just a few hundred yards into the east London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Other attractions like the London Eye, HMS Belfast, Shard and Tate Modern are also nearby, being found just across the River Thames in south London.

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Suggested hotels in central London

Here are some suggested hotels in central London. See more recommendations in the section below on where to stay in London on different budgets.

Properties are ordered approximately by price, from budget to higher end; however do always compare prices as they vary depending on demand and the time of year.

  • SoHostel – one of the most centrally located hostels in London, SoHostel is found in the heart of SoHo, just three minutes walk from Oxford Street. There are both shared and private rooms available, and facilities include a bar, restaurant and free WiFi. Laundry is also available but there’s no kitchen.
  • Astor Victoria Hostel – just nine minutes walk from London Victoria railway station and around 25 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, this is a well located hostel with both private and shared rooms. There’s also a shared kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Best Western Buckingham Palace Rd – a well located budget hotel just five minutes from Victoria train station and 15 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace. Rooms are private with en-suite as well as tea and coffee making facilities.
  • Lime Tree Hotel – a very well reviewed and popular boutique hotel near Victoria train station and 15 minutes from Buckingham Palace. Comfortable rooms offer a workspace and en-suite facilities.
  • Resident Victoria Hotel – a well reviewed and centrally located hotel offering excellent value for money. The room we stayed in was quite compact, but it had everything we needed including a small kitchenette with Nespresso machine. Rooms are all air-conditioned and en-suite. Larger rooms are also available, depending on budget.
  • Page 8 – a very well reviewed 4* boutique hotel found in the heart of London, moments from Trafalgar Square. All rooms have air conditioning, a working area, en-suite facilities and an air purifier. There’s also a roof top restaurant, bar and coffee shop on site.
  • The Clermont Charing Cross – right next to Charing Cross train station, this well-reviewed 4* hotel is right in the centre of London. En-suite rooms feature free WiFi and air-conditioning as well as Nespresso coffee makers. There’s also an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • St. Martin’s Lane – this lovely 5* hotel offers stunning en-suite designer rooms with floor to ceiling windows and air conditioning. Rooms feature coffee machines, and it’s just a five minute walk to Covent Garden. There’s also a huge gym, as well as all-day dining options.
  • The Savoy – the world famous 5* hotel offers true luxury as close to the city centre as you can get. Five minutes from the Royal Opera House, the en-suite rooms feature marble bathrooms, air conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities. There are also top rated restaurants on site.
  • The Ritz – another well known hotel name, the London Ritz is centrally located overlooking London’s Green Park. Bedrooms are luxurious, featuring antique furnishings and large windows.
  • Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel – found between Piccadilly and Regent Street in Mayfair, this 5* hotel is in the heart of London’s designer shopping district. Spacious rooms feature en-suite marble bathrooms and free WiFi. There’s a spa and wellness centre on site, restaurant, tea room, and bar with live jazz.
  • The Dorchester – overlooking Hyde Park, this 5* hotel is minutes walk from the shops of Mayfair. Spacious en-suite rooms are air-conditioned with marble bathrooms, and free WiFi. There’s an on-site spa and fitness centre as well as a Michelin starred restaurant.
  • Claridge’s – found in the heart of Mayfair, moments from luxury shops and 10 minutes walk from Hyde Park, this is a beautiful 5* luxury hotel. Spacious rooms offer ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and free WiFi. There’s an on-site gym and spa, and the on-site restaurant is famous for its afternoon teas.

 

West London

For this guide we’re defining west London as the area to the west of Westminster, starting with the borough of Kensington & Chelsea and going all the way out to Hillingdon.

West London would generally be our second choice of areas to stay in London after central London.

Neighbourhoods in west London

These are the neighbourhoods that most would consider to be in west London, although Kensington & Chelsea are sometimes considered central London.

  • Kensington & Chelsea
  • Hammersmith and Fulham
  • Hounslow
  • Ealing
  • Brent
  • Harrow
  • Richmond
  • Hillingdon

We would generally recommend staying in Kensington & Chelsea, as this borough is home to the most attractions that will be of interest to the visitor.

In addition, this area is mostly still inside Zone 1 of the tube, making for cost effective transport to most of the city centre attractions in London.

 

Reasons to stay in west London

There are a number of reasons to stay in west London. The area is home to a range of attractions, including Kensington Palace and major shopping venues, from department stores like Harrods to Portobello Road Market. There are also more peaceful residential areas, and well known areas like Notting Hill.

West London is also still within easy reach of central London, with excellent public transport connections across the city.

In terms of accommodation, you’ll find a number of good value accommodation options, along with mid-range and luxury properties.

Visitors coming to see exhibitions at the Earls Court exhibition centre or to see events at Wembley stadium will also want to consider staying in west London for ease of access to these locations.

Chelsea football fans will also consider staying in west London, as this is where the Chelsea FC stadium is. You can visit for both games and also to tour the stadium and on-site museum.

Finally, if you’re driving into London, west London is outside the congestion charging zone. However, you will still likely have to pay a premium for parking.

 

Top Attractions in west London

West London is home to a number of popular attractions, including some of London’s most well known museums, botanical gardens, and shops. Some of the major attractions include:

  • Kensington Gardens
  • Kensington Palace
  • The Science Museum
  • The Natural History Museum
  • The Victoria & Albert Museum
  • The Royal Albert Hall
  • Harrods
  • Portobello Road Market
  • Hyde Park
  • Chelsea Physic Garden
  • Notting Hill
  • Leighton House Museum
  • Wembley Stadium
  • Kew Gardens
  • Chelsea Football Stadium and Museum

As you can see, there’s lots to do in west London, enough to fill a whole trip in fact! We’ve written a whole guide to things to do in Kensington, which should give you lots of inspiration for your visit.

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Suggested hotels in west London

Here are some suggested hotels in west London. See more recommendations in the section below on where to stay in London on different budgets. Properties are ordered approximately by price, from budget to higher end, however do always compare prices as they vary.

  • Hostel One Notting Hill – 15 minutes walk from Kensington Palace, and close to a number of tube stops, this is a well reviewed and good value hostel option in the Notting Hill area of Kensington & Chelsea. Both private and shared rooms are available, and there’s also a shared kitchen and laundry facilities as well as free WiFi.
  • Astor Hyde Park Hostel – just a couple of minutes away from the Royal Albert Hall, this hostel is well situated for exploring the highlights of Kensington, with easy tube access to the rest of London’s attractions. Accommodation ranges from mixed through to private ensuite rooms and there’s a shared kitchen and laundry.
  • Point A Kensington Olympia – the Point A range of hotels offers great value private en-suite rooms in locations across London. Air conditioned rooms are compact but functional, with free WiFi and a workspace. 20 minutes walk to most Kensington attractions, and close to a tube stop.
  • The Montana Hotel – this well reviewed 3* hotel is just a few minutes walk from most Kensington attractions, and a short tube ride to other attractions in the city. En-suite rooms are air-conditioned with fridges, and there’s an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • The Westbourne Hyde Park – 5 minutes walk from London Paddington, and minutes from Hyde Park, this very well reviewed 4* hotel offers studios and suites in a restored 19th century Victorian property. Rooms feature kitchenettes, air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and a work area. There’s also a bar and lounge on site.
  • CG Kensington – well located a few minutes walk from most Kensington area attractions, this very well reviewed 4* hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with microwaves, coffee machines and a desk area.
  • Sloane Place – this very well rated 4* hotel is found in the popular Sloane Square area of Chelsea. Rooms are air conditioned and en-suite with free WiFi
  • The Exhibitionist Hotel – this luxury boutique 5* hotel found in a series of restored 18th century townhouses is just across from the Natural History Museum and close to a number of Kensington attractions and shops. Rooms feature luxury linens as well as air-conditioning and free WiFi. Some also feature indoor hot tubs.
  • The Ampersand Hotel -this very well rated 5* hotel is right next to South Kensington tube station as well as attractions like the Natural History Museum.  Individually decorated rooms feature a work space, air conditioning, free WiFi and private bathrooms.
  • Milestone Hotel Kensington – a highly rated 5* hotel which overlooks Kensington Palace, with easy access to Kensington shops and attractions. Individually designed rooms offer air-conditioning and work space, as well as minibar, coffee machine, and en-suite facilities. There’s also an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park – five minutes walk from Harrods, this high end 5* luxury hotel  offers gorgeous accommodation in the heart of Kensington. Individually decorated rooms are spacious and feature a minibar and workspace, as well as marble bathrooms. The on-site restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, and there’s also an on-site bar and spa. A fantastic option at the high end in west London.

 

East London

East London is usually defined as the area of London which is directly to the east of the City of London and north of the river Thames.

It stretches from Tower Hamlets, where you’ll find the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, out to Havering in the east.

 

Neighbourhoods in east London

East London has a range of neighbourhoods, with the following usually defined as falling into east London:

  • Newham
  • Barking & Dagenham
  • Havering
  • Redbridge
  • Waltham Forest
  • Hackney
  • Tower Hamlets

If you’re looking for a neighbourhood to stay in east London, we’d suggest staying in Tower Hamlets or southern Hackney, which will give you easier access to the majority of sights in the city whilst offering reasonable value accommodation options.

 

Reasons to stay in east London

East London is known for a number of attractions as well as great food, markets and other cultural attractions. From the curry flavours and shops of Brick Lane, to the arty area of Shoreditch, to the financial towers and shopping in Canary Wharf, east London really does have something for everyone.

As well as well known sights like the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, East London is also home to the ExCeL exhibition and conference centre, This is home to a number of major events and conferences each year. If you are attending events at the Excel, staying in east London will likely make sense.

East London also has an airport, which is the most central of London’s airports. Price wise accommodation is fairly well priced, and transport links into central London are excellent.

 

Top Attractions in east London

East London has a good number of attractions, some of which are among the most popular in the city. Here’s a summary of some of east London’s top attractions:

  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Brick Lane
  • V&A Museum of Childhood
  • Whitechapel Gallery
  • Jack the Ripper Museum & tours
  • Museum of London Docklands
  • ArcelorMittal Orbit
  • ExCel exhibition centre

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Suggested hotels in east London

Here are some suggested hotels in east London. See more recommendations in the section below on where to stay in London on different budgets. Properties are ordered approximately by price, from budget to higher end, however do always compare prices as they vary.

  • Wombats Hostel – just 15 minutes walk from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, this well reviewed hostel offers basic shared accommodation. There’s also a bar and shared kitchen facilities on site.
  • Park Villa Boutique Hostel – this well reviewed hostel is a short walk from Mile End tube station, which will get you to the Tower of London in 10 minutes. Private and shared rooms are available, and there’s also a kitchen on site. Private parking is also possible for a reasonable fee.
  • The Z hotel in Shoreditch – this 3* well reviewed hotel offers good value in a lively and popular part of London with great dining options. En-suite rooms are all air-conditioned and there’s a bar and coffee house on site.
  • New Road Hotel – this excellent value and well reviewed boutique 4* hotel in Whitechapel is found in a former textile factory. A wide range of rooms are available, from more budget oriented options through to higher end options with hot tubs and terraces. Rooms are all en-suite and air-conditioned, and there’s also an on-site bar and restaurant.
  • Holiday Inn Whitechapel – five minutes walk from two tube stops, this 4* Whitechapel hotel offers comfortably sized en-suite air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and a workspace. Rooms also feature tea/coffee making facilities, and there’s an on-site restaurant, lounge bar and fitness centre. A great value option.
  • Lansbury Heritage hotel – this 4* hotel is just moments from Canary Wharf. En-suite rooms are well sized and air-conditioned, with free WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • Clayton Hotel – well located for the city’s financial district and just 20 minutes walk from Tower Bridge, this is a very well rated 4* hotel offering comfortably sized en-suite stylish rooms. There’s free WiFi throughout and an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • The Stratford Hotel – found in the popular area of Stratford, this 4* hotel offers convenient access to West Ham football stadium. It’s also around 30 minutes public transport ride into central London. Comfortably sized rooms feature air-conditioning, a work space, coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site restaurant.
  • Hart Shoreditch Hotel – just a 30 minute walk from key London attractions like St. Paul’s Cathedral, this well-reviewed 4* hotel offers comfortable en-suite air conditioned rooms with tea and coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site restaurant.

 

South London

South London is usually defined as the boroughs to the south of central London, starting directly to the south of the River Thames. However, sometimes Lambeth and Southwark are considered central London as they border the Thames.

 

Neighbourhoods in south London

The following boroughs fall within south London:

  • Bexley
  • Bromley
  • Croydon
  • Greenwich
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Sutton
  • Southwark
  • Merton
  • Kingston
  • Wandsworth

As you can see there are a lot of options. Our recommendation if you want to stay in south London would be northern parts of Lambeth and Southwark, or Greenwich.

These three boroughs would give you access to the majority of attractions that visitors might want to visit in London.

 

Reasons to stay in south London

Stretching from the south bank of the Thames all the way to the southern edges of the city, as well as out to the south east, there is a lot to see and do in south London.

As well as the popular attractions along the south bank of the river Thames near central London, south London is also home to the Millennium Dome, a popular performance venue.

Further to the east you’ll find Greenwich, the home of Greenwich Mean Time as well as rich maritime history and a number of attractions. In the other direction, if you head to the south west you’ll find the area of Wimbledon, home to the annual tennis tournament which is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

South London also offers good pricing for accommodation, especially as you get further from the city centre.

 

Top Attractions in south London

South London has many attractions that will be of interest to the visitor. Many of these are along the bank of the river Thames, whilst others are further afield in locations like Greenwich. Here’s a list of some of the top attractions in south London:

  • London Eye
  • HMS Belfast
  • Tate Modern
  • The Shard
  • SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium
  • London Dungeon
  • Borough Market
  • Cutty Sark
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Greenwich Observatory
  • Millennium Dome
  • The Imperial War Museum
  • London Bridge Experience
  • Brixton Village Market
  • All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (home of the annual Wimbledon Tennis Tournament)

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Suggested hotels in south London

Here are some suggested hotels in south London. See more recommendations in the section below on where to stay in London on different budgets.

Properties are ordered approximately by price, from budget to higher end, however do always compare prices as they vary.

  • The Walrus Bar and Hostel – just 8 minutes walk from the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, this hostel is very well located just south of the river Thames. Shared and private accommodation is available, and there’s a share kitchen, bar and free WiFi throughout.
  • Point A Hotel – This hotel is within the well-priced Point A hotel range. It’s a 15 minute walk to Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey, and is found just south of the river. We’ve stayed here; the rooms are tiny but clean and it’s a great budget option, with air conditioned rooms, black out curtains and free WiFi.
  • Innkeeper’s Lodge Greenwich – if you’re looking for a budget accommodation in Greenwich, this is a great value option. Just a few minutes walk from the Cutty Sark and Greenwich Park, this traditional London inn offers en-suite rooms with free WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • The Tommyfield Hotel – part of a pub, this small 3* hotel offers six lovely rooms as well as an on-site restaurant. It’s handy for the Imperial War Museum, and otherwise just a 10 minute tube ride to central London. Comfortable rooms offer mini fridges, free WiFi and a coffee machine, however there’s no air conditioning or elevators.
  • H10 London Waterloo – 15 minutes from the Houses of Parliament, this well reviewed 4* property offers good sized rooms which feature air-conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also a rooftop bar with lovely views across London as well as an on-site restaurant.
  • Crowne Plaza Albert Embankment – found on the south bank of the River Thames just 12 minutes walk from the Houses of Parliament, this 4* hotel offers comfortable en-suite air conditioned rooms with coffee makers and free WiFi. Some rooms also have river views. There’s a fitness centre, bar and restaurant on-site, as well as a business centre.
  • Intercontinental The O2 – if you’re seeing a show at the Millennium Dome, this 5* hotel is a great choice as it’s directly attached to the dome by a covered walkway. It’s also close to the tube for easy access to central London. Good sized en-suite rooms are air-conditioned and feature tea/coffee making facilities.
  • Sea Containers – found right on the south bank of the River Thames, this 5 star hotel is in a wonderful location for exploring London’s sights. It’s about a 15 minute walk to attractions like the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge. En-suite air-conditioned rooms are of a good size and some offer river views. There’s also a rooftop bar, on-site restaurant and spa.
  • Bankside Hotel – 13 minutes walk from the London Eye, this 5-star hotel is set a little back from the river whilst still being in easy walking distance of London’s main attractions. Comfortable en-suite rooms are air-conditioned and feature tea/coffee makers and there’s an on-site restaurant, fitness centre and bar.
  • Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard – found between floors 34 and 52 of the Shard, rooms at the well reviewed 5* Shangri-La offer some of the most spectacular views of the city you’ll find in any hotel in London. Good sized rooms feature marble en-suite bathrooms with shower and separate bath tub. Rooms also feature air-conditioning, coffee machines and free WiFi, as well as a set of binoculars to enjoy the view! There are three dining and drinking menus on site, and it’s a short walk from the hotel to many of London’s attractions.

 

North London

Neighbourhoods in north London

For the purposes of this guide, we define north London as containing the following boroughs:

  • Camden
  • Islington
  • Barnet
  • Enfield
  • Haringey

Sometimes Camden and Islington will be included in central London, but as they have a very different vibe and feel, we have included them in north London.

Of the boroughs we’ve suggested, as a visitor to London we’d recommend staying in either Camden or Islington. These will give you good access to the rest of the city, whilst retaining their own unique charm and feel.

 

Reasons to stay in north London

North London is well located with easy transport links into the city. The different areas also feel quite different, from the indie vibe of Camden, to the upscale Hampstead village.

Part of North London can be a good option for people looking for something a bit different, where they don’t feel too much like they are necessarily in a busy city.

In addition, the southern end of Camden encompasses the area around Kings Cross, Euston and St. Pancras train station, giving you excellent transport to both the city of London, and destinations further afield.

Kings Cross and Euston service most destinations to the north of London across the UK, while St. Pancras offers international train connections to Europe. So if you are arriving by train into London at one of these stations, choosing a hotel in this area might be a good option.

In addition, this area of London in particular offers a great range of budget options, so is well worth looking at if you’re looking for a budget hotel or hostel in London.

Fans of Arsenal football club might consider staying in north London for easy access to the stadium.

 

Top Attractions in north London

There a number of attractions in north London to interest visitors to the city. These include:

  • The British Museum
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Alexandra Palace
  • Hampstead Heath
  • Camden Town
  • Camden Market
  • Regent’s Park
  • Regent’s Canal
  • Little Venice
  • London Zoo
  • Abbey Road
  • Sherlock Holmes Museum
  • Arsenal Football Stadium

It’s also worth mentioning that whilst not in London exactly, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is just north of north London in Watford. This is easily reachable by train from London Kings Cross.

Camden Market

 

Suggested hotels in north London

Here are some suggested hotels in north London. Our suggestion is to stay in the area around Kings Cross train station, or in the Camden or Angel areas. This area is particularly good for those of you looking for budget accommodation in London, with a range of well reviewed hostels and budget hotels to choose from.

See more recommendations in the section below on where to stay in London on different budgets. Properties are ordered approximately by price, from budget to higher end, however do always compare prices as they vary.

  • YHA London St Pancras Hostel – part of the excellent Youth Hostel Association range of properties in the UK, this YHA is well located near Kings Cross train station and the British Museum. Private and shared rooms are available and there’s a bar with food and drinks as well as laundry facilities. There’s no kitchen however.
  • Astor Museum Hostel – this well reviewed adult-only hostel is in a great location directly opposite the British Museum, and just 15 minutes walk from Covent Garden. Private and shared rooms are available, and there’s a shared kitchen on  site.
  • The Mornington Camden – this female only London hostel is found about a 15 minute walk south of Camden Town attractions. It has a garden and terrace, and guests can take advantage of free bikes. Rooms are all shared style accommodation, each with their own bathroom, coffee maker and free WiFi.
  • Point A Hotel Kings Cross – conveniently located about 7 minutes walk from Kings Cross train station, this budget focused hotel offers compact rooms with air conditioning at great value. We’ve stayed at other Point A hotels and find them to be a great budget option.
  • Prime Backpackers Angel – this well reviewed hostel is found in The Angel area of London, with easy access to the tube from the Angel station just a few minutes walk away. Private and shared rooms are available, and there’s a shared kitchen, communal lounge and tea/coffee making facilities.
  • The Hurdwick – within walking distance of Camden Market and London Zoo, this well-reviewed mid-range small boutique hotel features air-conditioned en-suite rooms, free WiFi and a bar. A great value option.
  • Camden Enterprise Hotel – this very well ratel hotel and pub offers good value accommodation just moments from Chalk Farm tube station, 10 minutes walk from Camden Market and Regent’s Canal. Air conditioned rooms have free WiFi and ensuite bathrooms, as well as tea and coffee making facilities.
  • Pullman London St Pancras – found just three minutes walk from the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras train station, this well reviewed 4* hotel is well located for exploring the city. Rooms are comfortably sized and feature en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning, as well as tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site bar and kitchen, fitness centre and free WiFi.
  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – this beautiful five star hotel is also found at St. Pancras train station. Good sized rooms are all en-suite and air conditioned. Free WiFi is available in public areas, but there is a charge for WiFi in the rooms. There’s also a spa on site as well as 2 restaurants and bars.

 

Accommodation Options in London

Visitors to London have a range of accommodation options to choose from. I wanted to cover some of the more popular options to give you some inspiration for your trip.

Hotels

Obviously, London has a huge range of hotels to choose from, and this is likely the first type of accommodation option that comes to mind when wondering where to stay in London.

Hotels are available that cover a full range of prices, from luxury five star hotels through to value-oriented offerings.

Hotels will also often have a range of amenities on-site. These will range from restaurants and bars through to gyms, spas, on-site shops. They may also have parking, either for free or with a fee.

Ritz London

 

Hostels

Many budget travellers will likely be looking for hostels in London. The good news is that there is an excellent selection of hostels in London, many of which offer both shared and private accommodation.

Hostels will also often come with shared facilities, which might include kitchens, laundry and living areas. Some hostels also have bars and dining options. If you’re on more of a budget, or you’re just looking for a different atmosphere than a hotel, definitely check out a hostel for your trip to London.

 

B&Bs and Guesthouses

London also has a range of guesthouse style and bed and breakfast style accommodation. These are often a more budget oriented option, although there are some high end and luxury options available as well.

As the name suggests, a bed and breakfast will normally include breakfast as part of your stay. Most B&B’s and guesthouses have fairly limited facilities though, so don’t expect a spa, gym or on-site restaurant in most cases.

London B&B

 

Apartments / Vacation Rentals

Another great option for accommodation in London are apartment or vacation rentals. These will range from a room in a house or flat, through to a whole apartment or home.

Renting an apartment in London has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that it can be a more private experience, and give you the option to stay in a location that might not be serviced by other types of accommodation.

Apartments and houses also usually have more space than a hotel room at a similar price point, as well as facilities like a washing machine and kitchen. Sometimes an apartment might also come with a car parking space, should you be driving.

Disadvantages include a lack of on-site facilities like restaurants, and the fact you might have to co-ordinate a check-in time with the host. Whilst many apartments these days offer contactless check-in, this isn’t always the case, so if you need to be flexible with your arrival time it’s always worth ensuring this will work for your host.

Another thing to think about with apartments is the issue of left luggage. Whilst other types of accommodation will often let you store your luggage before and after checkout, this usually isn’t possible with an apartment.

London apartment

 

How Much Does it Cost to Stay in London?

Based on our experiences, you are looking at the following prices to stay in London. These prices are based on two people sharing a hotel room.

  • Budget: £40 – £100 per night
  • Mid-range: £100 – £250 per night
  • High-end / Luxury: £250+ a night

These prices will vary depending on the time of year you visit, but should give you an idea of what to expect in terms of accommodation prices in London.

Of course, you can save money in a number of ways, from booking dormitory style accommodation through to travelling as a group and booking an apartment rental. See our tips further on in the post for saving money on the cost of accommodation in London.

 

How to Find Accommodation in London

There are a lot of options when it comes to finding accommodation in London.

We’ll go through some of our favourites so you have all the tools you need to find and book the perfect property for you, whether that’s a hotel, apartment or hostel!

 

Where to book hotels in London

There is a lot of choice when it comes to booking hotels in London, with multiple booking website to choose from.

We’ve done a lot of travelling and booked hundreds of hotels all around the world. For London, our favourite booking tools are as follows.

  • Booking.com. This is our go-to option when booking hotels all around the world. We find they have a wide choice of properties across all budgets, as well as everything from hotels to apartments and guesthouses. Powerful filtering as well as a useful map make finding the right property easy. Plus, once you’ve used them for a few bookings you get access to special discounts and offers. See their London properties here.
  • Hotels.com. If we can’t find what we want on booking.com, we’ll take a look at hotels.com. Whilst there is a lot of overlap, they do have some different properties, and it’s always worth comparing prices. See their London listings here.
  • Direct booking. Not every hotel is listed on the major booking sites, so it’s often worth checking with a property directly if you have a specific property in mind. However, this approach is definitely time consuming and not generally recommended if you’re trying to compare options.

 

Where to book flats or apartments in London

We’ve stayed in apartment rentals in London a number of times. For longer trips especially we like the option to cook for ourselves if we want, as well as the larger rooms that apartments usually come with. Our picks for the best sites to book apartments in London are as follows.

  • Plum Guide. Our first pick when looking for an apartment rental in London is Plum Guide. The company is headquartered in London and they carefully curate their listings so their options tend to be of a very high quality whilst still being available at a range of price points. We’ve stayed at a number of their properties around the world, and you can see our review of the Plum Guide here. See their listings for London here.
  • Booking.com. If we can’t find what we want on Plum Guide, our second choice for apartment rental in London is actually Booking.com. They have a huge range of apartments and home rentals around the city, and we’ve stayed in some lovely properties with them. It’s easy to filter search results so you just get apartments. See their listings for London here.
  • Vrbo. Another popular option with a focus on apartment rentals. Vrbo has plenty of choice in London, with a range of filters to help you hone in on the right property for you. See their listings for London here.
  • AirBnB. Of course, we can’t do a round up of apartment rental websites in London without mentioning AirBnB. We have to admit, we’ve had a few less than stellar experiences with AirBnB in London, which is why we now avoid budget stays with Airbnb and any listing without many reviews. That said, they do have a huge choice, so are definitely worth checking out.

For more options on apartment rentals in London, and the UK in general, see our post on the best alternatives to AirBnB and a guide to our favourite holiday cottage accommodation in the UK.

 

Where to book hostels in London

If you’re on more of a budget or just looking for that unique hostel experience, we have some suggested tools to help you find hostels in London. We’ve stayed in a few hostels in London, and these are our preferred tools for searching out the best options.

  • Hostelworld. If you’re looking for a hostel, then we definitely recommend starting your search with Hostelworld. They specialise in hostels, and have an excellent selection of hostels to choose from in London. See their listings for London here.
  • Booking.com. Our second choice for hostels in London is booking.com. As well as other property types, they have a great selection of hostels in London. It’s also very easy to filter search results so you just get hostels. See their listings for London here.

 

Where to book B&Bs in London

Last, but by no means least, B&Bs and guesthouses. Honestly, we don’t use any particular specialist tool for searching and finding these out. The tools we use for finding B&B and guesthouses in London are the same as those we use for hotels, which are as follows.

  • Booking.com. Our go-to option when booking hotels all around the world also works well for B&Bs and guesthouses. You can in fact filter by these property types, making it easier to find them. See their London properties here.
  • Hotels.com. If we can’t find what we want on booking.com, we’ll take a look at hotels.com. Whilst there is a lot of overlap, they do have some different properties, and it’s always worth comparing prices. See their London listings here.
  • Direct booking. Not every B&B or guesthouse is listed on the major booking sites, so it’s often worth checking with a property directly if you have a specific property in mind. However, this approach is definitely time consuming and not generally recommended if you’re trying to compare options. 

 

Recommended Hotels and Accommodation in London

We’ll now go through our recommended options for where to stay in London at a range of price points.

These hotels and other accommodation options are primarily located in and around the central areas that we recommend.

For more area specific recommendations, see the accommodation tips by area section of this guide.

 

Budget Hotels in London

Here is our list of recommended budget hotels in London for you to consider.

  • SoHostel – one of the most centrally located hostels in London, SoHostel is found in the heart of SoHo, just three minutes walk from Oxford Street. There are both shared and private rooms available, and facilities include a bar, restaurant and free WiFi. Laundry is also available but there’s no kitchen.
  • Astor Victoria Hostel – just nine minutes walk from London Victoria railway station and around 25 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, this is a well located hostel with both private and shared rooms. There’s also a shared kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Astor Hyde Park Hostel – just a couple of minutes away from the Royal Albert Hall, this hostel is well situated for exploring the highlights of Kensington, with easy tube access to the rest of London’s attractions. Accommodation ranges from mixed through to private ensuite rooms and there’s a shared kitchen and laundry.
  • Point A Kensington Olympia – the Point A range of hotels offers great value private en-suite rooms in locations across London. Air conditioned rooms are compact but functional, with free WiFi and a workspace. 20 minutes walk to most Kensington attractions, and close to a tube stop.
  • Wombats Hostel – just 15 minutes walk from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, this well reviewed hostel offers basic shared accommodation. There’s also a bar and shared kitchen facilities on site.
  • The Walrus Bar and Hostel – just 8 minutes walk from the London Eye and Houses of Parliament, this hostel is very well located just south of the river Thames. Shared and private accommodation is available, and there’s a share kitchen, bar and free WiFi throughout.
  • Point A Hotel – This hotel is within the well-priced Point A hotel range. It’s a 15 minute walk to Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey, and is found just south of the river. We’ve stayed here; the rooms are tiny but clean and it’s a great budget option, with air conditioned rooms, black out curtains and free WiFi.
  • Astor Museum Hostel – this well reviewed adult-only hostel is in a great location directly opposite the British Museum, and just 15 minutes walk from Covent Garden. Private and shared rooms are available, and there’s a shared kitchen on  site.
  • Point A Hotel Kings Cross – conveniently located about 7 minutes walk from Kings Cross train station, this budget focused hotel offers compact rooms with air conditioning at great value. We’ve stayed at other Point A hotels and find them to be a great budget option.

 

Mid-Range Hotels in London

These are our suggested mid-range hotels in London for your visit to the city.

  • Lime Tree Hotel – a very well reviewed and popular boutique hotel near Victoria train station and 15 minutes from Buckingham Palace. Comfortable rooms offer a workspace and en-suite facilities.
  • Resident Victoria Hotel – a well reviewed and centrally located hotel offering excellent value for money. The room we stayed in was quite compact, but it had everything we needed including a small kitchenette with Nespresso machine. Rooms are all air-conditioned and en-suite. Larger rooms are also available, depending on budget.
  • Page 8 – a very well reviewed 4* boutique hotel found in the heart of London, moments from Trafalgar Square. All rooms have air conditioning, a working area, en-suite facilities and an air purifier. There’s also a roof top restaurant, bar and coffee shop on site.
  • The Clermont Charing Cross – right next to Charing Cross train station, this well-reviewed 4* hotel is right in the centre of London. En-suite rooms feature free WiFi and air-conditioning as well as Nespresso coffee makers. There’s also an on-site restaurant and bar.
  • The Westbourne Hyde Park – 5 minutes walk from London Paddington, and minutes from Hyde Park, this very well reviewed 4* hotel offers studios and suites in a restored 19th century Victorian property. Rooms feature kitchenettes, air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and a work area. There’s also a bar and lounge on site.
  • CG Kensington – well located a few minutes walk from most Kensington area attractions, this very well reviewed 4* hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with microwaves, coffee machines and a desk area.
  • H10 London Waterloo – 15 minutes from the Houses of Parliament, this well reviewed 4* property offers good sized rooms which feature air-conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also a rooftop bar with lovely views across London as well as an on-site restaurant.
  • Crowne Plaza Albert Embankment – found on the south bank of the River Thames just 12 minutes walk from the Houses of Parliament, this 4* hotel offers comfortable en-suite air conditioned rooms with coffee makers and free WiFi. Some rooms also have river views. There’s a fitness centre, bar and restaurant on-site, as well as a business centre.
  • Pullman London St Pancras – found just three minutes walk from the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras train station, this well reviewed 4* hotel is well located for exploring the city. Rooms are comfortably sized and feature en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning, as well as tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site bar and kitchen, fitness centre and free WiFi.

 

High-End and Luxury Hotels in London

Here you will find our pick of high end and luxury hotels in London for your trip.

  • St. Martin’s Lane – this lovely 5* hotel offers stunning en-suite designer rooms with floor to ceiling windows and air conditioning. Rooms feature coffee machines, and it’s just a five minute walk to Covent Garden. There’s also a huge gym, as well as all-day dining options.
  • The Savoy – the world famous 5* hotel offers true luxury as close to the city centre as you can get. Five minutes from the Royal Opera House, the en-suite rooms feature marble bathrooms, air conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities. There are also top rated restaurants on site.
  • The Ritz – another well known hotel name, the London Ritz is centrally located overlooking London’s Green Park. Bedrooms are luxurious, featuring antique furnishings and large windows.
  • The Exhibitionist Hotel – this luxury boutique 5* hotel found in a series of restored 18th century townhouses is just across from the Natural History Museum and close to a number of Kensington attractions and shops. Rooms feature luxury linens as well as air-conditioning and free WiFi. Some also feature indoor hot tubs.
  • Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park – five minutes walk from Harrods, this high end 5* luxury hotel  offers gorgeous accommodation in the heart of Kensington. Individually decorated rooms are spacious and feature a minibar and workspace, as well as marble bathrooms. The on-site restaurant has 2 Michelin stars, and there’s also an on-site bar and spa. A fantastic option at the high end in west London.
  • Sea Containers – found right on the south bank of the River Thames, this 5 star hotel is in a wonderful location for exploring London’s sights. It’s about a 15 minute walk to attractions like the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge. En-suite air-conditioned rooms are of a good size and some offer river views. There’s also a rooftop bar, on-site restaurant and spa.
  • Bankside Hotel – 13 minutes walk from the London Eye, this 5-star hotel is set a little back from the river whilst still being in easy walking distance of London’s main attractions. Comfortable en-suite rooms are air-conditioned and feature tea/coffee makers and there’s an on-site restaurant, fitness centre and bar.
  • Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard – found between floors 34 and 52 of the Shard, rooms at the well reviewed 5* Shangri-La offer some of the most spectacular views of the city you’ll find in any hotel in London. Good sized rooms feature marble en-suite bathrooms with shower and separate bath tub. Rooms also feature air-conditioning, coffee machines and free WiFi, as well as a set of binoculars to enjoy the view! There are three dining and drinking menus on site, and it’s a short walk from the hotel to many of London’s attractions.
  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – this beautiful five star hotel is also found at St. Pancras train station. Good sized rooms are all en-suite and air conditioned. Free WiFi is available in public areas, but there is a charge for WiFi in the rooms. There’s also a spa on site as well as 2 restaurants and bars.
  • Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel – found between Piccadilly and Regent Street in Mayfair, this 5* hotel is in the heart of London’s designer shopping district. Spacious rooms feature en-suite marble bathrooms and free WiFi. There’s a spa and wellness centre on site, restaurant, tea room, and bar with live jazz.
  • The Dorchester – overlooking Hyde Park, this 5* hotel is minutes walk from the shops of Mayfair. Spacious en-suite rooms are air-conditioned with marble bathrooms, and free WiFi. There’s an on-site spa and fitness centre as well as a Michelin starred restaurant.
  • Claridge’s – found in the heart of Mayfair, moments from luxury shops and 10 minutes walk from Hyde Park, this is a beautiful 5* luxury hotel. Spacious rooms offer ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and free WiFi. There’s an on-site gym and spa, and the on-site restaurant is famous for its afternoon teas.

 

Map of Hotels in London

To help you plan your trip to London and locate our suggested hotels, we’ve put together two maps. One features the central London hotels that we recommend. The second features hotels across a wider area of London.

Central London Hotels Map

This map features all the central London hotels and hostels we recommend. They are organised by price, with budget, mid-range and high-end/luxury categories to make it easy for you to quickly find the right priced property for you. You can also see this image on Google Maps here.

Map of Central London Hotels

 

Wider London Hotels Map

This map includes all the above hotels, but expanded to also include those hotels a little outside the centre as well as hotels near the London airports. You can also see this map on Google Maps here.

Map of London Hotels

 

Hotels near Major Train Stations in London

If you plan to travel in and out of London by train, then for convenience you might consider staying within a 10 to 20 minute walking distance of the train station where you will be using.

Hotels Near Kings Cross/St. Pancras Train Station in London

Found at the southern end of North London on the boundary of Central London, the Kings Cross and St. Pancras train stations are side by side. Kings Cross provides fast rail services to town and cities to the north of London, whilst St. Pancras is the international train station where Eurostar trains provide service to continental Europe.

Kings Cross is also a major tube connection station, meaning this is a very well connected area to stay in for getting around London.

There are a number of hotels within easy walking distance of these train stations. Note that Euston train station is also just a few minutes walk from here.

  • YHA London St Pancras Hostel – part of the excellent Youth Hostel Association range of properties in the UK, this YHA is well located near Kings Cross train station and the British Museum. Private and shared rooms are available and there’s a bar with food and drinks as well as laundry facilities. There’s no kitchen however.
  • Point A Hotel Kings Cross – conveniently located about 7 minutes walk from Kings Cross train station, this budget focused hotel offers compact rooms with air conditioning at great value. We’ve stayed at other Point A hotels and find them to be a great budget option.
  • Pullman London St Pancras – found just three minutes walk from the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras train station, this well reviewed 4* hotel is well located for exploring the city. Rooms are comfortably sized and feature en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning, as well as tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site bar and kitchen, fitness centre and free WiFi.
  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – this beautiful five star hotel is also found at St. Pancras train station. Good sized rooms are all en-suite and air conditioned. Free WiFi is available in public areas, but there is a charge for WiFi in the rooms. There’s also a spa on site as well as 2 restaurants and bars.

 

Hotels Near Paddington Train Station in London

Paddington train station provides fast train services to London Heathrow, as well as to towns and cities in the west of the UK, like Bath, Cardiff and Bristol. This is central London, and Paddington has excellent tube connections across the city, making this an excellent base for exploring the area.

The following hotels are within easy walking distance of London Paddington train station.

  • Hostel One Notting Hill – 20 minutes walk from London Paddington, and close to a number of tube stops, this is a well reviewed and good value hostel option in the Notting Hill area of Kensington & Chelsea. Both private and shared rooms are available, and there’s also a shared kitchen and laundry facilities as well as free WiFi.
  • The Westbourne Hyde Park – 5 minutes walk from London Paddington, and minutes from Hyde Park, this very well reviewed 4* hotel offers studios and suites in a restored 19th century Victorian property. Rooms feature kitchenettes, air conditioning, tea/coffee making facilities and a work area. There’s also a bar and lounge on site.

 

Hotels Near Victoria Train Station in London

If you’re flying into London Gatwick airport, this is the train station that the Gatwick Express will bring you to. London Victoria is well located a few minutes walk from Buckingham Palace in central London.

The following hotels are within easy walking distance of London Victoria train station.

  • Astor Victoria Hostel – just nine minutes walk from London Victoria railway station and around 25 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace, this is a well located hostel with both private and shared rooms. There’s also a shared kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Best Western Buckingham Palace Rd – a well located budget hotel just five minutes from Victoria train station and 15 minutes walk from Buckingham Palace. Rooms are private with en-suite as well as tea and coffee making facilities.
  • Lime Tree Hotel – a very well reviewed and popular boutique hotel near Victoria train station and 15 minutes from Buckingham Palace. Comfortable rooms offer a workspace and en-suite facilities.
  • Resident Victoria Hotel – a well reviewed and centrally located hotel offering excellent value for money. The room we stayed in was quite compact, but it had everything we needed including a small kitchenette with Nespresso machine. Rooms are all air-conditioned and en-suite. Larger rooms are also available, depending on budget.

 

Hotels near the Airport in London

London is actually served by six airports, although most visitors will arrive at either London Heathrow or London Gatwick. The former is between a 15 minute and 1 hour public transit ride to the city, while the latter is between 30 minutes and an hour away.

In general, we’d not recommend staying at or near the airport unless you have an early or late flight connection and are just planning on a day trip into the city. If you are staying in the city for at least two nights, we’d definitely suggest picking a more central accommodation option so you don’t have to go back and forth from the airport and waste time.

If you do want or need to stay near the airport though, we wanted to recommend some accommodation options near both London Heathrow and London Gatwick for your consideration. You can see our tips for getting to and from the airport in our guide to London Airports here.

 

Hotels Near Heathrow Airport

Here’s a list of hotels in and near to Heathrow Airport in London. These are sorted approximately by price, from lower to higher. Of course, pricing can vary depending on a number of factors, so always check and compare before you book.

  • The Stanwell Heathrow – this good value boutique hotel offers soundproofed and air-conditioned ensuite rooms with free WiFi. There’s an on-site restaurant and bar as well as free on-site parking. Around five minutes drive to Terminals 4&5, and 15 minutes to Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Transfers can be arranged.
  • Premier Inn Heathrow Airport Terminal 4 -this is a well reviewed and good value hotel connected to Terminal 4 by a covered walkway. There’s an on-site restaurant and bar, and ensuite rooms feature air-conditioning, free WiFi and soundproofing.
  • Staycity Aparthotels London Heathrow – an 8 minute train ride from London Heathrow, this apartment hotel offers good sized ensuite rooms with kitchenettes, free WiFi, air-conditioning and sound proofing.
  • Holiday Inn Heathrow Terminal 5 – 10 minutes drive from Heathrow’s Terminal 5, this is a well rated and good value hotel option. Ensuite rooms are soundproofed and air conditioned, with free WiFi. There’s also all day food service in the on-site restaurant and bar, and the airport can be reached by either local bus or shuttle service for a fee.
  • Courtyard by Marriott London Heathrow – a few minutes drive from Heathrow’s Terminals 1-3, this is a good value option with comfortable ensuite rooms. Rooms are air-conditioned and sound proofed and feature tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also an on-site restaurant, fitness centre and bar. A paid shuttle service operates to Heathrow.
  • Holiday Inn Express – London Heathrow T4 – connected to Heathrow Terminal 4 by a covered walkway, this well reviewed hotel is in a great location for the airport. Ensuite rooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed with blackout curtains, have free WiFi, and breakfast is included.
  • Staybridge Suites London Heathrow – Five minutes drive from Heathrow Terminals 1-3, this hotel offers airconditioned ensuite rooms with kitchenettes, soundproofing and free Wifi. There’s a gym and laundry facilities on site, and a restaurant next door. Guests have complimentary use of frequent London Bus services directly to Heathrow Central Terminals 2,3 & 5.
  • Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow T2 & T3 – directly connected to Heathrow Terminal 2, this well rated hotel is a good option if you want to be within easy walking distance of Terminals 1 through 3. Ensuite rooms are air conditioned and sound proofed with tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi. A rooftop bar overlooks the runways and there’s a restaurant and fitness centre on site.
  • Crowne Plaza London Heathrow T4 – this very well reviewed hotel is directly connected to Heathrow Terminal 4 by a covered walkway, and there are free public transport links to the other Terminals as well. Good sized en-suite rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned, with tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi. There’s also an award-winning on-site restaurant, bar and fitness centre.

Note that some properties are actually on site at the airport, meaning it’s either a short walk or shuttle ride to the property. Heathrow airport has five terminals, numbered 1 through 5, so you might want to pick a property that is at or near the terminal you are flying from. Note that currently there are no hotels in Heathrow Terminal 5.

Some properties are off-site. For these, check if they offer an airport transfer and what the cost is when comparing prices. Heathrow also has a free transport zone, where public transport is free on London bus services.

 

Hotels Near Gatwick Airport

Here’s a list of hotels in and near to Gatwick Airport in London. These are sorted approximately by price, from lower to higher. Of course, pricing can vary depending on a number of factors, so always check and compare before you book.

  • Gatwick Castle B&B – just four minutes drive from Gatwick Airport, this is a very well rated and great value B&B option in the town of Horley. Private rooms feature en-suite facilities and tea/coffee making facilities as well as a microwave and fridge. Breakfast is also included. A paid shuttle service is available to the airport, or you can take the train from nearby Horley train station one stop to Gatwick airport. On site-car parking is also available.
  • Corner House Hotel Gatwick – another well rated good value budget option in Horley, just a few minutes drive from Gatwick Airport. Private rooms are available with en-suite or shared bathrooms, and breakfast is available. A shuttle service is available to the airport for a small fee, and there’s also on-site parking.
  • Bloc Hotel London Gatwick Airport – if you want to stay at the airport itself, this is an excellent budget option. We’ve stayed here, and whilst the rooms are certainly small, they have king size beds, excellent showers, free WiFi as well as soundproofing and air-conditioning. A great value well located option in Gatwick’s south terminal.
  • Premier Inn London Gatwick Airport – a minute’s walk from Gatwick’s north terminal, this is a well rated great value hotel offering air-conditioned en-suite rooms with soundproofing and free WiFi. Breakfast is available and there’s a bar and coffee shop on site.
  • Hampton by Hilton – connected to Gatwick’s south terminal, this Hilton offers private en-suite rooms with air-conditioning, WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities. Complimentary breakfast is included, and there’s a restaurant, bar and fitness centre. Note there’s also a standard Hilton at Gatwick, which is marginally more expensive and doesn’t include breakfast.
  • Sofitel London Gatwick – this well reviewed 4* hotel is connected to Gatwick’s north terminal by a short covered walkway. Comfortable en-suite rooms feature soundproofing, free WiFi and air-conditioning. There are also three restaurants and two bars on site.
  • Langshott Manor – if you’re looking for something a bit different, this 16th century manor house offers just that. Just 15 minutes drive from Gatwick Airport, but it feels world’s away! En-suite rooms feature WiFi and tea/coffee making facilities, and some have corner baths and four poster beds. There’s an award winning restaurant and free parking on site, and they can arrange transfer to the airport.

Note that some properties are actually on site at the airport, meaning it’s either a short walk or shuttle ride to the property. Gatwick airport has two terminals, the south terminal and the north terminal, so you might want to pick a property that is at the terminal you are flying from.

Some properties are off-site. For these, check if they offer an airport transfer and what the cost is when comparing prices.

 

How to Save Money on Accommodation in London

London can definitely be an expensive city to visit. From accommodation to attraction entry to dining, the overall cost of a trip can all add up.

The good news is that you can visit London on a budget. There are lots of free attractions to visit, you can find lower cost dining options (or cook your own meals), and it’s also possible to save money on accommodation.

Here are our tips for saving money on accommodation when visiting London.

 

Look for budget options

Reducing the price you pay per night is obviously the goal here, so our first tip is to focus on those budget options.

On popular booking tools like booking.com, you can usually filter by price per night. We’d suggest combining this with a minimum guest rating, starting with 8. After all, there’s no need to compromise on quality just because you are on a budget.

By filtering by price and rating, you can find properties that meet your budget and comfort level in the right area for you.

Point A Hotel London

 

Be flexible with your type of accommodation

When thinking about budget accommodation, you might have an idea of what that looks like. It might be a shared dormitory bed, or a room in a apartment.

However, we’d encourage you to be flexible with your accommodation type. There are some great value budget hotel, B&B and guesthouse accommodation, which sometimes work out better value than a shared hostel bed or room in shared accommodation.

On the flip side, if you’re used to finding budget guesthouses for example, don’t discount other accommodation. Many hostels for example come with private rooms, so don’t discount them as a budget option because you don’t want shared accommodation. Also consider shared apartments and homestays when searching.

Overall, our tip is to search using wider filters than you might otherwise put in. Don’t feel you need to check the filter for “hostels” if you want to find a budget property. Cast your net wide, filtering based on your budget rather than property type, and you might be surprised by what you find!

 

Stay for longer

This might seem counterintuitive, but sometimes if you stay somewhere for longer you can unlock a cheaper per-night rate. Many apartments for example offer a better deal if you stay for a week compared to a few days.

Of course, this only works if staying for longer was an option. If you had planned to spend 6 days in London for example, you might find it actually works out more cost effective to stay for a week.

 

Travel as a Group

One excellent way to save money on accommodation is to travel as a group. This works particularly well for apartment rentals, where dividing the cost of a rental between a number of people can really bring the price down.

Of course, you need to think carefully about this approach before choosing to travel this way. You want to travel with people you are happy to share with, who ideally have a similar style to you. If you like to go to bed early for example, whilst you are travelling with folks who like to party late into the night, you might not enjoy your trip so much!

Overall though, this can be a fantastic way to bring prices down. It may also let you stay in some high end apartments that would otherwise be outside of your budget.

 

Stay further from the centre

As with anywhere in the world, the location of the accommodation you choose will greatly influence the price you pay. Properties that are within easy walking distance of city centre attractions will command higher premiums than those that require more of a journey.

If you don’t mind spending a bit of time travelling each day, you can usually save money on your accommodation by staying a little bit out of the centre. Just remember to factor in the cost of public transport when budgeting. Saving a couple of pounds a night won’t make a difference if you then have to spend more than than on transport every day.

 

Visit in the off season and avoid major events / holidays

London tends to be more popular with visitors in the summer months and around major holidays like Christmas and New Year. Weekends are also usually more popular than weekdays.

In addition, the city plays host to a variety of major events each year, like the London Marathon (usually held in April).

At these times of year, demand for accommodation rises, and as a result, prices go up! If you can avoid visiting at these times of year, then you can often get better prices for your accommodation.

 

Be flexible with your dates

Similar to our previous point, but on a smaller level, we can recommend being flexible with your dates. Sometimes just moving your trip by a few days can result in better pricing on accommodation, due to the ebbs and flows in travel.

If you aren’t fixed on a specific set of dates, we always recommend looking at prices a few days around your trip. It might not give you a better price, but it’s always worth checking.

 

Tips When Booking Accommodation in London

If you haven’t visited London before, we wanted to share some tips and insights into accommodation in London, so you have an idea of what to expect and what to look out for.

 

Room Sizes

If you are used to staying in hotels in a country like the USA, you might be rather surprised by the relatively small size of the rooms in hotels in London. This is especially the case in budget and mid-range hotels, where rooms might be 150 square feet or smaller.

That’s basically enough size to squeeze in a bed, floorspace around the bed, and a small en-suite shower room.

There are a few reasons for the lack of space. First, London is home to a lot of older properties which traditionally might have had older rooms. Second, real estate is expensive, so at the budget end of the spectrum especially, it’s more cost effective and profitable to make rooms smaller and fit more of them into a hotel.

Basically, at the budget end of the spectrum especially, don’t expect features like a workspace or a dedicated seating area. Think of your room as somewhere to sleep, change and wash, rather than a place to spend a great deal of time!

Even as you go up in price, room sizes will generally not become palatial unless you start to spend serious money. Rooms in the mid-range category will usually be around 200 – 300 square feet.

We always check room sizes when booking to know what to expect. Booking.com includes room size information in square feet for most of the rooms on their site.

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Air Conditioning

The UK is not known as a warm destination, but in the summer months London can get quite warm, with temperatures sometimes reaching 30C / 86F, or sometimes marginally higher.

This is something to consider when booking accommodation, because air conditioning is far from standard in the UK. Most hotels and apartments won’t have air conditioning. This is partly due to the older nature of the buildings, but also because it’s just not needed for most of the year.

If air-conditioning is important to you, absolutely be sure to check if your chosen accommodation features it. In our experience, it’s more common in mid-range to high end hotels, and uncommon in budget hotels, hostels or apartment rentals.

 

Noise and Light

London is a busy city which can be quite noisy at times. You’ll often be able to hear the sound of traffic and passersby, not to mention other guests in your accommodation.

If you are sensitive to noise you will definitely want to check to see if the property you are booking features sound proofing, to help ensure you get a good nights sleep. Otherwise, consider packing ear plugs.

Light is another issue. Not all hotels come with blackout curtains, and it gets light very early in the summer months. If you are sensitive to a bright room, be sure to check when booking as many properties feature proper black out curtains.

 

Public Transport Proximity

When looking for accommodation in London, carefully consider where it is in relation to public transport stops. London has an excellent public transport system, which is how we recommend most visitors get around the city.

We’d suggest that staying within a few minutes walk of an underground station would be of most value to visitors to London. The underground, or tube, is one the easiest, fastest and most cost-effective ways of getting around London. Having your accommodation near to a tube station will give you easy access to the sights you want to see.

Another option is accommodation near a bus stop. Bus services are very comprehensive in London, and even cheaper than the tube, however as the bus can be impacted by traffic it can be slower than the tube.

See more on public transport in the city in our guide to the best ways to get around London.

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Congestion & Emission Zones Charges for Drivers

If you plan on driving into London, you need to be aware that certain regions of the city charge a fee for doing so.

There are two fees payable, depending on your vehicle. The congestion charging zone covers the centre of London, with the majority of vehicles having to pay a fee.

There’s also a low emission zone across London, which charges higher polluting vehicles a fee to drive in the city.

Generally we try to avoid driving in London, but if you plan to drive in the city or hire a car here, you’ll want to be aware where these zones are and learn how to pay the fees if required.

Find out more about the congestion charge here, and the low emission zone here.

 

Parking

For the most part, we would advise against driving in London. The streets are very busy, parking is expensive and hard to find, and between the congestion charge and the ultra low emission zone charge, it can also be very expensive.

That said, we have had occasion to visit London by car. In these situations, we’ll try to find a hotel or apartment that has free parking and easy access to public transport. These properties are usually a little way out of the centre, as there are very few central locations with parking, and those that do tend to charge a hefty fee for the privilege.

So if you are planning on visiting London with a car, definitely make a plan as to where you are going to park it, and if necessary, find an accommodation options that includes parking.

 

Elevators / Lifts

Another facility that isn’t always standard in hotels or apartments in London are elevators, which in the UK are referred to as lifts. Again, the older nature of many of the buildings means that installing a lift isn’t always possible.

If you are travelling with a lot of luggage or have mobility or other health issues that preclude the use of stairs, then you will definitely want to book a property which either has elevators, or rooms on the ground floor with step-free access. You can use the booking.com property accessibility tool to filter by products with elevator access to the upper floors.

 

Accessibility

If you have accessibility requirements then you will definitely need to book a property that is suitable for your specific needs. To continue with the theme, older properties in London often are not fully accessible, so you will want to ensure you find a property that matches your requirements.

Booking.com has an excellent filtering system for accessibility. You can filter by both property and room accessibility requirements, and search for everything from lowered sinks to wheelchair accessibility, elevator access, emergency cords and roll-in showers, to name but a few.

 

Budget Apartments vs Other Budget Options

If you are travelling on a budget, it can definitely be tempting to look for budget apartments on sites like AirBnB. We know, we’ve done this ourselves. In our direct first hand experience though, this can lead to a poor experience.

We’ve had all kinds of issues with budget apartment rentals in London, from having no hot water, to no WiFi, dirty linen, no heating in the middle of winter and more.

Our recommendation if you are on a budget is to instead look at booking either a hostel or a budget hotel. In general, the experience will be more positive, and you’ll have a greater chance of getting any issues resolved with the on-site staff than you would in an apartment via a potentially unresponsive host.

 

Further Reading

That’s it for our complete guide on where to stay in London! We hope you found it useful to help you decide on the best property for your trip to the city. We’ve also got a number of other resources to help you plan your trip to London and the UK in general which we think you’ll find useful.

And that’s it! We hope you found our guide to where to stay in London useful, and as always, if you have any questions, just pop them in the comments and we’ll answer them as soon as we can!

A detailed guide to where to stay in London. Overview of all the neighbourhoods, tips on the best places to stay and options for every budget



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