In London there are 33 neighborhoods that are known as ” London Boroughs ” in English. Each of them acts as an independent municipality with its own regulation regarding public services. This gives each London Ward a unique identity.
In this guide to the Neighborhoods of London we have focused on the most interesting neighborhoods for those who want to come and visit London for a few days. That is, the most central neighborhoods in London . Also the best neighborhoods for sightseeing or the best neighborhoods in London to stay in London .
What will you find in this article?
- Most central neighborhoods in London
- Westminster and Belgravia
- Kensington and Knightsbridge
- Notting Hill and Bayswater
- Paddington and Little Venice
- Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia
- Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Soho
- The City
- King’s Cross and Angel
- Regent’s Park
- London Bridge
- Camden Town
- London Boroughs outside Central London
- Canary Wharf
- List of the 33 London Boroughs (Municipalities)
- Dangerous London Neighborhoods
- North London
- West London
London’s most central neighborhoods
The London Neighborhoods are organized into 9 concentric transport zones. Zone 1 is the center of London and Zone 9 is the outskirts of the city. This information will help you as a guide to know how far a neighborhood is from the center of London.
The London neighborhoods in London Transport Zone 1 are the most central, where we find most of London’s tourist attractions. For this reason, they are the best neighborhoods in London to look for accommodation if you are going to spend a few days visiting the British capital.
If you are staying in zone 1, getting to the different tourist attractions in the city is easier and faster. In addition to the London neighborhoods located in zone 1, there are beautiful London neighborhoods that can be visited in half a day or in a day that are located in London Zones 2 and 3.
Westminster and Belgravia
The neighborhood of Westminster in London is one of the most important neighborhoods in London, since it is where we find some of the most famous London attractions, such as Big Ben and the London Eye .
Average prices per night for 3 or 4 star hotels in this area of London is over £200. It is not surprising that they are a bit high in price. But by searching it is possible to find hotels with a good price, and I would definitely recommend staying in this area, since it is also one of the safest areas in London.
The Belgravia neighborhood is next to the Westminster neighborhood. It is also one of the best areas to stay in London. The Sloane Square area would be one of my favorites if I had to choose. Although it is not the tourist center of London, I love the typical London streets and Victorian houses.
Between both neighborhoods of London is Victoria station, which is about a 15-minute walk from Buckingham Palace. It is one of the largest and most important stations in the city and there is a direct train from Gatwick airport .
From this area it is easy to walk to the River Thames, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the London Eye , and from here you can take a pleasant walk into central London. In addition, one of the Big Bus tourist bus stops is located next to Victoria station. In Victoria there is also one of London’s theaters where one of London’s Best Musicals is usually performed .
Recommended hotels in central London
- Premier Inn Victoria
- Sanctuary House Hotel
- Grange Wellington Hotel
- Park Plaza Westminster
Kensington and Knightsbridge
The district of Kensington in London is also one of the most important districts of London. It is without a doubt one of the most authentic London neighbourhoods. It is divided into three zones : West Kensington, South Kensington and Kensington .
In the middle of these three areas I have to mention that Earl’s Court is located. an area that has hotels at very good prices and a restaurant area. No wonder it’s one of the most popular areas to stay when visiting London.
In South Kensington we find the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. There is a restaurant area, perfect for dinner before going up to the hotel. From here you can also walk to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens without any problem. Let’s not forget that the famous Harrods department store is a 10-minute walk from this area.
The Knightsbridge area may be a little higher in price, but it is an area with many restaurants and shops and one of the areas that I would definitely recommend.
Recommended hotels in the Kensington neighborhood
- Sloane Square Hotel
- Amperand Hotel
- Citadines South Kensington
- Hotel Indigo London
Notting Hill and Bayswater
Just north of Hyde Park, London’s largest park, we find Notting Hill , Bayswater and Paddington from west to east . These three zones are in zone 1 of London .
The famous Notting Hill neighborhood is one of the most popular London neighborhoods for many tourists to stay in London, since here we find a high number of hotels and we can find hotels that are a little cheaper than in the areas of Westminster or Kensington.
The Notting Hill area has many restaurants and shops as well as Notting Hill’s famous Portobello Road Market which is open on Saturdays. From Notting Hill you can easily walk to Hyde Park and as well as the tube there are direct buses to the centre.
The Bayswater area is the one located next to the tube station with the same name, and we also find the Queensway tube station. We mention this area because the first time we visited London, it was where we found the largest number of hotels. Prices here are a bit cheaper than in Notting Hill or Kensington. It is an area that is also good, with hotels and restaurants and not far from the center.
Recommended hotels in Notting Hill and Bayswater
- The Lastlett
- London House Hotel
- The Portobello Hotel
Paddington and Little Venice
Paddington railway station is located north of Hyde Park, but further east than Notting Hill. It is closer to the famous shopping street, Oxford Street. The direct train from Heathrow airport arrives at this station . Once there, you can walk to Oxford Street, Marble Arch and Hyde Park.
Adjacent to Paddington is the beginning of the neighborhood known as London’s Little Venice. Here the most striking thing is the Regent’s Canal and its decorated boats down to the smallest detail. Ideal to go to take some photos. If you are going to stay or visit this beautiful neighborhood of London, I recommend you take a look at our guide to visiting Little Venice .
Recommended hotel in the Paddington neighborhood
Hotel Indigo London Paddington
Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia
The Bloomsbury area is where the British Museum in London is located . It is a very beautiful area as well as authentic. It is very well connected since from here it is possible to walk to Oxford Street, one of the most important shopping streets in London. In addition to being able to go to other areas of central London on foot, such as Soho or Piccadilly Circus .
Fitzrovia is the area right next to Bloomsbury, and here we can find many traditional British restaurants and pubs.
Recommended hotels in the Bloomsbury neighborhood
- Thistle Bloomsbury
- Morgan Hotel
- Radisson Blue Edwardian
Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Soho
These areas are the most central in London. Probably the ones you spend the most time on when visiting London. The great protagonist of the London neighborhood of Covent Garden is the square that bears his name, the most magical place in London.
In Covent Garden there are many cafes and restaurants, as well as many shops. And also, without leaving the neighborhood you can see one of our secret corners: Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard square . A few minutes walk from Covent Garden we find the Leicester Square. This is where the London film premieres take place .
From these areas we can easily walk to Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross and the banks of the River Thames, as well as London’s Soho. It is undoubtedly one of the best areas to stay in London.
Recommended hotel in the Covent Garden neighborhood
- Strand Palace Hotel
The London neighborhood called The City is located east of central London in zone 1, and it is here that the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral is located . This is really the financial district of London, and it’s a good place to visit on weekdays, as it’s the only area in London where they close their shops completely on weekends.
Here we find Leadenhall Market , a beautiful covered market that was the scene of some of the Harry Potter films . Next to the Cathedral of San Pablo there is a shopping center, where we find many shops and restaurants.
From this area we can walk to the Tower of London and the famous blue bridge of London Tower Bridge.
Recommended hotel in The City of London
- St Paul’s Grange
King’s Cross and Angel
In the north of central London within zone 1 of London we find the King’s Cross and St. Pancras metro and train station. It is one of the most important railway stations in London with a direct connection to Luton airport , and to which the Eurostar train from Paris arrives .
In the King’s Cross area there is a London tourist bus stop , so it is a perfect area to stay if you are going to King’s Cross or St Pancras and want to use the tourist bus. Next to King’s Cross we also find the areas of Euston and Russel Square. All these areas are good when looking for accommodation in London, since from here it is easy to reach other areas of London by tube and there are many hotels and restaurants.
A little further north we find the Angel neighborhood, a very nice neighborhood that I would definitely recommend both to visit and to stay in London.
Recommended hotels in the King’s Cross area of London
- Premier Inns
- Megaro Hotel
- St Pancras Renaissance
- Crown Plaza King’s Cross
- Pullman London St Pancras
In the northern area within London’s zone 1 we find Regent’s Park, one of the most beautiful parks in London. The London Zoo is located in the northernmost area of this park .
If we walk from here through Regent’s Canal we can reach the neighborhood of Little Venice in London and the neighborhood of Camden Town . South of the park is Marylebone and Baker Street, home to the Sherlock Holmes museum and London’s famous Madame Tussauds wax museum .
Recommended hotels in Regent’s Park
- Park Plaza
- Dorset Square
The Waterloo area is the area around the Waterloo train and tube station. From here it’s easy to walk to the London Eye and the south bank promenade where there are loads of restaurants.
We also find the London Aquarium, as well as the Royal Festival Hall and the London Dungeons horror passage. In this area there are always people, so I consider this area as one of the safest options to stay in London.
Recommended hotel in the Waterloo Quarter
- Premier Inn County Hall
The area located around the London Bridge tube and train station is another of the areas that we have to visit in London. Also located in zone 1 of London, this is where we find the Borough Market and the Shard , the tallest building in London.
Our itinerary 4 goes through London Bridge and through the key points around this area of London, such as the Hays Galleria, the HMS Belfast …
Featured hotels near London Bridge
- Premier Inns
- London Bridge Hotel
Camden Town (London zone 2 ) is another of the best-known neighborhoods in London, not only for being the place where the famous Camden Town flea market is located , but also for being the London neighborhood where many celebrities live.
It is one of the most alternative places you will ever visit, and it is undoubtedly one of the key points in your visit to London. Staying in Camden Town is also an option, but I have to mention that it would not be the place I would personally recommend. It is not one of the safest neighborhoods to arrive at night and less if you do not know the area.
Recommended Hotels in the Camden Town Neighborhood
- Holiday Inns
- York and Albany
London neighborhoods outside central London
Outside of zone 1 of London we also find neighborhoods in which I would recommend that you stay away if you are going to visit London. In general, the farther from the center the cheaper it will be (unless it is one of the best neighborhoods in London).
Important tip: Even if you find a very cheap hotel, keep in mind the distance to the center and the nearest metro station. Although the Hotel is cheap, what you save on the room you are going to spend on transport and time to get to the center of London. However, there are some neighborhoods that I would recommend, such as:
Hampstead is one of our favorite neighborhoods in London, and the reasons are quite obvious when you visit it. It is located in zone 2 of London . It has a special charm, and since it is the place where many celebrities live, it is not surprising that it is the most expensive neighborhood in the United Kingdom.
In the center of Hampstead we find several shops and boutiques as well as restaurants and cafes, but we also find Hampstead Heath, one of the largest parks in London, as well as several authentic British pubs, such as the Spaniard’s Inn or the Garden Gate .
From Hampstead you can walk to Belsize Park, which is another area that I would recommend considering when searching for a hotel in London. For detailed information on Hampstead visit our Guide to Hampstead in London .
Recommended hotel in the Hampstead neighborhood (London zone 2):
- La Gaffe
To the south of London we find Richmond ( London zone 4 ), another of the most beautiful neighborhoods in London that we visit frequently. Richmond is the perfect place to spend a day, and if the weather is good I can assure you that you will not regret it.
It is one of the neighborhoods in London that I would recommend you to visit if you are going to be in London for several days, and I would definitely recommend adding it to your list of places to visit in London. From the Richmond metro stop we can walk towards the river area, passing through the center of the neighborhood where we find an area of shops and restaurants.
Once we reach the river we can walk along the shore or take a boat to visit the neighboring neighborhood of Kingston or even visit the Hampton Court Palace. In Richmond we find Richmond Park, where we can see deer in freedom. In our article Richmond in London we explain all the options to make the most of a day in this fantastic neighborhood of London.
Recommended hotel in the Richmond area (London zone 2):
- Petersham Hotel .
The Canary Wharf neighborhood is located in the southeastern part of the British capital (London zone 2 ), and it is the new financial district of London. The area is full of skyscrapers and modern buildings, and they are already an important part of the London skyline.
In Canary Wharf we find two different shopping centers, a lot of restaurants, parks and gardens as well as the Docklands Museum (free). Take a look at our Visiting Canary Wharf in London article for more information.
Recommended hotels in Canary Wharf (London zone 2)
- Hotel Novotel
- Riverside Plaza
Another of the London neighborhoods that we recommend visiting if you have time is Greenwich (London zone 2 ). Known mainly for its maritime history and for being the place where the zero meridian is located.
Here we have the Royal Observatory of London and the Cutty Sark as well as several surprises. Greenwich offers us wide green spaces, as well as a charming neighborhood and wonderful views over the British capital.
We can get to Greenwich by tube, but my personal recommendation is to go by boat, to make it a full day. In our article Visit Greenwich in London you will find everything you need to know about this London neighborhood.
Recommended Hotels in Greenwich (London Zone 2)
List of the 33 London Boroughs (Boroughs)
Here is a table that may not be very useful when looking for accommodation for a few days, but it can be used as a reference when renting a house in one of the London neighborhoods.
|Order||London Borough||Area in km²||Population|
|1||City of London||2.9||7185|
|3||Kensington and Chelsea||12,13||158 919|
|4||Hammersmith and Fulham||16.4||165 242|
|8||Tower Hamlets||19.77||196 106|
|fifteen||Richmond upon Thames||57.42||172 335|
|16||Kingston upon Thames||37.25||147 273|
|25||Barking and Dagenham||36.09||163 944|
|28||Waltham Forest||38.81||218 341|
London Dangerous Neighborhoods
As in any big city in the world, it’s easy to find dangerous neighborhoods that we wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of time in. Especially if it’s night or you’re walking with your 2 meter wide open map down the street.
It is not a highly recommended neighborhood to live or stay. That said, the Brixton flea market is one of the places that has most caught our attention in London. We recommend visiting Brixton and the flea market during the day as there are so many people that I don’t consider it dangerous. But Brixton is one of those London neighborhoods to avoid. Especially you come as a tourist and return to your hotel at night.
Other neighborhoods that we do not recommend in the South London area are: Stockwell, Balham, Peckham, Elephant and Castle, Limehouse, Canning Town and Camberwell.
If we look at North London, then some of the neighborhoods that are not recommended are Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters or Tottenham Hale. We lived for a few years near Finsbury Park and Seven Sisters, and the truth is that I do not consider these areas to be the most dangerous.
During the day I wouldn’t hesitate to walk around here, but it is true that at night we saw the occasional altercation and a lot of police. As always, after living in a neighborhood, you end up getting to know the streets and learn which are the best or the worst.
In the extreme west of London there are other areas that I would surely not recommend and that I think you should avoid in London. I would not recommend looking for accommodation in areas like North Acton, South Harrow, White City, Harlesden and Willesden Junction.