Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Best Place To Stay In London For First Time Visitors

The Best Areas To Stay In London For First Time Visitors


These are the best areas in central London that are perfect for your first visit to London. They are quite close to each other, but offer different styles of accommodation.

  • Covent Garden

Hotels in Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of the most popular places to visit in London.

Staying there on your first visit to the city is a good idea, as youll be able to walk to many of the main attractions and will be close to several tube stations.

It is a perfect area for shopping, dining and going to the theatre.

There are some excellent hotels in Covent Garden:

Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street Located 5 minutes from the station, this hotel has a trendy design and super comfortable beds.

St Martins Lane Designed by Philippe Starck, this beautiful hotel is a 5 minute walk from Covent Garden Market.

The Resident Covent Garden A top quality hotel at a more budget-friendly price in Covent Garden.

Vacation Rentals in Covent Garden

A selection of the best vacation rentals in Covent Garden:

Trafalgar Luxury Suites Close to the Royal Opera House and to the Covent Garden Market, the suites have a fully equipped kitchen and a seating area to make you feel at home.

Hotels in Mayfair

Mayfair is very central. Youll stay close to some main attractions, close to Hyde Park, Oxford Street and the West End theatres.

Its also close to several stations and you can reach other parts of the city very easily.

Its a super elegant part of London with top quality luxury hotels.

Hotels in Soho

Bloomsbury Hotels In London

Very central Walking distance to West End Cheaper than West End but not a budget area Wider range of hotel types Attractive area to stay

Only 15 minutes’ walk north of Covent Garden and Leicester Square. Very interesting district with lots of bookshops, collectors places and quirky attractions as well as the British Museum. A great area to just wander the streets and make your own discoveries.

All types of accommodation, but a step change in price downwards from the West End. King’s Cross/St Pancras just a mile north is much cheaper. The only direct airport link within the district is the London Underground to Heathrow, but is not a bad choice for any airport or cruise port.

Two Best Areas To Stay In London For First Time Visitors: Mayfair And Covent Garden

Keeping all of the above in mind, there are two areas to stay in London that I typically recommend for first-time visitors: Mayfair or Covent Garden. Both of these make great areas to stay in London because of their location and wide selection of accommodation.

When youre choosing a hotel in London, look for hotels in either of these areas. Ive included a bit more info below on each neighborhood, and why they are each a perfect area to stay in London.

Heres a map Ive made of the best areas to stay in London for first time visitors. Mayfair is highlighted in blue, while Covent Garden is in yellow. Try to find a hotel in one of these areas. A few suggested options are below!

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Stand On The Right On Station Escalators

Going on the underground train with masses of people can be quite overwhelming.

But its rare to see anyone pushing or shoving, even during rush hour.

Thats because theres a very easy rule that everyone in London follows:

When you go on the escalators remember to always stand on the right. If you want to walk up or down do that on the left.

Sometimes therell be a service announcement to remind people of that.

Londoners get annoyed when people stand on the left, and quite understandably when youre in a rush to catch a train you want that left lane to be available.

Always Be Ready For Rain

BEST Places To Stay In London For First Time Visitors

British people like to talk about the weather, and they have a good reason to.

In London it might rain any day.

Whether or not its forecast to rain, always assume that it might, because the weather in London is known for its unpredictability. It could rain even in the middle of summer during a heat wave

If you find yourself in London when it rains and need a place to hide or a way to pass the time, check out my post on what to do in London when it rains.

An umbrella or a rain jacket are essential items on your packing list for London.

I personally prefer a waterproof rain jacket to an umbrella. I recommend a folding jacket thats small and lightweight, because:

1 It takes up less space than an umbrella

2 It weighs less

3 Its an extra warm layer

4 If its large enough, it can cover your purse or bag as well.

If you dont have one already, get a rain jacket before your trip to London.

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Other Areas To Stay In London:

There are other areas in London with hotels, especially in Camden, Shoreditch, the East End of London and the financial centre which is called the City of London. Some of these places can have poor transportation links, with few underground stations, and will be further away from the major tourist attractions. For this reason, we havent recommended any hotels in these areas.

As a rule, be particularly cautious if there is no underground link into Central London from your hotel. Sometimes there may be an overground station nearby, but the cost of train tickets is high. Also buses from outside the centre can have long journey times and will get caught up in rush hour traffic. This means whilst hotel prices may seem very cheap after you factor in the extra cost of transportation and the wasted travelling time, there are normally better places to stay for tourists in the centre of London.

Best Neighborhood For Nightlife: Shoreditch/spitalfields

This artsy, hip neighborhood in East London is an up and coming neighborhood filled with outdoor markets, vintage clothing stores, bars, and restaurants, and its one of the best nightlife districts in town. The abundance of street art contrasts old industrial warehouses and dimly lit streets. Thanks to the immigrant influence here, youre never too far from a döner kebab or a plate of Peruvian ceviche.

Best Places to Stay in Shoreditch/Spitalfields

  • BUDGET: The Dictionary The hostel itself has a great rooftop terrace, a bar for drinks, and free breakfast. Theres a big kitchen in case you want to cook too. The rooms are bare, but theyre spacious, and kept clean, and the beds are fairly comfortable.
  • MID-RANGE: Brick Lane Hotel This offers basic but very clean accommodations, including single, double, and triple rooms with en suite bathrooms. Each room has a tea and coffee station and a desk. There are only eight rooms total, so youll get to know your hosts quite well. The onsite Sheraz Bangla Lounge serves cheap curry and is a local neighborhood favorite, so be sure to eat here at least once!
  • LUXURY: The Curtain Every nook of this hotel has some sort of quirky design touch, whether its contemporary artwork or a wall-mounted stag. The rooms are spacious and come with exposed brick walls, nice seating areas, and rainfall showers. Theres a small rooftop pool, and the fitness center has daily yoga and cycling classes.

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Theres So Much To See In London

No matter how many times Ive been to the city , I still discover more things to see and do.

The city seems to reinvent itself every couple of months, while at the same time preserving its history.

London is huge. Massive. If you try to see it all on an average visit, you will cause yourself endless frustration and FOMO.

My best tip would be to plan your London itinerary in a way that gives you enough time to see the things that interest you most, but also relax.

Take your time.

And take into account the distances Check on Google Maps how long it would take to get from one place to the next.

Even things that look close on the map could be an hour away from each other by public transport.

Remember that even if you wont be able to see everything, thats fine.

Its better than rushing around and stressing out every single day of your trip.

Make a list of the things you want to do and see in London, such as:

Check the locations and make time for rest and relaxation Londons parks are great for that

Big Ben And Houses Of Parliament

Best Areas to Stay in While Visiting London

Why visit? If youre visiting London for the first time, chances are visions of Big Ben come to mind. A visit to London is not complete without a trip to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Quick Tip: Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the clock tower. The tower is actually known as the Elizabeth Tower.

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Best Area To Stay In London At A Glance: Covent Garden

The best area to stay in London is Covent Garden, particularly if you are a first-time visitor. Covent Garden is home to lots of Londons attractions, has tonnes of cool bars and restaurants and is in walking distance to other London hotspots like Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Soho and Piccadilly Circus.

Covent Garden properties come at a price, but are well located for getting around and proximity to the big sights.

Travel To London By Train Or Bus

If you prefer not to fly, you can reach London in other ways.

London is connected to mainland Europe by train thanks to the Eurostar. It connects London with France, Belgium and The Netherlands.

When you travel within Europe, its easy to get to any of those three countries and then take a train to London from there.

You can also reach London by a long distance bus from several European cities, including Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Some buses use a ferry and some use the Channel Tunnel.

The bus ride takes longer than the train, but can be a lot cheaper.

Check Omio to find all buses and trains to London.

You can also drive into London by car, but I wouldnt recommend it, as theres heavy traffic in the city and its not the most efficient way to travel. If you still want to get to London by car, read this guide by Visit London.

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Travel On Public Transport Outside Peak Times

Trying to take a train in central London during rush hour can be a pretty nightmarish experience.

Sometimes the stations are so packed that you cant even get into the station, not to mention board a train.

Avoid the massive crowds on Monday to Friday between 06:30 am and 09:30 am and between 4 pm and 7 pm.

Best Neighborhood For Arts/culture : Covent Garden

The Best Places &  Area to Stay in London

Covent Garden is just east of Soho. This is the theater district and is also known for its historic indoor market and throngs of tourists. There are plenty of street performers and lots of shopping opportunities. But its also a quirky neighborhood with cobblestone streets, cool shops, restaurants, and a historic square. Its also very central.

Best Places to Stay in Covent Garden

  • BUDGET: Astor Museum Inn Like the Astor Hyde Park, the dorms rooms here are pretty basic, but they arent overpriced, are clean, and theres a cozy lounge and kitchen. Free dinners are also offered frequently. Its not as quaint as the Hyde Park branch, but it is a better location.
  • MID-RANGE: Strand Palace Hotel This hotel has been around since the early 1900s, and all its rooms are built around six inner courtyards. If you want a quiet space, ask for a room overlooking the interior. There are single-room options too, if youre traveling solo and dont mind a small space.
  • LUXURY: Fielding Hotel The Fielding Hotel is named for author Henry Fielding, and in keeping with the period, the building has a lot of 19th-century charm. The rooms are tiny, but they come equipped with large TVs and tea and coffee facilities, and some even have claw-foot bathtubs. The hotel is located across from the Royal Opera House and just five minutes from the famous Covent Garden Market.

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Things To See And Do In Covent Garden

Stand at the centre of bustling Trafalgar Square.

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

Marvel at St Pauls Church.

Admire the architecture of Somerset House.

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

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

View an incredible collection of art at The National Gallery.

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

Feast on modern British cuisine at Drury 188-189.

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Bens Cookies.

Grab a pint at the Marquess of Anglesey pub.

Things To See And Do In Soho

Shop until you drop on Oxford Street.

Excite your senses in lively Leicester Square.

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

Grab a snack at Cahoots.

Indulge in amazing treats at Choccywoccydoodah.

Listen to live jazz at Ronnie Scotts.

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

Sip a cheeky pint at John Snow Pub.

Dance the night away at The Box.

Let your hair down at Freedom Bar.

Drink sophisticated cocktails at The Bag ONails.

See and be seen at Aqua Spirit.

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Enjoy A Uniquely English Food Or Drink Experience

If you feel a bit overwhelmed with all the beautiful historic sites and youre on sensory overload, it may be time to stop and have a uniquely English experience. What better way to do this than with food and drink?

There are many ways to experience English food and drink, and customs, including the following:

  • Stop for afternoon tea and snack on dainty sandwiches or English cookies . You may even want to try something called clotted cream and jam. A classic English tea can be had at The Dorchester Hotel, although a bit pricier than found at many other locations throughout London.
  • Grab a pint at a local pub. Pubs often enjoyed by first-timers include the Lamb & Flag and the Olde Cheshire Cheese for their centuries-old charm.
  • Eat a lunch of Fish & Chips. You can have these along with your pint at many local pubs.

Brixton Best Place To Stay In London For Backpackers

What to Know Before Booking Accommodation in London
  • A laidback area with lots of culture, making it the best place to stay in London to experience the international city vibe!
  • You can enjoy a vibrant nightlife here, with plenty of places to catch live music.
  • A very popular area, and one of the best London neighbourhoods for tourists.

Brixton has an incredible history, and one of its most famous stories is that it is the birthplace of the internationally known, late David Bowe.

This area celebrates creativity and has a vibrancy that is contagious. Youll also find tons of hot spots to enjoy the growing foodie culture.

Pop Brixton, photo by Hats Off World

Brixton is the best part of London to stay for those wanting to enjoy Londons nightlife, with a local atmosphere and plenty of beer.

This remarkable neighbourhood has really created its own identity, and thrives with diverse cultures, and a wonderful art scene.

If youre wondering, where should I stay in London to taste great food?, then youll be delighted to know that the Brixton Market and Village is a hub for delicious meals and hosts over 100 food traders.

Some of the best places to stay in Brixton are the Brixton Inn or the Premier Inn. For a reasonable price you get a nice sized room, and they are perfectly located right next to the Brixton tube station.

Enjoying the view over the London Eye from Westminster Bridge

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Where To Stay In London For Best Nightlife The West Endsohoshoreditchcamden

Camden town, Soho and Shoreditch are the best places to stay in London if you love nightlife. Camden town is around the northeast reaches of Regents Park that is close to London Zoo. This is home to British rock music, it is young, and has a studenty vibe. There are so many live music venues with many lively pubs. In such areas you will find multiple clubs, bars and restaurants where you can have fun and party the night away.

What Is The Best Neighbourhood To Stay In London

That depends on what youre looking for but, as a London native, I dont think theres a better neighbourhood in London than Shoreditch. The hipster capital of London is where all the young Londoners like to hang out. There, youve got the best bars and cafes, cool street art, and awesome food markets to explore. Far removed from the glamorous tourist attractions of Westminster, Shoreditch is what you could call the real London experience.

Any questions about what area in London is best to stay, or just about London generally, leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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