where to stay in london first time ? Best 7 places


Are you planning your first trip to London? Congratulations, you’re in for an unforgettable experience! The vibrant capital of England is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modernity. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is where to stay, and London offers a wide range of neighborhoods and accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. In this travel blog, we’ll help you navigate the London lodging landscape so you can make the most of your visit. If you want to travel to London, check here for the best flights.

Westminster – The Heart of History

Westminster is a neighborhood in Central London that stands as the very heart of British history and government. When staying in Westminster, you’ll find yourself immersed in the grandeur of iconic landmarks, political institutions, and cultural treasures. Here’s a more detailed look at what you can expect when choosing Westminster as your base in London:

Iconic Landmarks:

  • Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament: Westminster is home to the iconic clock tower known as Big Ben, which is part of the Palace of Westminster (also known as the Houses of Parliament). The sight of Big Ben and the Parliament buildings illuminated at night is a true London spectacle.
  • Westminster Abbey: This historic church is not only a masterpiece of Gothic architecture but also a place of great significance. It has been the site of royal coronations, weddings, and burials for centuries. Visitors can explore its stunning interior and appreciate its historical importance.
  • Buckingham Palace: While Buckingham Palace is technically in the neighboring St. James’s area, it’s just a short walk from Westminster. Catching the Changing of the Guard ceremony at this royal residence is a must-do experience.

Political Hub:

  • The Palace of Westminster: This is where the UK’s political decisions are made. You can take guided tours of the Palace to witness the intricate details of the architecture and learn about the political history of the country.
  • 10 Downing Street: The official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is also in Westminster. While you can’t enter, you can view the famous black door and take photos from outside.
  • Supreme Court of the United Kingdom: For those interested in the legal system, the Supreme Court is located nearby and is open to the public, offering insights into the British judicial process.

Cultural Gems:

  • The Tate Britain: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Tate Britain, which houses an extensive collection of British art, including works by J.M.W. Turner and William Blake.
  • Westminster Bridge: A stroll across this bridge offers fantastic views of the River Thames and the surrounding landmarks. It’s a perfect spot for taking photographs.

Accessible Central Location:

  • Westminster’s central location means you’ll have easy access to other London neighborhoods and attractions. The London Eye, Southbank, and Covent Garden are just a short walk away.


  • As mentioned earlier, Westminster offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels with views of Big Ben to more affordable options, you’ll find something that suits your needs.

Transport Hub:

  • Westminster is well-connected by public transportation. The Westminster Underground station is on the Jubilee, Circle, and District lines, making it easy to explore the rest of the city.

Westminster is a captivating neighborhood that embodies the essence of London’s rich history and political significance. Staying in this area provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s heritage and to easily access some of its most famous landmarks. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture lover, or simply seeking a central location to explore London, Westminster is an excellent choice for your stay.


Covent Garden – Theater and Shopping Haven

Covent Garden is a lively and vibrant neighborhood in the heart of London, known for its rich history, thriving arts scene, and excellent shopping and dining options. If you’re interested in theater, shopping, and a unique urban atmosphere, Covent Garden is an ideal choice for your stay in London. Here’s a more in-depth look at what makes Covent Garden special:

Theater District:

  • Covent Garden is synonymous with London’s world-renowned theater scene. The area is home to several iconic theaters, including the Royal Opera House, which is the home of the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet. Attending a performance here is a truly unforgettable experience for art lovers.
  • Other nearby theaters include the West End’s famous venues like the Lyceum Theatre (home to The Lion King) and the Duchess Theatre (known for The Play That Goes Wrong). Whether you’re into musicals, plays, or ballet, Covent Garden has something for every theater enthusiast.

Covent Garden Market:

  • Covent Garden’s historic market is a bustling hub of activity. Here, you’ll find a wide array of boutique shops, craft stalls, and artisanal food vendors. It’s a fantastic place to explore, shop for unique souvenirs, and sample delicious street food.

Street Performers and Entertainers:

  • The area around Covent Garden Market is renowned for its street performers and buskers. These talented artists entertain the crowds with everything from magic tricks and juggling to live music and comedy. It’s a dynamic and lively atmosphere that adds to the neighborhood’s charm.

Dining and Cafes:

  • Covent Garden offers an eclectic range of dining options, from cozy cafes to upscale restaurants. You can savor a pre-theater dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant or enjoy a casual meal at one of the many eateries in the market area.

Piazza and Public Spaces:

  • The Covent Garden Piazza is a delightful open space surrounded by charming buildings. It’s a great spot to relax, people-watch, and soak in the neighborhood’s ambiance. The piazza often hosts seasonal events and pop-up markets.


  • Beyond the market, Covent Garden boasts a diverse range of shops. From luxury boutiques to unique, independent stores, you’ll find everything from fashion and jewelry to beauty products and homeware. Don’t forget to explore Neal’s Yard, a colorful and hidden courtyard filled with health food shops and cafes.

Transport Links:

  • Covent Garden is conveniently located and well-connected by public transportation. The Covent Garden Underground station (Piccadilly Line) makes it easy to explore other parts of London.

Cultural Attractions:

  • In addition to theaters, Covent Garden is near several cultural institutions. The London Transport Museum, for example, showcases the history of public transportation in London, and the Somerset House cultural center hosts various exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Historical Significance:

  • Covent Garden has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages. It was originally a fruit and vegetable market and has evolved into the vibrant neighborhood we see today. You can still see elements of its history in the architecture and street names.

Covent Garden is a captivating neighborhood where the arts, shopping, and dining converge. It’s a dynamic and lively area that provides a unique blend of culture and entertainment, making it an excellent choice for travelers who want to immerse themselves in London’s creative and theatrical side. Whether you’re attending a world-class performance, shopping for unique treasures, or simply enjoying the street performances, Covent Garden offers an unforgettable London experience.

Covent Garden

Southbank – Riverside Charm

Southbank, located along the southern bank of the River Thames in central London, offers a unique blend of cultural attractions, scenic beauty, and leisure activities. It’s a vibrant area known for its Riverside Charm. If you’re interested in enjoying the riverfront, exploring world-class cultural institutions, and indulging in leisurely strolls, Southbank is an excellent choice for your stay in London. Here’s a more detailed look at what makes Southbank special:

Riverside Views:

  • Southbank offers some of the most picturesque views of the River Thames and London’s skyline. The riverside promenade provides an ideal setting for leisurely walks, photography, and simply taking in the beauty of the city.

Cultural Hotspots:

  • The Southbank is home to several renowned cultural venues, including the Tate Modern, a contemporary art museum housed in a converted power station. It features an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art from around the world.
  • The Southbank Centre is another cultural gem, hosting a diverse range of events, performances, and festivals throughout the year. The complex includes the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Hayward Gallery, offering a wide variety of artistic experiences.

Street Performances and Festivals:

  • Southbank’s riverside walkway often features street performers, musicians, and artists who entertain passersby. Additionally, the area hosts numerous festivals and events, such as the annual Underbelly Festival, which showcases live performances, comedy, and food stalls.

Riverside Dining:

  • The Southbank boasts a selection of riverside restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the views. It’s a great place for brunch, a romantic dinner, or simply relaxing with a coffee.

London Eye:

  • The iconic London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel on the Southbank, offers breathtaking panoramic views of London. It’s a popular attraction, and taking a ride in one of its capsules is an unforgettable experience.
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Access to Cultural Walks:

  • Southbank is a starting point for several cultural walks and trails. You can easily access the Jubilee Walkway, which takes you past many of London’s iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Skateboarding and Skating:

  • Southbank’s skateboard park, known as the Southbank Centre Skate Park, is famous in the skateboarding community. It’s a lively spot to watch skaters showcase their skills and creativity.

The Millennium Bridge:

  • This pedestrian suspension bridge connects the Southbank to St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London. It’s known for its elegant design and provides a pleasant walk across the river.

Shopping and Markets:

  • The Southbank is home to markets like the Southbank Centre Market, offering artisanal crafts, gourmet food, and unique gifts. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and support local artists and producers.

Transport Links: – Southbank is well-connected by public transportation. The Waterloo Station, one of London’s major rail and Underground hubs, is located nearby, providing easy access to other parts of the city.

Southbank’s Riverside Charm offers a delightful mix of cultural experiences, leisurely walks along the river, and stunning views of the city. It’s a destination that appeals to art enthusiasts, culture lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil yet lively escape in the heart of London. Whether you’re exploring museums, enjoying street performances, or simply savoring the riverfront ambiance, Southbank promises a memorable and relaxing stay in the city.


Shoreditch – Hipster Haven

Shoreditch, located in the East End of London, is a neighborhood that has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. It has evolved into a hipster haven known for its artistic and alternative vibe, trendy street art, and a burgeoning creative scene. If you’re looking for a unique and edgy experience during your stay in London, Shoreditch is an excellent choice. Here’s a more in-depth look at what makes Shoreditch special:

Street Art and Graffiti:

  • Shoreditch is famous for its ever-changing street art and graffiti scene. The neighborhood is like an open-air art gallery, featuring murals, stencils, and colorful designs on nearly every available wall. Take a guided street art tour to learn about the artists and their stories behind the murals.

Independent Boutiques and Vintage Shops:

  • Shoreditch is a shopping paradise for those seeking unique fashion items and vintage treasures. The area is home to numerous independent boutiques, vintage shops, and thrift stores where you can find one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, and homeware.

Vibrant Nightlife:

  • Shoreditch comes alive at night, offering a wide range of bars, pubs, and clubs. From hidden speakeasies and rooftop bars to live music venues and DJ nights, there’s no shortage of entertainment options for night owls.

Creative Hubs and Co-Working Spaces:

  • Shoreditch has a thriving creative and tech scene. It’s home to numerous co-working spaces, tech startups, and creative agencies. You’ll often find entrepreneurs and artists working in trendy coffee shops, sharing ideas, and fostering innovation.

Food Markets and Street Food:

  • The neighborhood hosts various food markets where you can sample diverse cuisine from around the world. Brick Lane Market and the nearby Spitalfields Market are popular choices for street food, artisanal products, and vintage goods.

Brick Lane:

  • Brick Lane is Shoreditch’s most famous street, known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, curry houses, and the Brick Lane Market. It’s also a hub for live music, art galleries, and alternative fashion stores.

Art Galleries and Exhibitions:

  • Shoreditch is home to several contemporary art galleries and exhibition spaces, showcasing the work of emerging artists and designers. The Whitechapel Gallery, in particular, has a rich history of presenting groundbreaking exhibitions.

Hipster Cafes and Bakeries:

  • The neighborhood is dotted with quirky cafes and bakeries, where you can enjoy artisanal coffee, organic pastries, and Instagram-worthy brunches. Be sure to check out places like The Attendant and Boxpark Shoreditch.

Parks and Green Spaces:

  • Despite its urban vibe, Shoreditch has a few green spaces where you can escape the hustle and bustle. Hoxton Square and Shoreditch Park offer a peaceful respite from the city’s energy.

Cultural Events and Festivals: – Shoreditch hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and art to food and fashion. Keep an eye out for events like the Shoreditch Festival and Shoreditch Design Triangle during your visit.

Shoreditch is a neighborhood that embraces creativity, individuality, and a unique blend of cultures. It’s a hotspot for artistic expression, innovation, and exploration. Whether you’re into street art, vintage shopping, or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Shoreditch offers a one-of-a-kind experience that’s perfect for those seeking a taste of London’s alternative and cutting-edge scene.


Kensington – Museums and Greenery

Kensington, a prestigious and culturally rich district in West London, is celebrated for its world-class museums, stunning green spaces, and elegant architecture. If you’re interested in history, art, and relaxation in a sophisticated setting, Kensington is the perfect place to stay during your visit to London. Here’s a deeper dive into what Kensington has to offer in terms of museums and greenery:

World-Renowned Museums:

  • Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A): The V&A is one of the world’s leading museums of art, design, and performance. Its vast collection spans centuries and includes everything from fashion and jewelry to ceramics and sculpture. The museum’s architecture itself is a work of art, and its exhibitions are a captivating journey through history and creativity.
  • Natural History Museum: This iconic museum is famous for its colossal dinosaur skeletons, gemstones, and a wide array of specimens that showcase Earth’s natural history. It’s a fantastic place for visitors of all ages, especially families.
  • Science Museum: Right next to the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum is a treasure trove of interactive exhibits, technological wonders, and the history of scientific discovery. It’s a great place to learn and have fun simultaneously.

Kensington Gardens:

  • Kensington Gardens is a stunning and peaceful green oasis in the heart of London. It’s connected to Hyde Park, forming one of the largest green spaces in the city. You can take leisurely walks along the Serpentine Lake, enjoy a picnic, or visit the beautiful Kensington Palace, a former royal residence and current museum.

Hyde Park:

  • While not exclusively in Kensington, Hyde Park’s proximity means you have even more green space to explore. You can rent a rowboat, go horseback riding, or simply relax on the vast lawns. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a serene spot to reflect.

Royal Albert Hall:

  • This iconic venue hosts a diverse range of events, from classical concerts and ballet performances to rock concerts and comedy shows. Even if you don’t attend an event, the building’s stunning architecture is worth admiring.

Kensington High Street:

  • Kensington’s main shopping district, Kensington High Street, offers a mix of high-end boutiques, department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and charming cafes. It’s a great place for shopping and people-watching.

Cultural Institutions:

  • In addition to the museums, Kensington is home to cultural institutions like the Royal College of Art and the Royal Geographical Society. These institutions often host exhibitions and events open to the public.

Historic Architecture:

  • Kensington boasts elegant townhouses, grand squares, and historic architecture throughout the district. The architecture alone is a feast for the eyes, offering a glimpse into London’s history and affluence.

Location and Transport:

  • Kensington is well-connected to the rest of London via the Tube, with several Underground stations in the area, including South Kensington, Gloucester Road, and High Street Kensington. This makes it easy to explore other parts of the city.

Kensington is a sophisticated and culturally rich neighborhood that offers a harmonious blend of world-class museums, lush green spaces, and historical charm. Whether you’re exploring art and science at the museums, enjoying a leisurely stroll in the gardens, or indulging in some upscale shopping, Kensington provides a refined and enriching London experience that appeals to culture enthusiasts, families, and nature lovers alike.


Camden – Quirky and Eclectic

Camden, located in North London, is a neighborhood that embraces its quirky, eclectic, and alternative character. Known for its diverse culture, vibrant street life, and distinctive markets, Camden has a unique and rebellious spirit that has drawn artists, musicians, and free spirits for decades. If you’re looking for a dose of bohemian charm and an immersive experience in London’s counterculture, Camden is the place to be. Here’s a deeper look into what makes Camden so quirky and eclectic:

Camden Market:

  • Camden Lock Market: This iconic market is at the heart of Camden’s quirky atmosphere. It’s a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from vintage clothing and handmade crafts to international street food and antiques. You can find unique fashion pieces, collectibles, and artwork created by local artisans.
  • Stables Market: Housed in former horse stables, this section of Camden Market is famous for its alternative fashion and unique boutiques. You can explore vintage clothing shops, tattoo parlors, and stores selling gothic and punk fashion.

Street Food Scene:

  • Camden is a food lover’s paradise, with a diverse array of street food vendors and international cuisine. Try dishes from around the world, ranging from Chinese dumplings and Indian curries to Ethiopian injera and vegan delights. The variety of food stalls is a reflection of Camden’s multicultural vibe.

Live Music and Nightlife:

  • Camden is legendary for its live music scene and historic music venues. The Roundhouse, KOKO, and The Dublin Castle are just a few of the places where iconic bands have played. You can catch live performances ranging from indie rock and punk to reggae and electronic music.
  • The Jazz Cafe and Blues Kitchen are also great places to enjoy live music, and the area has a vibrant nightlife scene with bars and clubs catering to all tastes.

Street Art and Graffiti:

  • Like Shoreditch, Camden is known for its street art and graffiti. The walls and buildings are adorned with colorful murals, making it an open-air gallery. Keep an eye out for works by renowned street artists like Banksy.

The Canal:

  • Regent’s Canal runs through Camden, offering picturesque walks along the water. You can enjoy a leisurely stroll, rent a canal boat, or simply relax by the water’s edge. The canal provides a peaceful contrast to Camden’s bustling markets.

Alternative Fashion and Vintage Shopping:

  • Camden’s alternative fashion scene goes beyond the markets. You’ll find shops specializing in gothic, punk, and vintage clothing, as well as stores selling punk rock merchandise and unique accessories.

The Electric Ballroom:

  • This historic venue hosts not only live music events but also a popular vintage clothing market on Sundays. It’s a fantastic place to hunt for vintage treasures.

Alternative Culture and Lifestyle:

  • Camden’s spirit is deeply rooted in alternative culture and lifestyle. The neighborhood has been a hub for counterculture movements, punk rock, and artistic expression. The Electric Ladyland Museum, dedicated to fluorescent art, is a testament to Camden’s alternative history.

Camden Lock Village:

  • This newer addition to Camden Market features more independent shops, restaurants, and street food vendors. It’s a place where you can discover emerging designers and enjoy a variety of cuisines.

Camden is a neighborhood that thrives on its alternative, quirky, and eclectic identity. It’s a place where creativity knows no bounds, and individuality is celebrated. Whether you’re exploring the markets, savoring international street food, enjoying live music, or immersing yourself in the vibrant street culture, Camden offers a one-of-a-kind experience in London that’s perfect for those seeking a taste of the city’s artistic and bohemian side.


Notting Hill – Colorful and Charming

Notting Hill, located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London, is a neighborhood renowned for its colorful and charming character. It has a distinct and delightful atmosphere, combining picturesque streets, vibrant houses, a rich cultural heritage, and a lively sense of community. If you’re looking for a neighborhood that exudes charm, history, and a unique sense of place, Notting Hill is a must-visit. Here’s a deeper look into what makes Notting Hill so colorful and charming:

Colorful Houses:

  • Notting Hill is famous for its rows of pastel-colored houses with charming facades. The most iconic street for capturing these vibrant hues is Portobello Road, which is also known for its antique shops and markets.

Portobello Road Market:

  • Portobello Road Market is one of London’s most famous street markets. It’s a treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothing, jewelry, and unique bric-a-brac. The market operates throughout the week, with Saturdays being the busiest day.

Carnival Spirit:

  • Notting Hill is home to the Notting Hill Carnival, one of the world’s largest and most vibrant street festivals. This colorful event celebrates Caribbean culture with elaborate costumes, live music, and a lively parade. Even outside of the carnival, you can feel the Caribbean influence in the neighborhood’s restaurants and shops.

Cultural Attractions:

  • The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising is an interesting cultural stop in Notting Hill. It houses a fascinating collection of consumer products and packaging from different eras.

Lively Arts Scene:

  • Notting Hill has a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and independent cinemas. The Gate Theatre is a small but influential venue known for its innovative productions.
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Kensington Park and Gardens:

  • Notting Hill is adjacent to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, offering residents and visitors plenty of green spaces to relax, have a picnic, or go for a jog. Kensington Gardens also houses Kensington Palace, a royal residence with beautiful gardens open to the public.

Boutique Shopping:

  • The neighborhood is known for its upscale boutique shopping, with a wide range of designer stores, high-end fashion boutiques, and unique concept stores.

Culinary Diversity:

  • Notting Hill boasts an eclectic culinary scene. You can savor cuisine from around the world, from trendy brunch spots to Michelin-starred restaurants. The area is also famous for its cafes and bakeries, offering delicious treats and artisanal coffee.

Notting Hill Bookshop:

  • The Notting Hill Bookshop, made famous by the movie “Notting Hill,” is a charming independent bookstore that book lovers will appreciate. It’s a cozy place to browse and buy books.

Community Spirit: – Notting Hill is known for its strong sense of community, with local events, neighborhood associations, and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s a place where neighbors know each other, and community events are an integral part of the calendar.

Notting Hill Film Locations: – The neighborhood’s picturesque streets and charming houses have made it a popular location for various films and TV shows. You can visit locations featured in “Notting Hill” and other iconic films.

Notting Hill’s colorful and charming ambiance, combined with its rich cultural tapestry and picturesque streets, makes it a beloved neighborhood in London. Whether you’re strolling through Portobello Road Market, exploring the vibrant houses, or enjoying the community spirit, Notting Hill offers a delightful and memorable experience that’s perfect for those seeking a taste of London’s unique and charming side.

Notting Hill where to stay in london first time

where to stay in london first time: Conclusion

No matter where you decide to stay, London’s excellent public transportation system, including the iconic London Underground, makes it easy to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Be sure to plan your trip around the attractions and activities that interest you most, and choose accommodation that suits your style and budget. London is a city that never sleeps, and your adventure awaits in this dynamic metropolis. For a safe trip, choose the best travel insurance. Enjoy your first-time visit to London!

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