The UK’s capital city remains a popular destination for both international tourists and domestic travelers looking for a short – but lively – break. Whether you love the iconic red buses, the Christmas lights near Harrods, or checking out the alternative culture at Camden Market – London is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe – and it really comes to life this time of year.
So, with the enormous amount of information about “The Old Smoke” on the internet (what London is colloquially known as), we’ve condensed it to a quick and easy list of the hottest places across the capital city – where you’ve got to stay.
Known for the famous “Apple Market” and rows upon rows of designer shops, quirky cafes, bars, and eateries – Covent Garden is a stunning little corner of London for first-time visitors.
This area is home to some of London’s top attractions and is within walking distance of hotspots such as Westminster, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus.
No matter what time of year, you’re always likely to see musicians and entertainers showcasing their talent to passers-by (creating such vibrant energy); as well as an array of trendy bars that are open till late.
Staying in Covent Garden comes at a price, but the location alone makes it worthwhile. If you’re looking for a chic and luxury-end hotel, one of the area’s hottest spots is The Henrietta – which provides plenty of class and Art Deco finesse.
Stretching back from the River Thames, Westminster is at the top of many tourist visits – thanks to sights such as The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and the National Galleries.
This upscale neighborhood provides a true snapshot of “London life” as seen in the movies, and is particularly great for first-time visitors.
The area is just a short walk away from the West End – for those shop till you drop moments; and while the accommodation rates are pricey, you’ll be in excellent proximity to reliable public transport.
Why not sneak in a bit of royal history in honor of Her Majesty, and learn about the royal weddings and coronations that took place in this part of London?
For accommodation we can’t recommend anything but The Corinthia London – London’s best spa hotel (you’ll never want to leave!).
Celebrated for its eclectic nightlife and bar scene, Soho is a great choice for visitors who want to see the capital city come alive.
What used to be known as a rather “seedy” part of London, has gone under a massive regeneration. These days, some of the wealthiest people choose Soho as their go-to spot if ever they want a hip night out, or a rendezvous at one of the neighborhood’s many late-night bars. Soho is also within walking distance to some of the country’s liveliest clubs, and tourist spots.
However, don’t be put off if you’re not a complete night owl – as this upscale area is ideal for lunches and early dinners (thanks to its exciting restaurant scene); you’re sure to find a quirky coffee shop at nearly every corner. There’s also the famous Curzon Cinema, which is known for screening some of the best Indie films (popcorn, anyone?).
If you’re looking for something “a bit different” while staying in Soho, we recommend the Ham Yard hotel – which is home to maximalist decor and lots of personalities. Rates can be quite steep, but this hotel is close to Soho’s best spots and is tucked away at the bottom of Regent Street – making it worth your while.
The West End
It’s impossible to do a round-up of London’s best places to stay and not mention the West End. Famous for being quite “enchanting” for tourists and locals alike, this part of the capital city has a personality of its own and is frequently featured in world-famous films and television sets.
For this time of year (as we’re just coming up to Christmas), the West End is nothing short of magical – especially if you’re a first-time visitor. Packed with some of the best sights in London – and maybe even, in the world – you’re unlikely to ever get bored here.
Slip away to Piccadilly Circus, stroll to Trafalgar Square, and catch a performance at one of the theatres – followed by a decadent afternoon tea. No doubt, staying in this part of the city comes at a hefty price tag; but you won’t have to venture far from the area to catch London’s best highlights.
Might we also recommend catching the festival lights on Oxford Street – after you’ve shopped your heart out of course?!
The Hotel Cafe Royal is one of the top recommendations if you’re looking to stay in this part of London – as it offers stunning views of Piccadilly Circus, as soon as you step out the front door. The Akasha Spa is a good enough reason alone to book into this hotel – as it’ll enclave you in peace and serenity, while you choose from the spa’s many hydrotherapy sessions. Tranquillity in the buzzing capital city – what could be better?
So, even if you’ve visited the capital city numerous times before – there’s always to continue returning, as there’s simply so much to see and experience. Do keep following us for more tourist and accommodation tips (for places in the UK and beyond) – especially as we come closer to the holiday season.