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  • Krista the Explorer

Best Areas to Visit in London

Updated: Mar 23

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London is a vibrant city, full of unique places to discover. And it has its fair share of exquisite restaurants too. Like most tourists, on my first trip to London I visited all of the main attractions, like Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. This time, however, I decided to add a few areas in London to my itinerary that aren’t necessarily along the well-trodden tourist route. It turned out to be a great decision, as we saw a lot of interesting locations and lesser known attractions that are well worth visiting.


We did, of course, visit a few of the more popular areas of London during our trip, as we hunted down the most unique places to eat in London. We explored the famous Borough Market, walked along the River Thames near Tower Bridge, and did a bit of shopping along Oxford Street and Carnaby Street. But we still have many more parts of the city to explore on our next visit. Here are some of the best areas to visit in London based on our recent experience.


Bermondsey

A street with colourful buildings in an industrial area of London.
Bermondsey Street

Despite its close proximity to Tower Bridge, Bermondsey is one of the more unique places to see in London. It’s a hip and vibrant area of London, filled with converted warehouses and plenty of quirky cafes and restaurants. One of the main streets here is Bermondsey Street, which is where one of our hotels was ideally located. Bermondsey has an interesting history, dating back to the 10th century. It then became a very prominent industrial centre in the Victorian period. It’s one of the best places to be in London if you enjoy having less tourists around.


Camden

Locks with long boats in Camden, London.
Camden Lock

One of the best areas to visit in London is Camden. Known for its artistic and alternative culture, Camden has made a name for itself as one of the most visited areas in London over the years. It’s also world famous for its markets, which are fantastic to visit if you’re looking for some of the best street food in London. You can also grab a bargain or two at the many independent retailers. If you’re wondering where to go in London at night, Camden is a great option with plenty of pubs and nightclubs to choose from.


Chinatown

Rows of red Chinese lanterns hanging between buildings.
Chinatown

For first time visitors, one of the best areas to visit in London is Chinatown. It’s nestled on the edge of Soho, and is surrounded by theatres and popular shopping streets. The original Chinatown was actually in Limehouse, in London’s East End. But by the 1950s a few Chinese restaurants started popping up in Chinatown’s current location. It’s now the largest Chinatown in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe too. It’s the perfect place to grab an authentic Asian meal, and the decorations on the streets make this area of London come to life.


Covent Garden

Colourful buildings in an old courtyard.
Neal's Yard

No trip to London is complete without visiting the lively area of Covent Garden. It’s a major shopping and entertainment hub in London, and has a lot to offer, regardless of how many times you’ve visited before. One of my favourite parts of Covent Garden to go to is Neal’s Yard. It’s a great place for photos in London, and if you visit on a rainy day like we did, you’ll have it all to yourself! Make sure you stop by Rossopomodoro for dinner if you like Italian food, and Zizi Factory for a cheeky waffle to snack on while you’re in Covent Garden. It really is one of the best areas to visit in London.


Greenwich

View of Greenwich Park and the City of London from the top of a hill.
Greenwich Park

Greenwich is known for being one of the posh areas of London, and is also a World Heritage Site. It takes a bit of time to get there by train, but there are plenty of things to do in Greenwich that make the journey worth it. Greenwich is famous for its maritime history, and was also the birthplace of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Today, many of the historical buildings have been turned into fancy museums, like the Old Royal Naval College. I would recommend adding the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory to your itinerary to really make the most of your time in Greenwich.


Notting Hill

Row of colourful houses in Notting Hill, London.
Colville Terrace

One of the most Instagrammable places in London has to be Notting Hill. Its colourful houses and the fact that it’s been used as a filming location for many movies, such as Notting Hill with Julia Roberts, make it a very popular area of London to visit. While not all of the buildings here are painted in vibrant colours, a lot of them are, so you should have no problems trying to find a spot to take photos. Colville Terrace is a great option, and is just around the corner from the famous Portobello Road Market. And for all you book lovers out there, Notting Hill is one of the best areas to visit in London for you (there are a lot of bookstores).


Shoreditch

A row of shipping containers turned into shops.
Boxpark

Shoreditch hasn’t had the best reputation in the past, but it’s now one of the trendiest and artsy areas in London. There are more than enough nightclubs in this part of the city to hop between, varying from budget friendly to less wallet-friendly. If you find yourself in Whitechapel, it’s only a short walk into Shoreditch down Brick Lane. We didn’t explore the area fully, but we did manage to do some shopping (and eating). If you’re wondering where to go in Shoreditch, I’d recommend Boxpark. It’s a unique place to shop in London, where all of the food stalls and retailers are located inside shipping containers. It’s a fun area of London to go to, even if it’s just for a stop.


Soho

A shopping street decorated with rainbows and other shiny objects.
Carnaby Street

Soho was once a hunting ground for Henry VIII, but today there’s not a tree in sight. It’s now the heart of London, so it wouldn’t be a trip to the capital without coming here. Nightlife, shopping, dinning, theatres - Soho has it all. And then some. Apart from its famous shopping streets, such as Carnaby Street, and its immense amount of eateries, Soho is very well known for being home to London’s LGBTQ+ community. During our recent trip to London, we visited this area a few times for dinner and had a great time. It’s definitely one of the things not to be missed in London.


Southwark

View of The Shard from across the River Thames.
The Shard

Southwark is located on the southern side of London Bridge, making it easy to explore if you’re in central London. There are plenty of tourist attractions here to choose from, such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Dungeon. It’s also home to The Shard, which offers panoramic views of London from the top. My favourite thing to visit in Southwark is Borough Market. It’s one of the oldest food markets in the city and has some of the best food stalls in London too. If you want to have lunch at the market, get there before noon so you can find a spot to eat and avoid the queues of people. For the best pulled pork sandwiches, visit The Black Pig!


Spitalfields

Historic street with shops built into industrial buildings.
Commercial Street

We spent quite a bit of time in Spitalfields while we were staying in Whitechapel. It’s one of the more unusual places to visit in London, and is bursting with charm. The Old Spitalfields Market is a fantastic place to grab something to eat, with all of the food being freshly prepared. Spitalfields is also a nice area to do a bit of shopping, with many of the industrial buildings being turned into retail shops or restaurants. If you venture off the beaten path a bit, you’ll be transported back to the Victorian period as some of the streets have been frozen in time. It’s one of the best areas to visit in London, and I can’t wait to go back!


Westminster

Palace of Westminster with Big Ben in scaffolding and a bus with a British flag on it.
Palace of Westminster

This is definitely not a non-touristy thing to do in London, but a trip to Westminster to look at Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, and Westminster Abbey should be on your itinerary. This borough is one of the most heavily populated in the city, and is home to some of the most historically important buildings in the country. If you’re as much of a medieval history fan as I am, then you’ll love walking around Westminster. Just across the River Thames is where you’ll find the London Eye as well, so it's not a bad area of London to spend a day walking around.


Whitechapel

Street art of a heron on a brick wall.
Whitechapel

Whitechapel is one of the best hidden gems in London, and has been growing in popularity over the past couple of decades. This area of London is notorious for being the site of Jack the Ripper’s murders in the 19th century, and it was also home to the Elephant Man. What was once known as a slum area of London is now a flourishing multicultural neighbourhood with quirky eateries, vintage markets, and a lot of unique street art. For me, this is one of the best areas to visit in London if you’re looking to explore a different side to the city than you’re used to seeing. Plus, Rinkoff Bakery is selling crodoughs and rainbow bagels which need to be tried in person.


Where To Stay in Central London

In order to explore all that London has to offer, you need to be centrally located with easy access to the underground. That’s why we chose to stay at Euston Square Hotel, which is quite literally located on top of Euston Underground Station. This means that it’s only a 5 minute walk from Euston Train Station as well.

We stayed for two nights in their Double Room, which featured an enormous bed, a large TV, and a stunning walk-in shower. There was also a coffee and tea making station available in the room. We loved how much space there was, which made it easy for us to unpack our suitcase and move around without bumping into each other. Despite it being located on a main road, we had no problems sleeping with the blackout curtains. The champagne and chocolates were a nice surprise when we arrived late in the evening!

Euston Square Hotel offers either a continental breakfast or a Full English Breakfast. We arrived a bit late for breakfast on our first morning, but the staff were gracious enough to give us a continental selection at our table. The second morning we tried their Full English Breakfast, which was more than enough to fill us until lunch time. The hotel is very modern and classy inside, with the nicest staff you could possibly find. It takes less than 20 minutes to walk from the hotel to Soho as well, so we couldn’t have asked for a better hotel.


>> Click here for the most up to date prices at Euston Square Hotel <<


Although London is one of the most visited cities in the world, there are a lot of areas that visitors pass over. The next time you’re in London, hopefully you’ll add a few of the more off the beaten path locations in London to your itinerary, because they’re a lot of fun to visit. You never know what unique attraction you’ll come across, or what quirky restaurant is waiting for you.


What do you think the best area to visit in London is? Let me know in the comments below! And if you haven’t already, feel free to follow me on Instagram where you can get more travel tips and stay up to date on my latest adventures.


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