One of Europe’s largest cities, and
one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, London can at first
seem overwhelming, from the transport system to deciding which of the myriad of
tourist sites to head to first. Accommodation can make or break a holiday, so
deciding which area of London to stay in is crucial, and there are several
factors to consider, from price and comfort level to ease of access and the
overall vibe. I’ve put together this guide to try and help you figure out which
of the British capital’s neighborhood’s you should lay your hat down in for a
London’s East End has seen a
renaissance in the past decade or so. Gone is the dangerous, run-down image of
the past, best summed up by the notorious Kray Brothers and grim British soap
opera EastEnders. Instead, East London has seen an influx of artsy types enter
the area, with most setting up home in Shoreditch. Dive bars, food trucks,
independent cafes, socially conscious public art and clubs that are almost too
cool for school all characterize this region, and those seeking a more hip,
youthful vibe will want to make sure they stay in Shoreditch.
Up on the Northern Line and not
exactly close to the city center, Golder’s Green is ideal for those who want a
respite from the hubbub of the capital. A residential neighborhood with a large
Jewish community, Golder’s Green is packed full of cozy bed and breakfasts,
where you get a lot more bang for your buck than if you were to stay in the
center of London.
Like Shoreditch, Camden is hip,
although slightly more touristy than Shoreditch. Still, this multicultural
neighborhood full of bubble tea shops, handcrafted jewelry stalls and gourmet
burger joints still has the cool factor. Take a stroll through the streets and
you’ll be surprised at what you might stumble upon - and make sure you check
out Camden Lock Market for some delicious eats at bargain prices.
Museum buffs will want to set up
base in Kensington. This upscale neighborhood allows easy access to the Natural
History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Stroll
through its tree-lined streets, stopping off at chic wine bars and boutiques
along the way, and maybe indulge in a bit of celebrity spotting while you’re at
If you intend your holiday to be
rainbow-tinged, you may want to consider staying in SoHo. Old Compton Street is
the heart of gay life in London, and businesses located in the streets leading
off it all fly the rainbow flag proudly. Not too far from the likes of
Chinatown and Leicester Square, SoHo provides a great central base for folk who
want to be in the thick of the action in Britain’s buzzing capital.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Tom has always had the travel bug and, after quitting his call centre job in the UK, he packed up and moved to South Korea to teach English for almost four years. Since moving on from South Korea, he's been travelling the world and loves exploring city streets, trying delicious new food, meeting great people and taking way too many selfies with his phone, although he'll disagree with you on that last point. Read about Tom's adventures on his blog, Waegook Tom, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
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