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London really does have it all. A cosmopolitan city like no other, the sheer diversity will have you open-mouthed from the minute you arrive. Take in a show at one of the hundreds of theatres, dine out on any type of cuisine or just relax and take a stroll around one of the lush centrally located parks. From Big Ben to the Houses Of Parliament, the London Eye to Trafalgar Square, you are never far from a historical landmark.
You will find hotels to suit all budgets – the top end prices are normally reserved for those hotels located within easy walking distance of the city center. Mayfair, Kensington and the West End serve up some of the most luxurious hotels but unfortunately come with a hefty nightly price tag. If you venture a little further afield, prices go down considerably and with trains, buses and plenty of taxis running through the night, this is sometimes a better option.
Visiting London at any time of year is a joy. The summer months have a fantastic buzz with Londoners making the most of the good weather and all the bars seem to be constantly full inside and out. If you love Christmas time, then the center of London is simply electric, with fabulous lights, trees, and decorations draping across every street. Here is a quick guide to the best areas to stay when visiting London.
For the tourist, unless it’s museums you are looking for then the first choice of location must be the West End, budget permitting. A stay here in “Zone 1″ of the London underground will enable fast access to many locations including Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, and Regent Street / Bond Street shopping, Carnaby Street, Madame Tussauds, Soho, Theatreland and of course Park Lane and Mayfair. Staying in this area will enable most of these to be accessed on foot saving time and money on travel. Hotels in the West End range from mid-tourist to deluxe standard. For lower budget hotels in the West End have a look at Kings Cross. Most tourist stays extends over a weekend so there are many hotels which offer discounted weekend breaks, usually with tax and breakfast included. Be sure to check our London Hotel Offers page for more deals or check out the hotels in W1 page.
Here we have Knightsbridge, Kensington, South Kensington, and Earls Court. Knightsbridge is a shoppers and diners paradise with many world famous locations including Harrods. The area is generally very upmarket and borders onto Mayfair (Park Lane 5 minutes walk) and Chelsea (with King’s Road only 5 minutes walk) and is within a ten-minute walk of the Kensington museums. Many repeat visitors have a preference for this area with its calmer atmosphere and more sophisticated environment yet accessing the West End in minutes by underground, foot or taxi. Kensington High Street is a mile long road of shops, stores and restaurants and pubs and has a very colourful presence in the evenings. The south of this area around Gloucester Road in South Kensington and Earls Court offers direct access to most London areas via the underground stations. South Kensington is again quite upmarket and is a mixture of upmarket residential and 3 to 4-star hotels. A good safe area to stay in and easily accessible from London Heathrow Airport. Earl’s Court just to the east of it is slightly more downmarket but adequately safe to visit and stay in. Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre dominates the skyline.
This large area bordering the north edge of Hyde Park is a mixture of residential and commercial properties with many 2 and 3-star hotels. Now subject to regeneration we are seeing the birth of designer type small hotels of a great 3 and 4-star status. Generally speaking, this is this is the only other area where we would recommend the tourist to stay in Central London. With many hotels, all in competition with each other, rates tend to be competitive in this area. Bayswater holds the greatest concentration of budget and tourist accommodations and you can usually find a cheap London hotel easily. Notable locations in this area include Marble Arch, the north border of Hyde Park, Lancaster Gate and Whitley’s Shopping Centre. Oxford Street is within 15 minutes on foot or 10 minutes by underground or taxi and you can walk across Hyde Park to Kensington High Street Shops and restaurants. Hotels may vary in standard and quality and we recommend that you set your nightly budget above the £35-40 mark. In saying that, there are some great places to stay in this area and at great prices too! Check the 3-star Blakemore Hotel or boutique 4 star Caesar hotel for some excellent deals.
Many visitors to London like to stay in the Westminster/Victoria area, because of the proximity to the Gatwick Express and national rail links that operate from London Victoria station. The area is also convenient for the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. There are a few 3-star tourist hotels in the area, but many more budget bed and breakfasts. We have a few upmarket 4+ star hotels, whose rates tend to be suitable for those who require a greater level of luxury and quality whilst staying in this particular area. Westminster is home to some of the tourist’s ideal sights, like Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, or the London Eye, and so many 3 star hotels’ availability run out fast. The tourist traveling on a limited budget it may be more appropriate to stay in one of the other areas mentioned and taking advantage of the London Underground.
More suitable for business travelers needing proximity to London’s financial district. The City area of London is classed as the Eastern side of the City Centre. Often referred to by its postal codes of EC1 (Clerkenwell) or EC2 (Liverpool Street EC2), this area is usually frequented by business and corporate travelers, visiting one of the many offices and companies in the area. The City offers many higher class hotels, with prices catering more to those using company credit cards to finance their London visit. However, you can get some very good bargains at the St. Gregory Hotel and 196 Bishopsgate Apartments in this area, when these four-star properties fall into the 2-star price range! Offering easy access to any area of the city center, this area is served by a wider range of tube lines and also has access to the Docklands Light Railway which gives visitors a quick and reliable link into Docklands, Excel and Canary Wharf. The City’s tube connections offer direct links to Euston Station, Kings Cross, Liverpool Street Station, Paddington Station, Victoria Station, Waterloo Station, and London City Airport, making all areas of Central and Greater London extremely accessible as well as all of London’s airports. So whatever your reasons for visiting the UK’s capital city, we’re sure here at Travel Titans you’ll have a fantastic stay. Enjoy!