A Guide To The Neighborhoods Of Central London
I think, while talking about a certain district of London I always use the sentence ‘one of my favorite areas of London’. While being aware of saying that every single time, I just really mean it.
To be honest; every area of London is one of my favorite areas. London is just pretty, the atmosphere is great and you just can’t compare the areas to each other.
I think I love Soho the most, I am addicted to the atmosphere in Camden, however I love the beauty of Notting Hill. Those, definitely are my top three favorites of London.
However.. Primrose Hill is a picture-perfect place too, and how about Covent Garden? You know.. I am just gonna say that London is my favorite.. everything.
I’ve written neighborhood guides like this before. I wrote one about Paris and Manhattan, and today, after visiting London four times it is my turn to write a similar blogpost about London. So here it is: the neighborhood guide for (central) London!
As I said before: Notting Hill is one of my favorite areas in London. I guess we all love Notting Hill.. and If you don’t know why and haven’t visited London yourself yet you should watch the movie. Notting Hill is lovely. While a couple of streets are insanely touristic – around the Portobello Market, other streets in this area are really, really quiet. No one to be seen!
I feel like Notting Hill is the perfect neighborhood to wander around and to take it all in. Also: the Portobello market is just a perfect way to spend your time in the city.
I ADORE Hyde Park. For one: I just love city parks. I love how a big city like London, New York or Paris can look so peaceful and quiet in the serenity of a park. Hyde Park is one of my favorite city parks. Walking through this part of town you’ll see couples, families, tourists, locals, students, sporters.. everything! All together in one small part of a very big city.
Kensington is almost as pretty as Notting Hill. It is as quiet as Notting Hill, basically a really pretty residential area. Next to the fact that Kensington also is the home of the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum you can find a lot of gardens in this area. Oh, and of course; London’s most beautiful, and probably most photographed pub: The Churchill Arms.
Chelsea is fun. Think about fun, you’ll think about Chelsea. Filled with shops, bars, pubs, markets and fun squares where you can eat, drink, chill, meet and greet and just relax. I think Chelsea is comparable to Soho in some kinda way, however it also feels very different – like you are in a small town rather than in a big city like London. Just for the atmosphere you HAVE to visit Chelsea!
On the East side of Hyde Park, the west side of Regent street and south of Oxford you’ll step into the area of Mayfair. Seeing that two of the biggest shopping streets of London separate this neighborhood from the rest of London I am guessing you’ll find it no surprise that Mayfair is a really good area to shop, and that is pretty much the thing that I would use to describe this area: a. lot. of. shops.
St. John’s Wood
So above Marylebone, west to Regent Park you’ll find the area St. John’s Wood. A very green, lovely residential area in central London. Next to the fact that St. John’s Wood is a great location for a suburban walk it is also known for her music history! In this area you’ll find the famous Abbey Road: from The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album, and from the studio ‘Abbey Road Studios’ where they recorded their songs, as well as you can find the home of Paul McCartney in this neighborhood!
Above Mayfair you’ll find the area Marylebone – right in between Oxford street and Regent Park. I don’t think I stepped foot into Marylebone quite often, however, I did visit Madame Tussauds a couple of weeks ago, which is situated in this exact neighborhood of London. Next to this wax museum you can also find the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Marylebone and most of all: a lot of shops.
Above Oxford Street and Soho, next to Marylebone you’ll find a very small area called Fitzrovia. Looking at the fact that Fitzovia is situated where it is situated I guess it is no surprise that it is a really fun neighborhood where a lot is happening. Fitzrovia is a very creative area, filled with arts centers and galleries. That pretty much also defines the shopping that can be done in this area: trendy, hipster-like and creative stores lie around every corner and that definitely makes this area one to visit!
Soho! I Freaking love Soho. Soho is just a small area in London but it has so much caracter in those little streets. Next to the fact that this area is a wonderful shopping area with cool, random and funky stores it also is a great area for having a drink or having lunch while exploring London during the day. Jup, Soho by far is my favorite area in London!
Knightbridge is a small area of London right underneath Hyde Park. In this part of town you’ll find the biggest, and most insane luxurious department store of London: Harrods. Harrods pretty much explains the rest of Knightsbridge: expensive. Around Harrods you’ll find tons of other stores – expensive and not expensive, variating from H&M to Chanel. However, it is here where you will also find a lot of expensive looking houses, big businesses and pricey hotels, where myself and my travelbuddies stumbled upon the car of Whiz Khalifa during our last London trip.
When you think about London, Westminister probably is the first area that comes to mind, probably without even knowing it. When you visit London, the first things you will see probably are situated in Westminister. Westminister is the center of the center – the heart of the city. This is where you’ll find the Big Ben, a view over the London Eye across the river, and where you’ll be able to see the Westminister Abbey, the house of Parliament and of course: Buckingham palace.. a lot of London in a small piece of London!
The first two times I went to London I hadn’t even heard of Camden Town yet, however, when visiting London for the third time in March I finally visited Camden Town myself.. and it was absolutely worth it! The Camden Town market has got to be THE best market I have ever visited, simply because it is just so different than other markets out there. Camden Town has a very ‘hipster’ and ‘retro’ kinda market influenced by different cultures and styles, which makes it so fun to browse through every stall and every corner of the market. Best thing about the market? It also has a lot of food trucks and street food places – best way to spend an afternoon! Further than the market Camden Town itself is just great as well – quirky, crazy and lively! Oh and one more thing: if you want to get a tattoo as a tourist, you probably want to visit Camden.
While visiting London in March I stayed at an apartment in Bloomsbury. While it is mostly a residential area I absolutely loved to stay in this part of town. It has some great squares where you can shop for a bit, but also can dine or lunch. While I stayed at Bloomsbury I couldn’t help but noticing how many students walk around in this part of London. Bloomsbury is also known for her cultural side: you’ll find the British Library here, the British museum, the Charles Dickens Museum and the University of London.
While for a part I love Covent Garden, I for another part really dislike it. Covent Garden is one of those places in London where you have to go as a tourist, and of course, as every tourist knows this, it is extremely busy throughout this whole area of London. However, I do absolutely love the small (antique) stores, bookshops and coffee places that are situated around the streets of Covent Garden. In the area of Covent Garden you’ll also find streets filled with different theaters, concert halls and musical performances. Jup, definitely something you must see!
City Of London
Believe it or not but the City of London actually is a neighborhood in the center of London. One of the biggest ones as well, and probably the first one you step foot in after arriving in London. The City Of London is historical, and is the home of magnificent landmarks like the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Further than that you can find the financial district of London in this very area, walk into the Museum of London, enjoy rooftop bars and walk around the thames to see a beautiful view over London.
Clerkenwell is a bit of a walk, even in the center of London, as it is situated east of the center, just above the City of London and next to Bloomsbury. Clerkenwell is marked as a modern and hip part of London, filled with little streets with lots going on. There are a lot of good pubs and restaurants in this very area. You will spot less tourists in this part of London, instead, the streets are filled with locals that are looking to have a good time!
In my mind Paddington is the cutest area of London because of bear Paddington. I know, not the whole area looks as cute as bear Paddington, but the Paddington bear shop definitely is. Further than that this area is pretty touristic, seeing that there is a big train station here and that it is close to Hyde park and Oxford street. However, it is a lovely neighborhood to walk around!
I love Primrose Hill. As I wrote before in this article: I just love a good city park. Primrose Hill definitely lives up to your expectations, giving you a view over London from a calm and relaxing spot. The surrounding streets of Primrose Hill park are beautiful, expensive looking and a wonderful part of London to see.
Regent’s Park is another park in London where there is a lot going on. While we were strolling through it we walked passed the London Zoo, a number of Garden parties, and again a lot of locals and tourists who were just enjoying their days at Regent’s Park. Because it is smaller and ‘less’ central then Hyde Park is is also a bit more quiet which is definitely nice.
The last time I was in London I stayed at King’s Cross. While at first, sceptic because it felt really far away from all the highlights, I definitely loved staying in this part of Town. King’s Cross is an area which has basically the perfect situation for your travels: you are close to fun area’s like Camden Town, Primrose Hill and Bloomsbury while staying in a relatively calm location of town. King’s Cross definitely is fit for travelers, seeing that King’s Cross Station is one of the biggest stations of London – one touristic sight here: Harry Potters platform 9 3/4. You can definitely notice this around the area seeing the number of big chain hotels.
Find out more about Yvonne
Hi! I’m Yvonne, a 20 year old something girl based in The Netherlands. I’ve always lived in the same part of The Netherlands, I grew up in this part and I have my family and friends in this part of the Netherlands. Still, while a big part of me loves to be right here, another part of my is always looking for a way to ‘get out’.