“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson’s remark in 1777 to a friend pondering whether to move to London rings just as true today. London offers countless treats to keep visitors busy—from world-renowned architecture and museums to lively pubs and a vibrant underground fashion scene. It’s the definition of an international city.
But if you’re visiting London, deciding where to stay can be overwhelming — especially if you only need a London dayroom for a few hours to explore the city. That’s why we created a list on where to stay in London based on your personality so you can save time researching and get to see a part of the city that aligns with your interests.
London, with its vast urban landscape and reputation for grey skies, doesn’t seem like a place for lovers of the great outdoors. To the contrary, however, the city has an abundance of green spaces. From Royal Parks to secret gardens, London contains a whopping 47 percent of green space!
If you like to be close to the sights, but still want to go for a morning jog, staying near Green Park offers a suitable balance. One of the most famous Royal Parks, it’s situated next to Buckingham Palace and covers 47 acres of land. It’s also a direct neighbour of both Hyde Park and St James’ Park — so close in fact that you can easily wander into either without realising! In the summer you can pack a picnic or skip over to Hyde Park for a boating spot on the Serpentine Lake.
Book a dayroom near Marble Arch at the Cumberland Hotel — just a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and Green Park.
If you prefer to be further afield from the tourist trail, why not stay near the wild mass of Hampstead Heath, a 791-acre woodland area home to freshwater swimming ponds, flower meadows and views from the top of Parliament Hill. Take a long walk and stumble upon Kenwood House, a 17th-century villa that now houses a classic art collection. If you’ve worked up an appetite after all that walking, plenty of cozy pubs serve a traditional hearty Sunday roast!
Let’s be honest. Most people who visit new places want to see the main sights. Sure, hidden gems and best-kept-secrets are all well and good, but it’s always worth seeing the big sights that make cities so iconic. London has a heap of these landmarks, but arguably none more famous than Mr. Big Ben. Situated in Westminster and part of the Houses of Parliament complex, the famous clock takes its name from the giant Bell inside Elizabeth Tower.
While tours inside Big Ben are temporarily closed due to restoration love, you can still tour around the House of Parliament to get a sneak peek of where British laws are made. After a morning of architecture, why not spend the afternoon getting an aerial view of London? Across the River Thames is the London Eye, a massive wheel with slow-moving capsules that frame perfect vistas of the city. Right next to the London Eye lives the Sea Life London Aquarium, and you can enjoy both with a combined ticket! Finally, watch the sun go down as you stroll down the Southbank and its array of street food and performance artists.
Where to begin? London has some of the best restaurants in the world, many of which top the world’s best restaurants list year after year. From three-star Michelin dining to tiny kitchens serving home-cooked meals, there are so many places to enjoy a stellar meal. The first key is to get away from the tourist traps. Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square often lure those new to London with their bright lights and recognizable signs similar to Times Square. Angus Steakhouse promises the best steak in London while TGI Fridays offers sugary cocktails and your stock-standard American fare. But apart from leaving you with a lot fewer pounds in your wallet, they’re quite far from the epitome of the London food scene.
For quality London fare, head to Soho, where the streets hum vivid stories of debauchery and nightlife. Though the neighbourhood maintains a thriving nightlife, excellent eateries ranging from casual to fine dining line the streets. Some favourites include the St Mortiz, where you can feast on traditional Swiss fondue (perfect for those chilly winter nights), and London’s oldest French restaurant, Mon Plaisir. But keep your eyes peeled and stay vigilant; you never know when you could be passing the next tasty meal wandering Soho.
Book a day room near Soho at the Every Hotel Piccadilly to start your daycation or get ready in style for a memorable night out!
And regardless of where you stay in London, you can’t leave without visiting Borough Market near London Bridge station. The Saturday-only market is a haven for artisanal produce and street vendors selling anything from fresh cheeses to spit-roast pork. Get lost sampling in the maze of food stands you go from stall to stall.
If you fancy yourself a bit of an artist, like things edgy or above the ordinary — then check out Shoreditch. Shoreditch is in the heart of East London near busy Liverpool St. Station. In some respects, it’s London’s version of Brooklyn. Not a day goes by without a new bar or restaurant appearing that seem to push boundaries of imagination (think adult ball pits or a cafe dedicated to cereal!). But Shoreditch offers more than zany concepts; the area’s home to several galleries and more often than not a pop-up exhibition or two is on display.
Browse the markets and pick up prints from local artists or admire the colorful street art that makes Shoreditch what unique. Music aficionados will want to head to Rough Trade East, a record shop with books, coffee and even a photo-booth. Keep an eye on upcoming events in East London via Time Out London or grab the free magazine while venturing to stay abreast of all sorts of artistic performances to stimulate your creative mind.
We couldn’t leave shopping off the list. London is a playground if you like to spend your money, home to great big shopping centres as well as boutique stores. If you want to treat yourself, stay in Knightsbridge and pop into Harrods. This world-famous department store has been serving the rich and famous for years.
Oxford Circus, meanwhile, is the street that has it all—from high-street brand stores as well as big departments selling everything from cosmetics to furniture. It does get hectic, however, so make sure to go first thing in the morning, or the evening as most of the shops stay open till at least 8 p.m.
If you like to bag a bargain, pay a visit to one of the city’s Primarks. This clothing store is perfect if you want to get a large haul of clothing without breaking the bank, lost your luggage on a flight or need to bring back extra clothing for the kids!
If your ideal holiday involves exploring museums or pouring over beautiful paintings, then London won’t disappoint. South Kensington, handily situated on three major tube lines, has not one, not two, but three beautiful museums just waiting to be discovered.
The Natural History Museum is home to hundreds of specimens and pieces detailing the natural world. It also hosts many special exhibits such as the esteemed Wildlife Photographer of the Year display. Right next door is the Victoria & Albert Museum, a leading museum in art and design exploring anything from fashion to cartoons. Prefer your museums to be a bit more atomic? Journey a few minutes up the road to the excellent (and free) Science Museum. If you’re more inclined to consuming your culture through art, jump on the tube for five minutes to Charing Cross station. You’ll arrive at world-famous Trafalgar Square, which apart from its famous fountains and Nelson’s Column, is also home to the National Gallery. Founded in 1824, the National Gallery houses some of the best classical art in the world.
A day room at the Thistle Royal Trafalgar Square positions you for a day of culture and history-hopping.
Perhaps you’ve been to London and want to do something different this time around. Consider a stay in Little Venice, a West London hidden treasure home to a picturesque canal. Take a canal-boat up the river towards Camden Market passing London Zoo on your way there. If you’re lucky, you may spot a giraffe!
Quiet and leafy, Little Venice is where one finds tranquility, with many walking routes to peruse and lovely water-side restaurants to enjoy a chilled glass of wine as you watch houseboats sail past. Need evening plans? Walk into nearby Maida Vale and head to the Everyman Cinema. Kick back on comfy sofas complete with waiter service as you watch the big screen.
England’s capital certainly offers something for everyone. Use this neighbourhood-personality guide to start your exploration. Should you need a comfortable London dayroom to regroup along the way, we’ll be waiting with open arms.
Featured image by Tamara Menzi via Unsplash
“Green Park in Autumn” by robmcm via (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Touring London” by Aron Van de Pol via Unsplash
“Borough Market” by Betsian via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
“Street Ballerina – Oxford Circus” by EYE DJ via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
“V&A” by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash
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