Best Places to Stay in London for Young Adults

Take a look at our guide to the most energetic and entertaining neighbourhoods in London for you to enjoy.

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Chinatown in Soho, London

London is one of the greatest cities in the world, and the best time to enjoy its vibrancy and vivacity is when you’re young, free and full of the joys of spring. There are so many amazing neighbourhoods to explore, characters to meet and cultures to absorb. But, with so much on offer, how on Earth do you decide on which neighbourhood to call home during your trip? To help you find your bearings, we helpful folk here at Plum Guide have narrowed down the best places to stay in London for young adults from north to south and everywhere in between.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at the neighbourhoods that made the cut for this list of places to stay for lively young things...

North London

Islington is home to the busy shops of Upper Street, the pubs and bars along Essex Road and the quintessentially London thoroughfare that is Camden Passage.  Behind the main drag you’ll find streets of grand Georgian houses, plenty of which are Plum's delightful Islington homes. Upon arrival, Upper Street seems less than inspiring; you’ll find the usual high street suspects, a lot of estate agents and a sprinkling of not-so-special restaurants.  Don’t be put off though. It's on our list of the best places to stay in London for young adults with good reason. Keep walking north from Angel until you get to the 100s. From there on you’ll find some of the finest independent shops in London. 

Stroll down Camden Passage and have a look at the antiques market (Wednesday to Sunday) for a mix of retro clothing, mid-century collectibles and Victorian bric-a-brac at Hearts & Daggers. Pop into Annie’s for some of the finest vintage fashion in London. Grab a hearty lunch at the Elk in the Woods and carry on the design trail at Modern Times for affordable 20th century homeware and decor. Next door, you’ll find The African Waistcoat Company where Callum Robertson throws a colourful spin to his traditional Savile Row tailoring with a huge range of hand woven Yoruba fabrics.  

Cobbled alleyway in North London

Cobbled alleyway in North London

Further up Upper Street, towards Highbury, you’ll find the latest in contemporary menswear at Sefton and Albam.  For young ladies, scour all things Scandi chic at Wild Swans. Scattered amongst lovely (tiny) eateries like Oldroyd and Chinese Laundry you’ll find one of our favourite souvenir shops; Lost Property of London. For more unique London gifts venture over to Search & Rescue, Future and Found or splash out on some British art at the Cross Street Gallery.

Canal boats along the canal and house facade in London

Canal boats along the canal and house facade in London

Evenings in Islington are slightly more reserved than in neighbouring King’s Cross or De Beauvoir, so if thumping club nights aren’t your scene, you can enjoy casual drinking at The Albion or The Hemingford Arms.  Catch the finest in contemporary dance at Saddlers Wells, theatre at the Almeida or laugh yourself silly at The Bill Murray comedy club. Cosy up to some romantic cocktails at The Four Sisters, 69 Colebroke Row or Hoxley & Porter and close the night with a midnight movie at Screen on the Green. Staying in Islington as a young adult is perfect for an exciting sense of real London life. You’ll find yourself ten minutes away from the centre of town and near enough to party east without having to traipse too far back to your Plum apartment.

East London

Head East and base yourself in Dalston, where you can mix with the cool young crowd in town. Full of unique things to do in London, it's an underrated neighbourhood amongst tourists and city guides, but has plenty of character, some beautiful homes and a party scene that comes alive each and every night. Use the weekdays whilst locals are at work to explore Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane, take a self-guided tour of the area’s impressive street art, notice the ever changing cityscape and visit some of our favourite shopping spots for memorable gifts to self. Concept stores are a dime a dozen in East London. Head to Triangle, a haven for minimalists, Goodhood which celebrates all things Nordic, Japanese and generally cool, LN-CC for all things even cooler or Modern Society, which has best of simple design classics, as well as a cafe to rest your feet.

Want to do some shopping while in London? Head over to LC NN for some quirky clothes or add another piace to your vinyl collection

Want to do some shopping while in London? Head over to LC NN for some quirky clothes or add another piace to your vinyl collection

Now onto the most important part of the day for young ones. Nighttime, of course. Have an early dinner at Brawn, Duke’s or any of the Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road and afterwards, take your pick from the many bars in and around the area. Down some drams at Black Rock, soak up Victorian splendour at The Natural Philosopher, impress your date at The Gibson, catch up with friends at Happiness Forgets, (try to) get yourself into Nightjar, keep it casual at the Ridley Road Market Bar, pick a night at The Moth Club, sweat it out at the Discount Suit Company, drown your sorrows at High Water and if you like live music with your liquor, head to Servant Jazz Quarters or Kansas Smitty’s. Was that enough options for you? Stay in one of our homes like Shoreditch Treehouse where you'll be at the heart of East London action at all times.

Shoreditch Treehouse, Plum Guide home in London

Shoreditch Treehouse, Plum Guide home in London

South London

Brixton is one of the best places stay in London for young adults south of the river. It's a homely neighbourhood, rich in culture, food and atmosphere. Conveniently located, staying in a Plum home here will mean you're only 15 minutes away from Oxford Circus, 20 minutes from the stylish shops of Chelsea and iconic museums of South Kensington. Start your days in the neighbourhood right with coffee at Federation, and if you need something more substantial have a proper breakfast at Burnt Toast. Brixton Market is a real treasure trove to explore. There you can find everything from pristine second-hand furniture at Brixton Retrograde to ethical fashion at The Keep and everything in between. Brixton boasts great nightlife too; more relaxed than the west end, less dive-y than the east, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants with great drinks and bars with great food. The Courtesan serves up Chinatown quality dim sum with equally quality cocktails. Three Eight Four and Seven do perfectly paired tapas and tipples. Dance it all off at Beast of Brixton and Phonox, and if you’re hungry again after, grab some jerk chicken at Refill (they’re open 24/7). For a wholesome Sunday, have a proper Sunday roast at The Crown & Anchor. What a delight.

Brixton market and food served in one of its restaurants

Brixton is the new up and coming area for young adults in London, be sure to head here for some music and food from around the world

West (End) London

Ah, Soho, the heart of the city that has it all; some of London's best art, theatre, history, shopping, eating, drinking. Wake up to blissfully quiet mornings and have the winding streets all to yourself. To start your leisurely day, get your coffee fix at Termini, brunch at Jackson & Rye or go continental at Princi before it starts heaving from around noon onwards.

Art gallery and pubs in Soho

Soho has everything that a young adult in London could possibly want, we made a list but wandering around aimlessly is equally pleasant.

At lunchtime, when Soho is in full force, you can retreat to The Photographers' Gallery for the largest public photography collection in London. A blend of historical archives and new talent, the gallery is a serene spot in an otherwise chaotic part of town. Another space for respite from the crowds is the iconic Liberty, our favourite department store. A showcase of highly coveted things from designer fashion to cult beauty to unique homeware, as well as the enchanting florist and their famed fabrics. In need of some lunch? Check out the latest chef in residence at the Sun & 13 Cantons, share a clay pot of noodles at Kiln, savour the best of British produce at 10 Greek Street, go beyond falafel at The Palomar or wrap it up at Le Bab. Now, seeing as you're in London, it would be almost criminal to skip afternoon tea. Of course, the fancy hotels of Mayfair do it big, but Dean Street Townhouse does it best. The plush, velvety darkness of its Georgian dining room comes complete with ink bone china and naughty ‘lady garden’ wallpaper. Now onto Soho nights. It's both loud and lively, which is rather fitting for this list of best places to stay in London for young adults. You’re surrounded by all the west end shows, buzzing bars and, for foodies in London, so many of the city's best restaurants too. Go glamorous with dinner at Sketch or try some of London’s finest curries at Dishoom. If the queue there seems endless, head over to the equally wonderful Kricket or Hoppers. Get your Instagram on at the Lights of Soho neon art gallery/bar, head to Disrepute, a hidden homage to the 60s or go further back to the 1940s at Cahoots, a surprisingly fun vintage bar. Fancy staying nearby? Our homes like Areca Grand in Westminster are ready and waiting for you.

Areca Grand, Plum Guide home in Westminster, London

Areca Grand, Plum Guide home in Westminster, London

Have you chosen your favourite neighbourhood on our list of the best places to stay in London for young adults? Next up you need to decide on your perfect Plum apartment in the home of the Big Ben. Our home critics painstakingly vet each and every one listed on our site, meaning you'll only ever be choosing from the top 3% of vacation homes. We're serious about standards, and we know you are too.

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