The Best Place to Stay in London For Tourists
From Kensington to Covent Garden, we're sharing our expert advice on where to stay in London if you're a first time visitor.
Deciding on where to stay in London is that all-important but all-too-difficult question. To the innocent tourist, it’s an overwhelmingly expensive temptress. To the indecisive, it’s a minefield. That's where we here at Plum Guide are stepping in to help out. (We're awfully good at that). With our guide to the best place to stay in London for tourists and first time visitors, you'll be left feeling like a local in no time.
Lap up the luxury in Kensington
You can’t really rival Kensington for luxury. Stars and the sophisticated (aka you) flock here, all with good reason. It's the perfect place for those looking to celebrate a special occasion, like a birthday in London. The properties are quite something and the cafes and restaurants are first-class too. Get your culture fix at the V&A, which is a spectacle for the architecture alone. Browse (or buy) the designer wares in Harvey Nichols (before or after stopping for a glass of champagne at its Fifth Floor Bar). Then grab a table at one of the many cafes or restaurants on the high street to people-watch over a leisurely lunch. In short, if culture, designer shopping, cafe-hopping and prestige white stucco fronted houses are your thing, chances are a Plum home in Kensington just like Old Brompton Place will be perfect for you.
Live like a local in Bermondsey & London Bridge
As close to the throng of the city as you can get without being right in the middle, Bermondsey gives you the cool side of London but still with prime access to the big sights. You won’t see it in many guidebooks as it’s not widely known as the best place to stay in London for tourists, but it's a local's favourite and that's why we love it. Bermondsey's neighbour, London Bridge, gives you transport link across the whole city, whilst the famous Borough Market or lesser-known (but equally delicious) Maltby Street Market will both leave you drooling for more. Maltby Street is a must at the weekend. It’s tucked away in the quieter lanes, but comes alive with street traders tempting you with the aromas of world cuisine. It’s a tight street and it gets busy, but it’s all part of its charm. Oh, and if you’re a gin lover, don’t leave without grabbing a gin cocktail at Little Bird. When staying in the area, you’ll also be close to London Bridge (shock), Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, so you can get all of those checked off your sightseeing list in one fell swoop. Fancy staying somewhere unique during your trip? Look no further than our London houseboats along the river.
Prepare for a show in Covent Garden
If you want all the excitement that London has to offer right on your doorstep then look no further than Covent Garden – arguably the best place to stay in London for tourists. If you're planning a few theatre trips during your stay, then staying here means less time spent travelling and more time to spend on pre-show dinner and drinks. Head to Seven Dials, where you’ll, unsurprisingly, find seven streets of boutique shops and cafes sprawling off the central roundabout. Spend an afternoon browsing independent homewares, jewellery and records. Then, pop in to Seven Dials Market and choose from one of the many vendors selling tempting street food. And yes, the rumours are true, there's a conveyor belt of cheese there. When choosing a place to rest your head here, you're spoilt for choice. We love Strand Me, with its impressive views of the Royal Courts of Justice. Enjoy leisurely mornings with heaps of natural light, topped off with a balcony in the bathroom for a wonderfully airy sense of calm in the busy throng of the city.
Go green in Greenwich
Lush, green and buzzing with things to do, Greenwich is far enough to escape the hubbub of the city, but close enough to zip into the centre within 20 minutes with its choice of tube and DLR stations. Don’t fancy getting the tube or train into the city? Hop on a Thames Clipper and arrive in style by boat. It also saves you paying for a sightseeing tour down the Thames. It's the best place to stay in London for tourists who like greenery, open spaces for walking and picnics, amazing views and somewhere a bit quieter. Grab a coffee from Paul Rhodes Bakery and go for a morning stroll around Greenwich Park, one of our favourite parks in London. The wide, tree-lined incline is a favourite amongst dog- walkers, cyclists and amblers alike. Make it to the top and you’ll be rewarded with drop-dead gorgeous views across the city. Extra points if you can name the famous buildings from the skyline.
Style it up in Shoreditch
In Shoreditch you’ll find a mixture of raw buildings, and curated quirk. Exposed brickwork, converted storage containers and photo booths. Vintage shopping, things that have been converted into other things and street-art. The list of things to see and do really is endless. There are also plenty of trendy Plum apartments like East End Bazaar too. Head to Spitalfields Market where, at weekends, independent traders flock to tempt you with a variety of pretty things. Prices are decent, and you’ll lose yourself for an hour or two just browsing at everything from books to vintage maps. Continue the shopping in the vast vintage market in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane – there are loads of signs so you won’t miss it. Be sure to take a look at what else is on at the brewery; it’s a big open space used for pop-ups and exhibitions, so it’s always alive with something new and delectably quirky.