The Best London Neighbourhoods: A Local’s Guide

The Best London Neighbourhoods: A Local’s Guide

London’s neighbourhoods are diverse, historic, and all offer their own unique take on our wonderful city. We’ve broken down what you cannot miss, the top attractions, and the best places to eat in each area. Find your favourite neighbourhood with our guide now.

Table of Contents:

Which London Neighbourhood Should I Visit First?

If it’s your first time visiting London, we’d recommend you start with the Central London neighbourhoods. Westminster and The City of London have the main tourist attractions that you cannot miss, whilst some of the smaller central areas have cute cafes, restaurants, and shops for when you’re not sightseeing!

Central London Neighbourhoods

These are the Central London neighbourhoods that make up our wonderful city. These are most likely the areas you’ll be familiar with, even if it’s just recognising photos taken here!

Westminster & St James’s

Westminster and St James’s are some of the most recognisable areas of London. They are the heart of both historic and political London.

Big Ben is located in the London neighbourhood of Westminster

Don’t Miss: St James’s Park – particularly if you’re visiting during the spring this is one of London’s prettiest parks. Home to cherry blossoms, vibrant parakeets, and even some pelicans!

Best Place to Eat: Cinnamon Club – one of London’s most famous Indian restaurants located in a library room.
Top Attractions: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Mall, Big Ben, and The House of Parliament


London’s Southbank is one of the areas most popular with tourists thanks to the many London landmarks dotted along it. From beautiful views of the River Thames to entertainment institutes like the BFI.

Don’t Miss: The Southbank Centre – home to Royal Festival Hall, and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, this large arts centre puts on many performances and events throughout the whole year.

Best Place to Eat: The Green Room – pop in to this atmospheric restaurant for dinner. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting London at Christmas, we recommend their Christmas pud with brandy custard for dessert!
Top Attractions: The London Eye, London Dungeons, London Aquarium, and Shrek’s Adventure

Southbank has some of London's most iconic landmarks


Located on the southern bank of the river, Southwark is a charming area known for its arts scene.

Take a stroll through historic Southwark

Don’t Miss: Tower Bridge – you can even walk inside the bridge over a glass walkway!

Best Place to Eat: Oxo Tower Restaurant – for an eatery with great views over London head to this famous Southwark joint.
Top Attractions: Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is known for attracting locals and tourists alike. This popular spot was once a fruit and vegetable market that was far less appealing than it is today. Now it’s the heart of entertainment and dining in London.

Don’t Miss: Covent Garden Market – the old covered market that is located over two floors is a London landmark you cannot miss. You must visit this part of Covent Garden at Christmas to witness their gorgeous tree and Christmas decorations.

Best Place to Eat: The Ivy Market Grill – for a meal that never disappoints, books a table at The Ivy – our favourite dish is always the salmon.
Top Attractions: Royal Opera House, The Transport Museum, and The Top Secret Comedy Club.

Covent Garden is a particularly lovely neighbourhood at Christmas

Seven Dials

One of our favourite neighbourhoods of London is Seven Dials. Located just north of Covent Garden, this area stems from a central roundabout with seven roads stemming off it. The roads are full of cool shops, independent cafes, and so much more.

Hidden away in the London neighbourhood of Seven Dials is the colourful Neal's Yard

Don’t Miss: The cute cobbled streets.

Best Place to Eat: Seven Dials Market – one of our favourite places in London to grab a bite to eat is the market in this neighbourhood. This is an indoor market that offers delicious food, from the Cheese Bar (cheese on a conveyor belt), to loaded hash browns, and chai tea – there’s something for everyone.
Top Attractions: Neal’s Yard – a colourful hidden courtyard.


Soho is the neighbourhood of London renowned for its nightlife. Bustling with pubs, clubs, and bars – this is the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

Don’t Miss: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club – one of the most iconic jazz venues in the world that’s been running for over 6 decades. You’ll experience live jazz from rising stars.

Best Place to Eat: Japes – the best spot in London to indulge in deep dish pizza! Head across the road afterwards to No. 79 for a delicious mousse cake!
Top Attractions: Carnaby Street, Liberty’s, and all of the theatres!

Don't miss Soho icon Liberty!


To the north of Oxford Street you’ll find the neighbourhood of Fitzrovia that is home to lots of restaurants and beautiful buildings.

enjoy a meal in one of Fitzrovia's neighbourhood restaurants

Don’t Miss: Charlotte Street – a pretty street with some of our favourite restaurants including Mowgli’s and Where the Pancakes Are.

Best Place to Eat: Circolo Poplare – another notable mention from the Big Mama group, this is a stunning Italian restaurant decorated with high ceilings and walls lined with colourful bottles. Don’t skip the lemon meringue pie for dessert. 
Top Attractions: The Cartoon Museum and Grant Museum of Zoology.


Considered one of London’s most luxurious neighbourhoods, Mayfair is lined with grand Georgian architecture that boasts high-end shops, Michelin star restaurants, and exclusive members clubs.

Don’t Miss: Annabell’s – an exclusive club, that unless you know a member you won’t be getting into. However, during Christmas, Halloween, and other times of year, they decorate their frontage with the best installations you will ever see! Fun fact: this is the only club that the late Queen Elizabeth II visited. 

Best Place to Eat: Sketch – whether for an afternoon tea in the Parlour, or for a 3 Michelin starred meal in the Lecture Room and Library, this elaborate restaurant is not one to be missed!
Top Attractions: The Royal Academy of Arts  – an art museum that is free to enter and often has limited-run exhibitions.

Mayfair has some stunning arcades

Borough & Bermondsey

Borough sits on the river, and runs down away from the Thames into Bermondsey. Both of these areas have an industrial vibe, with classic East London architecture.

Borough & Bermondsey are great neighbourhoods for foodies

Don’t Miss: Southwark Cathedral – nestled in the heart of Borough Market is this old cathedral that is just as beautiful inside as it is outside.

Best Place to Eat: Flour & Grape – with no reservations this is a small Italian restaurant that you want to get to early. Join the virtual queue and head down into their bar, before being welcomed back upstairs to indulge in pasta, burrata, and gelato.
Top Attractions: Borough Market, The Shard, and the Fashion & Textile Museum

King’s Cross

Whether you’re in between trains, or heading to explore the area – there’s lots to see in King’s Cross.

Don’t Miss: Granary Square – recently renovated, this square boasts fountains, restaurants and cafes, as well as lots of shops!

Best Place to Eat: Dishoom – one of London’s most popular Indian restaurant chains. We recommend treating yourself to the black dhal in particular!
Top Attractions: The British Library, St Pancras International, and Word on the Water bookshop.


Steeped in history, Bloomsbury has been home to famous literary icons of the past. Today it’s a beautiful and quieter area of London to explore.

Bloomsbury has a lot of literary history

Don’t Miss: The British Museum – home to treasures from around the world

Best Place to Eat: Walkmisu – a telephone box serving up delicious tiramisu and lasagnas for those in need of a savoury first!
Top Attractions: BT Tower, Bloomsbury Squares, and the Charles Dickens Museum


Known for its high-end shops and restaurants, Knightsbridge tends to attract more tourists than it does locals.

Don’t Miss: Harrods – one of London’s incredible department shops. We are particularly fond of the food hall, but you can also indulge in all your luxury shopping desires. 

Best Place to Eat: The Aubrey – an elegant restaurant located in the basement of the Mandarin Oriental. 
Top Attractions: Hyde Park – the biggest park in central London. Ideal for a long walk, or to get on the serpentine lake in a pedalo or rowing boat.

Take a shopping trip to the famous Harrods in Knightsbridge


Once a rural retreat for royals outside of London, today Kensington has been enveloped into the city. With a grand palace, impressive houses that act as homes to the rich as well as to ambassadors of foreign countries, there’s so much to see in this area.

Get away from the main roads of Kensington and explore the pretty neighbourhood streets

Don’t Miss: Kensington Palace – you can pay to go inside, although some areas of the palace are still used by the British royal family. It was once home to Princess Diana, and until their move to Windsor also hosted The Prince & Princess of Wales and their family.

Best Place to Eat: Jacuzzi – a large Italian trattoria from the Big Mama group – this is opulence at its finest.
Top Attractions: The V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Kensington Gardens, and The Royal Albert Hall

The City

The City, or the square mile (one of London’s many nicknames), is the financial and historical centre of London. It has lots of culture and history to boast and shouldn’t be a neighbourhood you miss out on your trip to London.

Don’t Miss: St Paul’s Cathedral – designed by Sir Christopher Wren this is one of the most notable buildings on London’s skyline. In fact there are certain sightlines that cannot be built in to protect views of this cathedral from around London.

Best Place to Eat: The Royal Exchange – this famous building is home to lots of places to get a bite to eat – with many of them now open at the weekends also.
Top Attractions: The Tower of London, Sky Garden, the Royal Courts of Justice. and St Dunstans in the East

The city has lots of hidden gems - we recommend visiting during the weekend when it's super quiet if you want pictures!


A personal favourite London neighbourhood of ours is the upmarket Chelsea. With beautiful homes, luxury shops, and lots of delicious places to eat – it really doesn’t get better than this South West London location.

The neighbourhood of Chelsea has lots of beautiful restaurants

Don’t Miss: Chelsea Saturday Market (Duke of York Square)

Best Place to Eat: The Jam – for pizzas in a restaurant with a twist. The seats are layered so you may have to climb up a ladder to your table!
Top Attractions: Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea Flower Show, and Chelsea Embankment

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a colourful area of London that has gorgeous houses, cute cafes, and leafy streets. It’s popular with both tourists and locals alike.

Don’t Miss: Notting Hill Carnival – for one weekend a year this London neighbourhood hosts Europe’s biggest street festival. Celebrating Caribbean culture you’ll be treated to a colourful parade, street food, and great music.

Best Place to Eat: Sunday in Brooklyn – the perfect spot for weekend brunch with friends.
Top Attractions: Portobello Road Market, The Notting Hill Bookshop, and William Thacker’s blue door (check out our guide to rom-com Notting Hill for all of the film’s locations)!

Notting Hill is full of colourful houses


Battersea is a lesser known neighbourhood for tourists, but it’s a favourite among locals. Nestled along the south of the river, opposite Chelsea, Battersea boasts historic roots in industrial Britain and has been undergoing regeneration in recent times.

Battersea Power Station sits at the top of this neighbourhood by the river

Don’t Miss: Battersea Park – whilst the Royal Parks get crowded with tourists. Battersea Park offers a break away from the business of the city. Throughout the seasons this is a gorgeous park to wander around.

Best Place to Eat: Where the Pancakes Are – for a fantastic brunch option, head inside the power station to this spot. With so many different pancakes on offer, you’ll love it here!
Top Attractions: Battersea Power Station – the recently refurbished power station is now a shopping centre, hotel, apartments, and boasts many fantastic restaurants (we recommend visiting the Arcade where there’s lots of different food options inside).


Marylebone is an elegant neighbourhood in central London, just north of Oxford Street. Named after its church: St Mary by the Courne, this area is lined with gorgeous Georgian townhouses, quaint shops, and cosy cafes.

Don’t Miss: Daunt Books – our absolute favourite of London’s independent bookshops located in a beautiful Edwardian building complete with stained glass. They have an excellent array of travel books!

Best Place to Eat: Chiltern Firehouse – one of London’s most famous restaurants, set in an old firehouse – they serve delicious food from breakfast to dinner. We recommend if you’re going as a large group to order lots of dishes and share!

Top Attractions: The Sherlock Holmes Museum and Regents Park.

Marylebone has a lovely neighbourhood village feel

Shoreditch & Spitalfields

Located in the east end of London Shoreditch and Spitalfields boasts a vibrant and cool atmosphere. Known for its creativity, this is very much an industrial area that has been regenerated over the years.

Brick Lane is a great street in the neighbourhood of Shoreditch

Don’t Miss: Brick Lane Market – This iconic London market boasts vintage clothing, handmade crafts, and exceptional food. After you’ve finished shopping we recommend picking up a hot chocolate at Dark Sugars (one of the best in London)!

Best Place to Eat: Spitalfields Market – if you’re looking for food as a group of people Spitalfields is the ultimate spot. Each of you can wander around the vendors to find your meal, and congregate back at a table. We personally love the naan wraps, pad thai, and apple crumbles you can get at this London food market.
Top Attractions: Museum of the Home and Columbia Road Flower Market


Victoria is home to one of the city’s main termini, but also has plenty to see and do! With lots of bars and restaurants this spot is particularly bustling in the evening.

Don’t Miss: Victoria Market Halls – the perfect spot to grab lunch or dinner with friends. With lots of options you can all try something different (drinks are a little pricey here).

Best Place to Eat: Rosa’s Thai – located on the boundary between Victoria and Pimlico, this is one of our favourite spots for pad thai in London.
Top Attractions: Theatre shows: Wicked and Hamilton Westminster Cathedral, and Little Ben

an icon of London Victoria is Little Ben


Paddington is a West London neighbourhood known for its beautiful canals and bustling atmosphere. The station is also where the famous bear, Paddington, was found and got his name.

Take a stroll along Paddington's canals

Don’t Miss: Little Venice – the network of canals just north of Paddington Station is known as Little Venice and is a gorgeous spot for a walk during autumn, spring, and summer.

Best Place to Eat: The Cheese Barge – British cheese served on a boat – what more could you want?
Top Attractions: Paddington Station and its statues of the bear.


A small luxurious neighbourhood in Central London, Belgravia is a beautiful place to simply wander around.

Don’t Miss: Eccleston Square – a small square hidden away behind the coach station in Victoria – you’ll find gorgeous shops and restaurants here. We suggest booking onto a DIY icing session at Biscuiteers here.

Best Place to Eat: Acai Girls – our favourite lunchtime haunt in this area with delicious smoothie bowls, buddha bowls, and excellent sweet treats (brownies we’re looking at you).
Top Attractions: Garden Squares – whilst you can’t get into these you can admire from the outside, the many blue plaques dotted around the area

Eccleston Square Helter Skelter


Camden is a cool London neighbourhood just waiting for you to visit. With a bustling market and vibrant urban culture, this is a hot spot in the city.

Camden is a north London neighbourhood

Don’t Miss: Camden Market – this is one of London’s most popular markets. It’s home to both food stalls, vintage clothing, and artisanal crafts. 

Best Place to Eat: Cereal Killer Cafe – experience nostalgia at this popular spot, where you’ll be eating your favourite cereals from all around the world.
Top Attractions: Camden Lock, the Roundhouse, and Regent’s Canal


A lesser known Central London neighbourhood is Pimlico. This is really a residential place that tourists don’t tend to venture into. It boasts gorgeous Georgian townhouses and hidden local gems in the form of cafes and restaurants. 

Don’t Miss: Open Garden Squares Weekend – hosted once a year, this is your only chance to get inside the Garden Squares of Pimlico without being a resident! 

Best Place to Eat: O’Sole Mio – a local Italian restaurant that has been around for decades. They boast a large menu, with something for everyone.
Top Attractions: Tate Britain – technically in Millbank, but only a short five minute walk from Pimlico tube station.

Connaught Village

A pretty and quaint area of London just north of Hyde Park is Connaught Village.

Celebrate love this Christmas with Connaught Village's decorated tree

Don’t Miss: La Maritxu – a cafe offering exclusively basque cheesecake – there’s a queue out the door every single day.

Best Place to Eat: Duke of Kendal – gourmet pub meals. Choose from classics like sausage and mash, or pizza!
Top Attractions: Connaught Tree of Love – a tree decorated with neon lights.

Greater London Neighbourhoods

Looking to experience London like Londoners? Head to these neighbourhoods that are further out of central to experience local life.


Located on the banks of the River Thames in South East London, Greenwich is home to the city’s maritime past.

Don’t Miss: The Royal Observatory – where you can stand on the meridian line and learn all about how we began timekeeping.

Best Place to Eat: Greenwich Market – a smallish indoor market that has plenty of stands selling food to pick up for lunch or a snack.

Top Attractions: Greenwich Park, The Queen’s Gallery, The Old Naval College, Cutty Sark, and the Painted Hall.

Greenwich has a rich maritime history


Want to visit an area of London that doesn’t feel like a city at all? Then Hampstead is the neighbourhood for you. With big Georgian houses, surrounded by leafy trees, quaint cafes, and so much more.

Hampstead is one of our favourite London neighbourhoods

Don’t Miss: Hampstead Heath – no matter the time of year this is a wonderful park to visit. With incredible views over the whole of the city from the top of Parliament Hill.

Best Place to Eat: The Holly Bush – one of our favourite London pubs that’s hidden away down a small street. 
Top Attractions: Keats House, Kenwood House, and Daunt Books


One of our favourite riverside neighbourhoods in London is Richmond. This is a very picturesque area with cafes by the river, beautiful houses, and lots of green open spaces.

Don’t Miss: Richmond Park – the largest of London’s Royal Parks is home to deer, ancient woodlands, and lots of space for picnics.

Best Place to Eat: Petersham Nurseries Cafe – a cute rustic cafe just waiting for your lunchtime visit.
Top Attractions: Richmond Theatre and Richmond Bridge and Lock

Richmond is full of pretty spots


Hackney is another east London neighbourhood that has a rich history and diverse spirit. It has a range of parks, markets, and even has a street art scene.

Don’t Miss: Broadway Market another of our city’s markets, this one boasts not just vintage clothes but delicious food too.

Best Place to Eat: Pidgin is a Hackney restaurant that prides itself on having a new menu every single week – never repeating a dish. Under old head chef Elizabeth Haigh it won a Michelin star.
Top Attractions: St Augustine’s Tower and London Fields.


Camberwell is a hidden gem in South London, with roads lined with leafy trees, and classic London brick architecture. It has a great mix of independent shops, delis, and pubs.

Don’t Miss: Camberwell Arts Festival – taking place once a year, the festival boasts performance and exhibitions from talented residents in the area.

Best Place to Eat: Silk Road – this is a wonderful spot to fill up on Chinese food. 
Top Attractions: Camberwell Green, The Crypt, and South London Gallery.


Dalston is a popular neighbourhood among artists, musicians, and foodies. It is located in east London, and like much of the east used to be an industrial area.

Don’t Miss: Dalston Eastern Curve Garden – located in a former railway line, this is a beautiful green oasis to escape city life.

Best Place to Eat: For an affordable spot to eat in Dalston, head to Ridley Road Market to experience everything from Caribbean to Turkish delicacies.
Top Attractions: Rio Cinema is Dalston’s biggest attraction. Located in an Art Deco building, you can watch everything from cult classic films to live events here.


Dulwich is a very pretty London neighbourhood that almost has a village feel to it. Located in South London, take in the beautiful homes and wide green spaces on your visit here.

Don’t Miss: Dulwich Picture Gallery – one of London’s lesser known art galleries, but with prestigious works from the likes of Rembrant and Gainsborough. 

Best Place to Eat: The Rosendale Pub – enjoy a classic British pub meal at this gastro-restaurant. It also has a large beer garden perfect for the summer months.
Top Attractions: Dulwich Park – a beautiful green space to take a stroll or cycle through on a sunny day.

Dulwich is an outer London neighbourhood that feels like a village


Heading south of the river we get to Brixton, which is a multicultural neighbourhood of London, rich in culture, markets, and with a bustling music scene.

Don’t Miss: Market Row – an indoor market that boasts independent restaurants and gift shops.

Best Place to Eat: The Laundry – a bistro-bar inspired by New Zealand – this is a great place to indulge in a Sunday roast. 
Top Attractions: Electric Avenue, Brixton Windmill, and Brixton Academy


Wimbledon is a leafy London suburb that has a lovely village atmosphere, with lots of things to do, see, and eat.

Don’t Miss: Wimbledon Tennis Championships – you’ll need to enter the ballot for tickets months in advance but if you’re lucky enough you might get to see some of the greatest players of our time!

Best Place to Eat: Diba Persian Restaurant – rated almost 5 stars, you’ll be treated to delicious Persian comfort foods here.
Top Attractions: Wimbledon Common, Saturday Farmer’s Market, and the New Wimbledon Theatre


Clapham is a London neighbourhood known for being home to the city’s young professionals. And it’s no wonder with all of its bars, clubs, and pubs.

Don’t Miss: Clapham Common – a large common that’s perfect for hosting picnics with friends during the warmer months.

Best Place to Eat: Amiga – delicious tacos and great cocktails (including frozen ones during the summer months).
Top Attractions: Clapham Old Town – boasting cute cafes and lovely shops.


Islington is located in North London and is known for its entertainment venues and creative community.

Don’t Miss: Camden Passage – a beautiful pedestrian street with antique shops and vintage boutiques

Best Place to Eat: Tofu Vegan – a wonderful Chinese vegan restaurant.
Top Attractions: Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Regent’s Canal towpath


Outside of the hustle and bustle of Central London, you’ll find the South West neighbourhood of Kingston-upon-Thames. Leafy, picturesque and with a riverside view, you’ll adore this ancient market town.

Kingston is a greater London neighbourhood worth visiting

Don’t Miss: Kingston Market – located in the old market place, you’ll find stalls selling fresh veg, fish, bread, treats, and meals ready to eat here.

Best Place to Eat: Sticks’n’Sushi – a newer addition to the Kingston restaurant scene is the popular London chain.
Top Attractions: Coronation Stone, Kingston Bridge, and Out of Order Sculpture

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