The 10 Best areas in London for Tourists
Find the 10 best areas in London for Tourists - UK Tourist Guide.
1. Covent Garden
The most visited area of London is in the heart of the capital's Theatreland, where shows and musicals are the most popular forms of entertainment. The cobblestone plaza and rebuilt 19th-century market, with its eccentric and increasingly high-end stores and a supporting cast of buskers and other street entertainment, are Covent Garden's main attractions. In the surrounding tangle of streets, there are several restaurants, bars, cafés, and pubs, and several important sites are within easy walking distance.
2. Kensington, Belgravia, & Chelsea
These three affluent neighbourhoods, which are divided by the extensive Hyde Park to the north and Green Park to the east, are known for their trio of excellent museums, a couple of excellent contemporary art galleries, and London's most upmarket department and lifestyle stores: Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Nearby Kensington Palace is a must-see, and Elizabeth Street in Belgravia is lined with powerful designer stores if you're serious about fashion. Some of London's best restaurants may be found here.
3. Westminster & St James
Westminster is Britain's seat of power, situated between the River Thames, Mayfair, Belgravia, and Soho. Although there are few restaurants and lodgings in this area, the Houses of Parliament, three of London's leading art galleries, Big Ben, and Trafalgar Square are all located here. There's also a significant royal connection: Her Majesty's house and workplace is Buckingham Palace in St James's Park, and Westminster Abbey is the coronation and burial location of British royalty.
4. Soho & Leicester Square
Soho, London's liveliest entertainment zone and historic red-light district, is known for its bars, clubs, and a varied array of eateries. Soho is the hub of London's homosexual culture and one of the greatest sections of London for independent designers and record stores, as well as being centrally placed and an easy walk away from the Thames and numerous major attractions. To the south, Soho is flanked by the small, busy Chinatown and the touristic Leicester Square, which is known for its movie premieres.
5. Camden Town & Primrose Hill
Camden Town, in the northeast parts of Regent's Park, near London Zoo, is grimy and rough around the edges. It revolves on the huge Camden Market, which consists of four interconnected marketplaces offering everything from vintage clothing and records to art and gourmet street cuisine. Camden, the home of British rock music, offers a youthful, studently feel, as well as several live music venues and vibrant pubs, while Primrose Hill, close to the west, is a celeb haunt with artisan coffee shops, gastropubs, and stylish retailers.
6. The City
The financial core of the city, which is dotted with London's famous skyscrapers, has a 2000-year history. The Square Mile is the site of Londinium's founding by the Romans, and no other portion of London packs as many major attractions into such a compact area. Aside from Roman remains, St Paul's Cathedral, and the Tower of London, Holborn has some of the city's best small museums and Clerkenwell has some of the best restaurants. On weekdays, the city is bustling with professionals, but on weekends, it is strangely silent.
7. Mayfair and Marylebone
Oxford Street, which is lined with high-end designer stores and is strategically placed, divides two distinct areas. To the north, trendy Marylebone, with its luxury stores and expensive cafes, attracts well-heeled Londoners, while Madame Tussauds, just south of Regent's Park, caters to hordes of visitors. Mayfair, just south of Oxford Strip, exudes class and luxury, with its tree-lined lanes studded with 5-star hotels, antique stores, and the best clothing retailers in town along Saville Row, the area's most famous shopping street.
8. East End/Spitalfields
With its Victorian slums, Jack the Ripper roaming the streets, and the filth surrounding London's ports and heavily industrialised neighbourhoods, the East End used to have a terrible image. The East End's immigrant neighbourhoods and bustling ethnic feel are still there. Spitalfields Market and the great restaurants that surround it, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Brick Lane street market and vintage fashion shops, Shoreditch's designer boutiques, and Hoxton's hectic nightlife are all must-sees.
9. The South Bank, Bankside, London Bridge, and Greenwich
The Thames is London's heart, and many of the city's attractions – from ancient theatres to the country's finest modern art gallery to the London Eye and the Shard skyscraper – are centred along the promenade that extends down the river's south bank in central London. Boats along the Thames provide convenient access to sights in other parts of London, such as Greenwich, which is home to a UNESCO World Heritage museum collection. Some of London's best street cuisine may be found here, as well as some of the city's most opulent restaurants.
10. Bloomsbury, Kings Cross, & Fitzrovia
Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia, located north of Oxford Street, are literary and quirky neighbourhoods. The British Museum, the greatest in the UK, lies at the heart of Bloomsbury, which is surrounded by a bustling grid of streets lined with cafés and restaurants. Fitzrovia, just west of Bloomsbury, is a fashionable neighbourhood with bustling pubs and restaurants favoured by young professionals. The redeveloped King's Cross, to the north, is home to the international rail hub of St Pancras, as well as some great street cuisine and the British Library.