Best places to live in London: London's Best Neighborhoods
A melting pot of cultures and a microcosm of world cuisine, London is one of the most multicultural cities in the UK and on the planet. The vibrancy of the city extends across all 32 of its boroughs, all of which are home to a plethora of unique neighborhoods.
Choosing where to live and find London apartments to rent are hard things to do when you initially move to the city. In this guide, we’re going to try and take some of the weight off your shoulders by giving you an insight into what some of the best London neighborhoods can offer you as a resident.
Where to live in London: 17 best places to live in London at a glance
- Notting Hill. Quaint neighborhood that comes alive during its world-famous festival.
- Hampstead. Village-in-a-city, popular with A-list celebrities and well-to-do families.
- Richmond. Much sought-after green oasis, not far from the city center.
- Primrose Hill. Leafy neighborhood ideal for families
- Battersea. Cutesy independent stores, family-friendly streets, and ample green space.
- Camden. Vibrant inner-city neighborhood with a thriving high street.
- Chelsea. Small town atmosphere with a wealthy community.
- Fitzrovia. Restaurants, bars, and shopping streets, popular with young professionals.
- Maida Vale. Sleepy central neighborhood in London’s northwestern suburbs.
- Earls Court. Creative neighborhood dominated by grand Georgian houses.
- Marylebone. Quaint neighborhood close to Oxford street.
- Shoreditch. Trendy neighborhood, known for its market and warehouse apartments.
- Kentish Town. Up-and-coming area, high street shopping, and easy transport links.
- Brixton. Lively neighborhood known for its music scene and cultural markets.
- Croydon. Outer city neighborhood with affordable housing and good transport links.
- Dalston. Affordable and bohemian, home to young professionals and students.
- Paddington. Affordable living, busy streets, and excellent transport links.
Best places in London for families
Schools, parks, and spacious homes are all things you need to consider if you’re moving to London with your family. Luckily, several London neighborhoods offer just that, albeit for a slightly higher price tag. We’ve covered London neighborhoods for families in detail here.
1. Notting Hill
Put on the map by its namesake film, Notting Hill has retained its fame throughout the years. While tourists come for the filming locations, others flock to this wealthy neighborhood to get their hands on some of the million-pound Victorian properties that pepper its streets.
Despite its wealthy community, Notting Hill is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the area, playing host to a fantastic independent high street, a huge variety of eateries, and the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival each year.
This trendy district has been a popular spot for locals and visitors alike and it’s easy to see why – its cobbled streets, pastel-coloured houses and quaint shops make you feel like you’ve stepped into a movie!
There is plenty to do here from browsing in the many antique stores or book shops at the iconic Portobello Road Market to gorging on delicious food in some of London’s trendiest eateries. Portobello Road Market is a vibrant street lined with stalls selling everything from vintage clothing to exotic food makes for an exciting experience.
Notting Hill is also home to some of London’s best restaurants and trendy cafes – so don’t forget to stop by one of these spots while you’re there! If you have time, try your hand at one of the fun escape rooms on Golborne Road or catch a film screening at the independent Electric Cinema.
Hampstead is one of those neighborhoods that you don’t expect to find somewhere as busy, built-up, and hectic as the city of London. Despite the odds, Hampstead has managed to retain its villagey feel, with independent eateries, butchers, grocers, and shops still ruling the roost here.
Reportedly home to more millionaires than any other area in the UK, this is also one of London’s most expensive neighborhoods. If you do manage to get yourself a property in Hampstead, you’ll have the gorgeous Hampstead Heath just a stone’s throw away. This idyllic slice of green space is home to Parliament Hill which offers stunning views over London and even a natural swimming pool to enjoy in the warmer months.
When you explore this area, you’ll find plenty of options for shopping, dining and entertainment. From discovering unique independent greengrocers to picking up fresh bread from one of Hampstead’s bakeries or enjoying a leisurely stroll through its quaint streets, this neighbourhood offers something for everyone.
Plus, with top-rated schools and plenty of parks, it’s no wonder this neighbourhood is one of London’s most sought-after locations for families.
Hampstead really does have everything – a village atmosphere combined with easy access to the city centre; cosy pubs alongside chic boutiques; traditional English tea shops as well as lovely restaurants!
Sitting on the banks of the River Thames in South West London, Richmond has become one of the most sought-after places to live in London. This is especially true amongst families that are attracted by the highly-regarded schools in the area, and the hugely popular Richmond Park.
Boasting the best of both a suburban town and country living, if you choose to live in Richmond, you will be exploring its museums and galleries one day and watch deer roaming through the park the next. And the best bit? Your commute into the heart of London will take just under 30 minutes. Richmond is one of the richest neighborhoods in London . It is a popular area among people looking for first class rentals and luxury apartments in London.
4. Primrose Hill
Living in Primrose Hill with family is a dream come true! Located on the north side of Regent’s Park, this charming neighborhood in London is full of green spaces, great restaurants and amazing shopping. Plus, there are plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy – from outdoor movie screenings to regular weekend craft markets and festivals! With excellent schools nearby, it’s the perfect place to raise kids too. In short, this area offers an unbeatable combination of affordability and family-friendly fun. So if you’re looking for a cool spot that won’t break the bank, Primrose Hill might just be your dream destination.
Best places to live in London for expats
London is an expats dream, with plenty of neighborhoods offering up affordable house shares, friendly social scenes, and enough art and culture to last you a lifetime. Expats in London have a lot to look forward to simply because of the sheer number of fun things you can do in the city. Therefore, it would be best for expats to live in exciting and vibrant areas of the city. Here are a few options to consider:
Camden has earned itself the title as one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The center focus here is the high street, laden with tourists and locals running about their daily business. At night this hub comes alive with an eclectic evening social scene and live music performances.
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience in London, then look no further than Camden Market! This vibrant market is full of stalls selling a wide range of items from clothing and jewellery to vintage homeware and street food. Camden’s iconic cobbled streets feel like an adventure just waiting to be explored – so come in search of treasures, trinkets and new experiences!
The atmosphere at Camden Market is always buzzing, with live music and buskers performing throughout the day. You can find many independent stores offering unique clothing, accessories and gifts for any occasion. There are also plenty of eateries offering delicious dishes at great prices. You’ll find everything from vegan-friendly Caribbean cuisine to home-cooked British classics here.
With such a hectic high street, you wouldn’t expect to find street after street of quiet residential roads just a few seconds away. These streets offer up a range of housing: from some of the most affordable flats in central London to some of the most expensive.
Most famous for the three landmarks that sit in this south London neighborhood (Battersea Power Station, Battersea Bridge, and Battersea Park), Battersea’s popularity as a residential area has picked up in the last decade. Once laden with factories, Battersea now enjoys a vibrant nightlife, friendly social scene and is home to a plethora of celebrities.
Art, culture, food, wine, the great outdoors… Battersea has a little slice of everything that makes London what it is. Finding a property to live in here may be a tricky task, but when you do, you’ll have a lot to look forward to right outside your front door.
Home to some of London’s most expensive postcodes, Chelsea has become a playground for the rich and famous in England’s capital city. Its immaculate streets, lined with Georgian and Victorian townhouses, attract residents from all over the world, mainly those with deep pockets.
If you’re looking to explore the luxury side of London, look no further than Chelsea. This vibrant neighbourhood is brimming with high-end boutiques, chic restaurants and designer stores – making it a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
Take a stroll down King’s Road and browse the diverse range of shops – from independent boutiques to big name designers. Next, indulge in some top-notch cuisine – Chelsea has plenty of upscale eateries from Michelin starred restaurants to cosy pubs.
While its community is diverse, its streets are even more varied with boutique shopping, high-end cocktail bars, and fine-dining restaurants right on Chelsea’s doorstep. Dropped into the mix of these upmarket streets are also some of London’s most prestigious schools.
Best places to live in London for young professionals
Finding a flat in London that harbors the perfect balance of trendy shops, safe streets, and affordability isn’t as hard as you might think in the mighty capital.
Bordered by the busy shopping strips of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia is an area of the city that often gets overlooked as a place to live. If anything, the neighborhood’s excellent transport links, quintessentially English pub scene, and quiet residential alleys make it one of the best places to live in the heart of the capital city.
With a quick commute to the city and a good selection of housing, Fitzrovia harbors a population of successful young professionals in its most part. Some of the larger properties are owned by families who have lived here for generations, using the central location for their children to thrive in city life.
9. Maida Vale
Built along the banks of the picturesque Regents Canal, Maida Vale is known across the city for its elegant tree-lined streets peppered with bright white and redbrick Georgian and Victorian townhouses. Properties with a view of the water don’t come cheaply here, but you will find a series of more affordable apartments set back from the canal.
While the residential streets are calm and quiet, Maida Vale residents will never be far away from the more happening neighborhoods of Kilburn, Notting Hill, and Bayswater.
10. Earls Court
Nestled amongst the affluent neighborhoods of western London, Earls Court provides a calm oasis that can be difficult to find in the busy central regions.
The neighborhood itself provides two very different qualities of life. One side of Earls Court is dominated by red-brick Victorian townhouses that come with a hefty price tag. The other half is undergoing renovations to turn some of the more rundown streets into residential heaven.
One thing that is for sure is that wherever you live in Earls Court, whether it be in one of London’s serviced flats, or a grand townhouse, you’ll be within reaching distance of fantastic green spaces and vibrant shopping streets.
Living in Marylebone is a wonderful experience. This area of London has all the advantages of living within a big city while still feeling like a quaint and quiet neighborhood.
The streets are lined with beautiful Georgian townhouses, quaint shops, and restaurants. You can spend days exploring the area, taking in its architectural wonders or enjoying good food at one of the many eateries. There are plenty of things to do here including shopping at the iconic Selfridges department store, strolling around Hyde Park to take in its stunning views, or visiting one of the many art galleries located throughout Marylebone.
The vibrant nightlife with its numerous pubs and nightclubs offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for culture there are several concerts and theatrical performances being held regularly at nearby music venues. For those who appreciate good wines, there are several excellent specialty wine shops in the area.
Marylebone is also close to some of London’s most famous landmarks such as Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and Oxford Street which is full of popular stores and boutiques for those who enjoy retail therapy. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that living in Marylebone is a popular choice for those seeking an exciting life in the heart of a major metropolis!
Trendiest places to live in London
Whether you want to set up shop in the north, south, east, or west of London, it’s not hard to find a trendy spot in England’s capital city.
London’s original hipster neighborhood, Shoreditch is about more than just following the trends – it’s also one of the best neighborhoods to live in the city. Popular amongst young professionals and students, this eastern neighborhood offers a range of shopping amenities on your doorstep, along with cocktail bars, pubs, and a long-list of highly-regarded restaurants.
The area was once known for its furniture and textile manufacturing, which is why many of the apartments you’ll find here today offer an air of warehouse chic. While its popularity means it may not be London’s most affordable neighborhoods, it’s a great option if you want to be in the thick of it all.
For digital nomads in London, Shoreditch is one of the best neighborhoods to make the most of their stay. This creative hub combines beautiful architecture, trendy restaurants, independent boutiques and plenty of bars – all within walking distance. The area is also known for its amazing street art.
Whether you’re craving some caffeine or an evening cocktail, Shoreditch has something to offer everyone. With its countless cafés and pubs, it’s easy to meet like-minded people and exchange ideas or advice. Plus, working remotely here is a breeze thanks to the abundance of co-working spaces with high-speed internet. After a hard day’s work you can even get involved with art galleries that showcase local talent!
13. Kentish Town
What was once a run-down central neighborhood in London has now become a sought-after place to live in the city’s northern regions. Siting between Camden and Primrose Hill, Kentish Town benefits from the surrounding green spaces and bustling high streets.
In recent years, Kentish Town high street has come into its own, offering up a selection of both branded and independent stores. Branching off the high street is a maze of quiet residential streets offering everything from affordable studio flats to spacious townhouses.
Brixton has become arguably one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Located in South London, it has built up a reputation for itself through its eclectic music and arts scene, fascinating local market, and lower-than-average rent prices.
Nestled between Clapham, Stockwell and Camberwell and with its intersection of cultures, buzzing nightlife and array of independent shops, it’s no wonder that this colourful district is becoming one of the city’s top spots for locals and tourists alike.
From food trucks to local galleries, Brixton is the perfect place to explore some unique gems. You can take a leisurely stroll down Electric Avenue and browse the many vintage shops or take in the lively atmosphere of Brixton Village Market.
There are plenty of delicious eateries too – from world-famous fish & chips to Caribbean cuisine – making it easy to find something for every palate. Be sure to stay for a few drinks in one of the quirky pubs or vibrant bars which stay open late into the night!
While you may struggle to find whole houses to live in, there are endless late Victorian terrace houses available, many of which have been converted into flats for the young professionals who tend to call this area their home.
Best places to live in London on a budget
It’s a common misconception that the words ‘affordable’ and ‘London’ don’t sit well together. We think they do, you just need to know where to look.
Croydon may perch on the outskirts of the capital city, but a commute into London’s center takes just 18-minutes on the fast train. A mini-metropolis in itself, Croydon might not have that London-esque vibe of its counterparts, but it doesn’t have their high house prices either.
In fact, Croydon has the perks of being close to the capital, without all of the cons of living in London, like high prices and crowded streets. Transport options are endless here with three local train stations, plenty of bus routes, and even a tram for shorter journeys. As for schools, there’s a mixed bag of options in Croydon, but you’ll have your choice of 110 to pick the perfect one for your children.
Dominated by the ever-busy Kingston Road, Dalston is a London neighborhood that never sleeps. Independent bakeries get to work at the crack of dawn, and underground nightclubs cause a stir into the early hours of the morning.
Dalston caters to most demographics, featuring tree-lined streets and spacious homes perfect for families, and new-build flats ideal for first-time buyers or young professionals.
While not the prettiest part of London, Paddington sits within walking distance of some of the city’s best sights and offers up affordable rental prices for such a central location.
As well as the many green spaces, excellent transport connections, and busy shopping streets, you’ll find a range of housing to choose from in Paddington too. Whether you’re in the market for a modern flat along the canal, or a Victorian townhouse full of character, Paddington can deliver on all levels.
Commuter Towns Near London
If you find London unaffordable or just need more space for your money, there are many commuter towns near London where you can live yet easily access London by train. Here is a great guide on some of the best commuter towns near London.
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