The Ultimate Guide to London's Best neighborhoods
A melting pot of cultures and a microcosm of world cuisine, London is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. 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 in London is one of the hardest things to do when you 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.
The 15 best London neighborhoods 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.
- 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.
- 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 London neighborhoods 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.
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.
Best shopping options in Notting Hill:
Portobello Road and Ledbury Road
Best green spaces and parks in Notting Hill:
Holland Park and Wormwood Scrubs.
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.
Best hospitals in Hampstead:
Royal Free Hospital.
Best shopping options in Hampstead:
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.
Best hospitals in Richmond:
Cassel Hospital and Teddington Hospital.
Best shopping options in Richmond:
Kew Retail Park and Teddington High Street.
Best places to live in London for expats
London is an ex-pats dream, with plenty of neighborhoods offering up affordable house shares, friendly social scenes, and enough art and culture to last you a lifetime.
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.
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.
Best hospitals in Camden:
University College Hospital and St Pancras Hospital.
Best shopping options in Camden:
Camden High Sreet and Kentish Town High Street.
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.
Best hospitals in Battersea:
Falcon Road Medical Centre.
Best shopping options in Battersea:
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.
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 schools in Chelsea:
Best schools in Chelsea:
Best hospitals in Chelsea:
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital.
Best shopping options in Chelsea:
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.
Best hospitals in Fitzrovia:
The Private Clinic Hospital and University College Hospital.
Best shopping options in Fitzrovia:
Tottenham Court Road.
8. 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.
Best shopping options in Maida Vale:
Maida Vale High Street
9. 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.
Best hospitals in Earls Court:
Bupa Cromwell Hospital.
Best shopping options in Earls Court:
Earls Court Road.
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.
Best hospitals in Shoreditch:
St Leonard’s Hospital.
11. 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.
Best hospitals in Kentish Town:
St. Pancras Hospital.
Best shopping options in Kentish Town:
Kentish Town High Street and Chalk Farm Road.
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.
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 hospitals in Brixton:
The Lambeth Hospital.
Affordable places to live in London
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.
Best hospitals in Croydon:
West Valley Hospital
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.
Best hospitals in Dalston:
St Leonards Hospital and Milesmary Hospital
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.
Best shopping options in Paddington:
Pared Street and Paddington Station.