Find places to stay in London. We list hundreds of the finest places to stay in central London and beyond. See also our 'Top 10 Recommendations' lists on our London page. All accommodation is linked to Google maps so you can discover places to visit and things to do around the hotels, self-catering apartments, Travelodges etc.
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London, Visitor & Tourism Guide

Quick links
Select Boroughs/Areas: City of Westminster, City of London, West End of London, Lambeth, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea, Bloomsbury, Greenwich, Mayfair
Select World Heritage Sites: Westminster Palace, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Maritime Greenwich, Kew Gardens
Select attractions: British Museum, The National Gallery, Natural History Museum, The London Eye, Tower Of London World Heritage Site, Victoria and Albert Museum, River Thames
Select parks: St James's Park, Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park

[Our London guides are being written 1 May 2011 onwards. Please check back for additional information].

Essential visiting
London's important. Culturally, historically, internationally and financially important. So it's important to spend some time here if you want to get to know the UK. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to superb galleries, absorbing museums to top tourist attractions, London's one of the world's great cities.

It's the capital of England. Greater London, ie London and its surrounds, has a population of about 7.5 million people and it's the most popular tourism destination in the UK. However, the centre of London isn't particularly big and whilst you can take the London Underground or a taxi, a bus or bike to get around, we'd recommend exploring the place as much as possible on foot.

Where to start?
We'd suggest approaching London by theme or geography. So, either identify all the museums, galleries and tourist attractions you want to visit or slice the city into areas that you can explore on foot. We'll outline these approaches below but take a look at our 'Top 10 Recommendations' lists further down this page for ideas as well. These will help you discover places of interest quickly. For example, our 'Top 10 Museums' list provides ideas by theme whereas our 'Top 10 Places To Visit' list provides ideas by geography.

World class sites
If you want to approach London by theme, a good place to start is with its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are less than thirty of these sites in the UK and they're relatively rare across the world so the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag gives you an idea of their importance. London's UNESCO World Heritage Sites are truly exceptional.

Concentrated in a small area on the north bank of the River Thames are Westminster Palace World Heritage Site, St Margaret's Church World Heritage Site and Westminster Abbey World Heritage Site. Head east along the river and there's the Tower Of London World Heritage Site and further along is .

To the west of central London, in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, is Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens World Heritage Site.

Centre of culture
If time's short and you want to experience London's great galleries then try the The National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. Try also The Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House and County Hall Gallery, the Hayward Gallery and Serpentine Gallery. The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is excellent for exhibitions and we'd recommend popping around the back to browse the galleries in the Cork St area.

For the city's world-class museums, try the Imperial War Museum and British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Natural History Museum. The National Maritime Museum explores the UK's maritime past. If books are your thing, The British Library has a sumptuous collection of early books and manuscripts on show. Less well known, Sir John Soane's Museum is a cracker.

Top tourist attractions
In addition to the historic buildings, museums and galleries named above, huge numbers of people visiting London book a trip to a West End theatre or show. The London Eye is extremely popular as is St Paul's Cathedral. For wildlife and nature, ZSL London Zoo and Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens World Heritage Site remain London's most popular paid for tourist attractions.

Fresh air
It's also a very 'green' city with lots of Parks and open spaces. Stretch your legs and people watch in St James's Park and Hyde Park, Greenwich Park and Kew Gardens. We'd also suggest Hampstead Heath, Green Park, Battersea Park and Richmond Park.

Walk the banks of the River Thames, too. The Thames at Richmond is superb. The views from the area around Westminster Palace World Heritage Site are among the most famous in the UK.

The suggestions above are grouped by theme. Clearly, there's travel between each attraction so, if you have a few weeks in which to explore the city, we'd suggest breaking your visit down by area. That way, you can travel between select attractions on foot better to discover the city.

For the purposes of this London summary guide, the areas we'd suggest exploring are outlined below. Each suggestion links to additional information which is being added from May 2011 onwards.

Westminster within the City of Westminster. One of London's boroughs, the City of Westminster contains some of London's most famous areas including The West End, Trafalgar Square, Mayfair, parts of Covent Garden and Westminster. Walk the area on foot to explore Westminster Palace World Heritage Site and St James's Park, Buckingham Palace and Green Park. Walk the north bank of the River Thames to visit Tate Britain and spend a good chunk of time in Westminster Abbey World Heritage Site.

West End of London, Soho and Covent Garden
The West End of London, Soho and Covent Garden area. Head north from Westminster Palace World Heritage Site and you'll arrive in Trafalgar Square. From here, you can explore the West End of London, Soho and the Covent Garden area. Walk these areas day and night. Major attractions include The National Gallery, Leicester Square, Covent Garden Market and many of London's theatres.

Bloomsbury area
The Bloomsbury area. Home to the British Museum and superb Sir John Soane's Museum, the Bloomsbury area is known for its museums and literary heritage. Walk the streets around the Univeristy of London and the Inns of Court and picnic in Russell Square Gardens before visiting The Charles Dickens Museum.

City of London
City of London. Running, roughly speaking, from the Tower Of London World Heritage Site across to the Royal Courts of Justice and from the River Thames up to the Barbican Centre, the City of London is a about a square mile in size and is the financial and historical centre of London.

Lambeth. Walk The South Bank from Waterloo Bridge to Westminster Bridge and then down to the Imperial War Museum. The riverside area and its views across to Westminster Palace World Heritage Site are magnificent. Take a ride on The London Eye, too.

Southwark. Again, explore the area close to the south bank of the River Thames. We'd recommend walking from the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern east past The Golden Hinde (London) to the Tower Bridge area. From there, you can pop across to the Tower Of London World Heritage Site and City of London.

Kensington and Chelsea
Kensington and Chelsea. Start at Knightsbirdge tube station and head down the Brompton Road, past Harrods and the Brompton Oratory, to the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum. Head a little further north to see the Royal Albert Hall before heading back to where you started via Hyde Park.

Hyde Park area
Hyde Park area. Start at Hyde Park Corner by Apsley House and then skirt the north side of the Serpentine Lake. Cross the bridge to visit the Serpentine Gallery. Pop down to the Albert Memorial close to the Royal Albert Hall before heading east to Hyde Park Corner.

Mayfair area
Mayfair area. Start at The National Gallery and then head down Pall Mall towards St James's Palace. From there, wander the warren of streets behind the Royal Academy of Arts (RA).

Other geographical areas we'd recommend
Others: Greenwich and Richmond upon Thames, Regent's Park area and Camden.

Top 10 Recommendations

Top 10 Hotels
Selected from the best Hotels in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Budget Hotels
Selected from the best Budget Hotels in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Travelodges
Selected from the best Travelodges in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Weekend Breaks
Selected from the best Weekend Breaks in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Places To Visit
Selected from the best Places To Visit in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Things To Do
Selected from the best Things To Do in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Museums
Selected from the best Museums in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Galleries
Selected from the best Galleries in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Views
Selected from the best Views in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Rainy Days Out
Selected from the best Rainy Days Out in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Churches
Selected from the best Churches in London we've listed our top 10.
Top 10 Parks
Selected from the best Parks in London we've listed our top 10.

Local Map

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Local Attractions  [See more Attractions]

Trafalgar Square London

Located in City of Westminster, London, England

Less than a mile away.

World famous square in central London by The National Gallery. Originally to be called King William the Fourth's Square. The square commemorates the 1805 Battle of Trafalgar. The role of Admiral Nelson is celebrated by N...

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Nelson's Column

Located in City of Westminster, London, England

Less than a mile away.

Celebrates the life of Admiral Horatio Nelson who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In Trafalgar Square, close to The National Gallery and looking down towards Westminster Palace World Heritage Site...

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The National Gallery

Located in City of Westminster, London, England

Less than a mile away.

One of the world's great art collections. Free entry. Consists of Western European paintings from about 1250 onwards. Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Ingres, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso...

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Local Accommodation  [See more Accommodation]

The Trafalgar Hilton, London
© Owner
Star Rating

Less than a mile away.

Total Rooms: 129; Rates: 182 - 476 Per Night

Explore central London from this boutique-style hotel with a prime location on the south side of Trafalgar Square, walking distance from entertainment, culture, Leicester Square, Soho and the business district...

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The Grand At Trafalgar Square, London
© Owner
Star Rating

Less than a mile away.

Total Rooms: 63; Rates: 97 - 275 Per Night

Just off Trafalgar Square, in the heart of central London, this beautifully restored Victorian building houses a 4-star luxury hotel offering free Wi-Fi and elegant air-conditioned rooms...

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Club Quarters, Trafalgar Square, London
Star Rating

Less than a mile away.

Total Rooms: 225; Rates: 97 - 321 Per Night

This central London hotel has an excellent location just off Trafalgar Square, adjacent to Nelsona s Column and the National Gallery Public transport is very easy to access, and many famous London sights are within walki...

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