Where to stay in London
The trendiest and best areas to live in London
YOUR LONDON HOME
With 8.6m residents living in the capital, finding the right location for you in London can be tedious, time-consuming and exhausting. London’s neighbourhoods are as varied and diverse as its population and each area brings a different feel and vibe to the surface. In order to give you some pointers on where to live in the British capital city as an intern, a young professional or a student, here is our overview of London’s trendiest areas.
Not familiar with the city? We’ve written an extensive relocation guide with detailed information on London-specific advice so you can master every challenge that may come your way in your new home.
London is generally divided into West, North, East and South London. Some would add another distinction: Central London but this area is almost entirely filled with businesses, offices, hotels and too-expensive-for-our-taste flats.
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Seen by most Londoners as posh, quiet, residential and occasionally snobby, West London encompasses some of London’s most famous areas: from Notting Hill to Hampstead Heath, West London neighbourhoods are known for celebrity housing and luxury living. Not all areas have sky-high rent prices however and a few places have a reputation for attracting artists, students and young professionals. Here are the best of West London’s still affordable and trendy neighbourhoods:
Situated perfectly in the areas of Notting Hill, Paddington and Kensington, Kensal Rise has been attracting its fair share of young professionals. Tube and Overground stations connect it perfectly to the rest of London and its leafy residential atmosphere leaves little to be desired. Independent cinemas, hipster barista coffee shops and creative pop up cocktail bars round up the image of Kensal Rise. All of this however naturally means that the area is more expensive than your average with rents for a room in a shared flat coming in on around £800-900 a month.
A little rough around the edges, Shepherd’s Bush offers an interesting contrast to its bordering areas. Possibly its most famous attraction is the Westfield White City shopping centre - one of Europe’s largest urban shopping centres. Luckily, there is so much more to life than just meccas of consumerism and Shep-Bush’s amazing market proves that South and East London are not the only places for multi-cultural get-togethers.
Beautiful, scenic Kentish Town - how we adore you. Low-key, residential and undiscovered by rent sharks trying to make a quick quid, Kentish Town is the perfect location for anyone who prefers the vibe of West London but enjoys a close proximity to the action of Central London without having it ruin your weekday sleep. Room prices average at around £700 a month - a steal for what you are getting.
If you thought you couldn’t get quieter than your home city, lovely Maida Vale may just surprise you. Filled with families and young professional who want to get away from the craziness that is London for their night rest, it offers beautiful Victorian-style homes, quiet alleys and calming canals. A room in a shared flat will set you back around £700 a month.
Generally, North London is occupied by families or couples on their way of becoming a family and those who feel more like settling down than going out. However, particularly the areas in close proximity to Central London are increasingly popular with young professionals.
Angel has a lot going for itself: leafy side streets, an amazing high street filled with trendy bars, sugar-free, gluten-free, lactose-free cafes and beautiful boutiques, as well as a great mix of families, artists, hipsters and young professionals.
Famous for its art scene and notorious former resident Amy Winehouse, Camden brings a lot more to the table than you might think. Its Camden Lock Market is very popular (albeit a bit touristy these days) and its nightlife legendary. Hipster bars, rundown arty cafes and glorious Victorian houses complete the picture. A room in a shared flat averages at around £750 a month.
London’s problem child for decades, East London has transformed itself in the last years becoming not just one of the trendiest areas but the trendiest area for artists, hipsters and young professionals alike. It seems like everyone wants to live in East London these days and every day a new shop, new pop up, new late night bar opens up. In part due to the Mayor’s efforts in redeveloping the areas east to the City by building structures for the Olympic Games in 2012 there, demand for flats have skyrocketed - and along with it rent prices.
Shoreditch is so close the city that it was surprisingly cheap for long periods of time. These days Shoreditch is just as expensive as any West London area - if not more so. However, its eclectic mix of bohemians, young professionals and city bankers is a joy to watch any day of the week and Shoreditch remains one of the most popular areas to live and go out in.
To the north of Shoreditch is Dalston - a Bohemian haven for artists and students. Some would describe it as “the coolest place to live in” and looking at what Dalston has to offer, it is difficult to come up with counterarguments. Hugely popular restaurants even outside the borders of London, vintage clothing stores and beautiful independent boutiques make Dalston a truly desirable place to live. And with average monthly room rents for £600, what’s not to love?
London’s gentrification caravan moves steadily through its neighbourhoods and Hackney is on top of the list. Its close proximity to Shoreditch and Hoxton make it a great place to live although rent prices have been steadily going up in the last few years. Hackney’s cafe, restaurant and nightlife scene are known throughout all of London with many clubs opening up in former run-down warehouses. A Berlin atmosphere puts the East London neighbourhood into a Bohemian and arty age sprinkled with London gentrification.
Anything south of the river used to be considered “South London” by the rest of the city and not really worthy of making the long trip down. Things obviously changed and the monumental Shard building at London Bridge’s south side now towers over everything else in the capital. While East London has been transformed from run-down and dirty to Bohemian and hipster, South London’s once poverty-stricken communities are now among the most popular locations for young professionals.
Once derailed by police brutality against the Afro-Caribbean residents and inevitable riots from said community, Brixton comes close to being a posterchild for peaceful diversity. Young professionals of diverse ethnic backgrounds now call Brixton their home while the Afro-Caribbean community is still very much visible and welcomed new residents with open arms. The Brixton Market, Brixton Village and Pop Brixton are all great examples of how a community can work together across ethnicities and support local businesses.
Recently voted as the best area to live in London by TimeOut Magazine, when you find an affordable room in Clapham you can count yourself very lucky. Clapham is leafy yet offers a high street packed with bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs popular throughout entire London. Young professionals coin Clapham’s image and it’s famous for its gay community. Clapham itself is so big, it is usually divided into four subareas: Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham Junction and Clapham South.
One of London’s most diverse areas, Peckham is a mix of working class, students and young professionals. Rent prices have remained fairly low making the neighbourhood one of the most affordable in Zone 2. In recent years, new local businesses have popped up all over Peckham taking advantage of the money young professionals are bringing in and keeping due to low rents. Downside: There is no tube in all of Peckham and you’re forced to take the Overground or bus to get anywhere.
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