London is one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations with more than 15 million visitors each year. This represents 50% of all the United Kingdom's incoming tourists.
London, as opposed to Greater London, is actually quite small. From a tourism aspect it is only around 10 square miles. Earls Court in the west, Covent Garden in the east, Regents Park in the north and the river Thames in the south.
The most popular areas to stay are the West End, Paddington / Bayswater, Earls Court/ Kensington and Victoria. Each of these areas of central London offers superb fast travel links across the capital.
Of course there are other areas worthy on visiting or staying in. There is downtown London, more commonly known as the City of London. There is Swiss Cottage and Hampstead with its great views across London. There is also area immediately to the south of the River Thames known as Southbank. One more area to mention is the East End with its up and coming districts of Shoreditch and Hoxton, both hotbeds of cutting edge culture.
When London is busy, its quite possible that the hotels in these central areas are fully booked or just too expensive. In that case visitors use the outlying areas of Hammersmith, Wembley, Brent Cross and even Heathrow Airport.
Most popular London accommodation areas
Hotels mainly 4 and 5 star | travel by foot | noisy 24x7 | lots of attractions | £££££
Hotels mainly 4 star | Good transport links | Safe | museums | Restaurants | ££££
Hotels mainly 3 and 4 star | good for Hyde Park | mainly residential | no attractions | £££
Hotels mainly 2 and 3 star | no attractions | good for restaurants | Good travel links | £££
Bed and breakfast to 4 star | good for attractions | Good for restaurants and travel | £££
2 to 4 star hotels | budget area | good travel links | bit dodgy at night | no attractions | £££
4 and 5 star | mainly business travellers | good value at weekends | Tower of London | £££££
B&B up to 4 star | a little scruffy | dodgy at night | walk to West End | Good for clubbers | £££
Other London areas to consider
Up and coming | many points of interest | reasonably upmarket | a walking area | £££
Trendy | cutting edge culture | cafe culture | young | scruffy | close to City of London | ££££
3 to 4 star hotels | outside congestion zone | excellent transport links | no attractions | £££
mainly 4 star hotels | cheap prices | easy tube ride into London | easy car parking | £££
3 to 4 star hotels | leafy | Hampstead Heath | restaurants | "village" lifestyle | £££