DISCOVER LONDON NEIGHBOURHOODS WITH US
London is one of the largest and most diverse cities on the world. Throughout its 1600 square kilometres, London host 48 neighbourhoods with over 8 million inhabitants. Actually, since old times, when some of the current megapolis didn’t even exist as such, London was already growing at an impressive rate, to the point that it started to split into separate “mini cities”, with their own culture and history.
You can see the differences and particularities of everyone of London’s neighbourhoods: in some you can find most of its monuments, theatres and churches, while others host the greatest examples of modern architecture, or street markets, or ethnic cuisine or street art, or nightlife…
It would be great that you can visit all of them, but that sounds unrealistic. So, we want to offer you here a suggested guide with some neighbourhoods you shouldn’t miss, especially if it is your first time in the city.
LONDON NEIGHBOURHOODS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
If we talk about neighbourhoods, Soho is the first one to comes out. It has wonderful zones like Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and the crowded London’s theatre district. But there are other neighbourhoods that has been earning their own, well-deserved popularity.
Shoreditch, for example, has become the capital of London’s alternative cultures for the last twenty years, due to its incredible samples of street art (Banksy’s and ROA’s, for example) and street markets, nightclubs and alive music venues.
Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts starred the “Notting Hill” movie, released in 1999, that made this neighbourhood even more famous, with its great Carnival and street markets, home to many world-know celebrities.
Wonderful attractions can be found at Greenwich neighbourhood, like the Prime Meridian Line, the O2 Arena, the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum or the Royal Observatory.
We can not forget to talk about the City of London either, although not technically a neighbourhood by itself, is London’s financial heart and one of the oldest areas of the city, with great historic sites like the Tower of London and the London Wall or, by contrast, some of the most outstanding modern architecture samples, such as The Shard and The Gherkin.
PRICES AND RATES
As you can imagine, the most famous neighbourhoods in London are some of the most expensive ones as well, but you don’t need to pay for visiting them, unless you want to spend the whole day and have a fancy meal.
Soho, for example, is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods in London for everything, from a good dinner, to accommodation or buying souvenirs. The City of London is notably pricey as well, like its cafes, bars and restaurants.
In the other hand, Shoreditch or the rest of East London neighbourhoods are cheaper and they have everything to offer as well.
And finally, if you’re looking for bargains, you can find great deals in street markets such as Notting Hill’s Portobello Market or the Greewich Market, with many interesting offers.
BEST HOURS FOR LONDON NEIGHBOURHOODS
Restaurants and shops remain open more hours in Soho than in any other place in London. You can find shops open until 9:00 pm (which is a lot to say in UK) in Oxford Street and restaurant until 00:00 in Chinatown. In Greenwich, cafes use to be open since 07.00 but restaurants use to close at 22.00, or even earlier.
The City of London, in the other hand, with a life more related to jobs and offices, is mostly a 9:00-17:00 neighbourhood.
These hours, are obviously related to the season of the year, even more than week days or weekends. Soho, for example, turns even brighter and alive in December, full of Christmas lights and in January, with the Chinese New Year’s celebrations in Chinatown.
Regarding to street markets, Camden’s and Shoreditch’s are usually on weekends, while week days, specially from Wednesdays to Fridays are mostly for Greenwich Market, Covent Garden Market and Leadenhall Market.
Fortunately, neighbourhoods like Soho, Notting Hill and The City of London are really close to each other, so you can visit them in a row in few hours. On the contrary, neighbourhoods like Greenwich and Shoreditch are out of the route of Central London. But that is not a problem, you can get there pretty easily by bus, tube, train or coach. In London you can go pretty much everywhere by tube, thought probably get to Shoreditch is easier by bus. In case you are driving, you should consider that Central London’s parkins are really high priced and also that there can be traffic and crowded streets, so we recommend you to better use public transportation.