Central London

by Melanie Waldman  

Ornate facade of Bloomsbury's Russell Square Hotel

Bloomsbury
Home to the British Museum, Bloomsbury has been historically known as a neighborhood for popular writers and intellectuals, as well as pre-Raphaelite painters and Romantic poets. Well-connected by public transit, the mostly mid-priced lodgings and inexpensive ethnic restaurants near Bloomsbury’s Russell Square are popular with young couples and repeat London visitors seeking both convenience and residential surroundings.

Tube stations:
Russell Square
Tottenham Court Road
Goodge Street
Euston Square
Holborn

History of Bloomsbury

British Museum
Coram’s Fields
(playground & park)
Bloomsbury Square
Russell Square
Bedford Square
Tavistock Square
(features a statue of Mahatma Gandhi)

The Charles Dickens Museum
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
Gray’s Inn
Brunei Gallery
(School of African and Oriental Studies)
Cartoon Museum
Foundling Museum
(London’s first public art gallery)

Bloomsbury Hotels
Russell Square Hotels

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St Pauls' Cathedral

City of London
This area is known as the city’s historic core; many of its streets still follow the same paths as the original Roman roads, and pieces of the boundary wall of Londinium still remain here. The City today is largely a financial district, but important landmarks can be found amongst the skyscrapers and office buildings.

Tube stations:
Blackfriar’s
St Paul’s
Mansion House
Bank
Cannon Street
Monument
Tower Hill

St Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London
Tower Bridge
Le Pont de la Tour
(riverside French restaurant)
Lloyd’s of London
(1 Lime Street – not open to the public)
Bank of England Museum
Tower 42
(restaurants/bars with amazing city views)
The Black Friar Pub
Old Bailey
Mansion House
Leadenhall Market
Apothecaries’ Hall
Billingsgate Fish Market
Guildhall Art Gallery
(Roman arena beneath)

St Stephen Walbrook
St Katherine’s Dock

City of London Hotels
Hotels near London Eye
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Smithfield Market

Clerkenwell
This trendy neighborhood is home to writers, publishers and architects, many of whom live in desirable lofts that used to be watch factories and warehouses. Highlights include The Eagle, the world’s first gastropub; popular nightclubs like Turnmills and Fabric; Exmouth Market, famous for well-priced fashion and produce; and St Bartholomew’s, a church featured in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. Some of the city’s best restaurants can be found here, largely thanks to the proximity of Exmouth and the Smithfield meat market.

Tube stations:
Farringdon
Barbican
Chancery Lane
Holborn

Smithfield Market
Exmouth Market
Leather Lane Market
The Eagle
(London’s first gastropub)
Marx Memorial Library
St Bartholomew the Great

Clerkenwell Hotels
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The Royal Courts of Justice on High Holborn Street

Holborn
Home to some of London’s oldest buildings and monuments, this neighborhood encompasses the city’s historic centers of  justice and journalism. Close to the West End and the British Museum, you could spend the better part of a day exploring its unique attractions and wandering its back streets.

Tube stations:
Holborn
Chancery Lane

Temple Bar Memorial
(ancient entrance to the city)
Lincoln’s Inn
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
(largest public square in London)
Old Curiosity Shop
Holborn Viaduct
Fleet Street
St Bride’s Church
Prince Henry’s Room
Hatton Garden (diamond district)
Sir John Soane’s Museum
London Silver Vaults
Royal Courts of Justice
St Clement Danes
Gray’s Inn
Staple Inn
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Marylebone Station

Marylebone
This neighborhood features a few of London’s most popular family attractions – Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Pollock’s Toy Museum, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Set to the south of gorgeous Regent’s Park and to the north of the city’s largest Arab/Lebanese community along the Edgware Road, Marylebone is well-connected to the entire city by several main Tube lines.

Tube stations:
Edgware Road
Marylebone
Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street
Goodge Street

Regent’s Park
London Central Mosque
Marylebone Station
Daunt Books
(Edwardian-era shop for travel books)
Sherlock Holmes Museum
Madam Tussauds
Royal Academy of Music
(performances)
Wallace Collection
Royal Institute of British Architects
(events & exhibitions)
BBC Broadcasting House
BT Tower
Pollock’s Toy Museum

Marylebone Hotels
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The living wall on the Mayfair's Hotel Athenaeum, bordering Green Park

Mayfair
One of the city’s most fashionable commercial neighborhoods, Mayfair is home to many of London’s most expensive hotels, restaurants and afternoon tea rooms, as well as a large concentration of embassies and consulates. A beautiful place to stay for those who can afford it, Mayfair is bordered by both Hyde Park and Green Park.

Tube stations:
Marble Arch
Hyde Park Corner
Bond Street
Green Park

Green Park
Hyde Park
Royal Institution of Great Britain/
Faraday Museum
(science museum)
The Fleming Collection
(Scottish art museum)
Handel House Museum
(the composer’s London home)
Gray’s Antique Market
Fortnum & Mason
(elegant department/food store)
Royal Academy of Arts
(exhibitions & events)
Burlington Arcade
(longest covered shopping street in England)

Mayfair Hotels
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Regent Street at dusk in London's West End

Soho/West End
This area contains more restaurants, clubs and bars than any other in London. Known as the center of the city’s gay community, it’s bordered by Chinatown, the theatre district of Piccadilly Circus, and by Oxford and Regent Street, two of the most popular shopping boulevards in Europe.

Tube stations:
Oxford Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Leicester Square
Tottenham Court Road

Trafalgar Square
National Gallery
National Portrait Gallery
Chinatown
Liberty of London
(the quintessential London emporium)
Piccadilly Circus
Oxford Circus
Oxford Street (shopping)
Regent Street (shopping)
Carnaby Street
(shopping & entertainment)
Leicester Square
tkts
(half-priced London theater tickets)

Hotels in Soho London
Hotels in London West End
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The Somerset Statue in The Strand's Victoria Embankment Gardens

The Strand
Set at the southern edge of the West End alongside the Victoria Embankment Gardens, sandwiched gently between historic Holborn and heavily-touristed Trafalgar Square, the Strand offers ornate buildings, close proximity to the theatre district and citywide access via the well-connected Charing Cross Tube station.

Tube stations:
Embankment
Temple
Charing Cross

Somerset House
Courtauld Gallery
St Mary le Strand
The Savoy Hotel
Victoria Embankment Gardens
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SEE ALSO

Covent Garden
Westminster
Hotels in Central London
Best Places for Afternoon Tea in London
Shopping in London

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