Art Travel

Lady’s 15 Best Places to Live in Central London

Today I want to bring you my guide to the best places to live in central London for your style. People always ask me where to live in London, and now I want to answer that question. There are so many central London neighborhoods to choose from, and I’ll show you where to move based on your unique tastes, preferences, work situation, and circumstances. I’ve included an interactive map, too.

Best Places to Live in Central London

One of the hardest parts about choosing the best place to live in central London is that there are so many good options. London is huge, and even Zone 1 covers a large area of the UK capital.

Where to live in the city center depends on a number of factors. These include your personal style, budget, and commute to work (if you have one).

Clerkenwell House in central London

Where your friends live is also important, as getting from one part of the city to another can take a while. Some of the best advice I got when I moved to London was to choose an area close to people I know.

Central London is a good place to live because you can get to most places pretty quickly and easily. Whether it’s your office or your friend’s flat, it’s usually a convenient commute.

With that in mind, my guide to the best places to live in central London is designed to give you a variety of ideas for the best areas for you.

Whether you’re a young professional, couple, family, student, expat, or something else, there’s a place that’s right for your situation.

Marylebone Mews Houses are some of the best places to live in central London

This post also has links to my individual blog posts about central London neighborhoods that can give you more ideas. Think of this as the highlight reel and those posts as places for you to dig deeper.

After you’ve taken a look, you can decide which part of central London is right for your personality and circumstances. If you want to purchase a property, my guide to how to buy a flat in London can help with next steps.

Either way, I hope you find the best area to live in central London for you. If you need more inspiration, my self-guided central London walks will take you through a lot of the areas on the list.

They’ll show you the high streets, side streets, and secret corners, and they’ll help you get to know these central London neighborhoods better.

House in Knightsbridge, London

1. Bloomsbury

I’ll start my list of the best places to live in central London with Bloomsbury. This part of the city is home to leafy squares, literary history, world-class museums, and great restaurants, pubs, cafes, and coffee shops.

Bloomsbury is known for everything from the British Museum to Russell Square. It has great roads like Lamb’s Conduit Street and Store Street, too. Both have delicious food-and-drink scenes.

You can learn more about the neighborhood on my self-guided Bloomsbury walking tour. It will take you everywhere from Bedford Square to the British Museum.

Pros of living in Bloomsbury include the central location, variety of squares and shops, good transport links, and museums.

The main con of living in Bloomsbury is the high central London housing prices.

Bloomsbury pub in central London

2. Fitzrovia

Fitzrovia is next on my guide to the best places to live in central London. This busy area is home to loads of restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars. There are lots of offices here, too, so it’s an easy place for young professionals who work in the area to live.

Fitzrovia has great places to eat and drink on and around Charlotte Street, Foley Street, and Great Titchfield Street. There’s always something going on in the area, and it has a lively atmosphere.

Fitzrovia also has beautiful mews, pretty alleys, and historic architecture to admire. If you want to live in an attractive building, you’ll find one easily here.

Pros of living in Fitzrovia include the central location, restaurants, good transport links, and buzzing streets.

Cons of living in Fitzrovia include the high housing prices in central London and the fact that some shops are closed on weekends.

Newman Passage, Fitzrovia, central London

3. King’s Cross

Next on my list of the best places to live in central London is King’s Cross. This area is known for its train stations, but it’s also worth moving to for its great shopping, restaurants, and canalside atmosphere.

King’s Cross is known for the restaurants and markets in Granary Square, cool shops in Coal Drops Yard, and colorful boats on Regent’s Canal. It’s also home to a lot of contemporary buildings, so it’s a great place to live if you want to move into a modern flat.

Pros of living in King’s Cross include the canal, great transport links, independent shops and restaurants, and central London location. It’s also great if you travel to Europe a lot for work or leisure, as St Pancras International station is here.

The main con of living in King’s Cross is the relatively high cost of housing.

Regent's Canal in King's Cross, London

4. Marylebone

Marylebone is next on my list of the best places to live in central London. Not only is it beautiful, but also packed with stylish boutiques and cafes. It has one of the best high streets in London, too.

The Marylebone shops and restaurants alone could keep one busy all day. Chiltern Street is full of heritage buildings, and Marylebone High Street, Marylebone Lane, and St Christopher’s Place are packed with places to shop, eat, and drink.

Add to that museums like the Wallace Collection, great weekly markets, pretty side streets, and its proximity to Regent’s Park, and Marylebone is hard to beat. My self-guided Marylebone walk can help you get to know the neighborhood better.

Pros of living in Marylebone include the central location, beautiful residential buildings, vibrant markets and shops, and good transport links.

Cons of living in Marylebone are high housing prices (although things get more reasonable towards the Marble Arch end) and crowds on the larger streets and in the stations in the high season.

Residential building in Marylebone, London

5. Westminster

Next on my list of the best places to live in central London is Westminster. This area sits at the heart of London’s government, and it’s known for its stunning architecture and landmark buildings.

From the Houses of Parliament to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, this part of the city center is bursting with iconic sights. Its riverside location and central setting make it an appealing place to live as well.

Beyond the busy areas, Westminster has a lot of quiet residential streets hiding in plain sight. If you want to get to know the neighborhood, my self-guided Westminster walk can help.

Pros of living in Westminster include the central location, attractions, transport links, and pretty side streets.

Cons of living in Westminster are the high central London housing prices and heavy tourist crowds in the main areas.

Street corner in Westminster, one of the best places to live in central London

6. Pimlico

Right next to Westminster, Pimlico is another of the best places to live in central London. This part of the city flies under the radar due to its lack of landmarks and visitor attractions, but its great location makes it worth considering as a place to live.

Pimlico is right on the Thames and it’s home to a number of streets with good local restaurants and cafes. The area also has a residential feel, which is rare in central London. There are some pretty mews in the neighborhood, too.

Pros of living in Pimlico include the central location, tube station, slightly lower housing prices than some other parts of central London, the Thames, the proximity to Victoria station, and the cafes.

The main con of living in Pimlico is the lack attractions given its central location (but the surrounding neighborhoods more than make up for it). Some parts of the area aren’t as beautiful as other places in central London, either.

Row of houses in Pimlico, London

7. Clerkenwell

Next on my list of the best places to live in central London is Clerkenwell. This area is home to historic streets with fun shops and restaurants, green squares, and vibrant markets.

Clerkenwell is London’s design district. It’s known for everything from the food on Exmouth Market to the shops on Amwell Street. Its side streets are full of pretty houses, too.

If you want to get to know the area better, you can go on my self-guided Clerkenwell walking tour. It will take you around the Clerkenwell and Farringdon area and into neighboring Smithfield and Holborn.

Given its proximity to the City of London, Clerkenwell is a great place to live for professionals working in banking and other industries that have offices in and around the Square Mile. It’s an easy walk to work from here.

Pros of living in Clerkenwell include the central location, markets, streets, and good transport links.

The main con of living in Clerkenwell is the high central London housing prices.

Car in Clerkenwell, London

8. City of London

The City of London is next on my list of the best places to live in central London. The historic heart of the UK capital, this area is home to landmarks like St Paul’s Cathedral, The Monument, and The Gherkin. There’s even a stretch of ancient Roman wall here.

The City of London is packed with pubs, bars, and restaurants, and there are lots of historic side streets to get lost in. My self-guided City of London walk can help you get to know the area better.

This part of the UK capital is home to the offices of many banks and other firms. It’s an easy place to live if you work in an industry with a big presence here and you want a quick commute.

Pros of living in the City of London include the central location, great transport links, and history.

The cons of living in the City of London are the high housing prices and the fact that a lot of shops and restaurants are closed on weekends.

Taxi in the City of London

9. St Katharine Docks

One of the more under-the-radar places to live in central London is St Katharine Docks. This marina sits beside Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, but it often gets overlooked as a residential area.

It’s a great place to live in London because it’s so unique. The boats, for one thing. The maritime atmosphere offers a refreshing change from other parts of the city, and the markets and other events keep things entertaining.

The area’s proximity to the City of London also makes it a great place for professionals working in the Square Mile.

Pros of living in St Katharine Docks include the central location, Thames, markets, pubs, and proximity to local tube and DLR stations.

Cons of living in St Katharine Docks are high housing prices, a limited housing stock, and crowds from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and spilling into the area’s cafes and restaurants during the high season.

St Katharine Docks, London

10. Belgravia

If you have the budget, Belgravia is one of the best places to live in central London. Graced with embassies and ambassadors’ residences, this posh area is one of the nicest neighborhoods in London. It’s deserving of its location next to Buckingham Palace.

Belgravia is also home to beautiful mews, elegant squares, hidden pubs, and pretty shopfronts. The floral facades on Elizabeth Street are famous, and eating and shopping on Motcomb Street is a dream.

My self-guided Belgravia walking tour can help you get to know the area better. It will take you around to the best shopping streets and hidden courtyards in the area.

Pros of living in Belgravia include the central London location, pretty streets and shops, and proximity to transport hubs like Victoria station.

The main con of living in Belgravia is the sky-high housing prices.

Residential building in Belgrave Square, central London

11. Knightsbridge

Next on my list of the best places to live in central London is Knightsbridge. Bordering Belgravia, it’s known as much for its luxury shopping as it is for its stunning brick architecture.

Knightsbridge is one of the most expensive London neighborhoods to live in, and it has the looks to match. From Harrods food halls to the brick buildings on Pont Street and pretty homes in Trevor Square, it’s beautiful all around.

Pros of living in Knightsbridge include the central London location, lovely streets and shops, famous department stores like Harvey Nichols and Harrods, and tube station.

Cons of living in Knightsbridge are the extremely high housing prices and crowds at the departments stores in the high season.

Brick Building in Knightsbridge, London

12. Mayfair

Next on my guide to the best places to live in central London is Mayfair. This luxurious neighborhood is full of beauty, from the shops in Burlington Arcade to the gardens behind Mount Street and the hotels on Park Lane.

Mayfair is home to Bond Street, one of the best shopping streets in London. Side streets in the area feature elegant Georgian townhouses, famous pubs like The Punch Bowl, and hidden mews with restaurants and cafes.

Mayfair is one of the nicest places to live in London all around. My self-guided Mayfair walk can help you get to know the neighborhood better.

Pros of living in Mayfair include the central location, high-end streets and shops, good transport links, and prestigious postcode.

Cons of living in Mayfair are the astronomical housing prices and crowds on the larger shopping streets in the high season.

Mount Street Gardens in central London

13. Victoria

Next on my guide to the best places to live in central London is Victoria. This area is often thought of as a commercial district, but I lived here for years and I loved its central location.

Victoria is right in the thick of things. It’s home to one of the busiest train stations in London, and it has lots of colorful shops, restaurants, and cafes.

The side streets here are also full of hidden mews and pretty brick houses. There are great local pubs in Victoria, too.

Pros of living in Victoria include the central location, great transport links, and proximity to places like Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks.

Cons of living in Victoria are the high housing prices, tourist crowds, and supermarkets that cater more to office workers than local residents.

View of houses in Victoria, London

14. Soho and Covent Garden

Soho and Covent Garden come next on my guide to the best places to live in central London. These side-by-side areas in the heart of the West End are two of the most exciting neighborhoods in the city center.

They’re not often considered residential areas, but some people choose to live in them because of their great locations and lively nightlife scenes.

This is particularly true of short-term residents like students, expats, and young professionals who want to maximize their enjoyment of the city while they’re living in London.

Soho is home to lots of restaurants and some of the best gay bars and clubs in the UK capital. Covent Garden is known for exciting places like the covered piazza and Neal’s Yard. Both are packed with theaters and other entertainment venues.

You can get a feel for these areas by taking my self-guided Soho walking tour and Covent Garden walking tour. They’re great ways to get to know the neighborhoods better.

Pros of living in Soho and Covent Garden include the central location, abundance of shops, restaurants, and nightlife, good transport links, and classic London atmosphere.

Cons of living in Soho and Covent Garden are the above-average housing prices, crowds in the high season, and noise at night.

Covent Garden Piazza, London

15. Paddington

Next on my list of the best places to live in central London is Paddington. This neighborhood is right by Hyde Park, and it’s home to one of the most famous train stations in London.

Paddington is fairly residential, and areas like Connaught Village are packed with pretty shops and cafes. The neighborhood has beautiful mews, too.

Pros of living in Paddington include the central location, proximity to Hyde Park, good transport links, and slightly lower housing prices than some other parts of the city center (depending on where you live).

Cons of living in Paddington are that the housing prices are still pretty high and some parts of the area aren’t as beautiful as other places in central London.

The Frontline Club restaurant in Paddington, London

Map of Areas to Live in Central London

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, below you’ll find a map of all best places to live in central London. If you click on the pins, you’ll find my blog posts about each one. I hope it helps you discover the one that fits your style!

Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London

Places to Live in Central London

I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the best places to live in central London and that it’s inspired you to find the right fit for your life and style. If you want to see the whole city in one place, my map of London neighborhoods can help. Happy moving!

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