Where Are The Best Places To Live In Central London?
There is no shortage of incredible attractions in Central London but where are the best places to live there?
In this article, we are going to discuss :
Central London is the most popular part of the City to live in. Why wouldn’t it be when you can have access to some of the city’s most iconic locations right at your front door? As a bonus, there are hundreds of beautiful streets, quiet cul-de-sacs and amazing homes with incredible views and gardens to potentially live in. To live in Central London is to live in one of the most exciting, beautiful, interesting, well-connected, fun and incredible parts of any city, anywhere.
Many people have dreams of what living in the city of London might be like. It can be anything from taking your tea in Chelsea, having dinner or drinks every evening on a balcony overlooking the River Thames or, living in a home fit for royalty. Central London, more often than not, is the area of London that happens to inspire and hold the key to making many dreams like these, a reality.
We are going to walk you through the best, the brightest, the most exquisite and the most popular, of all the neighbourhoods of Central London. Streets that are soaked in history, buildings, monuments and landmarks, some you may have heard of, some you could discover right on the doorstep of your new home. We will cover only the very best of what the centre of the magnificent city of London has to offer to anyone thinking about moving here!
The Best Areas To Live In Central London
Paddington & Bayswater
Distance To City Centre: 2.6 miles
Main Train Stations: Paddington Station
Area Description: Central London Hub
Notable Features: major connection point for transport in the city, a mix between busy main streets and quieter neighbourhoods by the canal, very modernised.
Paddington and Bayswater are two of the best neighbourhoods to live in the whole of London. Both are incredibly well connected to the rest of the city, have an amazing sense of life thanks to their diverse neighbourhoods and communities and generally speaking – are just two very wonderful places to live in!
Bayswater and Paddington are noted for being very cosmopolitan (which for a city as diverse as London, is saying something) and it isn’t hard to see why the area carries particularly international appeal, with many ex-pats from around the world living here. Edgeware Road in particular has a strong mix of communities from Asian countries and as a result, has lots of fantastic cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as plenty of options for shopping locally on the busy high street, which makes it a very convenient area to live close to.
You won’t be short of places to live in these parts although, prices can vary, especially when looking for larger properties to move into! But, there are more than a few newly built apartment blocks offering exceptional views of Paddington Basin, as well as plenty of quieter neighbourhoods and spacious apartments, especially in Maida Vale, Westbourne and Little Venice. Bayswater was once home to many beautiful Victorian townhouses, many of which have been converted now into apartments and studios but, you can still find them on quieter roads if you want the extra room.
With such a central location, you will find yourself ideally placed to both work in and, explore the rest of the city. Getting around the rest of the city living in Paddington is no problem. The area is serviced by the major London train station of Paddington, with plenty of London Underground trains connecting from there and in nearby areas, making it a perfect place to live and work from or, explore the rest of the city. It is a convenient area to live for both working professionals and families.
There are amazing accommodation options, plenty of good schools, fantastic access to the rest of the city which when all are added up – make Paddington and Bayswater a fantastic set of neighbourhoods to live in for anyone thinking of living in Central London.
Victoria & Pimlico
Distance To City Centre: 1.6 miles
Main Train Stations: Victoria Train Station
Area Description: Central London Hub
Notable Features: major connection point for transport in the city, beautiful streets and green spaces, within walking distance to major attractions.
Living in Victoria & Pimlico is rather brilliant if you like walking. You’re never too far away from something marvellous, whether it’s a short walk to Hyde or St James’ Park and then on to Buckingham Palace or, a stroll down to the river along the Thames Embankment. Living in this part of Central London is to live in one of the most beautiful and recognisable areas in the whole city!
Getting around by foot is easy (unless you get caught in the rain!) but, if you want to go anywhere a bit further afield, the rapid connections from Victoria Station will propel you on your way in whichever direction you’re hoping to get to. As a major transport centre in London, Victoria connects several different rail and underground lines, including the fantastic Victoria Line- London’s fastest rail service.
This makes living in the area around Victoria and Pimlico ideal for anyone looking to commute for work to other parts of the city. Additionally, you’ll find there are plenty of great places to live, in both neighbourhoods. There are many large, beautifully constructed blocks containing very comfortable and upmarket apartments, the most famous of which perhaps in this area is Dolphin Square in Pimlico. Popular with British politicians due to how close it is to the houses of Parliament – it is no less suitable for anyone else looking to work and live this centrally in London.
As expected, the demand for housing in this area is very high, particularly if you’re thinking of having more space available at home. If you’re hoping to move to Victoria, expect a very busy and bustling atmosphere on much of the area’s streets although, areas like Grosvenor Gardens offer some respite and tranquillity away from all that hustle and bustle of a city centre district and also, larger homes to live in.
Additionally, families will find a move here appealing due to the proximity to the schools in Westminster, which are among the best in the entire country! Pimlico and Victoria both have amazing local architecture, fantastic transport links and a good spread between busy main roads and delightful quiet side streets, that are perfect to pop in and out of for living. It is among the very best areas to live in Central London to feel like you’re living your dream life in this city!
Soho & Fitzrovia
Distance To City Centre: 0.7 miles
Main Train Stations: Piccadilly Circus Underground Station
Area Description: Iconic Central London Neighbourhood
Notable Features: Well-known for exclusive members clubs, arts and fashion, nightlife and beautiful apartments
Between Soho and Fitzrovia – you have two of the most iconic neighbourhoods in the entire city of London. You have the pick of London’s most popular shopping destinations including Oxford, Regent and Carnaby street. The most exclusive and exquisite private clubs in the same area as the most open and inclusive variety of nightlife options in the whole city! From the lights of China Town to the gilded gates of Fitrzoy Place – living in this part of London is as exciting as it gets!
Despite the inescapable fact that these areas are prime locations for living in London, with no shortage of very fun but more expensive ways to spend your time all around you, living in Soho and Fitzrovia is still, very viable. Fitzroy Square and D’Larby Street may contain some beautiful four to five-story townhouses but for a more affordable living – renting along Tottenham Court Road and Carburton Street is much more suitable.
Speaking of suitable, Fitzrovia is a great place to rent for families, being so close to many of the best schools in the city (if not the country!) and the quieter neighbourhoods are ideal for family life. Soho is more suitable for working professionals who are looking to get the most out of their downtime by eating out in popular restaurants, going to lively bars and venues for music, after finishing work in the evening or on the weekend!
Distance To City Centre: 0.4 miles
Main Train Stations: Covent Garden
Area Description: Iconic Market-Neighbourhood
Notable Features: Beautiful covered market, fantastic bars and restaurants, right in the heart of Central London.
No guide to living in this city would be complete without mentioning one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods if not, the most iconic neighbourhood – Covent Garden! A popular destination for tourists that frequently tops the top ten lists of the most beautiful areas in London, the wonderfully preserved market buildings and cobbled squares of this particularly picturesque part of the city is ideal to visit – but how good is the area to live in?
Despite the enduring popularity of the area with the seemingly never-ending crowds of tourists, Covent Garden is a fantastic Central London neighbourhood to call, home. Aside from the many things to see, drink and eat around the area, (which has a particularly impressive selection of local bars, cafes and restaurants even by London standards) there are some wonderful places to live in Covent Garden.
For a beautiful neighbourhood that is this central, any accommodation would surely be well worth paying the price to live here although, living in such a desirable area as this can be expensive! Perhaps living above the old market or down Dury Lane may not be affordable for everyone but, there are plenty of converted properties in the area around Oldhams walk, such as the former print works, which offer very reasonable rents for living in this central in London!
You’re within easy walking distance of just about everything important within Central London. Anything you can’t walk to is just a short ride away on the London Underground, making living around Covent Garden ideal for anyone working centrally or, commuting to other parts of the city. Despite how busy the area is, there are plenty of things to see and do at the many theatres and buildings dedicated to the arts nearby, very good access to some of the best schools and universities in the city for families and above all – living in easily one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in London!
Distance To City Centre: 1.6 miles
Main Train Stations: Hyde Park Corner
Area Description: Affluent Central London Neighbourhood
Notable Features: Beautiful houses and apartments in wonderful green streets and squares, with fantastic restaurants andtransport links.
Belgravia is one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods anyone could live in anywhere in the whole of London. Everywhere you go seems to feature dazzling white marble, with a wonderful collection of beautifully designed homes, streets and squares! Belgravia is home to some of the finest houses in London, some of which are nearly 300 years old, giving the entire district a sense of grandeur that is hard to beat.
The area crosses over from Central London into West London in a few places. Living in Belgravia leaves you within easy walking distance of the department stores of glamorous Knightsbridge, as well as the pretty high street of Sloan and the major hub for transport in this part of London is Victoria. Travelling anywhere in London living in Belgravia is incredibly easy living so close to such an impressive and well-connected station as Victoria!
Whilst there are many exquisite places to shop, eat and drink in Belgravia, particularly in the northern quarter towards Knightsbridge, you’ll find the area is still very accessible for anyone. The high street from Sloan offers an excellent range of retailers and restaurants, from the Michelin guide to more, familiar, chains and brands. Living in this part of London is ideal for shopping and eating out locally with so many options so close by!
Around Belgravia, you will find incredible townhouses and converted apartments, although the price of living in this area, can be very high indeed depending on what your requirements for space are. Families will love the area for its quieter streets and closeness to some of London’s most fantastic schools. It is also an ideal area to commute from for working in almost any part of London, thanks to multiple underground stations nearby and being so close to Victoria station!
Distance To City Centre: 1 mile
Main Train Stations: St. James’s Park
Area Description: Postcard London District
Notable Features: Instantly recognisable London neighbourhood, the centre of government and royalty, beautiful green spaces and local architecture.
Westminster is as central as you can get living in this city. Living in this area is seen as highly convenient, with amazing access to other parts of the city, some of the best options for shopping, dining, entertainment and being surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture in the whole of London.
Of course, it is very easy to get court up in the landmarks that dominate the neighbourhood in Westminster. The Houses Of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square are all magnets for tourists at the busier times of year. However, you will find a new way to appreciate the beauty and architecture of the area around Westminster once you become more familiar with the area. There are many wonderful walks to enjoy, from along the banks of the River Thames, to taking in the trees at St. James’ and Green Park.
For those who love theatre, you’ll become very well acquainted with the performing circuit of London’s musical and stage plays. Living locally in Westminster puts you in the driving seat to view some of the latest productions and rising stars, whilst also being able to skip the crowds for performances of the bigger productions at off-peak times! The same goes for the best bars and restaurants in the area, of which you will find many in this part of London, to pick and choose from!
The options for local shopping are tremendous, from the most luxury and high-fashion retailers in the world to the more commercial high-street brands, in nearby Oxford and Regent Street. Property in Westminster is expensive, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that renting in this area can be considerably more expensive. However, this does mean that any property you do move into is likely to be of the highest quality. Perfect for anyone looking to move to the city, including families, with some of the best schools in the city within walking distance!
Westminster is one of the best places to live in London if you can afford to live there the way you want to. Whilst it can be busy in some areas, that is part of the appeal and charm of the area, living in the heart of the city. You’re never going to be far away from anything and as a result, this means you’re living in one of the best places to experience life, in London.
Distance To City Centre: 2.0 miles
Main Train Stations: Knightsbridge
Area Description: Affluent-inner-city neighbourhood
Notable Features: exquisite department stores, fantastic garden neighbourhoods, high-end restaurants and period houses.
Harrod’s Department Store, flagship stores belonging to Harvey Nichols to Jimmy Choo, The Victoria and Albert Museum — it’s fair to say that Knightsbridge is home to more than its fair share of glamorous locations! Why wouldn’t anyone want to live in what is without doubt; one of the wealthiest and most attractive areas of London?!
Knightsbridge is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people and some of the most expensive properties in the world. One Hyde Park has constantly been referred to as the most expensive penthouse in the world, selling for £100,000,000 in 2007 and then for £140,000,000 in 2014!
Knightsbridge, as you may have guessed, is an almost impossibly lovely area of London to live in. The homes and streets of this part of West London are amongst the very best in the city, if not, the entire world. It is an ideal neighbourhood for anyone wanting to live in the glamour and glitter of West London, whilst it is so close to the city centre that commuting to and from work is as easy a journey as there can be, in this part of the city.
Shopping for amenities in department stores, eating out in some of the most exquisite and excellent restaurants in the whole city and oh, before we forget, anyone thinking of moving with their family will see that Knightsbridge has some of the very best schools in the entire country close by, including the world-renown Knightsbridge International School. If you have the budget available to pull off living in Knightsbridge, then you’ll find it is an incredible place to call “home”, in Central London.
Distance To City Centre: 1.7 miles
Main Train Stations: Bank
Area Description: Old City Financial Centre
Notable Features: Part of the old city with beautiful architecture, timeless streets and buildings, with plenty of iconic landmarks.
The City Of London was once the centre of London before the city expanded to its current size. Today, the City Of London is just one square mile of territory although, it encompasses some of the most beautiful and historic buildings in the whole of London, as well as being a major financial centre for the city. But, as small as this neighbourhood may seem, there are other areas right next to the City that are worthy of talking about too.
The surrounding areas of Monument, Eastcheap and Temple, are historically significant areas that have some incredible local architecture. Monument gets its name from the monument to the Great Fire Of London, a devastating inferno, that destroyed most of the city in the 17th century. Temple is named after the historically important Temple Church that was built by the Knights Templar and is home to many prominent law courts and offices for the city. Eastcheap is a historically important street that used to be part of a prominent local market (the name “cheap” in old English is another word for market) and is home to many beautiful buildings and statues.
Living in The City Of London area is an incredibly interesting experience due to its historic importance and prominent buildings. You’ll find no shortage of bankers and lawyers spilling out of there offices into the wonderful bars and restaurants in this area (most of buildings are hundreds of years old and amazingly preserved!). You can find magnificent converted apartments as well as stunning townhouses to live in, fit for both individuals and families, wanting to live in the old city centre.
After all, why wouldn’t you want to live this centrally? The City Of London is an amazing place to commute to other areas thanks to fantastic transport links from Bank, Blackfriars and Liverpool Street Station. Access to some of the best schools in the city, if not the country, is very good for families wanting to move into the neighbourhood and the area is one of the safest areas to live in London and incredibly pleasant to live in!
Distance To City Centre: 1.6 miles
Main Train Stations: Marylebone/Baker Street
Area Description: beautiful inner-city neighbourhood
Few areas in the whole of the magnificent city of London can hope to compete with the beauty and elegance of the streets of Marylebone. The mews (former carriage and stable houses found in side passages from the main streets) that are dotted around the area look like they come straight from a romantic novel from London’s rich history. It is a charming neighbourhood to get swept away living in!
Take your afternoon tea at the iconic Langham Hotel, popular for hundreds of years with some of Britain’s most celebrated authors from Oscar Wilde, to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of the iconic Sherlock Holmes series set in nearby Baker Street!). The life-like (most of the time) statues of Madame Tussaud’s world-famous exhibition can be found just down the street, as can the imposing figure of the beautiful Marble Arch. There are dozens of wonderful cafes, hotels, restaurants and high-end bars to explore and let you live out your Victorian dream living in London!
With all of this right on the doorstep of course, for such a glamorous area the cost of living is significant. You’ll find some very exquisite spaces to rent but of course, these will come at a price, although there are affordable options to live in this area. The Howard de Walden Estate offers a selection of properties, from one-bedroom flats to entire houses in the mews that range from being affordable, to very expensive to live in! But, with such good transport links in the area to the rest of the city as well as proximity to incredible schools, Marylebone offers a lot for everyone despite the cost of living in the area.
Living in Marylebone is ideal for the London romantic looking to surround themselves with echoes of London’s iconic heritage. You’re living in the heart of the old city in Marylebone and ideally placed to either revel in the past or, take steps out to explore the changes that have come as London has moved forward in time.
Farringdon & Clerkenwell
Distance To City Centre: 1.6 miles
Main Train Station: Farringdon
Area Description: Medieval Central London Neighbourhood
Notable Features: Historic neighbourhood, popular with creative industries, close to Covent Garden and popular London theatres
The area around Clerkenwell and Farringdon is a part of central London that others may easily pass through due to the quieter feel of the neighbourhood. However, not all is what it may seem. This once-bustling neighbourhood, popular with medieval merchants and all their goods and storage, has a very different clientele. Allegedly, Clerkenwell is home to more creative professionals per square mile, in areas such as art, design architecture and more – than anywhere else in the world!
Aside from that, Clerkenwell and Farringdon is a lovely neighbourhood to live in within Central London. It is ideal for anyone wanting to live somewhere very close to the city centre but, without the busier streets of areas like Soho or, Knightsbridge. With that said, you’re very close to many of the best sights and sounds in the city, including museums, monuments and of course – amazing bars and restaurants. It is a lovely area to live for families wanting to access some of London’s best schools or, for people wanting to live in and explore, the wonderful surrounding area!
Another major benefit of living in the neighbourhood is access to fantastic local markets. Covent Garden may have moved its main market across the river a while ago but, a short walk from Covent Garden’s historical old market will take you to the wonderful Smithfield and Golden Lane markets, to buy all your local groceries from during the week! Round the corner from Covent Garden, you’ll find the Lyceum theatre as well as other wonderful homes for the arts on streets like Drury Lane. It is an incredibly cultured part of the city to live in and perfect for art lovers.
Transport links with the rest of the city are great. It is only a short walk to Covent Garden and Holborn tube station, whilst the rail station at Farringdon is perfect for accessing the fantastic King’s Cross station or, London Bridge further south and across the river. Although property prices and rents have increased in this area after it was announced as a potential location for improved transport links, there are still lots of options from studio flats in areas like Bart’s Square, as well as very fine Victorian and Georgian period townhouses on Myddleton and Britton Street.
Distance To City Centre: 2.3 miles
Main Train Station: King’s Cross/ St.Pancreas
Area Description: Major Transport & Business Hub
Notable Features: Two prominent railway stations at King’s Cross and St.Pancreas, redeveloped canal area at Granary Wharf, a base for many global tech companies like Facebook.
King’s Cross is a fantastic part of central London to live in and not just because there are incredible transport links in the area. With that said, having the option to hop on a Eurostar and speed away to many beautiful cities in Europe without the pain of air travel, is a very good reason to get excited about living in this area!
The area has gone through significant redevelopment in the last several years. The historically significant Granary Wharf on the Regent’s Canal just behind the station has been re-invented for the modern age, as a wonderful square and living area, with plenty of modern restaurants, bars and retailers, as well as some incredible new office buildings and properties to live in.
This area is one of the most modern you can live in the whole of London. There are always new things to see and explore, from secret cinemas and underground jazz clubs to beautiful garden spots and paths along the canal. It is a perfect area for commuters, either walking or cycling to nearby offices or, even reaching workplaces outside the city thanks to the incredible transport connections!
Living along streets like Keystone Crescent, with its beautiful rows of Victorian-era terrace houses, is a nice alternative to living in the brilliantly converted Gas Holder apartments, in Lewis Cubitt Square. There are plenty of options in the area for both families and single working professionals, no matter what your budget is, to make the dream of living in this amazing part of Central London come true!
What About The Rest Of London?
That completes our area guide for the best areas to live in Central London! We’ve shared all our secrets for living in the area with you but, if you want to learn more about some of the areas on this list, see our individual neighbourhood guides, for more information.
Alternatively, if you wish to read more about living in other areas of London, check out our blog and feel free to browse through our list of area guides.