10 Best Places to Stay in London

London is known to be an expensive city in which to live, and this expense can come as something of a shock when you are looking for somewhere to base yourself for a short time, either while you find more permanent accommodation or while you complete a work contract, attend a series of lectures, or for a conference. Let us look at some of the accommodation options available to you in London:

Luxury Hotels

If you have the budget, one of the luxury hotels in the heart of London can be a wonderful temporary home. Gorgeous views, exquisite décor, and international standard cuisine will make your stay a pampered indulgence – but it is one that you will pay for! It can sometimes be a better deal than it first appears, as you will benefit from various complimentary offers to reduce your overall spending, but complete budget-friendliness is unlikely.

Budget Hotels

Cheaper hotels tend to be further away from the city center, meaning that you must make an allowance in your budget for transport to get to and from your place of work or conference center. But the cost of two and three-star hotels can be reasonable, and they become more so the further from the city center you get luggage storage in London. While there will be no in-hotel spa or swimming pool, your room will likely be clean and well-decorated.

Outside London

Moving further away from the heart of London, you could find accommodation on the outer edges of the train network – zones 5 and 6 are pretty much outside of London but have excellent direct transport straight into the city’s heart. With more space outside the city’s confines, you are more likely to find a good place to stay that will not chew up your entire budget. There are various travel options available to you, and Transport for London operates a scheme in which all your travel is added up, and the cheapest bundle is automatically used.

For example, if you are on and off the Underground often on just one day, the system will select an all-day pass for you. In contrast, if you use the Tube several times a day for a week, a weekly pass will be the best option – and this is all automatic, as long as you use the same contactless payment card for your tickets. If you are more old-school and want to know exactly how much you are spending, you can visit an information booth to buy your tickets in the usual way.

Backpacker Lodges

Cheap, cheerful, and often on the city’s outskirts or in the student quarters, these lodges offer basic accommodation, sometimes single rooms, but more often shared with anything from one to eleven others. Not for those who enjoy their privacy but ideal for those with an eye on their pennies.

Airbnb etc.

Airbnb and other accommodation-sharing sites can be a helpful stopgap while finding your feet in the city. Read the reviews, make sure your host does not have any complaints against them, and thoroughly read the fine print of their contract to ensure you are getting what you need. While the companies monitor hosts and guests as best they can, there have been some horror stories on both sides of the equation, making such sites less desirable for someone looking for guaranteed, safe accommodation.

Serviced Apartments

An ideal solution for short-term contract workers or those who are looking to move into the city’s full-time serviced apartments, London offers many of the benefits of a hotel (housekeeping, some catering, beautiful interior décor) alongside the comforts of home (privacy, your own fully equipped kitchen, an entire flat in which to spread out). These accommodations come in various sizes, from small one-bedroom apartments to those suitable for even quite a large family. You can usually tailor your requirements as far as catering and housekeeping are concerned.

With a Friend or Family

If you have a friend or some family in the area, they can be a helpful stopgap while you look for something more permanent. Often, they serve a dual purpose in that they can advise you as to the best areas in which to live, and – perhaps more importantly – those that are best avoided.

Student Accommodation

You will be permitted to stay in student accommodation if you are a student. This falls into two categories: owned by the university or institution with which you are allied and independent houses of multiple occupancies. You will need a valid student number to receive sufficient funding to pay your rent. Student accommodation tends to include all your utilities, making them a cheaper option if you qualify.

Canal boat

If you enjoy thinking outside the box, why not rent a canal boat for a few months? As long as it is properly licensed and you obey the mooring rules, you can take your canal boat right into the heart of London and live safely and cheaply just a short walk from work or school.

At the Zoo!

Finally, and this is a more quirky solution, you can spend the night at the zoo! Overnight visits in the heart of Regent’s Park Zoo allow you to wake up bright and early as zebra calls, various roars, grunts, and bird calls serve as a most unorthodox alarm call! This is a very short-term solution, but it simultaneously offers a bed and a fun experience.

London is crowded – but that is not necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else, there is usually room for one more, and you will soon feel at home in this thriving multicultural capital city.

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