Before planning your trip to London, it's important to consider where you stay to get the most out of your trip. With 48 different neighborhoods to choose from, that makes for a lot of hotels — and honestly, not all areas are worth the cash. More often than not, conventional city favourites are in high demand and bring in tons of tourist traps for young people. So instead of accidentally booking into all that, check out these (actually) hip neighborhoods for your next trip:
In north London straight up the Northern line rests Hampstead, the quintessentially English village. The geography has hardly changed in 300 years, still boasting some of the same pubs enjoyed by poets like John Keats and Thomas Hardy. The Spaniards Inn, opened in 1585, is perfect for young people to grab a pint and share the same space as some of the world’s famous writers. After whetting your whistle, Hampstead Heath is perfect for a walk with friends and loved ones. The setting of many famous films like Notting Hill, Kenwood House is the perfect place to enjoy some rural life within the bustling city. There are many Airbnbs and boutique hotels that are all just a few minutes’ walk from the natural landmarks, too.
Notting Hill solidified itself as one of London’s landmarks after the 1999 film which painted the idealistic yet accurate portrayal of the village. Home to plenty of people both old and young, the West London area is perfect for those who want to stay in the heart of the city. It hosts Portobello Market (the world's largest antiques market) every weekend, as well as the annual Notting Hill Carnival in August. Traveling is easy to get to once on the central line, and the train drops you right in the action. In today’s social media world, it's definitely worth visiting the Museum of Brands to witness the history of how companies speak to people through logos, slogans, and other marketing tools.
Heading east along the same Central Line takes you into Shoreditch — the heart of gentrified east London. The Hackney borough boasts many new and up-and-coming spots for young people, and it's now the home to famous faces such as Russell Brand and Noel Fielding. Once a home for William Shakespeare, travelers can visit bars like The Book Club, an alternative spot that hosts unique evenings such as ‘MC Mozart’s Classical Smackdown’ and ‘That’s What She Said’. The venue often holds events which attract different types of young people, including ‘thinking and drinking’ nights, where people from all over the world are encouraged to share their stories of love and passion over a drink.
Brixton has been on the radar to some for a few years, but recently the south London hub has seen a huge increase of people who stay in the area and bring along their talents and zest for life. Immediately leaving the tube station off the Victoria line, you can sense the spirit of fun and respect for each other. Young musicians are serenading passersby in the streets and attend events that celebrate a mix of global traditions. Anyone who stays in Brixton will no doubt be exposed to the myriad of nightclubs which continue to early morning. Electric Brixton and Ritzy Cinema host music nights from different places around the world, and visitors can interact with each other sharing stories and experiences. Rent is still relatively cheap here, so Airbnb is a solid option.
Near Brixton lies Peckham, an area slightly off the public transport map but offering a unique and contained area for those who wish to stay in a fairly new neighborhood. The European Union has strongly invested in growth for the area and recent years have welcomed the addition of many libraries and shopping centres. Fans of cinema have found their new favourite spot in the PeckhamPlex – a subtle cinema that offers cheap tickets to highly acclaimed films and talks. The award-winning venue is celebrating its 20th anniversary and tickets for 3D films never rise above £6. Visitors can also attend the many exhibitions at the South London Gallery, which regularly hosts shows from artists around the world.
One of West London’s most understated spots, Maida Vale is full of young professionals who are in close enough proximity to the city while also enjoying the outskirts of quieter London life. Boarding St.John’s Wood, its history aligns with the famous Beatles’ crossing photograph on Abbey Road and Duffy’s Warwick Avenue. It actively maintains a strong Airbnb community perfect for people visiting London on a budget. The Canal Junction is home to many moored boats, earning it the nickname Little Venice. The neighbourhood holds many vintage bars and restaurants with plenty of green space around them to enjoy warm summer days. The Canal Café Theatre hosts some of the most successful comedy evenings, helping boost the careers of comics like Miranda Hart and John Oliver. Who knows, staying in the Vale might result in meeting the next British comedy or musical hero. You’ll only know once you visit.