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London borough by boroughs

There is much more to London's geography than its monuments Discover with me the most outstanding neighborhoods of this iconic city!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

London borough by boroughs

Streets of London | ©Peter Spencer

Nothing would be of the London we know if it were not for its neighborhoods, those nuclei scattered like nuggets that give life to this city. To be able to appreciate how each neighborhood of London is a world, with its highlights, its main attractions is something indescribable.

In this guide you will learn about some of the most emblematic neighborhoods of this city and what you can do in each of these spaces. This is how you will get to know the real London!

1. Marylebone

Marylebone| ©Oxyman
Marylebone| ©Oxyman

Marylebone is one of those strange neighborhoods that still manages to arouse the feeling that you've just stumbled upon one of London's secret spots.

It is a more discreet neighborhood than its bustling neighbor Oxford Circus. The neighborhood meanders through the quieter, more elegant streets and intriguing corridors, offering a very cozy feel.

Strolling through Marylebone you can reach Daunt Books (one of the most considerable bookshops in the City of London and the whole of the UK) and, above all, you can appreciate a distinctly Australian atmosphere, especially when you reach Daisy Green.

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2. Camden

Camden Town| ©J.Ligero & I.Barrios
Camden Town| ©J.Ligero & I.Barrios

Once upon a time there was a small town known as Camden located just outside of central London. Then came the trains, canals and warehouses, followed by psychedelic kids, punks and a brilliant young singer named Amy Winehouse (the lioness of Camden). And, Viola! the neighborhood became one of the most symbolic and famous in the city of London.

Today Camden is in the midst of evolution once again. New businesses are flooding this part of northwest London, and more and more cafes and restaurants are opening their doors.

If you have time and are traveling to London for 7 days or more, I suggest you stop by this iconic neighborhood, the atmosphere of the place is curiously different, you can even take a picture with Amy's statue!

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3. Battersea

Battersea Power Station from the Air| ©EG Focus
Battersea Power Station from the Air| ©EG Focus

After an intensive washout that earned the area its own tube station and saw hundreds of young and not-so-young couples move into the new Battersea Power Station housing development, Battersea's parade of riverside restaurants and boutiques managed to lift the neighborhood's popularity once again.

However, the neighborhood is not only limited to the above, but shines even brighter thanks to the Archlight Cinema now located in the old railway arches and Battersea Park that stretches along the river and creates a beautiful green microclimate.

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4. Shoreditch

Touring Shoreditch| ©robertharding
Touring Shoreditch| ©robertharding

It seems that the years do not affect the Shoreditch neighborhood, the energy you feel in these streets seems to have no end or expiration date.

During the day, unconventional restaurants deliver pastries to their customers, and at night the bars and nightclubs, some of the best in the world, come alive until the wee hours of the morning.

What's more, Shoreditch is undoubtedly one of the most lively nightlife districts in London. So, if partying is your thing, don't hesitate to include it in your London night tour.

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5. Hackney Central

Hackney Central| ©Daniel Lynch
Hackney Central| ©Daniel Lynch

While Hackney Central is not one of those London neighborhoods that get the limelight they deserve, times are changing and the area is becoming one of the most visited in London, especially in summer in London.

We're talking about a space with a subway nightlife, dining options and a vibrant market on weekends where pubs and restaurants spill out onto the streets creating a sense of an intimate neighborhood with a community mentality. From Moth House to Mare Street there is plenty to see.

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6. Camberwell

Walking around Camberwell| ©Reading Tom
Walking around Camberwell| ©Reading Tom

For many Londoners it is one of the most attractive and striking neighborhoods in the city, the residents of Camberwell are very proud of their self-contained village within a huge city.

Camberwell has quirky cafes, boutiques of all kinds and restaurants with plenty to offer. What's more, it's one of the best places to eat- you're sure to find a place for it on one of London's best food tours.

It is also a neighborhood with a jovial atmosphere, which is directly nourished by the presence of the Camberwell College of Art. However, one of the most significant points of the neighborhood is its musical talent. If you go to London in autumn you will see how jazz flourishes among the bars and night pubs, and if you decide to go to London in summer you will seehow Caribbean music sounds.

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7. Covent Garden

Christmas in Covent Garden| ©Jorge Franganillo
Christmas in Covent Garden| ©Jorge Franganillo

If we are looking for popular neighborhoods we can not omit Covent Garden, perhaps one of the most interesting and you should definitely include in your tour of London. It is true that knowing the most important monuments of London is something you must do yes or yes; however, let's not forget the feeling of walking the cobblestones of the most famous neighborhoods of the city, a purely London feeling.

Neighborhood streets paved with appreciable flagstones wind through the central market. Street performers born and bred in the neighborhood often call these routes "walking around the house", a cozy feeling that you'll notice as soon as you enter Covent Garden.

Some of the most famous places are Sushi Samba, a trendy Japanese restaurant, and the Red Farm, one of the most beloved bars.

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8. Soho

The Streets of Soho| ©CK Travels
The Streets of Soho| ©CK Travels

Soho is that neighborhood of London that never stops changing and evolving, it is something comparable to a butterfly in a continuous process of change. Moreover, even if you plan to go to London for a single day, and unless you are locked in your hotel, it is very likely that you will end up passing through this neighborhood.

Soho is one of London's most iconic neighborhoods, bordered by Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road.

The energetic streets of Soho, in the West End, offer a mix of restaurants, nightlife and shopping.

On the one hand, Dean Street, Frith Street, Beak Street and Old Compton Street are the epicenter of daytime and nighttime activity, with Ronnie Scott's jazz club as the pinnacle of entertainment. On the other hand, if you are a theater buff, I recommend the Shaftesbury Avenue, pure stage art!

And finally, if you are one of those who can not leave without catching anything souvenir, I advise you to follow the streets of: Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, I' m sure you'll end up buying something!

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9. Dalston

Ridley Road Market in Dalston| ©Jim Linwood
Ridley Road Market in Dalston| ©Jim Linwood

There are many good things to be found in Dalston beyond its plentiful Turkish restaurants.

In fact, there's a lot more to this part of east London than meets the eye. From basement dive bars to bakeries with the royal seal of approval and one of the best independent cinemas in town.

Dalston is certainly an area that brings together all sorts of activities; what's more, you can live a lifetime in this neighborhood and not miss a thing.

10. South Bank

From a distance the London Eye| ©Martie Swart
From a distance the London Eye| ©Martie Swart

South Bank is home to one of London's best markets, but this location on the south bank of the Thames offers much more than the famous food stalls of Borough Market. It is also a vibrant neighborhood and the heart of London's cultural scene.

This famous neighborhood encompasses Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre, the National Gallery of British Art (Tate) and the wonderful Wobbly Bridge (also known as Millennium Bridge), a must-see if you opt for a Harry Potter tour.

In addition, and thanks to its incredible location, you can get excellent views of the river (including the cruises that pass through the Thames) and some of the most important monuments of London.

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11. Notting Hill

Portobello Market| ©Wikimedia
Portobello Market| ©Wikimedia

Although the neighborhood has areas of social marginalization in the northern area and is not seen, at times, as a decent neighborhood, it is actually one of the best known in London and has several areas of great relevance, such as Portobello Market, which has become a major tourist attraction.

Also, if you go to London in August, you can not miss the Nothing Hill Carnival, considered by many as the largest carnival in Europe. Not only that, but its presence in film is also to be commended. The acclaimed Nothing Hill movie was filmed entirely in the neighborhood.

12. Brixton

Brixton Market| ©Willy Barton
Brixton Market| ©Willy Barton

Brixton is a humble, lively and multicultural neighborhood. It has its own food court, Brixton Market, where you can buy street food and vintage items. You will see that agricultural products are very much on sale, reflecting the Caribbean roots of the neighborhood.

It also has an area known as Brixton Village which is full of restaurants and entertainment venues.

The contrast of generations, ethnicities and lifestyles is one of the most famous characteristics of this beloved neighborhood.

13. Hampstead

Hampstead Neighborhood| ©Christine Matthews
Hampstead Neighborhood| ©Christine Matthews

Hampstead, similar to a village, has long been seen as one of the most luxurious and desirable neighborhoods in the capital.

Hampstead is famous for its leafy open spaces, so I recommend spending the day walking around the Heath(one of London's best parks), visiting the historic bookshops and browsing the local pottery stores.

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