Last updated on November 10th, 2018
London is such a huge city and doesn’t matter if you’re coming here for a week or for 10 years, it’s important to know, what are the best districts to live in London. I know this topic is a bit controversial and everybody has their own opinion of the best and worst districts to live in London. However, I’m writing this post for people just like me, who were moving to London and didn’t know where exactly to rent a flat. Before moving to London, I was trying to research the best and worst places in London and didn’t find much information. Most of the posts about the best places to live in London were written by letting agents promoting districts, where they had properties. Or written by newspapers sponsored by the government to promote & gentrify some of the worst districts to live in London (otherwise how Peckham could have ever made it to top 10 best places to live in London)? In this post, I wanted to tell you about the best places to live in London: the safest districts in London and just simply nice and trendy zones and London boroughs.
I just wanted to share my opinion on my blog, so people know more about their options instead of choosing a property based on its price or location on the map. There are way more factors that need to be taken into the consideration.
Moving to the UK? Read this post to find out what do you need to do in the first weeks!
Also, here’s my post about the cost of living in London: how much do you actually need to have a decent life in London. In this post, I actually compare 4 salaries and explain what you can afford for minimum wage, 20K, 40K and 70K in London.
Also, if you just moved to London (or moving soon) and searching where to buy affordable furniture, I bought all my furniture HERE (the quality is okay and the same day delivery is perfect).
Best places to live in London: 9 amazing trendy London districts
Hampstead is one of the nicest areas to live in London. Located in the Zone 2, away from touristy hassle and bustle, Hampstead resembles a quiet and wealthy village. Owning a house in Hampstead will make you a millionaire and renting a nice 1-bedroom flat would be at least £1800-1900 pounds a month (plus a huge council tax and bills). So living in Hampstead is not cheap at all. However, if you have that money to spend on a flat and you’re fine using the Northern Line, you will love living in Hampstead!
2. Notting Hill / Holland Park
Owning one of these pretty colourful houses in Nothing Hill is a dream of pretty much every single young Londoner. Notting Hill is a fabulous vibrant and beautiful area of London, which transforms into a huge antique & food market on Portobello Rd on Sunday. Notting Hill probably has the biggest concentration of brunch places on a square km in London! It’s possible to find a 1-bedroom flat in Nothing Hill for £1700-1800 if the size of the flat doesn’t matter so much.
3. Muswell Hill
When I first saw Muswell Hill, I fell in love. It has this nice feeling of a town, but at the same time, it has so many lovely restaurants, cafes and shops. It’s also quiet and very safe. The rent in Muswell Hill is not that high: you can rent a nice 1-bedroom flat for £1300-1400. The only downside of Muswell Hill is the fact, that there is no tube or overground around – you need to go to East Finchley or Highgate by bus and then take the tube. Alternatively, you can take buses to the city centre from there.
4. Canary Wharf / Island Gardens / Mudchute area
Canary Wharf is an absolutely fabulous place if you work nearby or if you like that feeling of living in a business district and having a flat in a skyscraper with a marvellous view over the city. However, not all the parts of the Isle of dogs are nice. I would recommend picking a zone next to Heron Quays, Crossharbour, Island Gardens or Mudchute (not more than 5-7 minutes away from any of the stations). Flats in Heron Quays are quite expensive (£1700-1900 for a 1-bedroom flat, however, Mudchute, for example, is significantly cheaper).
If you’re fine with living a bit far from the city centre (even though it’s zone 2, it’s quite far from Central London), then Greenwich would be a great option for you. Greenwich is absolutely beautiful and very touristy. Greenwich Park and Greenwich Market are certainly among the best in London. Greenwich isn’t exaggeratedly expensive
6. East Dulwich / Dulwich Village
East Dulwich is actually bordering with Peckham (that is one of the worst districts in London), however, the difference between these two places is massive. Dulwich Village is such an amazing place with cute houses, a huge park and a feeling of living in a real village. By the way, Tom Cruise used to have a mansion in Dulwich Village, so you can see, how nice is the area.
7. Clapham Common / Balham / Clapham Junction
If you’re looking for a place, where young Londoners live, look no further. The Claphams (North, South, Common, Junction) and Balham are the places to live if you’re a young professional and you want to live in a nice trendy zone with plenty of inexpensive restaurants, bars and brunch spots without breaking a bank.
8. East Finchley
At some point, I didn’t want to look for flats further than zone 2, and oh, how wrong I was! Right now, we are living in East Finchley and I like it a lot. Even though it’s in zone 3, getting to Central London takes about 35 minutes (from door to a cinema or restaurant if you’d like). You have two branches of the Northern line to choose: one goes via Bank and another one covers all the central London – e.g. Leicester Square, Charing Cross and so on. East Finchley also has plenty of local restaurants and fabulous Muswell Hill is located just 15 minutes walking away. The only downside I could think of is the fact, that it’s hard to find a nice refurbished flat (we were very lucky to find one), but the flats are very affordable in East Finchley (you can rent a 1-bedroom flat for £1250-1400).
9. Shoreditch / Old Street
Shoreditch is one of the trendiest and coolest districts to live in London. Some years ago, it could have been on the list of dodgy places to avoid in London, but now it’s cool and expensive. Around the Old Street, there are plenty of factory and warehouse conversions offering amazing huge loft flats as well as newbuilds, where people working in the City choose to live. The zone near Boxpark Shoreditch is more hipster and alternative. Many of the people living there work in some of the coolest startups in Shoreditch. Shoreditch is great for brunching, going out, dining and has a great location.
The only downside: in some places, it is still a bit sketchy and gets full of drunk people.
I hope you liked this post about the best places to live in London! Should you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask!