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The best places to live in London for students

There's seven areas that you may want to consider living in whilst you’re studying at uni in London, depending on what you want to get out of your time in the city. 

Nat Took
by Nat Took
Last Updated:
20 Dec 2021

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London is a great city to go to uni - and there’s plenty of great universities in the city to choose from. There’s great student nightlife, lots of historical and cultural sites to check out, world-class sporting, music and theatre venues and great transport links to other areas of the UK.

Exploring your course options? Check out some of the most popular subjects undergraduate students are searching for:

But London itself can be a bit intimidating for a student; the city sprawls over many miles and with universities and student areas spread across the city, it can be confusing to know where’s best to live while you are studying.

There’s lots to think about before you decide where to live:

  • Travelling to uni: how long will it take you to get to lectures – some of which may start at 9 am!
  • Your budget: let’s face it, London is known for being an expensive city and you want to have money left over once you’ve paid rent to enjoy what's on offer.

So where should you choose? At Urbanest, we’ve got student accommodation located in seven popular student areas. Here’s a look at which location might be best for you, depending on your personality and interests.

Best for foodies  Bermondsey

Located in southeast London, Bermondsey is a hip place to live with lots of foodie delights. For instance, the famous Borough Market is not far from this spot. It is one of the oldest food markets in London, and you can find many speciality foods here. You can buy herbs and spices for your recipes at home, try food from a traditional Malaysian clay pot, taste Russian cakes or grab a high-quality coffee on your way to class.

There’s also the Bermondsey Beer Mile, an unofficial celebration of London’s finest stretch of artisanal brewers. So if you and your new housemates need a Saturday afternoon’s entertainment, it’s right on your doorstep.

For getting into central London, the Jubilee line is here and the area is within walking distance of London Bridge. The area is good for South Bank University and King’s College, which are about half an hour’s walk away.

Best for those that want quirky Camden

Though the Camden area is a little on the pricey side, it is still a hotspot for students. With its famous market full of quirky clothes, artwork and street food, plus a vibrant live music scene, it’s no wonder this district attracts students. It’s a colourful, loud and diverse area that’ll definitely leave an impression.

With links on the Northern line, you can get to a number of areas of London very easily from this location too.

Not far from Camden is Urbanest St Pancras, which is a short walk from the Royal Veterinary College and Central Saint Martins. University College London is also within walking distance from Camden and other large universities are just a few tube stops away.

Best for history buffs Tower Bridge

If part of your reason for choosing a London university is the incredible history of this city, you must consider living around Tower Bridge. Although a more expensive area, it's full of history with lots of tourist attractions on your doorstep. Think the Tower Of London, Tower Bridge and Tower Hill. Also within walking distance is the Southbank, with the Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. So if you’re interested in seeing the sights whilst you study, Tower Bridge is a great spot.

In central London the transport links are great, you can easily access the Circle, District and Metropolitan lines.

This is a great location for students of London Metropolitan University, Queen Mary University of London and the London School of Medicine And Dentistry. Other universities are easy to get to via the tube.

Best for those on a tight budget Docklands

Although still in central London, Docklands is a much more affordable area compared to others. This area is also a bit more relaxed than the rest of London, but you can reach the hustle and bustle of the city centre with ease. Just hop on the DLR to connect with various tube links to get you anywhere in the city. The beautiful district of Greenwich is also close, where students can find historical buildings and antique markets.

In easy reach is the University of Greenwich. But all other unis can easily be reached on public transport.

Best for those that love the great outdoors Richmond

If you don’t mind being a little outside of the centre, Richmond is the perfect place for those that want to escape the city when they get home from a long day of lectures.

With great open spaces such as Richmond Park, you'll be able to connect with nature whilst still being able to study in London. Richmond Park is the largest of the city’s eight royal parks and has 2,500 acres of grassland, hills and gardens. With a riverside setting too, this picturesque area offers the relaxation you need during your studies.

Richmond University is obviously close by. But other universities around the city can easily be reached as Richmond is on the District line.

Best for nightlife Brixton

If you’re looking for a trendy area of London to live and party in, look no further than Brixton. This central, but affordable, area has a thriving community and brilliant nightlife.  From small live music venues to epic clubs, Brixton is the place to be. Jazz, folk, pop, rock, it’s all readily available.

This area is perfect for students of KCL, which is within walking distance. Being at the end of the Victoria Line, Brixton is also well connected to other universities in London.

Best for artists Shoreditch

Vintage products, London’s oldest market and the infamous Rivington Street can all be found in Shoreditch. Rivington Street is an art lovers dream, with over 20 pieces of street art within 2-3 minutes of each other. Here you can admire works from current artists such as Banksy and Thierry Noir. Spitalfields Market and the Commercial Street area is a hidden gem for boutique shops, where you can find some treasures.

Not far from here is Urbanest Hoxton, which is a short walk from the London College of Fashion and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. With the Northern line not far away, it’s easy to reach other areas of the city too.

Which area is best for you?

The best area will differ for each student. You need to look at what you want most. Is being close to your uni a priority, or is it your budget? Do you want to be close to the centre or would you prefer to leave the hustle and bustle behind in the evening?

You need to prioritise your wants and needs when choosing your student accommodation in London. It's definitely worth checking out a few of these areas in addition to universities when booking open days. It can be hard to find the perfect spot that has everything you want, but London is such a big place that is well connected so no matter where you end up living, you'll be able to indulge in everything this city has to offer.


- Top 10 things to do in London

- Search for your perfect university in London

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