Planning to visit London for the first time? If so then you need this incredibly detailed insider’s guide to the most famous streets in London.
Trust me, I’ve lived in London on and off for the past 6+ years and know all about some of the most beautiful streets in London – intriguing places that are brimming over with incredible history and awesome beauty.
And if you’re also in desperate need of a bit of retail therapy, then not to worry because this guide will introduce you to some of the very famous shopping streets in London too.
So, channel your inner Emily Blunt and Adele because we’re about to cannonball into this post on famous roads in London that are renowned for their historic, cultural, and musical connections.
So, yes, you really will see the likes of Downing Street, Baker Street, and Bond Street on this list – among others.
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After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
Where to Stay in London
Not sure where to stay while exploring some of the most famous streets in London? If so then here are my insider picks for some of the best hotels in London right now, regardless of your personal budget.
- KX Rooms (budget) – London is not typically known for being budget-friendly. That’s why finding a decent place to stay in Zone 1 that costs less than $100 per night can be really difficult. Therefore, your best option is this cheap (for London) hotel where you’ll have a clean, private, safe room/bathroom for the night. Yes, the room is a bit cozy but it features a kettle, hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi. Plus, it’s conveniently located next to King’s Cross St. Pancras Station.
- Citadines Barbican London (mid-range) – If you have a bit more cash to spare, try this aparthotel since a studio at the apartments at Citadines includes a kitchenette, dining area, and private bathroom. Plus, you can even opt for a guest room if you want something a bit cheaper.
- Yotel London City (mid-range) – This funky contemporary hotel is centrally located in Farrington and features vibrant rooms with ensuite bathrooms and all the usual amenities. Continental breakfast is also available for an additional fee and there is a 24/7 fitness room available
- St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London (luxury) – This plush 5-star hotel near King’s Cross will leave you feeling like royalty since rooms are beautifully appointed with exquisite furniture, elegant decor, and stunning marble bathrooms. Clawfoot bathtubs and fireplaces can also be found in the snazziest rooms and all guests have access to an on-site pool, spa, sauna, and gym.
23 Most Famous Streets in London
1. Downing Street
Since 1735, 10 Downing Street has been the official residence for all of the British Prime Ministers.
In other words, a trip here is the equivalent of going to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. to see the White House.
And as if that weren’t already cool enough, 11 Downing Street has served as the home for the Chancellor of the Exchequer for nearly 300 years too!
That said, unlike Pennsylvania Avenue, you can’t actually walk along Downing Street.
In fact, there are guards and a gate in place to make sure that the British Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer stay as safe as possible while living on one of the most famous roads in London.
2. Portobello Road
Portobello Road is one of my personal favorite streets in London. First of all, the buildings are painted in beautiful pastel colors that always put a smile on my face.
And who wouldn’t enjoy that while walking down one of the most famous streets in London?
Secondly, there’s the Portobello Road Market. Here, you can shop for everything from antique treasures to food finds and everything in between at one of the best budget shopping spots in London.
Just be sure to stop by The Portobello Map & Print Shop, Lowry & Baker, Maison Puget Bakery & Café, and One of a Kind.
Also, while the market is technically open Monday through Saturday, Saturday is by far the best day to go since that’s when most vendors will be there.
Plus, I’m certainly not the only one who loves Portobello Road. Hollywood does too! As a result, this is one of the best roads in London that has made appearances in several films, including Notting Hill and Paddington.
3. Shaftesbury Avenue
Calling all theater lovers! Because if you love live performances almost as much as I do then you won’t want to miss out on Shaftesbury Avenue.
See, Shaftesbury Avenue is the heart of London’s West End theater district. Therefore, it’s home to half a dozen famous theaters, including the Apollo Theatre, the Palace Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, and the Shaftesbury Theatre.
So, at each of these wonderful spots, you can watch some of London’s best performances, including fan favorites like Wicked, Les Misérables, or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for discounted tickets to these fabulous performances, head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square or use the TodayTix to get up to 50% off tickets now.
4. Old Compton Street
Not far from Shaftesbury Avenue lies Old Compton Street. This road is known as one of the city’s main hubs for the LGBTQ+ community.
Throughout the year, you can visit many LGBT-friendly businesses on this street. Highlights include the popular G-A-Y Bar, watching a drag show at The Admiral Duncan, and grabbing a drink at She Soho.
However, during Pride Weekend, all of Old Compton Street is closed to cars and becomes a fully pedestrianized street – making it easier to hop from one exciting LGBT-friendly spot to another.
5. The Mall
The Mall is definitely one of the most famous streets in London. First of all, it runs between two iconic London landmarks: Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.
To start, let’s talk about Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is home to a couple of the best things to see in London, including the National Gallery and Nelson’s Column.
So, by itself, Trafalgar Square is just an all-around awesome place to visit.
But, the real reason The Mall is one of the most famous streets in London is that this iconic road leads up to Buckingham Palace.
And with the area’s thriving trees and dozens of British flags, it’s definitely a cool sight to see.
To make The Mall even better, it’s also used for many special events, including the London Marathon finish line and the Golden and Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
6. The Strand
The Strand – which is technically supposed to be called “Strand,” but very few people call it that – is overflowing with fascinating history.
For example, The Strand was actually the first road in London to get numbered addresses. Yup, that’s definitely a cool fun fact to know!
Obviously, The Strand’s street numbers aren’t quite as exciting today as they were when they were first instituted.
But, that’s okay since this London road has loads of other things going for it. So, feel free to explore the famous Savoy Hotel, savor some tea at Twinings Tea Shop, and dine at the historic Simpson’s restaurant.
Guess what? The Mall isn’t the only noteworthy street starting at Trafalgar Square. There’s also Whitehall.
See, Whitehall begins at Trafalgar Square and ends at the famous gilded Parliament Building and Big Ben. No wonder Whitehall is on this list of the most famous streets in London!
As you walk along Whitehall, you’ll see loads of important memorials. There’s the Women of World War II Memorial, the George Duke of Cambridge Statue, and the Royal Tank Regiment Memorial.
Plus, near the end of it all, you’ll find London’s most famous memorial, The Cenotaph.
8. Bond Street
Bond Street is actually a combination of two streets: Old Bond Street and New Bond Street.
But, even when you combine these two streets together, all of Bond Street is only about half a mile long!
However, this half-a-mile is the most expensive piece of real estate in Britain and the third most expensive piece of real estate in the entire WORLD!
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Bond Street is home to loads of luxury brands.
In fact, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, and Louis Vuitton are just a few of the retail giants that call this thoroughfare home.
So, get ready to either spend a pretty penny or stick to the window shopping on one of the most famous streets in London.
9. Abbey Road
You’ve probably heard of Abbey Road because a little-known band (lol) called The Beatles.
Yeah, The Beatles loved this road so much that they actually named their 1969 album after it and even featured this particular London street on the cover.
And then, when this album was finally released, it topped music charts all around the world.
As a result, The Beatles’ success skyrocketed Abbey Road to its status as one of the most famous streets in London.
So, it’s now quite common to see people trying to recreate the famous Abbey Road album cover during their visit.
10. Oxford Street
Calling all shopping lovers! Because Oxford Street is easily one of the most famous streets in London for shopping – if not the most famous one of all.
And while some shopping districts only cater to one type of client, Oxford Street truly does have something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for luxury or affordable attire, menswear or womenswear, local British companies, or international brands, you’ll be able to find something that suits your style on Oxford Street.
As an added bonus, if you happen to be in London around the holidays, you’ll want to visit Oxford Street for the absolutely stunning Christmas lights that pop up all along the most famous shopping street in London.
11. Brick Lane
One of the coolest things about London is how many different cultures you can experience within the bounds of one city.
I mean, take Brick Lane for example. This is one of the most famous roads in London that has been home to a thriving Bangladeshi community for a while now.
That means that while you’re here can dine at Bengal Village, hit up Best of Brick Lane, or shop for Bangladeshi and South Asian ingredients at Taj Stores.
But, do remember that Brick Lane is also in Shoreditch. Therefore, it cuts right through this uber-trendy part of London.
So in between the Bangladeshi eateries and shops, you can also pop into hipster-esque spots like Brick Lane Market on Sundays.
You can also get a ridiculously good bagel from Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery, and devour tasty chocolates at Dark Sugars.
12. Regents Street
If you visit London there’s a good chance that you’ll end up on Regents Street at some point during your trip.
And that’s simply because of its prime location. After all, it’s near many of the best London attractions and a few of the other most famous streets in London.
It’s also worth noting that Regents Street is primarily known for its luxury shopping. So, you’ll be able to find fancy retailers like Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, and Burberry here.
But one of the coolest stores on Regents Street is Hamleys. This gem is the oldest and largest toy store in the entire world!
So as you scour seven floors filled with 50,000 toys, you’re sure to find something that will make the perfect London souvenir.
However, Regents Street is also home to quite a few unique events throughout the year, including the London Pride Parade and “The Spirit of Christmas” holiday decorations.
13. Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street has quite a long history. See, it was first built in 1682, and since then, it has been home to a house for Bubonic Plague victims, shopping areas for rock stars, and everything in between.
But Carnaby Street only really became noteworthy in the 1960s and 1970s. This was when the “Swinging Sixties” era of clothing – categorized by mini skirts, go-go boots, and fitted suits – is thought to have started.
A fashion trend that was further helped when the famous band, The Sex Pistols, were photographed in Swinging Sixties gear along Carnaby Street too.
14. Bywater Street
We can thank Instagram for getting Bywater Street onto this list of the most famous streets in London.
Because although Bywater Street remained an under-the-radar hidden gem in London for quite a while, social media has now catapulted it into stardom thanks to the many colorful buildings that line this road.
After all, these pastel-colored houses make for the perfect photo.
However, it is important to remember that people live here. So, please be respectful while you’re there. Also, try to limit the noise that you make and the number of photos that you take.
Piccadilly is known as London’s busiest street. That’s why many people refer to it as the Times Square of London, thanks to the large crowds and enormous billboards.
In addition to the billboards and crowds, Piccadilly is also home to fancy hotels, luxurious shops, delicious restaurants, and cute London cafes.
Therefore, you could easily spend a couple of hours enjoying all of the best things to do on this one street.
Eventually, Piccadilly feeds into Piccadilly Circus, which is a famous London landmark in and of itself.
So, while at Piccadilly Circus, you can check out the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and the Hard Rock Cafe too.
16. Jermyn Street
Jermyn Street has established a reputation as the place to shop for menswear in London – especially if you’re looking for fancier pieces.
So, this is where you go for silk shirts, shining shoes, and perfectly tailored suits.
And a few of the most well-known menswear retailers on this famous shopping street in London include Charles Tyrwhitt, Harvie and Hudson, and Loake Shoemakers.
However, if you need a break from menswear shopping, you can also visit Paxton & Whitfield for some cheese, watch a show at the Jermyn Street Theatre, or try some African fusion food at Papa L’s Kitchen.
17. Baker Street
If you’ve read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books, there’s a good chance that you’ll recognize Baker Street.
Heck, even if you haven’t read these books there’s still a pretty good chance that you know all about one of the most famous roads in London.
After all, Baker Street has been featured In all of the books and the accompanying Sherlock TV series since Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street.
And it’s no surprise to find out that people flock to this area to see it in person. But, once you get to 221B Baker Street, things get even better.
And that’s mainly because you’ll find yourself at The Sherlock Holmes Museum!
Yup, this Victorian-era home is meant to replicate what Sherlock’s residence would’ve looked like (you know, if he wasn’t fictional).
You’ll even get to see some famous objects and letters from Sherlock’s adventures.
18. Savile Row
Savile Row is known for one thing, and one thing only: traditional bespoke men’s tailored suits.
What exactly is a traditional bespoke men’s tailored suit you may rightly wonder?
Well, essentially, it’s when a suit is entirely cut and made by hand specifically for that particular customer. In other words, you literally won’t be able to find a suit that fits better.
So, if this sounds like a service you might enjoy, try one of many different traditional bespoke men’s retailers on Savile Row, like Huntsman & Sons, Richard James, and Ozwald Boateng.
19. Columbia Road
A visit to Columbia Road is sure to put a smile on your face. After all, London’s Columbia Road is known for the Columbia Road Flower Market.
See, every Sunday, Columbia Road is packed with the brightest of blooms. Many of the vendors here have also been around for multiple generations!
So, whether you’re looking for bouquets, flowering plants, shrubs, or any other plant life, you’re sure to find it.
And while Sundays are by far the best time to visit Columbia Road, this London street is still worth visiting during the other six days of the week.
See, the entire street is lined with small, independent businesses. So, not only will you be able to discover cool finds, but you’ll also be able to help hard-working individuals fulfill their dreams!
Therefore, take some time to peruse the art at the Nelly Duff Gallery, purchase some exquisite cheeses from Funk, get a caffeine boost from Specialty Cafetiere, and snag a few records from VDS London.
If you’re in the market for a suit and you’ve got some cash to spare, this is a great place to get one. And even if you don’t need a suit from Savile Row, it’s still interesting to stroll along and get a glimpse of these intricate suit tailoring stores.
20. Westbourne Park Road & St. Luke’s Mews
While Westbourne Park Road and St. Luke’s Mews are technically two different famous streets in London, they are literally right next to each other and go hand in hand.
In other words, why not visit both of these famous roads in London at the same time?
Now, both Westbourne Park Road and St. Luke’s Mews gained much of their popularity from the movies.
So, it should come as no surprise that Westbourne Park Road was featured in Notting Hill and St. Luke’s Mews was showcased in Love, Actually.
But that’s not all that these two roads have in common. They both also have fun, colorful buildings that are perfect for picture-taking!
In fact. Westbourne Park Road is home to a slew of pastel-colored homes, while St. Luke’s Mews has a bright pink home (yes, the one from Love, Actually) that you are sure to love.
21. Kings Road
Another pick for one of the most famous streets in London, Kings Road was actually first built by King Charles II in 1694.
And throughout those early years, it was used by the king as a private road in London to travel between the palaces at Hampton Court and St. James’.
Therefore, up until the 1800s, this famous road in London was used only by members of the royal family, aristocrats, and courtiers.
However, fast forward a couple of hundred years and this beautiful road in London became the unofficial home of the New Romantics and punks in the 70s.
So, stop today and see where Vivienne Westwood opened up Let It Rock in 1971 and where Mary Quant and BIBA shops first got their start.
Because while this modern road is now a lot less hip and a lot more gentrified, you can still check out Saatchi Gallery or visit a local food market in the Duke of York Square while you’re here.
22. Exhibition Road
Located in the immortal neighborhood of South Kensington, Exhibition Road is home to some of the most famous museums in all of London – including the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Goethe Institute, and the Royal Geographical Society.
However, truth be told, the road was initially expanded in 1851 to make adequate space for pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists alike – all of whom felt packed in here like sardines during the Great Exhibition of 1851.
So, stop by today and enjoy the ample room that one of the most famous roads in London has.
23. Brompton Road
Believe it or not, Brompton Road is easily one of the most famous shopping streets in London.
And that’s mainly because this 1-kilometer stretch of road is tucked away in the swank AF neighborhood of Knightsbridge and is home to the one and only Harro’s Department store.
So, be sure to visit one of the most famous roads in London and check out Harrods while you’re here.
After all, this shopping mecca is renowned for its decadent food court, incredible high tea (in the Harrods Tea Room), and stylish luxury handbags.
Pro Tip: Be sure to do some shopping at Harvey Nicholas while you’re here too.