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For 20-something professionals like myself who are trying to figure out where to live in London, there are a ton of things to consider.
What do young professionals look for in their London home?
Where do young people live in London? Where do young professionals live in London?
And where in London can you find whatever ‘it’ is at a price that’s affordable?
Whether you’re looking for a flat or house, the cost of renting or buying will obviously play a big part in the decision.
But there are other factors, too, such as:
- Cool up-and-coming location
Young professionals may not see themselves as trendsetters but most do aspire to live in a place that’s trendy, contemporary and chic – somewhere that’s cool to live.
Peckham, Homerton, Brixton, Deptford and New Cross are just some of the funky hotspots now being considered.
- Local places to go
Lots of restaurants, coffee shops, buzzy bars and other local amenities close by are a must.
A drink with friends, a date at the local Italian, or a takeout while you watch a movie at home – that’s where it’s at.
- Easy commute
Some young professionals want to be within an easy commute to Central London, not just for work but also because London is the center of everything.
Being close is super important, as getting around London can be a trek, and anything further than Underground Zones 1 or 2 is likely to be just too far from the action.
So, where in London should young professionals look?
Here are some great London areas that might be worth a closer look.
- 1. Whitechapel
- 2. Brixton: one of the best places to live in London for young professionals
- 3. South Bank
- 4. New Cross
- 5. Kentish Town
- 6. Islington
- 7. Shoreditch
- 8. Clapham Junction
- 9. Battersea
- 10. Hoxton: one of the best neighborhoods in London for young professionals
- 11. Crouch End
- 12. Stratford
- 13. Soho
- 14. Acton: one of the best areas to live in London for young professionals
- 15. Greenwich
- 16. Hammersmith
- 17. Marylebone
Whitechapel is one of the most vibrant parts of London and for young professionals it represents a rare opportunity to live relatively close to the city center without costing a fortune.
Transport links are excellent so you’ll learn to take the London tube in no time, and accommodation costs are very reasonable.
The average rental for a 1-bed flat close to Whitechapel Overground station is £1,240 per month, while a 2-bed flat will cost around £1,560 per month.
A look around has found a 5th floor 1 bedroom flat for sale at £339,000, while £425,000 is being asked for a 2-bedroom apartment in a Whitechapel gated development.
Whitechapel Market is a bustling down-to-earth market that sells everything from Asian fruit & veg to cut-price toiletries and pots and pans.
There are some great grills for a quick bite while you browse.
When it comes to going out, Apples & Pears Bar is a good start.
Oozing industrial chic, pop art and designer lampshades, is has a superb range of cocktails and live music.
For delicious Mexican food with a wonderful atmosphere, head to Lupita.
2. Brixton: one of the best places to live in London for young professionals
There are numerous trendy restaurants and some interesting Caribbean markets.
It’s also cheaper than most other areas.
£1,400 per month is a very reasonable rent for a 1-bed Victorian conversion that’s ideally located for the shops and bars of Central Brixton.
It’s close to the tube and near to the Brixton Market with its amazing array of food stalls.
You can find a 2-bedroom flat for sale for as little as £320,000.
Champagne + Fromage in the middle of Brixton Market is a great vantage place from which to watch the world go by while indulging in fabulous French food and drink.
It has quickly become a welcome addition to Brixton’s diverse drinking and dining scene.
Franco Manca is a well-known pizza restaurant that’s full of character, where you can just turn up and be served easily and quickly.
It’s authentic and well priced.
3. South Bank
This expensive but dynamic area is perfect for young professionals with a healthy income.
With the London Eye, one of London’s most iconic attractions, watching over proceedings, the South Bank has some fantastic museums, entertainment venues and great transport links including Waterloo Station.
The South Bank lines the Thames and offers fantastic views, as well as the beautiful Queens walk which passes by so many of London’s best views.
Take a ride on a Thames Rib and see London from a different perspective.
Adjacent to Westminster and next to the London Eye is South Bank Place, an exclusive apartment complex that offers stunning city and river views.
Prices start at £740,000 and work their way up to £10 million.
If you’re renting, then be prepared to spend around £2,400 on a one-bedroom flat in the area.
As you would expect, the South Bank has a great choice of restaurants and bars on offer, like Mondrian London and Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar.
And just in case the huge and varied cultural offerings of the South Bank Centre shouldn’t be sufficient to keep you busy out of working hours, there’s always Shakespeare’s iconic Globe Theatre.
4. New Cross
This up and coming area of London is starting to see more young professionals moving in.
It has a vibrant night scene and is only a short trip from the city centre.
Rental prices are much lower here – a 2-bedroom flat can be rented for around £1,100 per month.
To buy, a typical 3-bedroom house will set you back just under £700,000.
The London Particular serves traditional English food around a communal table, making it friendly and very welcoming, while Reyna offers authentic Turkish cuisine – there’s a stylish bar, an elegant restaurant and a quick-serve café and deli.
5. Kentish Town
Kentish Town in north London is a fantastic area for easy access to the Northern Line to get across London.
It has plenty of amenities, including a giant Sainburys and some nice flats, as well as easy access to one of the most popular hang-outs for young professionals in the city: Camden Town!
Camden Town is one of the coolest places in London, including Camden Lock and Camden Market, and is a great place to spend weekends in London.
Also in North London, Islington is a popular choice for young professionals in London for the easy links into central London and the beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture.
Islington has a thriving community vibe, with local theatres, pubs, restaurants, and locals who have lived there for years (and don’t plan on leaving).
It’s got a prime location, desirable neighborhood, and the Upper Street has plenty of nightlife to keep you entertained.
Shoreditch in East London is a “hipster paradise,” where young professionals can enjoy the thriving coffee shop scene, the clubs and bars, and the cheaper prices than Central London.
You’ve got the Columbia Road Flower Market, the unique Brick Lane market experience, and some really interesting independent cinemas.
The street art scene is thriving in Shoreditch, and it’s easy to get into Central London on the London Overground (which can be less crowded than the Underground!)
8. Clapham Junction
In South London, Clapham Junction has one of the busiest train stations in London and takes plenty of commuters into the center of the city every hour.
It’s known for being a huge spot for young professionals and young families who want some space, but still want to be within a stone’s throw away from central London.
Much of it is pedestrianized, and you can experience the shops and restaurants on St. John’s Road.
You’ve also got Clapham Common, a wonderful venue for music festivals in the summer and a great place to take a picnic and get some green space in London.
Battersea, right along the south of the River Thames, is a wonderful option for young professionals looking to move to London as it offers a fun, safe, area to live with independent restaurants and boutique shops along with easy transport links into central London.
Battersea Park is a must-see and will become part of your weekly routine when you need to get some exercise or find some space of your own, and the newly refurbished Battersea Power Station is a wonderful destination for shopping, restaurants, and cool vibes.
This is a historic part of London that has been redeveloped and improved over the years to provide a great London living experience.
10. Hoxton: one of the best neighborhoods in London for young professionals
The even more hipster alternative to Shoreditch, Hoxton is in East London and has a bohemian vibe with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.
You’ll typically find prices even cheaper than Shoreditch, and you’ll get to delight in opportunities like Hoxton Street Market, colorful bars and restaurants, and art galleries for the creatives who live in the area.
11. Crouch End
Crouch End is one of the wonderful neighborhoods in North London that flies a little under the radar, but offers an option to those young professionals who don’t necessarily need to be directly on a tube line.
There are plenty of links into the city via bus or you can walk to Highgate tube station about 20 minutes away, but the lack of direct Underground Station makes the prices more bearable here than elsewhere in North London.
Spend your days shopping on Park Road, enjoy dinner on a restaurant at the Broadway Parade, or appreciate the stunning views of London from many of the side streets in Crouch End.
You won’t hear this area of London talked about a lot, and in fact you may have never heard of it, so this is truly a hidden gem for young professionals wanting their own little enclave in this beautiful city.
Not to be confused with “Stratford-upon-Avon” that’s a town far outside of London, the Stratford area of London is known for being near the Olympic Park used in the London 2012 Olympics and it’s filled with lots of new build apartments.
The transport links into London are incredible, with Stratford being a stop on the Central Line that will take you right into Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, and more.
There’s a giant shopping mall, Westfields, and because of the relative distance Stratford is from Central London compared to somewhere like Islington, you’ll find apartments and homes at cheaper prices.
Want to be in the middle of all of the action?
Soho is right in the heart of Central London and home to lots of creatives, film studios, bars, and restaurants.
You’ll be in Zone 1, the most central you can get, which means your rent will be expensive, but what you lose in the affordability, you make up in the proximity to so many of London’s best attractions, events, and restaurants.
You can walk almost anywhere in Central London from Soho, or you’ve got an abundance of tube stations nearby to get you anywhere you want to go.
14. Acton: one of the best areas to live in London for young professionals
Head to West London to find the neighborhood of Acton, which is a good option if you prefer to be on the West side of the city and still have good transportation links via the Central Line into Central London.
It’s got a lively community, a variety of cuisines in its restaurants and a diverse population, and it’s a safe and friendly place to start your life in London.
Want to live in one of the most beautiful parts of London?
Find yourself a place in Greenwich.
Greenwich, known for the gorgeous green space, riverside views, and larger living areas, will give you your own little town within a town.
Greenwich Market gives you a great place to go on the weekends, and you can take a variety of transportation options into central London including the DLR and even a boat from Greenwich Pier.
If you want to be in the middle of the buzz while still having riverside views and green space, Hammersmith is a great option.
You’ve got plenty of train stations and transport links nearby, as well as plenty of shopping, restaurants, and businesses, but there are also tranquil parks to explore.
Young professionals and young families dominate the landscape of residents here, so you’ll find it really easy to make friends.
Marylebone is another central London living location option for young professionals in Zone 1 that offers many leafy streets, period homes, and stylish boutiques.
It’s north of Oxford Street, but without the same hustle and bustle, so you can find your calm in Marylebone while still being central.
There’s actually a large French expat contingent here, and the village feel makes you feel like you can start your own community to help you feel more at home in London.