- WHERE TO STAY
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Victoria is the main gateway to London for visitors flying into Gatwick Airport. The neighbourhood revolves around Victoria train station, London's second busiest after Waterloo, with Victoria underground station just beneath the railway station.
The hotel areas of Victoria are one of London's largest too; visitors are attracted by its central location and great transport links. The overall area is so large it can be divided up into sub areas, which we detailed below, each with their own different character.
We have a dedicated page looking at the Victoria train station and another looking at Victoria Coach Station, London's only major bus station for scheduled buses outside of London, including most day tours from London.
The front of Victoria Railway Station is the hub of the district, where all the major roads intersect in a fragmented, complicated one-way system. This area is by far the busiest area within Victoria, with traffic-clogged streets at all hours.
There are more than 70 million rail passengers passing through Victoria Station annually, the majority of whom are commuters. To service all of Victoria’s visitors a host of retail outlets are available, mostly aimed at this passing trade.
The Budget hotels are situated behind to the south of the railway station, where you also find the coach station. There is a Sainsbury's Local supermarket just behind the coach station and handy local services like launderettes, hairdressers and other facilities are also located here.
The 4- and 5-star luxury hotels are mostly in the immediate vicinity of Victoria Railway Station, north and north east of it going towards Westminster Abbey and St James's Park. The Grosvenor Hotel is the old station hotel and is actually part of the railway station itself. You can walk off the train and directly into reception from the station.
There are just about every type of food and drink outlet you can think of in and around Victoria Station from fast food and cafes to restaurants and traditional English Pubs. There is a Sainsbury's Local supermarket - ideal for those staying at self-catering accommodations.
Victoria has two West End theatres, the Victoria Palace directly opposite the front of the station and the Apollo Theatre just down the side of the station. These host some of the top shows on the West End Theatre scene.
About 200 metres north of Victoria Station is the start of the grounds of Buckingham Palace, where you will find most of the high-end luxury hotels in Victoria. Eastward from the Station, Victoria Street leads to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, less than a mile away.
Leading eastward from Victoria Station, Victoria Street is a wide street leading out of the district to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament less than a mile away. The area is functional, rather than memorable. There are lots of facilities and shops including pharmacies, bookstores and convenience food markets. There is no full-size supermarket here though and as this is the most affluent part of Victoria, you will not find service facilities like launderettes available for example.
The majority of Victoria hotels are south of Victoria Station, offering a complete contrast to the Victoria you’ll experience from outside the front of the station.
Belgrave Road runs for about 1km from the back of Victoria Station to Pimlico where there is an Underground Station, one stop from Victoria on the Victoria Line. Belgrave Road forms the spine of the hotel district, nearly every building is a hotel along Belgrave Road.
Running parallel to Belgrave Road is the Wilton Road. At the Victoria Station end is a small shopping and restaurant area with just about every world cuisine represented. It has a totally different feel to the area in front of Victoria Station, a much more neighbourly, less hectic ambience with residents rather than commuters and workers in evidence. Here, you can find a full-size Sainsbury's supermarket, unusual for a central London location.
Area's only full-size supermarket, Sainsbury’s, is ideal if you require food, drink, common medicines, clothes or other personal goods. Throughout the neighbourhood, you will find various other small convenience stores, mainly the national chains Tesco and Sainsbury's.
Nearly all the buildings in Victoria were built 100 years ago or more, there are very few hotels in new modern, purpose-built buildings. Nearly all are housed in terraces of 4 to 6 storey town houses, from the outside the cheapest hotels looks no different to an expensive one.
Littered around the Victoria hotels district there are various cafes, bakeries, traditional English pubs and small parades of neighbourhood services. Among these, you will find other useful services in the neighbourhood such as launderettes, hairdressers and dentists.
The coach station is located over to the west of the hotel district, 500m south of the railway station. We have a dedicated page on Victoria Coach Station.
Running behind Victoria Coach Station is Ebury Street which just about marks the western border of the Victoria hotel district. It's like an invisible border. Once you cross Ebury Street, it immediately becomes more upmarket. This is Belgravia, home to many national embassies, diplomats and J.K. Rowling!
The hotels along Ebury Street are a strange mix, with some of the cheapest and most expensive accommodations located beside one another.
Given Victoria is a major travel hub in central London, we have a dedicated page devoted to helping you with airport and cruise port transfers to Victoria.
The number 24 bus goes up the Belgrave Road from top to bottom 24/7, roughly every 5 minutes. Even at 3am it operates about every 15 minutes. The number 24 bus is like a small sightseeing tour in itself. If you don't fancy the walk to one of the Underground Stations the no24 bus will get you to Westminster Abbey and Big ben in 10 minutes and onto the heart of the West End nightlife district in 15-20 minutes. There is a good night bus network from outside the station that will get you to most places in Central London.
Although you can use their buses throughout London for sightseeing, all three of the main hop-on hop-off London bus tour companies operate out of Victoria. The Original Tour, Big Bus and Golden Tours all base themselves at Victoria coach station.
The District, Circle and Victoria lines of the London Underground all stop at Victoria Underground station. These lines all run from 5am until around midnight except the Victoria line which runs for 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Victoria is the best place in London to base yourself if you have booked or planning to book tours in and out of London.
All of the popular hop on hop off sightseeing buses stop at Victoria Rail Station.
Canterbury can also be reached by train from Victoria railway station.