No matter how many times you visit London, a stroll down Old Street always brings something new – whether it’s an edgy bar, cool hotel or stellar restaurant. The main artery connecting the East End to central London, it’s one of the most convenient places to stay in town. Here’s our list of the best.
At the end of Old Street, near Columbia Road, you’re in the heart of the East End‘s gritty history at this Grade II-listed former courthouse. Featuring a stained-glass dome and sweeping staircase, the hotel has seen its fair share of history, including the trials of violent gangsters the Kray twins, and author George Orwell. There’s a heated indoor pool, bowling alley and cinema screening room, and for an immersive experience, head to the Jailhouse Bar – in the old police station – or to the courtroom-turned-dining room, Judge and Jury, for brasserie-style fare.
Nobu Shoreditch reflects the industrial grit of its surroundings while also paying homage to its Japanese heritage with minimalist and elegantly crafted style notes. Overseen by Nobu Matsuhisa, the in-house restaurant bears both the name and menu of this legendary chef, plying visitors with delicacies such as miso black cod and toro sashimi. There’s a tasting menu, too, if you want to get the full experience. Spend the day exploring characterful Brick Lane and art at the Barbican before enjoying a signature Nobu massage. Sleek, effortless and minimalist, the rooms are as sophisticated as the clientele at this iconic hotel.
Just three minutes from Old Street roundabout, M by Montcalm is a pocket of quiet amid the noise and chaos of the surrounding streets. Inside this glass-covered, angular modern building, you’ll find rooms decked out in soothing shades of cappuccino and cream, and an impressive array of tech. There’s mood lighting and climate control as well as complimentary smartphones that allow you to make local and international calls for free. Elsewhere on site, the indoor pool harks back to Ancient Greece, with its burnished gold murals and soothing, up-lit surface. After a swim, indulge in a spa treatment – the Capsule Rituals are ideal if you’re short on time, offering various 30-minute facial and massage treatments.
From Big Ben taking off like a rocket in the lobby, to Queen Elizabeth II reimagined as a neon mural in the bedrooms, there are quirky nods to British culture throughout nhow London. The references to Brit pop don’t stop there either – expect grunge-style Union Jack printed rugs, rotary phones and graffiti in the bedroom paying tribute to the classic punk rock number London Calling by the Clash. The in-house bar is equally vibrant and serves as the main eatery too while the concept for the Bell & Whistle restaurant is finalised. In the meantime you can order from a flexitarian menu that hits the spot for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters, while nhow bar has an extensive spirits and cocktail menu to kick your evening off in style.
Out of town prices in inner city London? Yes, please. This is exactly what you’ll find at the Z Shoreditch, where understated elegance meets affordable convenience. Just a one-minute walk from Old Street roundabout, its rooms are functional and minimalist – you’ll find everything you need and none of the costly extras you can do without. Rooms range from doubles to family-size, and there are several accessible options for those who need them.
Looking for budget-friendly hotels? Check out our pick of the best hotels in Whitechapel for all budgets, bookable on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.