London Travel Maps – What You Need To Get Around

It's a spectacular city, but the inner London neighbourhoods can be a bit hard to understand. Why is the "City of London" not London? Westminster may be in London and surrounded by London, but it, too, is not London — it's a separate city.

This selection of maps will help to oriented you in this historic yet modern city. You'll go away with a better idea of the layout of London and where the top attractions are located. We also share out our favourite, easy-to-carry, maps of London.

Where London is Located in England

Where London is Located in England

Here you get a real understanding of how close London is to the Continent. London is located pretty much in the southeast of England, giving it easy access to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In fact, with the Chunnel and the Eurostar high-speed train, it's often easier to travel to Europe than it is to the rest of England.

Because of that, you can even do a day trip to Paris from London, taking in Versailles while you're there.

The Inner London Districts

The Inner London Districts

In London, what's the different between "East" and "East End"? It's easy to see on the map that the East End is (nearly) a part of Central London, while London East is a far-out borough located to the…East!

On a map of this scale you also get a good understanding of where Wimbledon is (sort of on the opposite corner from East). You note that Camden is north and Southwark is south. But, see those tightly-packed districts north of South Bank? That's where you'll be spending your time as a visitor. The next map lets you see those areas up close.

Zoom to Central London – The Attractions Epicentre

Central London

Here we are in the heart of historic London, where most of the things you want to do and see are found. To the East is the City of London, a separate entity with its own mayor and the location of finance and skyscrapers, including the Shard.

About in the centre of the map are the three urban parks that connect at Buckingham Palace — places you're sure to want to visit. You'll also spot Soho, Marylebone and, to the west, Notting Hill.

Zoom to Hyde Park

Hyde Park

It's by far the largest park in London and you definitely need a map to get around. Hyde park separates the sort or urban-trendy-ethnic Notting Hill from the rest of Greater London.

Interactive Street Map of London

This interactive map shows the location of the top London sites and attractions. Click on the map to drag it around. It also allows you to increase or decrease the view. Click on "View larger map" for an even broader view.

The 3 Top Street Maps of Rome

London MapGuide

When we're exploring a city like London we always have a printed map or two in our bag. They're great for understanding what's around us and figuring out and where we want to go next.

We have some simple criteria for printed maps. They have to be small enough to tuck easily in a pocket or bag. More importantly, the map scale should be large enough large enough to be easy to read. (London is a big city, with a lot to try to fit on a map, so the scale does tend to be smaller than, say, a map of Rome.) With that in mind, here are the London travel maps that top our list —

  • STREETWISE LONDON CITY MAP
    The Streetwise maps are very popular. They are light and laminated and fold out easily. The London map is a bit eye-straining at 1:20,000 scale.
    "A useful and durable map of Central London. I have used many Streetwise maps throughout Europe, and they remain my favourites overall for ease of use and utility of information presented." – 5-Star Review
    → Find it at Amazon
  • LONDON – NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAP
    This is a waterproof, tear resistan map that includes points of interest, a regional map, and even a London Underground Map. 1:10,7000 scale — easier on the eyes.
    "Exactly what I was looking for! Very clear map of central London, big enough to provide significant detail, but not so large it becomes difficult. The major attractions are already marked and I'm marking everything else I want to see." – 5-Star Review
    → Find it at Amazon
  • KNOPF MAPGUIDE LONDON – OUR OVERALL TOP CHOICE
    We like the style of the MapGuides for a city like London. It's a lightweight, easy-to-carry book with cute fold-out maps of the top London districts. It's easy to spot attractions and to know where you're going. The scale varies, but it's very easy on the eyes.
    "The best map of London I've found. …absolutely the best map you could have. It's compact, easy to read, and the maps have twice the detail of any other map I've seen… labels almost every street, which was a huge help when walking around the city… If you're going to London, get this book. You'll be glad you did when you don't have to fold and unfold a huge street map over and over again." – 5-Star Review
    → Find it at Amazon