The best neighborhoods to stay in Kyoto are located in the Nakagyō-ku, Higashiyama-ku, and Shimogyō-ku districts. Here are our tips and our selection of accommodations and hotels to stay in Kyoto with family, as a couple, or for a solo trip.
Which neighborhood to stay in Kyoto?
The Nakagyō-ku, Shimogyō-ku, and Higashiyama-ku districts are the best places to stay in Kyoto. Each district has advantages, and some areas are more interesting than others.
Nakagyō-ku. This is the downtown area of Kyoto. It is also where the city’s most lively spots are located.
Shimogyō-ku. This district is located south of Nakagyō-ku. It is where Kyoto Station and the Kyoto Tower are located. It is convenient for getting around.
Higashiyama-ku. This is the district where the most traditional neighborhoods of Kyoto are located. Accommodation rates are among the highest in the city.
Good to know! The city of Kyoto is much quieter than Tokyo or Osaka. There isn’t a vibrant nightlife. In the evening, the streets of Kyoto are quiet and peaceful. Find more information about each neighborhood below and our selection of hotels in Kyoto by area.
Nakagyō-ku: stay in the downtown of Kyoto
In the Nakagyō-ku district, you can find Kyoto Castle (Nijō-jō), the Museum of Kyoto, and the Nishiki Market. You can also stroll in the evening in the very pleasant Pontocho area, by the Takase River.
If you choose to stay in Kyoto’s Nakagyō-ku district, you will be in a good position to visit the city’s must-see spots and for dining and going out.
You can also stay away from downtown to benefit from lower rates. Here is an example of a hotel still in the Nakagyō-ku district but in its quieter part: Tokyu Stay Kyoto Sanjo-Karasuma.
Shimogyō-ku: stay near the Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station
The Shimogyō-ku district is a perfect place to stay in Kyoto. You will be near the station and can take advantage of many transport options. For instance, going to Nara National Park from Kyoto Station is easy. Nonetheless, this area is quieter in the evening, with fewer restaurants than Nakagyō-ku.
If you stay in Kyoto in this district, the best part is located north of Kyoto Station. The hotel rates are on the lower end.
If you’re looking for where to stay in Kyoto near the train station, here is a perfect place: ALA HOTEL KYOTO. The value for money is outstanding, especially if you book several months in advance.
Also close to Kyoto Station, you can stay at the hotel: TUNE STAY KYOTO. The rooms are tiny, but the decor, calm, price, and location are excellent.
What to do in Kyoto? Don’t miss out on the best things to do in Kyoto, find our tips in this article: What to do in Kyoto in 2, 3, or 4 days.
Higashiyama-ku: Staying in the Traditional Districts of Kyoto
Higashiyama-ku is located to the east of Kyoto. In this part of the city, you will visit the stunning Kiyomizu-dera Temple, as well as the districts of Gion and Hanamikoji, with their pedestrian alleys. This is the most interesting part of the district. Here, the accommodation rates are among the highest in Kyoto.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Kyoto with your family, the Gion Elite Terrace is ideal. The family rooms are perfect for a few days’ stay in Kyoto.
Also in the Gion district, you can stay in an establishment offering a kitchenette in the room. For example, Rinn Gion Hanatouro.
With good value for money, you also have Kyoto Granbell Hotel.
Otherwise, the Rinn Gion Yasaka offers spacious rooms for a lovely trip to Kyoto as a couple. This hotel is very well-located and is one of the best places to stay in Kyoto.Booking.com
Overall, Kyoto is a calm city. The liveliest places in Kyoto are located in the Nakagyō-ku district. It’s also one of the best places to stay in Kyoto to visit its major must-see attractions. However, if you are looking for a more traditional atmosphere, the Higashiyama-ku district is the most interesting. And for practical reasons, you can choose Shimogyō-ku, close to Kyoto Station.