Located in East London, Stratford has undergone one of the most impressive transformations in the city's recent history. Thanks to the 2012 Olympics, the last decade has seen Stratford morph from a rundown community into a neighborhood that is showcased to the world. Improved transportation, a huge shopping mall, new restaurants, and the Olympic Park facilities – now open to the public – have brought new life here.
Stratford is full of students thanks to the University of East London’s campus here. And where there are students you'll find fast food places, affordable clothing stores, tons of coffee shops, and a lively pub scene. It's also become popular with financial services workers since it's a very short commute to the City and Canary Wharf. There are also lots of families around.
You’ll find a lot of apartments here but fewer single-family homes since many have been converted into flats. Aim for one of the historic buildings if you don’t want to be surrounded by students because they tend to go for the more modern-looking places.
For those with kids, there are a number of good and outstanding schools in the area.
Note that parts of Stratford are still a bit rough so you should use common sense when walking alone at night and be aware of your surroundings.
The City: 5.1 miles / 25-60 minutes by car / 15 minutes by transit / 30-35 minutes by bike
Canary Wharf: 4.1 miles / 15-30 minutes by car / 20 minutes by transit / 20-25 minutes by bike
Southwark: 6 miles / 25-55 minutes by car / 25 minutes by transit
Westminster: 8 miles / 35-80 minutes by car / 35 minutes by transit
Shoreditch: 5.4 miles / 20-45 minutes by car / 30-35 minutes by transit / 25-30 minutes by bike