London Nightlife

Historical pubs, live-music venues, polished cocktail bars, dance clubs, and all sorts of outlandish venues, London is ready to welcome all kinds of visitors.

London’s nightlife is as exciting as you might think, and then some. The variety is one of the best in Europe, so we suggest you start making plans for several nights out. And even if you’re not much the type for clubbing, don’t worry, there are enough options to appease even the fussiest of people.

From classic, wooden-paneled pubs that always smell a bit like spilled beer, to sleek and trendy rooftop bars where cocktails get served with refined garnished and improbable-shaped ice cubes, London has many tricks up her sleeve.

If you’re a live music lover then you’ll have a great time here, with almost any genre you can think of having finding its own place in the city’s many clubs, from the largest to the most underground and unassuming.


And if you don’t like drinking much or perhaps want to try something a little different, there are plenty of themed venues, game bars, and even activity-based clubs where you can try your hand at different sports or board games.

Whatever the case, here is our introduction to London’s nightlife, with a few of our favourite names and lots of ideas to kickstart your night in the capital.


The entirety of London is a nightlife hotspot, but there obviously are areas where the density of clubs, bars, pubs, and nighttime venues is higher than others.

Among the most active areas is certainly Soho, where you can find lots of live music venues, several bars, pubs, and most notably a good number of clubs central to the local gay scene.

Camden, in the northern part of London, is famous for its alternative and bohemian nightlife. We particularly recommend it to those who enjoy live events.

Shoreditch is another highly active area at night. Thanks to the neighbourhood’s eclectic nature, you can find pretty much anything here, from old-style pubs, to outlandish themed venues, to eccellent live-music clubs.

Mayfair and Kensington are some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in London, so if you want to find swanky cocktail bars and exclusive clubs, this is the place to go.

Live music bars and clubs

We could fill a bible-length list with the almost limitless supply of live music bars and clubs in the city, so we’re just going to have to give you a few of the most well-known music venues.

First in the list is Fabric, in Farringdon. This is a 3-room club that regularly gets hosted by world-renowned DJs playing a range of techno, dubstep, drum & bass, grime, and house music.

For a completely different environment and live jazz, soul, funk, and blues performances head to the Chelsea/Fulham area and find the 606 Club. For R&B events, you want to go to The Book Club in Shoreditch instead.

Finally, if you’re a fan of indie rock, The Dublin Castle, in Camden, has welcomed many famous artists throughout the years, including Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers.

Sports bars

Sports bars are a British classic, which is no surprise considering the national passion for football. If you’re a sports fan and an important match is happening, head to one of these and you’ll have the time of your life. And honestly, even if there are no major matches, these bars are still open and will play whatever game is on.

The Famous Three Kings is a historical venue and with more than ten screens, it is one of the best sports bars in London, so we recommend you check it out.

Another iconic spot is the Freemasons Arms, a tribute pub to the founders of the Football Association. And for 24-hour coverage of live sports from all over the world, head to Kings Sports Bar near Leicester Square

Quirky cocktail bars

The great thing about going out in London is that aside from all the nightlife classics, you can find plenty of more unconventional - and often eccentric - venues.

Think period bars (like Cahoots, a 1940s themed speakeasy in Soho), board games bars (like Draughts, in Southbank), or even old-school arcade-like venues where you can have a drink while you play video game classics from your childhood (that would be Four Quarters, near Elephant and Castle).

Lesbian, gay, and queer bars

Like any big city, London is not lacking in queer clubs of all kinds. You can go for historical clubs that have made the LGBT+ history of the city, like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (an iconic venue of the local queer scene, hosting weekly cabaret drag shows) or Comptons (another historical gay bar, especially popular with mature men and beer-enjoyers).

If you’re looking for a lesbian-only club that’s She Soho, not to be confused with Village Soho, the first gay club in the neighbourhood, appreciated for its live performances and relaxed vibe.

For other great performances you can head to Admiral Duncan, where the resident Cabaret Queens perform regularly. Finally, Ku Bar is one of the biggest clubs in the city, with 3 floors in its Leicester Square location.

Activity bars

For those who require a little extra entertainment on their night out (or who simply want to try something different), London is home to many activity bars. Here are some of our favourites.

If you enjoy virtual games Fairgame, in Canary Wharf, is a funfair themed venue that you’ll surely enjoy. Similarly, Clays, a virtual clay shooting club, will offer great entertainment.

For those who enjoy more physical games, Shuffle Club (a shuffleboard bar), Barnis (a péntaque club), and Bounce (a ping pong club) are all great options. If you’re really active and are not afraid of a little axe throwing, Axeperience Axe Throwing near Tower Bridge will be perfect for you.

And finally, for an eventful yet more classic night, you can go for karaoke with your friends at Karaoke Box in Soho or at The Karaoke Hole in Dalston.

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London Nightlife