London: Nightlife - Best Bars, Clubs and Pubs

London: Nightlife - Best Bars, Clubs and Pubs

London does indeed have a nightlife scene – and a roaring one! From relaxing bars, to pubs to spend a few hours, to the pounding music from the club nights, London’s character changes after the sun sets, and the partying goes on into the early hours of the morning in many locations.


Photo: Evening Standard

1. Opium

Nearest Station: Leicester Square
Address: 16 Gerrard Street, London, W1D 6JE
Phone: 0207 734 7276

Pop in for the best dim sum in town, and creative cocktails with Asian-inspired ingredients. Expect to pay £11 to £15 for a cocktail here and £5 to £6 for a beer.

2. Vista at The Trafalgar

Nearest Station: Charing Cross
Address: 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London, SW1A 2TS
Phone: 0207 870 2900
The name says it all here: Vista. It is the view you come for when visiting this rooftop bar overlooking Trafalgar Square. This is a seasonal venue that operates during Spring and Summer, and serves light food. 

It is also usually open on the 31st December to ring in the New Year and see the fireworks. There is a £5 cover charge for this venue, and a minimum spend.

3. Cahoots

Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus
Address: 13 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PG
Phone: 0207 352 6200

Cahoots is one of our favourite themed bars with the interiors resembling an old Underground train – even the staff are in character. There are a wide variety of cocktails on offer, which are all fantastic, and they usually host live music acts. This is a popular location and table reservations (for a 2-hour slot) are a must.


1. Koko

Nearest Station: Mornington Crescent
Address: 1a Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JE

This Camden club is popular because of its affordable entry prices, large selection of acts, and interesting layout inside. It was once a theatre and you can tell as soon as you step in the venue. We are not huge fans of the prices charged for drinks, however!

The venue hosts regular events other than standard club nights, such as concerts throughout the week. There are very few places to rest, though, so be prepared to stand for a while. If you do need to sit down, look out for the leather sofas at the back of the main room.

2. The Electric Ballroom

Nearest Station: Camden Town
Address: 184 Camden High Street, London, NW1 8QP
Phone: 0207 485 9006

A well-known venue in London, The Electric Ballroom provides well priced drinks, a fantastic ambiance, and regular national and international acts. It comes highly recommended for a night out and has a good balance between a club and music venue. The top area has seats for those needing to chill out for a bit.

3. Fabric

Nearest Station: Farringdon and Barbican
Address: 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6HJ
Phone: 0207 336 8898

Fabric is a well-known nightclub in London, and is extremely popular so get there early. This is a place for people who really like their music and will appreciate the fantastic sound system. Expect to pay at least £20 for entry – sometimes closer to £30, but they regularly get big name DJs. Book your tickets in advance, if you can, to reduce your wait getting in.


1. The Lock Tavern

Nearest Station: Chalk Farm and Camden Town
Address: 35 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London
Phone: 0207 482 7163

This pub is well-sized, with a large beer garden and roof terrace, which makes it perfect for a sunny day. Food is generally good, and drink prices are acceptable for the location. There are occasional live music acts too, which also add to the ambiance.

2. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Nearest Station: Chancery Lane and St. Paul’s 
Address: 145 Fleet Street, London, EC4A 2BU
Phone: 0207 353 6170

If you want history, there is no better pub to pay a visit to in The City. This pub was rebuilt in 1667 and stepping foot inside is like going back 350 years. 
Go downstairs into the authentic drinking areas deep underground and be reminded how much shorter people were as you duck down the steps. 

We love the ambiance inside, and the food and drink are decent too! Even Samuel Johnson used to drink here!

3. The Cross Keys

Nearest Station: Covent Garden
Address: 31 Endell Street, London, WC2H 9BA
Phone: 0207 836 5185

An absolutely tiny, intimate location that is very pretty inside (and outside). Beer and food are good, but get there early for a table or seat. It is also conveniently located in the West End if you would like to carry on your night in one of the many bars or clubs in the area.

Getting back after a night out

Be aware that most of London’s Underground system stops running from the city centre around midnight, with night buses and taxis being the main ways to get around after that. Alternatively, you could party away into the night until the first trains reach the centre of London around 6:00. 

On Friday and Saturday nights there are services in a large part of the Central, Northern (Charing Cross Branch), Piccadilly, Victoria and Jubilee Lines, with trains running at 10-20 minute intervals throughout the night.

If you are returning home on a night out in a taxi, either hail a black cab or book a mini-cabs (by calling or via an app) – hopping into a mini-cab in the spur of the moment is illegal and unsafe. Remember if your minicab is not pre-booked, there is no trace of your journey should anything go wrong. 


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