Needless to say, London nightlife is simply second to none. It is so vibrant that in comparison to other European cities, it is virtually unbeatable. Here, you are likely to find everything you want and need, and all near your hostel or hotel. From bars, pubs, and night clubs with all kinds of trendy music to high culture worthy of the royals and theater (opera, ballet, orchestra etc.), London is, undoubtedly, the best to experience nightlife.
Entertainment suitable for royals
For those who crave high culture nightlife, London is ideal for you. The city plays host to 4 of the largest orchestras in the world i.e. the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia. In addition, the Royal Opera House (located in Convent Garden) is home to the Royal Ballet while Theatreland is home to theater, musicals, opera, and ballet.
It may come as a surprise to many but the London theatrical life has been buzzing long before the Shakespearean era. In the present day, London boasts over a dozen musicals which are mostly played in the West End, a majority with discounted tickets. The National Theatre stages classics, musicals, and new plays within 3 auditoriums i.e. Oliver, Cottesloe, and Shakespeare’s Globe, the latter of which is located on Southbank and encourages audience participation.
Vibrant club scene
With over 200 venues and almost reaching peak levels, the London club scene is unparalleled. So much so that even Sunday nights should still provide visitors with a wide variety of music and dance. The city houses some of the most widely acclaimed night clubs, including the Ministry of Sound and the School Disco. For decades, Soho has and continues to be the heart of London nightlife, mainly due to its aura of glamour and in more recent years, its thriving gay scene.
Trendy bars and pubs
When the sun sets on London, the best of the city’s nightlife begins to emerge. With a touch of ultimate trendiness and teeming with age-old nocturnal tradition, more than 5,000 pubs and bars, from exclusive celebrity ones to public hangouts, dot the city. Moreover, traditional British pubs also abound almost on every street corner, including the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese- one of the London’s oldest.
For serious bar and pub hopping, two major hubs are Hoxton and Shoreditch, with Greek street also housing some great bars. Generally, entry to bars in London is usually free, although you may be charged on nights when there are live acts performing.
As mentioned above, there are numerous clubs in London where revelers can enjoy different kinds of music. Some of the most prominent include:
1. Café de Paris
This classy, cosmopolitan club started out as a ballroom in the early 1920s. Here, you and your friends can either book a drinking table’ on the mezzanine or the dance floor, or order from its impressive modern menu where 2- and 3-course meals will set you back £35 and £40 respectively.
2. Ministry of Sound
This elegant venue is, arguably, London’s coolest nightspot. Although it may not have been as popular in the late 1990s, it has now bounced back with a vengeance. It is now so popular, especially among foreigners, that it even has its very own internet service, magazine, and offers a compilation CD remixes of its club anthems.
Whether you want to rub shoulders with celebrities or just hang out with your friends, London offers some of the hippest clubs and bars in the world. Here a few noteworthy ones:
A bar/café by day and a trendy club/bar by night, WKD is one of the best bars in London. You will definitely enjoy mingling with the cosmopolitan crowds and listening to the live bands. WKD plays hip-hop, jazz, disco-funk, and Indie and is open Monday through Sunday from 9 pm to 2 am.
Open every night of the week, Oxygen blends a mix of familiar tunes as well as songs that you may have already forgotten but will be pleasantly surprised to know that you still miss them. With 3 floors of classic sounds and cutting edge, Oxygen also welcomes advanced guest lists and private parties.
3. Navajo Joe
This colorful and bold, yet genuine restaurant and bar is characterized by a striking translucent marble bar. Given its name, it is no surprise that the bar has an Indian-American theme but the décor and styling is very subtle and stylish. Watch out for its special DJ nights if you decide to sample this gem located on King Street, Covent Garden.