London nightlife is among the best in the world. Our capital is seriously trendy, and the British music scene has always been legendary. In a nutshell, London is cool. Very cool. Here's some insight into some of the capital's best-loved and most popular entertainment venues – your easyHotel London nightlife guide.
Fantastic London music venues
The O2 Academy Brixton has been around a long time. Originally called The Academy and a top class venue since 1983, this is the place where thousands of us saw some of the best British punk and rock bands back in the day. It remains one of London's leading music venues, nightclubs and theatres, right in the heart of Brixton.
Great rock music venues in London include Wembley Arena and Wembley Stadium, Alexandra Palace, and The Victoria in Dalston. If jazz is more your thing try the Cafe Oto on Kingsland High Street in E8, The Luna Lounge in Leytonstone, Ray's Jazz at Foyle in Charing Cross and Ryan's Bar in Stoke Newington.
You'll find urban music like hip hop, grime, R&B and rap on the menu at Wembley Arena, the Camden Jazz Cafe, The Macbeth on Hoxton Street in N1, and Queen of Hoxton on Curtain Road. Folk music rules at the Apple Tree on Mount Pleasant WC1X, the Betsey Trotwood pub on Farringdon Road in EC1R, The Horseshoe on Clerkenwell Close in EC1R, and Foley Street's King and Queen in W1W.
Brilliant London clubs
If you haven't heard of the monster club The Ministry of Sound, you must've spent the last two decades or more lost in outer space. It's one of the world's best-known club venues, the darling of the original house music scene, and it's been going strong since September 1991. There's no other way to describe it than 'awesome'. What a night out!
Fabric is another capital city clubbing favourite, all 25,000 square feet of it. Fabric opened in October 1999, several years after The Ministry and right in the middle of the dance music revolution. This is a club designed by clubbers for clubbers. Head for the old Metropolitan Cold Stores in Farringdon for a club with three rooms, each with its own independent sound system. The famous vibrating 'bodysonic' dancefloor has to be experienced to be believed. Incredible.
If you're a member of the LGBTQ community you'll adore Exilio LGBTQ Latin Dance Club at Temple Pier on Victoria Embankment. Established in 1996 it's a firm favourite for clubbers who love those hot Latin beats, a gorgeous safe space offering a blend of Latin music, live shows, drag acts, pageants, and theme nights.
London nightlife - Thrilling West End theatre shows
London's West End is home to one of the biggest concentrations of theatres outside the USA's Broadway. It's absolutely packed with epic shows, everything from Les Miserables, already seen by tens of millions of theatregoers, to Wicked, The Book of Mormon to Phantom of the Opera. The area offers a broad mix of venues, everything from the massive 2300 seat capacity of the Apollo Victoria Theatre to the intimate 350 seat Arts Theatre. The West End theatre district offers musicals new and old, serious plays and comedies, dance events, dramas... everything you could possibly want for a fabulous night out or a matinee to remember.
Soho is such fun, a potent blend of seedy and smart where you'll find some of the best entertainment in the city, all in one small area. Look out for a truly eclectic mix of eating out, clubbing, shopping, pubs and more. Head for Dean Street, Old Compton Street, Frith Street and Beak Street to discover 24/7 activity. Visit Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, and of course Shaftesbury Avenue with its theatres. Shoppers love to poke around in funky Carnaby Street, and this is where you'll find Liberty's, one of London's finest department stores.
Cool London Bars
Our city is a feast of amazing bars and pubs. It's brilliant fun. Some are hosted in extraordinary buildings, some are secreted away, some are decorated in the most unusual ways. But they're all cool.
Out top three? First, the Victorian-style Victorian Bath House, packed with period luxury and vintage inspired goodies to eat and drink. Enjoy amazing cocktails and excellent cuisine from top chefs.
East London's very own speakeasy-style bar, Oriole is a luxurious place with lush cocktails on offer from all over the globe. The food is equally unusual and tasty, and there's a live music schedule to enjoy as well, everything from Cuban Son music to African blues. You'll find it at Smithfield market EC1A.
The Moonshine Bar in Fulham is a cocktail bar inspired by the Wild West. You can ask the bar staff to make your own tailored cocktail based on your favourite drink, and there are card games to be enjoyed.
Great London pubs
- The Lamb and Flag, tucked away discreetly in a corner of Covent Garden, is a really good typical London pub, the kind of place the locals go. The upstairs bar is tiny but charming
- The Mayflower gastro-pub is by the Thames with fab views over the water. You'll find it at 117 Rotherhithe Street and there's an upstairs restaurant with outdoor tables
- The Dove also has great views of the Thames, located at 19 Upper Mall in Hammersmith. King Charles the Second and his mistress Nell Gwynne used to eat out here, and it features the world's smallest bar room
Hilarious London comedy clubs
The 99 Club on Leicester Square – This excellent daily comedy club showcases superb new, upcoming and alternative stand-up talent along with comedy stars from TV. It's at Ruby Blue, 2nd Floor 1 Leicester Place, Leicester Square.
The Top Secret Comedy Club – Located at 170 Drury Lane, this no-frills basement bar and club offers a regular feast of dazzlingly good stand-up and improvisation.
The Comedy Store – One of the oldest and best-loved comedy clubs in the capital, the Comedy Store dates back to 1979 and is bang in the middle of Soho at 1A Oxendon Street. The original and best.
The Night Tube – The cheapest way to get around London after dark
Last but not least in our London nightlife guide, the Night Tube is a special 24-hour tube train service that runs on Friday and Saturday nights. You'll find late-night trains on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines, as well as part of the London Overground East London line. The trains never stop, they run all night long, so it’s really easy to experience nightlife in London and get back safely and conveniently to your easyHotel.