Experience London Nightlife Like a Local

Wondering what to do once the sun goes down? We've got the lowdown on the best of London Nightlife

London is born again when night falls; life after dark brings with it all manner of mystery and excitement. London nightlife and music scene has made history and continues to do so, supporting progressive artists, holding world-famous club nights, opening one-of-a-kind bars and more importantly drawing in audiences from around the world. We’ve put together some of our favourite haunts from the upmarket to the grimy, pubs, clubs and open mics. You’ll be sure to find something that suits! Clubs Like most capitals, the club scene is thriving in London and is not showing signs of slowing down. London boasts a wide range of venues, from private members clubs, to pay-on-the-doors, so you are guaranteed to find somewhere of your musical preference. Some of the more upmarket addresses are the Groucho Club, which often hits the headlines for its celebrity clientele, while Shoreditch House or Soho House cater to the after-work frivolities of the more professional types. If you like your dance music then make a beeline for the iconic Fabric club which is renowned in London for pioneering some of the best DJs and up-and-coming electronic artists. Just make sure you have lots of stamina and enough change for some food on your way home. Live Music If you would prefer to watch a band on stage than a DJ behind the decks, the capital has plenty of venues to experience. Ronnie Scotts in Soho is a must-visit for those who like their live jazz and real old school entertainment, while in South London, Brixton’s O2 Academy puts on a strong line up of acts throughout the year from international superstars to iconic revival bands. Other venues include the Electric Ballroom or Koko, both in the cool and quirky Camden, which offer live music with a more rock/grunge edge. The O2 in Greenwich and the iconic Wembley Stadium are London’s biggest venues and have welcomed the likes of Beyoncé to Rihanna, with Wembley catering for up to 90,000 fans! Bars While most London pubs call last orders at midnight (the sound of the dreaded bell...) London bars have a longer license and can serve you up to 3am. With racks and rails of the best liquors and spirits, London has some of the best trained mixologists in the city. Among the best cocktail bars in London are the speakeasy-style Nightjar in the City, or Cahoots in Carnaby Street designed as a London Underground. If you want a drink to remember, head up to the bars on the 52nd floor in the Shangri La, or stop off along the way at the Oblix or Aqua Shard for a sky-high cocktail. Alternatively, a bit further east, in the City of London, head up the Heron Tower to Sushi Samba bar – an open air bar on the 38th floor. Top tip: go at dusk when the huge tree is illuminated by red fairy lights. Pubs Sometimes all you need to do to enjoy London nightlife is stumble into an old man’s pub and find a quiet corner to while away the hours. Sometimes some quiet radio in the background in suffice, other times there are pub quizzes which are great fun to get your friends involved, otherwise an Open Mic night can be really entertaining. These are often great places to find undiscovered talent, don’t forget some of the greatest artists we know started playing in pubs, from Amy Winehouse, to Ed Sheeran. Festivals During the summer, London hosts many day festivals which run from morning until night with a great line up of acts from golden oldies, to breaking-new bands, such as the family favourite, the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. Over in the trendy Hackney area, Victoria Park hosts the more dance-focussed festivals such as Love Box and Field Day, and more recently Brockwell Park in Brixton has been the backdrop to Gala, SunFall and Found Festivals. If you’re staying in the quieter boroughs and prefer something more low key, you can often find smaller free fête style festivals which include country markets, stalls and more a local musical repertoire. Night tube One of the most anticipated elements of London Nightlife to (finally!) launch this year is the Night Tube. The London Underground will run a handful of key lines across the city for 24 hours on Friday and Saturday, meaning that you can stay out until the wee hours and still have a means to get back. While the rise of the Uber has meant that it’s never been that challenging to get home, this will be a welcome arrival and will no doubt save you some money along the way. So while your visit to the capital might not be for London Nightlife alone, staying out after dark certainly adds to your experience. London is a great city for night owls, whether it be dancing to your favourite DJ, singing along to the lyrics of your favourite band, or putting the worlds to right at a local bar. Trust us, we know!
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