A Guide to the Best London Nightlife

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Written by our Web Team

11 min read | 31 May 2024

Nightlife in London is a little different from other cities. It doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling as a group, as a couple or on a solo trip. The capital will offer plenty to do in the evening.

This guide covers everything you need to know about the best nightlife in London. We’ll include highlights for visitors and recommend the areas to visit for specific entertainment.

Things to do in London’s nightlife

London’s nightlife has kept pace with the latest trends while retaining its unique culture and history. From jazz clubs and piano bars in the sixties to electronic clubs in the eighties and the large-scale superclubs we see today. 

Like Manchester, you can enjoy musical entertainment at all hours. Or, if you usually go to Birmingham for some late-night shopping, the capital city is a great alternative.

Whether you’re a couple looking for romance in Covent Garden or a group out for some fun in Soho. There are ideal districts for every type of nighttime traveller in London. 

For couples

For a romantic getaway or fun weekend away from the kids, Covent Garden is the ideal choice.

With a huge selection of restaurants and bars, you can fill your evening with whatever takes your fancy. Plus, you’ll be in the heart of London’s theatre district, where you can enjoy some of the best international entertainment.

La Goccia

There is nothing more romantic than Italian food. Especially when it’s served alongside innovative cocktails, authentic Italian wine and an open kitchen. 

La Goccia offers small plates designed for sharing and a stunning setting for date night, complete with a floral courtyard. 

  • Opening hours: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 am to 11:00 pm Thursday to Saturday and 11:30 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday

  • Closest tube station: Covent Garden underground station, a three-minute walk away

  • Good to know: It’s a popular location, so we recommend booking in advance.

The Covent Garden Comedy Club

The Covent Garden Comedy Club is a great after-dinner stop. Running for more than 20 years, the venue has hosted some of the best international comedians. 

It’s located within the Freemason’s Arms on Long Acre, just steps from Covent Garden’s finest bars and pubs. 

  • Opening hours: Doors open at 7:30 pm, shows start at 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

  • Closest tube station: Covent Garden underground station, a three-minute walk away

  • Good to know: Regular general comedy admission costs between £15 and £22

A wide-angle shot of London Bridge illuminated by lights at night.

For students

With more than 400,000 university students in the city, there are a plethora of nightlife options for young people in London. One of the top districts for student nightlife has to be Camden. 

This area’s unique atmosphere offers plenty to see and do, from quirky pubs and themed bars to funfair rides and nightclubs.

Belushi’s Bar

If you’re into sports, Belushi’s Bar is the place to be. With ultra-HD screens and projectors, you can catch live sporting matches of almost any kind. 

Belushi’s also hosts student nights and live music events, including beer pong and 2-for-1 cocktail nights.

  • Opening hours: 11:00 am to 01:00 am Sunday to Thursday, and 11:00 am to 02:00 am Friday to Saturday

  • Closest tube station: Mornington Crescent underground station, a three-minute walk away

  • Good to know: Regular live music sessions showcase some of London’s best musicians

Electric Ballroom

For those out to party, Electric Ballroom offers everything you need and more. This iconic music venue has been operating for more than 80 years. 

Past acts have included Joy Division, U2, The Smiths and The Clash. With two floors, four bars and two dance floors, it’s a great place to get your groove on. 

  • Opening hours: 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm Monday to Thursday, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Friday to Sunday, with Saturday club nights running from 10:30 pm to 03:00 am

  • Closest tube station: Camden Town underground station, a one-minute walk away

  • Good to know: We recommend pre-booking events


Looking for cheap drinks and a five-hour-long happy hour? Simmons should be on your bar crawl list.

At the Camden branch, you’ll find retro game consoles, a karaoke room and DJs playing from Thursday through to Saturday nights. It’s ideal for students who want reasonably-priced drinks and a quirky atmosphere.

  • Opening hours: 4:00 pm to 11:30 pm Monday to Thursday, 4:00 pm to 12:00 am on Friday, 3:00 pm to 12:00 am on Saturday, and 3:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Sunday

  • Closest tube station: Camden Town underground station, a one-minute walk

  • Good to know: Happy Hour runs from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm Sunday to Friday

For groups

From smaller friendship groups to stags, hens and large celebrations, Soho provides some of London’s best nightlife. There is something for everyone here, whether your group is into classy cocktail bars, vibrant jazz clubs or lively nightclubs. 

There’s also a bunch of great restaurants and theatres if you’re keen to catch a show while you’re in town.

The Lower Third

For those who want a complementary mixture of a bar and a club, The Lower Third is a great choice. This place will appeal to every nightlife scene preference in your group. 

Start by sipping cocktails in The Forge live music venue, then head down to the club room for a boogie. 

  • Opening hours: 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Monday, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Tuesday, 4:00 pm to 12:00 am Wednesday to Saturday and closed on Sunday.

  • Closest tube station: Tottenham Court Road underground station, a two-minute walk away

  • Good to know: If attending an event, pre-booking is advisable

Freedom Bar

If you’re looking for the spirit of Soho, the Freedom Bar is easily one of the best clubs in London. With its theatrical atmosphere, luxurious decor, and vibrant cocktail bar, it’s well with visiting. 

Depending on when you visit, your group could experience anything from cabaret to salsa. Of course, there are also club nights to dance the night away.

  • Opening hours: 4:00 pm to 3:00 am Monday to Thursday, 2:00 pm to 3:00 am Friday to Saturday, and 4:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Sunday

  • Closest tube station: Leicester Square underground station, a seven-minute walk

  • Good to know: For groups, drinks packages and happy hour offers are available

A group of friends cheers their glasses across a table at a restaurant in the evening.

Best nightlife areas in London

London is vast, with several districts to explore on a night out. Even if you’re heading wherever the night takes you, knowing what to expect in each area will help you find the best starting (or finishing) point.

Soho has a great LGBTQ+ scene, while Shoreditch has a vibrant and young atmosphere. Likewise, Kingston appeals to students, and London Bridge is excellent for taking in city views from exceptional bars.


Occupying a fairly large area, Soho offers a central place to explore all aspects of London's nightlife. Known for its culture, history and gay scene, Soho nightlife has something for everyone. 

Whether you’re planning a dinner, pub crawl or club night, there are plenty of choices.

Soho is also easy to get to, with three underground stations within walking distance. These include Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Piccadilly Circus. Here are a few recommended destinations for your night out in Soho:

  • Barrio Bar: With a Spanish influence, Barrio Bar offers Latin music until the early hours 

  • Garlic & Shots: If shots are on the cards, this place offers a choice of 101 different options

  • Club 49: For those who love to dance, Club 49 is the perfect opportunity to throw some shapes to music from top DJs

  • Radio Rooftop Bar: The cosy atmosphere at Radio Rooftop Bar perfectly accompanies the panoramic views of London. 


Considered the ‘hipster’ part of town, you’re always in for an alternative night out in Shoreditch. This welcoming district has several top nightclubs, vibrant cocktail bars, gastropubs and basement bars. 

Shoreditch is accessible via Old Street underground station. The nearest overground station is Shoreditch High Street. For a taste of this area’s nightlife, here are a few recommendations:

  • Nightjar: For jazz and blues lovers, this eccentric music venue is ideal

  • XOYO: Electronic music has long held a place on the London music scene, and XOYO is where many artists debut.

  • Trapeze: This circus-themed venue occupies two levels and hosts incredible performances 


A little way out of the city centre, Kingston’s London nightlife has a buzz about it. Home to Kingston upon Thames University, it’s ideal for students and those who want to spend a London weekend away partying with great drinks deals. 

Travelling to Kingston from London is easy, with regular direct trains taking around an hour to get there. For Kingston nightlife, here are our suggestions:

  • Pryzm: This club is perfect for larger groups with a variety of music tastes, with each room playing a different genre

  • Incognito: The tropical rainforest theme and speakeasy tunes expertly accompany the cocktails here

  • The Ram: For a quieter start to the evening, The Ram offers a variety of real ales, craft brews and a draught taproom

London Bridge

While London Bridge might be on your sightseeing list, it’s also a great place to visit after dark. This part of town has everything from vintage cocktail bars to traditional restaurants and sports bars. While it’s less of a party atmosphere, it still makes for a great night out. 

Located across from the City of London, you can reach this area via the London Bridge or Monument underground stations. Here are our top choices for London Bridge nightlife:

  • Swan London: Situated by Shakespeare’s iconic Globe and serving modern British food, the Swan is a great place to start your evening

  • London Bridge Rooftop: This is one of the area’s best-kept secrets, complete with street food, cocktails and DJs come rain or shine

  • The Last Talisman: For Eastern vibes, check out this place for creative cocktails and a sizzling Asian grill inspired by Bali

  • The Bermondsey Bierkeller: Head here for overflowing beer steins, long tables and fun games with friends

A crowd of people dance and raise their hands in the lights at a club night.

Late-night trains to and from London with Avanti

With so many things to do at night in London, it doesn’t matter which part of the city you’re heading to. Whether you’re visiting for one night or three days, you’re sure to have a fantastic time. 

Plus, getting there and back is easier with Avanti West Coast. So you can enjoy yourself without worrying about travelling to your final destination. 

Our trains run to London from all over the UK, with many late-night services enabling you to travel conveniently. Start planning your night out in London with our journey planner and be sure to book your tickets in advance for the best prices.

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