Ready to party like a Londoner? The capital city of London is an incredible destination of things to do full of shopping, architecture, world-class museums, and a diverse population. For many visitors, however, the real appeal is the unforgettable nightlife. Whether you are interested in sipping a few beers with friends in a traditional British pub, unwinding with a cocktail in a sophisticated lounge, or dancing the night away in one of the enormous clubs, London is the right place to be. Here are just a few of the top spots to be in London for an evening you won’t forget.
For something completely non-traditional, whimsical, and a little quirky, Nightjar is an incredible bar in London. Found just minutes from the Old Street Station, Nightjar has a lounge feel with a prohibition theme. Although you can order a range of drinks from the fully-stocked bar, indulge in one of the creative cocktails. Ingredients like shaved ginger, dry ice, and sugar cane straws are par for the course at Nightjar, and even the menu lists cocktails in chronological order so you can imagine the era that your delicious drink came from. While you can spend the entire evening here, it is a particularly popular place to sip a wild concoction before heading out for a concert, a West End show, or a late-night meal with a date.
For celebrity spotting, a VIP experience, and a chance to mingle with the richest and most beautiful residents of London, Project is a nightclub you won’t want to miss. Just off of Oxford Street, the nightclub is centrally-located and beyond exclusive. In order to get in, you’ll have to be a member, know a member, be a celebrity or be one of the uber-wealthy visitors let beyond the bouncer’s red velvet ropes. The exception to the rule is for those particularly beautiful women, many of whom are models, who snag seats at the VIP tables inside. World-class DJs, bottle service and a sleek, contemporary layout are just the beginning of this amazing nightlife spot, and it is worth visiting if you have the right connections to get through the front door.
The largest nightclub in London, Studio 338, also happens to be one of the newest in the British capital. Located in Greenwich, Studio 338 recreates the wild vibes of a rave or concert during an Ibiza summer, and it has become an overnight success among city dwellers who crave a way to let their hair down without taking a flight to Europe. With the capacity to hold more than 3,000 people, Studio 338 is actually a mostly outdoor space. Yes, in London! They pump hot air in during the colder months to give it a tropical feel even when there is still snow on the ground right just steps away from the entrance. For bass-thumping electronic and dance music, a youthful crowd and plenty of booze, Studio 338 is the kind of place worth visiting London for.
Hat on Wall Bar
If you want to avoid all the typical tourist nightlife spots and head to somewhere only the trendiest London-dwellers even know about, then Hat of Wall Bar in the hip section of Shoreditch is ideal. Only open from Wednesday to Friday, Hat on Wall Bar doesn’t broadcast its address or have any signs out front. Instead, you’ll have to ring the buzzer at a group of small offices at 20 Hatton Wall, wait to be let in, and then head upstairs to find the action. Once you’re in, the hipster haven is welcoming and cool, with a regular DJ and a private lounge feel.
After catching a show on the West End, walk over to Covent Garden, home to Guanabara. This Brazilian bar is a great place to sip a mojito, but it is better known for hosting dance evenings throughout the week and weekend that will keep you on your feet the entire night. Some nights start off with a DJ, but most end with a lively band taking requests and playing a range of contemporary hits and Latin favourites that lay the groundwork for salsa, flamenco, and countless other dance styles. Show up before 8pm, and you can have a free lesson to get started.
The Spaniard’s Inn
If you want to enjoy a tipple with some serious historical and literary connections, there is no better place than The Spaniard’s Inn. Located in Hampstead, a district in North Central London, The Spaniard’s Inn is a country pub perfect for a drink before dinner or even several later in the evening. The pub is one of the oldest in London, and it was mentioned in everything from Dickens’ “Pickwick Papers” to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. Plus, noted authors like John Keats spent time there imbibing while writing their famous works. Admittedly, this isn’t the place to dance until the wee hours of the morning, but it is a fantastic spot to drink in the pleasant beer garden until midnight, chat with fellow literary lovers about British writing, and perhaps play a game of darts with the locals at the bar.
Rock music and history aren’t typically things you might expect to go together, but they pair beautifully at the Electric Ballroom, a live music venue in Camden. Operational since 1938, and with an incredible past, the Electric Ballroom is the place to go to for great music, live gigs, and DJs playing sounds you won’t find anywhere else. There are two separate dance floors to cater to different musical tastes, as well as four bars, which makes it just shy of the super clubs found in the city. Most weekends are packed for concerts, which could be a new local group or a headlining act like the Killers or Sid Vicious.
Nightlife is a major part of London, and there is no end to the great ways to spend an evening. Whether you prefer live music, a traditional pub, or late-night dancing, you can have it all in this incredible city.
What’s your ideal nightlife scene?