You could be visiting the city for work or for pleasure, but getting to know the nightlife of London should definitely be on the agenda, whatever your schedule is. The city of London is well known for its many nightlife districts. With each area bringing its own personality and style, the more you visit, the clearer your favourite area will become.
Not everyone visiting London will be a partying night owl, and whether you’re staying at the corporate hotels of London or an ensuite with your weekend warrior pals, you can still get a taste of the London nightlife districts without committing to a full night out on the town. From refined wine bars to raucous late-night live music, the city is home to hundreds of bars and clubs that could really add a dash of excitement to your London visit. Below are just some of the bars and clubs you should keep an eye out for.
Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club
Opened in 1959, Ronnie Scott’s has been the Central London crown jewel for jazz and stylish late-night events. Throughout the week, this (once) smoky late-night jazz club offers a weekly lineup of musicians and singers, alongside one of the best bars near Hyde Park stocked to the rafters. Unbeatable in its house and touring musicians, many of whom club owner Ronnie Scott played with himself in the past, this unique jazz club should be top of your list for a cool and sophisticated night on the town.
Moth Club was once a military veterans club, but has now evolved into a pub and live music venue. Adorned with military portraits and commemorative plaques and trophies, the club now showcases the best in new alternative music alongside weekly club nights such as the popular ABBA night that lands in Hackney Central every few months.
Oval Space is another Hackney Club, this time a little further towards London Fields canal network. Oval Space is based in a repurposed, glass-sided warehouse which gives guests the chance to explore stellar lineups of the best international live music acts and cutting-edge DJ’s.
Dalston Superstore is an East London, neon-lit LGBT club that offers a safe space for queer and heteronormative revellers alike. With a weekly lineup of local London DJ’s, this club provides a vibrant atmosphere alongside a welcoming and open party palace till the early hours.
Dalston reigns supreme when it comes to inclusivity. Vogue Fabric is a subtly hidden basement dancefloor that offers everything from spoken word poetry nights, drag cabarets to the bi-monthly Burning Down the House glam, 80s’ and Italo disco night. With a penchant for the progressive, Vogue Fabric is based on Stoke Newing Road and is everything you ever dreamed of when it comes to breaking the status quo.
Vortex Jazz Club
Vortex Jazz Club is another Dalston gem and offers weekly programmes of jazz and instrumental and neo-classical in its upstairs attic space. Spanning a range of genres, past performers at this well-dressed Gillett Square club include Nils Frahm and the Portico Quartet.
This grubby Dalston pub on Shacklewell Lane may not look like much on the outside but provides a platform for some of the best international garage and punk bands making waves in London today. With weekly club nights and raucous energy to it, the Shacklewell Arms offers cheap, if not free gig tickets as well as a platform for local performers and creatives to flaunt their talent.
One of the easiest to reach nightlife areas for guests at Hyde Park hotel accommodation in Shoreditch. With its dizzying variety of bars and clubs, one that always stands out is XOYO just off of Old Street. Opened in 2010, XOYO threw genre out the window, instead opting to focus on quality acts throughout its two pumping rooms.
Another unmissable Shoreditch venue, this unique club might have caught your eye due to its Bakerloo Line train carriage adorned atop its roof. There are more surprises in store for you inside, with the Village Underground literally being stationed underground in a converted church setting. With international acts spanning many genres and club nights pumping out original mixes by the worlds best electronic artists, the Village Underground is the perfect place to transport your weekend into the stratosphere.
Electric Brixton is a South London club and live music venue that was reopened in 2011 after an investment of over a million pounds. As South London’s primary club venue, the focus here is usually on house and electronic music, making for a music venue that has accessible tastes and all-round crowd-pleasers.
Named after the fact that it used to a newspaper press, this innovative new club venue is spearheading the Docklands resurgence, bringing an industrial warehouse-sized club venue that showcases hip hop festivals and late-night DJ sets. With two different rooms and a whopping 5000 capacity, this is a clubbing venue that’s setting a new trend for East London music venues.
Corsica Studios is well known for its unique alternative live acts and legendary club nights. Based in Elephant and Castle and named after the once multicultural and historically utopian area of France, Corsica is another music venue that puts accessibility and progressive values before all else.
Farringdon based Fabric was closed in 2016 by the city council but nevertheless, after a long uphill battle for the club’s fans, was reopened the next year. This community spirit is indicative of Fabric, that places a feeling of community and fun over exclusivity, meaning that it has become one of the best venues in the city for a range of different genres.
Heaven is an Embankment based music venue that has hosted the likes of Perfume Genius and many other queer icons, and wears it’s proud colours even more distinctly with its weekly LGBT nights. With a beautiful view over the Thames and easy to reach for those staying in the centre of the city, Heaven is a high capacity venue that knows how to put on a good show.