We’ve said it before: one of the great things about studying in London is how great the nightlife here is. It is one of those cities that throws a killer party and it has some of the best bars. If you’re thinking of going to study in England, or if you’re one of the thousands of London summer students that have just arrived, this London nightlife guide will come in handy to you. This is the Uniplaces break-down of London’s best party neighbourhoods! Call to action moment: bookmark this article!
Central London has thousands of bars, pubs and clubs. Leicester square and Covent Garden are the focus here but they are just as packed with tourists by night as they are by day. The one place we know of worth checking out is the superclub-classic Fabric, in case you’re into some hardcore house music. Regularly voted by DJ Magazine as the Best or 2nd Best Club in the world. Make sure you get your tickets in advance: it’s easier to get in and cheaper, too. (For more information, check out Fabric London’s website.)
Soho became famous throughout the world in the swinging 60s as one of the hotspots for bohemians to hang out – many poets, artists and singers had their base here. It is now very fashionable and really gay-friendly: many of the city’s best gay clubs are here. If you’re up for an evening of laughter, the legendary stand-up comedy theatre Comedy Store is established here. One top tip from this London nightlife guide: a night worth going to for students in London – especially the traditional Erasmus student always looking out for a good deal – is Cheapskates (drinks for £1) and Cheapskates 2 (drinks for £2), at the Moonlighting nightclub. Entry is somewhere between £3 and £7 and the dress code, their website says, is “not naked”. (To check out all the upcoming events, check out Moonlighting Nightclub’s website here.)
Camden has always been the centre for London’s alternative movements. It still has a distinct atmosphere, but it is decidedly not as alternative today as it used to be. It has some very good pubs to start the evening (check out World’s End or the rock-themed Hawley Arms). Rock gigs (British slang for live acts, or concerts) at the Barfly are always worth it and the Underworld Camden is probably the coolest club around. For something a little different you can always try Cottons Camden Rum Shack, serving Caribbean drinks and food and playing Caribbean music through the evening (closes around 1am Fridays and Saturdays).
Shoreditch is the area of London where bars tend to be very different. Think circus-themed pubs, cabarets and comic-book bars. The crowds are hip and trendy. It also has good clubs – try the Cargo.
Another ‘London nightlife guide’ top tip! You don’t have to be north of the Thames to have fun. There’s a number of places on the South Bank popping up which are really good fun. For example, there’s Cable, right under the arches of London Bridge (near the London Bridge tube station). It ﬁts more than 1000 and has two different dance ﬂoors. It is open nearly 24 hours a day too, so if you want to party until the sun rises, this is a good bet. Southwark is also home to the Ministry of Sound, the temple of house music has three dance ﬂoors and supposedly attracts 5000 people every weekend. (Check out the Ministry’s website and find out what’s going on at this world-famous club.)
If you want to try something very, very different, from the usual night out, London has some really good places to check out. Quirky, cool, a little crazy maybe, but deﬁnitely fun. Try out Marylebone’s Cocktails and Hip-Hop Karaoke at The Social, for example (The Nudge wrote a brilliant article about this spot for a fun night out, read it here!).
Or one of the three prohibition themed speak-easies: you’ve got Evans&Peel Detective Agency (Earl’s Court – 310c EC road), where a detective opens a hidden door in the bookshelf and all your drinks are served in brown paperbags, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town (Spittal ﬁelds, East London – The BC, 12 Artillery Lane) where you enter through a fridge, and ﬁnally Portside Parlour where the secret entrance is through a toilet, just pull a loo chain and door revolves (Under Off Broadway, Brodway Market, East London). At the London Nightlife guide’s editorial team, we can’t explain this new obsession with the Prohibition in a country so obsessed with drink and where alcohol is and has always been legal.
Finally, Vauxhall (South East London) is a good bet to try some strange nightclubs. Check out the Renaissance Rooms, for example, from Thursday to Saturday, where the Roller Disco party takes place. Alternatively, also in Vauxhall, you’ll ﬁnd Starkers!, which is a naked disco for those of you more comfortable undressed.
(We have student accommodation options in all of these neighbourhoods. Whether you’re looking for residences, flatshares, or shared apartments, follow these links by clicking on them: student rooms in Central London, student accommodation in Camden, apartments for students in Shoreditch, flatshares in Southwark, homes for students in Marylebone, and student apartments and studios in Vauxhall)
Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more. Did you enjoy our London nightlife guide? Just drop us a line in the comment section below to let us know you did. And remember! If you need to find University housing in London – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.com.