Go out in London

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Guide

Highlights, tips and info to live authentic going out experiences in London

What time do people go out and how is the nightlife in London?

London is one of the most active cities in the world, at any time of the day or night. There are over 5,000 venues here, an impressive amount for just one city. You will find them both in the city centre and in the outskirts, and there are pubs, clubs, bars, discos and much more. For a more peaceful evening, there are many alternatives: a show at the theatre, an indie concert or a jam session, a film premier, a performance in some stunning location... London satisfies everyone, without too many prejudices, without too many worries, but with a common mission: having a good time. You eat early here, between 6 pm and 9 pm, then the kitchens close. But there are still countless fast-foods; actually, here in London you can eat at any time. People go out pretty early, probably because dinner finishes early. Already around 5 pm you can see groups of young people around the streets, ready to party. People go to clubs from 10 pm to 2 am, then they close. Some clubs, such as EGG, Printworks or Fabric, stay open until later, but generally the night in the clubs here in London does not last long. Although the centre is always full of people. It's very common, especially for the British, to finish work around 5 pm and then stay in pubs for the whole evening. For this reason, you'll find lots of pubs and bars completely full. Usually during weekdays, bars close around 1 am, whilst on Fridays and Saturdays between 3 am and 4 am. The other best option to drink without spending too much, since London is really, really expensive, is to buy alcohol from the supermarket and drink at friends' house before going to the club. London may seem like a rather anarchic city if you live the night; you can really find anything here. But don't think that you'll be free to do everything you want; from 10 pm, you won't be able to buy alcohol at night shops and you won't even be able to drink in the streets. The alternative is to drink in a club or at home, which is what many people do. London is a very busy city and there are many controls, behave well and you won't have any problems, just as anywhere else.

Which are London’s best neighborhoods to go out?

London is historically one of the cities of music, and it's something you can perceive going around the streets. It is very big and above all it is very diversified. Here you can really find anything; it is a city which offers alternatives for all tastes. In the city centre, the nightlife takes place in Leicester Square, Picadilly and Oxford Street, where there are restaurants, bars, pubs, elegant clubs and quiet spots where you can have a drink and enjoy some soft music. In wealthier areas, such as Kensington or Chelsea, there are even more exclusive venues, often private, where it's super difficult to access. London is a city in which different cultures coexist, this creates a quite distinct but at the same time mixed audience. Piccadilly Circus is the heart of London's nightlife and it's always pretty crowded, both day and night. In West End, London's Broadway, you'll find many theatres where you can enjoy a play or a musical. Soho is the chic and gay area of the city, but also underground, literally. In fact, it's full of underground clubs where you can spend the night dancing. Shoreditch, on the other hand, is the artistic and creative district; the hipster district par excellence. There are many clubs and discos in this area, including Bounce, XOYO and Cargo. In the heart of London, near Bond Street, Mayfair is one of the most prestigious areas of the city. East London is known for being a culturally active area. Here, too, you'll find many restaurants, bars and clubs. Camden Town, on the other hand, is London's well-known rock and jazz district, where live music prevails. Rock and jazz concerts are very popular in the famous clubs such as KOKO or Dublin Castle. Brick Lane is a multi-ethnic, cool and vibrant neighborhood. Here you'll find breweries, including Old Truman, cafes and clubs, including the Vibe Bar. To find clubs with hip hop, funk and drum and bass music you need to go to Brixton. For a quiet evening with friends instead, you can choose a nice cocktail bar in South Kensington, which is a renowned rich area. Music in London makes everyone happy: from classical to rock music, from acoustic guitar concerts to electronic music events, London nights are amongst the most eclectic and varied in the world. If you want to liven up your night with hip hop, jazz, metal or rock, some of the venues for you are the Jazz Caff in Camden Town and the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston. In certain places you can still enjoy a concert in a garage, like in the years of rock and punk. In London electronic music lovers have plenty of choice. For a long night of great music, EGG or Fabric have some of the most incredible line ups, the beautiful Printworks, The Cross in King's Cross area, the historical Ministry Of Sound in the old bus station... the list is endless. If you're in the mood for a funky, hip hop, reggae or drum & bass concert, you'll have to go to Cherry Jam or Dogstar, in Brixton Village. This place is characterized by multiethnicity and the most delicious cuisine here is Caribbean, like the music you'll hear on the streets. Other intriguing venues are Cirque Le Soir, with its extravagant shows every night, Funky Buddha, one of the most exclusive clubs in the city, Kengsington Roof Gardens, in the attic of the Derry and Toms' building, Bouijis, where it might be tough to get in as it is frequented by many VIPs.

How expensive is to go out in London?

In most of the clubs in London, the entrance fee is between 15£ and 30£, drink excluded. These cost between 10£ and 20£, depending on the club. Prices are much higher in the central areas of the city, compared to the outskirts. On top of this, cocktails are made with a measuring cup and they might not be as strong as you wish. Many choose beer, which costs between 4£ and 8£. In general, a way to save money is buying alcohol from the supermarket; with 10£ you can buy a bottle of decent booze and soft drinks to make cocktails. Be careful: London is an innovative city, but public transport might not be operative the whole night. On Fridays, the subway is open until 1 am, whilst on Saturday it is until 5 am. In all the other days, the last train is at midnight. Take care of the time, taxies here are one of the most expensive things. Just a few km trip could cost you 40£. In alternative, you can use alternative services such as Uber.

What's the dress code in London?

London is a limitless city. It’s the town of punk, of concerts in the garages and the leather jackets. Depending on the club where you go, the style is dictated by the music offered. In the most elegant and exclusive venues you will have to go well dressed: shirt and long trousers (for him) or a nice dress (for her). This is the city where you can express yourself as you prefer, without worrying too much and without too many boundaries. Nobody will turn around and look at you. Weirdness here is very common!!