If you are counting, there are over 5,000 pubs in London. Some like to draw night hawks with their list of cocktails, others lure London’s young and restless with blaring house tunes while those seeking a cleaner environment can choose to spend the night in non-smoking and even organic establishments.
No other part of the city is more active than the West End. The areas around Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Soho are packed with bars, although they are more expensive than others. So if you want to go where the Londoners go, venture to Camden Town or Islington in North London, or Hoxton and Shoreditch in the East End.
If culture is your thing rather than clubbing, the London theatre scene is unrivalled around the rest of Europe. Tickets can be pricy, but you can get discounted tickets on the same day of performance at the TKTS ticket booth at Leicester Square. Make sure to shop around though as you can sometimes get better deals elsewhere.
Dray Walk, off Brick Lane, London, England
This laid back bar in London's East End is the perfect place to unwind after a day's sight-seeing or a curry on Brick Lane. It gets busy at night also making it a good place to finish the night off. Chill by name...chill by nature.
Open Sun-Thurs 12 noon-midnight, Fri & Sat 12 noon-1am.
2 Haverstock Hill, Camden, London, England
This Camden bar has many elements that combine to make it the perfect place to have a few cold beers. It has smoke-stained walls, old wooden seats, a crowd made up of Camden's best and a soundtrack that will ensure chit-chat is replaced by singing by beer number four.
Open daily from 12 noon-midnight.
Leicester Square, London, England
It’s hard to say whether this is a good pub or not. It enjoys a fantastic location, as well as liberal opening hours (something which is otherwise confined to clubs in the English capital). But on a Friday or Saturday night you can spend most of your time battling it out with other night owls for a drink at one of its 3 different bars. One thing for sure though is that the music can spark up boozy renditions at any given chance.
Open daily from 12 nooon-3am.
9 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, England
This fully air-conditioned café-bar in the heart of Covent Garden has a lively atmosphere and friendly staff. All the greatest hits from the 60's to the 90's are played and excellent food is available at all hours with table service during the day. There is also an American style diner upstairs.
Open Mon-Sat 11.00-midnight, Sun 12pm-22.30.
1 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, London, England
Ask most Londoners where they like to socialise and they'll tell you the Shoreditch/Hoxton area thanks to an abundance of bars there. Bluu just behind Old Street gets busy on Thursday night and stays that way until Sunday. Expect all types of music and crowds.
Open Sun-Thurs 12 noon-11.30pm, Fri & Sat 10am-midnight.
94 Counduit Street, London, England
The London club scene is one of the most famous in the world and along with the Ministry of Sound, The End is the city’s other flagship club. Founded by legendary DJ Mr C of ‘The Shamen’ fame back in the early 1990s, it hosts some of the world’s most renowned DJs on a weekly basis.
Open 10pm/10.30pm-3/7am; admission £6-£15.
23-25 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, England
Why many regard it as too touristy and overpriced, Soho is the heart and soul of Central London's nightlife so sampling it is a must. Due to the constant stream of people through its doors, downing a beer here is extremely enjoyable. The décor is chic, as is the crowd, but thankfully it isn't too pretentious.
Open Mon-Thurs 12 noon-1am, Fri & Sat 12 noon-3am, Sun 4pm-12.30am.
Haymarket House, 1a Oxendon St, London, England
Even though this is London's longest running comedy club, it hasn't gone totally commercial and you can still see some of England's rawest comedy talent. Located smack bang in the city centre, a night here shouldn't be missed.
Open Tuesday-Sunday; tickets start at £13.
Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, SW 2, London, England
Converted cinema which can look spectacular with clever use of visuals and dècor. Saturday is a major gay night but it goes 'straight' on Fridays for the trancey, techno all-nighter 'Escape From Samsara'.
Kings Cross Freight Depot, N1, London, England
London's largest club (holds 3000) is a maze of connected rooms in an old film studio, which rocks to regular special events, usually of a housey nature(Fri 10pm-6 am, Sat 10 pm-7 am; £10-£15).