Traveling is great – but it is even better when you know a couple of insider tips to make the most of your stay. Today I’ll start off with sharing some thoughts on a night out in London. It’s not only good to know where to go but also how to get around.
Of course your choice will depend on who you are with, budget and preferences. Here are some ideas for any occasion.
Romantic dinner for two
You have one night in London and you want to impress your loved one with a romantic dinner/drink with a view? No problem. Most recently London opened its latest addition to the skyline: The Shard. Choose from three restaurants/bars: Aquashard (located on the 31 level), Oblix (located on the 32 level), and Hutong (located on the 33 level). Come dressed smartly and enjoy amazing views of London.
Closer to the ground but not less spectacular: The Oxo Tower. Lovely views of St. Paul’s included.
Hot, hotter, exotic: Fancy sushi combined with Latin American cuisine in the heart of the City of London? Oh, and great views inclusive? Than Sushi Samba in the Heron Tower might be the place to be for you.
Dance, baby, dance!
You are keen to dance the night away in one of the world’s most famous clubs? London’s club landscape seems like a maze to you? Put your dance shoes on and shake your body to the beats on one of the several floors at Ministry of Sound until late.
A chilled beer or cider is what you are longing for? I once read that there are around 7000 pubs in London. You might even have passed by one or two on the way to your hotel. London’s pubs usually provide you with the full British pub experience, food included. If you are on a budget and you tend to be claustrophobic this might be the go-to address for you. However, there is no music in British pubs. If you’ve had enough head towards Old Street/Hoxton Square/Shoreditch – this is the place where the cool kids hang out. Plenty of bars, music and style.
A couple of my favourites in East London:
- Boundary Rooftop Bar – because it’s somewhere inbetween cool, relaxed and not too posh. Nice concept but you’re not as high up as in Sushi Samba or the Shard.
- Café 1001 – Cool during the day, cooler at night. A café, a bar, a club. Relaxed atmosphere, great music.
- Vibe Bar – the venue that serves drinks and music.
- The Owl & Pussycat – A pub with character.
- The Cornershop – Food, drinks, dance – chilax. All there.
- Zigfried von Underbelly – Drinks and music never disappoint.
The view…oh my god, the view!
The Londonist did a great job collecting the best rooftop bars in London.
My personal favourite is the Radio Rooftop bar at Hotel ME in Aldwych. What you’ll get is high quality entertainment, at lot to see (not only the view, which is for sure one of the best in town) – also the girls dressed up as cats/dominas or 60s-girlies – and of course the guests.
Good to know
- Make sure you check the dress code for each location – in many cases – especially for us girls it’s always easier – we can get away with trendy jeans, but boys might at least need a shirt, might not be able to wear jeans and wear polished shoes.
- Forced to have a good night’s sleep
- It might seem strange to most of you from outside the UK. Here it is completely normal to hit the bar/pub around 6pm. (Admittedly, clubs open later – around 11-ish). Hence, pubs also close early. Expect to be politely asked to finish your drink briefly after Midnight. (The same is true for the Shard – even on a Saturday!). Arrive early to make the most of your night out!
- Arrive early to avoid disappointment
- Also make sure you do not arrive at a restaurant too late because the kitchen might close early. I don’t want to make a general statement but often they close between 9 and 10pm.
- Changes to public transport
- 2015 is the year when everything is going to change and the most important lines on the London underground network will run 24 hours on the weekends. Until then you might still hop on the night bus or grab a cab to get home. You can prebook your cab on Kabee or Halo (Apps available). The night buses generally run every 30 minutes. Check at the tube station for the last trains – usually around 12pm/1am.