London’s best party nightspots
As Europe’s largest municipality, London has so much nightlife on offer that you couldn’t possibly fit it all in within one lifetime.
So we’ve selected the best areas and want to give you the know how to get great deals on budget hotels and cheap hostels in the areas, as well as how to get to them easily if you’re staying nearer the outside of the city.
Remember that if you’re planning on painting the town red until the wee small hours, then expensive add-ons such as gyms, pools, spas and business centres are going to be very low on your priority list.
What you will want are great locations, rooms that allow you to be with all of your friends, WiFi to check out which club nights are on when you’re going out, and good access to transport.
Most importantly, you’ll want to save your money for those drinks whilst you’re out, so won’t be after five-star accommodation to come back to.
Leicester Square/Soho, Shoreditch and Kings Cross are the three areas of London most densely populated with nightlife, and luckily for you there are also a great number of cheap London hotels and budget BnBs near or in those areas.
Staying near Leicester Square and Soho
It’s very difficult to find cheap accommodation right in the heart of Soho, but if you’re travelling during the summer then we’ve got two amazing budget accommodation options that place you within easy walking distance of the most vibrant nightlife in the world.
Carr-Saunders Hall, which is a university accommodation during term time, offers budget single, double, triple and studio rooms tailored to meet any budget and has the fantastic advantage of offering a FREE full English breakfast to soothe those inconvenient hangovers.
High-Holborn Hall is also a repurposed university residence and offers the same cheap accommodation arrangement as Carr-Saunders and comes with a free continental breakfast.
If you want something cheaper, that’s open all year-round and gives you the chance to book whole dormitories for large groups of partiers, then look no further than the Russell Square Hostel or the Generator Hostel Bloomsbury, which offer beds from as little as £22 per person. Hostels have a great party atmosphere and both of these even have their own attached bars, meaning you can begin or end the night within crawling distance of your own bed!
And for a budget hotel in the area, look no further than the Astor Museum Inn in Bloomsbury. With prices as low as £19 per person, this is a great private hotel within walking distance of Soho.
ALL of these accommodations are within walking distance from the buzzing lights of Soho and Leicester Square (and offer plenty by way of night-time entertainment on the walk there and back too!), meaning you don’t have to spend a single penny on underground travel or taxis.
If you don’t mind spending a little on tube travel and want to stay a little further out, then these areas are easily accessible by bus and underground from Waterloo. In that area, you might want to check out International House London, which offers single and group rooms for as little as £24.18 per person. As another university residence, you can expect better than average mod-cons such as en-suite bathrooms and excellent self-catering facilities, which mean you can cook your own food and do a bit of pre-drinking while you’re at it.
Staying in Shoreditch
The hipster capital of the world has so many newly-sprung bars, clubs and nightlife venues of other, description-defying varieties that it’s popular and vibrant every night of the week. Whether you like cocktails in teapots, alcohol-fuelled crocheting parties or just good, old-fashioned, slightly run-down dance nights in real, atmospheric venues, there’s something for you in this trendy and diverse area.
With infamous clubs such as 93 Feet East, Cargo, XOYO and The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch never stops having fun, and neither will you.
If you want to make the most of this area, then the best way to do it is on foot. This is in large part due to the sparsity of public transport in the epicentre of this part of town; there isn’t really a tube station that serves it (but there are a couple of overground stations) and buses can be quite complicated.
So you’ll want to find yourself cheap accommodation that enables you to walk wherever you want. Happily we’ve just the thing.
For budget hostel accommodation (and one of the best hostels in London), why not check out the Dictionary Shoreditch and see what all the fuss is about? This hostel has unanimously excellent reviews and a great party vibe as well as being safe and clean. It’s also a short stroll from the best party areas in London.
And we’re throwing in free WiFi internet and a free continental breakfast to really help you save those pennies for partying. The hostel has a communal kitchen so you can prepare your own food and a bar to help get the party started, and has prices starting at a staggering £16 per person.
For a cheap hotel alternative, why not try the City View Hotel in Bethnal Green? Not only is it on top of Bethnal Green underground station, it’s got prices starting at £19.50 per person. It’s a very basic accommodation, with single, double and triple rooms – either with a shared bathroom so you pay a little less, or private bathrooms.
The hotel’s free WiFi enables you to check out what’s going on in the immediate area, and there’ll be a lot so it’s a good idea to choose wisely! It’s also a short walk from Brick Lane and the great attractions of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green.
And in the summer, there’s Alexander Fleming House – yet another university accommodation – offering budget rooms for solo travellers and groups. This is near Old Street at the other end of Shoreditch, a happening area in its own right and with more to do than you’d have time for even if you lived there!
Staying in Kings Cross
Not only is Kings Cross a great area on its own, it’s also really close to other phenomenal party areas of London such as Camden, Farringdon and Euston.
We’ve got a humungous selection of cheap hotels, hostels and BnBs in the area, so you’re spoiled for choice.
Our top picks for hostels are Clink 261, which offers budget dormitory accommodation in clean and well-reviewed surroundings; Clink 78 (part of the same group); and YHA London St Pancras, which is clean, safe and at very low prices.
All of these accommodations are under £14 per person at starting prices. Clink 261 and YHA have bar areas, the Clinks have free WiFi in communal areas and FREE buffet breakfasts of cereals, tea, coffee and other tasty treats.
And, best of all, they’re all immensely close to the best parts of London for having a stonking night out.
If you’re after budget private accommodation, then Kings Cross is full of competitive hotels. Kings Cross Inn Hotel offers rooms starting at £20.00 per person, has been recently refurbished and has its own bar.
The Fairway Hotel London has similarly low prices (starting at £24.75 per person) and offers the same great attractions in terms of location. You can enjoy free WiFi in your room and tuck into an English breakfast to wipe the hangover blues away.
Top Tips for partying in central London
It seems obvious, but if you’re going to get in a taxi, make sure it’s a licensed one. Apps such as Uber are reliable, and there is a myriad of cab firms a search away that will take you where you need to go.
Although 24-hour underground transport is going to be introduced soon, it’s not with us yet; so we advise making sure you’re familiar with the night bus routes. While it’s generally safe to walk around London at night, if you’re a lone female it’s best to avoid putting yourself at unnecessary risk; so either remain in groups or get a licensed taxi.
Drinks offers are a great way to keep costs down whilst maximising the good time, but it’s rare that you’ll find them whilst out. A great many clubs will do online promotions if you sign up to guest lists, which usually include some sauce, so we recommend checking out the venues you want to go to online to see what’s going.
The best offers are during the week to encourage footfall, as well as the best rates for accommodation, so this is a good time to plan your party for (if you and your pals can get the time off work).
Leicester Square clubs tend to be more expensive and more geared towards pop music than really good techno, happy house or disco. So if you want something more authentic, then we recommend either Soho or Shoreditch.
Gents: it might sound obvious, but trainers and hoodies tend to be banned at Leicester Square clubs (it’s very unlikely to be the case elsewhere).
Many Soho, Leicester Square and Covent Garden clubs encourage you to book VIP areas online. While the initial outlay can look expensive, we’ve done extensive research and if you have even a moderate night, this tends to work out cheaper overall.
Always check out happy hour times. Again, during the week these periods tend to be longer (many don’t do happy hours on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays) but many of them run quite late into the evening. The latest we’ve seen a happy hour end is 10:00pm, which is prime party time.
Loads of venues offer Sunday recovery deals, often including some kind of lunch offer. Be sure to check these out while you’re still sober enough on Saturday night (they can be elusive online) as they’re a fantastic way to round off a weekend of partying.