Rainbow flag in Soho, London - ©UCityGuides.com
London is home to Europe's largest gay community. Pride London is a major event, there’s an important Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and its gay nightlife is one of the world's best. Old Compton Street and its surrounding area in Soho is the city's gay epicenter, with gay bars and shops for every style and personality. If you're not sure exactly where to go, walk around here and you'll soon find a flyer advertising a party or hear about what's going on elsewhere. There’s a wide range of venues and activities, and you can spend days checking out every gay-friendly café, bar or dancefloor. To help you make a careful selection, we provide the following list:
This is a popular gay favorite for a quick meal in Soho, and not just because of the variety on the menu. But there are other branches, so consult the website to find the one closer to where you're staying.
BJ’s White Swan
A popular gay destination for over three decades, this bar hosts drag performances and DJs mixing pop and house music.
A relaxed spot during the week and a gay party on weekends, this bar in Soho offers different experiences. It’s perfect for drinks and conversation in the afternoon, and for a boys’ night out later in the day, when DJs mix crowd-pleasing tunes.
Duque of Wellington
It’s a traditional British pub but with a gay flair. Expect lots of beer plus fabulous nights of bingo and quizzes hosted by drag queens.
Facebook Page: Duke.Of.Welly
Everyone from bears to drag queens enjoys craft beers and theme nights at this drinking-and-dancing venue that’s one of London’s LGBT landmarks. It’s especially popular on weekends, but is also open on weekdays.
Non-stop weekend parties, muscles, and party boys is what you'll find at this club. If that's exactly what you're looking for, look no further.
Its parties are legendary, and they have included legends like Kylie Minogue and the Spice Girls. You will not meet one gay guy in London who has not been to one of its special nights at least once in his life. Check the Facebook page to find what's happening when you’re in town:
Facebook Page: G-A-Y
This gay/mixed superclub is the biggest and most famous of all, with several different areas and parties. If you only make it to one club while in London, this should be it.
The Kings Arms
In business since 1982, this bar is now mostly popular with bears but welcomes the entire LGBT community, especially on Fridays and Saturdays when its resident DJs mix their favorite tunes. Sundays are karaoke nights.
Facebook Page: KingsArms.Soho
Young crowds head to this stylish bar for beer and cocktails. Join them and the friendly staff for a regular or theme night. Check the website for upcoming events.
Located in the heart of Soho, this bar is open throughout the week for cocktails and people-watching. There are happy hours in the afternoon and a party atmosphere at night, especially when the DJs are in the house from Thursday to Saturday.
A place where you can actually smoke thanks to its private outdoor area, this is a stylish bar with a (smoke-free) brick interior. You may enjoy weekday happy hours in the afternoon and move to the beats of the loud dance music at night.
Thanks to its hot gogo boys and resident DJs on weekends, this is one of London’s most popular gay bars since 1991. It’s open throughout the week and closes late, offering nights of cocktails and eye candy.
If you’re into rubber and leather, head to this three-decade-old club. Although there’s a strict dress code for that fetish wear on regular nights, it often hosts other theme parties which may include men in suits or no clothes at all.
Covent Garden Health Spa
Gay and bisexual men meet here for the therapeutic spa pool, steam room, large jacuzzi, private cabins and massage services. There’s also a bar.
The Locker Room
This sauna hosts special events such as “bear night,” “bisexual parties,” and “naked mates night.” Facilities include a 16-man sauna and steam room, private relaxation cabins and a chill-out lounge.
This famous spa is open 24 hours, seven days a week, welcoming all kinds of men, from London and abroad. In addition to the steam rooms, spa pool accommodating up to 20 guys, and private cabins, it offers massage services by qualified male masseurs.
Gay Soho finally has a spot for the ladies. It’s a modern basement bar that welcomes the entire LGBTQ+ community, with drag king shows, special events and guest DJs.
Ace Hotel Shoreditch
Just a short walk from the Brick Lane market and other popular attractions, this retro-inspired hotel is popular with gay travelers. It offers a gym, a restaurant catering to different dietary needs, and a rooftop bar with a panoramic view.
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
Each room of this design hotel has floor-to-ceiling windows facing a garden or the city. It’s a hip hotel with an industrial-style interior and known for its sophisticated restaurant. The 5-star service includes a gym and a spa and wellness center.
The Boundary Project
Inspired by the neighboring galleries, this design hotel created twelve artistic rooms, each dedicated to a legendary designer or design movement. On the rooftop is a cocktail bar and restaurant, offering 360-degree views of the city to the cosmopolitan crowds, gay and straight.
On a budget? Choose this hotel mixing antiques and contemporary furnishings. Known to be gay-friendly, it’s open since 1973 but was renovated over the years. The building dates back to the 19th century, and is divided into 46 single, double, triple and even quadruple rooms.
Look for the hotel or apartment that best matches your budget, type of trip or personality. You may guarantee your reservation but do NOT pay anything at the time of booking. Payments are only made at the property, and there are no booking fees. Most hotels and apartments allow cancellations with no penalty if done up to 24 or 48 hours in advance. You'll see that information at the time of booking and again in the confirmation email:
Search for London hotels or London apartments