Diverse, fun-loving and never quiet, Soho attracts a wide mix of people. Its history, venues and atmosphere make it a must-see for tourists, and Londoners flock here too.
Soho is a consistently great place to find live entertainment, exceptional food and pulsing nightlife, as well as a hub for celebrations such as Pride London. Whether you browse the quirky shops, go on a walking tour or relax in Soho Square, you'll soon feel yourself succumbing to Soho's irresistible charms.
Accommodation in Soho: Hotels and Soho YHA
Soho has been home to Karl Marx, Greta Scacchi and Eric Clapton.
Accommodation in Soho ranges from luxurious hotels such as the W Hotel and the Courthouse Double Tree by Hilton to more affordable options such as the Piccadilly Backpackers. Search for Soho accommodation here.
Soho: Eating and Shopping
The Soho food scene, like the area, offers the quirky and traditional, opulent and down-to-earth. From delicious cheap snacks at Bar Italia or Yalla Yalla to indulgent fine dining at L'Escargot or Kettners, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Small portions for sharing are very popular in London's restaurants, and you can enjoy this trend with your friends at places such as Barrafina, Bocca Di Lupo or the Michelin-starred Yauatcha. Search for more Soho restaurants.
Some of London's most interesting boutiques are in Soho. Shop for top-quality lingerie at Agent Provocateur, choose from a selection of mouth-watering chocolates at Paul A Young or head to Carnaby Street for a huge range of individual shops.
Soho Theatres, Live Music and Clubbing in Soho
There's a long tradition of live theatre and performance in Soho. From big-budget musicals and important plays to quirky cabaret and stand-up , you'll find something on stage to suit any taste. Follow this link to buy theatre tickets to Soho shows.
Soho is at the heart of London's live music and clubbing scenes. Jazz came to the UK via Soho and clubs such as Ronnie Scott's still offer great jazz nights. There is a huge variety of other live music on offer, or you can do it yourself at the Lucky Voice karaoke bar!
Soho is a party hotspot and you'll find everything from casual pubs to exclusive nightclubs. Soho is also one of London's gay and lesbian hotspots.
History of Soho
Soho was developed as an urban area from the late 16th century onwards. The name Soho is thought to come from a 17th-century hunting and battle cry. From the 17th to early 20th century Soho was avoided by its rich neighbours in Bloomsbury and Mayfair and the area developed a reputation for prostitution, music halls, cheap food and shady dealings.
During the 20th century, Soho became the centre of bohemian London with intellectuals, writers, artists and poets eating and drinking in Soho's many pubs and restaurants. Beatnik culture began here and Soho's Carnaby Street was a centrepiece for swinging London in the 1960s.
Soho today has shed its seedy reputation, although there's still enough sex shops, burlesque shows and gay and lesbian bars to retain Soho's risqué vibe. London's Soho has inspired other cities too! There's SoHo New York, Soho Hong Kong and Palermo Soho Buenos Aires. For more information about Soho's history and Soho today, visit I love Soho.
Exploring Soho and Getting To and From Soho, London
Soho is situated in the heart of London's West End. The area only covers roughly 1 square mile (2.6 square kilometres), so it's easy to walk around. Soho is bordered by four central London roads: Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road.
Getting to and from Soho is easy. There are numerous public transport options in Soho – grab your Oyster card and catch a London bus, or get the London Underground tube – London's excellent subway system. London tube stations near Soho include: