Many of London's gay bars are clustered around Soho, the traditional centre of London's LGBT+ scene. However, the range of lesbian and gay bars and clubs in London spans the city, from Vauxhall and Clapham, to gay bars in East London. All the best gay bars in London become busy on themed nights and weekends, as well as during the annual Pride in London festival.
Situated in Soho, the famous Admiral Duncan is a great place to grab a drink and catch up with friends. One of the oldest gay pubs in London, and named after an admiral who defeated the Dutch fleet at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797, the pub hosts popular music nights every Saturday.
Dark and seductive, this quirky townhouse-style bar features everything from sofas made from bathtubs to a bar adorned with old books - it's certainly one of the quirkiest gay bars in Soho, London. You’ll find a host of classic and unusual cocktails at Bar Soho, alongside wines, beers and regular drinks offers to keep you going into the early hours.
Open until 1am each day, Circa is one of Soho’s livelier gay bars with regular DJ sets pumping out the commercial dance tunes. Although primarily a young crowd, anything goes, so sit back on one of the comfy sofas and look out for the eye candy.
One of oldest gay bars in London, Comptons is affectionately nicknamed “The Old Dame” of Old Compton Street. The relaxed, pubby drinking spot attracts beer-drinking bears and live sports fans, but its friendly ambience means anyone is welcome.
A cafe by day, club by night, Dalston Superstore is a vibrant and trendy hub for gay, and straight, party people revelling in one of the best gay bars in East London, and one of the area's best clubbing hotspots. Enjoy an extensive cocktail list and avant-garde decor, and feel free to purchase some of the for-sale art on the wall.
Set beneath a railway arch in Vauxhall, South London, this industrial-style venue at Fire hosts some of the biggest and best gay nights in London. With a sound system that will rattle your bones, a laser light show and some of the capital's top DJs, these nights never fail to disappoint.
Freedom Bar is a bar and club located in central Soho. The downstairs club has more than 200 mirrorballs and a number of dance poles, perfect for the regular live events hosted there. Alternatively, relax upstairs in the trendy bar with a glass of champagne or a cocktail.
An offshoot of the legendary G-A-Y club night at Heaven, G-A-Y Bar on Old Compton Street in Soho hosts regular live music and DJ nights. If you want to stay out late, G-A-Y Late is just around the corner and stays open into the early hours.
Discover She Soho, primarily a ladies bar; although gentlemen are welcome with female guests. A standalone bar for the lesbian community, this is a great place during the week to hang out with girlfriends; but, as the weekend approaches, expect live comedy, live music, and DJs.
With three floors, a great sound system and light shows in the main room, Heaven is a club for people who really want to party. Look out for cheap student nights and the flagship Heaven Saturdays G-A-Y night, plus regular live music events.
Head down to one of gay London's secret gems and enjoy a small mixed indie bar with plenty of vibrant personality. Set aside in a little alleyway near Charing Cross, the Retro Bar's music is eclectic and the decor features photos of many iconic rock and pop figures.
Ku Bar - Leicester Square
One of the largest gay bars in London and only a few footsteps from Leicester Square, Ku Bar is spread over three floors and has a capacity of more than 500. Enjoy its exclusive champagne bar and regular DJ club nights.
Ku Bar – Soho
The more intimate sibling of the popular Leicester Square hangout, Ku Bar Soho is a great place for romantic drinks or people watching in Soho, overlooking Old Compton Street. Cocktails are the speciality at this cosy spot, but there’s also a great choice of wines, beers and spirits.
Rupert Street Bar
This chic Soho bar is a relaxed hangout by day that fills out in the evening as the regular after-work crowd arrives for drinks offers and DJ sets. Complete with subtle lighting and elegant furnishings Rupert Street Bar is a great place to unwind and meet new people.
The Duke of Wellington
This two-storey Soho venue has the feel of a traditional British pub, with a friendly atmosphere, a busy downstairs bar and a quieter upstairs seating area. “The Welly” is a good spot for watching live sport or enjoying a relaxing drink with friends. Come summer, you’ll find the streets around The Duke of Wellington packed with regulars.
The Kings Arms
Join the predominantly bearish crowd at Soho's The Kings Arms, which shows live sport and hosts karaoke nights and live DJ sets at weekends. The emphasis at this gay bear bar in London is very much on beer, with a good choice of real ales on tap.
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Head down to South London's oldest surviving gay venue and enjoy regular club nights and a vibrant atmosphere. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is housed in a Grade-II listed building, the first to be listed in recognition of its importance to the LGBT community.
The Two Brewers
Be treated to a host of acts and live music performances at this Clapham cabaret bar. Join in the karaoke or salsa nights, test your knowledge at quiz nights, or be amazed by some of the top acts on London’s LGBT+ cabaret circuit at The Two Brewers.
Soho's first gay bar remains one of its most popular due to its relaxed vibe, daily happy hour drinks specials, and go-go dancers at weekends. Keep an eye out for regular events and live performances at the Village, which sits right in the heart of the action on the corner of Wardour Street and Old Compton Street.