Best things to do in London Soho

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 alike.
A Soho street at night with a red neon sign saying Soho at the top of the picture.
Soho at night. Image courtesy of Sister London.

London Soho is a great place to find live entertainment, interesting food and pulsing nightlife. Browse the boutique shops, relax in Soho Square, or treat yourself to a West End show, a meal and a delicious cocktail.

Soho is known for its lively and, at times, risqué vibes. It's also been at the centre of London's LGBTQ+ community for decades with buzzing gay and lesbian bars around Old Compton Street, plus a hotbed of fashion and music – most notably in Carnaby, which led the way in the Swinging Sixties. Read on for the best things to do in Soho.

Where is Soho?

Comptons pub sign with LGBTQ+ flag in Old Compton Street, Soho, London.
Find buzzing LGBTQ+ bars around Old Compton Street. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Soho is situated in the heart of London's West End. The area covers roughly one square mile (2.6 square kilometres), so it's easy to explore on foot.


Soho is bordered by:

Other interesting London areas within walking distance of Soho include Leicester SquareCovent GardenPiccadilly Circus and Mayfair.

Must-visit shops

The striking Liberty department store facade in Soho, London.
Liberty is one of the many excellent places to shop in Soho. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

With a myriad of eclectic and unique shops, Soho is perfect for some retail therapy.

  • Browse the 14 streets of Carnaby, known for unique independent stores and global flagship brands, from Fred Perry to Puma.
  • Some of London's most interesting boutiques can be found along Berwick Street, which is also home to one of London's oldest markets.
  • For first-class fashion and electronics stores in and around Soho, head to Oxford Street and Regent Street where you’ll find flagship stores and iconic shops such as Hamleys, the Apple Store and Selfridges.
  • Walk down legendary Denmark Street, which is otherwise known as “Tin Pan Alley” for its incredible collection of musical instrument shops.
  • Admire the beautiful architecture of Liberty, the mock Tudor department store.

FOMO-inducing Soho restaurants

Soho street with people at night with a blue neon sign on a building that says Soho.
Enjoy a fun night out in Soho. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The best restaurants in London Soho offer dining options that range from quirky and traditional to opulent and down-to-earth.

  • Snap up cheap snacks at Yalla Yalla, which serves Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine and sweet pastries.
  • Do brunch and dine on English and American plates at The Breakfast Club Soho.
  • Dine on colourful Indian cuisine at Masala Zone and Dishoom Carnaby.
  • Choose from the fine-dining options at Gauthier Soho, or one of Soho’s Michelin-starred restaurants, YauatchaBarrafina, and Social Eating House.
  • Get your fix of steak, burger, or chicken in Soho. Check out Honest Burgers for both meat and plant-based burgers.
  • Go for small sharing portions at Soho restaurants such as Polpo and Blanchette
  • Explore the eclectic eateries within alfresco hotspot Kingly Court. Cuisines range from Caribbean to Japanese and everything in between.

Pubs and bars in Soho

Red, green and blue neon sign of Ronnie Scott's jazz club in Soho, London.
See a gig at Ronnie Scott's. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

London Soho nightlife is top notch. This neighbourhood is at the heart of London's live music and clubbing scene, but you can also find everything from casual pubs to secret bars.

  • Popular bars such as Soho Residence and Bar Soho provide plenty of cocktail opportunities on a night out in central London.
  • If it’s a late-night coffee you crave, Bar Italia is a lively place to hang out.
  • Find cool music venues with a rock'n'roll history, such as The Spice of Life and 100 Club in Soho.
  • Jazz came to the UK via Soho, with clubs such as Ronnie Scott's and Ain't Nothin' But... offering great jazz nights.
  • Alternatively, you can do it yourself at the Lucky Voice karaoke bar!
  • Step back to the 1940s with cocktails, "rationed" snacks and live entertainment at Cahoots.

Gay and lesbian scene in Soho

Soho can claim to be London's major hotspot for the LGBTQ+ scene, with a high concentration of lesbian and gay clubs and bars. Soho is also a hub for the Pride in London celebrations each year.

David Bowie's Soho

Walk in the footsteps of a musical legend on the David Bowie Walking Tour. Explore Bowie’s roots in Brixton, before heading to buzzing Soho to see the legendary music venues where David Bowie found fame in the 1970s, as well as his former studio, his favourite pub and more.

Theatres near Soho

The Palace Theatre with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sign lit up at night in Soho, London.
Catch a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

London's theatre scene is primarily focused around the West End. Take your pick from an incredible lineup of West End musicals, classic London theatre and comedies.

For more theatre shows and Soho events, find out what's on in London.

Find a Soho hotel

Accommodation in Soho ranges from luxurious hotels to more affordable options.

 

How to get to London Soho

A square in Soho London with trees, plants and a small house in the middle.
Find pretty squares in Soho. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Travelling to Soho is easy, with a variety of options from anywhere in the city.

Nearest Tube stations to Soho

You can get to Soho from a number of different Tube stations:

  • Oxford Circus Underground station is an interchange between the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines.
  • Tottenham Court Road Underground station is served by the Central line and the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line.
  • Piccadilly Circus Underground station is on the Piccadilly line between Green Park and Leicester Square, and on the Bakerloo line between Charing Cross and Oxford Circus.
  • Covent Garden Underground station is close by and is on the Piccadilly Line of London’s Tube network, or walk up from Leicester Square Underground station.

Alternatively, use Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Holborn or Embankment Underground stations, which are all within a 10-minute walk – or travel off-peak to avoid the crowds.

By bus

Many London buses travel close to but not through Soho. Take a bus to Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, the Strand or Aldwych, then take a short stroll through the historic streets.

By rail

Plan your journey in advance using Transport for London’s journey planner.

More about Soho

Find out more about Soho at Shaftesbury Capital.

Discover more London neighbourhoods

Where to next? Check out other top London areas, including nearby Seven DialsLondon’s West End, the City of LondonWestminster and the South Bank.