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?
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:
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.
- Choose from a selection of mouth-watering chocolates at Paul A Young.
FOMO-inducing Soho restaurants
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 Cinnamon Soho.
- Choose from the fine-dining options at Gauthier Soho, or one of Soho’s Michelin-starred restaurants, Yauatcha, Barrafina, 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
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
Theatres near Soho
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.
- A number of Soho theatres – such as the Prince Edward Theatre and the Prince of Wales Theatre – have been entertaining visitors for a very long time.
- From big-budget musicals in London and classic plays to quirky cabaret and stand-up comedy, there is a Soho show to suit every taste.
- Watch a spell-binding performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre on Cambridge Circus.
- Tick the long-running show Les Misérables at the Sondheim Theatre off your bucket list.
- Enjoy a spoonful of sugar and more with Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre.
- Take in comedy, cabaret, theatre and various writer events at the Soho Theatre on Dean Street.
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.
- Bunker down in the boutique surrounds of Sanctum Soho Hotel.
- Among the most luxurious hotels in Soho are elegant Hotel Café Royal and The Courthouse Hotel.
- For visitors coming to London on a budget, Z Hotel and the Central London YHA hostel offer excellent value for money in Soho.
- Enjoy the quirky interiors, bowling alley and rooftop terrace at trendy Ham Yard Hotel.
- Stay close to the action in nearby Leicester Square at stylish Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire or lively W London Leicester Square.
How to get to London Soho
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.
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.
- The nearest railway station is Charing Cross Station, within 10 minutes’ walk.
- London Waterloo Station is a 20-minute walk across Waterloo Bridge, on the south side of the Thames.
Plan your journey in advance using Transport for London’s journey planner.