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The 40 best nights out in London for a proper party

From indulgent club nights to pub quizzes and retro bowling, we present our pick of the best places to spend your evenings in the city.

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
Time Out contributors

We know that London nightlife is more than just clubbing (but it does do clubs quite well, too). It’s also pub quizzes, night-time running groups, retro bowling alleys and drag shows. It’s sticky-floored bars, late-night cinema screenings and some really good kebab shops. The problem is, we’re just spoiled for choice. 

If you’re itching for a 12-hour gabber stomper, you’ll probably find it. If you’re more into karaoke and cocktails, you’ll find that too. Or if you just fancy a late-night walk and a really, really, good bagel, you’ll find it in London. 

Don’t know where to head? We’ve done the hard work for you, and have put together the top nights out in London right now: from properly decent club nights to after-hours oddities. So whether you want to try something completely new or just feel like re-visiting the classics, these 40 best nights out in London offer something for everyone. 


🥳 The best festivals in London
📌 The best things to do in London this weekend
⭐ How The Dolphin pub became legendary
🎵 The best clubs in London
🎉 The top club nights in the UK

Amazing nights out in London

  • Clubs
  • Elephant & Castle

Located underneath two railway arches behind Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, this intimate south-east London club has been booking top house and techno DJs and producers from around the world since 2005. They have one of London’s best soundsystems, and are involved in developing underused urban spaces around the capital for use as socially minded arts venues.

Corsica Studios, 4, 5 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB.

Bimini Bon Boulash has launched their very own club night, and it’s an absolute scorcher. A celebration of self-expression and freedom, House of Trash takes place at the late-night labrinth that is Electrowerkz and spins the trashiest disco tunes to get your booty moving. It sells out fast though, so make sure you’re on it with booking tickets well in advance. Not a joke, just a fact. 

Electrowerkz, 7 Torrens St, EC1V 1NQ.


Shameless at Oslo
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Hackney

Occupying the 140-year-old former railway building that was once Hackney Central station, Oslo is a double-decker late night boozer that opened in 2014. Downstairs hosts midweek quizzes, record fairs and craft markets and upstairs is a gig and club venue with a capacity of 375. Up-and-coming bands and DJs regularly make appearances on the schedule, alongside two legendary club nights: Friday’s Shameless (Proper Y2K pop) which doubles as a karaoke den in the green room and Saturday’s Locomotive Disco (house, disco, techno and funk).

1A Amhurst Rd, E8 1LL.

Deptford Northern Soul Club
Photograph: Emily Richardson

4. Deptford Northern Soul Club

Have you heard the news? Northern soul is cool again. No, really. Childhood mates Will Foot and Lewis Henderson threw their first party in Deptford’s Bunker Club in 2016, making use of their rather hefty collection of soul records. Since then, they’ve played venues up and down the UK and established themselves as an authority on the genre’s renaissance in the club world. Vibes-wise, it’s pretty much happiness all round: gurgling vocals, contagious basslines and wax-fuelled grooves to keep your feet tapping all night long. These days, they have a residency at the literally glittering Moth Club in East London and continue to tour the country’s clubs and festival circuit, spreading that soulful energy far and wide.

  • Clubs
  • Clapham

It’s south London’s most notorious trash den. Known for its banterous clientele, cheesy music and a smell that will last up to four washes, Infernos its a must for any big night out. With multiple rooms, light-up dancefloors and even a fish tank, this club experience is character building at its finest. And while you might not enjoy the experience at the time, you will have excellent stories to tell your mates the next day.

Infernos, 146 Clapham High St, SW4 7UH.

Fabric LIVE
Photograph: Ben McQuaide

6. Fabric LIVE

Fabric’s in-house club night Fabric LIVE is probably one of the most foolproof parties going – not just because it’s an iconic venue, but because the programming is almost always spot-on. Expect excellently curated line-ups across a range of genres, spotlighting freshly emerging DJ talent alongside dance music veterans, MCs and – occasionally — live instrumentals. That’s not to mention the space itself: two rooms of top-notch soundsystems, no camera phones and a dance floor steeped in history

  • Nightlife
  • Alternative nightlife
  • Dalston

Formerly (and still commonly) known as Vogue Fabrics, Dalston disco den VFD hosts drag and spoken word events as well as genre-spanning club nights and parties. Look out for the massive penis mural in the loos. 

VFD, 66 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XB.


Club de Fromage

Held every Saturday at the 800-capacity O2 Academy Islington, Club de Fromage is the stuff of London party legend. As its name suggests, the music policy is as cheesy as a quattro formaggi: come for wall-to-wall throwback bangers from the likes of Britney and Bon Jovi.

16 Parkfield St, The Angel, London N1 0PS.

  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Shepherd’s Bush

The vinyl revival is still going strong and Next Door Records on Uxbridge Road shop is the latest place to get your wax fix. Not an audiophile obsessive? The café, bottle shop and live performances mean it’s likely to be your new favourite hangout – whether you know what a 45 is or not.

Next Door Records, 304 Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ.

Pxssy Palace

It’s hard to overstate the influence of Pxssy Palace, which ‘prioritises women and femmes of colour and other queer, intersex and trans POC’. Booking DJs often ignored by the mainstream, PP has shifted the paradigm big time. Keep an eye on @pxssypalace for updates on events and tickets. 

Various venues.

KOKO Electronic
Photograph: Sam Neil

11. KOKO Electronic

In case you’ve not heard the news, Koko is back, bitches. And apparently, it’s better than ever. The iconic Camden music venue has launched its series of club nights, with an epic roster of DJs and artists lined up to keep you dancing into the early hours of the weekend. 

Koko, NW1 7JE. 

Spending your night in a multi-storey car park might not sound like the ideal night out, but Peckham Levels isn’t your average motor-filled concrete block. Instead, it’s packed with food vendors dishing up mouth-watering street food from all over the world, including Plantain Kitchen's West African eats, Beza Ethiopia’s vegan smorgasbord and Boxwallah’s twists on Delhi-inspired classics. 

Floor 1-6, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95a Rye Lane SE15 4ST.


If you’re after unpretentious clubbing, you can experience a stellar lineup for a reasonable price in an east London strip club turned disco den. It promises disco dancing at its most pure: steamy, sexy, and completely unfiltered. 

Metropolis, E2 9NN. 

South London party people Rhythm Section throw high-energy nights across London, exploring the sounds of garage, soul, house and all things electronic. Curated by Rhythm Section label head Bradley Zero, expect high energy, big bass, and splintering beats.

Various locations.


Eyes down for a full house… Dabbers Social Bingo has comics as bingo callers and interactive challenges called things like ‘twerk it out’.

18 - 22 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7DB.


Dust off your dancing shoes for a night of old-school singalongs with this epic musical clash between Swedish pop royalty and Fleetwood Mac. Unfortunately we can’t guarantee IRL performances, but the DJ will do their best to spin you into a similar state of disco-induced euphoria. 

Various locations.

A true source of Peckham pride, multi-floored concrete hub the Bussey Building continues to thrive as a warehouse-style club at night and a sweet arts venue during the day. Regular weekend parties like The South London Soul Train are joyful affairs, and also rare examples of young and old partying in sync.

Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, Peckham, SE15 4ST.


Phonox has the utopian aim of building a welcoming community of likeminded clubbers. No frills, no pretence, just a sound group of people there for the dance. Expect unrivalled DJs and a first-rate sound system.

418 Brixton Rd, Brixton, SW9 7AY.

Eastern Margins
Photograph: Eastern Margins

20. Eastern Margins

The beauty of an Eastern Margins night is that you never quite know what you’ll get until you’re there, bopping and bouncing along in the thick of it. This series is all about platforming talent from east Asia, south-east Asia and the diaspora: we’re talking dazzlingly fluorescent Japanese cloud rap, Chinese-instrument-laced-club tunes, head-smacking hyperpop, crooning alt-R&B, hypnotic tape music and much, much more. Not just a club night but a collective and label too, Eastern Margins has taken over some of London’s most happening venues, from Venue MOT and Studio 289 to Peckham Audio and Colour Factory, as well as Manchester’s Soup. Over the years it’s been graced by the likes of rappers Tohji and Lil Mariko, as well experimental vocalist Organ Tapes and Japanese ‘90s Shibuya-kei pop legend Miho Hatori. Whatever the line-up and whatever the venue, an Eastern Margins night is always a unruly blaze of cross-genre, cross-continental glory. 


Rowans Bowling has a deserved legendary rep. There are two floors of lanes, karaoke booths, an arcade, pool tables, boozy slushies and you can even get pizzas at your lane. Plus it’s open until 2am on weekends. Strike!

10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DF.

Orii Community
Photograph: Jess Hand

22. Orii Community

Orii (meaning ‘soul’) is a full-frontal Monday night jam session run by artist Neue Grafik, featuring a full stage of drums, keys, trumpet, MC(s), guitar, bass, triangle and then whatever the audience throws in. The talent is incredible and for the most part, the vibes are immaculate – a comforting confirmation that live music is still alive and well. 

Colour Factory, E9 5EN. 


No nightlife venue has the wow factor like Printworks. This huge post-industrial space provides a playpen for the world’s biggest house, etchno and D&B DJs to get epic on your ass.

Surrey Quays Rd, Rotherhithe, SE16 7PJ.


East End super-pub The Glory has become an LGBT+ landmark. Open nightly, it’s also hosted everything from queer Jewish night Butt Mitzvah to a George Michael tribute with ‘Club Tropicana’ hot tubs.

281 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AS.

On the last Friday of every month, art lovers head to Tate Modern Lates. These giant free parties are packed with performances, music, films, talks and DJ sets. It’s the perfect place to discover London’s hottest new artists and have a cocktail while checking out those tenth-floor views.

Bankside, SE1 9TG.

Photograph: Fold

28. UnFOLD

SPFDJ recently tweeted that ‘Unfold the best party in the UK’. Damn, it must be good then. But seriously, if you’re the type of person that needs a boogie to wind down before the start of a new week, or one who just refuses to see the party end, this is the place for you. No photos or videos are allowed, making room for only pure vibes on the dance floor. 

Fold, E16 4SA. Tickets on the door. 

Horse Meat Disco

Horse Meat Disco is everything a good weekly club should be: friendly, inclusive, not too pricy and playing music that’s defined yet unpredictable. The four DJs behind this Sunday standout at Eagle London revived disco for queer audiences at a time when such silky sounds were dead.

Eagle London, 349 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5QY. 

Loads of pubs have quizzes, so why should you pick this one? Because this Bethnal Green boozer really goes for it – from sambucca challenge rounds, to dance competitions to crafting. You might even have to bust out an Elvis impression; we're all shook up.

359 Bethnal Green Rd, E2 6LG.

Roof East
  • Things to do
  • Stratford

There’s plenty of rooftop bars in London, but where else can you watch a film alfresco or challenge your mates to a game of crazy golf, virtual reality foosball, a spot of curling, jenga or a swing in a batting cage? Roof East, a complete Stratford stalwart, reopened this year with a load of new street food offerings, drinks menus and playful surprises.

Floors 7-8, Stratford multi-storey car park, Great Eastern Way.


  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Vauxhall
  • Recommended

This iconic LGBT+ venue has welcomed everyone from Lily Savage (slaying on stage) to Princess Diana (enjoying a sneaky night out in the '80s). Now Grade II listed and reasonably safe from developers, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is open seven nights a week for drinking, dancing and drag shows, and queer cabaret platform Bar Wotever has become a Tuesday institution.

372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY.



East London's queer Bollywood night Hungama has given the city's LGBTQ+ scene a friendly shot in the arm. It's taken place at various venues including The Glory and Dalston Superstore, but every Hungama is a super-inclusive mix of Bollywood imagery, hip hop beats and anything-goes gay abandon.  

Venues vary. Check the Facebook page for up to date details. 

A total, bankable PEACH of a venue, located on a quiet Hackney side street, Moth is a former club for ex-servicemen (Memorable Order of Tin Hats). Luckily for those who haven’t seen action, Moth is open to all and it’s retro chic, breezy vibe and pop/indie-centric music policy means it’s never a downer.

Valette St, E9 6NU.

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club

Get yourself down to Bethnal Green Working Men's ClubThis East End destination has been welcoming revellers since Victorian times. Sink the Pink began here around a decade ago, and something about its proper old-school working's men's club vibe seems to lend itself to colourful, chaotic and forward-thinking club nights.

42-44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB.

Running in total contrast to dance music's intensely po-faced demeanour sits Bangface, a colossally fun rave extravaganza. It provides a home both for humour and also music on the absurd outer edges of taste and decency! In a good way, natch. 
Various locations.
Torture Garden
Photograph: Chasing The Tiger

37. Torture Garden

Also known as Europe’s largest fetish club, Torture Garden throws monthly kink parties in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and other UK cities. As well as offering hook suspensions, couples’ play rooms and sex dungeons, the parties incorporate performance art, installations and fashion shows, and tickets for its strict-dress-code events (think latex, burlesque, rubber and uniform) tend to sell out in a blink. Escapism and consent take precendance here – after all, there’s a reason Torture Garden is still going all these years after it was founded back in 1990. It’s one of the rare places where you’re encouraged to indulge in your wildest fantasies, free of judgement

World Unknown

A flag-bearer for London nightlife’s independent and community-minded spirit, Andy Blake’s WU parties have become a turning point – thanks to their use of renegade spaces, judicious use of smoke machines and an audio aesthetic that words like ‘chugging’ and ‘throbbing’ were made for.

Various locations.

Heavy Load

As trends have come and gone, Heavy Load has repped its niche for a staggering 20 years now. And that niche is: funky retro rock you can properly shake your butt too. Downstairs at the Phoenix near Oxford Street is where it all happens – don check shirts and triple-denim, and enjoy the night’s incredible collection of retro lights too. 

The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square.

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