If you’re an LGBT rights activist there are many things to be proud of, especially considering the latest turn of events in the US regarding gay marriage. But we won’t get into the political aspect too much, people want to have fun and live their lives as they wish, that’s what it’s all about. The best 10 London gay bars are scattered all over the city, some are slightly more raunchy and clearly geared toward the more adventurous crowds. Some are quaint and more laid back. London is a town where being different is celebrated, there are numerous ethnicities and minorities who lead happy normal lives here. Whether you’re gay, transgender, pan-sexual, the city and people of London couldn’t care less, as long as you’re happy. Soho is considered to be the main hub for the gay scene, but if you’re new to London and you feel like exploring, you’ll come to the realization that it’s not the only place where the best gay bars and clubs are located in. Soho is a recognized mainstream scene, so if that doesn’t sound appealing don’t worry, because in London there any plenty of places to choose from.
Considered to be one of the trendiest gay venues in London, make sure you dress the part if you want to fit in quickly. Art and everything that has to do with it is the main order of the day here. The walls are covered in paintings and other works that are almost always for sale. This is the place where all the cool kids hang out, it might not be your cup of tea, but it’s worth giving it a chance.
Visiting address: 117 Kingsland Road, London, E8 2PB
As the name suggests, it’s all about an individual’s freedom and choice. The Freedom is a sophisticated bar that is host to numerous events ranging from art exhibits to movie screenings, and of course great parties. The venue is split into two parts, the ground level where the cocktail bar is situated and the club in the gorgeously refurbished basement. There are weekly cabaret nights that are always fun to attend.
Visiting address: 66 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TA
The Heaven nightclub will be a favorite spot for many students, as they get free entry with a valid student card and photo ID. So if you’re a broke college student looking to dance your troubles away, Heaven has your back. In recent years the club has experienced certain issues with not so friendly guests, so they reserve their right to refuse certain people entry. Large parties of people will also have difficulties getting in.
Visiting address: Under The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NG
Open seven days a week from 10pm to 3am, the Ku Bar is one of London’s largest gay bars. Several resident Djs keep the atmosphere exciting and the music pumping. It’s located very near to Leicester Square, and it’s a perfect venue if you want to sweat it out on the dance floor, or seek a more chilled night out in their Champagne bar. The bar area walls are covered in flat screen TVs and play sexy art images all day long.
Visiting address: 30 Lisle Street, Chinatown Soho, London, WC2H 7BA
Located in the heart of Soho lies one on of London’s finest upscale gay clubs. It’s important to point out that it’s a members only venue, with membership fees costing about £350. There’s always a chance of getting in for free if you register in advance. And of course you can take your chances at the door, but don’t be disappointed if they don’t let you in. The Shadow Lounge is known to have top-notch service and comfort is practically guaranteed.
Visiting address: 5-7 Brewer Street, Soho, London, W1F 0RF
This club has already made its way onto one of our lists about London’s cabaret and burlesque venues. Back in the day it was amongst the more popular gay clubs in town, now it is somewhat faded but still lives off the reputation it gained over the years. The building where the RVT is located was a former Victorian music hall, so chances are it was quite gay even then as much as it is now.
Visiting address: 372 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5HY
4. The Admiral Duncan
Yet one more gay bar in Soho that has quite a reputation. During the weekdays it’s possible to come here and have a quiet drink with friends. On the weekends is when the party mood prevails and drag-queen shows attract the biggest crowds. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself sexually because The Admiral Duncan is friendly and open to all guests. Considering its location in Soho, the prices aren’t too high neither. When all is said and done, The Admiral Duncan rightfully takes a spot as one of London’s best gay venues.
Visiting address: 54 Old Compton Street, Soho, London, W1V 5PA
Because of the recent renovation this venue went through, is has become a truly stylish gay bar that deserves attention. On the weekends it’s no surprise to see big names behind the DJ stage. Boy George, Moto Blanco, and The Freemasons made appearances here recently. Neat offerings include daily happy hours and 2 for 1 cocktail deals every Monday.
Visiting address: 50 Rupert Street, Soho, London, W1D 6DR
The trashy look and feel of this venue is what makes it a real gem. Well it only feels like it if you’re use to posh and upscale London venues. This is the place where straight people come to in order to have some tacky good old fashioned fun. The chill atmosphere and highly unpretentious vibe is ever so welcoming. It’s the kind of venue Amy Winehouse would have designed herself.
Visiting address: Clapham 114, High Street, Clapham, London, SW4 7UJ
The Kazbar is probably the best gay venue in South London. The atmosphere really is as friendly as the bar managment and owners claim. It’s also one of the most exciting video bars in London with non stop music and cool videos being featured. Unlike some bars and clubs in Soho, the prices here are more than reasonably priced for everyone’s wallet. Hey, in this economy every penny counts.
Visiting address: 50 Clapham High Street , London