Seedy, sexy and storied, Soho’s once-grungy streets are now home to upmarket galleries, exclusive clubs and some of the city’s best restaurants. But the area hasn’t lost all its sultry charm – its red-light roots can still be found in strip clubs and sex shops, while its theatres, comedy clubs and jazz bars maintain Soho’s status as London’s premiere nightlife destination.
Made up of 90 streets set in one square mile, Soho sits at the heart of London’s West End. Gaining its name from a 16th-century hunting cry, its long and varied history has seen figures from Mozart to Karl Marx and The Sex Pistols call the area home.
Today, its energetic streets feature an eclectic mix of dining, nightlife and shopping options. Head to Liberty, a 200-year-old Tudor-style department store constructed from the timbers of two ships for luxury goods and iconic prints, or follow our Soho shopping guide through the neighbouring Carnaby, Oxford and Regent Streets’ designer stores, high street gems and independent boutiques.
If you’re feeling peckish, check out London’s finest restaurants with our best of Soho guide or head to nearby Chinatown, off Shaftesbury Avenue, for roasted duck and rice in the neighbourhood’s glut of authentic and affordable restaurants.
For a taste of culture, catch a show on Shaftesbury Avenue. Running along the edge of Soho, the street forms a central vein through London’s West End Theatreland, and is home to the iconic Gielgud, Apollo, Queen’s, Palace, Lyric and Shaftsbury theatres.
Celebrate Soho’s place at the heart of London’s LGBT+ scene in the lanes surrounding Old Compton Street. G-A-Y Bar attracts a young crowd with its cheap cocktails and catchy pop tunes, while Yard has smart leather sofas, wooden banquettes, sedate lighting and a popular smoking balcony.
For drinks, pop in to one of the area’s many bars and clubs – Cahoots is a former air-raid shelter transformed into a 1940s-themed cocktail bar set in a disused Underground station, while the Box nightclub pays homage to Soho’s sexy side with over-the-top cabaret performances.
For live music, head to the long-running Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. Operating in London since 1959, its stage has welcomed icons such as Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Prince and Jimi Hendrix. It still hosts two evening performances a night, with ‘late late’ sets from midnight onwards.
Finish your night at one of our favourite Soho hotels. The Dean Street Townhouse, set in a 1730s Georgian townhouse, encapsulates the area’s intimate, old-world charm, while the Soho Hotel’s screening room and film club pay homage to the neighbourhood’s star-studded glam.
Our debut short film, The Soul of Soho, explores neighborhoods separated by oceans, history and culture but united by craft community and change. Neighborhoods bound by one name: Soho. Intimate portraits of city living in the Sohos of London, New York and Hong Kong reveal rich stories of the people who bring life to these iconic neighborhoods. Explore Soho here.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.