Soho is a brilliant part of the city, and a must for anyone visiting or living in the Capital. Bordering the areas of Leicester square and China Town, Soho is situated in the heart of London.
Soho has bucketfuls of atmosphere, with neon-bright lights and a continuous buzz of people – both tourists and locals alike. In a part of London which never appears to sleep you will never tire of finding things to do in Soho.
by Sam Buss;
Sam has lived in London her whole life and has a real passion for the city she calls home. When not writing she can be found one of London’s many craft beer pubs or board game cafes.;
What to see and do in Soho?
1. Immerse yourself in a musical version of the French Revolution at the Queen’s Theatre
Les Miserables has been performed nightly on the stage of the Queen’s Theatre for the past 18 years, earning its home in the heart of Soho telling a musical version of the French Revolution.
Booking is recommended for the majority of London theatre shows, so book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
There are various online ticket outlets, however, for those looking for last minute tickets, try your luck at one of the local theatre ticket shops which often will sell them for a reduced price on the day. Other notable musical and theatre shows in the area of Soho include: Disney’s Aladdin Everyone is talking about Jamie Thriller Strictly Ballroom: The Musical
— Sam Buss
2. Experience colour and diversity in Old Compton Street
Old Compton street is the home of London’s LGBT scene. A part of Soho filled with bar, clubs, restaurants and cafes. So much so once a year the street is closed to vehicular traffic to start the world famous Pride Parade.
At the end of Old Compton Street you will also find the Prince Edward Theatre, which over the years as has played host to the likes of Mamma Mia! And Mary Poppins, at present it is home to the Disney Musical Aladdin.
3. Soho Square
Soho Square is a patch of green amid the grey buildings of Soho.
Originally called King’s Square after Charles 2nd, it is now a place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the occasional London Sunshine.
If you are on a budget, grab a bit of lunch from one of the nearby bakeries or convenience stores and have a picnic on the grass of Soho Square. During the summer there are often free open air concerts for you to enjoy also.
— Sam Buss
4. Shop and dine on Carnaby Street
If you are in Soho to shop you will want to make Carnaby Street your first stop. Known for its British brands such as Ben Sherman and Lazy Oaf, this particular street is known for its more quirky flagship stores.
For a really unique pair of shoes, head to Irregular Choice for shoes which will catch everyone’s attention every time you wear them.
If you are visiting London during the Christmas season, Carnaby Street has some of the brightest light decorations in London, which often follow suit in being as different as the stores below them. Christmas Lights can also be found along Regent’s Street and Oxford Street.
5. Catch up with friends in Kingly Court
Situated just off on Carnaby street is Kingly Court, a three-story drinks and dining destination.
In the courtyard area you will find over 20 of the best international eateries and bars, making it the perfect place to catch up with old friends over a cocktail and good food.
6. High street fashion more your style? Head to Oxford Street and Regent street
For mainstream fashion in Soho, you’ll find the best shopping along Oxford Street and Regent Street.
These busy streets are world famous for shopping, stores include a three floor Topshop, the flagship Primark store and country’s most famous toy store, Hamleys.
7. Dance the night away at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott’s is one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world and it is situated in the heart of Soho.
The small basement club has been open since 1959 and has presented some of the biggest names in jazz music.
Ronnie Scott’s is a live venue, so on most occasions you will need to purchase a ticket in advance.
8. Sing the blues at ‘Ain’t nothin’ But..’
If the blues is more your style then head to ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But..’
A bar which confidently names itself as ‘the best Blues bar this side of the Atlantic!’, the late and great Amy Winehouse even once performed there.
9. Rest your legs by hopping on a rickshaw
If you grow tired of walking hop on one of the many rickshaws that wait around to transport tourists around the Soho area.
Decide where you want to go and they will take you there or simply ask for a tour of Soho to see London from a different angle.
10. Embrace your cheeky side
It is no secret that Soho is where the sex industry exploded in London during the 1960s, and while it as moved on from its mischievous heyday, there are still many licensed sex stores dotted throughout this area of London for you to explore.
11. See the Instagram famous Liberty London
Liberty London is undoubtedly one of the most famous buildings on Instagram when it comes to London.
The Luxury department store on Great Marlborough Street is hardly ever seen without an extravagant floral display.
Inside, the stores sell many luxury items, including silk scarves and handkerchiefs in their world famous floral and graphic prints.
12. Grab a collectible at Sister Ray’s record store on Berwick street
If you are a vinyl collector then do not skip Sister Ray’s on Berwick Street.
The iconic record store specialises in hard-to-find vinyl records and CDs. Set over two stores you will be able to find music from every genre.
13. Lose yourself in a good book at Foyle’s
However, if books are more your style then walk to Charing Cross Road to visit Foyle’s Book Shop – the biggest bookstore in Soho.
Set across five floors, Foyle’s is home to over 20 000 different titles spanning over four miles of shelves!
14. Remember to look up!
As you stroll around Soho keep an eye out for noses on the walls and buildings.
Installed by artist Rick Buckley in 1997 as a protest against the increase of CCTV cameras on the streets, there were originally about 35 noses attached to buildings in Central London.
Seven still remain in Soho to this day and legend says if you find all seven you will become fabulously wealthy.
15. Harry Potter fans will love The House of Minalima
Located on Greek Street, The House of Minalima is a shop and exhibition showcasing the graphic art of the Harry Potter films.
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created some of the most rememberable pieces for one the greatest film franchises of our time, including the iconic Hogwart’s acceptance letter.
The quirky store is bursting with pieces of film history with memorabilia available to purchase as well.
16. Keep the secrets of The Cursed Child
Combine your trip to Minalima with a visit to the Palace theatre to see The Cursed Child, a two-part stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original story by Thorne, J. K. Rowling and John Tiffany.
Due to the popularity of the show, advance booking is essential, but remember to, at the request of J. K. Rowling herself, keep the secrets.
17. Be transported back to the 1940s at Cahoots
Located in Kingly Court is a time machine to the glory days.
Cahoot’s is a 1940s themed bar offering live entertainment, dazzling cocktails and late night parties.
The bar is themed around a disused post-war underground station and the staff stay wonderfully in theme throughout.
18. Visit an actual temple
Soho has its very own temple, George Harrison became interested in the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness when representatives arrived in the UK in the 1960s.
This temple opened in Soho Square in 1979 and entry is free.
19. Indulge in an Afternoon Tea with a difference
You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to afternoon teas in London, however, if you are looking for something a bit more unique head to Cutter and Squidge.
Cutter and Squidge run themed teas for an extended period of time, previously it was The Genie Room and at present it is the fully immersive Potion Room, which has been inspired by everyone’s favourite boy wizard.
20. Visit The Photographers Gallery
If you are looking to immerse yourself in art culture while in Soho then stop by the Photographers Gallery.
A six-storey building on Ramillies Street which has ever-changing photography exhibitions. The building also has a large store where you can purchase various prints you have enjoyed for your own home.
21. Snap your own shots with StreetSnappers
If you are feeling inspired after your trip to The Photographer’s Gallery then take some photos of your own.
StreetSnappers offer various photography masterclasses through London, with the majority being in Soho.
In Soho you can take part in a street photography tour as well as Soho by night.
22. Sing your heart out at Lucky Voice Karaoke
Fans of karaoke will love Lucky Voice, using state of the art technology every song you could possibly imagine is at the touch of a screen.
Private booths are available to hire for up to 15 people complete with props, during the time you can also order food and drinks direct to your booth.
Lucky Voice is the perfect destination for a birthday, hen party or anytime you feel like embracing your inner superstar.
23. Pick up an usual souvenir from The Vintage House
Established in the 1940s, The Vintage House is ones of London’s oldest whiskey shops. It currently stocks over 1300 different types of whiskey including countless rare and hard to find bottles.
The Vintage House is the perfect place to pick up a rare souvenir of your time in London.
24. Step behind the bookcase at Milroy’s
Another one for the whiskey drinkers, Milroy’s is a whiskey based quiet cocktail bar perfect for a date night.
The entrance to the bar itself is discreetly hidden behind a very decorative faux bookcase.
25. Visit one of the biggest breakthroughs in human medicine
A Victorian water pump. Doesn’t sound too exciting right?
The water pump on Broadwick Street became famous in the 19th century when physician John Snow realised that an outbreak of cholera in Soho was geographically centred around the public water pump.
This led to the discovery that water could be a carrier of disease, and had a huge impact on public health and waste management. Pretty cool right?
26. Release your inner punk on the Soho Punk Tour
Music fans can take a walk back into music history by joining the Soho Punk Tour.
The daily walking tour takes fans on a musical journey to the origins of punk music, the tour lasts two hours and even takes you to the place where the Sex Pistols performed their first ever show.
27. Get the giggles at The Soho Comedy Club
A perfect venue for a fun evening out, the Soho Comedy Club is a stage for new and emerging comedians to test their latest stand-up routines.
However, if you are lucky, on occasion more well-known comedians will appear to practice material they are preparing for upcoming tours.