If you're planning on paying a visit to the city of London, then you simply cannot miss the vibrant area of Soho. This borough of London is where all the action happens and allows tourists to experience the city at its finest.
From unforgettable shopping experiences to bars, cafes and theatres, Soho should be at the top of the list for anyone visiting London. Thus, we’ve created a list of things to do in Soho, that you have to give a try, and if you can't wait to get your itinerary booked, take a look at Love to Visit for exclusive activities and events.
1. Visit the Soho Theatre
The Soho Theatre company was founded in 1969 by author and theatre director Verity Bargate and theatre director Fred Proud. The theatre itself only opened in 2000 and is now famous for producing up-and-coming plays in the contemporary, comedy, and cabaret genres. If you want to experience an intimate theatre setting and catch a glimpse of shows that are destined for greatness, get yourself a seat at the Soho Theatre for an evening of fun, glamour, and stellar performances.
2. Explore Carnaby Street
The Carnaby Street of the past was quite different to the bustling strip of luxury shops and charming cafes we see today. In the 60s, this part of London was considered to be one of the most popular stomping grounds for hippies and those partaking in the British youth revolution. Now, however, you can look forward to enjoying an afternoon wandering through some beautiful shops and stopping for a pastry at one of the many cafes that line Carnaby Street. If you have an hour or two to yourself, this is one area of Soho you won’t want to miss.
3. Dine at Gauthier Soho
When you dine at Gauthier in Soho, you will be blown away by the creations made from entirely sustainable ingredients. This plant-based menu will take you on a dining journey through veganism as the establishment does its bit for the future of our planet. The innovation of Alexis Gauthier is tangible in the dishes you are presented with when you visit this restaurant. As one of the dining highlights in Soho, this is a dining experience you must try.
4. Shop at Liberty London
As one of the most luxurious fashion outlets in London, Liberty is one for all the fashion enthusiasts out there to pay a visit to. Even if you don’t go inside, the store is famous for its vibrant and innovative window displays for you to marvel at. Liberty is a historic fashion site that dates back to 1875 before making its home the current Regent Street site in 1924. The shop is home to luxury clothing, homeware and its own fabric line, boasting of cultural collaboration and creative encouragement.
5. Grab a Coffee at Bar Italia
Bar Italia is located behind the Prince Edward Theatre and is the perfect place to grab a cup of coffee to refuel after walking the streets of Soho. The bar and restaurant are home to authentic, simplistic Italian dishes, and the coffee there is truly spectacular. If you want to visit the bar at night, you can do, as the place only shuts at 4 am for you to enjoy a sip of lemon cello and a classic Italian woodfired pizza.
6. Visit Ham Yard Hotel’s Roof Terrace
If you want to get a good view of the Soho rooftops, then you have to pay a visit to the Ham Yard Hotel’s roof terrace. The terrace offers guests a space filled with greenery to relax and enjoy a drink while taking in the views of the surrounding area. This is the perfect place to unwind after a morning of exploring Soho.
7. Discover Music at Berwick Street Market
The Berwick Street Market has played a pivotal role in the music scene in London. In the 1980s, Berwick Street was known as the ‘The Golden Mile of Vinyl’ with collectors gathering here to explore the largest area for independent record shops. The Berwick Street Market market has been home to performances and recordings for artists, including David Bowie, Oasis, and The King Bees. This is definitely somewhere to visit for all you music enthusiasts.
8. Enjoy Live Music at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
If you’re after an evening of music and glamour, Ronnie Scotts is the place for you. The famous jazz club was opened by the famous saxophonist in 1959 and has been a site for jazz jammers to come and do their thing ever since. The club is full almost every night of the week and is a popular spot for any music lover.
9. Visit the House of MinaLima
Are you a fan of all things Harry Potter? Then the MinaLima gallery is a must-visit for you and the family. The gallery showcases the artworks featured in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films which real fans of the movie franchise will easily recognise. This exciting gallery is a great option for things to do in Soho for anyone who has a couple of spare hours.
10. Discover Chinatown
China Town is unlike any other area of London and is home to incredible Chinese restaurants, Chinese supermarkets and other Asian delicacies, including bubble tea bars and shops containing an array of Chinese artefacts. Chinatown is a great option if you feel peckish, but it is also great for nosing around some unusual food shops. Chinatown is located just above Leicester Square and is unmistakably identifiable by the hundreds of Chinese lanterns that are draped between the buildings.
11. Walk Through Soho Square
Soho Square is a beautifully manicured garden filled with historic buildings, many of which are listed. The square was established in 1670 and was, then, one of the most sought-after residential areas in London. Today, the old building perfectly complements the English surroundings, and the gardens in the square are ideal for taking a break in the sunshine. The square was originally home to wealthy merchants and members of high society, giving the square an air of upper-class sophistication even today.
12. Visit The Photographer's Gallery
Established in 1971, the Photographer’s Gallery in Soho was the first gallery exclusively dedicated to photography in London. Photography exhibitions in the gallery provide windows into all aspects of human life from different cultures, history, current affairs, and everyday living. If you have a creative flair and a passion for capturing moments, you should add the photographer’s gallery to your list of things to do in Soho.
13. Try French Cuisine at Brasserie Zédel
The Parisian Brasserie Zedel is a fantastic spot to try French cuisine and get a hint of classic French Art Deco design. The classic layout of the restaurant transports you back in time and gives you a glimpse into dining life in Paris. The classic French design paired with delicious dishes from French cuisine means that you can feel like you’re enjoying a meal in the French capital, in the middle of Soho. This is the ideal spot to stop for lunch or dinner with a touch of class.
14. Shop at Soho's Record Stores
Music is an integral part of life in London and in Soho. If you are somewhat of a music buff, then you have to take the opportunity to pay a visit to some of the most famous record shops in London. With the vinyl record bursting back into the music scene as collector's items and as a means of listening to music, record shops in Soho offer eclectic collections with a massive varsity of music on offer. You’re bound to find something you love in one of the many record shops dotted around Soho.
15. Visit Wardour Street
If you get lost in Soho, you can always return to Wardour Street. The famous street runs from Leicester Square through Chinatown and takes you all the way up to Oxford Street. The street itself is an exciting collection of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. The vibrancy of Soho comes together on Wardour Street with an atmosphere that’s almost tangible. The street is famous for music performances, particularly at 100 Wardour Street, which is a popular spot for music lovers.
16. Try Innovative Drinks at The Experimental Cocktail Club
The Experimental Cocktail Club offers guests a unique experience of never-before-seen cocktails carefully crafted by master bartenders. The ambience is that of a speakeasy, with a black doorway that is difficult to find, tucked in between two Chinese restaurants on Gerrard Street.
The inside of the bar is made up of exposed brick and is the ideal place to try out new and exciting cocktail recipes. Bartenders will ask you about your preferred flavour profiles when you attend the Experimental Cocktail Club. If they don’t have what you would like on the menu, they are more than happy to take on the challenge of making you a drink you will simply love.
17. Explore Brewer Street
Just in case you need another fix of exciting streets jam-packed with shops, restaurants and entertainment establishments, add Brewer Street to your list. The street is home to boutique shops, art galleries and some quaint cafes and bars. You’ll find the traditional English pub, The Crown, as you wander down this bustling street. If you’re feeling peckish after too much shopping, make sure you stop for a snack at one of the many food outlets Brewer Street has to offer.
18. Visit the Prince Edward Theatre
Located on another famous street, Shaftesbury Avenue, the Prince Edward Theatre is home to some of the most famous shows to ever grace London’s West End. The famous Michael Jackson Musical, MJ, is one of the latest additions to the stage of the Prince Edward Theatre, drawing large crowds since it opened.
The theatre itself was opened in 1930 and architecturally designed by Edward A. Stone, with the interior design being the work of Marc-Henri Levy and Gaston Laverdet. The first show to ever be performed at the theatre was a musical production of Rio Rita, which took place on the 3rd of April 1930. Today, audiences can enjoy fantastic acoustics and a historical, artistic ambience.
19. Discover Soho's Art Scene at Frith Street Gallery
For anyone who is an art enthusiast and looking for inspiration, you have to take a turn past the Frith Street Gallery. The Soho art gallery is a hub for modern art and showcases styles, including abstract, sculptures, and photographic works. As a homage to modern art, the Frith Street Gallery is a must for anyone who loves to get lost in the creations of others and experience culture on a visual level. The gallery currently showcases works by contemporary artists, including names such as Polly Apfelbaum, John Riddy, and Bridget Smith. All artists have their own style and depictions of life through the human lens.
20. Take a Soho Ghost Tour
As one of the most historical parts of London, there are bound to be some deep dark secrets hidden away in the city walls. A Soho ghost tour is a fun experience for those of you who have a more daring side. Ghost tours are informative walking tours that teach visitors about some of the historical sites of Soho and reveal legends and myths about the resident ghosts that are still rumoured to occupy the area.
With Soho being a vibrant nightlife hub, it’s unlikely things will get too dark, but the stories to be revealed will give you a real taste of what Soho was like back in the day and insights into some of its most notorious residents.
There are so many things to do in Soho that will make your trip to London extra special. It’s difficult to cram all the exciting things into just 20 of the top things to do in Soho, so remember that there is still plenty more to explore that we haven’t even mentioned. One of the best ways to experience a new place is to walk around and explore some of the hidden gems that the area has to offer. If you’re planning on visiting London anytime soon, take some time out of your trip to explore the exciting area of Soho.
Can't wait to get your trip planned? We totally understand your excitement. Make sure to explore Love to Visit, where you can effortlessly book a wide array of exclusive activities and events, all while enjoying special discounts that will enhance your travel experience even more.