London's vibrant and diverse LGBTQ+ scene is home to an array of incredible establishments, making it a thriving hub for the LGBTQ+ community.
In this guide, we invite you to explore the vibrant world of the Best Gay Bars in London. From lively dance clubs to cozy and welcoming pubs, the city offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that celebrate inclusivity and pride.
Whether you're a local or visiting from afar, these iconic establishments provide a safe and welcoming space for all to revel in the electric energy of London's LGBTQ+ nightlife. Read on!
The LGBTQ+ London Scene and How to Find the Perfect Gay Bar
If you're visiting or live in London, you might already know you don't really need an excuse to stay up until the wee hours.
No matter if you're in East London or Soho, you will always find epic locations with a great atmosphere and all sorts of activities, such as karaoke nights and quiz nights, drag queens, and usually an extensive drinks menu to make your people-watching even more enjoyable.
Top Gay Bars in London
London definitely knows how to party, so you will have plenty of gay bars to choose from. If you need a little guidance, though, here's a list of the most popular gay bars and what makes them special.
1. Royal Vauxhall Tavern
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern (or RVT) is a popular LGBTQ+ cabaret bar that opened its doors in the 1980s. Since then, it has remained a lively gay bar and one of London's most successful companies.
The club holds regular performances seven nights a week, has a huge center stage, a great sound system, and some of the best dance floor lights in the city. No visit to London would be complete without a visit to this iconic gay bar.
Address: 372 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5HY.
Opening hours: Sun: 4 pm - 11 pm. Mon to Thu: 7 pm - midnight. Fri: 5 pm - 9 pm (early show) and 10 pm - 4 am (club nights). Sat: 9 pm - 4 am.
2. Retro Bar
This little gay bar is tucked away down an alley, but don't let this unassuming entrance fool you! Retro Bar is one of the West End's favourites.
With a friendly atmosphere and very nice bar staff, this bar has been consistently attracting an eccentric mixed crowd. The space welcomes everyone, but it caters primarily to those who feel they might not quite fit anywhere else.
Check out the website to find out about themed nights, such as quiz games, bingo Sundays, and holiday events.
Address: 2 George Ct, London WC2N 6HH.
Opening hours: Sun: 1 pm - 10:30 pm. Mon to Thu: 4 pm - 11 pm. Fri and Sat: 2 pm - 11 pm.
3. Rupert Street Bar
Rupert Street Bar is, without a doubt, Soho's chicest LGBTQ+ bar. You'll be particularly surprised by the attractive interior, which has a modern twist perfect for celebrating with delicious cocktails in central London.
During the weekend, this gay bar and club hosts some of the best queer DJ nights. Sunday and Thursday, you can get happy hour cocktails (2 for £12) and £30 house champagne.
Address: 50 Rupert St, London W1D 6DR.
Opening hours: Sun: 12 pm - 10:30 pm. Mon and Tue: 3 pm - 11 pm. Wed and Thu: 3 pm - 11:30 pm. Fri: 3 pm - 12 am. Sat: 12 pm - 1 am.
4. Ku Bar Soho
Ku Bar opened its doors over twenty years ago, and it's still going strong today! This Soho classic gay bar was one of the first in the are and, although it moved to its current location in 2007, it still maintains its inclusive and welcoming spirit.
Ku is, in fact, one of the largest gay bars in London - with over three floors and a caacity of +500! The place doesn't just have resident DJs, but its staff has also won London's Sexiest Bar Staff Award multiple times. A perfect queer space for Saturday nights or any day of the week, really!
Address: 30 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA.
Opening hours: Sun: 12 pm - 10:30 pm. Mon to Thu: 12 pm - 11:30 pm. Fri to Sat: 12 pm - 12 am.
5. The Glory
The Glory, an East London pub and gay bar, is run by and for queer people. The establishment has become a hub for LGBTQ+ performances, featuring an array of alternative acts like drag shows, cabaret, and various entertainers.
Located just a stone's throw from Haggerston Station, The Glory's unique atmosphere has earned it a reputation as a premier dance club, attracting crowds from both the local area and beyond.
Address: 281 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AS.
Opening hours: Sun: 2 pm - 11 pm. Mon: 5 pm - 11 pm. Tue - Thu: 5 pm - 12 am. Fri - Sat: 5 pm - 3 am.
6. Horse Meat Disco (The Eagle)
Horse Meat Disco was originally a Sunday night London bacchanalia. In 2004, a DJ collective brought it back at The Eagle, Vauxhall.
In its 16 years in existence, HMD has become a global brand, with the festival attracting monthly residencies around the world.
This club is a place where you can leave your worries at the door, become anyone you want to be - and dance all night to honour it!
Address: 349 Kennington Ln, London SE11 5QY.
Opening hours: Varies.
7. G-A-Y Bar
This gay bar (G.A.Y bar!) is open all days of the week, so you will always find great music and a wonderful atmosphere. The locale has three floors and multiple interactive video screens.
The crowd tends to be a little younger, although everyone is welcome (the attendees are typically 85% men and 15% women. If you're looking for queer women, you can also try, which is down the road).
Address: 30 Old Compton St, London W1D 4UR.
Opening hours: Sun to Sat: 12 pm - 12 am.
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