London’s Bohemian gem: Our Soho travel guide

Soho! Nestled in the heart of the city, this bohemian gem has etched its name into the cultural fabric of the capital. 

Everything here boasts an avant-garde spirit and eclectic charm, which is why this is also a haven for artists, musicians, and freethinkers seeking inspiration and liberation.

So, grab your beret, embrace your inner rebel, and let us be your guide to this fascinating pocket of London!

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Best time to go

The optimal time to explore Soho, London, is during the shoulder seasons of late spring (April to June) and early fall (September to October). 

These months offer mild weather and fewer crowds. However, be mindful that prices for accommodations and flights tend to be higher during this period. 

So, if you’re aiming to save money, consider visiting during the winter (November to March) when rates are typically lower, though be prepared for colder temperatures and increased rainfall.

Things to know

Currency: Pound sterling (GBP)

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: British English

Calling Code: +44

How to get around 

Tube – Soho is served by several tube stations, including Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square. These stations are all on different lines, so you can easily reach Soho from anywhere in London.

Bus – Several bus routes run through Soho, making it easy to get around by bus. You can check the Transport for London website for more information on bus routes and timetables.

Taxi – You can hail a black cab in Soho or use a taxi app like Uber or Bolt to get around. Keep in mind that taxis can be more expensive than other forms of transport.

Car service – Opting for private car services like chauffeurs or car rentals offers a personalised and flexible mode of transportation. It’s worth considering that driving in central London can be quite challenging due to congestion and the limited availability of parking spaces.

Walking – Soho is a relatively small area, so you can easily get around on foot. Walking is a great way to explore the area and discover hidden gems that you might not have found otherwise.

Cycling – If you’re comfortable cycling in busy city traffic, you can rent a bike from one of the many Santander Cycles docking stations located around Soho.

Where to stay in Soho

The Soho Hotel

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Address: 4 Richmond Mews, London W1D 3DH, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7559 3000

Pricing: £££

Book now

This boutique hotel showcases a remarkable collection of original contemporary art, including sculptures, paintings, and installations that create an immersive cultural experience for everyone. 

Each meticulously designed room also features bespoke furnishings, providing a harmonious fusion of comfort and style.

If you choose this hotel, be sure to try one of the notable highlights of The Soho Hotel: its exclusive private screening room, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, where you can enjoy a cinematic experience in a cosy and intimate setting. 

The Nadler Soho

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Address: 10 Carlisle St, London W1D 3BR, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 3697 3697

Pricing: ££

Book now

Renowned for its unique concept of “affordable luxury”, this boutique hotel offers an exceptional experience tailored to the needs of modern travellers.

With a focus on personalised service, The Nadler Soho provides you with a dedicated 24-hour front desk and a team of knowledgeable staff who offer insider tips and recommendations for exploring the vibrant neighbourhood.

The hotel’s commitment to sustainability is another noteworthy aspect. The Nadler Soho implements eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs, and organic toiletries, ensuring a responsible and environmentally conscious stay.

Hub by Premier Inn 

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Address: Hopkins St, London W1F 0DP, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 333 321 3104

Pricing: £

Book now

One of the standout services offered by Hub by Premier Inn is the “Smart Control” feature in each room, allowing you to adjust the lighting, temperature, and even the TV from a mobile app. 

Another key feature is the “Premier Inn Good Night Guarantee”, ensuring a comfortable and restful sleep experience for guests. The hotel’s Hypnos beds are known for their supreme comfort and quality.

Where to eat in Soho

The Palomar

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Address: 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7439 8777

Pricing: £££

Website

This intimate restaurant showcases a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavours. The menu features dishes such as the iconic polenta with mushrooms and truffle oil or the delectable burnt Basque cheesecake.

The Palomar also sports an open-kitchen concept that allows you to witness culinary mastery firsthand. The chefs’ skilful techniques and dedication to using high-quality ingredients contribute to the restaurant’s remarkable reputation.

Mildreds

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Address: 45 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AN, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7494 1634

Pricing: ££

Website

This renowned vegetarian and vegan restaurant offers a diverse and creative menu with an array of plant-based dishes that delight the palate. Here, you can savour delectable options like the signature Sri Lankan sweet potato curry, beetroot burger, and mushroom-and-ale pie.

Plus, the restaurant offers an extensive selection of gluten-free options, catering to a wide range of dietary needs.

Bao

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Address: 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London W1F 9AS, United Kingdom

Phone: 020 3019 2200

Pricing: £

Website

This renowned eatery specialises in Taiwanese cuisine, with a focus on steamed buns, known as “baos.” 

Bao offers a selection of buns filled with mouthwatering options such as the signature braised pork belly, the crispy fried chicken, or the flavourful vegetarian mushroom bao.

Some of the standout menu items include the flavorful fried chicken chop with zesty lemon basil mayo and the aromatic soy milk panna cotta topped with rich black sugar. 

What to do in Soho

Discover literary haunts at The French House

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Address: 49 Dean St, London W1D 5BG, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7437 2477 

Website

This distinguished establishment boasts a remarkable artistic and literary history. The walls are adorned with art paying homage to literary legends such as Dylan Thomas, Brendan Behan, and other influential figures who once frequented this establishment. 

Some must-try dishes here include the classic Coq au Vin, a succulent slow-cooked chicken in red wine sauce, or the flavoursome Ratatouille, a medley of fresh vegetables cooked to perfection. 

Enjoy live music performances at Jazz After Dark 

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Address: 9 Greek St, London W1D 4DQ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7734 0545

Website

This renowned establishment offers an intimate setting where live jazz performances take centre stage. 

The talented musicians showcase their expertise, delivering enchanting melodies that transport listeners to the heart of the jazz scene. Among the esteemed artists who have graced the stage are Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis. 

Plus, Jazz After Dark also caters to the culinary desires of its patrons, offering dishes like grilled lamb chops served with rosemary-infused mashed potatoes and pan-fried sea bass with a medley of seasonal vegetables.

Dive into the world of comics at Gosh! Comics 

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Address: 1 Berwick St, London W1F 0DR, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7437 0187

Website

Gosh! Comics in Soho, London, offers a diverse and impressive range of comics for every taste. You’ll find a wide selection of titles, including iconic superhero comics such as Batman, Spider-Man, and X-Men. 

Even if you’re interested in independent and alternative comics, Gosh! Comics is a treasure trove with offerings like “Saga” by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, “The Walking Dead” by Robert Kirkman, and “Watchmen” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. 

The store also hosts regular events, including signings and talks by prominent artists and writers. You can engage with like-minded individuals and delve deeper into the comic culture.

Where to shop in Soho

Paul Smith Soho

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Address: 46, 48 Beak St, London W1F 9RJ, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7287 9998

Website

This fashion-forward boutique offers a curated selection of high-quality clothing and accessories, meticulously designed by the eponymous British fashion designer, Paul Smith. 

Here, you can explore a range of meticulously crafted garments, including tailored suits, stylish dresses, and unique accessories, all showcasing Paul Smith’s signature attention to detail and craftsmanship.

Beyond Retro

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Location: 19-21 Argyll St, London W1F 7TR, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7729 9001

Website

This expertly curated store offers a great range of clothing and accessories from different eras, promising an excellent shopping experience for retro fashion enthusiasts.

Here, you can browse through their extensive collection of vintage garments, including retro dresses, iconic denim, vintage band t-shirts, and one-of-a-kind accessories. 

The Kooples

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Address: 30-31 Carnaby St, Carnaby, London W1F 7DL, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 20 7734 3483

Website

The Kooples stands out as one of Soho’s premier shopping destinations, renowned for its distinctive blend of Parisian chic and rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. 

This fashion-forward boutique offers a curated selection of high-quality clothing and accessories, designed with meticulous attention to detail and style. 

Additionally, The Kooples is famous for its edgy leather jackets, which combine timeless design with a rebellious attitude, adding an element of rock-inspired fashion to any wardrobe.

Which neighbourhoods to visit in Soho

Carnaby

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Directions

This district boasts a diverse mix of independent boutiques, unique restaurants, and trendy bars, making it a must-visit destination for fashion, food, and entertainment.

Unlike other areas, Carnaby has managed to maintain a distinct character, with its independent boutiques, creative street art, and innovative concepts that cater to diverse tastes. 

Chinatown

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Directions

This neighbourhood stands out for its vibrant blend of Chinese traditions, cuisine, and community. As you explore the streets, you’ll find restaurants serving dishes like dim sum, Peking duck, and Sichuan cuisine. 

These establishments provide a genuine taste of Chinese culinary delights, making Chinatown a go-to destination for food enthusiasts seeking an immersive dining experience. 

But beyond its culinary offerings, Chinatown hosts various cultural events and festivals, showcasing Chinese traditions such as dragon dances and lantern displays. 

Berwick Street

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Directions

This iconic street is known for its independent shops, including vintage clothing boutiques, vinyl record stores, and quirky bookshops. 

Music enthusiasts in particular love this area, as they can explore renowned record stores that house an impressive selection of vinyl, spanning various genres and eras. 

Additionally, Berwick Street hosts a bustling market where visitors can find fresh produce, artisanal food products, and unique crafts. 

What to expect from Soho weather

Spring – Soho experiences a refreshing spring with mild temperatures and sporadic showers. During this season, temperatures typically range from 10°C to 15°C, creating a pleasant environment for exploring the neighbourhood.

Summer – Soho comes alive in the summer, offering mild to warm weather and longer daylight hours. With average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C, it’s an ideal time to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy outdoor activities.

Fall – The weather remains relatively mild during autumn in Soho, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C. This season invites you to take leisurely walks through the parks and admire the changing foliage.

Winter – Temperatures range from 2°C to 8°C, creating a chilly atmosphere that invites you to explore the neighbourhood’s cosy cafes, and boutique shops, and embrace the seasonal festivities.

Apps to download for a trip to Soho

London Offline Map – This offline map app is perfect for navigating the streets of Soho without relying on an internet connection.

It offers detailed maps of the city, including Soho, and allows you to search for specific locations, find nearby points of interest, and plan your routes effortlessly. IOS | Android

OpenTable – For food enthusiasts, OpenTable is a must-have app that allows you to discover and book reservations at the best restaurants in Soho.

It provides comprehensive restaurant listings, menus, reviews, and the convenience of making instant reservations to ensure you secure a table at your preferred dining spot. IOS | Android

Soho Radio – Immerse yourself in the vibrant music and culture of Soho with the Soho Radio app. This app lets you stream live radio shows, curated playlists, and interviews from the heart of Soho. 

It’s a fantastic way to discover new music, stay connected to the local scene, and experience the eclectic atmosphere of the neighbourhood. IOS | Android

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