A Day in Soho: What to See & Do in This Vibrant District of London

A Map of Soho

Soho continually proves to be one of London’s most entertaining and dynamic districts. Brimming full with theatres, bars, nightclubs and music venues, where we will be going through the best places in Soho to visit. Expect plenty of charisma, culture and colour as we explore what to do in Soho.

Shaftsbury Avenue

Situated in the heart of the West End, Shaftsbury Avenue is bursting with London’s most popular theatres. Home to celebrated theatres such as The Apollo, Sondheim and Palace Theatres, it’s inevitable that evening plans will set you on a path through the streets of Soho’s theatre district.

Showing critically acclaimed shows such as Les Miserables, Thriller and Harry Potter, theatres are of high demand throughout the week and offer a great getaway for those pondering what to do in Soho.

Shaftsbury Avenue luminous theatre signs
Shaftsbury Avenue lighting up Soho at dusk

Shaftsbury Avenue is also home to a host of renowned Soho restaurants including Sophie’s Soho – a great steakhouse inspired by New York –  and the century-old L’Escargot Restaurant, conveniently located by the district of theatres for a pre-performance meal.

If you enjoy musicals, why not have a read of ‘The Top 9 Things To Do in London’, which includes Soho’s West End amongst other beautiful attractions.

Liberty

If exploring the shopping scene of Soho is what you are looking for, then the department store Liberty, is a shop you can really get lost in. With a mixture of clothing, accessories, beauty products and furniture, Liberty is on a par with other department stores such as Fortnum & Mason and Harrods.

Liberty department store London
The Victorian facade of Liberty department store, Soho

Liberty can be also found in another of our blogs, ‘The Best Personal Shopping Services in London’. Situated just off Regent Street, you can also find a multitude of bars in Soho surrounding the spectacular Victorian façade of Liberty.

Chinatown

When looking at what to do in Soho, Chinatown can often seem an undiscovered territory. However, having expanded in size since the 1950s, it is filled with a plethora of Soho Restaurants to feast at, including Chinatown favourites such as Baozilnn and The Duck & Rice.

Chinatown Gate
The ‘Chinatown Gate’ on summer’s day in Soho

Many tourists typically accumulate to marvel at the iconic ‘Chinatown Gate’ on Wardour Street. Built-in July 2016, the gate is a new addition to the area, yet resembles the style of the late Qing dynasty. This further demonstrates the melting pot of cultures London has to offer.

If you fancy experiencing London’s diversity even further, have a read of ‘The Best Halal restaurants in London’

Seven Noses of Soho

When wandering around the streets of Soho, you may be surprised to stumble upon protruding noses fixed on the walls. Commonly known as the ‘Seven Noses of Soho’, this art installation is a thoughtful demonstration of the increase of CCTV cameras appearing through the city.

When exploring the restaurants and bars in Soho, always keep an eye out for these bizarre pieces of artwork from Rick Buckley. It is a common myth that if all seven are found, good fortune will come your way.

Old Compton Street

Soho has been the heart of London’s LGBT scene since the early 1970s. With Old Compton Street being a familiar landmark in London, that celebrates the fantastic diversity of the neighbourhood.

Gay pride flags on Old Compton Street, Soho
LGBT pride flags outside Compton’s bar on Old Compton Road

Lined with of rainbow flags and LGBT artwork, Soho London bars have a vibrant eclectic air this city prides itself on. Comptons and G-A-Y Bar are two of the most popular hot spots on Old Compton Street, with most nights including live performances from drag and music acts.

Carnaby Street

Soho’s rich music history has always been at the centre of its bountiful reputation. Carnaby Street, in particular, has been defined by the past jazz clubs and the punk music scene that filled the corners of the street.

Carnaby Street in the summer
Carnaby Street is full of high-end boutiques after a rich history of music

The appreciation for live music still lives on to this day, although high-end boutiques and Soho restaurants now spill across the street. If you would like to take a trip down memory lane, the free Carnaby Echoes app walks you through the intriguing history of its musical past.

Foyles

Soho’s culture has also been heavily influenced by the history of independent book shops that are scattered across this part of London.

Located on Charing Cross Road, Foyles is a five-floor book shop boasting 50 different departments to choose from. Their extensive collection of books is the perfect opportunity to flick through best sellers and undiscovered gems.

Other stores such as Soho Original Books and Gosh! Comics are also great independent book shops, adding authenticity to the busy streets of Soho and a great option of what to do in Soho.

If you like what you see of Soho and are planning a trip to London soon, head over to our website for our great portfolio of luxury serviced apartments.

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