This London neighborhood has it all: theaters, live music, eclectic nightlife, shopping, historical sites, and a quirky food scene. Located in the West End District popular with actors, artists, musicians, and fashionistas, Soho is also the epicenter of London’s gay scene.
Covering just one square mile (2.6 square kilometers), Soho is best explored on foot. Taste your way around Soho’s diverse food scene on chocolate tours, English tea and dessert tours, modern British food tours, or excursions featuring international cuisine. Walk in the footsteps of The Beatles on Abbey Road and learn about the city’s other rock ‘n’ roll legends, or visit the area’s best-loved pubs and brewhouses on a bar-hopping tour. If history is your thing, Soho walking tours offer an education on London’s hidden gems and historic artifacts.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring your rain gear as London is known for its unpredictable downpours.
- As you walk around Soho, look out for noses on the buildings and walls (known as “the seven noses of Soho”). According to local legend, good luck comes your way if you spot them all.
- Be prepared for crowds. Soho can get busy, especially around lunchtime.
- Kingly Court near Carnaby Street offers free Wi-Fi, a station to refill your water bottles, and a seating area for dining alfresco.
How to Get There
Set in Central London in the middle of the West End, Soho is easy to visit via guided tour or public transportation. Travel by bus or tube (subway) to any of these stations that are close to Soho: Leicester Square, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, or Tottenham Court Road. If you plan to stay in London for several days, it’s a good idea to pick up a visitor Oyster card. Driving is not recommended as this area is very busy and there can be limited parking.
When to Get There
Soho is thriving day and night. To avoid crowds, visit mid-morning on a weekday to miss commuters on the tube and beat the lunchtime rush at restaurants. The place comes alive at night, so be sure to check out some bars, comedy clubs, and live music venues like Ronnie Scott’s.
Shopping in Soho
Soho is a bustling shopping district—the department store Liberty is a London institution and if you’re traveling with kids, be sure to visit the famous toy shop Hamleys. For boutiques, go to Berwick Street, Carnaby Street and Kingly Court, and for flagship stores, go to Oxford Street and Regent Street. If you love chocolate, don’t miss the Paul A. Young store on Wardour Street.