As a student in London, life is fast-paced and loaded with heavy to-do lists. After hitting the library all day, unwinding with a night out in the vibrant city is almost obligatory. Weaved amongst the attractions, you’ll find happy hours galore and a thousand quirky bars. To save you the searching, here are our top picks of the best bars for students in London.
Salsa is a Mexican bar that brings a vibrant splash of colour to Soho. With happy hour drinks between 5pm and 8pm every day, Salsa is one of the best bars for students in London to stop for cocktails and snacks before dancing the night away. You can even sign up for an evening salsa class on the dance-floor if you’re feeling fancy!
Down in the West End, Bar Rumba is famous for its student nights – where you can grab a drink for just a few pounds! For a cheap night of liquor and chart music, this underground club is perfect for a group party session. The bar hosts a comedy club just upstairs (with an open mic night on Tuesdays that gets you free entry if you perform) and themed music nights every day of the week. You can give your jokes a whirl on stage before heading downstairs to celebrate your victories!
Over in Shoreditch, Cargo Events is the place to be when the sun is shining. With a decked garden, live band and DJ scenes, this is a student hotspot on warm summer evenings. Students can enjoy cheap drinks and affordable BBQ burgers on the cool, outdoor terrace. As the night rolls in, you and your classmates can revel in the chaos of thumping music on the dance-floor. This is an iconic venue for hardcore partiers – since you can enjoy an eclectic mix of hits until 6am!
For a chilled night of beer pong and 2 for 1 cocktails, Belushi’s London is a dynamic sports bar in Camden that is one of the best places for students. With their ultra-HD screens and projector, you can catch live sporting matches of any kind – from boxing to the NFL. Over at Belushi’s, no two nights in a row will be the same. You can enjoy student events one evening, live music the next and beer pong competitions later in the week.
With its balcony views over Leicester Square, Ruby Blue is a perfect spot for stargazer’s keen on catching celebrities heading to the West End. This buzzing bar serves delectable late-night snacks and happy hour cocktails during the week. Inside, you’ll find three bars, multiple rooms and two DJ’s. With unlimited music to vibe to, you can tap your feet at the table outside or dance the night away undercover with friends.
The famous Ballie Ballerson is not to be missed! This cocktail bar with a million balls (that’s right, it’s a bar with two giant ball pits) will take you back to your childhood days. With its mischievously sweet drinks and entry tickets starting at just £5, Ballie Ballerson is the place to kick off your dancing shoes and experience a sugar rush like no other. It’s one of the best bars in London for students to unwind and have a laugh with friends.
Full of vintage charm, Simmons is the place to go for cheap beers and legendary happy hours. Here, you’ll find quirky furniture and charismatic vibes. Located just a short walk from Camden High Street, it’s a cool hangout spot for talkers, drinkers and dancers alike.
Popworld Watling Street
For a sound of the 80’s and a vibe to match, Popworld is the ideal venue for dancefloor mayhem and cheerful drink prices. The earlier you get to Popworld, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere with good conversation. Later, the dance-floor appears and the volume ramps up! With limited seating and more than enough boogie room, this late-night bar is a colourful blast from the past where you can enjoy the DJ pumping out tracks until late.
For a casual evening of 2 for 1 cocktails and chats, Tequila Mockingbird is your ideal setting. This cocktail bar has something for every occasion. You can chill with a few drinks by the river as you enjoy stone-baked pizzas with friends, or head down to the basement and party late with the DJ. This three-floored haven has a multitude of personalities to suit whichever night you plan to have.
Gloria’s underground venue is one of the best bars for students in this part of London for great beer and happy hours. With its tunnel bars and secret rooms, you’ll feel like you’re partying in a jazzed-up version of the London underground. Featuring loud music and friendly staff, Blame Gloria creates an atmosphere to party! For the best prices, head here during happy hours or when there is a deal on, as normal prices can be high.
The independent venue in the heart of Soho is a delightful retreat for easy-going students and joyful tourists. Thirst bar is light, airy and unbelievably cheap in happy hour (or stupid hour, as they call it). Whatever night of the week you choose to visit, you will be guaranteed a leisurely night filled with reasonably priced drinks and good conversation. To ramp up the vibe, you can stay late and head down to the basement club to hear the DJ mixing it up until the early hours.
Check Before You Visit
Before you head out, check online for the latest opening hours, events and any student discounts when you pre-book. Make sure you always have a plan for how you and your friends will get home safely when out at night. London is full of places to catch a bus, train or cab, with Uber in operation almost everywhere in the city. Use the TfL GO app to plan your journey and check what time your last train is.