A night out in the lively, buzzing and fun-filled city of London does not come without its hurdles.
In order to have the best night possible without denting your bank account it is important to be aware of the hidden costs.
Follow my tops tips to ensure you have a fantastic, affordable and fun night out.
How to save some money:
The biggest issue is cost. Taxis charge you a fortune, some bars ask for entry money, you have to pay to use the clock-room, whats-more the drinks themselves cost an arm and a leg (anything from £6.60 to £18 for a single gin and tonic) .
Have no fear, I am here to give you some top tips for saving the dollar on a night out, while still having fun.
Firstly, start your night off at a friends house – buy in some alcohol to drink in the comfort of your home. This way you wont need to buy any drinks later (or maybe just one). Going out in a group saves on transport costs too.
If you are going to get a taxi – download the uber app. Uber taxis are much cheaper than the regular black cab. In addition, you can ‘split the fare.’ This means all your friends can equally share the bill. As long as you all have the app – you can add all of your phone numbers onto the journey. Uber will then take the same amount of money from each of the passengers. So long are the days where ‘sorry I have no change’ means you have to cover your friend’s costs.
If you arrive at the bar or club early you wont have to pay to enter. In addition you might make it in time for happy hour (two-for-one drinks). This i usually before 8pm in the weekends.
You can also save costs and have more fun if you choose the right bar….
Deciding where to go:
With over 7,000 bars/ pubs in London, choosing where to go can be a slightly overwhelming affair.
Here are some of my recommendations:
Gem Bar – Here the cocktails are tasty, the atmosphere buzzing and the music not too bad. They play chart music and have a downstairs basement for dancing. There is also a fun selfie/ mirror camera which is a good laugh. 2- for-1 on all drinks 5 – 8pm. You can get one drink and ask for a token for your next free drink (saves you walking around with two drinks).
Fifty 9 Bar – Has a mix of chart and R and B music. Those sing along tunes will be blaring from the speakers. There is a more casual space upstairs for chatting and drinking, downstairs is the club area. Drinks are average price for London – £6.60 for a gin and tonic, £4 for shots. Entry to the club is free before 10pm.
Roxy – in Tottenham court road has fun and cheaply priced student nights. It also has recently undergone a revamp and has a cinema screening on some nights. Check out their website for specific dates and films.
100 Wardor Street – is the kind of place you can get a little dressy for. Again if you get there early enough there will be free entry. Enjoy a cheaper drink during happy hour before going downstairs to the club area.
Cubana – Is my all time favorite night out in London. It is a Latin bar with live music and plenty of opportunities to get your regatton, salsa, meringue fix. It is pretty small inside, so you really get that sweaty authentic Latin salsa feel. Entry is £4 and you won’t be disappointed. It is next to Waterloo Station
Gabeto – Another fun Latino bar. It is located in Camden. There are salsa lessons held there too. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.
Like any busy city you need to be street wise. Make sure not to carry too much cash on you. Take as little as possible – phone, money, oyster card and keys. That is my checklist. Pick pockets are common but as long as you are careful you will be fine. Don’t leave your bag unattended.
Make sure you know how you are getting home. Pre-plan a route home using the TFL website or use the app . Tubes now run through the night during weekends making things much easier. If traveling alone chose to sit in a carriage with others in and avoid quiet roads etc.
I hope this helps you make the most of your night out in London. Please share any other pointers or fun places to party.