What’s the best gay neighborhood in London?

Explore four areas in England’s capital and the highlights of each one.

Kevin Crain

By Kevin Crain

Rainbow flag in London

For the LGBTQ+ community, London is a great place to call home. The capital of England celebrates diversity and lets everyone be who they are. The city is dotted with neighborhoods that have become safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community. But which gay neighborhood in London is right for you? This article will help you discover some of the best options, especially if you’re staying for a year or longer in London. We’ll highlight some of the destinations, community, and nightlife in each. 


Carnaby street in the Soho neighborhood of London

Soho has long been one of the best gay neighborhoods in London. It’s the epicenter of LGBTQ+ culture in the city. The vibrant streets here, especially around Old Compton Street, are lined with iconic gay bars and clubs, making it the perfect spot for a night out. However, staying in a Soho flat also means enjoying the area’s rich history and diverse culture. Walking through its streets, you can feel the energy that has made it a hub for creativity and expression.

Highlights of Soho

  • Old Compton Street: Known for its vibrant nightlife and numerous LGBTQ+ bars, Old Compton Street is the lifeblood of Soho. This bustling street is lined with cafes, theaters, and shops. It’s a place where you can feel the pulse of London’s gay community at any time of day or night.
  • Village Soho: The ambience of this gay bar is what sets it apart from the crowd. Mixing a lively atmosphere downstairs and a calmer vibe upstairs, there’s something for everyone. You may even see go-go dancers in this trendy spot that serves up delicious cocktails. 
  • Admiral Duncan: A historic pub that has been a staple in the LGBTQ+ community for years, Admiral Duncan is known for its welcoming atmosphere and vibrant drag performances. This pub holds a special place in the hearts of many and is a testament to the resilience and spirit of the gay community in Soho.

Soho isn’t just about nightlife; it’s a cultural hub with theaters, galleries, and restaurants. It blends old and new, traditional and contemporary. For instance, you can catch a show at one of the West End theaters, visit an art gallery, or enjoy a meal at one of the many international restaurants. Soho’s streets are always alive. There’s music, art, and a sense of community that welcomes everyone.


Union Jack flag flying in London

Vauxhall is London’s second-largest gayborhood, offering a slightly more relaxed vibe compared to Soho. It’s known for its diverse range of clubs, pubs, and bars that cater to the LGBTQ+ community. Vauxhall’s nightlife scene is vibrant and varied, from high-energy dance clubs to laid-back pubs. Plus, there are furnished apartments in the Vauxhall neighborhood

Highlights of Vauxhall

  • Fire: A massive club that hosts some of the best LGBTQ+ nights in London. Fire is known for its state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, making it a top destination for those looking to dance the night away. The club often features well-known DJs and themed nights that draw in large crowds.
  • The Eagle: Featuring music, dancing, and a private beer garden, The Eagle is a must-visit for anyone looking for a good time. The bar’s friendly atmosphere and eclectic music selection make it a popular spot for both locals and visitors.
  • Royal Vauxhall Tavern: An iconic venue known for its cabaret performances, RVT is a cornerstone of Vauxhall’s gay scene. The venue’s rich history and commitment to providing a platform for LGBTQ+ performers make it a beloved spot in the community.

Looking for an escape from the busy city? Vauxhall is also home to some lovely parks and riverside walks. The area’s green spaces, such as Vauxhall Park and the riverside paths along the Thames, offer a peaceful, outdoorsy retreat. Vauxhall’s mix of urban energy and natural beauty makes it a unique and appealing neighborhood.


People n Camden Market in London

Camden is known for its youthful energy and artistic community. It’s a melting pot of cultures and one of the best London neighborhoods for young professionals. Camden’s vibrant atmosphere and eclectic mix of shops, markets, and venues make it an exciting place to live in London. 

Highlights of Camden

  • Electric Ballroom: This popular spot has been around since the 1930s. Nowadays, it’s the ideal place to enjoy a rock concert. Since it’s so close to the tube station, this area stays busy, giving it a lively atmosphere outside, too. There’s even a market here on weekends!
  • The World’s End: A lively pub with a vibrant atmosphere, popular with the LGBTQ+ crowd, The World’s End is known for its welcoming vibe and great selection of drinks. The pub’s central location makes it a popular spot for pre- and post-club drinks.
  • Camden Market: A must-visit for unique shopping experiences and delicious street food, Camden Market is one of London’s most famous markets. It has a variety of stalls selling everything from vintage clothing to handmade crafts. Plus, you’ll find lots of international food, too.

Located practically in the center of London, Camden is easily accessible by public transportation. The area’s excellent transport links, including the Camden Town and Chalk Farm tube stations, make it easy to explore the rest of London. With its unique blend of cultures and range of apartment sizes and styles, living in the Camden neighborhood is a fantastic option. 


Aerial view of London and River Thames

Dalston has seen a surge in popularity in the last decade, becoming an up-and-coming gay neighborhood in London. Its multicultural vibe and eclectic mix of dining and nightlife options make it a fun place to stay. Despite Dalston’s diverse community and creative energy, it’s still a welcoming area, too.

Highlights of Dalston

  • Dalston Superstore: A staple of gay nightlife, Dalston Superstore is known for its fun crowd and eclectic music. The venue hosts a variety of events, from drag shows to art exhibitions, making it a cultural hub in Dalston.
  • Rio Cinema: Enjoy a date night at this independent cinema, which shows foreign and arthouse movies in a beautiful, art deco setting. Better still, the movie snacks are from local places. Yum! 
  • Ridley Road Market: A bustling market offering an array of international foods and goods, Ridley Road Market is a wonderful place to explore. The market’s diverse selection of stalls reflects Dalston’s multicultural community.

Dalston’s charm lies in its diversity and the welcoming atmosphere that permeates the neighborhood. It’s a place where everyone feels at home, and where creativity and individuality are celebrated. The area’s vibrant street art, independent shops, and trendy cafes make it a dynamic place to live.

Can’t wait to move to London?

A living room in a furnished apartment in London

Whether you’re moving from the US to London or coming from somewhere else, the gay neighborhoods in London offer something for everyone. Want for a stress-free move? Blueground’s fully furnished apartments and flexible lease terms make it possible. In fact, we have move-in-ready homes in over 60 London neighborhoods

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain

Kevin Crain is a writer from Dallas, Texas. He’s dedicated to helping every Blueground guest live like a local and make their apartment feel like home. His favorite topics include active experiences, bucket list essentials, and hidden gems in cities around the world.