London is far from being the cheapest city in the world, but it’s more affordable than you might think. And while I’m personally a bigger fan of the Berlin club scene, London clubs certainly have some things to offer.
While reading the indie ebook Kiss the Sky by London-native DC Gallin, I was reminded of my short time living in the big, big city. In the book, many of the characters are living in London as cheaply as possible—imagine squats, dumpster diving and starving artists. And yet their lives (albeit fictional ones loosely based on the author’s own experiences) are full of parties and fun. And naked rooftop dancing. Who doesn’t love some of that?!
And even if as a student living in London, I don’t recall dancing naked on the roof of a warehouse squat, I certainly remember plenty of exceptional nights out at clubs. London clubs were obviously a big part of my weekend—and weekdays, too! It was my first taste of all-night parties, messy clubs full of throbbing people, kebabs and sausages from street vendors. London knows how to party. And the best part is that it’s possible to have a lot of fun at clubs…and cheaply.
Tips to find cheap London clubs
- Pick up a copy of TimeOut Magazine. I used to search the weekly listings to see which clubs were hosting special parties, often backed in part by some liquor company who was giving away cheap tequila shots.
- Fabric, Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Heaven—these are the clubs you’ll read on the “10 best” lists. And while they’re fun, they often require getting past strict and stubborn doormen. Be sure to also visit the smaller, more underground clubs.
- Sites lite Londonist.com, Unlike.net and Hg2.com post information on local London events and cater to a more hip, more indie audience. For students and yuppies alike, they feature popular parties and club nights where you’re sure to find a good deal.
- Meet people and ask what’s happening! Couchsurfing.org is a great place to search for local meetups and post questions about the best parties.
And even though I hardly left the city of London during my four months there, by visiting cheap London clubs I was able to save up enough for at least two different low cost holidays. I took a weekend trip to Dublin where I partied in pubs (and saw Bono live at a bookstore) and also a weekend of heavy drinking in Krakow at several nightclubs. But it was always nice to return to London and the indie club scene there.