Living in London is exciting. There are endless opportunities for a fun day or night out. From gigs, museums and luxurious brunches to musicals, famous nightclubs and lush green parks, you get to choose your own way of living in the Big Smoke.

But where to live? North or south of the river? Which of the two offers the best places to go out? Here are our top picks for going out in North and South London.

North London

North London includes a diversity of boroughs each with their own personality – from Chelsea, Kensington and Westminster to Hackney, Camden and Tottenham. This area of the capital has a lot of character and offers fantastic pubs, stunning buildings, and hilly parks with a view.

As a local, you’ll want to avoid the city centre, so you can elude most of the tourists. Here are our favourite districts north of the river.

Islington’s vibrant neighbourhood has become more and more popular over the past few years. Its art galleries, independent boutiques, live music spaces, and fine dining restaurants make it the perfect place for any occasion.

We recommend Union Chapel to listen to music by up-and-coming talent and some big names including 69 Colebrooke Row for outstanding cocktails.

Dalston has gained quite a reputation with its alternative nights out, trendy cafés and independent shops, and has quickly become ‘the new Shoreditch’.

Try the Dalston Roof Park for a chilled evening in the summer months, Rio Cinema to watch the latest indie and arthouse releases, Ruby’s to sample their exclusive cocktail menu.

Camden is a classic. You simply have to pay a visit to this historic and iconic borough when living in London. Camden Lock, the market and the canal give plenty of character to the area, with lots of alternative shops you won’t find in the city centre.

Drop by Koko and The Underworld for the best gigs, Barfly and Proud for drinks at night.

Hampstead is a very pretty borough. With the park offering stunning views of the city and ponds where you can go for a splash in the summer, you’ll feel away from the hectic crowds of the city.

There are also plenty of places to eat and drink. Pick the Roebuck, the Wells or the Horseshoe for a pint or a curry at Paradise Hampstead Indian.

Bethnal Green
Channeling the spirit of the East End, Bethnal Green is an up-and-coming area for young professionals. There’s nothing better than strolling around the Columbia Road Flower Market on a sunny weekend.

If you’re looking for somewhere to spend the evening try the trendy Bistrotheque for a varied menu and eclectic cocktail selection.

South London

South of the river, you’ll find lush green spaces, local food markets, excellent restaurants and a buzzing nightlife. From the quieter Battersea, Balham and Greenwich to the bustling Brixton, Vauxhall and Stockwell – South London has something to offer to everyone.

Here are our favourite areas to hang out in South London.

With its industrial feel, the cacophony of accents, and the traffic, Brixton isn’t usually love at first sight. However, everyone falls for the area eventually. The international food is delicious, the nightlife excellent, and the green spaces lovely.

Wander around Brixton Village for a nice brunch or meal, watch a movie in the Ritzy Cinema, relax with a picnic in Brockwell Park, go for drinks in the Florence or The White Horse, and enjoy a reggae gig at Hootananny.

Going to Greenwich makes you feel like you’re entering a community. This charming area is home to The Cutty Sark, numerous museums, The O2, and some reputable restaurants.

Pay a visit to Davy’s Wine Vaults for some delightful wines from all over the world, the Greenwich Union for a German beer, and The Old Brewery for a few pints of cask-conditioned English ales.

Situated just south of the river, opposite the Tate Britain, Vauxhall, with its glass skyscrapers and numerous nightclubs, offers a true city feeling.

Dance the night away in the Union Nightclub or pop over the river and pick up a buffalo burger in Morpeth Arms, drop in Chino Latino for an Asian fusion meal, and go for a wander in Vauxhall Park.

Richmond is the perfect place to spend a day at the weekend. You’ll feel like you’re in the countryside and are truly able to relax. Richmond Park offers miles and miles of lush vegetation, impressive views of London and the Thames, and lots of deer.

Try Pier 1 for some of the best fish and chips in London, Pig’s Ear Beer Cellar for a good ale, Chez Lindsay for exquisite French cuisine, and Revolution for all your favourite cocktails.

There are many exciting boroughs in the capital, each with their own character and unique places to go out. Both North and South London are great areas to live in, so it’s not an easy choice to make.

No matter where you settle, the opposite end of town is just a Tube (or Overground) ride away, so it’s rather easy to have brunch in Islington, stop for drinks and dinner in Hampstead and go for a gig in Brixton all in one day.

If you’re considering moving to London, or if you’re already settled in the city and you’re looking for better accommodation, view our stylish range of apartments to rent.


Request a Viewing - Essential Living

Rosa Mitchell


Rosa’s area of expertise lies in interiors and architecture. With a passion for design and style, she relates the latest fashionable trends in home and construction design to our readers.