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London Spotlight

Nightlife

A trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a proper pub crawl around at least a couple of the city’s ubiquitous drinking holes. This is a quintessential pastime for Londoners, and you should make it yours, too, at least for an evening. Note that you’ll have to down your drinks by 11pm, when the bar staff announces the last call at every single pub in the city. But don’t let that distract you from checking out at least two of our favorite pubs: The City's snug Ye Old Cheshire Cheese (145 Fleet St.), one of the oldest pubs in London, complete with nooks, crannies, fireplaces and dark-wood paneling, and London’s best-kept pub secret, Ye Old Mitre in Holborn (1 Ely Court), an ancient, rickety, and dark watering hole with a variety of ales, good olde pub fayre, and an eclectic clientele.

For late-night owls, life doesn’t end after last call – London is the nightclub capital of Europe, and home to some of the world’s most famous mega-clubs and ultra-trendy bars. For the most serious boogying action till daybreak, we recommend South Bank's legendary Ministry of Sound (103 Gaunt St.), a mega-club institution with several dance floors, bars and chill-out rooms, a rocking sound system and celebrity DJ guests practically every night of the week. Bloomsbury's The End (18 West Central St.) is another favorite, with cutting-edge house music, star DJ residents, sleek décor, a stylish crowd – and steep cover. For detailed listings of all club events in London, check out the frequently updated clubbing section of LondonNet.

THEATER
With over 200 venues and a dizzying range of productions – from West End hit musicals to off-West End dramas and experimental fringe plays, London is undoubtedly the world’s most happening theater scene, only rivaled by New York. If you fancy catching a play in the West End, be prepared to dish out about £70 if you want to secure your seats in advance; otherwise, you can save up to 50% by getting same-day tickets at the Society of London Theatre tkts booth in Leicester Square (note there’s a £2.50 service charge).

Just like New York’s off-Broadway shows, off-West End productions are the cheaper alternative, with tickets starting at £10, while the fringe shows usually make the best bargain, at under £10. For more information about what’s playing in London’s theaters, including a daily list of shows for sale at the tkts booth in Leicester Square, check out the Society of London Theatre’s online London Theatre Guide. On the ground, as mentioned above, refer to Time Out magazine.

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