Standing at the center of Piccadilly Circus and staring at the dazzling Piccadilly Lights, one can't help but feel as if they're standing in the heart of London – and they pretty much are.
Stretching from Charing Cross Road to the east, Oxford Street to the north, and Regent Street to the west, the area now known as Soho was once used as a hunting ground by the Tudor kings, and has been a stomping ground for the rich and famous since as far back as the mid-19th century.
In recent years, Soho has become one of the most fashionable and famous districts in London, and no visit to the city would be complete without wandering through its many winding streets. With massive shopping streets that seem to stretch on for miles, top-rated restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world, and some of the trendiest nightclubs in the city; (not to mention more theatres than you can count), when it comes to the most popular area in London, Soho wins by a long shot.
If it's your first time visiting Soho, there are a wealth of different activities to do and things to see that shouldn't be left out of any London travel itinerary:
- Snap a photo of yourself underneath the Piccadilly Lights, and do some people-watching near The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.
- Watch a theatre performance at some of the best theatres in London's West End. (The Prince Edward Theatre and the Queen's Theatre always have a heavy roster of performances, but the Lyric Theatre, the Apollo Theatre and the Prince of Wales theatre are worth checking out as well).
- Take a stroll from Piccadilly Circus along Shaftesbury Avenue towards Covent Garden.
- Marvel over some fascinating and jaw-dropping artefacts from all over the world at Ripley's Believe It Or Not!
- Get some hardcore shopping done at Oxford Street and Regent Street (the biggest shopping streets in Soho), and do some window shopping at the high-end boutiques along Berwick Street, Carnaby Street and Kingly Court.
- Check out some live music at some of the trendiest music venues in London, some of which include Ain't Nothing But The Blues, Mama JoJo's, Ronnie Scott's, the 100 Club and Ray's Jazz At Foyles.
- Party it up at one of the many LGBT bars and clubs in Soho during a night out in the town. (Check out G-A-Y-, Candy Bar, The Friendly Society and She Soho, or any place along Old Compton Street).
- Once you're in Soho, you could easily walk to nearby landmarks without having to pay for transportation. Buckingham Palace is a 35-minute walk away, Green Park is a 22-minute walk away, and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are a 22-minute walk away.
- If you plan on dining at a restaurant in Soho on a Friday or Saturday night (or even on a Thursday night) be sure to book a table beforehand as restaurants can get incredibly busy.
- If you want to save some money on nightclub costs, try to enter a bar or club before 9 p.m. to avoid cover charges.