The best cities for nights out in
Head out on a Friday or Saturday night, and you’re bound to see groups of friends – be it a birthday celebration, hen do or stag do – wandering around the city. And for good reason too. You see, the UK has some of the best nightlife hotspots and hen party cities in the world (second to Ibiza, obviously) and while the weather might not always be guaranteed, a good time definitely is. So, if you’re planning your next night out, keep scrolling to discover the best nights out in the UK as we rated.
Best for: Its flamboyant atmosphere
Party hotspot: Kings Road Arches on Brighton Seafront.
Must visit: Alcotraz Prison Bar
Brighton has plenty of choice, from beachside bars to speakeasy-style clubs if you’re planning a night out, and it’s not as stuffy as some other cities around the UK. For starters, fancy dress is practically the uniform here, and even themed bars require you to get into costume. It’s also known as the UK’s gay capital with lots of LGBTQ+ clubs dotted around Kemptown, and it’s the home place of Fatboy Slim, so you can expect fantastic music nights. Be At One, Komedia, and Maggie Mae’s also promise a good time.
Don’t worry if you fancy yourself as Beyonce’s younger cousin after a few drinks, as Lucky Voice – Brighton’s finest karaoke bar – is sure to please. Those looking for a more refined evening will be spoiled for choice when it comes to the local champagne and wine bars, too – our favourites being Blanch House and L’Atelier Du Vin Wine and Cocktail Bar.
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Best for: Drink deals
Party hotspot: Saint Mary Street
Must visit: Pennyroyal
We could have included the whole of Wales in this list as it’s one country in the UK that certainly knows how to party. But its capital city is where the real fun is. Think old-school boozers, pop-up bars and food stalls, huge clubs and fantastic drink deals almost every night of the week. Hidden speakeasy, Dead Canary serves up inventive cocktails – but you’ve got to find the way in first. Simply look out for a fire door, with a yellow bird above it, and you’re in
For a sophisticated wine night, well, to begin, we say head to Nighthawks Wine Bar – they even sell cheese toasties. And everyone knows that cheese and wine is a match made in heaven. Another great thing about Cardiff’s nightlife is the amount of activities available – think social darts club, Flight Club, and Boom Battle Bar, a lively games club serving incredible pub grub. Other places to have on your list for a Cardiff night out include Gin & Juice and The Libertine.
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Best for: Laidback drinks
Party hotspot: Call Lane
Must visit: Pixel Bar
Lots of people think of Leeds as a student city, and while it is, it also offers up a fantastic nightlife scene for those older partygoers. Nights out here tend to be more casual, but that’s not to say you need to leave your heels at home or that it doesn’t deserve a place on our list. Of course, Leeds is home to the most popular bars, including the Alchemist, Be At One, All Bar One, and the Botanist.
But a proper night out in Leeds is best spent in Rolands and Belgrave Music Hall – where great drinks deals are met with a cracking atmosphere and hearty food. Don’t worry if you’re looking for something a little more special, as Leeds is also home to Below Stairs, which has officially been recognised as one of the best 50 cocktail bars in the UK. In the summer, Waterlane BoatHouse and its canalside seating attract revellers, and the Sky Lounge is a great way to see the best of the city while sipping on some fizz.
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Best for: Cosy pubs to spend the night in
Party hotspot: Edinburgh New Town
Must visit: Hoot The Redeemer
Scotland’s capital city might be famous for its historical attractions and natural beauty but a trip here isn’t complete without a bar crawl. In fact, there are so many bars scattered around the city that you could dedicate an entire day to it. Of course, we aren’t suggesting it. You just could, if you wanted. Rumour has it, more than 400 gins are available in the city too – but you better not try to sample all of them during your visit. 56 North, which is right by the uni campus, is said to offer all 400 too!
Nights out in Edinburgh are similar to Leeds. Grab your mates, pitch up at a table, order some food and be prepared to stay in the same spot for a few hours. Some of the most popular haunts include The Royal Dick, Nauticus, and The Blackbird – all of which offer an honest and relaxed feel but where you can expect to stay well past midnight. Those in search of cocktails need to have Paradise Palms and Casablanca Cocktail Bar on their list.
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Best for: Live and upcoming music nights
Party hotspot: West Street
Must visit: Public Bar
For live music, you might automatically think of Liverpool or even Manchester, but Sheffield is steadily becoming one of the best cities in the North, and indeed the UK, as THE place to go for live acts. Several popular bands hail here, including Pulp and The Arctic Monkeys. Some of the best places to go include West Street Live and Molly Malone’s Irish Tavern.
That’s not all either as the city has hidden bars that only a few know the secret entrance too – we’re talking about former gents toilets, Public Bar, and rock and roll themed Speakeasy, Kuckoo, and K-MAX Karaoke Bar. That’s before we mention old classics like The Botanist and Revolucion De Cuba.
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Best for: Sophisticated cocktails
Party hotspot: City Centre, Bath
Must visit: Bath Distillery Gin Bar
One of the best things about Bath is its size, and it’s super easy to wander around in one evening and experience some of the best bartending. In fact, over the past few years, Bath has firmly positioned itself on the UK cocktail map. Gin distilleries, underground drinking establishments, and high-end hotels have meant that friends and hen parties come here to try some of the best cocktails in the UK. Many of its bars have even won awards.
For cocktails, it’s got to be The Dark Horse, Dos Dedos, Opium or Bread & Jam. We recommend Bath Brewhouse, The Cork (also offers karaoke) and Hall & Woodhouse for casual drinks and great food. Plus, don’t forget popular haunts like Revolution and Be At One.
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Best for: A glam night out
Party hotspot: Mathew Street
Must visit: Cavern Pub
From live music hotspots like The Cavern Club, award-winning pubs which sell celebrity-inspired pizzas like Ma Egerton’s, and mini golf and cocktail venues like Ghetto Golf – a night out in Liverpool really does promise a good time. Popular areas include Mathew Street, Albert Docks and the Baltic Triangle and it’s really easy to get around if you want to tick all three off your list.
Other popular venues include Berry and Rye, which is housed in a speakeasy bar and cocktail menus are hidden in old books, and Jenever Gin Bar which allegedly sells over 160 different types of gin. At the Oracle, magicians make their way round the bar, and Liverpool Arts Bar is a great place to start the night for casual drinks with friends.
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Best for: A different kind of night
Must visit: The Florist
King Street, down by the harbour, Stokes Croft and into Clifton – Bristol really does have plenty of nightlife to explore, and you’re not too far from Bath if you want to make a proper weekend of it either. Plus, wherever you do choose to go, you can expect quirky venues with a little extra flair. Kick things off in No 1 Harbourside – a popular establishment that offers great food, incredible drinks and live music.
Then, head to Thekla – a bar housed in a traditional German ship – before heading to The Milk Thistle, a hidden bar that oozes style. Others that need to be on your list include cocktail bar The Clockwork Rose, games space The Flight Club and Blame Gloria, known for throwing the wildest parties across the city. Not to mention incredible boozy brunches.
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Best for: Pleasing everyone
Party hotspot: Deansgate
Must visit: The Anthologist
Manchester’s Hacienda might have shut its doors in the 90s, but before that, it became one of the UK’s best party hotspots. 30 years later and Manchester is still renowned as one of the best nights out in the UK. There’s something for everyone too. Those searching craft beer bars and live music need look no further than the Northern Quarter. Those who like to splash the cash and be surrounded by luxury should head to Spinningfields, and those who want to let their hair down with good food, great drink deals and a few social activities should put Deansgate on their list.
For activities, there’s bowling and beer pong at Lane7, or you could try an immersive experience at the Alcotraz bar. Albert Schloss and Peaky Blinders attract visitors from all over and, if you want to party until the early hours, Impossible and Revolucion de Cuba won’t disappoint. Dirty Martini also serves up regular drink deals, and their martini brunch is a great way to start the day!
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Best for: The ultimate night out
Must visit: Mother Mercy
Topping our list of good nights out in the UK is Newcastle. After all, they even had their own programme made, which basically focused on Geordie nights out. Here, you can expect sports bars, huge club nights, great bars, and pub crawls for every kind of drinker – whether you enjoy a craft beer or prefer a delicious cocktail. As cities in the UK go, Newcastle is one of the best for great live music venues, too.
For Instagram-worthy cocktail trees, head to the Hudson. 97 & Social serves up a creative cocktail menu and tipsy tea – our afternoon tea. Colonel’s Porter offers live music and DJ nights, and Pleased to Meet You is a specialist gin bar that offers everything but a standard G&T. Leila Lily’s is also a perfect spot for those who want to start their night out sophisticatedly.
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So, there you have it—the best places in the UK for a great night out. And, after a night out at the many bars, pubs and clubs, you’ll need somewhere to rest your head – and we’ve got you covered for that too. Simply browse our selection of hen party pads and get ready to plan a weekend to remember. We even have luxury properties with hot tubs and quaint cottages for small groups so you’re guaranteed to find a hen party location and accommodation to suit.
MOST POPULAR NIGHT CLUBS IN THE UK
|Ministry of Sound||London||1,500|
|The Warehouse Project||Manchester||10,000|
|The Rainbow Venues||Birmingham||5,000|
FAQs UK Nightlife
What are the best cities for nightlife in the UK?
The best cities for nightlife in the UK are London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Bristol and they are known for their vibrant nightlife scenes.
Which UK city has the best clubs and bars?
The UK city that has the best bars and clubs is London. The capital city is known for its diverse club scene and variety of bars, from trendy speakeasies to rooftop bars.
What are the most popular party destinations in the UK?
The most popular party destinations in the UK are Manchester and Liverpool and they are popular for their party scenes, while Newcastle is known for its lively atmosphere.
Where can I find the best live music venues in the UK?
You can find the best live music venues in Bristol, Manchester, and Glasgow, with a variety of venues hosting up-and-coming and established artists.
Which UK cities have the best cocktail bars and rooftop bars?
The cities with the best cocktail and rooftop bars are London, Edinburgh, and Manchester and they have a range of stylish and sophisticated cocktail bars, while London and Liverpool have some of the best rooftop bars.
What is the best time to visit UK cities for nightlife?
Weekends tend to be the busiest for nightlife, with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights being the most popular.
What are the best areas to stay in for nightlife in UK cities?
In London, areas like Soho, Shoreditch, and Camden are popular for their nightlife. Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Liverpool’s Ropewalks are also good options. Nude Life’s favourites are Brighton Seafront and the Harbourside in Bristol.
What is the dress code for UK nightclubs and bars?
The dress codes in the UK can vary, but smart casual attire is usually a safe bet, with some venues having more formal dress codes.
How much does a night out in a UK city cost?
The cost of a night out in the UK can vary depending on the city and the venue, but a night out in a UK city can range from around £30-£150 per person.
What are the top tourist attractions to visit during the day in UK cities known for their nightlife?
In London, popular attractions include the Tower of London and the British Museum. In Manchester, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Manchester Art Gallery are worth a visit, while Liverpool has the Beatles Story and the Liverpool Cathedral.