The Fifa World Cup 2018, taking place in Russia, kicks off on 14 June. Football fans, are you ready?
The buzzing anticipation of the game can be felt like a shockwave in major cities across the globe including London. The ‘Big Smoke’ is home to some of the most diverse (and rowdy) football fans, so join in on the excitement and check out these eight places to watch the World Cup while exploring some of the most amazing London neighborhoods!
1. Camden, Camden Town underground
Famous for its counter-culture, eccentric street markets and live music venues, Camden is a local favorite of many Londoners. Close to Regent’s Park and just a stone’s throw away from Camden Market, check out Guanabara, a restaurant that specializes in South American and Caribbean eats. With more than a few South American countries represented in the World Cup this year, Guanabara will likely be the place for a non-stop summer fiesta.
Where: 85 Kentish Town Rd, London
2. Shoreditch, Shoreditch High Street Overground
Edgy and youth-oriented, Shoreditch boasts an edgy flair due to the quarter’s post-industrial backdrop. Watch the match at Big Chill Brick Lane followed by a celebration (fingers crossed) at one of the many nightlife life venues. Big Chill is well-equipped for football crowds with plenty of seats, a foosball table and game snacks like tacos, nachos and spicy wings.
Where: Big Chill Brick Lane, Dray Walk, London
3. Highbury, Holloway Road underground
Explore the beautiful historical buildings of this North London district; Highbury is also home to Arsenal Stadium. At match time, check out the traditional Islington pub called The Horatia with a three-hundred-person capacity, a selection of more than sixty craft beers, free retro games, a foosball table, sky-sports, and a quality pub-grub menu.
Where: 98-102 Holloway Road, London
4. Soho, Leicester Square underground
Famous for its world-class theatres and prominent nightlife, Soho boasts a plethora of cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars. This central district is also home to London’s exceptional Chinatown closer to the Thames and De Hems, an authentic Dutch pub (and a former watering hole for Dutch sailors). While watching the match, enjoy some delicious food and a big mug of authentic Dutch or Belgian ale ‘op de tap’.
Where: 11 Macclesfield Street, London
5. London’s West End, Leicester Square underground
One of the most popular districts in London and a short walk from Leicester Square, the West End is home to some of the city’s best entertainment, from casinos and theater performances to top bars and clubs. For an exciting football experience, check out Zoo Bar, its two floors, three rooms and four bars offer a variety of music and sports games until three in the morning every night of the week!
Where: 13-17 Bear Street, London
6. City of London, Liverpool Street underground
London’s financial district and the ‘wealthiest square mile in the world’ is the City of London aka ‘The City’. Walk among its ancient Roman ruins and glistening high-rise office buildings where you’ll find Polo Bar, a twenty-four-seven café and bar that serves traditional English-style breakfast (and Bloody Marys) all-day-long (literally)! Another suitable spot for watching a match is Rileys Sports Bar Haymarket (closer to Trafalgar Square) with its 34 screens and impressive 600-person capacity!
Where: 176 Bishopsgate & 80 Haymarket, London
7. Notting Hill, Notting Hill Gate underground
This famously affluent neighborhood offers tons of appeal to visitors with its cobblestone streets, independent boutiques and art galleries. Don’t miss the Saturday Portobello Road Market, the largest antique market in the UK! Within this refined district, discover The Walmer Castle, an esteemed pub offering classic British bar fare with a bohemian edge. This venue is great for cocktails, beers on tap and an all-around vibrant atmosphere.
Where: 58 Ledbury Road, London
8. Finsbury Park, Finsbury Park overground
A recently gentrified district next to the peaceful Finsbury Park north of London, watch a match in a quirky yet charming well-loved Irish pub called The Faltering Fullback. Although it primarily hosts rugby fans, this pub is well-equipped for a lively football crowd with a big screen, live music nights, lovely outdoor garden seating and plenty of beer on tap.
Where: 19 Perth Rd, Finsbury Park, London