Whether you’re a tourist, a fresher, on a stag or hen do, celebrating your 40th, or are looking for a new vibe, Leeds is a spectacular city for your next night out. Renowned for its mega nightlife with dozens of pubs, clubs, bars, and more, there’s a venue here to suit just about any need.
But to make sure you have the best time possible, it’s important to get familiar with Leeds’ best nightlife areas, its bars, and its clubs, as each is unique and fantastic in its own way. Check out our guide here to help you have that night out in Leeds that feels like a movie.
Leeds is a magical place with a bit of something for everyone. But depending on what kind of night you’re looking for, you need to know which of Leeds’ nightlife areas to head out to…
Let's kick it off with one of the most famous Leeds nightlife areas, shall we? When roaming Call Lane at night, you'll likely hear a variety of music spilling out of venues, with live performances contributing to a good chunk of that noise. The street is lined with Instagrammable cocktail bars, hidden drinking dens, rock bars, underground clubs and more, both independent and chains. Call Lane is the go-to for many locals and visitors.
But if pounding music and late nights don’t really do it for you and you’re seeking a more lowkey evening, Briggate is the area for you. More relaxed by nature, this Leeds nightlife area is made up of chilled hidden gems, traditional pubs, laidback cocktail bars, and speakeasies.
There are still a few rowdier venues in the area, such as Bar Fibre and Queens Court, but if you aren’t in the mood for cutting shapes all night, there are plenty of venues around here for a chat and a pint.
Generally a more upscale area for cocktails and fancy bars, Millennium Square is another lovely area for a night out in Leeds. Around this area, you’ll also find video game bars, classic pubs, nightclubs, sports bars, and even a couple of Wetherspoons.
Best bars - Skiddle selects
Part of what makes Leeds’ nightlife so magnetising is the variety. If you want to play a game in between drinks, you can! If you’re looking for a pub with history, no problem. But they also have some fancier bars with incredible cocktails.
The Cross Keys
Built in 1802, The Cross Keys is a little pub with a lot of history. There’s lots of outdoor seating beside the canal for those scorching days when the sun just won't quit. And indoors, there are exposed brick walls and delicious roasts to tuck into. But when the colder months roll around, the fairy lights and fireplace help create a cosy, warming atmosphere.
Taking nights out to new levels, Chow Down changes with the seasons. Their summertime edition featured crazy gold, a sun terrace, cocktail bars, DJs, and drag brunches. Their winter edition will kick it up a notch with drag brunches, comedy, gospel choirs, street food, DJs, curling, live bands, Christmas tipis, Bingo Lingo and more. Having won an award for Best Use of Outdoor Space, Chow Down is a great choice for a Leeds night out.
If indie, rock, beer pong, great drinks deals and whiskey are your vibe, head over to The Shed. The interior is simple, with exposed brickwork and a slightly industrial feel underneath a railway arch. The Shed’s drinks menu is extensive, and it’s open until 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Their daily happy hour runs from 4-8 pm where you can get £3.50 drinks and they also have two for one on cocktails every Thursday night.
Whitelock’s Ale House
Down a cobbled street, you'll find Whitelock’s, Leeds’ oldest pub dating back to 1715. They have a cracking beer garden, food, and the staff are lovely. In terms of drinks, there are real ales, craft beers, speciality ciders, quality lagers, premium gins, and a hand-picked wine list. Many of their drinks are from Yorkshire breweries and wine merchants. Thanks to its history and welcoming atmosphere, there aren’t many places like Whitelock’s.
Roxy Ball Room
Release your competitive side out at Roxy Ball Room! There are three Roxy's to choose from in Leeds, each with different games. There's bowling, shuffleboard, beer pong, air hockey, golf, American pool, basketball and more. Just be sure to check out the location before heading over as some games are exclusive to specific sites.
Open daily, Below Stairs is an upscale cocktail bar without the upscale prices. Cocktails are their speciality, changing with the seasons and costing just £9 each. Unpretentious, there’s a friendly atmosphere, and bartenders are happy to help you find the perfect cocktail to your tastes. There are also six beers on tap and wines from small vineyards.
Spread across four floors, Headrow House is home to an award-winning restaurant, a beer hall, and two brilliant roof terraces. The venue regularly hosts events such as DJ sets, live music, and club nights, including ones that are free to enter. Definitely a firm favourite for many locals, the roof terrace areas are stunning and bustling when the sun’s out.
Playing RnB and hip hop bangers, Brooklyn is a cocktail bar split across two floors with neon lighting, delicious drinks, beer pong, and a lively atmosphere. Brooklyn also plays live American sports on its HD screens, including baseball, basketball, and boxing, as well as Premier and Champions League matches.
If you love spirits, keep North Bar in mind for your next Leeds night out. They have an impressive selection of whisky, gin, vodka, tequila and some tasty liqueurs. But if beer’s your poison, they have a huge variety to choose from too. A smaller venue than most, North Bar is a bit of a hidden gem with a naturally cosy feel.
Best clubs - Skiddle selects
One of the best ways to fully immersive yourself in Leeds’ nightlife is to hit some clubs. Bursting with energy, clubs in Leeds range from alternative clubs to extravagant raves, tiny underground spots and independent artsy clubs.
The Warehouse has been going strong since the 80s has an incredible reputation in Leeds. Serving up some of the city’s best club nights, their sound focuses on drum and bass, house, techno, and trance, but other genres, such as disco, are thrown into the mix. The music here is spun by some huge names and is brought to life with huge screens and festival lasers across three rooms.
The Old Red Bus Station
Once a bus station, Old Red is now an intimate hub for electronic music with a 400-person capacity. One of the most important independent venues in Leeds, Old Red fuses all of life's greatest pleasures - art, music, food, culture, and drinks - in one place. Tuesdays are popular with students thanks to happy hour deals and 20% off food. Old Red has an incredible atmosphere, a range of genres to enjoy, a changing cocktail menu, craft brews, and unique spirits.
An iconic club that’s since expanded out of Leeds, Mint Warehouse attracts around 1,000 partiers eager to dance to huge DJs and artists beneath its LED ceiling. In total, there are three rooms and an outdoor terrace to explore, and the tunes are typically of house, techno, and drum and bass persuasion with some UKG too, depending on the night.
It’s not every day you hit a club to be welcomed with crazy decorations, performers, confetti, CO2, food stalls, funfair rides, and thousands of other ravers. But at Beaver Works, this madness and more is pretty regular. Spread across five rooms and two outdoor areas, this is the kind of club you’re happy to lose your bearings in.
The Key Club
If you prefer the sweet sounds of a distorted riff to thumping club tunes, The Key Club welcomes you with open tatted arms! Emo, punk, metal, rock, and indie tunes reign supreme here but don't be surprised if you hear some guilty pleasure tunes in the other room. And if you've been spending too much lately, don't worry as The Key Club has plenty of cheap drinks, including double house spirit mixers for £4, and Strongbow and Red Stripe for £4.20.
But if losing your mates in the club isn’t your idea of fun, HiFi might be more you. HiFi is an multi-award-winning underground club and live music venue that blasts quality tunes until the early hours. Expect reggae, disco, funk, soul, hip hop, rock, and more. HiFi also puts on lots of themed nights such as 00s throwbacks, 70s, reggaeton, and nights purely for celebrating iconic artists’ discography.
Even smaller than HiFi, Distrikt has a tiny capacity of just 150. So if you’re going out with that one mate who wanders off, this is the place for you! Free to enter every night, Distrikt has been a staple of Leeds’ underground nightlife for over a decade, bringing international and local talents to the decks. And in the summer, their terrace parties are the place to be.
Powered by a powerful Funktion One Soundsystem, Wire is an underground (literally) club boasting some of the north’s longest-running club nights and huge DJs. Past events have included sets by Mr Scruff, Shanti Celeste, Helena Hauff, Four Tet, Floating Points, and other incredible artists. Fitting just 300 people, a night here is not only an intimate, unique experience but one that feels somewhat exclusive.
Leeds is an extraordinary city with so much to enjoy when the sun sets. The next time you’re planning a Leeds night out, stop by to find the right vibe for your night, ensuring an unforgettable time.