Looking for the best things to do in London at night? You’ve come to the right place.
During the day, there is a long list of thrilling activities in London. But after hours, when the sun sets, the city comes alive with newfound excitement.
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This can be one of the best times to explore London. You’ll lose a big portion of the daytime crowds, and new activities will become available.
To experience a different side of the city, here is a list of the best things to do in London at night. If you’re looking for more on London or planning a trip to the Big Smoke, then read my London travel tips guide.
Best Things To Do in London at Night
When it comes to what to do in London in the evening, your options are endless. Being one of Europe’s top cultural capitals, the list of things to do after the sun sets is by no means short.
I’ve grouped all the most exciting things to do into categories so you can easily find the London night attraction or activity that fits your vibe.
Romantic Things To Do at Night in London
If you’re on a couples trip and deciding what to do at night in London, you’ll have some great options available. Here are a few exciting options to spice up date night.
1. Take a Dinner Cruise on the Thames
Taking a River Thames dinner cruise is one of the most fun things to do at night in London. On this night cruise, you’ll enjoy dinner, drinks, music, and live performances as you sail around London’s top sites after dark.
See the city’s top monuments and scenic bridges from a different perspective.
There’s something magical about seeing these famous monuments standing empty of crowds as the lights reflect in the water. For a romantic evening in London, a leisurely boat cruise is a must.
2. The Shard Viewing Gallery
The Shard Viewing Gallery is London’s highest viewing platform, situated at the top of The Shard. The Shard is a glass skyscraper in central London that offers visitors unparalleled 360-degree views for up to 40 miles.
The Shard Viewing Gallery features an open air sky deck with views of the River Thames and the London skyline. The best time to visit The Viewing Gallery is at night when you can see London lit up.
The Shard Viewing Gallery is located near many famous attractions, including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, River Thames and London Bridge, getting some of the best views of London.
It is also a great place to visit in London if you are looking for a romantic evening. The fine dining restaurant, TING, offers stunning views of the cityscape. You can also grab a drink at the Sky Lounge or Bar 31 while enjoying the night sky.
👉 For a chance for epic views of London at night book your tickets to the beautiful Shard viewing gallery for this London bucketlist activitiy.
3. Visit Tower Bridge
One of the top things to do in London at night with family is visit Tower Bridge at night for an unforgettable experience. You and your family can see the night sky, view the Tower of London, the Shard, and other famous London attractions.
The bridge is also a great place to learn about London’s history and see the city from a different perspective. At night, the bridge is illuminated with LED lights, making it a beautiful sight to behold.
You can also take advantage of the many photo opportunities that the bridge offers and watch boats go by on the River Thames. So make sure to add visit to the bridge to your list of unusual things to do in London at night!
4. Watch a Comedy Show
Nothing breaks the ice like laughter. If you’re looking for a fun idea for a date night, a comedy show in London is guaranteed to be a night to remember.
The Top Secret Comedy Club is one of the city’s most popular places to enjoy an evening full of laughter.
The venue hosts stand-up comics as well as improv performers. Enjoy some classic British humour in a relaxed and unassuming environment.
5. Visit Piccadilly Circus at Night
If you’re looking for a taste of London’s vibrant nightlife, there’s no better place to start than Piccadilly Circus. This iconic square is home to some of the city’s best-known clubs, bars, restaurants, and famous landmarks.
The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and the statue of Anteros are a must-see, and the video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building make Piccadilly Circus impossible to miss.
It’s also conveniently located near major shopping and entertainment areas, so you’re sure to find something to suit your taste. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or soak up the atmosphere, Piccadilly Circus is the perfect place to start your London adventure.
6. Enjoy a Cabaret Or Burlesque Show
If you’re looking for unique evening activities in London, check out a cabaret or burlesque show. Enjoy some lively and colourful entertainment in an adults-only atmosphere.
Proud Cabaret is one of the best late-night London joints to check out a show. The venue hosts burlesque, cabaret, and jazz shows in a swanky 1920s style club. Enjoy a classic British dinner with your show.
7. Have Dinner at the Sky Garden
The Sky Garden is an impressive skyscraper in London that offers unparalleled 360-degree views across London. It contains an imaginative garden, a restaurant, and several bars.
Fenchurch Restaurant is a rooftop eatery in Sky Garden. The menu features classic British staples as well as plant-based options. Enjoy a meal as you admire some of the best views in London.
Note: Entry to the Sky Garden is totally free, but your tickets to visit must be booked online in advance.
8. Visit Roof Terrace at One New Change
Looking for something to do in London this evening? Why not head to One New Change and check out the roof terrace? This stunning open-air terrace offers panoramic views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline, and it is free to enter and open to the public seven days a week, from 6am until midnight.
So whether you’re looking to relax and take in the views or enjoy some after-work cocktails or tapas on date night, the One New Change roof terrace is definitely worth visiting. And if you get peckish, Madison’s Restaurant and Bar is also located on the roof, offering even more spectacular views.
9. Go Stargazing at Hampstead Observatory
Hampstead Observatory is one of the unique things to do in London at night. Home to an impressive 6″ Cooke refracting telescope, which dates back to the turn of the 20th century, the Observatory delivers superb views of London’s night sky.
Housed under a purpose-built rotating dome and mounted on a concrete pier. Visitors can explore the universe with enthusiastic astronomers, who are always on hand to answer questions.
The Observatory is open to the public every Friday and Saturday nights (strictly weather permitting) during the observing season from mid-September through to mid-April (closed during Summer months). If you’re lucky enough to catch a clear night, take advantage of the opportunity to experience one of London’s most magical places.
Classic London at Night Activities
To experience the true liveliness of the city after dark, here are some unique things to do in London.
These excursions can also be done during the day, but doing them at night turns them into a whole new experience.
10. Catch a Movie at BFI IMAX
BFI IMAX is situated at London Waterloo, right by the river. It’s the biggest screen in Britain and provides an immersive cinematic experience, with the latest IMAX blockbusters showing.
Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, watching a movie at BFI IMAX is a must-do. The sheer size of the screen will leave you breathless, and the sound system is state-of-the-art. You’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. So make sure to put BFI IMAX on your list of things to do in London alone at night while visiting London.
11. Explore The Southbank
There’s no place like the Southbank Centre when you’re looking for unbeatable cultural experiences in London. Set against the backdrop of the Thames River, this 11-acre, it’s the largest arts centre in the UK.
The Southbank Centre includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery. And with various exhibitions, events and concerts occurring throughout the year, there’s always something new to discover. There is even the National Theatre within walking distance from the Southbank Centre.
But the Southbank Centre isn’t just a great place to admire art and architecture – it’s also a great place to enjoy some of London’s best food and drink.
The Southbank Centre is an excellent option for dinner. Its delicious international food options and music make it the perfect way to experience London’s nightlife.
Plus, with its stunning riverside views of the Thames River and London Eye, it’s the perfect place to explore at night.
12. Walk Across Westminster Bridge at Night
Walking across Westminster Bridge after dark lets you see the city’s top attractions all lit up and from the perfect distance.
Admire famous landmarks like the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and other imposing sites as you take a casual nighttime stroll. The views you see while walking across the bridge are spectacular, and if you time it just right, you will hear Big ben chime.
If you’re looking for free things to do in London at night, this activity can be enjoyed any day of the week.
For more inspiration here are some of the best things to do in Westminster
13. Visit Buckingham Palace at Night
While Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most popular tourist destinations, it can be equally magical at night. Once the sun goes down, the Palace is illuminated by nearly 10,000 lights, creating a truly spectacular sight. While nighttime tours of the Palace are not possible, visitors can still enjoy the beauty of the building from the outside.
For the best view, head to the start of the Mall near Trafalgar Square or Green Park, both of which offer clear line-of-sight to the Palace.
14. Eat at Duck & Waffle
The menu is filled with divine British and European cuisine. However, the restaurant’s signature dish of crispy duck leg confit, served on a fluffy waffle and topped with a fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup, is a must-try.
It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet and absolutely delicious. The restaurant also stays open 24/7, so you can enjoy dinner, drinks, and stunning views of London deep into the night.
15. Do Some Late Night Shopping in London
London is a shopper’s paradise. You’ll find every store you could possibly think of and many stores you’d never think of.
London stays busy with active shoppers most hours of daylight. This makes late night shopping in London the best time to beat the crowds.
Westfield London features more than 300 stores, a movie theatre, and restaurants. There are two locations. The West London location stays open until 22:00, and the Stratford location remains open until 21:00.
Oxford Street is London’s most popular shopping street. It features hundreds of big-name retailers. Almost all of the stores stay open until between 20:00 and 22:00.
16. Ride The London Eye
The London Eye is one of the city’s top attractions. There’s no better time to enjoy a ride than after sunset.
See London’s top attractions from a different vantage point as you admire the twinkling lights from high above the city streets.
Enjoy a birds-eye view of the city from your enclosed capsule on the slowly rotating wheel. This is one of the coolest late-night activities London has to offer.
Best Late Night Museum in London
London museums are some of the best in the world, and one of the best times to visit is after hours.
When the daytime tourists disappear, wandering the museums adds another dimension to the exciting experience.
So if you’re looking for things to do in London, night museums are an excellent pick for an intriguing experience after dark. Here are a few London museums with late night admission to check out.
17. Enjoy a Sleepover at Night at the Museum London
If you’re seeking unusual London nighttime activities, the Night at the Museum London is certainly worth visiting. The Natural History Museum hosts adults-only sleepovers several times a year.
This experience features a fun range of activities. Some highlights include a 3-course meal, live music, stand-up comedy, a dinosaur-themed game room, and more.
Cash bars serve drinks and snacks throughout the night. In the morning, breakfast is served, and an optional yoga class is given. This is hands-down one of the coolest late night London activities.
18. Take a Late Night Trip to the Science Museum
The Science Museum in London features an extensive range of exhibits related to the history of science. It covers topics like space exploration, innovation and technology, and medicine.
On the last Wednesday of every month, the museum opens from 18:45 to 22.00 for Lates.
This adults-only museum evening features talks, workshops, music, and drinks. It’s a little more serious than the previous option but still a great deal of fun.
19. Enjoy a Friday Evening at the V&A Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum was founded in 1852. It’s named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
It houses the world’s largest collection of applied and decorative art, with a permanent collection of over two million objects.
See displays related to architecture, fashion, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, and much more. If you’re spending a Friday night in London, visit the museum for their late-night events. Each Friday, their hours are extended to 22:00.
Other museums that do museum lates include:
- Tate Modern
- British Museum
- National Gallery
- London Transport Museum
Fun Things To Do in London at Night For Tourists
London has a fantastic nightlife scene. Whatever your ideal evening vibe entails, you’ll find many options available. From entertaining shows to sultry jazz clubs, here are some exciting options.
20. See a West End Show
The West End is a district in London known for its performing arts culture. The theatre productions on offer are similar to the iconic Broadway district in New York City.
You’ll find every type of performance, including plays, musicals, operas, and dance productions.
From musical hits like Phantom of the Opera and Lion King to kid’s shows, the West End has no shortage of options.
There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and shops in the area. A night in the West End is a great way to enjoy some wholesome evening entertainment in London. If you’re in the mood for some spooky sightseeing, book a nighttime ghost bus tour.
If you are looking for cheap theatre tickets, visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square to grab last-minute tickets to West End shows at a discount.
21. Visit a Speakeasy
If you’re looking for a low-key, laid-back London nightlife experience, visit one of the city’s sultry speakeasies.
If you’re a fan of cocktails, vintage decor, and jazz music, this is the place you want to be.
It’s no secret that the Discount Suit Company is one of the city’s more popular speakeasies. It has a cosy vibe, with low lighting and a bare-brick bar. They serve creative cocktails and cheese boards.
22. Visit Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club is a jazz and blues club that hosts some of the world’s top musicians.
For over 60 years, this live music venue has hosted some of the legendary names in jazz.
Catch a late-night performance and enjoy a few drinks. If you’re hungry, they also offer a basic menu. Their Late Late Show goes until 3:00 in the morning.
You can see a live music performance any night of the week, but book your tickets in advance. Check their calendar beforehand to see their monthly music line-up.
One of the best ways to do some London sightseeing at night is by booking a tour. Let a local guide you and see the city in a fun group setting.
23. Go on a London Pub Crawl
Camden is one of London’s top nightlife districts. It’s a lively neighbourhood with a youthful vibe and a killer party atmosphere.
Discover London’s iconic nightlife scene on a Camden pub crawl. Travel to the city’s best bars, clubs, and live music venues with this night tour. Mingle with fellow drink enthusiasts and party like a local in London.
You’ll enjoy free entry, shots, and discounted drinks on this pub tour. If you’re looking for a fun night out, a social pub crawl through Camden Town is a must.
👉 Take a bite out London’s lively nightlife with this exciting London Pub Crawl tour
24. Take a London Night Bus Tour
Looking for an easy way to see London by night? Take an open-top night bus tour and enjoy a leisurely cruise around the city. You’ll see all the top sites and cover a lot more ground than you would by doing walking tours.
There will also be a live guide on board to narrate your journey with fun commentary and interesting facts.
See Trafalgar Square lit up, pass the imposing London Eye and Big Ben, and admire the twinkling lights of Harrods. This tour is great for every type of traveller, including families, couples, and solo travellers.
👉 Pass through the vibrant city of London all lit up in this 90-minute open-top bus tour of London
25. Discover the City’s Darker Side on a Jack The Ripper Tour
If you’re looking for spine-chilling things to do in London after dark, take a Jack the Ripper tour. You can take a Central London or East London Jack the Ripper tour. It was the area of East London that Jack the Ripper was known to terrorise during his reign.
Explore the darker side of London and the legend of England’s most notorious serial killer.
Journey back in time to Victorian London. Learn the facts and myths surrounding Jack the Ripper. This is one of the most incredible and most unique tours of London.
👉 Retrace the footsteps of London’s most famous serial killer in this spine-chilling evening Jack the Ripper walking tour
26. Experience the Dungeon Lates
Dungeon Lates is an adults-only experience that takes you through the London Dungeon.
This one-of-a-kind tour combines theatre, special effects, storytelling, and a bit of alcohol.
Meet Sweeney Todd, wander the Plague ridden streets of 17th century London, and see Jack the Ripper’s favoured area in Whitechapel.
Two tasty cocktails are also included. You’ll start the tour with a cocktail and end with another.
27. Ghost Walk and River Thames Boat Ride Tour
Looking to get your scares while on vacation? Then the Ghost walking tour is perfect for you!
This ghost tour takes you through some of London’s most haunted and historical sights. You’ll creep through parks and royal castles, learning about the horrific history that took place there. And, of course, no visit to London would be complete without a stop at the Tower of London.
So why not combine sightseeing with a spine-tingling experience by taking this night tour? You’re sure to come away with a new appreciation for London’s dark history.
Get spooked by London’s ghost and ghoulies in this Ghost Walk and River Thames Boat Ride tour
Things To Do in London – Evening Activities in Soho
If you’re wondering where to go in London at night, Soho is a superb option. It is located in the West End of London. This energetic district is a hive of activity that stays busy well into the night. Here are two great options for things to do in Soho at night.
28. Listen to Live Music
Soho is one of the best places to enjoy some live music in London. You’ll find a great range of live music venues spread across this district with options for every type of music lover.
Ain’t Nothin But Blues Bar hosts nightly local and American musical acts. The venue is on the small side but has a great atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks. For a bit of booze and blues, this venue is a must-visit.
The Spice of Life is another popular spot in Soho for live music. This laid-back pub features nightly live music in their basement.
The historic pub has hosted many iconic musicians, including The Sex Pistols, Bob Dylan, and Cat Stevens.
29. Belt Out Your Favourite Tunes at a Karaoke Club
Karaoke is another great option for a fun night out in Soho. This is a great London late-night activity for groups in particular.
Lucky Voice Soho is a fun place to enjoy a social gathering with friends. This venue has private karaoke rooms you can rent out. They serve cocktails and other drinks as well as pizza.
Night Activities in London – Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a shopping and entertainment hub in London’s West End. It’s another lively area of the city, filled with street entertainers, upscale restaurants, and markets.
30. See A Show At The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is a major performing arts venue in Covent Garden. The building is lavishly decorated from the inside out.
Experience a high-quality opera or ballet performance by the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet companies. This is a fun up-scale event that is bound to make for a memorable evening.
The venue also offers food and drink options, so you can make a night out of watching an evening performance and enjoying a meal. Backstage tours are also available.
READ MORE | THINGS TO DO IN COVENT GARDEN
31. Go Bar-Hopping
Covent Garden is filled with an eclectic range of bars. So if you’re looking for boozy things to do in the evening, London boasts a number of great spots in Covent Garden. Whether you fancy a casual dive bar, historic pubs, or a lively cocktail club, you’ll have your pick of the best.
The Porterhouse is a large Irish-themed pub split over three levels. In the evening, there is live music in the basement.
You can also catch all the major rugby and football events on their big-screen TVs – found throughout the venue.
There are various bars serving different types of beer and other drinks. There is also a whiskey bar and a cocktail bar. If you’re hungry, they offer a menu of classic English and Irish meals and pub grub.
Canary Wharf is one of the main financial centres of the UK. It’s filled with tall skyscrapers and set on the scenic River Thames.
If you’re looking for a more low-key night out in London, here are a few activities in Canary Wharf to try.
32. Grab a Late Night Meal
Canary Wharf contains a diverse range of restaurants offering all types of cuisine. Whether you’re craving Mexican, Japanese, American or Italian, you’ll find it all here.
The Ivy Canary Wharf is one of the top eateries in the neighbourhood. Their modern British menu features creative seafood and meat dishes. For vegetarians and vegans, they also offer a plant-based menu.
The restaurant is decorated in a trendy art deco design, with two floors of seating, both indoors and outdoors.
33. See a Late-Night Movie
Everyman Canary Wharf is a lovely cinema in Canary Wharf. You’ll feel right at home watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster on their comfy sofas.
If you’re hungry, their food menu features burgers, sandwiches, fries, and desserts. Order your meal and have it delivered right to your seat.
The theatre also has a full-service bar where you can order drinks like wine, cocktails, beer, and cider. For a comfortable movie experience and a casual night, catch a flick at Everyman Canary Wharf.
Trafalgar Square is a large plaza in the City of Westminster, Central London. It’s a classic London tourist attraction that lights up after the sun goes down.
The area is surrounded by museums, restaurants, bars, and plenty of souvenir shops.
34. Watch Street Performers
The Square is a very popular place for street performers of every kind. You never know what you’re going to see, but it’s practically guaranteed that you’ll see something.
Musicians sing and play the guitar, magicians perform magic tricks, and dancers put on small-scale shows. Enjoy some free entertainment at one of London’s most popular tourist spots.
35. Spend a Friday Night at the National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery that depicts important British figures from across the centuries. Every Friday night, the gallery extends its hours from 18:00 to 21:00 for its late night openings.
Explore English history through pictures at the National gallery. Wander the gallery and see portraits of Great Britain’s most iconic past and present figures. These include kings, queens, prime ministers, and celebrities, among others.
Even better, if you’re looking for things to do in London at night for free, the gallery does not charge an admission fee.
Things to do in London At Night FAQ
Is It Safe in London at Night?
Is it safe in London at night? Yes, London is considered a safe city to visit, even at night. The city is well-patrolled, and as long as you follow the rules of common sense, you should be just fine.
It’s best to know your route before you head out. As London is a large city, planning your journey beforehand will make your travels more smoothly.
It’s also a good idea to use public transport instead of walking when possible. Public transport in London is everywhere. It’s safe and convenient, and you’ll get to your destination faster than walking.
How can I spend my night in London?
There is no shortage of things to do in London at night. Whether you’re looking for a lively pub scene, a world-class theatre performance or a quiet evening spent exploring the city’s many museums, and you’ll find plenty of options to keep you entertained.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not start your evening with a traditional English dinner at one of London’s many restaurants? Afterwards, you could head to a pub for a pint of ale or catch a show at one of the West End’s world-famous theatres.
Or, if you’re in the mood for something more low-key, you could spend an evening strolling through Hyde Park or visiting one of the city’s many historic landmarks. No matter your interests, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to enjoy your night in London.
Where should I go after 11pm in London?
After a long day of sightseeing, you may wonder where to go for a night out in London. While there are many options, here are a few of the best places to check out after 11pm.
Soho is a neighbourhood known for its lively nightlife, with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained into the early hours of the morning. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Covent Garden is home to several pubs and restaurants that stay open late.
And if you want to experience a bit of everything, Leicester Square is a great place to start your evening, with lots of bars, restaurants, and even some casinos open 24 hours. No matter what you’re looking for, London has something to offer after dark.
Getting around London at night
London is a bustling metropolis that never sleeps, and there are plenty of ways to get around at night. If you’re looking to hail a traditional black cab, you can do so 24 hours a day. Just flag one down on the street or use one of the many apps available to book in advance.
You can also take advantage of the city’s world-famous Underground system. The Tube runs until midnight on weekdays and all night on Fridays and Saturdays. There are plenty of other ways to get around the city after dark. For instance, the night buses run 24 hours a day and cover most of the city.
If you’re looking for another affordable option, there are also several nighttime cycle hire schemes that operate in the city. Just don’t drink and ride drunk.
Of course, if you’re feeling energetic, you can always explore London on foot. Remember to stick to well-lit areas and busy streets, and you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable night out.
London is a lively city that stays busy almost all hours of the day. As you can tell, there are quite a lot of things to do in the evening in London.
Whereas most cities tend to quiet down after hours, this English capital awakens with a new nighttime allure.
London has so much more to offer in the evening than just clubs and bars. Explore a late-night museum, book a nighttime tour, or see a high-quality performance.
Whether this is your first time visiting London, or you’ve been here countless times before, there’s always something new to discover and plenty of London night activities to enjoy.