London is England’s exciting capital city. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe and for good reasons.
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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.
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 in the evening.
If you’re looking for more on London or planning a trip to the Big Smoke, then read my London travel tips guide.
What 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.
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 run much 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 much faster than you would by walking.
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.
Taking a River Thames dinner cruise is one of the most fun things to do at night in London. 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.
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.
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.
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 free, but your tickets to visit must be booked online in advance.
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.
Walk Across Westminster Bridge at Night
Walking across Westminster Bridge after dark allows you to see the city’s top attractions all lit up and from the perfect distance.
Admire the London Eye, the House 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.
If you’re looking for free things to do in London at night, this activity can be enjoyed any day of the week.
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.
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 stays 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.
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 is filled with world-class museums, 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 a great pick for an intriguing experience after dark. Here are a few museums with late-night admission to check out.
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 there’s an optional yoga class given.
This is hands-down one of the coolest late night London activities.
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 is an adults-only museum evening that features talks, workshops, music, and drinks. It’s a little more serious than the previous option, but still a great deal of fun.
The Victoria and Albert Museum was founded in 1852. It’s named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
It houses the largest collection of applied and decorative art in the world, 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.
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 a vast range of options available. From entertaining shows to sultry jazz clubs, here are some exciting options.
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 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 on 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’re looking for a low-key and 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.
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 be sure to 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.
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. Mingle with fellow drink enthusiasts and party like a local in London.
You’ll enjoy free entry and shots as well as discounted drinks. If you’re looking for a fun night out, a social pub crawl is a must.
Book Here | An exciting London Pub Crawl
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 walking.
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.
Book Here | A 90-minute open-top bus tour of London
If you’re looking for spine-chilling things to do in London after dark, take a Jack the Ripper tour.
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 coolest and most unique tours of London.
Book Here | An evening Jack the Ripper walking tour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a performance and enjoying a meal. Backstage tours are also available.
READ MORE | THINGS TO DO IN COVENT GARDEN
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, a historic pub, 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.
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.
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.
Trafalgar 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.
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.
Explore English history through pictures. 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.
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 night-time 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.