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11 Thrilling Things to Do in London at Night

11 Thrilling Things to Do in London at Night

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Planning a trip to London but aren’t sure what to do in the evenings? Keep scrolling for my list of the best things to do in London at night worth adding to your London itinerary!
This list of things to do in London at night was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

London comes alive after sunset, offering a range of exciting evening activities that are perfect for all types of travelers.

Whether you’re looking to party the night away, explore unique cultural experiences, or simply unwind, London has something for everyone.

With a 24-hour tube service on weekends and night buses available throughout the week, getting around the city is easy and convenient.

London’s nightlife is legendary, with bustling club scenes in Mayfair and Soho, lively bars in Leicester Square, and hip hangouts in Shoreditch.

However, if you’re not a party animal, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options for things to do in London at night, including comedy shows, sleepovers at museums, and more.

Whether you’re visiting the city solo or with friends, you’ll find plenty of options for things to do in London alone at night.

From dance clubs and bars to unique cultural experiences, the city is always buzzing with energy and excitement.

So get ready to explore the best of London’s nightlife and evening activities!

Don’t have time to read a bunch of London blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting London with kids.

Popular London Tours/Activities

Kid-Friendly London Hotels

Things to Do in London at Night

Night View from the Shard

The Shard, standing tall at 95 floors and over 1000 feet, is the tallest building in Europe and a must-visit for those seeking beautiful places in London at night.

The open-air sky deck offers breathtaking views of the city, especially when the city lights come alive after sunset.

Vertical photo across the River Thames of the London UK skyline boasting with the Shard glowing in the evening light.
The Shard is one of the coolest places to visit in London at night.

Visitors can spend hours exploring The Shard, as it not only boasts stunning views but also features a variety of shops and restaurants on its many floors.

The viewing area, located on the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors, is where you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of London at night.

And don’t forget to visit the restrooms, as they themselves are one of the must-see attractions in The Shard.

For those looking to experience the best of London’s night attractions, a visit to The Shard is a must-include in your itinerary.

Whether you’re sightseeing or just looking for a unique and beautiful place to spend an evening, The Shard offers a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t want to miss. Check the latest rates and availability.

Museum Lates – and Sleepover!

Most of London’s iconic museums stay open late on selected dates, which is great because they are less crowded in the evening. 

This allows you to take your time and explore them at your own pace. The Science Museum, the National Gallery, and Tate Modern have this alternative, so your best bet is to check their websites and reserve your spot in advance.

Night shot of The national gallery, London, UK.
Checking out the National Gallery is one of the cool late night things to do in London.

Be on the lookout for the monthly late opening at John Soane’s Museum, a unique experience where the establishment is lit by candlelight!

Going a bit further, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend a night inside a museum, you’ll be able to get just that experience in London!

The Natural History Museum hosts regular sleepovers, in which you’ll literally be able to spend the night after it closes!

Dino Snores also take place every month or so, allowing you to roam freely as you explore the exhibits.

They include a 3-course meal, live music, a movie marathon, stand-up comedy, pub quizzes, and drinks available at the cash bars. Insect tasting and science shows are on the menu too!

Adult and kids sleepovers are available. In both cases, PJs and sleeping bags are the way to go.

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Witness the Ceremony of the Keys

For a truly unique and traditional evening activity in London, don’t miss the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.

This centuries-old tradition, which has been performed nightly since 1340, involves the locking up of the tower for the night with big keys, secret passwords, Beefeaters, and military music.

The public is welcome to witness this unforgettable event after sundown.

Image of the white tower at the Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the top things to see in London at night.

The ceremony has a rich history, dating back to the time of Edward III, who imprisoned the Constable of the Tower and implemented the procedure for the tower to be locked at sundown and unlocked at sunrise.

Despite the passing of centuries and changing times, the twice-daily ceremonies continue to this day.

This is a must-visit for those looking for authentic and traditional things to do on an evening in London.

Don’t miss this chance to witness a piece of British history and add it to your list of places to visit at night in London.

It’s a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to stand out among your nights out in London ideas.

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    Laugh at a Comedy Club

    London is renowned for its lively nightlife and thriving comedy scene, and it’s no wonder why. With a wide range of comedy shows on offer in the evenings, visitors can enjoy a good dose of British humor while indulging in delicious food and drinks.

    For those looking to add a touch of humor to their night activities in London, there are plenty of options to choose from.

    The Comedy Store London Piccadilly Circus, The Top Secret Comedy Club, Angel Comedy at the Camden Head, and Comedy Carnival Leicester Square are just a few of the many venues offering top-notch comedy shows.

    So if you’re looking for a fun and entertaining way to spend an evening in London, be sure to check out one of the city’s many comedy shows.

    It’s the perfect way to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife and add some laughter to your list of things to do in the evening in London.

    Observe Bats in Hyde Park

    For those who love unusual experiences, observing the bats in Hyde Park at night is a must-do activity in London.

    This free and fascinating nighttime event is a great opportunity to discover the adorable side of these nocturnal creatures.

    Flying bat isolated on black background. The grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) is a fairly large European bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths.
    Looking for bats is one of the creepier things to do in London at night.

    Taking a break from the city’s hustle and bustle and getting a dose of nature is easy with this unique night attraction.

    It’s one of the best free things to do in London at night and a perfect way to enjoy the city without breaking the bank.

    So if you’re looking for a unique and budget-friendly way to spend an evening in London, head over to Hyde Park and witness the bats in action.

    It’s an unforgettable experience that is sure to be a highlight of your list of things to do in London at night for free.

    Dine and Wine

    For a night of dining and wining, London offers a wealth of options, with some of the hippest restaurants in the world located in the city. From fish and chips to gourmet cuisine, the options are endless.

    Closeup of Fish & Chips served in paper
    The London food scene is pretty great!

    Whether you’re staying close to several restaurants and pubs or looking to explore like a local, Farrington, Shoreditch, and Soho are great areas to check out. With tons of dining options all over the city, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste.

    For a unique experience, consider doing the legendary Bermondsey Mile or part of it, if taprooms are what you’re looking for. With so many options to choose from, you’ll never be short on things to do in London in the evening.

    Whether you’re looking for a fancy dining experience or a casual night out, these are some of the best places to go in London at night.

    See London from the Thames

    A boat cruise down the Thames River is a must-do activity for those looking to experience the city of London at night.

    With nightly schedules available, you can see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the London Tower and Bridge, while sipping on a glass of bubbles. Check the latest rates and availability.

    Tower Bridge at night.
    Tower Bridge is one of the most spectacular places to see in London at night.

    If you’re on a budget or prefer to stay on land, a leisurely walk along the Thames is a free alternative that allows you to see the main attractions.

    Stick to the South Bank, starting at Tower Bridge and walking up to Lambeth Bridge or vice versa, for a scenic route that will give you a taste of London’s nightlife.

    With so many free things to do at night in London, this river stroll is a budget-friendly way to experience the city and is a perfect activity for tourists looking to experience London nightlife without breaking the bank.

    Stargaze at Hampstead Observatory

    Experience the magic of stargazing in the heart of London with a visit to Hampstead Observatory. This unique attraction offers visitors access to telescopes and a deck for exploring the universe, all for free.

    It’s the perfect evening activity for those visiting London, offering a unique and captivating experience amongst the city’s bustling nightlife.

    Whether you’re a seasoned stargazer or a beginner, Hampstead Observatory is a must-visit for anyone looking for unique and memorable places to go in London at night.

    So, take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the beauty of the stars with this one-of-a-kind London evening activity.

    Catch a Play at a London Theatre

    Catching a show at one of the many theatres in town is probably one of the most quintessential things to do in London at night.

    Whether you want to go for the big iconic ones like the National Theatre or prefer the smaller or off-the-beaten-track establishments, London is guaranteed to have just the show you’re after.

    The Royal National Theatre in London UK
    The National Theatre has lots of shows throughout the year.

    The National Theatre is the place to go if you’re looking for that remote chance of seeing the royals enjoying the show from their box seats. Surprisingly, they put on great productions at affordable prices.

    Donmar Warehouse and The Barbican are pretty unique and worthy of your attention and time.

    If opera is what you’re into, the Royal Opera House puts the world’s finest opera stars on stage.

    Night Shopping

    If shopping in London is in your plans, rest assured you’ll find several options to do it at night. The bustling city offers several alternatives for nocturnal souls on the lookout for great purchases. These include gifts, souvenirs, and just about everything you could possibly wish for.

    Image of Oxford Street in London at night
    Oxford Street is a popular place to shop.

    Many stores in London stay open well after dark. They include large shopping districts such as Oxford Street, as well as more intimate spots like Reign Wear for vintage clothing and Rough Trade for music lovers.

    London Night Tours

    There is so much history to the British capital, that a tour is a great idea if you want to uncover some of its secrets. They are available during the day, but the ones after dusk have their own alluring.

    Big Ben at night, London
    Don’t miss doing tours of London at night!

    Touring the streets while listening to tales of the darker side of the city’s history is one of the most entertaining things to do in London at night.

    Learn the details about ladies of the night, ghosts that refuse to completely leave town, and one of the most famous serial killers that ever existed – yep, there is a Jack the Ripper Tour on the London menu!

    Fun Things to do in London at Night FAQs

    What are the best nightlife options in London?

    London has a thriving nightlife scene, with options ranging from upscale bars and clubs to intimate jazz clubs and cabarets. Some popular nightlife destinations include Soho, Camden, and Shoreditch.

    What are the best theaters to see a show in London?

    London is known for its world-renowned theater scene, with many historic theaters and modern performance spaces to choose from. Some of the best theaters in London include the West End theaters, the National Theatre, and the Globe Theatre.

    What are the best places to see live music in London?

    London is home to a thriving music scene, with many venues offering live music ranging from jazz and blues to rock and pop. Some popular venues for live music include the Roundhouse, the O2 Academy, and the Jazz Café.

    What are the best places to go for a night out with friends in London?

    London offers a range of options for a night out with friends, including bars, clubs, and pubs. Some popular destinations for a night out include Soho, Camden, and Shoreditch.

    What are the best rooftop bars in London?

    London has several rooftop bars offering stunning views of the city and delicious drinks. Some popular rooftop bars include the Rooftop St James, the Madison, and the Sky Garden.

    London Nightlife for Tourists Wrap Up

    London is a city that truly comes to life at night, offering a wide range of activities and experiences for every type of traveler.

    Whether you’re exploring the city solo, with family, or with friends, there’s something for everyone to enjoy after dark.

    From the iconic Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London to the scenic boat cruises down the Thames River, there’s no shortage of things to do in London at night.

    However, it’s important to note that while there’s plenty to enjoy, there are also a few things to avoid, such as wandering into less reputable areas of the city.

    So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, be sure to make the most of your time in London by exploring all the city has to offer after dark.

    With so many amazing London evening activities to choose from, you’re sure to have a night to remember.

    Looking for more London travel resources? Check out my top London travel tips, kid-friendly London 4 day itinerary, hidden gems in London, things to do in London with kids, family-friendly hotels in London, top London photography spots, best London tours for families, 1 day in London, and how to book a London family photographer!

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