Top 28 Things To Do At Night In London - Updated 2024

Top 28 Things To Do At Night In London  - Updated 2024
Verena
Verena 
Updated
| 14 min read
|
0 K+
45.5K+ readers and counting!

London is undoubtedly one of the largest and busiest cities in the world. It is one of the world’s most visited cities as measured by international arrivals. People flock from all over the globe to spend some time in London and experience everything the city has to offer. However, unlike cities like New York or Barcelona, London is not known to be a late, 24/7 city. There are countless activities to do and sights to see during the day, but you may wonder what there is to do when nightfall hits. Vibrant is one way to describe London at night. Activities are plentiful - so don’t worry; as limited as your options may seem, there is actually an abundance of things for you to choose between. Book one of the best London hotels with views or a kid-friendly accommodation and visit London with your friends or family, or just do a solo journey. Continue reading to discover the top things to do at night in London.

Free of Charge

1. Explore Covent Garden

London: Covent Garden
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jorge Franganillo used under CC BY 2.0

This night attraction in London transforms into an enchanting and lively hub after dark. Firstly, Royal Opera House, an architectural gem, comes to life with world-class performances, offering a taste of London’s cultural richness. The area also boasts a vibrant rooftop bar scene, where you can sip on cocktails while enjoying panoramic views of the city’s twinkling lights. On Friday nights, London Transport Museum offers a unique twist with its after-hours access, allowing you to delve into the fascinating history of transportation in the capital.

This area is also a haven for pub hopping with historic taverns and contemporary bars aplenty. You can savor traditional British ales or opt for craft cocktails in stylish surroundings. And for a dose of laughter, head to The Comedy Store in nearby Leicester Square, where top-notch comedians will keep you entertained late into the night.

Visited this place?

2. Walk around Harrods (from USD 104.14)

IMG_0249
Source: Photo by Flickr user Andy L used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Harrods is one of the most famous departmental stores in the world that primarily sells luxury goods. Experience London at night and see Harrods fully illuminated. The twinkly lights that surround the building at nightfall give it an undeniably magical atmosphere. A trip to Harrods can be dangerously expensive if you splurge on luxury items.

However, just walking through each floor is enjoyable, and the best part is that you won’t even have to spend a single penny. If you don’t have enough time to see the entire store, the food market hall is one area that cannot be missed. It can be really fun to just admire all the fancy foods they offer, even if you don’t end up buying anything. Harrods closes at 9:00 pm daily, except on Sundays when it closes at 6:00 pm.

Visited this place?

London Vintage Bus Tour and Cream Tea at Harrods

Duration: 4.0 hour

52 reviews

3. Attend the Ceremony of the Keys

The Keys of the City of Edinburgh
Source: Photo by Geograph user kim traynor used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Ceremony of the Keys is a 700-year-old ancient ceremony of locking up the Tower of London. It takes place every night at precisely 9:53 pm and concludes at 10:05 pm. In the past, securing the tower was significant because it protected the monarch who resided there. Even though this is no longer the case, the Crown Jewels and other valuables are still there, making the ceremony still relevant. The event is free; however, due to its limited space and popularity, tickets must be booked up to a year in advance. Planning ahead is key if you want to attend this old traditional ceremony.

Visited this place?

London Tour Guide

Robert Woolf

Robert Woolf

I am a London tour guide and my tours include talking about people who have shaped the city plus the many connected places such as Hampton Court Palace, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the commercial centre of the city: the City of London, and London’s world class museums and galleries. I have been guiding for 12 years. I am a licenced London Blue Badge Tour Guide, a City of London Guide, and a Westminster Guide. The reviews I receive from clients speak of their enjoyment from the local knowledge and the humour I bring to my tours. Born within sight of Hampton Court Palace, I am a Londoner and apart from 2 years in the Middle East, I have worked in this capital city all my business and tour guiding careers. I have travelled widely and I appreciate what appeals to visitors coming to London. I can tailor my tours to interest children. I guide couples, families and larger tour groups. I particularly enjoy visits to Westminster Abbey, where I also volunteer guiding students and children through its wonderful interior – on my tours you will hear about monarchs, why scientists and poets are remembered, the architecture and religious history. The Abbey is the story of England. Come on an engaging and fun tour with me. There is so much to show you !

Tours by Robert

4. Gaze at the night sky from the Hampstead Observatory

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Dear Rudolf, the Observatory is yet again closed for this weekend, hope you are enjoying life in the Tundra. Here's a...

Posted by Hampstead Observatory on Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Hampstead Observatory is amongst the few observatories in London that allow public viewing of stars and the night sky. It is promoted by the Hampstead Scientific Society as one of most visible places to see space, including the moon, planets, and other astronomical objects. However, keep in mind that the opening times are very limited.

The Hampstead Observatory is only open from mid-September to mid-April, on Fridays and Saturdays till 10:00 pm when the sky is clear. It holds a 6-inch (15-centimeter) Cooke refracting telescope from the 20th century, perfect to get the best views of the city and its skies.

Visited this place?

5. Visit the Sky Garden

The Sky Garden
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Colin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Sky Garden is an enlarged glass dome with 3 floors of landscaped public gardens. It is the definition of modern urban gardening. Like the Ceremony of the Keys, access is free, but it must be booked in advance due to limited space.

Their viewing platform at the Sky Garden is open till 6:00 pm on weekdays, and 9:00 pm on weekends. However, the bars in there are open till 1:00 am, so you won’t need to worry about getting kicked out too early.

Visited this place?

6. Go to a late-opening museum (from USD 326.0)

Natural History Museum London Jan 2006
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Diliff used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Entry to many museums in London is free. Recently, some of the most famous museums have established monthly late openings that provide after-hours access to the public on specific days of each month. Visitors can not only browse their exhibitions but also take part in workshops or listen to talks organized by the museum. The Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Natural History Museum are amongst some the best places to go in London at night since these museums hold late-night openings.

Visited this place?

London Victoria and Albert Private Tour with Admission Ticket

Duration: 3 hours

15 reviews

7. Hear Big Ben chime (from USD 36.83)

Big Ben at sunset - 2014-10-27 17-30
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Colin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Wondering what to do in London at night? Why not visit the surrounding areas of Houses of Parliament. Many people are sure to have heard of Big Ben, one of London’s most well-known names. Part of one of the world’s biggest four-faced chiming clocks, many people believe that the name Big Ben refers to the clock itself. Did you know though, that Big Ben is actually the name of one of the bells within the clock?

Housed within a grand tower that is attached to the Houses of Parliament, you will hear Big Ben chime every hour, on the hour. If you go at night, you can see the building lit up and also escape the crowds that visit during the day. If you are there at the stroke of midnight, expect to hear 12 ringing chimes that indicate the beginning of a new day.

Visited this place?

London: London by Night Sightseeing Open-Top Bus Tour

Duration: 1.5 hour

3619 reviews

Things for 30 GBP (43.90 USD) and under

8. Join a night sightseeing open-top bus tour (from USD 37.0)

London at night is definitely a sight to behold and this open-top bus tour is the best way to fully appreciate the city at night. On this tour, you get to take a trip around the city’s top attractions aboard a double-decker bus.

Some of the fascinating sights you will see are Harrods, Picadilly Circus, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, and other sights along the Thames River—all in their illuminated glory. There will also be a live commentary by an expert guide along the way.

Visited this place?

London by Night Sightseeing Tour - Open top bus

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

773 reviews

9. Attend a show at The Comedy Store

Comedy Store - London, May 2011
Source: Photo by user Robert Nyman used under CC BY 2.0

British humor is its own unique genre that carries a strong sense of satire through the absurdity of everyday life. Sarcasm and self-deprecation are two major themes used by British comedians to bury emotions, which may seem insensitive to other cultures. However, when in London, you should at least try to embrace classic British humor.

Located near Piccadilly Circus, The Comedy Store is the most famous of all British comedy clubs and has played a key role in the growth of alternative comedy. They have approximately 400 chairs at the venue, perfect to attract a crowd while making sure the setting stays intimate. The Comedy Store’s shows ranged from 8 GBP (11.70 USD) to 24 GBP (35.10USD), depending on the show. There are also numerous other venues around London that offer comedy shows (many are even free of charge), so there is no excuse not to go.

Visited this place?

10. Experience nightlife in Shoreditch (from USD 56.0)

Graffiti in Shoreditch, London - Angry Face, Bortusk Leer, Made in the shade (12996320383)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KylaBorg used under CC BY 2.0

Shoreditch is said to be the trendiest and most hipster neighborhood in London. It has some of the best street art, from graffiti murals, and nightlife. Despite the spread of affluence, a lot of the area still maintains its original gritty and urban vibe, with many of the walls and storefronts plastered with graffiti.

The bars at Shoreditch have their own unique atmosphere; it will be worth bar-hopping around the area to get a full experience of part of London’s nightlife. Attracting a young and youthful crowd, Shoreditch is the preferred stomping ground of people in their twenties.

Visited this place?

Brick Lane & Shoreditch Street Art Tour | Unexpected London

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

11. Join a panoramic night bus tour (from 26 USD)

Canary Wharf at night, from Shadwell cropped
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Canary_Wharf_at_n... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

London is a haven of impressive landmarks. It becomes even more magical when they are lit during the night. There’s no better way to enjoy its grandeur than to get aboard a double-decker open-top bus! The bus will take you past many of the sights of London. Listen to the live commentator as he entertains you with fascinating facts and amusing stories for the whole circuit of the journey.

The bus crosses Tower Bridge, drives past Tower of London, Palace of Westminster, and London Eye. Take a glimpse of Buckingham Palace with its elegantly-designed facade, perhaps the city’s most famous sight truly “fit for a Queen”. Check out Westminster Abbey, the heart and soul of Great Britain’s spiritual life. Be dazzled as we approach the vibrant Trafalgar Square and the city’s west end, Piccadilly Circus. From Miss Saigon, Mama Mia, Lion King, Wicked, Annie, Matilda … name it, London has it! And when you see that Big Ben? You’ll know that you have truly arrived in London!

Book this fantastic night out to secure the deal. Click ‘Book Now’ for last-minute and live availability. These prices could not be beaten!

Panoramic night bus tour

Price: from 26 USD

Visited this place?

12. Explore the Sunset Safari at the ZSL London Zoo

London Zoo Sunset Safari 2015
Source: Photo by Flickr user Neil Thompson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Sunset Safari is an exclusive event that takes place at the ZSL London Zoo on Fridays in June and July. Lasting for just 8 weeks, you will get to spend your night accompanied by some fascinating animal species and learn about them from the experts. You will also have the opportunity to taste global cuisines at the World Food Markets, and be entertained by animal-themed acrobats.

Visited this place?

13. Visit the Shard (from 31 USD)

Renzo Piano - London Shard Bridge Tower rendering 04.jpg

Set beside the River Thames and spread over 95 floors, The Shard, standing at 310 metres (1061 feet) is the tallest building in London and in the whole of Western Europe. Book this tour for an exceptional multi-sensory experience! As you go up to floors 68-69 and 72, learn about London’s history with the interactive exhibits. Being the highest point in London, you have spectacular 360-degree views of the city reaching as far as 65 km (40 miles). This tour is fully self-guided, and the directions are easy to follow. You are free to walk through exhibits, explore for as long as you would like, or even catch splendid views above the city with melting sun.

View from the Shard

Price: from 31 USD

Visited this place?

14. Ride the London Eye (from USD 62.0)

London Eye in the evening
Source: Pixabay

Taking a ride on the London Eye is an iconic London experience. The London Eye is nothing more than a giant Ferris wheel, located on the South Bank of the River Thames. The structure stands at 443 feet (135 meters), while the diameter is 394 feet (120 meters).

It is recommended that you pre-book your tickets online for lower prices and to skip lines. Tickets cost between 21 GBP (30.70 USD) and 38 GBP (55.60 USD), depending on which type of ticket you purchase. Up until the Shard was built, the London Eye provided the highest public viewing point in London. It is ranked as the most popular tourist attraction the UK.

Visited this place?

London Eye Fast-Track Ticket with 4D Experience

Duration: 30 minutes

2904 reviews

15. Sing karaoke at Lucky Voice Soho

"Chinatown" in Soho, City of Westminster - geograph.org.uk - 34835
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pam Brophy used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Soho is an entertainment district, located in Central London, with some of the best nightlife, including karaoke bars. One of the most famous karaoke bars there is Lucky Voice Soho. They offer private karaoke booths that allow you to belt out as many as songs until they close. Prices vary between each karaoke place, but generally it shouldn’t cost over 20 GBP (29.30 USD) per person. At Lucky Voice, it typically costs around 12 GBP (17.60 USD) per person.

Visited this place?

16. Listen to live music in Soho

Ain't Nothin' But ... Blues Bar
Source: Photo by user Paul Hudson used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re not as keen on singing, maybe listening to others sing sounds more appealing. London is home to countless live music performances, from blues and jazz to regular pubs with live bands. Along with karaoke bars, Soho is also the place to go if you’re looking for any type of live music. If you’re seeking blues tunes, Ain’t Nothin’ But … Blues Bar is recommended, and if you’re dreaming of jazz tunes, Jazz After Dark is ideal. This is perfect for a chilled-out evening if you’re just looking to get some drinks and hang out with your friends.

Visited this place?

17. Learn about London’s grisly history on this bus and walking tour (from USD 67.0)

Fascinated about London’s darkest history? Here’s a tour that will surely interest you. This Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Tour of Haunted London allows you to dig deeper into the Jack the Ripper case while you go through the murder sites and alleyways where one of history’s most infamous serial killers stalked his victims. Aside from Jack the Ripper, you also get to see the execution sites of King Charles I and William Wallace and learn more about the stories of Sweeney Todd, and the Cock Lane Ghost. The fascinating tour ends at the Sherlock Holmes pub where you can enjoy a refreshing drink and dinner at your own expense.

Visited this place?

London Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes Haunted Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

400 reviews

18. Visit one of London’s night food markets (from USD 162.0)

Borough Market Friday night at the pub
Source: Photo by Flickr user chas B used under CC BY 2.0

Most of London’s night markets are only open during the summer months, from May to October. Some markets you may want to consider checking out include Dinerama (in Shoreditch), or Kerb Does Alchemy (in Southbank). Both markets offer all kinds of street food and booze.

Expect to find dishes like burgers, pizza, ribs etc. Dinerama is a 2-storey al fresco dining site that is home to 15 stalls offering various cuisines. The entrance is free before 7:00 pm, but it will cost 3 GBP (4.40 USD) after this time. At Dinerama, you will find London’s best beef ribs at Smokestak. The smell of grilled barbecue ribs wafting to your nose will be enough to convince you to try this delicious dish.

Visited this place?

London's Soho Evening Food Tasting Walking Tour

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

257 reviews

19. Join a pub crawl in central London (from 13 USD)

London - Pub
Source: Photo by Flickr user Daxis used under CC BY-ND 2.0

‘Pub’ is a word often used across the UK. It simply means a place or bar where you can buy alcoholic drinks & food and consume them at the premises. In these countries, pubs are next to each other that you can literally walk from one to the other. Thus, the slang term 'pub crawl’. Join with the rest of 300 partygoers for a fantastic night out in the city. This five-hour epic pub crawl guarantees five venues, with a free shot in each pub. The package includes entries to the clubs, drink deals and complimentary T-Shirt and pen. So, come along and meet new friends. It’s one sure fun that you do not want to miss.

Central London pub crawl

Price: from 13 USD

Visited this place?

20. Catch an affordable musical (33 USD)

Wicked
Source: Photo by Flickr user Enrique Dans used under CC BY 2.0

Going to the West End is on any theater aficionado’s to do list. Catching a show at London’s iconic West End doesn’t necessarily mean you have to burn a hole in your wallet. One such show that offers affordable tickets is Wicket.

The Wicked musical is based on Gregory Maguire’s acclaimed 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’. It tells the story of two friends who met in a sorcery school in the Land of Oz: Glinda, the good witch and Eplhaba, the wicked witch. Score your tickets now and witness this absolutely fantastic spectacle. With its extravagant theatrical staging, special effects, a touch of funny storyline, Wicked has all the elements a great musical should have. Listen as the cast sings catchy music: Defying Gravity, What Is This Feeling?, Dancing Through Life, Popular, For Good and many more. It’s a perfect experience to share with the family, adults and kids alike. Headout offers competitive prices, live and last minute availability - so be sure to check their website to book an affordable show it when you’re next in London.

Wicked

Price: 33 USD

Visited this place?

More than 30 GBP (43.90 USD)

21. Take the original Harry Potter locations walking tour (from USD 25.0)

Exploring London’s iconic landmarks with this interactive Harry Potter tour is a fantastic nighttime activity that combines the enchantment of the wizarding world with the allure of London’s nightlife. This unique tour will allow you to get a glimpse of Soho and Covent Garden, among other landmarks, offering a magical journey where you can delve into weird and wonderful film trivia and test your knowledge with a quiz.

The tour also highlights key spots such as Millennium Bridge, known as the “Death Eater Bridge” in the movies, and Borough Market, which was the location of the iconic Leaky Cauldron. By immersing yourself in the sites that inspired the Harry Potter films, you get to experience the wizarding world coming to life against the backdrop of London’s stunning nighttime scenery.

Visited this place?

Tour de Harry Potter + Paseo en barco

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

217 reviews

22. Watch a West End show

West End (8119804411)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Steve Collis used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re able to splurge more on tickets, be sure to check out some of the West End’s other shows. Synonymous with high-class commercial theater performances, the West End has become a popular tourist activity. While some shows come and go, many of the classics have been running for years.

London may be a busy city, but many stores and sights close around the evening, just in time for you to catch a show on the West End on any given night. Tickets can be quite expensive, but it’s definitely worth it. If you’ve never seen a show before, why not try one of the famous classics, such as Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, or Wicked?

But if you’re a theater enthusiast who has seen multiple performances before, you may want to check out some newer productions. The West End has become such an engaging part of London’s culture that you will enjoy your experience no matter which show you decide to watch.

Visited this place?

The Lion King Musical Tickets: London West End

Duration: 2.5 hour

45 reviews

23. Enjoy a meal at Duck and Waffle

The eponymous duck & waffle
Source: Photo by user Bex Walton used under CC BY 2.0

Duck and Waffle is one of London’s most famous fine-dining restaurants. It is located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, near Liverpool Street tube station. Unlike most restaurants in London, this place is open 24 hours a day. Feel free to drop by anytime, whether that means getting brunch extra early at 5:00 am or getting dinner extra late at 1:00 am.

There is no better way to appreciate good food than with an amazing view. However, bear in mind that is a popular and pricey restaurant, so be prepared to book a table early and splurge on this meal. As the name suggests, their signature must-try dish is the duck and waffle.

Visited this place?

24. Experience Shakespeare at The Globe Theatre (from USD 22.16)

Inside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Source: Photo by user Andrew Wilkinson used under CC BY-SA 2.0

We all know that the UK was home to the great literary playwright, William Shakespeare. So what better way to celebrate his work than with a live performance of one of his works in his home country?

The Globe Theatre is a replica of an original Elizabethan theater that shows a variety of Shakespeare’s plays in the open air. The goal of these shows is to mimic the way a play would have been performed back in Shakespeare’s era, and take it right back to simplicity.

Visited this place?

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour

363 reviews

25. Try your luck at Hippodrome Casino London

The Hippodrome Casino
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CBarrett12 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Even though the Hippodrome Casino London just opened in 2012, it is already one of London’s biggest and busiest casinos. They also claim to be London’s most popular entertainment venue. With three floors filled with games, from poker to roulette and blackjack, there really is something for everyone.

Visited this place?

26. Enjoy a London showboat dinner cruise (from 100 USD)

top 28 things to do at night in london | enjoy a london showboat dinner cruise
Source: Headout

The River Thames is the longest river in England and said to be the only river in Europe to have a national trail following its source near Gloucestershire to Charlton. Its name originated from Tamesa, an ancient Celtic name for river, which means “the dark one”. Join us for sumptuous four-course dinner (choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus) while meandering through the River Thames. Sip on fine wine, enjoy live music, dance your itchy feet and sing to your hearts content. The dinner cruise departs and returns at Westminster pier, passing along resounding landmarks like the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and many more. See all the sights from a different perspective. Surely an excellent way to relax and marvel the fantastic view of the London skyline.

London showboat dinner cruise

Price: from 100 USD

Visited this place?

27. Cheers with a glass of wine while making pasta (from USD 75.0)

Learn how to make delicious home-made pasta from scratch – all while drinking delicious organic Tuscan wine as you do it. This unique two-hour experience in London, UK, is located only a few minutes from Shoreditch and can accommodate up to 6 people. Your teacher will be Oli, a talented chef with plenty of experience making superb pasta. Through this lesson you will learn how to make fresh pasta by hand, using several different techniques to make a variety of pasta, including ravioli. While cooking and drinking high-quality wine, olives, crostini, and traditional Italian antipasti will be provided to snack on. All the ingredients and equipment are already provided, and you get to take all of your finished pasta home with you at the end.

Visited this place?

Handmade pasta making workshop with wine

Duration: 2 hours

4 reviews

28. Dance the night away with Argentine tango lessons (from USD 24.0)

Have a romantic date night with your significant other while learning something new. Tango is known to be a very expressive and sensual dance, so why not have a romantic evening in London with your partner by dancing the tango? Hosted by Samuele, you’ll learn some of the basic movements, steps, and musical interpretation of Argentine Tango. If you’re 18 or older, you’re definitely welcome to join. Ideal for up to six guests, whether you’re trying out something new alone, with a partner, or a group of friends, you’re sure to enjoy the whole one-hour session of this experience.

Visited this place?

Argentine Tango lessons in London

Duration: 1 hour

274 reviews

You'll never be bored

There is plenty to do in London at night! Next time you’re in London, don’t let your day end early in the evening once you think everything is closed. There is so much to do and several places to go at night in London that you should make the most of it and explore as much as your heart desires. Check out one, two, or all of the suggested activities, and make your nights as fun-filled as your days. You will never be bored in a city like London!

Visited this place?

Frequently asked questions about things to do at night in London

1. What are some of the best things to do with the family in London at night?

Are you looking forward to spending quality time with the family at night in London? There are plenty of night activities in London for you to try. You can hear Big Ben chime, explore Covent Garden, or join a night sightseeing open-top bus tour.

2. Which fun nighttime activities can adults try in London?

If you would like to explore some of the late-night activities for adults in London, you can join a pub crawl in central London, catch an affordable musical, try your luck at Hippodrome Casino London, or dance the night away with Argentine tango lessons.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

History


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Verena is currently a journalism student in New York City. Having to move around a lot throughout her childhood triggered her passion for traveling at a young age. She believes that exploring new...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore London
x
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.