101 things to do at night in London

Discover London at night with live entertainment, tours and delicious bites.
Written by Hannah Cornish 31 October 2023
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London officially became a city that never sleeps after the arrival of the Night Tube.

The 24-hour Tube operates on Friday and Saturday nights on the Victoria, Jubilee, and most of the Central, Northern and Piccadilly lines. 

From exploring museums after hours to taking part in an immersive theatre show, check out 101 of the top things to do in London tonight – or any night!

Free things to do in London at night

  1. Bring your camera to snap the city’s famous landmarks as they’re dramatically lit up at night: Top picks include Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, Houses of Parliament and Harrods.
  2. Watch the sunset with a picnic on Primrose Hill: The view from the top is one of London's best, affording a fantastic panorama across the city.

Cheap nights out in London

  1. Put your general knowledge to the test at The Old Queens Head: Team up and enter one of its regular pub quizzes.
  2. Grab some food at one of the city's best street vendors: Tuck into everything from bao buns to New York-style pizza.
  3. Visit a bar or pub during happy hour for cut-price drinks: Dirty Martini offers half-price martinis and cocktails during its daily happy hours.
  4. See a cheap gig in London: Bag yourself some wallet-friendly tickets.
  5. Get cheap tickets for major West End shows: Visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square on the day of the performance.

See a theatre show in London tonight

Dancers performing the lioness hunt on stage at the Lion King musical
The Lion King musical © Deen van Meer / See Tickets.
  1. Be part of the action at an immersive theatre show: From Mamma Mia! The Party to Witness for the Prosecution.
  2. Treat yourself to a glittering night out at a top West End musical: Watch The Lion King London or Wicked the musical.
  3. Enjoy a pint and a play at one of London's pub theatres: Find some of London's best quality theatre shows and cutting-edge comedy nights in the capital's pubs.

Live music venues in London

  1. Swing by Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho: See top jazz stars perform at this legendary venue.
  2. Spend an evening at The 100 Club: Follow in the footsteps of music legends Oasis and The Sex Pistols.
  3. Tap your feet to a brilliant jam session at Ain’t Nothin’ But Blues Bar: The intimate venue is open seven days a week.
  4. See up-and-coming bands at Camden's The Dublin CastleBoth Blur and Coldplay have graced its stage.
  5. Enjoy a night out at the Grade II-listed Roundhouse: The iconic venue counts The Doors and Jimi Hendrix among its past performers.
  6. Visit revamped music venue KOKO: This is where Madonna had her first UK show.
  7. Listen to live music at The Piano Works: Hear pianists perform audience-requested playlists live.
  8. Venture below St Martin-in-the-Fields church after dark with Crypt Lates: Enjoy an evening of live jazz music in atmospheric surroundings.
  9. Enjoy a gig at Hootananny Brixton: Bop along to roots, reggae, ska and folk music.

Late-night shopping in London

  1. Shop till late at Westfield London: Discover luxury and high-street shops under one roof.
  2. Or head to Westfield Stratford City: Shop at one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe.
  3. Flex your credit card until late along London’s famous Oxford Street: Home to department stores, designer brands and high-street favourites.
  4. Shop through the evening at Duke of York Square: Find big-brand stores and more.

Night bus and boat tours

Vintage red double-decker bus at night, part of the afternoon tea bus tour at Harrods in London.
Vintage London Bus Tour and Tea at Harrods. Image courtesy of Red Letter Days.
  1. Step aboard a Ghost Bus Tour: Hear stories from London’s murky past.
  2. Hop on an open-top-bus tour: See top sights sparkle at twilight.
  3. Relax on an evening cruise: Kick back with drinks and canapes, and enjoy live music as you drift past some of the best London landmarks.
  4. Treat yourself to a dinner cruise: Journey through the capital on a relaxing cruise.
  5. Foodies should book a tour with Bustronome: Enjoy French-inspired fine dining on the top deck of a bus.
  6. Glide across the Thames: Enjoy dinner on a Jazz Cruise as you sweep along the river.
  7. Enjoy a themed night cruise on the Thames: Take a boat tour with a difference with a murder mystery or an Elvis tribute night. 

Night-time walks in London

  1. Go on a Jack the Ripper Ghost Walk: Follow an eerie route through the old alleyways of the East End.
  2. Enjoy a stroll along the Thames to see bridges glow as part of the Illuminated River installation: Admire some of the capital’s top attractions prettily lit up at night, including the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
  3. Keep an eye out for bat walks: Available on select dates in London's Royal Parks.

Explore London's nightlife scene

  1. Party the night away at one of London's top 10 clubs: Experience the cream of the city's nightlife scene.
  2. See a risqué cabaret or burlesque show: Expect an eye-popping display of sequins and much more.
  3. Step aboard a Night Bus Tour: See some of London’s major attractions lit up at night.
  4. Enjoy a lively game at an activity bar: Sip a cocktail as you battle it out during ping pong, shuffleboard, darts and more.
  5. Sing your heart out at one of London's karaoke bars: Belt out your favourite tunes.

London pubs

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub alleyway with a woman walking towards the pub's side entrance.
Seek out historic City pubs, such as Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
  1. Sip a pint or two in one of London's old haunted pubs: Check out The Grenadier, The Spaniards Inn and former jail The Viaduct Tavern.
  2. Soak up hundreds of years of history in a traditional pub: Try Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, where Charles Dickens used to drink.
  3. Enjoy a drink with a view at a riverside pubSeek out London's top waterside hangouts.
  4. Try London-brewed beer on the Bermondsey Beer Mile: Sample the capital's craft beer scene in a stretch of former railway arches.

Top London bars

  1. Sip a flamboyant cocktail at Opium: A late-night drinking den and dim sum parlour.
  2. Check out London's top lesbian and gay bars: Explore the city's LGBTQ+ scene.
  3. Raise a celebratory toast at one of the city's champagne bars: Treat yourself to a glass of bubbly or two.
  4. Enjoy a night out with a difference at one of London's quirky bars: Go off the beaten track and find yourself a quirky basement bar, secret drinking hole or themed boozer.
  5. Drink in the neon lights: Find the bar among the wall-to-wall lights and signs at Gods Own Junkyard.

Late-night dining and 24-hour restaurants in London

  1. Chow down on steaks and burgers at Balans Soho Society: Enjoy a meal at this swanky Soho brasserie until the early hours.
  2. Check out Brick Lane Beigel Bake, open 24 hours a day: Pick up a tasty bagel after the clubs have shut.
  3. Experience London’s highest 24/7 restaurant Duck & WaffleFill up on crispy leg confit and fried duck egg washed down with champagne cocktails.
  4. Feeling peckish at 5am? Grab a late-night snack at 24-hour diner VQ Bloomsbury.
  5. Grab coffee and cake at late-night Soho institution Bar Italia: Follow in the footsteps of musicians and film stars.

London foodie hubs

A photo of a crowd of people in a building with a lit up sign in the background.
BoxPark Wembley. Image courtesy of WC Communications.
  1. Feast on global street food galore at pop-up malls Boxpark Croydon, Boxpark Shoreditch and Boxpark Wembley: Each is home to a different selection of top-notch independent food and drink vendors.
  2. Explore cool food market Mercato Metropolitano: Try everything from handmade pasta to Argentinian steak.
  3. Alternatively, head to Mercato MayfairFeast on world foods and delicious drinks inside an old church with towering stained glass windows. 
  4. Discover alfresco dining destination Kingly Court in London's West End: Eat out in one of more than 20 restaurants and cafes.
  5. Check out north London's bustling food hall Bang Bang Oriental: Find 27 kiosks serving up top-notch Asian fare.
  6. Discover eclectic eateries, cocktails and live music at Flat Iron Square: You'll find the foodie hub under the railway arches at Southwark.
  7. Head to ChinatownIts restaurants serve up everything from sushi and satay to Szechuan and stir fry.
  8. Treat yourself to dinner in Soho: Explore a rich mix of opulent and down-to-earth restaurants.

Sky-high London – best views in London at night

  1. Go on an after-dark trip to The View from The Shard: See London sparkle at night from above.
  2. Watch the sun set over London at the free-to-enter Sky Garden: Book in advance online to guarantee yourself a spot.
  3. Soar across the sky in an IFS Cloud Cable CarSoak in spectacular night-time views of London.
  4. Take an evening trip on the London Eye: Gaze at 360-degree views of London’s skyline.

Late-night London culture

  1. Enjoy after-dark exhibitions, talks and art: Many museums and galleries regularly open late, including institutions like Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery
  2. Throw yourself into an immersive experience: A huge array of experiences are on offer, from The London Dungeon to Monopoly Lifesized.
  3. Visit Dennis Severs' House after dark: Soak up the atmosphere of the home left behind by an imaginary 18th-century family.
  4. Catch a show at the Royal Opera House: Watch some of the world's finest opera stars on stage.
  5. See the Tower of London's Ceremony of the Keys: Witness a 700-year-old ceremony.
  6. Take a guided history tour of Wilton's Music Hall: Discover the world's oldest and last surviving grand music hall.
  7. See Sir John Soane's Museum by candlelight: Book tickets for one of its after-hours events.

Sleepovers at London attractions

Cinema screen in the Hintze Hall at Natural History Museum
Movie Nights © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
  1. Spend the night at the Natural History Museum with Dino Snores: Enjoy a night of fun, food, science, movies and music at the museum's sleepover for grown-ups.
  2. Book a stay at the London Zoo’s Lion Lodge: Sleep within roaring distance of the majestic Asiatic lions.

Sporty things to do at night in London

  1. Ice skate until late all-year-round at weekends at Alexandra Palace Ice Rink: Or enjoy the city’s magical outdoor ice rinks, most of which open from November to January.
  2. Enjoy a thrilling evening at one of London’s climbing centres: Scale walls or try bouldering at venues that are open late.
  3. Take a dance class at Pineapple Dance Studios: Classes vary from tap and ballet to contemporary styles.
  4. Go bowling in style at the plush All Star Lanes: Enjoy great cocktails and American fare.
  5. See a breathtaking sunset at Up at The O2: Climb the roof for a spectacular view of the city as the sun goes down.

Learn something new

  1. Enjoy lates at the Royal Observatory Greenwich: Featuring stargazing and film screenings.
  2. Attend a late-night debate at the Houses of Parliament: A memorable London experience.
  3. Cook up a culinary masterpiece at the Cookery School at Little Portland Street: You can book evening classes for all abilities.
  4. Master the art of mixology: Learn how to make a range of cocktails at a cocktail making masterclass*.

Creative things to do in London at night

  1. Experience “hairclubbing” at Blade Soho: Sip cocktails while getting your hair cut or treated.
  2. Sing along to your favourite movie at the Prince Charles CinemaCroon along to Grease, Frozen, Dirty Dancing and more.
  3. Play an old-school board game at Draughts: Choose from more than 800 games to play at the board game cafe.
  4. Enjoy a game of mini-golf at Junkyard Golf Club: Get a hole-in-one at this quirky mini-golf bar.
  5. Play darts in style at cool bar Flight Club Shoreditch: While drinking craft beer and cocktails.
  6. Battle your way out of an escape room: Use brainpower and teamwork on a nail-biting night out.

Things to do at night in winter

Two children stand beneath tall trees, which are illuminated with stings of colourful fairy lights, in Kew Gardens at night.
Christmas at Kew © RBG Kew. Image courtesy of Kew Gardens.
  1. Experience Christmas at Kew: See Kew Gardens lit up with more than one million sparkling festive lights.
  2. Go on a festive adventure at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland: Enjoy ice skating, fairground rides and Christmas markets.
  3. Marvel at London’s dazzling Christmas lights: Look up and snap away at the magical sight of thousands of twinkling lights throughout the capital.
  4. Visit the Winter Festival at Southbank Centre: Celebrate Yuletide with a Christmas market and festive shows.
  5. Treat yourself to a Christmas show or pantomime: Enjoy a classic show over the festive season. 
  6. Check out one of London’s cosy pubs: Snuggle up with a pint next to a crackling fire.
  7. Order a festive drink at one of London's many rooftop bars: Sample tasty winter cocktails.
  8. Whizz around an ice skating rink at Christmas: Get your skates on at twinkling ice rinks in iconic locations.

Things to do at night during summer in London

  1. While away a balmy summer night in a beer garden: Make the most of London's outdoor drinking spots.
  2. Spend a leisurely evening at an alfresco restaurant: From rooftop terraces and riverside balconies to hidden courtyards and restaurants in parks.
  3. See one of the Bard’s famous plays at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Experience a show in a reconstruction of the original open-air playhouse.
  4. Catch a movie in the great outdoors at one of the city’s open-air cinemas: Watch all-time classics outdoors or from the comfort of your own car.
  5. See theatre under the stars at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre: Enjoy a season of Shakespeare, comedy, family fun and musicals in a magical setting.

For more nightlife inspiration, discover some of the top things to do late in London.