London officially became a city that never sleeps after the arrival of the Night Tube last year. 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, here are 101 of our favourite things to do in London at night.
Free things to do in London at night
1. Bop along to roots, reggae, ska and folk music at Hootananny Brixton, which offers loads of free gigs.
2. 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, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Harrods.
3. Enjoy a giggle at the famously free Angel Comedy Club at the Camden Head in Islington, open seven nights a week.
4. Apply for tickets to be in the audience of a major TV show.
Cheap night out in London
5. Dine out at one of the city’s cheap eateries, where you can tuck into everything from Korean burritos to sourdough pizza.
6. 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.
7. Bag yourself some wallet-friendly tickets to a cheap gig in London.
8. Get cheap tickets for major West End shows by visiting the TKTS booth in Leicester Square on the day of the performance.
See a theatre show
9. Be part of the action at an immersive theatre show, such as The Great Gatsby and Witness for the Prosecution.
10. Treat yourself to a glittering night out at a top West End musical, such as The Lion King or Wicked.
11. Enjoy a pint and a play at one of London’s pub theatres.
Live music venues in London
12. Swing by the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho to see top jazz stars perform.
13. Follow in the footsteps of music legends Oasis and The Sex Pistols during an evening at The 100 Club
14. See a secret gig in an unusual venue with Sofar Sounds.
15. Tap your feet to a brilliant jam session at the intimate Ain’t Nothin’ But Blues Bar, open seven days a week.
16. See an up-and-coming band at Camden’s The Dublin Castle, where Blur and Coldplay have graced the stage.
17. Enjoy a night out at the Grade II-listed Roundhouse, which counts The Doors and Jimi Hendrix among its past performers.
18. Spot the stars of tomorrow at The Borderline whose erstwhile performers include Amy Winehouse and the Rolling Stones.
19. Visit revamped music venue KOKO where Madonna held her first UK show.
20. Hear pianists perform audience-requested playlists live at The Piano Works.
Late-night shopping in London
21. Discover more than 265 luxury and high street shops under one roof at Westfield London, which opens until 10pm from Monday to Saturday.
22. Shop at one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe at Westfield Stratford City, open until 9pm from Monday to Saturday.
23. Flex your credit card until 10pm on Thursday nights on London’s famous Oxford Street, home to department stores, designer brands and high-street favourites.
24. Shop at big brand stores, including Mary Quant and Joseph, until 9pm at Duke of York Square.
Night bus and boat tours
25. Hear stories from London’s murky past by stepping aboard a Ghost Bus Tour.
26. See top sights sparkle at twilight on an open-top bus tour.
27. Journey through the capital on a relaxing dinner cruise.
Night-time walks in London
28. Follow an eerie route through the old alleyways of the East End on a Jack the Ripper Ghost Walk, and see the infamous murderer’s story come to life with The Jack the Ripper Tour with Ripper-Vision.
29. Visit the city’s most ghostly drinking dens on a Haunted London Pub Tour.
30. Enjoy a 50-minute stroll along the river from Tower Bridge to Westminster Bridge to see some of the capital’s top attractions prettily lit up at night, including the Coca-Cola London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
31. Go on a bat walk to be dazzled by the amazing aerial acrobatics of these amazing flying mammals on Thursday nights at the WWT London Wetland Centre.
Explore the London nightlife scene
32. Experience the cream of London’s nightlife scene at one of its top 10 clubs.
33. Enjoy a giggle at a stand-up comedy night.
34. Expect an eye-popping display of sequins and much more at a risqué cabaret or burlesque show.
35. See a movie in plush surroundings at an intimate independent cinema, where you can expect leather armchairs and posh snacks.
36. Enjoy a flutter at the UK’s largest casino, The Hippodrome Casino.
37. Sing your heart out to your favourite songs at one of London’s karaoke bars.
38. Sip a pint or two in one of London’s old haunted pubs, including The Grenadier, The Spaniards Inn and former jail The Viaduct Tavern.
39. Soak up hundreds of years of history in a traditional pub, such as Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese where Charles Dickens used to drink.
40. Enjoy a drink with a view at a riverside pub.
Top London bars
41. Quaff cocktails in a fashionable setting inspired by Savile Row tailors at London Cocktail Club’s Monument branch.
42. Sip a flamboyant cocktail at late-night drinking den and dim sum parlour Opium.
43. Gaze across the London skyline from one of the city’s gorgeous rooftop bars.
44. Raise a celebratory toast at one of the city’s champagne bars.
45. Enjoy a night out with a difference at one of London’s quirky bars.
Late-night dining in London
46. Chow down on steaks and burgers until 5am at swanky brasserie Balans Soho Society.
47. Pick up a tasty bagel after the clubs have shut at Brick Lane Beigel Bake, open 24 hours a day.
48. Fill up on crispy leg confit and fried duck egg washed down with champagne cocktails at London’s highest 24/7 restaurant Duck & Waffle.
49. Feeling peckish at 5am? Grab a late-night snack at 24-hour diner VQ Bloomsbury.
50. Follow in the footsteps of musicians and film stars by grabbing coffee and cake at late-night Soho institution Bar Italia.
London foodie hubs
51. Feast on global street food galore at pop-up mall Boxpark Croydon.
52. Try everything from handmade pasta to Argentinian steak at food market Mercato Metropolitano.
53. Eat out in one of more than 20 restaurants and cafes at al fresco dining destination Kingly Court in London’s West End.
54. Check out North London’s bustling food hall, Bang Bang Oriental, where you’ll find 27 kiosks serving up top-notch Asian fare.
55. Discover eclectic eateries, cocktails, live music at foodie hub Flat Iron Square under the railway arches at Southwark.
56. Head to Chinatown, where you’ll find around 80 restaurants serving up everything from sushi to satay, Szechuan to stir fry.
57. Treat yourself to dinner in Soho, where you’ll find a rich mix of opulent and down-to-earth restaurants.
Late-night London culture
60. Many museums and galleries regularly open late for talks, performances, workshops, films, food and drink, DJs and more.
61. Take an exclusive twilight tour of the Tower of London with a Yeoman Warder.
62. Soak up the atmosphere of the home left behind by an imaginary 18th-century family at Dennis Severs’ House, open after dark every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
63. Watch some of the world’s finest opera stars at the Royal Opera House.
64. Witness a 700-year-old ceremony with the Tower of London’s Ceremony of the Keys.
65. Take a guided history tour of the world’s oldest and last surviving grand music hall, Wilton’s Music Hall.
66. Explore Sir John Soane’s Museum by candlelight during one of its after-hours events.
Sleepovers at London attractions
67. Spend the night at the Natural History Museum with Dino Snores, which includes a torch-lit trail.
68. Sleep within roaring distance of the majestic Asiatic lions as part of ZSL London Zoo’s Lion Lodge experience.
69. Children can sleep overnight in real sailors’ bunks on board HMS Belfast and experience life below deck.
Sporty things to do at night in London
70. Ice skate until late all year-round at weekends at Alexandra Palace Ice Rink or during winter at the city’s magical outdoor ice rinks, most of which open from November to January.
71. Go climbing at London’s largest indoor bouldering space at Stronghold Climbing Centre in Tottenham.
72. Glide down the slopes of London at the capital’s largest indoor ski centre, Chel-Ski.
73. Take a dance class at Pineapple Dance Studios, where classes vary from popping and Michael Jackson-style dance to classical ballet and pole dancing.
74. Go bowling in style at the plush All Star Lanes, which also offers great cocktails and American fare.
Learn something new
75. Go stargazing at the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Evening with the Stars, where you can enjoy a planetarium show, meet astronomers and a chance to look through an 18-tonne Victorian telescope.
76. Attend a late-night debate at the Houses of Parliament.
77. Get creative every Friday night at the National Portrait Gallery’s drop-in drawing class.
78. Learn something new at Drink, Shop & Do, where you can craft everything from cork jewellery to unicorn pinatas.
Creative things to do at night in London
79. Experience “hairclubbing” at Blade Soho, where you can sip cocktails while getting your hair cut or treated.
80. Sing along to your favourite movie at the Prince Charles Cinema, where you can croon along to Grease, Frozen, Dirty Dancing and more.
81. Choose from more than 600 games to play at board game cafe Draughts.
82. Get a hole in one at quirky mini-golf bar Junkyard Golf Club.
83. Play darts in style while drinking craft beer and cocktails at cool bar Flight Club Shoreditch.
84. Battle your way out of an escape room using brainpower and teamwork on a nail-biting night out.
Things to do at night in winter
85. See Kew Gardens lit up with more than one million sparkling festive lights with Christmas at Kew.
86. Go on a festive adventure with ice skating, fairground rides and Christmas markets at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
87. Wander through the illuminated Enchanted Woodland at Syon House.
88. Marvel at London’s dazzling Christmas lights.
89. Celebrate Yuletide with a Christmas market and festive shows at Winter Festival at Southbank Centre.
90. See a play at the intimate candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse next to Shakespeare’s Globe.
91. Snuggle up with a pint next to a crackling fire in one of London’s cosy pubs.
92. See London transformed into a dazzling nocturnal art exhibition for the UK’s largest light festival, Lumiere London, from 18 to 21 January 2018.
Things to do at night during summer in London
93. While away a balmy summer night in a beer garden.
94. Spend a leisurely evening at an al fresco restaurant.
95. See one of the Bard’s famous plays at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a reconstruction of the original open-air playhouse.
96, Catch a movie in the great outdoors at one of the city’s open-air cinemas, where movies are screened everywhere from rooftops and atmospheric cemeteries.
97. See theatre under the stars at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
98. Watch the sunset with a picnic on Primrose Hill.
Fun things to do at night outside central London
99. Watch a movie for just £4.99 at London’s cheapest cinema, the Peckhamplex.
100. Get glammed up for cabaret night Rouges at the Rivoli in Brockley, London’s only intact 1950s ballroom.
101. Sip cocktails or see a show at grade II-listed pub and theatre Mirth, Marvel and Maud in East London’s Walthamstow, visited by Alfred Hitchcock as a boy.