Aerial view of the London, UK skyline at night
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15 fun things to do in London at night

When the sun goes down, London really comes to life. Check out our guide to things to do in London at night, including:

  • Museum Lates
  • View from the Shard
  • Theatreland
  • Dine out
  • See a film
  • Ceremony of keys
  • Night cruise
  • The Late Debate
  • The London Eye

London is a city of night owls, and rightfully so. The city streets, the crowds and its bridges illuminated in the evening are things you have to see to believe, especially in the summer months.

A 24-hour Tube service operating at weekends on some major lines, and night buses all week make traveling around London after dusk pretty easy. But where to go?

Explore the many fun things to do in London at night – from sleepovers in museums to spectacular views from iconic buildings.

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London skyline at night
The London skyline at night

1. Museum lates

Many of London’s most famous museums and galleries are open late on selected days, including the British Museum, Science Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery and London Transport Museum. Often busy during the day, these spaces are quieter in the evening, allowing you to take your time and explore them at your leisure.

And, if you can't quite bear to leave, why not have a good, old-fashioned sleepover (who says kids should have all the fun?). Dino Snores at the National History Museum is anything but a snooze — it allows you to roam free, just like a dinosaur, taking in the galleries and temporary exhibits. It also offers a three-course feast, live music, a movie marathon, science shows, comedy, drinks... and insect tasting! It's a uniquely entertaining experience.

2. View from The Shard

Standing 95 stories and 310 meters to the tip, The Shard is the tallest building in Europe. Experience some of the best views of London from The Shard's open-air sky deck and you'll see a glittering landscape of lights at night.

There are restaurants and shops spread throughout the floors. And — hear us out but — don’t forget to use the toilet. The restrooms are 244 meters above London, and with floor-to-ceiling aerial views, trust us when we say they're the most spectacular toilets in London. 

3. Experience the magic of Theatreland

Head over to London’s West End, also known as Theatreland, for an evening performance. With a huge variety of plays, musicals, cabarets and more, there's something for everyone.

The Soho Theatre is known for its late performances running up to midnight – a perfect after-dinner treat.

4. Grab a bite to eat

As the sun sets and your stomach starts to complain (and the insect tasting at the National History Museum didn't quite hit the spot), check out some of London’s quirkiest restaurants. Renowned for its huge diversity of food, the city never fails to deliver for dinner ideas. If you're feeling fancy, have a James Bond-esque evening at Park Chinois, a 1930s-style Shanghai lounge in Mayfair.

Or, if you want to channel your inner Peaky Blinder, Bistro Union allows you to experience British food at its best and sample traditional dishes.

A plate of fish and chips with green mushy peas
Enjoy traditional British fare like fish and chips

5. Movie night

After a busy day of sightseeing, sometimes all you want to do is sit down and watch a movie. Curzon cinemas are dotted throughout London, some with spacious seating and licensed bars. Ideal for a relaxing night with the family or a romantic evening with your partner.

With their quirky yet plush interiors, these cinemas are perfect for taking the weight off your feet. Naturally, our favorites are the Soho, Mayfair, and Bloomsbury branches.

6. The Ceremony of the Keys

This nightly event is so painfully British, we wouldn't be surprised if someone popped up and slapped fish and chips into your palm as you watched proceedings.

This historical evening activity that’s fun for all the family can be found at the Tower of London. The famous Ceremony of the Keys is part of the process of locking the Tower up for the night. A centuries-old tradition, it involves secret passwords, large rings of keys, Beefeaters, and military music. You'll need to book this one in advance.

7. Late debates

Want to see some of the inner workings of the Houses of Parliament? Visit the public galleries and listen in to a debate. The MPs (Members of Parliament) often end up working late, so take a seat and get ready for some serious mental acrobatics. Entry is free.

8. Ride the London Eye

From its central vantage point, the London Eye allows you to take in the city’s most iconic sights. Too busy during the day? Check the closing times, which can vary depending on the date. A ride at sunset can be magical.

The London Eye at night

10. Wine and dine on the Thames

Fancy cruising down the River Thames with a glass of champagne in hand? Enjoy a night cruise on London’s famous river, with a four-course meal, jazz, and an iconic skyline. Glide past some of the world’s most striking buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and Tower Bridge.

9. Night tours

If you're a true crime fan and want to follow in some seriously grimy footsteps, take a unique night-time Jack the Ripper tour through the eerie backstreets and secret alleyways of East London.

11. Late night shopping

Were you being such a cultural vulture that you forgot to get your retail fix? Fear not, lots of shops are open late Monday to Saturday. Shopping malls such as Westfield Stratford (near Stratford station in east London), and Westfield White City, (right by Shepherd's Bush Tube station in west London) are open until 9pm.

On Thursday nights, the shops on and around London’s famous Oxford Street also stay open until 9pm, so make sure your wallet is ready.

12. Have a pint in a proper British boozer

Need a drink after a long day of walking and eating? London's pint glass runneth over with a variety of different bars and pubs. From cozy cocktail bars to bustling traditional pubs, the choice is yours. If you’re a solo traveler looking to meet some new people, sign up for a pub crawl to experience a few more of London’s finest pubs.

13. Hit the clubs

If you want to have a boogie or rock out, London is full of nightclubs that are open until the early hours, providing a range of music genres and experiences. Head over to Shoreditch in east London for late-night bars and clubs, fabric in Spitalfields near Holborn, or stay central with Heaven in Soho or the legendary Ronnie Scott's.

Head north to Camden for KOKO's, live music venues such as the Jazz Cafe, the intimate Spiritual Bar, or Electric Ballroom. Whichever corner of London you're in, you'll find a music venue to chill or raise the roof at.

Closeup of a DJ spinning records in a nightclub

14. Giggle at a comedy club

If a local asks, 'Are you 'avin' a laugh?' you can say yes! You will be in any one of the great comedy clubs throughout London that offer free comedy nights all week. Head over to the likes of The Top Secret Comedy Club on Drury Lane (in Covent Garden), the Soho Theatre, or the nearby Soho Comedy Club to see some of the latest comedians strutting their stuff on stage. And if you're feeling especially brave, sit in the front row!

15. See the lights at Piccadilly Circus

If you’re enjoying an evening stroll around Soho or Piccadilly, head in the direction of Piccadilly Circus to see the beautiful light display in the evening. Over a hundred years ago, Piccadilly Circus hosted the first display of electric lighting, and it now attracts over 100 million visitors a year.

Experience everything London has to offer with The London Pass® 

Where will you go in London for an evening out? With The London Pass®, you can explore big-name landmarks, local hotspots and epic tours, all on one pass, all for one price. Not only that, but you'll enjoy savings of up to 50%, compared to buying individual attraction tickets.  

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