London is a city that never sleeps. In fact, it’s one of the only few cities in the world that offers late night train services. The 24-hour tube operates late nights, which means that you can explore London until late at night and not have to worry about paying for an expensive cab to go back to your hotel.
With the countless things to do in London when nighttime comes, you have every reason to go out and explore the city when the sun goes down. You can perhaps take a ride at the London Eye, join a late night sightseeing tour, hang out at the Piccadilly Circus, and so much more! So here are the top 15 things to do in London at night, regardless of the kind of traveller that you are.
As the tallest skyscraper in London, climbing to the top is an experience you should not miss, especially at night when it opens to the breathtaking views of the city. You’ll have two opens when visiting The Shard. One, you can visit The View From The Shard, which is an open air observation deck located on the tower’s 72nd floor and offers the most stunning views of London. Avoid the line by purchasing your tickets in advance.
If you have fear of heights and going to the deck is something that scares you, your best option is to visit the many restaurants and bars in The Shard. You can choose from the Aqua Shard, Huton, Oblix, and more! Hanging out at these bars is one of the best things to do in London after midnight since most of these bars open until 1 AM.
32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, UK
Duration:10 AM - 10 PM
The Ceremony of the Keys is a traditional ritual taking place every night at the Tower of London. It starts at exactly 9:53 PM and ends at 10:05 PM. This ancient old ceremony involves the locking or securing of the tower, which is a significant event in the past when the royals reside there. Although it’s no longer the case now, the ritual is still being held since there are still lots of valuables that are kept inside, including the Crown Jewels.
Attending the ceremony is free although there is a £1 administrative fee when you book your tickets online. Also, there is a very limited slot so it is advised to book at least a year in advance. Taking part in this traditional ceremony is a once in a lifetime experience so don’t miss the chance.
Tower of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK
Big Ben is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. This famous clock is one of the biggest four-faced chiming clocks in the world. But contrary to what many people thought, the Big Ben is not actually the name of the clock but it’s the name of one of the bells that are housed in the clock. Hearing the bells chime at night is one of the free things to do in London at night.
The Big Ben is perched in a grand tower at the House of the Parliament. You can hear the clock chiming hour after hour and the number of times it chimes will depend on the time. For instance, if it’s four o’clock, the bell will chime four times. Visiting the Big Ben at night is also a great experience since it’s beautifully illuminated along with the grand buildings nearby. If you happen to reach there at midnight, you’ll hear it chimes 12 times to indicate that it’s already the start of a new day.
Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, UK
Sure, you may have already seen some of the top attractions in London during the day, but why don’t you try visiting them at night? When nighttime comes, these attractions exude a different beauty since and looks really magnificent.
The best way to go sightseeing at night in London is on board an open bus. This activity takes approximately 90 minutes and you’ll be passing by the famous sites of London, such as the Big Ben, London Eye, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Harrods, and many more. The London open bus sightseeing tour is definitely the most convenient way to see London at night. This activity is suitable to everyone and is among the best things to do in London at night with family.
150 Piccadilly London, United Kingdom W1J 9BR, UK
Harrods is one of London’s most famous department stores. In fact, this iconic store is known worldwide as the best shopping destination for luxury goods. So if you’re looking to splurge on some of your favorite designer brands, this is the best place to go to.
The best thing about visiting Harrods at night is that the building is beautifully illuminated. In fact, even if you don’t intend to buy, you’ll surely have a great time exploring the building as the twinkly lights illuminate the dark sky creating a truly magical experience. If you get hungry and tired from all the shopping that you do, check out the food market hall where you will find a wide range of dining options.
87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL, UK
If you want to relax after a whole day of exploring the city, visit one of the best rooftop bars in London and order your favorite booze. There are lots of great bars in the city, but if you want a place where you can enjoy the sunset and take in the sights with your favorite drink on hand, visit the Radio Rooftop at ME London Hotel.
The Radio Rooftop is one of the city’s best restaurant and bar that’s perched at the roof of ME hotel and opens to the stunning views across the River Thames. Aside from an extensive range of drinks, Radio Rooftop also serves delicious Mediterranean dishes made from the freshest locally sourced produce. Whether you’re visiting London solo or with your loved one or a group of friends, visiting the Radio Rooftop is definitely one of the best places to visit in London at night.
ME London Hotel, 336-337 Strand, London WC2R 1HA, UK
The London Eye is another famous attraction in London and taking a ride at this giant Ferris wheel is definitely a must especially at night where you’ll be treated to a fantastic view of the city. Located at the southern banks of the River Thames, this iconic structure is 443 feet tall and has a diameter of 394 feet.
The London Eye used to be the highest viewing point in London until the Shards was built. As one of the most popular attractions in London, it’s highly recommended that you book your tickets to the London eye in advance. You can save money by booking the London Pass, which allows you entry to some of the famous attractions in London including the London Eye.
Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK
Duration:10 AM - 8:30 PM
The Emirates Stadium is a football stadium that’s home to the Arsenal F.C. If you’re a fan of this football team, then watching a game at the stadium should be on top of your list of things to do in London at night.
When watching a game, it’s important that you book your tickets in advance. On the actual game itself, make sure you come early. There are so many things that you can do at the stadium, such as visiting the Arsenal Museum that is home to an extensive collection of the club’s artifacts. You can also take part in a tour of the stadium led by former players.
Hornsey Rd, London N7 7AJ, UK
If you’re a big fan of musicals, then never miss a chance to watch a show at the West End. The West End is known for its high class theater performances and is not only popular in London but all over the world as well. While some of the shows are performed at a certain time period only others have been running for several years. Some of the most famous shows in The West End are the Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera and the Les Miserables.
The shows at the West End are very popular. In fact, it’s one of the most popular things to do in London late at night. Therefore, it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance. Depending on the show, watching the musicals at the West End is an activity that’s ideal for everyone, including the small kids.
West End, London, UK
If you want a taste of Vegas in London, then head to the Hippodrome Casino, one of London’s biggest and most popular casinos. It’s located in the corner of Charring Cross Road and Cranbourn Street in Westminster. The building is massive, with four floors of gaming areas, from roulette to poker and blackjack, there’s really something for everyone in this entertainment venue.
Aside from the gaming areas, the casino is also home to an award winning restaurant as well as a cabaret and music room. The Hippodrome Casino attracts all kinds of visitors who are interested to take part in London’s buzzing nightlife scene. It’s free entry for everyone and there’s no membership fee required.
Cranbourn Street Leicester Square, London WC2H 7JH, UK
If you want a quieter and more relaxing way to spend the night away, then the Jazz Café is a great place to visit, where you will be treated to live music performances from London’s most famous Jazz artists. This popular music venue has been welcoming Jazz enthusiasts for over 25 years now. In fact, famous artists in the likes of Amy Winehouse and Adele have graced its stage.
The Jazz Cafe has its own restaurant too and its menu features a wide range dishes inspired by the different countries around the world. If you happen to visit London on a weekend, be sure to check out the late-night club nights at the Jazz Cafe, happening every Friday and Saturday night. You can also venture out the Camden High Street where you will find several other late night bars and pubs.
5 Parkway, Camden Town, London NW1 7PG, UK
Another free things to do in London at night is to head to the Piccadilly Circus for an evening stroll. When nighttime comes, this famous intersection transforms into a vibrant place where thousands of people from all walks of life would converge. In fact, it’s estimated that there are close to 100 million people that walks around the Piccadilly Circus every year.
The Piccadilly Circus is also the brightest place in London at night where you’ll find a spectacular display of lights from the digital advertisements to the magical lights displayed that reflect the buildings that line the street. Be sure to check out some of the most notable landmarks in the area as well, such as the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, the London Pavilion, and more!
Piccadilly CircusLondon, UK
After a busy day of exploring London’s attractions, you may want to just sit around and watch a film. When it comes to cinemas and movie theaters, London has a lot to offer. But one of the most iconic movie theaters in the city is The Prince Charles Theatre. This theater opened in December 1962 and was converted into a two-screen cinema in 2008. With a seating of 302 and screens measuring 21.5 feet wide and 11.5 feet high, watching a film at the Prince Charles Cinema is an experience you never want to miss. Just make sure to check their website so you will know which films are to be shown on the day you intend to watch. You can also book your movie tickets ahead on their website.
7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY, UK
A more exciting way to explore the beautiful city of London is on a bike! You can join a night cycling tour of London where an experienced local guide will be your leader as you pedal your way to the city’s most famous attractions such as the Soho, Tower Bridge, and more. The tour will also take you to the historic Docklands at St Katherine’s Dock and the beautiful church of St Paul’s Cathedral. The cycling tour will take approximately 3 hours and is centered on central London.
The best thing about cycling at night is that there’s less traffic and the views of London are more magnificent! You can also have the tour tailored according to your needs. If you’re traveling to London by a group of friends, then this is a great activity to try. This is also ideal for families although it’s not suitable to kids below 10 years old.
74 Kennington Road, Kennington, London, SE11 6NL
If biking is not for you, then perhaps a relaxing dinner cruise will do. Taking the cruise is a more romantic and comfortable way of seeing the beautiful attractions of London at night. Tuck into a four-course meal as your boat passes through the House of Parliament, the London Eye, and other breathtaking sights of the city.
Depending on the cruise that you will book, there might also be live entertainment on board and perhaps, after dinner dancing, which is truly romantic. A romantic dinner cruise at the River Thames is also included in the London City Pass. If you want to save money for your tour of London, you better take advantage of the pass.
River Thames, London, UK
Duration:7:00 PM – 10 PM
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