Last Updated on 7 November, 2023
London like New York is fast become a 24hr city. So if you want to make the most of your time exploring there are plenty of things to do in London at night. From cool things to do in the 24-hour capital, night tours in London, nightlife and entertainment as well as where to eat in London at all hours!
The beauty of London is that our city is safe to explore day or night. London transportation is really great. We have 24-hour buses as well as night buses for some routes.
We now also have 24-hour trains on Fridays and Saturdays and during the rest of the week the earliest trains in some parts start as early as 4.50am and the last train at 0.50am and 1.15am. So, you can explore until your heart is content and then head back to the airport for an early flight.
Also perfect for those with a layover in London as this allows you to fully maximise your time and still get to experience the essence of London. I will be sharing tips on the fastest ways to get from London Airports soon so look out for that too as I will also link it here once published.
Insider tip: You don’t have to hire a car to explore London at night and nor do you have to buy an Oyster card, as long as you have a contactless payment card you can travel on London underground or buses without having to buy a separate ticket. Also you can leave your luggage at a luggage store and go exploring.
There is a left luggage at Paddingon Station near platform 1 of the British Rail Station area. There is also another one at Waterloo, Charing Cross, Kings Cross Stations. For more check here for left luggage locations in London.
Top Things To Do In London At Night – London Night Activities
There are so many things to do in London late at night. So, without further ado, below are the cool things to do in London at night from sights, tours and experiences. Also, note that many of the below include things to do in London at night for free.
Places To Visit And Things To See In London At Night
Visit Tower Bridge
Day or night visiting Tower Bridge at night is must! If you are lucky you can even see Tower Bridge opening and closing. To help you plan make sure you check the times when Tower Bridge opens on the link provided. Sometimes it opens as late at 10pm and as early as 3am.
I have also shared shots of Tower Bridge at Night on the blog. It’s free to see this iconic masterpiece. If you are in the capital during the day you can also walk on the glass floor of Tower Bridge. Closest station to Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge is London Bridge(under and overground trains) and Tower Gateway Station(DLR).
Explore Tower of London Surroundings
Not many people know that you can actually attend the historic ceremony of the keys that has been taking place for the last 700 years. The Ceremony of the Keys is an ancient ritual, held every evening at the Tower of London, when the main gates are locked for the night.
Its held daily at 9.30pm by the Yeomen Warders. It is said to be the oldest military ceremony in the world and is the best-known ceremonial tradition of the Tower. To attend this unique experience in London, you need to apply in advance so do it when planning your trip to London.
You can apply for tickets for the ceremony of keys at HRP. Closest station to Tower of London: Tower Hill and Tower Gateway
Bask In The Glow Of St Pauls Cathedral
Like many sights cool attractions in London, there are plenty you can admire from the outside without going inside the building. For the perfect view of St Pauls Cathedral, grab a drink at Madison Rooftop Bar and check out these beautiful views of the capital’s gem.
I have shared photos of the views you can expect to see here. Also check out Switch House at Tate Modern which is open late in the evening on some nights offering stunning views of London.
For more on these check out my tips on the best viewpoints in London.Nearest station to St Pauls Cathedral: Blackfriars Station and St Paul’s Station.
Take In Views From The Shard
Many might know the Shard for being the tallest building in London and one you can see the best views of London from above, not many know that you can actually get married at the Shard.
Yep, you can get married at the Shard at any hour of the night. Shard View is open as late as 10pm on some days to perfect for making the most of things to do in London at night.
If you are able to splurge I would highly recommend a stay at Shangri La at the Shard, which I had the pleasure of the experience, courtesy of the husband.
If you want free views or by way dinner reservations then check out Sky Garden which I have talked about on the blog, offering amazing views too. Nearest station to the Shard: London Bridge and Bank Station.
If you are looking for something quirky to do in London at night then this is for you. Bell out those Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey or Abba classics with friends. No pre-requisites required – actually even better if you sound like a goat in a bad mood.
The making of a fun night doing karaoke. Check out Lucky Voice in Soho which is open right until 1am and somedays open 3am some days. They have brunch in London Islington and Holborn.
I have been to 2 of their branches. They also have branches in Newcastle, Dubai and Brighton. Prices for Karaoke starts at £7 per person and you have to book a minimum of 2 hours. Nearest station to Lucy Voice in Soho: Leicester Square.
Ride On The London Eye
Why come to London and not experience London Eye now know as Coca Cola Eye. London Eye opens from 10am and closes at 8.30pm and offers great views of Big Ben, the attraction on the Thames as you rotate on one of the UK, if not Europe’s largest Ferris wheel.
Also close by are amazing places to hang out and so many things to do on London Southbank where London is located. For the perfect stay check out my post on hotels near London Eye. Nearest stations to London Eye: Waterloo and Westminister Stations.
Late Nights At Science Museum
One to experience at night at the museum? Once a month, the Science Museum opens late into the night for adult fun(not that kind of fun – get your head out of the gutter). It’s open to adults only from 6.45pm to 10pm, giving adults a chance to explore the galleries after hours.
There are different themes for each museum lates from food, sexuality, circus and medicine, with events such as variety and cabaret shows and quizzes fitting in with theme. Oh, and there is also a silent disco! Legendary. There is also usually a small bar of the cafeteria for light refreshments.
Visit Trafalgar Square And Piccadilly Circus
Open 24/7 and available to all at any hours of the day these are all part of a list London’s unmissable tourist sights to visit when you visit London.
I have shared tips on things to do on Trafalgar Square which is also within walking distance to Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus which you can check out at any time of day but of course, you cannot go inside Buckingham Palace at night but great to check out in the evening anyway.
Places To Eat At Night(And Drink)
London’s late-night bars and cafes where you can drink and dine 24hrs a day. Make sure you leave some room for these late-night desserts in London.
Dine With Views At Duck and Waffle
The highest 24-hour restaurant in the world. I consider myself lucky that this gem is only a few minutes walk from my hamble aboard and have strolled in once of twice late in the night. If you are looking for a cool experience on the list of things to do in London at night then this one should be up there on your list. The prices are also very reasonable too.
One of the best London restaurants with views. Just a word of caution, you have to book well in advance but there are periods when you will find availability for late-night gaps. If you want a table between 11pm and 6am you need to call them.
Also, those are times when may actually have more of a chance. Nearest station to Duck and Waffle: Liverpool Street Station – only 1 minute’s walk from the station.
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This is a 40’s themed bar located in the heart of the Westend. On Saturdays, you can often be treated to live music while experiencing a uniquely British affair, accompanied by live, swinging entertainment.
To be in Cahoots you need to book in advance on their site. The place closes at 3am though if you are trying to kill time and have some fun while in London. Nearest station to Cahoots: Oxford Circus station.
This place has just about become part of an institution in London. One of those tasty experiences you must have in London. A 24-hour bakery known for traditional Jewish-style filled bagels such as salt beef and smoked salmon.
Just so delicious! You may have spotted a picture of it in my post on London food tours. Make sure you also get a pickled gerkin too.
This is located in one of my favourites parts of London that I have also shared plenty of posts on; with more to come on Shoreditch at night where you can see some of London’s coolest street art in Shoreditch. Nearest station to Beigel Bake: Shoreditch Station.
This Italian gem is located near Leicester Square. With plenty of cool and fun things to do in Leicester Square, you will find this little gem and has been has been serving up delights for over 70 years.
BarItalia Open 24/7 and menus are reasonably priced too considering the location. Prices start from £5. Nearest tube station to BarItalia: Leicester Square.
Vingt Quatre: A collection of French cafes and bars in London open 24 hours. Vingt Quatre restaurants and cafe bars have one in Aldgate, Bloomsbury, Chelsea is located in Bloomsbury and serves up delicious fry ups.
They have 3 other branches that open until 2am in Euston, Clapham Junction and Notting Hill. Prices start from £4.50 for a sausage and bacon bap.
Cool Experiences To Have In London Only Locals Know About
Late Night Cinema
If you are looking for something to do late in the even and are a big fun of sing-a-long movies then this one is for you. Head over to Prince Charles cinema which is known for its sing-a-long movies from the likes of Sound of Music to The Greatest Showman.
They have movies throughout the day into the late evenings and on weekends sometimes all night – Movie Marathons. Perfect if you have a long layover and cannot be bothered to book a hotel. Tickets cost £20 with marathons starting at 9pm and finish at 8.10am Nearest tube station to Prince Charles Cinema: Leicester Square.
Watch A Theatre Show
The are many shows in London that run late-night shows. What a way to experience time in London that with a feel-good musical. From the likes of Wicked to Mormons and Lion King.
You can find last-minute deals to shows via London Theatres Direct, Love Theatre, Westend Theatre Breaks or even LastMinute. Many of these theatres are in the Westend so while you are here make sure you check out all the many and cool things to do in Covent Garden at night. One place to add to your list is Neals Yard.
The Best Night Tours In London – Late Night Activities In London
I love exploring London at night and have taken on many a tour in the city with groups and solo exploring in London too. I have shared many photography tips on London sunrise and sunset photography spots as well as some of my meetups with groups in the capital. If you are a lover of photography London is truly a gem when night falls and all the lights are on.
Below I have shared a couple of my favourite tours in London to make the most of your time in the city but also recommend check out Meetup.com regardless of your interests there are always cool meetup groups to sign up to you can also meet locals and also get tips on things to do and the local knowledge on the best bits of the city. For something scary in the night also check out London night tours of Jack the Ripper. Many start at 7pm and finish at 10pm.
This 1.5-hour sightseeing tour of London at night gives you a whole new perspective on the city as you see top London attractions as you travel around the city by double decker and listen to entertaining commentary from your expert guide.
You get to pass Harrods, Big Ben, the London Eye and more – all beautifully lit up at night Tour central London, taking in Westminster, Knightsbridge and sights along the River Thames.
This 2-hour night photography tour of London allows you to experience a different side of the city as it is illuminated at night. You get to learn new skills or improve existing photography techniques with an expert guide.
You have the opportunity to choose between a workshop in Westminster or on Southbank, capture shots of the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament on the Westminster tour and photograph London’s famous skyline from the Thames River on a Southbank tour.
Following an experienced guide, travel through the beautiful city of London after the sun goes down. See the Millennium Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern and get to admire the illuminated cityscape along the Thames Ride past lively neighbourhoods like Covent Garden.
This is a 3-hour independent evening sightseeing tour around London that allows you to enjoy a flexible itinerary and customize your own night-time experience.
You get to see top London attractions lit up at night, like the London Eye and Big Ben and also explore vibrant parts of London such as Soho, the West End, and Embankment. The best part is that you get tips for the best places to visit from your private driver.
Taking approximately 1.5hours, this bus tour takes you on a memorable journey of London’s most remarkable regions and landmarks. You get to view iconic attractions like the Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and many more and get straight facts from the live guide on board.
As an added plus, there are audio guides available in 11 different languages.
On this 90 minute tour, you get to see a different side of London when you explore after dark. You learn about the city’s history, and its spookiest tales, from your guide. This walking tour lets you get up close and personal with the sights and discover hidden corners and other destinations some travellers miss most times.
This tour lasts for 5 hours and offers pickup from and drop-off to your hotel for your convenience. As it is a private tour, it gives you the flexibility to customize your sightseeing. An added benefit is that you travel in comfort in a luxurious Mercedes to see a side of the city that many tourists miss, and explore after dark.
This 2-hour Thames River evening cruise allows you to cruise by top London attractions such as the London Eye, Big Ben and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. While in this tour, you see London’s famous sights illuminated against the night sky as the sun sets.
Then, savour a glass of complimentary sparkling wine and enjoy a selection of delicious canapés as you listen to live music from an on-board musician. You can check out one of my experience on a Thames River Cruise with food.
This is a 3-hour night tour of London with a private chauffeur that allows you to admire illuminated landmarks like Tower Bridge, Big Ben & the Houses of Parliament, and Trafalgar Square.
Book this tour and experience the electric atmosphere of Soho, Chinatown and the West End Travel around the city at night with a private chauffeur. This private tour can be customized to your interests and ensures you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.
Have fun with this 3.5-hour evening food tasting tour of Soho as you explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city. Sample loads of sumptuous foods from Spanish Jamón to Chinese dumplings and see London illuminated by night.
How To Get Around London At Night – London Transport
Trains in London start at 4.50am for the earliest, with some starting at 5.30am. The Night Tube. The Night Tube has arrived in London, with a 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays.
Five Tube lines run a 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays: Victoria, Central, Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines. You can use your contactless payment card.
Fares on the buses are £1.30 for a single fare and £2.40 for underground. Its £4.90 if you have to buy the ticket so well worth using the Oyster card or contactless card.
For more on the transport in London and to use the journey planner you can check out Transport for London site but I will do a post soon out how to get around London.
Where To Stay In London