Harvey James 19/01/24

43 Incredible Things To Do in London At Night

London at night is a heady potion of glittering lights, revellers spilling out onto the streets, and the occasional pavement pizza to dodge.

What if you don’t want to join the masses in a sweaty club somewhere though, and would like to do something a little different with your evening? Happily, we’re here with our beacon of recommendations to dispel the shadows of mediocrity and throw a little light on the fun you can get up to in London after dark. From the city’s best bars, to after-hours tours of castles and museums, midnight matinees and late-night karaoke, there’s plenty to keep you awake.

Reader, we’ve written it: the ultimate guide to things to do in London at night


Get Competitive at London’s Top Activity Bars

things to do in london at night: activity bars flight club

E=MC² is OK. But: fun activities + booze = good times? That’s a more immediately useful equation.

Transport yourself to the good old countryside with virtual clay shooting; get drunk and throw axes; bat your weekday stress for 6 at Sixes; revisit your chilled-South-of-France-alter-ego on the Pétanque court; wiff-waff with the riff-raff at Bounce; throw tiny little javelins at foam boards at Flight Club; for those who love tables and football, try Bar Kick; strap little knives to your feet and try to balance on ice while moving too fast at Queens; shuffle away from boredom with the London Shuffle Club; board game your way out of boredom with Draughts; keep the bumpers up at All Star Lanes; or, flirt with insanity while playing golf at Swingers.

Tiptoe Through a Candlelit House

Dennis Severs House

If David Hockney declares Dennis Severs’ House “one of the world’s five top experiences”, you should probably visit. This entirely unique piece of domestic work of art can now be enjoyed at night, guided by candlelit, and in complete silence. Nice and creepy.

Details: 18 Folgate Street, E1 6BX | Book here

Cleanse Your Sins In The Aire Ancient Baths

Aire Ancient Baths

…or, if your sins include Spanish red wine Ribero Del Duero, then you can bathe in your sins instead. With bookings open until 9pm, there’s no lovelier way to relax in London after dark than an evening in the low-lit baths and an essential oil massage.

Details: 2-3 Robert St, Covent Garden, WC2N 6RL | Book here

Indulge Your Inner Critic at The Barbican Centre

things to do in london at night: the barbican

It’s not surprising that an estate requiring 130,000 cubic metres of concrete to build, but for which every slab was hand-chiselled, became a natural home for experimental, wide-ranging, high-quality art. Under their vast umbrella of live music, comedy, dance, theatre, visual arts and film, you might see the Royal Shakespeare Company bring a Studio Ghibli film to the stage, or Ravi Coltrane explore the music of his parents John and Alice Coltrane. There’s always plenty to see, and the brutalist complex (and its concrete conservatory) are worth a look in themselves.

Details: Silk Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DS | See what’s on

Hole Up In One of London’s Best Bars



London’s bar scene is unlike anywhere else in the world. Mainly because it wouldn’t be London’s bar scene. But also because the city’s crammed with experimental cocktail barssecret speakeasiescosy wine bars (many of which hold wine tastings in the evenings) and rooftop bars with a view (which, naturally, are even better after sunset when you can look over London at night).

Hunker Down in One of London’s Best Cinemas

Phoenix Cinema

Forget carpets with ground-in nachos. The London boutique cinema experience is now a slick affair with luxurious sofas, ornate architecture, arthouse screenings, movie marathons, and cocktails delivered to your seat. Head here to see our favourite London cinemas.

Turn on, Tune in and Drop by Immersive Gamebox

things to do in london at night: electric gamebox

What if Squid Game was a real life game… alright, and we also promised you wouldn’t be murdered for failing to complete the tasks at hand? Now are you interested? Immersive Gamebox is essentially a giant, life-sized retro games console where your movements affect the screens all around you. And as well as tackling their take on the hit Netflix drama, you can challenge your friends to play Angry Birds, sheep shearing, mining on Mars, CIA training in a psychedelic mansion, plus a James Bond bunny game.

Details: Arch 3, 83 Scoresby Street, Southwark, SE1 0XN | Book here

Get Real Silly at a Satirical Arcade

things to do in london at night: novelty automation

Reductio Ad Absurdum is the creed of Novelty Automation, an eccentric penny arcade behind an old Tudor shopfront in Holborn. All hand-made and totally unique, the games variously invite you to try your luck at winning a Nobel Prize, hit targets at an Amazon fulfilment centre, or spin the wheel and decide: is it a pet, or is it food? Plus, every first Thursday of the month there’s a late opening with a bar (though that costs a little more than a penny).

Details: 1a Princeton Street, Holborn, WC1R 4AX | For more information, visit their website here

Explore The Wonders of The Southbank Centre

Things to do in London at night: Southbank Centre

Despite a lively daytime programme, the Southbank Centre also serves up an impressive line-up of things to do at night. Book in for talks, comedy or performances at the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Take in the visually arresting exhibitions at The Hayward Gallery until 8pm on Saturdays. And on the weekends, peruse the eclectic Southbank Centre Food Market, running until 9pm. But, if all of that’s a little too full-on, we recommend holing up in the National Poetry Library with some iambic pentameter.

Details: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX | See what’s on and double check opening times here

Feast Alongside Strangers At A Supperclub

Supperclub things to do in London at night

While talking to someone on the tube is generally considered extremely odd behaviour, London’s passion for communal dining surprisingly shows no signs of waning. Each month, hidden spaces in the city come alive with buzzy supperclubs; opportunities for rising chefs and internationally renowned visiting stars to showcase their cooking, and for you to rub shoulders with your fellow residents in the best city in the world.

Make Your Own Three Course Meal At A Street Food Market

night markets london

London’s blessed with a collection of bustling street food markets, many of which come into their own after dark. South London’s Mercato Metropolitano fills an old paper factory with swing dancing, food stalls and live music; while Vegan Nights takes over the old Truman Brewery for a couple of evenings throughout the year.

Take in a London Landmark After Dark

Tower of London - things to do in London at night

Dodge the crowds shuffling around the Tower of London by day, and instead follow an intimate twilight tour with the Beefeaters themselves, or witness the 700-year-old Ceremony of the Keys as the warders lock up the crown jewels for the night.

Spend The Evening At A Jazz Bar


How to find great live music in London:

Step 1. Two, a one two three four.

Then peruse our guide to the best jazz bars in London

Get Off The Dance Floor And Watch The Professionals

ballet things to do in london at night

We speak not of disco fever showdowns (although if you stumble across one of those, you should absolutely stay), but of dedicated professional dancers, serious choreographers, impressive production values, and glittering costumes. With four specialist dance theatres in the city, you’d be foolish to neglect this cultural slice of London at night.

Let Your Lungs Loose at Karaoke

gospeloke evening activity London

London has a plethora of sound-proofed rooms designed for you to scream in. Karaoke (a.k.a shouting with music) plus a few whiskey cocktails and some chums is just good old fashioned fun.

Be Dazzled at The Theatre

theatre things to do in london at night

If you want to be fooled into thinking one person is actually a different person, the theatre awaits. Words fail to describe the variety on offer in London’s theatre scene, though we’ve attempted to in our guide to the best theatre shows on now. And that’s not to mention the history of the theatres themselves – for Shakespeare stans, we direct you to Shakespeare’s Globe on the Southbank, an atmospheric replica of the original built in 1598, where you can recreate the experience of being a Tudor peasant for a fiver (and catch one of their famous midnight matinees in summer).

Get Nerdy and Drunk in a Retro Arcade Bar

Four quarters

Spend at least one fourth of your night here, if not the other three. Four Quarters (in Peckham, Hackney Wick and Elephant & Castle) is a smorgasbord of old-school arcade gaming delights like Pacman, Asteroids, Time Crisis 2, Sega Rally and Daytona, plus console games and a bar. Oh, and you pay for games with quarters. Duuude.

Details: 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP | Book here

Try Bingo 2.0: Hijingo

Hijingo Bingo

If any nighttime activity needed an injection of youth, it was bingo. Meet Hijingo, its loud, wild, neon-lit, graphic-heavy cousin, which only resembles bingo there are still balls, and bingo cards. And that’s really where the similarities end…

Details: 90 Worship Street, Liverpool Street, EC2A 2BA | Book here

Turn up to a Museum… Late

museum lates things to do after dark

Museums are good. Museums with cocktails are better. And at least once a month, most of London’s major players open their doors after dark for Museum Lates – like the Natural History Museum, where you can head for sleepovers among the dino skeletons; the Handel & Hendrix Museum which hosts intimate Friday night gigs in Jimi Hendrix’s old flat; or the V&A, which holds mini-festivals in its palatial home with pop up bars, DJs, and workshops inspired by their current exhibitions.

Liked That Last One? You’ll Love… 

things to do in london at night: Sir John Soane Museum

… the 19th century architectural splendour of Sir John Soane’s house, which, explored via a candlelit tour with a glass of vino in hand, is perhaps one of the last places in London you’d expect to see at night.

Details: 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP | Book here

Work Up A Sweat at a Ceilidh

ceilidh unusual thing to do in london at night

Scottish dancing isn’t just for Burns Night. The Ceilidh Club strikes up the band at Cecil Sharp House every Friday, where you’ll learn 1) all the moves, and 2) how to actually say ‘ceilidh’.

Details: 2 Regent’s Park Road, Camden, NW1 7AY Book here

Sit Down and Watch Some Stand-Up Comedy

Knock2bag: comedy clubs

Laughter is the best medicine, unless you’re suffering from hysteria. And luckily, London’s blessed with some real stand-up people… who regularly take to the stage. From East, to South, to North, to Central, there’s comedy clubs just around the corner. Not West though, apparently there is nothing funny about West London.

Be Bedazzled by Burlesque

High-kickers, fire-breathers, hip-twirlers, snake-charming, live jazz, live swing, ostrich feathers, aerial acrobatics, pitch-perfect notes, belly laughing…Now if that doesn’t get your head turning, we’re not sure what will.

Go Listen to an Album in the Dark

pitch black playback

Pitch Black Playback, run by Ben Gomori, is a night in which people gather in intimate spaces (think velvet-lined indie cinemas) to listen to an album all the way through in total blackness. And if that sounds kind of niche, just know it’s been selling out for years…

Details: Various Locations | See what’s on

Pray at The Church of Sound

Church Of Sound

The Church of Sound brings world-class musicians to perform their own and others’ tracks in the beautiful St James the Great church in Clapton. There’s homemade food, a small bar, and a wonderful community feel. P.S. A little insight to the calibre: Ezra Collective played only Fela Kuti for the first half of their set. Enough said.

Details: St. James the Great Church, 233 Lower Clapton Road, Clapton , E5 8EH | Book here

Mosh at One of London’s Live Music Venues

live gigs london at night

A sea of historic and important music venues come to life in London at night. The still-thriving scene means you can pick between chart-topping sensations at Ally Pally or grassroots talent in an underground cavern in East London.

…Or Visit a Bar with Live Music

69 Colebrook Row live music

If the thought of staring at musicians is too daunting, take the pressure off, have a cocktail, shoot the breeze with your pals and let the music wash over you in peace.

Learn To Swing Dance

The Mildmay has easy-to-follow lessons, a live swing band, and a brilliantly retro working man’s club feel. And once you’ve burnt off all that energy, you can refuel at Perilla.

Details: The Mildmay Club, 33-34 Newington Green, London, N16 9PR | Book here

Set Sail In A Hot Tub Boat

hot tug quirky thing to do at night

Can’t decide if you’d like to go out on a cruise and see the glittering vistas of London at night, or just go home and have a bath? Why choose! Have your cake and eat it. In a hot tub boat stacked with booze and snacks.

Details: Off Hertsmere Road, West India Quay, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL | Book here

Hit The Roller Disco

flippers roller boogie things to do at night

If anyone’s going to revive a legendary 1970s roller disco from LA, it’s Usher. And conveniently, he’s decided to do it right here in West London. Flippers is open to all ages during the day, but as night falls on Fridays and Saturdays they turn up the DJ sets, shake up a few cocktails, and keep the place thumping till 1am…

Details: Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7SL Book here

Enter the The Crystal Maze

Crystal maze

Marry up a healthy dose of nostalgia with a set of challenges (physical, mental, skill-based, and “mysterious”), to collect as many crystals as possible and take on the overzealous fans in The Dome. Your reward? A bloody enjoyable evening, and the chance to buy a souvenir crystal from the gift shop.

Details: 22-32 Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly Circus, W1D 7EU | Book here

Go Out-Out at One of London’s Best Clubs

xoyo shoreditch


So…you started off just going out, but now you fancy going out-out? Well, good thing is London is crawling with clubs to satisfy your needs, from a giant converted printing press factory to intimate live music dens.

Eat Waffles at 3am

duck & waffle date restaurant

Late dinner? Early breakfast? Either way, you can probably stay and order them again in a few hours at Duck & Waffle, the only one of London’s 24 hour restaurants that’s also on the 40th floor of a skyscraper.

Details: Salesforce Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY Book a table

Interact with Your Cocktails (Other Than Drinking Them)

Best Cocktail-Making Classes in London: Sauce by The Langham

First, ingredients. Start by crafting your own unique gin at The Distillery. Then, align your booze-palate at a range of idiosyncratic cocktail masterclasses dotted across London.

Details: 186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 1LA | Book here

Try Your Hand At Life Drawing

Hacknakey evening life drawing

Who knows, you might have some naked talent. And at Hacknakey, it’s all very low-pressure and informal: they’ll give you some guidance but you don’t have to be a regular Picasso. And there’s live music. And they’re naked too.

Details: Kraft Dalston, 130 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2LQ | Book here

Party Like It’s 1929

Candlelight Club

Sample London’s nightlife, roaring twenties-style, at The Candlelight Club – an itinerant speakeasy which pops up each month in a candlelit location with live music, raucous cabaret, fortune tellers, absinthe, and more…

Details: A Secret Location Book tickets

See A Concert In An Unusual Setting

Listen to harpists in a subterranean Victorian tunnel and hear pianists in a fairy-lit attic with DEBUT; watch the city’s best soul talent perform in a church crypt; follow The Hidden Jazz Club wherever they may roam; and hear a string quartet play through classic musical theatre songs in a candlelit church

Immerse Yourself In A Sherlock Mystery

things to do in london at night

Nope, this isn’t one of those naff touristy things. It’s a spine-tingling immersive show from The Lost Estate, who will conjure The Hound of The Baskervilles before your eyes with dazzling theatrics, live music, and a fancy Victorian-era meal from an ex-Gordon Ramsay Group chef…

Details: 19th March – 2nd June The Lost Estate, 9 Beaumont Avenue, Earl’s Court, W14 9LP £149.50+

Shoot For The Moon

moonwalkers things to do at night

The Moonwalkers is a giant, 360º, all-encompassing documentary exhibition about lunar landings past and future, narrated by Tom Hanks. The show stays open till 8pm Thursday – Saturday, and makes for a slightly more impressive alternative to watching a doc on the telly at home.

Details: Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DY Book tickets

Consider The Transient Nature of Time Itself…

things to do in london in january

…at one of London’s many blink-and-you’ll-miss-it events, festivals and pop ups. See what’s on this month in your Monthly Agenda.

End The Night Stargazing

Royal Observatory

Celestial beauty abounds if only we’d just look up… through the Royal Observatory’s gigantic telescope in Greenwich.

Details: Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, London, SE10 8XJ | Find out more here

Or Look Out Over London At Night

london at night

Tim Arterbury/Unsplash

You don’t need a telescope for this view: head up to one of these London viewpoints for an amazing vantage point over the iconic landmarks of London at night.


Ready for the next morning? Have a peep at our guide to London’s best brunch spots