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London at Night: What to See and Do

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London is a busy metropolis that seems to always have things going on. This means that whether you’re looking for things to do during the day or at night you’ll have plenty of options. To help those after some exciting or more relaxing things to do in the evening we’ve shortlisted a few of our favourites.

Here are the best things to see and do in London at night.

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Walk along the River Thames

At night many of London’s landmarks are lit up and this adds a touch of magic to this wonderful city. A great place to walk during this time is along the River Thames, London’s river. Start around Tower Bridge and walk westbound. As you do so you’ll see many of the city’s most impressive and stunning landmarks. This experience can also be quite romantic so perfect for couples.

Also along the river you’ll find museums such as Tate Modern, which is sometimes open late and even has a fantastic (and free) observation deck, as well as various pubs and restaurants along the way.

London at night along the Thames

Go on a photo walk

If you’re a photographer then London at night will be a treat. As mentioned above a lot of the landmarks are lit up and this makes them great to take pictures of. Whether it’s cityscapes from across the river, major attractions, or pretty streets, you’ll find lots that’ll make you want to click away. See our London self-guided photo walk for some ideas of a route and also our article on taking pictures of cities at night for photography tips.

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See London from the Shard

The Shard is the tallest building in London and on the upper floors there is an observation deck (The View from The Shard). This offers breathtaking views of the city and is a great activity to do at night. Visit around sunset into the early evening to see the city light up. There’s also the option of having a glass of champagne up there should you want a more enhanced experience. Finally, for the ultimate experience stay in the Shangri-la which is a beautiful luxury hotel and offers similar views to the observation deck as well as an infinity pool.

See Shardview prices and to book your ticket.

Night views from Shangri-La At The Shard
Night views from Shangri-La At The Shard

Experience a ghost walk or Jack the Ripper tour

For a spooky nighttime experience then why not consider a ghost walk or Jack the Ripper tour. The ghost-walk includes a two-hour trek through the streets of London whilst hearing stories that’ll raise the hairs on your neck.

Another great night time activity and also for those after a thrill is the Jack the Ripper tour. This is also 2-hours and allows you to learn more about this notorious killer, where he committed his crimes and the rumours of who he might have been.

See the city from the London Eye

The London Eye is an icon of the city, a wonderful viewpoint and a great experience to do at night. This iconic landmark was created at the turn of the century and as well as to photograph is also great to go on. The wheel rises up to a height of 135m and consists of 32 capsules with a ride taking around 40 minutes.

TIP
As one of London’s most popular attractions the queues can be pretty busy, so if possible it’s worth booking your tickets in advance.
The London Eye at night
The London Eye at night

Go to the Theatres/West End

A wonderful experience to have in London is to see a show in the theatre district/ West End. Most nights you’ll find a whole host of productions including the acclaimed Book of Mormon musical, The Lion King and many more. This would be a great family night out (depending on the show), or a lovely date night for a couple. Head to londonboxoffice.co.uk to search for tickets.

London West End and theatres

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Experience pub culture

Londoners love pubs and there is definitely a bit of a drinking culture. Often after work it is a favourite pastime and a visit can come with a buzzing atmosphere. Pubs generally offer a whole host of beverage options and often classic English food, such as the very popular fish and chips. For drinks, you’ll find lagers, ales, spirits, special craft beers, wine, as well as soft drinks – so something for everyone.

Many pubs are great venues to watch sports events too, including football, rugby, cricket and tennis. Just avoid the grumps if their team loses.

Image by Klaus Heller from Pixabay

..Or visit a bar

Bars are generally a bit more stylish and “classy” than pubs and where you’ll often find a range of delicious cocktails. London has its fair share of bars and these are all over the city. They are perfect for an end of evening visit, date night, or more peaceful drink. When visiting bars you may want to call in advance and book a table to ensure you get a seat. Below are some delicious drinks we enjoyed at Polo Bar – with the large glass being the main drink, but coming with a smaller version for your friend to try.

Delicious cocktails at Polo Bar - Westbury
Delicious cocktails at Polo Bar

Go late night shopping

Do you like shopping? Then you’ll find plenty of spots around the city. Including major malls such as Westfield and also along Oxford Street. During certain days of the week and especially around Christmas shops will open later, so perfect for late-night browsing. Of course, opening times will vary so if there’s a shop you really want to visit then check their opening times first.

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See London’s Christmas lights

Should you be visiting London at Christmas time then be sure to check out the festive lights. You’ll find these all around the city and they add a wonderful atmosphere. A few unmissable lights include Carnaby Street, Regent Street and also the main tree at Trafalgar Square. For those that also fancy a skate then this is available at places such as Somerset House, the Natural History Museum and also Winter Wonderland.

Trafalgar Square at Christmas, London
Trafalgar Square at Christmas

Summary

So those are some of our top recommendations for what to do in London at night. You may also be interested in our other sightseeing articles such as London: 15 Best Tours and Activities10 Best Things to Do in London for Free and 25 Best Things to See and Do in London.

Night Tours and Activities

Mike Clegg

Editor-in-chief at travelanddestinations.com
Mike is a traveller, WordPress developer and the creator of TravelAndDestinations.com. He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]
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