London offers travelers fascinating historic activities during the day: visits to castles and cathedrals, the changing of the guard and Big Ben.
But the best stuff to do in London happens when the sun goes down. Visitors love the illuminating lights everywhere and endless night time fun.
With the Tube running 24/7 on weekends, it’s even easier to enjoy the city’s after-dark entertainment and activities.
In this post, you’ll discover the most amazing things to do in London after dark. Without further adieu, here are the best activities for night owls.
1. The Watering Holes
London is home to tons of watering holes and pubs. And whether you’re in London for business, traveling with friends or celebrating a special occasion like a bachelor party, you have to head to the pub.
Need a date to join you? Consider hiring an escort. You can learn how to go about it in this blog post.
One of the most popular pubs is Sketch, famous for its original drinks. Of course, you can order a beer or a gin and tonic here. But why not try something different and order a round of candy shots for your party. It will be the ultimate party.
The pub is known for its quirky staff and unique drinks. The establishment’s decor is super modern. It makes a nice contrast from the historical sites. The cordial and comical staff are always entertaining and add to the atmosphere.
If you’re looking for classic drinks, you can also find them at Sketch. Try a Bloody Mary or a Bellini or choose from many more. With four restaurants at Sketch, you’ll have a wide variety of libation choices to satisfy your taste.
When you want to party all night long, The Russian is the place to go. This pub keeps its doors open until 5 in the morning on Thursdays through Saturdays.
Want to stay even later? Visit the after-hours bars The Mother Bar and Big Chill House which open at 3 AM.
The Ice Bar
On Regent Street, you’ll find the Ice Bar, a great pub to experience in the summertime. But it’s also fun all year round.
In the bar, you’ll find the entire bar made of ice with a temperature of minus 5 degrees. So bring a coat if you’re worried about getting cold. Brrrr…
The Ice Bar imports Swedish Ice. Even the shot glasses and the bar stools are made of ice!
The bar allows patrons to stay inside for 45 minutes due to health concerns. So make sure to eat your fare and drink your cocktails fast as well as the artistically designed ice carvings they serve.
2. The Theater
When you’re visiting London, you must go to the theater. It’s what England is famous for. Head to the Soho Theater for late-night theater and entertainment.
The Soho features a wide variety of performances, including cabaret, comedies, modern theater, and classical theater. What’s great for night owls is that the theater features performances that begin late in the evening.
In the mood for a film? Then head to the Prince Charles Cinema. This movie theater shows everything from Hollywood blockbusters to old movies and movie marathons with 420 minutes of movies straight currently.
3. Picadilly Circus
Although you can visit Picadilly Circus during the day, nothing compares to its view after the sun goes down.
At Picadilly, you’ll find giant billboards and beaming city lights. It looks like New York’s Time Square with an Old World twist.
Visit the historical landmarks, enjoy an array of cuisine choices, hit the shops and the bars that are open in this area until midnight.
4. Leicester Square
At Leicester Square, you can shop until you drop and drink to your heart’s content. Here, boutique shops and stores stay open until midnight!
Feel like a cocktail? You’ll love that many bars serve until 3 AM.
Soho is a great place to party. Although the shops close around 7 PM, the bars remain lively until the wee hours.
It’s a great place to bring a date, hang with your besties or throw a bachelor or bachelorette party for wild fun.
6. Shop After Sunset
If you want to shop in the evening, you can find many stores open after eight in a variety of neighborhoods.
Here’s the skinny on where to shop past eight:
- Westfield in London: Monday thru Saturday until 10 pm
- Westfield Stratford City: Monday thru Saturday until 10 pm
- Selfridge Department Stores: Thursday nights until 9 pm
- Oxford Street Shops: Thursday until 9 pm
- Kensington: until 8-9pm daily
- Central London stores: until 8-9pm
- Chelsea shops: open late Wednesdays
- Knightbridge: open late on Wednesdays
If you’re in London during the month of July, many stores offer summer sales late into the evening.
7. The Ceremony of the Keys in the Tower of London
On any night of the week, you can see the 700-year traditional Ceremony of the Keys in the Tower of London. At this ceremony, the tower is locked every night at exactly 9:53 PM.
There is no cost to attend the ceremony, but if you wish to attend, you’ll need to apply sixty days in advance.
8. London By Night Tour
London’s historical landmarks look great after dark. Imagine viewing the iconic buildings all lit up. For a bird’s-eye view, you can see the city from above on the London Eye and see everything from the sky.
On your journey, you’ll discover the tallest building in London named the Shard skyscraper that spans a 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city. At the 72-floor Shard building, you can enjoy cocktails or grab a bite to eat.
The London By Night Tours that takes place on an open Double Decker bus provides access to wonderful stuff to do in London, including visits to Trafalgar Square, The Tower of London, The Tower Bridge, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
Final Thoughts on the Best Stuff to Do in London After Dark
Now you know the best stuff to do in London at night.
Don’t forget to take lots of selfies and post your photos of your London trip to Instagram and Facebook for your friends and family to see back home, if you wish.
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