While there are plenty of amazing things to do in London during the daytime, it's as the sun sets that London really comes into its own.

Although sleek, modern skyscrapers such as the Gherkin are popular landmarks, down at street level, scratch the surface and you’ll find a rich seam of old-school delights.

There are so many great way to spend an evening in London, whether solo, looking for a romantic experience, a night out with friends and even options for families. You can embrace the city’s timeless charm, whether you’re hungry for food, culture, music, or just pure entertainment.

Also don't worry about budgets, as even though some things do cost a fortune, you acn find so much entertainment which is completely free.

Here are a few ideas if you're looking for some inspiration for the best night activities in the Uk's capital.


1. Go to the Theatre

St Martins Theatre, London

London has a great theatrical tradition, from Shakespeare and Marlowe through to Harold Pinter and Terence Rattigan.

For Shakespeare you’ll need to travel south of the Thames to the Globe, lovingly reconstructed just 750 metres from the original 15th Century theatre — be prepared for some discomfort though, as many choose to stand through the long plays, whereas the back benches can be pretty spartan.

Experienced visitors tend to bring their own cushions and blankets, although these are also available to rent. As well as a year-round program of Shakespeare’s works, the theatre also presents the work of other playwrights, such as Ibsen and John Webster.

The main theatre district in London lies in the West End, where alongside world-class plays you’ll find popular stage musicals, all playing in iconic theatres such as Drury Lane, the Coliseum, and the London Palladium.

Restaurants with early and late seating can be found in the small streets that snake between theatres, from Covent Garden to Leicester Square — if it’s old-school you’re after seek out Rules, London's oldest restaurant, established in 1798, which serves traditional British cuisine, albeit with a French flair. 


2. Drinks Up the Shard

Shard London night view

The Shard located in London Bridge is the tallest building in Europe which dominates the London skyline. As well as a viewing gallery, one of the highlights is the amazing bars and restaurants here.

Some of the top establishments to book include Aqua Shard, Oblix, HUTONG, TĪNG, GŎNG, BAR 31 and the Sky Lounge. Prices aren't cheap, but the views are incredible when you see the London skyline lit up. If you want a romantic date idea in London, this is it. 


3. Dine at a Historic Restaurant 

For a refined evening meal imbued with the spirit of yesteryear, indulge in fine dining at one of London's elegant historic restaurants.

Simpson's in the Strand, founded in 1828, is a quintessentially British establishment known for its traditional English fare and roast dinners — complete with a Victorian silver domed carving trolly manned by a Master Carver. Its opulent surroundings and attentive service harken back to a more glamorous era.

Alternatively, venture to Wilton's, the oldest surviving music hall in the world, which has lunch and dinner during some performances. Tuck into your meal while taking in cabaret, recitals, or live-soundtracked silent films. 

For a globally acclaimed dining experience, check out St. John, a restaurant opened in 1994 by Fergus Henderson, a chef whose influence can be felt far and wide. This Michelin-starred eatery is home to the highly influential nose-to-tail concept, and offal is always on the menu, as is Henderson’s signature dish of roast bone marrow and parsley salad. 


4. Night Out in Camden

Camden is one of the best places for tourists and first time visitors heading to London, there is a huge market selling everything you can think of, and at night this is one of the liveliest places to enjoy the famous London nightlife.

There are so many bars and clubs with live music, and also lots of street food vendors, restaurants and places to eat. You can find some of the most popular cheap bars in London here, and there is live music everywhere.

For the perfect way to end the night, make the short walk to Primrose Hill for amazing views of the London skyline.


5. Leicester Square

Leicester Square night

Leicester Square is a famous square in the West End of London which dates back to the 1600's. Leicester Square at night is a hive of activity with cinemas, restaurants, food kiosks, casinos, bars, clubs and much more.

If you are lucky you might visit when a movie premier is being staged and get to see some famous faces. If you have chilldren, they will love the Lego Store which is open till late.


6. Wander the City Centre

Carnaby Street night

London has so many world famous tourist attractions and they are so scenic when seen at night all lit up. One of the best ways to discover the inconic loactions is to explore London by foot and put together an itinerary of the city centre attractions you want to see.

You could wander the streets of Soho, take in the lights on Regent and Carnaby Street, take in the atmosphere of Covent Garden, see the Houses of Parliament, or walk down the Thames taking in sights like the London Eye and the Tower of London.

This is also one of the best ways to visit London on a budget, walking is totally free!


7. Visit a Casino

It may not be a casino destination like Vegas or Macau, but London has a long history of gaming halls, albeit with a different atmosphere.

The popularity of gambling in the UK is reflected by the prevalence of online casinos, where players can find a large range of themed slots, live-dealer poker, and the latest roulette games, all from their mobile phones. But if you’re out and about, a visit to a brick-and-mortar casino is an atmospheric way to start or finish an evening. Casinos formed part of the backdrop for the Swinging Sixties, of which London was the epicentre.

Today you will find many modern gambling complexes, but amongst those are some retro gems — Maxim’s in Kensington dates back to 1862 and comes replete with mahogany and leather furnishings, as well as high-rolling action. This is one of the top rated casinos in the UK.

Crockford’s in Mayfair is another classy establishment to throw your chips around in. Bear in mind that these casinos have dress codes that are worth checking in advance as they can be pretty strict.


Plan the Perfect Night Out in London

There are many ways to experience London at night, and the ideas above are a great starting point as there really are hundreds of things to do. Other popular options including sailing up the Thames on a cruise boat or watching a live football game, just to name a few.

London really does offer a lot of varied and interesting options for visitors and residents alike, which is why it is a city so loved by many. If you have any recommendations let us know in the comments section below.