4 Best Cultural Alternative Nights Out in London

 
 

There is something magical about London at night. Everything calms down, people start walking at a more relaxed pace, the London skyline lights up and you can admire its majestic beauty in its purest form. From a relaxing walk along the Thames, to a visit at a museum, to a great theatre show, discover some unique cultural activities that you can do after 6:00 pm, especially if you love art, theatre, sightseeing or politics.

Of course it is impossible to include everything in an article, so watch out for other related articles in the future, but we’ve started with an initial overview of some of the things we enjoy the most.

Late Night Theatre in London

With more than 230 theatres, London is definitely Europe’s capital for live entertainment. From musicals, to comedy, to ballet, to opera the offer is endless. Here you will find some recommendations on what shows or venues to check out and how to book them, but if you are interested in any specific genres get in touch and we will send more tailored advice!

Musicals

From iconic musicals like Le Miserable or Phantom of the Opera, to family shows like the Lion King, Aladdin, Hamilton, Matilda or Harry Potter, to some of the most recent and successful ones like Tina Turner, or more satirical ones like The Book of Mormon, the choice is huge and it really depends on your taste and mood.

Buying Tickets

Surprise, surprise, unless you are interested in a specific musical that would likely sell out, buying your tickets online in advance is not your most convenient option. If you are flexible in your choice we recommend buying your tickets on the same day or the day before, according to what is available and do so either at TKTS in Leicester Square or on the app Today Tix .

If you can, try and avoid weekends and go to the theatre from Monday till Thursday as you usually get better seats at a better price.

If instead you are looking for a different theatre experience, we’d recommend checking out immersive theatre shows. We will soon write an article specifically on this, but in the meantime the best places to enjoy some great quality immersive shows are:

If you are a lover of Shakespeare a show at the Globe Theatre is a must.

For opera lovers you can check out what is on at the Royal Opera House (tickets sell out pretty quickly) and for dance shows the Sadler’s Wells always offers some of the best dance shows in town.

 
 

A Night at the Museum

Would you like to see some of London museums but are struggling to fit everything into a busy schedule? Well, you might be able to squeeze some museums in at night if you are lucky enough to be in London when some of the museums are open late. So let’s see which museums do late night opening and when.

Tate Modern

Opening hours: every Friday and Saturday until 10 pm

Enjoy the Tate Modern’s art gallery and relax at its Terrace Bar with a nice cocktail or drink, with less tourists and students around.

National Portrait Gallery

Opening hours: every Friday until 9:00 pm

Spend an evening amongst art and creativity and check out what special events are on.

Science Museum

Opening hours: every last Wednesday of the month until 10:00 pm.

Different events are held monthly for adults only, so check them out and book your free ticket here.

Natural History Museum

Opening hours: every last Friday of the month until 10:00 pm.

Come face-to-face with our ancestors and check what is on.

V&A

Opening hours: every last Friday of the month until 10:00 pm.

The V&A late openings celebrate all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design through live performances, films, installations, debates, DJs and late-night exhibition openings.

Sir John Soane Museum

Opening hours: one candlelit opening a month.

Home of one of London’s most famous architects, this is one of the most unique museums you will see in London. Booking is necessary and entry varies from £20 to £25.

Dennis Severs’ House

Opening hours: silent Night every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5pm to 8 pm (closed all of July).

Go back in history in this unique visit to a Victorian house. Smells, sounds, ambience, this is a really unique experience. Make sure you book your slot in advance as availability is very limited.

 

An Evening at Westminter

Interested in politics and would like to see what it is like to be a minister especially in these turbulent times? Visit the public galleries in the House of Commons and the House of Lords and watch MPs and Peers question the government and debate current issues and legislation.

The entry is free and the galleries are open to the public from Monday to Thursday (and some Fridays). Times differ throughout the week and for each House. To know more check the calendar.

Scenic Walks

On a nice evening there is nothing better than just walking across London at night. We’ve put together for you some of our favourite spots to enjoy at night.

Waterloo Bridge

This is for sure our favorite view in London. No matter how many times we see it, it never stops to amaze us! On one side of the bridge you can enjoy views on the City of London, St Paul, the Shard and Canary Wharf, on the other side you can admire Westminster, Charing Cross and the London Eye. So if you are in Central London make sure you walk across Waterloo Bridge and enjoy this fantastic view.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are stunning during the day but even more at night. Go for a walk from London Bridge, past the Hay’s Galleria, London City Hall and Tower Bridge. If you then cross Tower Bridge and turn right you will find St Katherine’s Dock, a lovely quite dock where you can also find some nice bars, restaurants and pubs.  

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Albert Bridge in Chelsea

A marvellous example of Victorian architecture, illuminated with over 4,000 lights at night, an incredible sight whilst you are walking along the Thames from either Chelsea or Battersea.

View Points

If instead you like to see London from above the best view points you can get if you are around the City are from The Shard, Sky Garden, 120 Fenchurch Street and The Terrace at Madison.

Another 360 degrees views that we really recommend, both during the day and at night is from the Bokan Restaurant and Terrace in Canary Wharf. For beautiful sunset views from a hill instead we’d recommend Primrose Hill and the Greenwich Meridien.

Should you wish to explore London by night with a private local guide we would be happy to arrange a tour for you, so do not hesitate to get in touch.