12 of the Best London Night Time Activities

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London is a fantastic city. There is no doubt about it. A cultural and social hub with a buzz unlike any other place. This historic city might sometimes feel grounded, if not rooted, in tradition and pageantry by day, with rich architecture, museums and bright green spaces.

But get away from the tourist attractions, and the nightlife is second to none.

Wilkommen to the West End

You cannot visit London and not go to a West End show. You can see some of the best live theatrical entertainment the world has to offer. The choice is so enormous that you could go to a different show every night for a month and still not have seen everything on offer. 

1. Cabaret at The Kit Kat Club

One of the most exciting shows to hit town recently has been Cabaret at The Kit Kat Club. The show has won seven Olivier Awards and re-imagined how we perceive a theatre show. A first, it seems you are simply in for a good night’s entertainment and cabaret show. The stage is in the centre of the venue, and the action takes place on and off the stage.

You arrive at the Kit Kat Club at the designated time and find yourself immersed in a show that happens in advance of, and in addition to, the main show—professional dancers and musicians perform ‘The Prologue’ throughout the building and bar areas. You are encouraged to arrive early to feast your eyes and ears on what you might encounter. The only advice is to look, but don’t touch.

You will then be transported to 1930s Berlin for one of the most successful musicals of all time. The show features songs like Wilkomen, Cabaret and Money (Makes The Word Go Round). The show is based on the play by John Van Druten and Christopher Isherwood.

Night Clubbing

If you like to be on the dance floor rather than watching it, London has some seriously great nightclubs. As with live entertainment, the choice of venues is staggering, and there is something to suit every clubber. 

2. Heaven

Heaven in Charing Cross is spread over two floors and has a capacity for over 1,600 partygoers. This is London’s flagship G-A-Y club and offers a regular lineup of live music and Popcorn Mondays.

3. Fabric

Fabric in Farringdon has three distinct rooms and a ‘body sonic’ dancefloor. Some of the world’s biggest DJs pump out drum and bass, grime, dubstep, techno, electro and house. 

4. Ministry of Sound

SE1’s Ministry of Sound has been entertaining Londoners for more than three decades and even created a record label in the process. This is one of London’s most famous clubs and has four distinctive rooms. It might have been around for a while, but it still draws the big names, so make sure you book in advance.

5. Printworks

Surrey Quay’s Printworks is the place to go for a massive night out. This indoor ex-industrial venue can hold up to 6,000 revellers and was once home to Western Europe’s largest printing press complex. The cavernous printing hall is full of drum and bass, hip-hop and dance beats. There is probably nowhere else like it in the city if you really want to let your hair down.

Casino Nights

If you like sitting at the tables, rather than dancing on them, you might want to consider a different kind of nightclub. As with all other forms of entertainment, there is plenty of choice for revellers who want to try their chance with Lady Luck. 

6. Ritz Casino Club

For glitz and glamour, head to the Ritz Casino Club in Piccadilly. Located in the old ballroom of London’s iconic Ritz hotel, this promises to be an experience like no other. Haunt of the rich and famous; you never know who you might find yourself rubbing shoulders with.

7. Playboy Club

Meanwhile, the London Playboy Club has a decidedly different vibe and is renowned for its Bunny croupiers. At the Playboy, there is luxurious gaming around the clock with some fine dining thrown in for good measure. You do to be a member of the guest of a member, so make sure you plan this trip in advance. If you are a high roller, you will love it here, as high-stakes betting is positively encouraged.

If your budget or inclination does not stretch to London’s exclusive casino scene, there is still plenty of gambling available to suit every taste and pocket. The UK had one of the world’s first regulated online gambling markets, so you can play online here safe in the knowledge that it is legal and a regulator oversees the operators. You just need to set up an account, verify your age and choose how you want to make your deposits at the online casino. Plenty of payment options exist, and you might want to play online slots with Google Pay or choose another method. With a secure internet connection on broadband or mobile data, you can have all of the UK’s online casinos at your fingertips.

Nights at The Museum

London is home to some of the world’s most famous museums, and you can find something to suit every area of interest, from natural history to fashion and science to ancient history. There are also some pretty obscure museums like Hunterian’s Museum of Surgery and the fascinating Pollocks Toy Museum.

At night some of the capital’s museums throw open their doors to the night time economy and offer a totally different experience. Known as Lates, venues offering this alternative experience include:

8. The Science Museum (with pub quiz-style entertainment), 

9. The Tate Modern (with DJ sets), 

10. The London Transport Museum (with guest speakers, interactive displays and a licensed bar),

11. Sir John Soanes Museum (with a glass of wine in the Library so you can feel like part of Georgian Society)

12. The V & A (which has been running a nighttime festival for the past twenty years and currently focuses on musical theatre.

Something for Everyone

This is only a tiny selection of the fantastic entertainment available in England’s capital city, and this is before considering all those live gigs, sporting events, pubs, bars and restaurants just waiting to be explored.

Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster
Jeremy Scott Foster is an adventure-junkie, gear expert and travel photographer based in Southern California. Previously nomadic, he’s been to ~50 countries and loves spending time outdoors. You can usually find him on the trail, on the road, jumping from bridges or hustling on his laptop working to produce the best travel and outdoors content today.

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