Things to do in London at Night: A Matchmaker’s Recommendations

8 min read

London is blessed with fantastic locations to sit and relax underneath the stars. I explore the best things to do in London at night.

Things to do in London at Night: A Matchmaker’s Recommendations

Being a worldwide matchmaking agency, we’re always looking for new and exciting night spots for our dates to explore and enjoy. London is blessed with fantastic locations to sit and relax underneath the stars.

However, London’s sheer size can present a dilemma when it comes to choosing a romantic place to take a date. There are hundreds of places to witness the splendour of London, but what are the best things to do in London at night?

So, whether you’re looking to dine in a skyrise setting with some fine food, or enjoy the simple pleasures of life and relax underneath the stars, I’ve selected some of the most romantic things to do in London at night.

Primrose Hill

For the traditional romantics, Primrose Hill offers a simple and down to earth nighttime delight. Perfect for an evening picnic or a stroll in the park, Primrose Hill caters to relaxed and romantic occasions. This is a particularly popular location during the summer months, as it offers phenomenal views across the city from the top of the hill. The twinkling city lights make for a beautifully simple evening. Definitely one of the best free things to do in London at night.

Opening and Closing – Anytime

Best Nighttime Feature – The quiet and tranquil park offers fantastic views over London, hitting several iconic landmarks

Sky Garden

skygarden at night

Image courtesy of Skygarden

One of the most popular skyrise locations in London. I’d advise booking in advance to avoid queues, and you’ll want to because the best way to enjoy the Sky Garden is to sit and marvel at the 360 views. Sky Garden separates itself from other skyrise dining locations with its 360-degree views of London. The architecture has been specifically designed for nighttime gazing across London. It’s also worth noting that they are open during the day, so if you fancy an early coffee or brunch with a view, this is the place to be.

Opening and Closing – 7am – 1am

Best Nighttime Feature – 360 views across London coupled with stunning garden scenery

Galvin at Windows

galvin at windows by night

Image courtesy of Galvin at Windows

If the desserts don’t ignite your interest, the stunning views will. Galvin at Windows offers couples fine dining with skyrise views over London. This is an intimate setting, perfect for date night and admiring London at night. I’d recommend dining late so you can fully appreciate London’s twinkling cityscape. Galvin at Windows is ideal for things to do in London at night for couples.

Opening and Closing – 11:45am – 2:30pm | 5:30pm – 10:30pm (closed Sunday)

Best Nighttime Feature – Twilight views over London, coupled with exceptional menu (you must try their deserts)


Sushisamba date restaurant

Image courtesy of Sushisamba

SUSHISAMBA has made a few of our iconic lists now, notably in my date ideas in London guide. As with all skyrise dining locations, the main attraction is the exceptional views across London. With views spanning over Liverpool Street and reaching the Thames, it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular locations to view London at night.

Opening and Closing – 11:30am – 2am

Best Nighttime Feature – Spiraling views from the 38th floor and nighttime dining luxury

Tate Modern

tate modern by night

Surely nighttime art viewing will ignite the romantic senses? While the Tate’s diverse selection of art may be the main reason for its popularity, it’s not the only reason. The Tate’s viewing platform offers visitors a fantastic view of the Thames and beyond. Additionally, the Tate keeps its doors open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. I’d recommend staying in The Tate until London dims the lights so you can witness the Tate’s secret artwork; the city itself.

Opening and Closing – 10am – 10pm

Best Nighttime Feature – The viewing platform after an evening of exploring the ever-exceptional gallery

The Mayflower

mayflower london by night

Image courtesy of The Mayflower

Quaint and cute, The Mayflower is a fan-favourite pub in London. It offers a warm and inviting atmosphere to all who enter and is known for providing some of the finest pub food in London. Stay late to enjoy the evening views over the Thames with a bottle of red and some fine food. The Mayflower is a rare gem; it’s authentic and inviting, perfect for a first date or socialising with friends, it ranks highly among our fun things to do in London at night (or in the day!).

Opening and Closing – 11am – 11pm

Best Nighttime Feature – Evening views over the Thames and a fantastic atmosphere to match

One New Change Rooftop

If you enjoy observing architecture from above, One New Change Rooftop has to make your list. The location offers nighttime views of the Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and other iconic locations.

Opening and Closing – Anytime

Best Nighttime Feature – Iconic architecture illuminated by London’s cityscape

The London Eye

london eye by night
An all-time favourite for tourists and locals alike. The London Eye is probably the most iconic tourist attraction, so make sure you book a place so you aren’t left queuing. Although it is a popular tourist location, the booths allow for intimacy and seclusion, meaning your date won’t be interrupted by others. For the full nighttime experience, you will want to book a Saturday, as this offers the latest closing time at 8:30. If you’re looking for an exciting thing to do in London at night, the London Eye should be high on your list.

You can also reserve a time to watch the sunset if you’re lucky!

Opening and Closing – 10am – 8:30pm (11am – 6pm weekdays)

Best Nighttime Feature – Watching the sunset and seeing London’s city lights illuminate the sky

Alexandra Palace

alexandra palace
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include Alexandra Palace to this list. Renowned for being one of the most popular viewing platforms in London, Alexandra Palace disappoints no one. The Phoenix Bar and Kitchen offers some exceptional food and an extensive drinks list. The rooftop bar offers exceptional views over North London and the surrounding gardens. Available to experience all year round, Alexandra Palace can play host to any occasion.

Opening and Closing – 11am – 11pm

Best Nighttime Feature – Views over the iconic gardens while enjoying the eclectic drinks menu

Horniman Gardens

horniman museum date idea

Image courtesy of Horniman

Those looking for tranquility and seclusion should consider the Horniman Museum and Gardens. This quiet and secluded area located in Forest Hill is perfect for a first date; exploring the museum during the day and then gazing across the city from the hilltop above in the evening. The Shard by night emanates an astonishing pink glow, which illuminates the rest of London. This is certainly one of the more adventurous things to do in London at night.

Opening and Closing – Anytime

Best Nighttime Feature – The Shard’s pink glow illuminating London’s cityscape below

The Royal Observatory

royal observatory by night
Probably one of the best-known locations for viewing London by night. The Observatory overlooks the Thames, Sir Christopher Wren’s Royal Navy College and to Inigo Jone’s Queen’s House. You can also enjoy admiring the prime meridian. However, by far the most impressive feature of the Royal Observatory is the stargazing.

Their current exhibition ‘An Evening with the Stars’ is sold out, but their new ‘Marvellous Moons’ exhibition is due to open on the 25th of May. If you’re something different to do in East London at night, book in a visit to the Royal Observatory.

Opening and Closing – 10am – 5pm

Best Nighttime Feature – Without a doubt the best location in London for stargazing

Park Plaza, Westminster

park plaza by night

Image courtesy of Park Plaza

Park Plaza comes with a variety of benefits that compliment its skyrise setting. This hotel offers one of the finest executive lounges for relaxing and fine dining, allowing for a more intimate setting. If you’re looking to add some spark to your evening, I’d recommend visiting Park Plaza’s Primo Bar in the evening. If you’re looking for a hotel that combines entertainment and luxury (with a view), Park Plaza ticks both boxes.

Opening and Closing – 24/7

Best Nighttime Feature – Being a hotel, you can enjoy views from your room or almost anywhere else in the hotel

Greenwich Park

greenwhich date idea

Image courtesy of Royal Parks

Another of London’s parks makes our nighttime viewing list. Greenwich park has always been one of London’s favoured parks thanks to the views from the hilltop. So, whether it’s arranging an evening picnic or sharing a glass of bubbly on a Friday night, Greenwich caters for any nighttime experience in London. For couples looking for things to do in London at night for free, a romantic trip to Greenwich Park might be worth considering.

Opening and Closing – Anytime

Best Nighttime Feature – You’re free to decide how to spend your evening! Picnic and stargazing is a favourite of mine

Are You Looking to Find Someone to Share these Experiences With?

If so, why not get in touch with Maclynn (formerly Vida) today?

We work with some of the world’s most exceptional singletons, all ready and waiting to settle down with that special someone. If you’d like to know more about how our experienced matchmakers can help you find your perfect partner, please feel free to get in touch with us today.

For more top things to do in London at night, why not take a look at our best date ideas article?

female, Maclynn team

About the Author

Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

In 2011, Rachel took a leap of faith. Following a series of serendipitous events, she founded Vida (now known as Maclynn) in London and never looked back. Rachel is a Chartered Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and holds a Master’s degree in Occupational Psychology. Her own values around integrity, delivering the highest standards, inclusion, and self-empowerment are at the core of Maclynn’s unique matchmaking model. Described by clients as calm, compassionate, warm and wise, she continues to be fully immersed in the business, working with a select number of VIP clients. In recent years, Rachel’s personal life has focused on raising her two young sons with her partner, Jamie. Rachel has also achieved her personal goals of running the New York Marathon and reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

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