By Faisal Baig
There are so many cities that never sleep that most of the time, it’s hard to keep track of them. But if you’re thinking of places to include in this category, you should never leave London out of your list.
London is one city that is always busy whether it’s day or night. Due to its numerous popular attractions, tourists can be found in various parts of this city every day. Most of the time, even after the sun goes down, many holidaymakers can still be found in local spots, both indoors and outdoors.
Regardless of whether you’re a tourist or local who wants to experience everything London has to offer at night, here are the top things you should do and places to visit:
Let’s start with something iconic: the London Eye. Although you can go on a ride on this attraction at any time of day, try doing it at night for a more unique and even exciting experience. You’ll get to see glorious London as it is fabulously lit. You’ll also get a great view of the majestic beauty of the River Thames.
London is beautiful at night. You’ll have the chance to see its magnificence firsthand using one of the world’s best refracting telescopes found at the Hampstead Observatory. This observatory allows public viewing of stars, the evening sky, and even the city from mid-September to mid-April, on Fridays and Saturdays until 10 at night when the sky is clear. Opening times are limited so make sure you check available schedules as soon as you can.
Can’t stand heights? And if you’re also too claustrophobic to ride the London Eye but still want to do something exciting at night, go on a guided evening London Walk tour. The most popular tours to date are the Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes tours of Haunted London. Get ready to be spooked by various historical and fiction stories; be thoroughly prepared since your fear level will be increased due to the ominous background. If walking isn’t up to your speed, find out if a London city tour provider offers this experience.
If you’re looking for something more modern, go on the Jack the Ripper Tour with Ripper-Vision. Using a hand-held projector which shows various scary stationary and moving images and clips, you get to experience the atmosphere of Victorian London through spooky images and film clips. The guide will take you on a 105-minute walking tour to explore the backstreets of Whitechapel. Of course, you’ll hear different scary tales and conspiracy theories of one of the most notorious serial killers in history.
Be at the Tower of London at exactly 9:53 in the evening to see the Ceremony of the Keys. It is the 700-year-old ancient ceremony of officially locking up the Tower of London every night. The ceremony was done in the past to secure the tower and make sure the monarch residing there is fully protected. Today, it is still an important ceremony that is followed to ensure the Crown Jewels and other valuables are kept secure there. The whole thing is free, but due to limited space and its popularity, make sure you book a ticket prior to attending it.
Soho is one of the trendiest spots in London today. It is an entertainment district packed with bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants. It is popular due to the numerous karaoke bars found here. If you don’t feel like singing (and listening to people trying to sing), head to some other bars that showcase live music performances. There are many blues and jazz pubs here while others feature live bands. If you’re into blues, check out Ain’t Nothin’ But … Blues Bar. If you love jazz, head to Jazz After Dark. Whether you’re into music or simply want a place where you can enjoy a pint or two, be sure to stop at Soho.
Although Soho already has a great line-up of amazing drinking and entertainment spots, don’t be afraid to check out other areas. One of the places you should head out to is Shoreditch, a popular spot for hipsters and youngsters today. The Book Club is just one of the trendiest places to visit here. If you want to party all night, go to Cable, a club found under the arches of London Bridge. It is said to be a clubbers’ temple dedicated to house, dubstep, and techno.
Don’t forget to eat before or after you go drinking and partying. Aside from traditional British grub, you’ll find a variety of authentic international cuisines across London. Dabbous and the Ledbury are just two of the restaurants you have to put on your list if you want to try authentic English food. If you’re craving some Chinese dishes, head to London’s Chinatown. If you just want to have a taste of delicious curry, head to the Brick Lane. You can check out other restaurants in London you should visit here.
While in London, do something classy. And this doesn’t just mean having traditional afternoon tea or being transported around by a car and chauffeur. Find out what’s playing at West End – this may be the only time you immerse yourself in a top-notch performance of “Wicked,” “Miss Saigon,” or “Les Miserables.” If you find going to the West End too pricey, check out the other theaters such as The Lyric, Prince Edward’s, and Ambassadors. They showcase great live musicals and plays but at more affordable prices.
London’s night markets will allow you to do several great things in just one place: shopping, eating, and drinking. When you’re in the city during summer, you’ve certainly struck gold since all markets are open during this season. Some of the most popular night markets here are Dinerama, Kerb Does Alchemy, and Mercato Metropolitano.
Lastly, London also has its fair share of comedy bars. Come Sunday, head to the Comedy Store, The 99 Club, and other comedy bars that showcase celebrated British and international comedians and prepare yourself for a whole night of laughter.
Although you may be tired from your daytime adventures in London, shake off your exhaustion and enjoy the city’s nightlife, too – you won’t regret it.
Faisal Baig is Director of Belgravia Chauffeurs, a company offering unrivalled chauffeur services with total dedication. He leads a team with over 20 years of experience in the automotive customer service field.
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