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Ahhh, a solo trip to London. What could be better than visiting this thriving international city alone, on your own terms, without answering to anyone else? Not much!
As someone who lives near New York, I’m eager and excited when exploring big cities. The busy energy makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. London and New York are similar in the sense that something is always happening, even at random hours of the night.
Yes, at night. Dun, dun, dun!
Okay, so let’s pause for a moment, solo travelers. I know that exploring a new city alone at night gives many people pause, especially newer solo travelers who are still learning the ropes. I completely understand.
Not to mention, as a woman, I don’t always feel comfortable going out at night in my home state. I text friends and family, and create plans based on safety (or, at least the perception of safety). So, your feelings are very, very, very valid.
Obviously, I don’t want to force anyone to go out alone in London at night if they don’t feel comfortable. Do whatever’s best for you, and if that means planning daytime activities, then go for it! After all, you’ve spent a lot of money on this trip, and you deserve to feel safe and happy!
9 Safe Things to Do Alone in London at Night
Ultimately, though, there are lots of safe and enjoyable things to do alone in London at night. I wasn’t out every single night, but regardless, I still had a few late evenings that were freakin’ fantastic! In general, London is perfect for solo travel. Evenings are no exception.
I tried to write suggestions that would appeal to every type of traveler for this post. I’m sure you’ll find even more great things to do alone in London at night, while you research your trip.
I hope this guide gets the travel planning process started on a good note, though. Enjoy!
Attend a Shakespeare Play at the Globe Theater
I’m a huge Shakespeare nerd, so obviously I needed to see a play when I visited London. Without a doubt, the reconstructed Globe Theater is perfect for solo travelers who are looking for a fun evening out.
If you’re on a budget, you can opt to stand in the Pit. These tickets are super reasonable price-wise, especially for such a high quality performance. Make sure to arrive early though! Where you stand is strictly based on a “first come, first serve” basis. You will also need to keep in mind that the Globe performs in rain or shine, so always pack an umbrella just in case!
I spent a little more and opted for a bench seat. Pillows are available, and I, uh, wish I took advantage of them. Your butt will hurt, haha.
Ultimately, though, the Globe is always busy with Shakespeare fans. You won’t feel awkward as a solo traveler, and might even make new friends who appreciate literature. What could be better?
Check Out London’s Museums
London has so, so, so many fantastic museums. I would move to London just to explore its many museums. And the best part? Some of London’s best museums have extended hours, so you’re not restricted to day time sightseeing. Woohoo!
Always check the schedules in advance to avoid disappointment. Late openings are limited to certain nights of the week. You’ll want to be mindful of your planning.
Furthermore, some museums also have special late night events, but these will likely cost money and require a reservation of some sort. Again, check in advance.
London Museum Extended Hours
- British Library is open late on Monday to Friday.
- British Museum is open late on Friday.
- National Portrait Gallery is open late on Friday – Saturday.
- Victoria and Albert Museum is open late on Friday.
Cruise the Thames River
Another one of the best things to do alone in London at night is to cruise the Thames River. Many cruises offer dinner and drinks, while you enjoy London’s iconic views all lit up and beautiful.
For example, this highly rated London Dinner Cruise provides a four course meal, and lets you admire Tower of London, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge in their illuminated glories. Other tours combine history and ghost stories. Do you research to determine the best tour option for you.
Of course, if you’re sitting on top of the boat, pack a jacket for your evening cruise, even for summer time. London’s summer night are still quite chilly on the water!
Go on a Jack the Ripper Tour
Okay, so I’m interested in history and crime, so I needed to take a Jack the Ripper Tour in London.
Most of these tours depart later in the evenings, often around six at night, and last for two hours. The area around Whitechapel feels a little heavy and uncomfortable, but since you are in a larger group, these tours are perfectly safe to take.
As a side note, some tours are ethically dodgy. I don’t like glorifying serial killers, nor do I think the women themselves should be forgotten in the noise.
I went on the Jack the Ripper – What About the Women? tour to learn about the victims and historical context of the murders. It was a beautifully done and sensitive tour that didn’t exploit the dead women’s memories. Highly recommend.
Learning about London’s darker history will help your appreciate the city’s present reality.
Hit Up the Theaters on the West End
Love theater? Then the West End is for you.
Don’t feel shy about going alone to a theater performance on the West End. Everyone is too busy watching the show to worry about whether or not you’re attending alone. It’s really not a big deal at all.
The West End has plays for all sorts of tastes. For example, if you want a “lighter” performance, check out the many musicals currently on at the West End. On the other hand, literature and mystery lovers may want to go to Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which is the longest running play on the West End.
Whatever you choose, you will have an amazing time.
Savor a Fancy Cocktail
London’s cocktail scene is thriving. On a Friday or Saturday evening, head to Covent Garden, and I promise that you won’t feel alone at all. Sample some delicious cocktails and try to snag a seat close to the bar to make conversation.
Personally, I love going out on my own for early evening drinks. I’m at an age, though, where if it starts getting tooooo late, I head to bed. But live your truth.
Of course not everyone (understandably) wants to go to a bar alone. Younger travelers will love the guided Pub Crawl of Central London where they can drinks and be merry in the comfort of a group.
As an important reminder, keep in mind that one of the best solo travel safety tips for London is to watch your drinks. I get alcohol is expensive in this city. My credit card feels the pain too. However, dump a drink if you’re not 100% sure stayed in your line of vision at all times. Better to be cautious.
Going for cocktails can be one of the safe things to do alone in London at night if you take precautions.
See a Jazz Show at Ronnie Scott’s
Ronnie Scott’s is a historic concert venue located in thriving Soho. I highly, highly recommend it as one of the best things to do alone in London at night. The jazz artists are amazingly talented and will blow your mind.
You might feel nervous at the thought of attending a jazz show alone, but Ronnie Scott’s is super welcoming. I mentioned to the staff that I wanted to “treat myself to a jazz show,” and they were excited and told me that I’ll probably book a million more shows!
Ronnie Scott’s has performances every single night, and usually, there are multiple options to choose from. You’re also welcome to have dinner and drinks during the show, which I suggest if you don’t want to search for food after the show. I had Moroccan-style chicken and it was quite tasty.
And, seriously, don’t worry about going to Ronnie Scott’s alone. They have bar-like seating for most viewers, and literally no one will notice (or care) that you’re alone.
Shop in Soho and Mayfair
I loved that London’s shops (not all, but a decent amount) were open until 7 or 8 pm. rather than all shutting down at 5 pm. You’re able to sightsee in the morning and afternoon, and free up your evenings for shopping. A lot of people take advantage of the extended hours, too, so you won’t feel super alone as you want the streets with your shopping bags, haha.
Some of the best places to shop at night in London are Oxford Street (one of London’s most famous shopping streets), Covent Garden, Regent Street, and historic St. James.
Your credit score might hate London’s high prices, but I think evening shopping is one of the best things to do alone in London at night. And, hey, there’s always window shopping.
Take Yourself on a Dinner Date
Last but not least, there are a lot of restaurants in London where you can take yourself on a dinner date. London has several great options for eating alone, so don’t be shy. You’re able to devour any cuisine that you want here. Any cuisine.
However, even as a solo traveler, make reservations in advance. This is important.
In the US, it’s not common to reserve bar seating (it’s first come, first serve), but I noticed that reserving a seat at the bar was a lot more common in London. Double check in advance if your heart is set on a certain restaurant, especially if you’re going out on a Friday or Saturday night.
Where to Stay in London As a Solo Traveler
When planning solo female travel in London, choosing the right place to stay is essential, and you are spoiled for choice. Like, gosh, London has so many amazing options for accommodation.
I will speak to a few great choices, but keep in mind that you might want to research neighborhoods in advance and see what areas best fit “your vibe.” In order to enjoy the best things to do alone in London at night, you want to feel safe going back to your hotel.
- Andaz London Liverpool Street: Andaz is a trendy and fun hotel chain that appeals to younger travelers. This Andaz is in the perfect spot for seeing East London’s street and is well connected to Liverpool Street Station. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com.
- The Rockwell: This adorable hotel isn’t far from Earls Court Station, which makes it very easy to go to Heathrow Airport, as well as everywhere else in London. They also have a fantastic breakfast available, and the single rooms are super comfortable. Loved my stay here. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com.
- Wombats City Hostel London: This trendy hostel has a lot of shared spaces, including a cool bar and lounge area, that makes it easy to meet fellow travelers. Save money in a dorm or even book your own private room. Perfect for solo travelers who want to socialize. See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com.
I hope this guide helps you appreciate the many safe things to do alone in London at night. Seriously, London is a wonderful city, and solo travelers will find themselves planning a return trip before they even left. Have a great time!