A night out in London can be a magical thing, whether you’re a local or a tourist and there are a few activities that stand out. For locals, there are favourite restaurants and pubs, off-the-path theatres, cinemas, and nice public areas to hang out in. For tourists, there are famous theatres, gaudy attractions like the London Eye, and nighttime sightseeing options. Really, you can’t go wrong, so long as you stick to safe areas! But I want to write a few words on some alternative ways to spend a night out in London, eschewing the obvious but sticking to good fun.
This is what I’ve come up with!
Visit An Unusual Pub
I know pubs are pretty high on the list of obvious nighttime activities in London, for tourists and locals alike but if you live in town you probably have a few favourite watering holes already, and if you’re visiting you’re liable to simply look up a list of best bars in London, or even best pub crawls. For an alternative night out it pays to know that this is a city with some very unusual bars that are worth checking out. There’s an Ice Bar (touristy, yes, but still wonderfully odd), there’s an all-pink room plucked out of several previous eras simultaneously, and there’s a bar hidden behind a refrigerator door at a breakfast joint just to name a few!
Go Play Ping-Pong
Seriously, this is an awesome option if you’re with friends and you have a bit of competitive spirit. There’s a sort of bar/club/recreation centre in London called Bounce (The Home of Ping-Pong) in which there are drinks, open spaces, and ping-pong tournaments and even a sort of tournament grid on the wall in case a more formal competition is organised.
Take A Ghost Tour
That’s right a ghost tour. Okay, so that’s not necessarily a thing, but you can probably get the idea. Advertising itself as offering frightfully good tours of haunted London, the London Ghost Walks basically take you through old and creepy and even paranormally active locations where you can hear spooky legends and engage with London in a different sort of way. It’s not as scary as it might sound given that you’re basically in a tour group, but given that London does have some history with the macabre (Jack the Ripper, anyone?) it’s actually a fun way to tour the city.
Visit A Casino
It’s a fairly conventional tourist activity, but the casinos in London get a curiously small amount of attention abroad. The Empire and Hippodrome are bona fide venues though, full of fun things to see and do (even if you don’t play the games). Just make sure you know what to wear though, because these are legitimate urban casinos in one of the world’s greatest cities. That’s not to say things are super formal (casinos in general are trending the opposite way), but you can’t just stroll in either.
Check Out A Dessert Bar
When it comes to food and drink, two things get tons of attention in London: fine restaurants and traditional pubs. But just as London’s food scene has gotten to be a big deal, its desserts are excellent too! Places like Basement Sate (a cocktail bar with dessert options), Four Winters (an ice cream shop), and various other dessert bars and cafes can make for excellent stops, perhaps after dinner or at the end of a nighttime walk through part of the city.
This is a guest post.