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London is one of the world’s greatest cities, and one of the world’s central business hubs, so it goes without saying that you won’t struggle to keep yourself occupied after 5:00 pm. Whether you want to catch a show at the West End, tick a few of London’s fabulous museums off your list, see some famous landmarks or simply kick back and relax after work, London has got you covered.
The after-work pub culture in London is huge, whether that’s grabbing a pint in a cosy pub with an open fire in winter or standing in the streets surrounding the pub in summer to catch some post-work sunshine.
If you’re planning on extending your trip (and why wouldn’t you?) London is perfectly based to get you out to some of Britain’s most famous landmarks such as Stonehenge, Hampton Court Palace or Oxford/Cambridge.
Stroll along the Thames and do some after-work sightseeing without the crowds!
How to Get to London
London is super easy to get to, and is served by five (yes, five) international airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted, Luton and Southend. All are accessible to the city by public transport, although both Luton and Southend can be slightly more arduous. London is connected to the rest of the mainland UK by an extensive network of trains, and is connected to France, Belgium and the Netherlands by the Eurostar train.
To get around the city you absolutely don’t need a car – it would be more hassle than it’s worth. London’s public transport system will get you anywhere you need, either by the London Underground, London Overground trains, buses, National Rail trains, or ferries. There are also bikes and scooters to hire at many landmarks, and of course, black cabs and uber. Download the app CityMapper before you arrive in London to get the fastest routes in real-time; every Londoner swears by it!
To use any public transport in London, simply tap in and out with your contactless bank card (you don’t have to tap out on buses). Paper tickets are much more expensive than the contactless rates, and queues to get them are often long. The rates for contactless users are the same as the Oyster card, so there’s no point getting one if you’re only in London for a few days.
Where to Eat in London for Dinner
Mango Tree // If you’re looking for an awesome curry head to Mango Tree near Bankside. Affordable, authentic and delicious, this is a great place to experience some awesome curries, bread and rice.
Red Dog Saloon // Located in trendy Hoxton, with another branch in Soho, Red Dog Saloon serves up some of the best BBQ food in London. Their chilli cheeseburger is legendary.
The George Pub // Originally a coaching inn in the 17th century and now owned by the National Trust, this historic pub is the perfect place to try traditional favourites such as fish and chips or steak pie.
On The Bab // Each branch of this popular London chain is always busy, and sometimes you will have to queue, but it’s definitely worth it. On the Bab serves up the best Korean food in London, so if you have a craving for kimchi or delicious Korean Fried Chicken, On The Bab is the place to go.
Iberia // If you’re looking for somewhere quiet and food that’s totally different from the normal, check out Iberia Restaurant near Caledonian Road. Bringing the heavily underrated Georgian cuisine to London foodies, expect excellent service, traditional yet chic surroundings and food that you won’t be able to forget.
Things to See in London at Night
A West End show // A show is the perfect way to keep yourself entertained after work, and with a constantly rotating selection of performances you’re bound to find something new. Harry Potter fans will be excited to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, whilst traditional musical lovers can’t go far wrong with Wicked or Les Miserables.
A walk along the Thames // Walking along the River Thames after work is a great way to unwind after a busy day. Not only is it free, but you will see loads of London’s most famous landmarks such as the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Shakespeare’s Globe. After 5pm, the area becomes much quieter and peaceful, so you can take in the vibe of the city without the crowds. You can then walk up to Trafalgar Square and through St James’ Park to check out Buckingham Palace.
Late museum openings // Many of London’s most famous museums offer frequent late hours, including the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Science Museum. Check their website to confirm which nights they’re open late before your visit.
Take a Jack the Ripper Tour // Any true crime aficionados or fans of the spooky and mysterious will love taking a Jack the Ripper tour through the backstreets of east London. A knowledgeable guide will take you to the known Jack sites, tell you the story of the Ripper and offer insights into who the Ripper could have been.
See the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London // This is an ancient tradition which has been performed every night for over 700 years. Essentially, it is a military ceremony in which the gates of the tower are locked for the night. Tickets are free but you will need to apply as far in advance as possible (a few days at the very least).
Ride the London Eye // A few nights a week the London Eye will be open late, allowing you to see the city from a bird’s eye view either at sunset or in the dark. Check their website for opening times.
Also check out:
- Bilbao, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Copenhagen, Denmark After 5:00 pm
- Sol Area of Madrid, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Brussels, Belgium After 5:00 pm
- Dubrovnik, Croatia After 5:00 pm
- Nuremberg, Germany After 5:00 pm