London's Late Night Museums and Galleries

Where to Find a Late-Night Culture Fix in The Capital

London's cultural scene is world class and many of the city's most popular museums and galleries are free to visit. But with so much to see, it can be hard to cram everything in during the day. Luckily, there's a long list of attractions that open in the evening for a late night culture fix. And there's plenty going on beyond the exhibitions, from DJ sets and pop-up bars to candlelit tours and exclusive film screenings. 

  • 01 of 07

    Natural History Museum

    Natural History Museum London
    ••• The Natural History Museum's main hall. Photo credit: Daniel Sambraus/Getty Images

    When? The museum is open from 6:00pm until 10:00pm on the last Friday of every month (except December). 

    What's on? In addition to seeing dinosaurs after dark, you can interact with scientists at pop-up science stations and enjoy cocktails and snacks at The Kitchen. Depending on the night, you might see open mic performances, special screenings or topical discussions. 

    How much? Free entry. You may need to book tickets in advance for some events. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is South Kensington.

  • 02 of 07

    The Science Museum

    The London Science Museum
    ••• Photo credit: Feargus Cooney/Getty Images

    When? The museum is open from 6:45pm until 10:00pm on the last Wednesday of every month. 

    What's on? These adults-only theme nights center on a different topic each month and feature talks, screenings, hands-on workshops and fun demonstrations. Regular events include pub quizzes, speed dating and a silent disco. 

    How much? Free entry. You may need to book tickets in advance for some events. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is South Kensington.

  • 03 of 07

    The V&A

    The Victoria and Albert Museum
    ••• Photo credit: Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    When? The museum is open from 6:30pm to 10:00pm on the last Wednesday of every month. 

    What's on? Events are usually themed to coincide with the museum's current exhibitions but each month you'll find a vibrant mix of live performance, film screenings, art installations, debate and DJ sets. You can grab drinks in the Grand Entrance and the John Madejski Garden throughout the evening. 

    How much? Free entry. All timed events are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is South Kensington.

  • 04 of 07

    Sir John Soane's Museum

    Sir John Soane's Museum
    ••• Photo credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images

    When? The museum is open from 6pm to 9pm on the first Tuesday of every month. 

    What's on? Every month, the museum is lit by candles for an atmospheric evening of culture. The historic townhouse is full of antiques, paintings, furniture and sculptures from the collection of Sir John Soane, a distinguished 19th-century architect. 

    How much? Free but it's a very popular event and numbers are limited. The first 200 people waiting in line from 5:30pm will gain entry. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is Holborn.

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  • 05 of 07

    National Portrait Gallery

    National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square
    ••• Photo credit: Laura Porter

    When? The gallery is open from 6pm to 9pm every Thursday and Friday.

    What's on? Explore the gallery's extensive collection to the sounds of a resident DJ and enjoy drinks from the Late Shift Bar. Talks, discussions and drop-in drawing classes add to the mix.

    How much? Free entry. You may need to book tickets in advance for some events. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is Charing Cross. 

  • 06 of 07

    The British Museum

    British Museum Great Court
    ••• The Great Court at the British Museum. Photo credit: Laura Porter

    When? The museum is open until 8:30pm every Friday.

    What's on? The museum's main collections and some exhibitions open up after dark every Friday. Additional events include lectures, discussions, screenings, and live music and dance performances. The Great Court Restaurant, which sits beneath the iconic Norman Foster-designed domed roof, takes dinner reservations on Fridays. 

    How much? Free entry. You may need to book tickets in advance for some events. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is Holborn. 

  • 07 of 07

    Tate Modern

    Tate Modern extension
    ••• The Tate Modern's Switch House extension. Photo credit: Hayes Davidson and Herzog & de Meuron

    When? The gallery is open from 6pm to 10pm on the last Friday of every month (except December).

    What's on? Explore the gallery's vast contemporary collection after-hours and enjoy pop-up events including talks, hands-on workshops and live music. Have a go on the digital sketch pads and don't leave without enjoying a cocktail at the Terrace Bar. 

    How much? Free entry. You may need to book tickets in advance for some events. 

    Where? The nearest tube station is Southwark.