Late-night opening hours at London museums and galleries

Forget an evening in front of the television, visit one of the capital's top museums for a more cultural evening

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Too busy to visit museums at the weekend? As most of the capital's museums have late-night opening hours at least once a week, swot up on culture after work instead. Here's our guide to museums in London that stay open late, and on what day.

Museums and galleries open late on Friday

British Museum

  • Free

One of the world's oldest museums, the BM is vast and its collections comprise millions of objects. First-time visitors generally head for the mummies, the Rosetta Stone, Lindow Man, the Lewis Chessmen and the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial. Selected galleries of the museum are open until 8.30pm every Friday evening, augmented by tours, special events and food and drink.

  1. 44 Great Russell St, WC1B 3DG
  2. Open until 8.30pm
More info

Royal Academy of Arts

Expect to pay for blockbusters in the Sackler Wing or main galleries, while shows in the John Madejski Fine Rooms are drawn from the RA's holdings – ranging from Constable to Hockney – and are free. The Royal Academy's biggest event is the Summer Exhibition. On Fridays the RA stays open until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm).

  1. Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J OBD
  2. Open until 10pm
More info

Tate Britain

  • Free

Tate Modern gets all the attention, but the original Tate Gallery has a broader and more inclusive brief, with work by Hogarth, Constable and Turner as well as Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Francis Bacon. Late at Tate Britain takes place on selected Fridays, with performances, talks and screenings.

  1. Millbank, SW1P 4RG
  2. Open until 10pm on selected Fridays
More info

Tate Modern

This powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter, thanks to its industrial architecture. Inside, the original cavernous turbine hall is used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. The permanent collection features heavy-hitters such as Matisse, Rothko, Bacon, Twombly and Beuys. Tate Modern does weekend after-hours gallery-going extremely well, opening until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

  1. Bankside, SE1 9TG
  2. Open until 10pm
More info

The View from the Shard

The View from the Shard is a two-level deck (the first enclosed, the second partially open to the elements) on floors 68 to 72 of the Shard, offering Londoners and visitors with a good head for heights panoramic, 360-degree views across the capital and beyond (up to 64 kilometres, or 40 miles in old money, on a clear day) from 244 metres (800 feet) up; almost twice the height of any other viewing point in London.

  1. Joiner St, SE1 9QU
  2. Open until 10pm
Book online

V&A

  • Free

The V&A houses one of the world's greatest collections of decorative arts, in such varied fields as ceramics, sculpture, portrait miniatures and photography. Selected galleries remain open until 10pm on Fridays. In addition, Friday Lates, held on the last Friday of the month (except December), comprise mostly free, mostly drop-in events, workshops and entertainment, with a different theme each month, until 10pm.

  1. Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Open until 10pm
More info


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