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Things to do in London this Friday

It’s time to clock off, wind down and get your weekend on. Here are all the best things to do in London on a Friday

By Time Out London Things To Do |
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Buttoned Down Disco

With not one, but two blissful days of freedom laid out before you, Friday nights are to be celebrated – and where better to do that than in our fun-filled capital city?

From cinemas, bowling alleys and historic pubs to restaurants, clubs and world-renowned theatres, we are totally spoiled when it comes to great things to do. Have a Friday stretching out ahead of you with zero plans (you lucky thing)? Here are a bunch of great ideas for making the most of Friday in London.

RECOMMENDED: Events on today and great things to do this weekend in London

Things to do on Friday in London

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the virgin queen
Andy Parsons

Settle in for a boozy pub sesh

Grabbing a pint at your local is, for many, a cherished after-work-ritual, so track down your loveliest local and hunker down for the evening. Looking for a cracking garden or a cosy woodburner? Turn Friday into Fry-day with a trip to Haggerston’s The Virgin Queen for a filling portion of fish and chips. Popped by Brick Lane’s Rough Trade East for a live performance? Pride of Spitalfields boasts a charming selection of British ales for a post-gig sesh. Find our round up of favourite pubs here.

Already planning a late one? Here’s our pick of the best late-night bars in London.

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Rowans
Andy Parsons

Have a totally unique night out

We’ve got you covered for Friday nights out for the rest of the year (and then some). From clubbing to craftivism, and kayaking to karaoke, London’s after-dark activities are becoming more diverse than you could ever imagine. If you’re feeling arty, you can head over to a Tate Modern Late on the last Friday of every for a massive free party. For the more laid-back weekender, local staple Rowans is perfect for a spot of bowling with boozy slushies, karaoke booths and pizza in tow until 2am.

For more ideas, scroll through our guide to the 50 best nights out in London right now.

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Display above the Prince Charles Cinema, commissioned by Time Out for London Loves Feature
Photograph: Rob Greig

Kick off a movie marathon

Sure we love a bit of Netflix, but nothing comes close to that Friday-night-at-the-movies feeling. From the lovably indie ArtHouse in Crouch End to Everyman’s sleek new King's Cross spot, London has some amazing cinemas. A good movie and a big old bowl of popcorn is a foolproof recipe for success. If you’re looking for more than a film, independent venues such as Shoreditch’s Rich Mix host a number of weekend-long cultural festivals that kick off on Friday nights. 

Film addict? Look out for the Prince Charles Cinema’s movie marathon nights. 

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Covent Garden restaurants, Flat Iron
© Paul Winch-Furness

Grab a late bite to eat

If you’ve stumbled out of a dark theatre or cinema with a rumbling stomach, rest assured that dinner is still very much on the table, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a three-course blowout. If you find yourself hankering for a tasty cheap steak at 11:30pm, make your way over to Flat Iron in either Soho or Covent Garden. On the hunt for a kebab to soak up the evidence of your Friday night shenanigans? Pop into Gökyüzü in Haringey, Walthamstow, Finchley or Chingford before 1:30am for all the lamb shish, lahmacun and meze your heart desires.

Still peckish? How about one of these superb late night spots in London. 

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Hamilton
Photo: Matthew Murphy

Watch a world-class, West End show

There’s nowhere quite like London’s West End on a Friday night, with some of the best productions in the world to choose from. What’s it going to be – The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, Hamilton? Revisit a childhood classic with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s take on Matilda The Musical or get swept away with Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’s tale of warmth and dealing with prejudice. Head for TKTS in Leicester Square for discounted, same-day show tickets. 

Been there, seen all of that? Check out the best new plays on in London right now. 

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so you've never been to: Dalston Superstore
Michelle Grant

Dance into the weekend

Friday nights don’t get much better than ones spent in a sweaty rave or a cheesy ‘80s disco. FabricLive, the legendary Friday night at Fabric, are known for pulsing bass and electrifying dubstep. If you’re looking for an LGBTQ+ night in London, Friday nights at Dalston Superstore always have something on, including all-trans-everything night ‘Them Fatale’ and bi soiree ‘Fast and Bi-Furious’. 

If a quiet drink at the pub escalates into an all-nighter, check out our round up of the best clubs in London.

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Queens bowling alley

Embrace those wholesome vibes

Craving some good, clean (albeit competitive) fun this Friday night? Well, you’re in the right place. When you’re done showing off your bowling prowess at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, take over a karaoke room on Friday for half price before 4pm. If you want to turn things up a notch (or five), Queens Skate Dine Bowl offers bowling with a side of ice skating. That’s right, after you’ve gotten your strike streak, you can chop it up on a slick indoor ice-skating rink. Bowling has had a glam makeover in the last decade, and London’s now home to a strike-ing number of alleys.

Don’t like the shoes? Check out London’s best crazy golf and bingo nights too.

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101 Things To Do in London: Ronnie Scott's Jazz
© Ronnie Scott's

Listen to some live music

From intimate folk gigs to sticky-floored rock clubs, there’s certainly no shortage of places for music buffs to hang out on a Friday night. Head to legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in Soho – all the greats have graced this stage, and the place reeks of history. Every Friday night, upstairs @ Ronnie’s turns into VIVA CUBA!, a celebration of Cuban jazz with live bands and DJs. If you’re in the mood for something more edgy, Friday nights at Shoreditch’s XOYO promise pumping residencies, with upcoming DJs easing you into the weekend.

Discover the best music in London right now. 

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