Bath has been a popular spot for a getaway since Roman times, when people would come for its thermal springs and fresh country air. Today people visit for all sorts of reasons, whether it's to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen or to experience the city's contemporary side.

The day-trippers might miss it, but this spa town bubbles with life after dark with a vibrant nightlife that includes everything from side-splitting shows to sunset spas. So, stick around. Make a weekend of it.

Here's our guide on what to do in Bath in the evening.

Tour the Roman Baths by Torchlight

The city's most popular attraction, the Roman Baths, has a special late evening entry time during mid-June, July and August. Arrive before 9pm to visit the baths, walking across the original Roman pavements dating back 2,000 years.

The baths are below street level and there are four main areas to explore - the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the museum housing a gilt bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva.

From 6pm, you can grab a glass of fizz from the pop-up bar and see The Great Bath illuminated by a series of torches. Dinner packages are available, including three-course meals at either the Roman Baths Kitchen or Pump Room.

Have Your Funny Bone Tickled By Local Comedians

Operating out of Komedia, a venue in a Grade II listed former cinema, the Krater Comedy Club has a well-earned reputation for making guests laugh. On Saturday evenings, three stand-up comics take turns trying to make you chuckle. Combine the show with a 'Meal Deal Plus Ticket', which offers a glass of Prosecco on arrival and two-course meal.

The Bizarre Bath comedy walk is another of the city's amusing attractions. Running every evening at 8pm between April and November, you'll be guided around the city while immersed in a piece of irreverent street theatre. Expect cheeky anecdotes about Bath and prepare for pranks on unsuspecting residents and fellow walkers.

Book a Sunset Spa

In a city named Bath, you'd expect to find somewhere to soak in natural thermal waters. Thermae Bath Spa goes one better. Its open-air rooftop pool is open until 9.30pm - so you can watch the sun set over the city and surrounding hills. The indoor Minerva Bath is the largest of the thermal baths, with massage jets, a whirlpool and lazy river.

Combine your soak with a meal at Springs Café Restaurant, as part of The Twilight Package. Available Monday to Friday, it includes a three-hour spa session with time for your meal. Or skip the meal and spend your time in the Wellness Suite with a Roman Steam Room, Ice Chamber and Celestial Relaxation Room.

Take in a Show

Bath's Theatre Royal is one of the country's oldest theatres and hosts nightly shows including West End productions, operas and comedy acts. Housing three performance spaces, the biggest names can be seen in the Main House, while 'the egg theatre' caters to children's and family theatre.

Other options include The Mission Theatre, an independent venue where you can see small-scale productions and music shows inside a 200-year-old building; the Chapel Arts Centre, an alternative arts venue that features burlesque shows, tribute bands and live lounge sessions; and Green Park Brasserie, which hosts live jazz performances in the evening every Wednesday to Saturday - inside a former Victorian railway booking hall.

Dine on Modern West Country Cuisine

Bath might be known for its traditional teahouses, but it also has a thriving food scene with chefs getting the best from local West Country produce. Olive Tree, on the ground floor of the Queensberry Hotel, is Bath's only Michelin-starred restaurant. Committed to sourcing ingredients locally, the tasting menus change seasonally, with options for vegetarians, vegans and dairy-free diets.

Elsewhere, Acorn is an award-winning vegan restaurant in one of Bath's oldest buildings. The fully plant-based menu comes as five or seven tasting courses, or à la carte. For a different flavour entirely, book a table - well in advance - at Noya's Vietnamese Supper Club hosted by chef Noya Pawlyn.

See the Ghostly Side of the City

It's a little-known fact that novelist Mary Shelley wrote her horror masterpiece Frankenstein in Bath. The Show of Strength Theatre Company run Frankenstein in Bath tours, where you can hear the real-life tale of the author's remarkable life and learn a thing or two about the darker side of the city. The tour leaves at 7pm, every Friday between 12 April and 8 November. Advance bookings recommended.

The creepy tales continue with Bath Ghost Tours, which runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening (except winter months). Meet outside the Abbey, and follow your guides, the deceased Brother Fergus and Doctor Lynch, to 11 haunted sites around the city. Be warned: the gruesome stories about Roman soldiers, witches and medieval monks might keep you up all night.