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Southbank Centre

Enjoy a range of cultural events on show by the River Thames at one of the largest centers of art in the world.

The Southbank Center sits on the lively south bank of the River Thames and is one of the most significant centers devoted to the arts in Europe. It claims to be one of the largest arts centers of its kind in the world, boasting three vast buildings. The complex consists of the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall among other important spaces. Thousands of performances ranging from theater and music productions to literature readings take place in these halls annually. There are many temporary art exhibitions throughout the year.

See theatrical events in one of the halls. Listen to live music and watch dance displays. Some of the activities are free for the public and ticketed events usually offer special prices for children. Watch one of the events for kids, such as junior comedy clubs, singing time and magician shows. 

Peruse the Hayward Gallery, which is home to small exhibitions by budding artists throughout the year. Have a look around the Saison Poetry Library and its special collection of children’s books. 

Buy a snack at the Real Food Market, which is on from Friday until Sunday every week. Dine at one of the many restaurants and cafés around the center.

The complex dates back to the Festival of Britain in the 1950s. The event was designed to showcase the country’s recovery from World War II. The Royal Festival Hall is still standing from the original festival. The center now attracts about 22 million visitors each year. The halls open in the morning and close late at night every day.

You can find the Southbank Center in the middle of the South Bank area by the River Thames. Take the London Underground to Embankment then cross the Hungerford Bridge or make the 5-minute walk from Waterloo Station. Nearby attractions include the London Eye and the Sea Life London Aquarium.


Guide to Exploring Southbank Centre


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,377 Hotels near Southbank Centre
£110
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London
4.4
of 5, from 8,600 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, just steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes.

£84
The Strand Palace Hotel

The Strand Palace Hotel

372 The Strand, London
4.0
of 5, from 8,388 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Covent Garden Market and King's College London. Royal Opera House and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.

£345
Corinthia Hotel London

Corinthia Hotel London

Whitehall Place, London
4.9
of 5, from 501 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Horse Guard's Building, National Gallery and Trafalgar Square. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 10 minutes.

£87
Park Plaza County Hall London

Park Plaza County Hall London

1 Addington Street, London
4.4
of 5, from 3,761 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Lambeth, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. The Vaults and Jubilee Gardens are also within 5 minutes.

£89
Park Plaza London Waterloo

Park Plaza London Waterloo

6 Hercules Road, London
4.5
of 5, from 972 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Lambeth, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, The Vaults and Imperial War Museum. Old Vic and Southbank Centre Book Market are also within 10 minutes.

£97
Marlin Waterloo

Marlin Waterloo

111 Westminster Bridge Road, London
4.4
of 5, from 257 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Lambeth, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Coca-Cola London Eye and London Dungeon. Sea Life London Aquarium and Southbank Centre are also within 15 minutes.

£101
Apex Temple Court Hotel

Apex Temple Court Hotel

1-2 Serjeants Inn, London
4.7
of 5, from 1,718 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in The City of London, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Paul's Cathedral, King's College London and Old Bailey. London Bridge and London Stock Exchange are also within 1 mile (2 km).

£115
Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

Club Quarters Hotel, Trafalgar Square

8 Northumberland Ave, London
4.3
of 5, from 3,086 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in City of Westminster, this boutique hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Nelson's Column, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and National Gallery. Trafalgar Square and London Coliseum are also within 10 minutes.