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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.

How about making your stop at Southbank Centre even more unique? Don't miss the chance to try out some of these activities:

Must See London in a Day is one of the best experiences available here.

Take a look at our London things to do page to find even more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring Southbank Centre


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Top Southbank Centre Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 14,288 properties near Southbank Centre
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$320
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. St. Thomas' Hospital and Sea Life London Aquarium are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station is only a 4-minute walk and Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes.

    The Strand Palace Hotel NZ$301
    The Strand Palace Hotel

    The Strand Palace Hotel

    372 The Strand, London, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in London City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Covent Garden Market, Piccadilly Circus and London Dungeon. Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Charing Cross Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 5 minutes.

      Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's NZ$202
      Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's

      Club Quarters Hotel, St. Paul's

      24 Ludgate Hill, London, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in London City Centre, this hotel is steps away from St. Paul's Cathedral and London Stock Exchange. Old Bailey and Museum of London are also within 10 minutes. Blackfriars Underground Station and St. Paul's Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

        Marlin Waterloo NZ$219
        Marlin Waterloo

        Marlin Waterloo

        111 Westminster Bridge Road, London, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Imperial War Museum, Westminster Bridge and Sea Life London Aquarium. Coca-Cola London Eye and Big Ben are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.

          Park Plaza London Waterloo NZ$256
          Park Plaza London Waterloo

          Park Plaza London Waterloo

          6 Hercules Road, London, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and The Vaults. Southbank Centre Book Market and Lambeth Palace are also within 10 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is 6 minutes by foot and Waterloo Underground Station is 11 minutes.

            Park Plaza County Hall London NZ$273
            Park Plaza County Hall London

            Park Plaza County Hall London

            1 Addington Street, London, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this spa hotel is steps away from Southbank Centre Book Market and Florence Nightingale Museum. Jubilee Gardens and The Vaults are also within 5 minutes. Waterloo Underground Station and Lambeth North Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Sea Containers London NZ$339
              Sea Containers London

              Sea Containers London

              20 Upper Ground, London, England
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tate Modern and Coca-Cola London Eye. The Shard and Big Ben are also within 1 mi (2 km). Southwark Underground Station is 8 minutes by foot and Blackfriars Underground Station is 8 minutes.

                The Tower Hotel NZ$199
                The Tower Hotel

                The Tower Hotel

                St Katharine's Way, London, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Tower Bridge, Tower of London and HMS Belfast. Tower Gateway Station is 6 minutes by foot and Tower Hill Station is 7 minutes.