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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 Southbank Centre Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 16,747 properties near Southbank Centre
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London NZ$317
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
    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.

      Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World
      Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World

      Hotel Café Royal - The Leading Hotels of the World

      68 Regent Street, London, England
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly London hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Circus. Buckingham Palace and Green Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Piccadilly Circus Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Leicester Square Underground Station is 7 minutes.

        ME London
        ME London

        ME London

        336-337 The Strand, London, England
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Lyceum Theatre, The Strand and Aldwych Theatre. Covent Garden Market and Royal Opera House are also within 5 minutes. Temple Underground Station is 5 minutes by foot and Covent Garden Underground Station is 7 minutes.

          Sea Containers London
          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 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.

            Great Scotland Yard Hotel - the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
            Great Scotland Yard Hotel - the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

            Great Scotland Yard Hotel - the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

            3-5, Great Scotland Yard, London, England
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Charing Cross and The Strand. National Gallery and Trafalgar Square are also within 10 minutes. Charing Cross Underground Station and Embankment Station are within a 5-minute walk.

              Marlin Waterloo NZ$211
              Marlin Waterloo

              Marlin Waterloo

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

                Located in London City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge and London Eye. Big Ben and Westminster Abbey are also within 15 minutes. Lambeth North Underground Station is only a 2-minute walk and Waterloo Underground Station is 8 minutes.

                The Royal Horseguards NZ$539
                The Royal Horseguards

                The Royal Horseguards

                2 Whitehall Court, London, England
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in London City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Gallery, Churchill War Rooms and London Eye. Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament are also within 10 minutes. Embankment Station and Charing Cross Underground Station are within a 5-minute walk.