Open House London

Things to do , Festivals Free
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Cutty Sark


Dalston Eastern Curve Garden


Middle Temple Hall


Hackney Marshes Centre


Akerman Health Centre

This hugely popular, capital-wide annual festival of architecture celebrates its twenty-fourth anniversary in 2016 and takes place over the weekend of September 17 and 18. The festival allows access to hundreds of buildings not normally open to the public – private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments and many others. 

This year the festival has added more than 200 new London venues including the Brutalist Salters' Hall next to the Barbican and Brentford's 'floating high street'. Old favourites Tower 42 and the Gherkin are back on this year's programme. Most will be open to all on a walk-up basis, but around ten per cent will require advance booking.

Check out our Open House 2016 highlights

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A weekend of fun! And a lot of walking - walking to squeeze and visit as many buildings as you can. Over 700 buildings (public buildings, commercial/residential properties) open their doors for free to Londoners! Just be prepared; expect huge queues to popular buildings like the Gherkin and the Bank of England.


I've done open houses for 3 years and every time I say "next year I'm going to be more organised" this year is no exception. But I visited some really interesting places including haberdashers hall and cutlers hall. Which are both guilds of the city of London - steeped in history and still working associations today, they were filled with artwork and relics. Haberdashers hall has British sculptures from Henry Moore and Lynn Chadwick - which was very unexpected. My favourite tour was at the golden lane estate, a grade 2 listed estate and the first housing estate in the city of London. A modern utopia after ww2 which was lovely explained and toured but a resident of the estate. Fascinating to hear the stories and the plans for the future.

The only downside is many places get booked up and the website and app have a few floors. I would recommend planning and make sure you see a variety of places. Private homes, public buildings and something out of the ordinary.

Next year I plan to start looking in August to be ready :)



We went for the first time this year, 2015. It was very enjoyable.

We downloaded the app and planned our day. Definitely leave more time for each house than you expect. I loved how the people showing off their houses are so proud of them and their history!

Our favourite building of the day was the Argentine Ambassadors residence. The Argentine Ambassador was at the door and greeted us on the way in! They even had an artist in residence painting the historic links between Argentina and the UK.

A great experience and a great day.



This is my favourite event of the year.  London somehow feels different on these weekends - foreign tourists are outnumbered by excited, curious Londoners - and what a great vibe it creates!  One of my favourite places is Custom House - we had a very interesting talk on the building itself,  heard the stories of attempted smuggling and saw the many and various (some eye-popping!) confiscated goods.  Bank of England tour also extremely interesting..  So many places of interest to choose from, t's difficult to prioritise.  Can't wait for next weekend! 


I was not sure how was the open house London 2013, i will definitely visit some places after reading this thanks. Very interesting.


I really like having the offers on this page! And I enjoy visiting new places and doing lots of things in London! Thank you!

Ask Nils

Agood mix of seldom visited buildibgs. superb alternativ to traditional sightseeing.


Sounds great! I'm so curious what can be found behind the scenes! :)

Cagla Gurbay

A full of exiting activities just for two days. Big opportunity for Londeners, looking forward to it.