Like a crowd-pleasing superhero, it’s Southbank Centre to the rescue when you need something to do in London and you’re out of ideas. An astounding programme of cultural events – from visual art and music to literature workshops and performance – views over the Thames, and slap bang in the centre of London - no wonder it’s so many people’s trump card.
The lively arts and entertainment centre is the UK’s largest, putting on over 5,000 events a year. Expect a well-curated line-up that straddles world-class artists, niche poetry, music festivals and everything inbetween. The London Literature Festival, for example, brings together the greatest literary minds for 11 days of talks, readings, poetry and performance. Meanwhile the annual WOW - Women of the World festival sees a killer line-up that champions everything good and great going on in the world of women.
Events take place in multiple venues perfectly poised on the bank of the Thames. The Grade I listed Royal Festival Hall is at the heart of the complex, where you'll find - among many other things - a 2,700 seater auditorium and the National Poetry Library. The neighbouring Hayward Gallery is a stunning piece of brutalist architecture, and plays host to a range of inspiring and adventurous artists.
And it's not just culture vultures that flock here, food fans circle the food market for their weekly helping of inspired street food, booze, coffee and artisan produce. The Southbank Centre restaurants are incredibly popular too, with big names like Wagamama and Las Iguanas feeding the masses, while off-beat joints like Topolski sling pizzas and prosecco to a smaller, savvy crowd. Head to the Queen Elizabeth Rooftop Garden in the summer months for drinks with views of the river and beyond.
|Venue name:||Southbank Centre|
|Transport:||Rail/Tube: Waterloo; Tube: Embankment|
|Do you own this business?|
Pick a date
Things to do
The BBQ Club: Patch & Picnic
South Bank pop-up The BBQ Club returns next month, and this year you can reserve a private picnic spot right by the Thames - plus a gourmet hamper for four. This summer barbecue bonanza created and helmed by chef Jimmy Garcia shows off his 7-course grilled...Food and drink events Until Monday September 30 2019
Tales of the Turntable
Hip-hop masters ZooNation are back with another family-friendly dance show, and this time it's a time-bending musical adventure. Aspiring DJ Eric and his grandad George go right back to the origins of hip hop and soul music, as a cast of young dancers...Hip hop Until Monday August 26 2019
Going to a festival doesn't have to mean travelling to zone 6 to be surrounded by glitter, wellies and overpriced street food for the day. The Southbank has been throwing its own highbrow, multi-day music festival since 1993, and this year Nile Rodgers...Music festivals Saturday August 3 2019 - Sunday August 11 2019
This one's a gig like no other: the Canadian electroclash queen is heading to the South Bank for the UK debut of her 'variety-style futuristic stage happening' titled... wait for it... 'There’s Only One Peach with the Hole in the Middle'. She's promising...Dance and electronic Wednesday August 28 2019
Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Totally love this area and center and night time is definitely the right time to visit and explore the lights and riverbank area and all the cool activities, bars and events. Here's one of my impression of the area http://travelphotodiscovery.com/discovering-london-at-night-time/
London. My favourite town. I've recently rediscovered the joys of the city, after many years of being blinded by out of town shopping centres. Most weekends, I will journey up by train or tube to meet with my daughter. We shop, chat, eat and walk the length and breadth of Oxford and Regent Street; always ending our day in Carnaby Street or Leicester Square. Many a Sunday, we sit and watch the world go by at the Southbank, stopping to have a bite to eat in one of the many popular eateries. But best of all, is our midweek trips to Theatreland. I've dragged my teenage son to the Donmar, to watch the incredible Corianlanus, the same week I treated my daughter to The Light Princess at the National and then as a family night out we went to see the mesmerizing 'Warhorse'. Next, on the cards, is another Mother and Son day to see 'Blaze' at Peacock Theatre, a Mother and Daughter day to 'Sing-a-long-a Moulin Rouge' and family trip to the wonderful 'Wicked' (we've seen it before!). London has so much to offer and so much to do (even with moaning teenage children).I love it! especially the free events in the summer at The Scope, Southbank and Trafalgar Square.
Try to visit Skylon when you are at the Southbank, the service is good and you can enjoy a drink in a spotlessly clean glass. It's nice to see a variety of musical entertainment coming to the Southbank; chart music does not reflect the wider spectrum of talent.
The Southbank Centre is fabulous arts hub in London. It stages a wide variety of theatre and musical performances to cater to all tastes. There are always interesting festivals hosted at Southbank. It is the perfect place to windle away a saturday afternoon.
I have not found it possible,on the new website, to get a good listing of classical music. It was very well organized in the magazine, and sketchier in the current website, This is not usable.
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...