London is one of the world's most historic cities
but it is also a vibrant, ever-changing place. It is one of the world's
greatest cultural and artistic cities, crammed with more than 300
museums and collections, including some of the greatest in the world.
It is a city full of galleries that hold great paintings from the
last five centuries - and the wackiest of modern art. It is a city
full of treasures from the greatest civilizations of the world - and
tiny homely details of life in times past.
What's more, some of London's greatest collections are free, most
are open daily and a number have one late night opening per week.
Concert, Opera & Ballet
Theatre Royal Haymarket
The Theatre Royal Haymarket is probably the world's most beautiful
theatre. It has been staging the country's finest productions and
playing host to generations of its most illustrious actors for nearly
three hundred years. When you come, look out for Buckstone, a friend
of Charles Dickens and manager of the Haymarket from 1853-1879, whose
ghost is still seen in the auditorium and dressing rooms, keeping
an eye on his beloved Haymarket.
Box office and credit card bookings (no fee), Tel: +44 870 901 3356
Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4HT.
Large modern concert hall and home of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre,
features art exhibitions, classic concerts & film.
Box office: Mon - Sun, 9am-8pm.
Tel: +44-20-7638 8891, +44-20-7382 7270
Barbican, London City, EC2Y 8DS.
English National Opera
A Coliseum presenting classic opera in English language.
Box office: Mon-Sun 24 hours, Leicester Square.
Tel: +44-20-7632 8300; +44-20-7379 1264.
St. Martin's Lane, London Covent Garden, WC2N 4ES.
Royal Albert Hall
Designed by Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria, in 1853 and
famous for its Promenade Concerts (the Proms) from July to September.
Box office: 9am-9pm.
Tel: +44-20-7589 8212; +44-20-7584 1406
Kensington Gore, Kensington SW7 2AP.
Royal Festival Hall
Huge building from 1951 with concert halls with superb acoustics for
star artists, cinema and gallery.
Box office: Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 9.30am-9pm.
Tel: +44-20-7960 4242; +44-20-7921 0821
South Bank Centre, South Bank, Southwark SE1 8XX.
Royal Opera House Covent Garden
Famous grand 18th century opera house also for ballet, often with
Box office: Mon-Sun 10am-8pm, returned tickets on same day from 4pm.
Tel: +44-20-7304 4000; +44-20-7212 9460.
Covent Garden WC2E 9DD.
It is the oldest public museum in the world - a treasure trove of
objects from all over the globe - from Africa to Afghanistan. In more
than 200 years, the museum has built up a collection of over six million
objects which now fill its 94 galleries. There is everything from
mummies to Ming, highlights include priceless antiquities like the
Elgin Marbles, Rosetta Stone and the Mildenhall Treasure. There are
extensive collections of Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities, plus
coins and medals, and prints and drawings.
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-6pm. Admission is
Tel: +44-20-7636 1555
Great Russell Street, Bloomsburry WC1B 3DG
The Queen's London residence can be visited during her summer holiday
from 6th August to 1st October.
Changing of the guards: Mon-Sun 11.30am from April-July,
call for Aug-March.
Tel: +44-20-7839 1377; +44-20-7321 2233
(tickets 1 Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster SW1).
Kensington Palace, Orangery and Kensington
Stroll through Kensington Gardens and have a look at Kensington Palace,
home of the late Princess Diana. Kensington Orangery offers a light
lunch or afternoon tea (also for functions).
Palace: 10am-5pm (Oct-Mar -3pm),
Orangery: 10am-6pm (Oct-Mar -4pm),
Gardens: dawn till dusk.
Tel: +44-20-7937 9561
The Broad Walk, Kensington W8.
Enjoy the superb collection of Western European painting from 1260
to 1900 in a wonderful neo-classical building,
Mon-Sun 10am-6pm, Wed -9pm. Admission is free.
Tel: +44-20-7747 2885 Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN.
Tate Gallery (Tate Britain)
Situated along the river near the Houses of Parliament in Millbank,
it is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present
day, from the Tudor's to the Turner Prize. Tate holds the greatest
collection of British art in the world including works by Constable,
Gainsborough, Gilbert and George, Hockney, Hodgin, Hogarth, Moore,
Rossetti and Turner. Tate Britain presents the world's greatest collection
of British art in a dynamic series of new displays and exhibitions.
Mon-Sun 10am-5.30pm.Admission is free.
Tel: +44-20-7887 8000
Millbank, SW1P 4RG.
The largest and one of the foremost museums of modern and contemporary
art in the world, it is situated on the South Bank of the Thames,
opposite St. Paul's Cathedral.
The redevelopment of the Bankside Power Station has established a
permanent exhibition space for the Tate's world-famous modern collection.
Outstanding use of glass in the exterior and interior, while respecting
the facade of the original building, creates luminous galleries and
outstanding views of London.
On display is the world famous Tate collection of International Modern
and Contemporary Art ranging from Andy Warhol to Rachel Whiteread
and Henri Matisse to Henry Moore, with displays arranged into four
themes - landscape, still life, the nude and history paintings. Admission