The lights may technically be out at London theaters, but the district has turned to the small screen, allowing you to stream musicals, plays, and cabarets from home. Stay entertained—and keep local performers in business—with recommendations from an actor and tour guide who knows the West End best.
Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London, United Kingdom
Part of the Southbank Centre—the United Kingdom’s largest arts center, comprising multiple venues—the Royal Festival Hall was built during the Festival of Britain, and was the city’s first postwar building to be granted protected status. Home to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the venue also attracts world-renowned musicians and other performers to its stage.
Given its pride of place on the South Bank, you’ll likely glimpse the Royal Festival when sightseeing in London, whether you’re on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, a Thames river cruise, or a private driving tour. It’s also easy to book tickets to a show and go on your own.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Royal Festival Hall’s Central Bar presents free lunchtime performances every Friday.
Auditorium doors open 30 minutes before an event’s start time.
The Royal Festival has several on-site bars and cafés. You’ll also find a wealth of drinking and dining options in the South Bank.
All of the Southbank Centre’s exhibition and performance spaces, restrooms, and cafés have step-free access, and a number of assisted events are offered.
Event tickets can be purchased over the phone, online, or at the on-site box office (credit cards only).
How to Get There
It’s convenient to get to the Royal Festival by metro: take the Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee, or Waterloo & City line to Waterloo station, or the District or Circle line to Embankment station. The venue is also served by numerous bus lines, riverboats, taxis, and rideshares.
When to Get There
Though the Royal Festival Hall is open daily, performance times vary. The venue is particularly lively during the South Bank’s annual festivals, including the Underbelly Festival (spring and summer), Meltdown (August), and the London Jazz Festival (October).
What Else to Do in the South Bank
The South Bank is one of London’s top destinations for culture and entertainment. Check out local food trucks and vendors in the outdoor Southbank Centre Food Market, explore the SEA LIFE® London Aquarium, or take a ride on the London Eye.
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Stansted Mountfitchet
- Things to do in Cambridge
- Things to do in Oxford
- Things to do in Southampton
- Things to do in Birmingham
- Things to do in Bristol
- Things to do in Cardiff
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Manchester
- Things to do in Liverpool
- Things to do in South East England
- Things to do in East of England
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais