South Bank London

Southbank Centre

Welcome to one of the world's leading centres for the performing arts!

Opening Hours

Royal Festival Hall: daily from 10am
National Poetry Library: Tue 12–6pm, Wed–Sun 12–8pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall: Open on performance days

Contact Info

Royal Festival Hall, 337-338 Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XU, UK
020 3879 9555

This world-famous arts centre on the river hosts 5000 events a year across every genre of visual arts, theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, literature, poetry and debate.

Enjoy a classical concert by one of four different resident orchestras, experience the world premieres of new shows by leading international choreographers, visit extraordinary contemporary art exhibitions or just soak up the atmosphere with a busy programme of free concerts, DJ sets and interactive activities for all the family.

Throughout the year the Southbank Centre is the home to several festivals that are major cultural landmarks on the London calendar, including: the London Literature Festival, Women of the World festival, the London Jazz Festival, Poetry International, Imagine Children’s Festival and the famous artist-led summer music festival Meltdown.

Meanwhile, the public spaces surrounding the building play host to a regularly changing display of public art installations, including the famous Winter Light installations around Christmas time and the much-loved dancing fountain, Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms.

In addition to one of London’s biggest concerts halls - Royal Festival Hall, the expansive Southbank Centre site (easily identifiable by its bright yellow staircases and flags) includes the contemporary art gallery Hayward Gallery, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Rooms and the National Poetry Library, as well as the Undercroft, a skate park that has been an iconic feature of London’s skateboarding scene for decades.

Eating and drinking at Southbank Centre

Enjoy a drink or a meal in one of more than a dozen, cafes, bars, restaurants and pop-ups occupying prime spaces across the Southbank Centre site. Options range from upmarket destination restaurants such as the glamorous Skylon inside the Royal Festival Hall and the celebrated Galician wine and tapas bar La Gamba to popular chains like Honest Burgers, Giraffe and Wagamama.

In summer find a seat at the busy Riverside Terrace overlooking the river and the fountains, or retreat to the more hidden away Hayward Gallery Cafe. The Queen Elizabeth Hall rooftop garden is a real gem and a fantastic place to hide away for a few hours amidst the abundant greenery.

For something quick to go while you stroll the Queen's Walk, the quirky Beany Green coffee container is a popular spot while for a quick sandwich you can't beat Pret a Manger. Also look out for the weekly Southbank Centre Food Market (Fri-Sun) known for its huge selection of cuisines from around the world, and during the festive period the Winter Market that stretches out underneath Hungerford Bridge.

Southbank Centre shops

Southbank Centre also has some brilliant gift shops that are worth seeking out for something special.

On the Nelson Mandela Walk (which leads from the bridge crossing the river) the flagship Southbank Centre gift shop stocks a great range of unique homeware, art prints and other gifts.

The Hayward Gallery also has a lovely shop selling artistic gifts, art books, posters and other beautiful contemporary art-themed items, and if you need a novel to pass sometimes, there's even a branch of Foyles bookshop right on the Queen's Walk.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices.