Southbank Centre

Top choice in South Bank

Southbank Centre, Europe's largest space for performing and visual arts, is made up of three brutalist buildings that stretch across seven riverside hectares: Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Hayward Gallery. With cafes, restaurants, shops and bars, this complex is always a hub of activity, from the singing lift up to the 6th floor to teenage skateboarders doing tricks in the Undercroft. In summer, the fountains and artificial beach on the waterfront are a hit with youngsters.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Bank attractions

1. Hayward Gallery

0.04 MILES

Part of the Southbank Centre, the Hayward Gallery hosts a changing roster of contemporary art in a 1960s brutalist building. It doesn't have a permanent…

2. London Eye

0.23 MILES

It’s hard to imagine South Bank without the London Eye (officially named the London Eye after its current sponsor), the world’s largest…

3. Sea Life London Aquarium


Mostly geared towards kids, the Sea Life London Aquarium includes a shark tunnel, ray lagoon and Gentoo penguin enclosures that will keep little ones…

4. Leake Street Arches

0.31 MILES

A grungy road under Waterloo station seems an unlikely place to find art, theatre and restaurants, but Leake St is the latest of London's railway arches…

5. County Hall

0.31 MILES

This grand building (1922) with a curved, colonnaded facade was the home of the London County Council, and later the Greater London Council, until 1986…

6. Roupell St

0.32 MILES

The backstreets of Waterloo hide some amazing architecture. Roupell St is an astonishingly pretty row of low-rise workers' cottages, all sooty bricks and…

7. Somerset House

0.32 MILES

Designed in 1775 for government departments and royal societies – perhaps the world's first office block – Somerset House now contains galleries,…

8. London Dungeon

0.34 MILES

A scary tour of London's gruesome history awaits. Expect darkness, sudden loud noises, flashing lights, squirts of unspecified liquid and unpleasant…