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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 06 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Instantly recognisable as one of London’s greatest icons, the Royal Albert Hall is the capital’s premier venue – a beautiful, circular concert hall, founded in 1871, and based on the design of a Roman amphitheatre.

Outside, its red and gold frontage dominates the southern edge of Kensington Gardens, while inside – beneath the largest unsupported glass dome in the world – the main auditorium is almost overwhelming in its scale, with over 5,000 seats, many in galleried, gilt-edged ‘boxes’.

The Hall hosts everything from rock concerts to classical music and theatrical events such as Cirque du Soleil, and remains a pillar of the capital’s cultural life as the home of the Proms, a classical music festival that runs from July to September. Steeped in history, this is the place to perform in London, and everyone from Russian pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff to Adele has performed on its stage.

You can also take 60-minute daytime tours to go behind the scenes, and learn about the history and architecture of this monument to the arts.

Don’t miss 

The Royal Albert Hall is most famous for ‘The Proms’ – an 8-week series of concerts, every summer, begun in 1895 and named after the era’s ‘promenade concerts’ which used to take place in London’s pleasure gardens. The Proms focus on classical music, but in a diverse array of styles, from opera to the National Ukelele Orchestra; many performances have a hugely celebratory atmosphere, particularly the world-famous ‘Last Night of the Proms’.

Promming – standing in the Arena or Gallery – is a brilliant way to experience the Proms for next to nothing. Up to 1,400 standing places are available for each concert for £5.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Price from: £15
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ hours

Getting there & doing it

The nearest Underground stations are Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line), South Kensington (Circle, District, Piccadilly) and Gloucester Road (Circle, District, Piccadilly). It’s a 10-minute walk from there.

See the website for the programme of events. Tickets for top shows sell out weeks if not months in advance, so book ahead.

There’s a whopping 13 bars and three restaurants, including a dedicated champagne bar and even a cider bar. At Verdi restaurant, afternoon tea is sound tracked by live classical musicians.

When to do it

The RAH’s programme runs year round, with a diverse programme of events. The box office is open daily. Visit July to September to join in the world-famous ‘Proms’.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Number Sixteen

London, United Kingdom (UK)[0.9 miles]

Dazzling design and local colour abound at this intimate, under-the-radar bolthole in a convenient, upmarket location.

Official star rating:

Sydney House

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.1 miles]

A value-for-money Georgian townhouse hotel that offers a pleasingly tranquil feel, set on a refined residential street in the heart of Chelsea.

Official star rating:

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

London, United Kingdom (UK)[1.2 miles]

A gloriously opulent Edwardian hotel, with Michelin-starred dining, a subterranean spa and a wonderful location overlooking Hyde Park – one of the capital’s most expensive, most luxurious addresses.

Official star rating:

Portobello Hotel

London, United Kingdom (UK)[2.2 miles]

A colourful boutique hotel with an even more colourful rock’n’roll history, in the boho-chic residential quarter between Portobello Road and Notting Hill.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Greater London, United Kingdom (UK)

World-class culture, fashion, music, food and history – and a mind-boggling array of bucket list experiences – packed into one extraordinary, incomparable destination. 

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Natural History Museum

London, United Kingdom (UK)[0.5 miles]

Dinosaur skeletons, blue whales and chunks of meteorite set in a Romanesque, cathedral-like building – the world’s biggest and best such museum is a treasure trove of natural history.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

Kensington Palace

London, United Kingdom (UK)[0.8 miles]

Birthplace of Queen Victoria, this regal 18th-century palace in Hyde Park is now the official residence of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

Best for ages: 13+ | £17

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Royal Academy of Arts

London, United Kingdom (UK)[2.8 miles]

An 18th-century mansion of masterpieces sitting pretty on Piccadilly, home to one of Britain’s oldest collections of fine art and regular blockbuster exhibitions.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

Madame Tussauds

London, United Kingdom (UK)[2.9 miles]

Meet the queen, get a selfie with Stormzy and take the controls of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca at the world’s leading and original wax museum.

Best for ages: 8+ | £30