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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 05 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Sarah Barrell

London’s theatre and music scene is one of the oldest in the world – and its theatres and concert halls some of the most striking in design and architecture.

From the loving recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on the Southbank to the Brutalist blocks of the National Theatre, and the ornate Royal Albert Hall, with its unbeatable acoustics for orchestras, the buildings are as much a part of the story as the plays and concerts you’ll see performed inside.

The famous ‘West End’ (around Covent Garden and Soho) is the centre of it all, home to a collection of historic theatres which house a mixture of long-running plays and musicals and short-running shows. But you’ll find great theatres as spread out as London Bridge, Hackney and Chelsea, too, often with a certain ethos, such as championing new writing or showcasing different styles of dance.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Price from: £20
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
Frequency: daily
When: All year round
Duration: Varies

National Theatre

London, United Kingdom (UK)

From classic drama to musical comedy, the National’s three stages (the Olivier, Lyttleton and Dorfman) epitomise the best of British theatre. Boundary-pushing, and world-class quality.

Best for ages: 13+ | £45

External side view of the theatre during the daytime

Old Vic

London, United Kingdom (UK)

Thanks to artistic director Kevin Spacey, this 19th-century theatre has enjoying a glittering revival. One of London’s premier sites for performances by some of the world’s best-loved actors.

Best for ages: 16+ | £12 | 1+ hours

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Royal Albert Hall

London, United Kingdom (UK)

London’s premier venue, this iconic circular Victorian concert hall hosts everything from circus acts to classical music, with perfectly-crafted acoustics.

Best for ages: 13+ | £15 | 1+ hours

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

Bingham Riverhouse

London, United Kingdom (UK)

A lovely, tranquil retreat for those who want to dip in and out of central London. Richmond Park, Hampton Court and The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are on your doorstep.

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CitizenM Tower of London

London, United Kingdom (UK)

An affordable design hotel overlooking the Tower of London, with pod-style rooms and a hip bar and restaurant.

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London, United Kingdom (UK)

Undeniably the most glamorous and timeless of all London’s five-stars. This glorious Art Deco landmark and Mayfair institution is beloved by royalty, rock stars and fashionistas.

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Durrants Hotel

London, United Kingdom (UK)

This grand, family-run hotel has the warmth, intimacy and polished service of a gentlemen’s club in uber-trendy and sophisticated Marylebone.

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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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