Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre is Europe's largest centre for performing arts

Water feature and courtyard at Barbican Centre
Water feature and courtyard at Barbican Centre cc licensed photo by _gee_

The largest centre for performing arts in Europe, Barbican Centre is located in the Barbican Estate in the north part of London. The centre is the home of both the London and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. It also features a wide range of music concerts, both classical and contemporary as well as art exhibits, film screenings theatre and dance performances.

The Barbican Centre was built and paid for by the City of London as a gift to the nation and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on March 3, 1982.

It is a complex multilevel structure containing a concert hall that can seat an audience of 1,949; a theatre with a capacity of 1,166; 3 cinemas with seating for 288, 255 and 155 and an Art Gallery. There are also 7 conference halls, 2 exhibition halls a library, 3 restaurants and an outdoor courtyard area complete with a water feature. Yellow lines are painted on walkways to help you find this large but obscure centre.

The modernist design of the Barbican Centre has resulted in a people friendly venue that has helped attract a whole new generation to watch and participate in the performing arts.

For more information about the Barbican Centre as well as shows and schedules visit their official website link below.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Barbican Centre Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Address: Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS, UK

Phone: 020 7870 2500

Official Website: Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Interesting space. An ode to Cement. Unexpectedly huge. A bit of a labyrinth. Lots of spaces of interest, from art exhibitions to theaters, to play areas to outside spaces, to food courts to coffee shops and not to forget the big conservatory (provided you go on a Sunday or on a Bank holiday). Certainly a place of interest, can easily spend the day in it. Although a bit gloomy with lots of dark colours (could do with some white colour) it is definitely worth a visit.
Harry K - a week ago

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4 Star Rating I went for the My Neighbor Totoro performance. It was wonderful. I could easily hear everything, and I was able to see everything clearly. The seats were comfortable and I didn’t get as cold as I did like other theatres I’ve been to. The queues for the bathrooms were long (especially for the women). If it’s your first time there, I’d recommend going early to make sure you find your seat on time and get snacks or a drink before the performance you choose starts. It’s a bit of a maze at first!
Jade C - a month ago

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4 Star Rating The choice of cultural programs are great. Location is good, however the available toilets are ridiculous. The queuing was so long for the loo I missed some of the concert. The acoustics in the hall is great with excellent atmosphere with always full house. Do something with the facilities please . John Williams debut was unmissable and great fun
Nusynasy S - 2 months ago

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4 Star Rating Went to watch Totoro here and I absolutely loved it! I’ve been a fan of totoro for years and seeing it on stage was truly magical. We had seats at the front on row F and it was amazing. It was really busy but that was expected. I loved the merch as well. Only downside that there wasn’t enough staff on the bar so the queue was horrendous and same with the toilets in terms of how many were available. But I suppose some things can’t be controlled. Overall would definitely come again - lots of food locations nearby and the staff were really friendly too.
Courtney Randle - in the last week

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5 Star Rating The Barbican Centre is a unique venue in London and if you can get tickets for the theatre, the trip will be more memorable. The theatre is big and can hold a lot of people. Food and drink as you would expect is expensive. There is plenty of space outside of the theatre to move around so you don't feel cramped in. The one thing that lets the place down is the toilets. They are very outdated and cannot accommodate the number of people who need to use them. The queues can last for the entirety of the intermission. Apart from that, it was a great night out.
Gary Jelks - a month ago

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Tube Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith and City LinesBarbican10 minutes
Northern LineMoorgate10 minutes
Central LineSt. Paul's10 minutes

How to get to Barbican Centre by Tube

From Barbican Station take the street level exit. Go right on Aldersgate St. and then left onto Beech St. and walk through Beech St. tunnel. If going to exhibition halls 1 or 2 go left at Golden Lane, otherwise keep going straight to the end of the tunnel. Cross the street at the end of the tunnel and follow Silk St. to the Barbican Centre entrance on your right.

From Moorgate Station take Finsbury Square exit and go right to Moor Place then right to Moorfields. Take the escalator between Moorgate Station and Boots up to the Highwalk the follow the yellow line all the way to the entrance.

From St. Paul's Station take exit 1 and go to your right along Cheapside until you get to Wood St. Turn left onto Wood St. and continue to the traffic light, then take the escalator, stairs or lift to Alban Highwalk. Follow the yellow line to the entrance.

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