Royal Festival Hall at Southbank

The Royal Festival Hall is more than just a great performing arts venue, it is also a popular place to just hang out and enjoy the view and other amenities that are on site

The Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank
The Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank cc licensed photo by garryknight

The Royal Festival Hall was opened in 1951 at Southbank Centre in conjunction with the Festival of Britain. The Royal Festival Hall is both a popular gathering place a leading entertainment venue with modernist architectural styling consisting of a 2900 seat auditorium, the Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop, several restaurants and the Siason Poetry Library.

Entrance to Southbank Centre and all the buildings is free, so you can explore the venue and its many amenities without charge. There is usually a lot of stuff happening here, both inside and out, as this is a popular gathering spot and home to some popular festivals too. Of course there is a charge to attend certain events inside the venues which include concerts, dances and talks. The centre is open daily from 10am until 11pm. The hall is the regular home to the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Royal Festival Hall was reopened in 2007 after being closed for extensive renovations which took 2 years to complete. The hall now benefits from a cutting-edge stage, behind the scenes areas and equipage while retaining several of the original features. It is now licensed for weddings and also hosts conferences and graduation ceremonies.

For more information about the Royal Festival Hall as well as shows and schedules visit their official website link below.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No except for concerts and events.

Royal Festival Hall Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Address: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX, UK

Phone: 020 3879 9555

Official Website: Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall Reviews

Rated 4.6 out of 5 Star Rating

4 Star Rating Very friendly staff, clean and very well kept. Over priced drinks, snacks and food. To be expected. If you’ve never been before it’s a bit confusing to find the right entrance. The ticket shows you the row letter but that doesn’t necessarily correspond to the right door. The auditorium itself is fairly cramped. Be prepared to get up to let people into their seats. If there were an emergency I would be surprised if it didn’t end up in a stampede crushing people. The place isn’t built to let out the large number of people it’s made to seat. If you have tall people in front of you, be prepared to compromise on view. Facilities in and around are outstanding.
Patrick Klaeren - a week ago

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4 Star Rating Great venue as only a few minutes from Waterloo. I was sat in the rear stalls and had a great view with raked seating, the sound was incredible, no overhang from the balcony and plenty of leg room (i’m 5’7” and had loads of room). Toilets on every floor, bars around, had an elevator so is accessible. There was a balcony on the fourth or fifth floor where we could go during intermission to get some fresh air, people went out to smoke and vape. Right next to the food market if you wanted to get food before hand. The only issue I had was the seats were not offset so the person in front’s head was blocking my view, but other than that it was a great experience.
Erin Swift - a week ago

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5 Star Rating I went there for a graduation service. It was stunning. We had a great view from row F. It was a little tight but we managed. The views of outside from floor 4 were stunning. The decor was impressive. We had tea and cake, it was a bit pricey but you don't go every day. The South Bank is my hot spot in London. I'll be back in the summer!
Christine Kwakwa - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating A grand old place, but rather concrete. That said, alot is done, not to hide it, but blend it in. The decor inside and out is all vibrant and invigorating. It sits beautifully on the Thames in the South Bank area with lovely view ls all round. There are 6 levels, but some are kind of mezzanine. It has a few bars, lots of toilets, and lifts. The whole place is well laid out and fairly easily accessible, but can be awkward in a wheelchair to get from one side to another on certain floors. That said the staff are great and so helpful. The lift with a view to outside also makes a noise which turns out to be a song as you listen and then arrive on your floor so it rather entertaining. The building seems so look it between a blue side and a green side. This is because it is so big and so helps visitors find their way around easier. The hall itself is very big with great acoustics, but you really would hope for that in a place called the Festival Hall:) Nearest train station is Waterloo which is right across the road from it (you need to come out the main entrance, cross the road and go through the passage underneath the rail bridge... Then you are there. As you do that, if you need wheelchair access, look for the lift which is on the left side of the building as you look at it. Nearest tubes are Waterloo, Westminster and Embankment (if you arrive at Victoria). The London Eye and London Aquarium are right by it. The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Mall leading to Trafalgar Square are just across the bridge. Enjoy
Chris Who - 3 months ago

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4 Star Rating Amazing building and fun place to go for shows... However, it is showing its age and not sure how much money is being put back into it's maintenance and up keep: broken and unsafe seats, but still being used, dirty hand rails on the stairways (hands were disgustingly filthy after using), glass lifts were jam-packed, not enough staff to say or point out that there were other lifts available and carpet looking a bit worse for wear in places!! Overall, a venue that should be experienced but not sure with the seemingly lack of proper facility management and maintenance for how long the positive enjoyment of such a great venue will last!!
Rowena Henry - 4 months ago

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Directions

Tube Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Northern, Bakerloo and Jubilee LinesWaterloo Station5 Minutes
Circle and District LinesEmbankment Station5 Minutes

How to get to Royal Festival Hall by Tube

The Royal Festival hall is just northwest of the main exit from Waterloo Station. Exit onto Waterloo Road and go to you left (north). Stay left at the BFI Imax Theatre and bear left again onto Concert Hall Approach.

From Embankment Station on the Northbank simply walk across the Hungerford bridge. The hall is on the far side of the bridge to your right.

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