London’s Southbank has evolved into a cultural haven since the Southbank centre’s 1951 Festival of Britain. It became a key tourist attraction which features the likes of the London Eye, the SEALIFE Aquarium and The London Dungeons. But visiting Southbank can be also be budget friendly venture, and we have compiled a list of 10 things to do in London South Bank.

Headstand photo on Southbank with St Pauls behind
Southbank, a nice place for a stroll | Photo by Dan Fone

Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is a multi-arts venue located on Belvedere Road. The centre regularly puts on top exhibitions, family activities, live music, free events and more throughout the year. You can find out which events are on by visiting the Southbank centre’s website, and if it’s the festive season be sure to checkout the Winter market. The Southbank Centre is the heart and soul of the Southbank – it simply can’t be missed.

Imperial War Museum

If you have a day to spare, visit the Imperial War Museum to time-travel through the human response to conflict. The powerful collections feature the history of war dating from WW1 to the present day, including things like the Holocaust exhibition. The museum also offers a wide range of temporary art exhibitions, showcasing different perspectives on war and terror.

The Undercroft

Built in 1988, he Undercroft of the Southbank Centre is the world’s oldest continually used skate park. It is the epicentre of UK skateboarding and offers a wide array of street art and is the perfect location for photographers to capture the underground culture of London.

The House of Vans

If extreme sport is your thing, you can find even more at The House of Vans located on Station Approach Road. Just like The Undercroft, The House of Vans is a BMX and Skateboarders hotspot in London that offers free exhibitions, gigs and screenings. You can find events on their website here.

Leake Street Tunnel

Leake Street is a road tunnel where graffiti enthusiasts show off their abilities. It is the perfect location for Insta-worthy photography and is full of constantly changing street art. You can find workshops to have a go for yourself or chat to the local artists to get a better understanding of the culture behind street art in London.

Florence Nightingale Museum

With a small admission fee, the Florence Nightingale Museum is housed within St Thomas’ Hospital. It is a charming location to visit during their open weekends and offers an insight into the life and research of the famous nurse. Due to pandemic disruputing the museum has very limited opening times in 2021, check the website for the next “open day” for booking your visit.

Tate Modern Entrance Hall
The Tate Modern building is such an interesting space, worth a visit even if modern art doesn’t do it for you | Photo by Dan Fone

Tate Modern

Definitely one of the most cultured things to do in London South Bank, Tate Modern houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of international and contemporary art. It is the crown jewel of Modern Art galleries in London and offers huge art collections from the likes of Picasso, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko. Entry into the museum is free (although you currently have to book a time slot) and they regularly host free exhibitions throughout the year. You can find out more by visiting Tate Modern’s website.

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

In the summer, hide away and relax at Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden. Sit and absorb the sun, grab a book, or people watch from one of London’s most beautiful gardens. With wonderful river views, a bar, fruit trees, and wildflowers, this roof garden is the ideal place to soak up some of the most incredible views of London.

Southbank Book Market

Located underneath the famous Waterloo Bridge, extending along the Thames, the Southbank Book Market is the perfect place for any bookworm to indulge in a new find. With plenty of books to choose from, you can spend hours here browsing and discovering your next favourite book. Although this is a book market, there are a number of local artists and creators who sell their work here too.

Borough Market

Borough Market is a large, covered area that spreads into a maze of streets. It’s any foodie’s favourite London market and perfectly envisions the atmosphere of London. The market is popular for the food with records showing ithas been around since as far back as 1276.

More ideas: See our article 101 Free Things To Do in London.

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BIO: a social-yet-socially-awkward writer and artist with too many hobbies to keep track of.
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