Arts and Culture in London
London has so much to offer in the way of arts and culture, it is hard to know where to begin.
Check out our Londonstranger.com/events page for major arts exhibitions and events in London.
Here are some facts and figures
- There are 170 museums in London these include the British Museum rated regularly as a top 10 museum in the world as well as the highly acclaimed "Natural History Museum", "Science Museum" and "Victoria and Albert Museum".
- London has over 850 Art Galleries including two of the top ten best in the world, "Tate Modern" and "National Gallery". London dominates the UK visual arts sector which accounts for 30% of the global market!
- Over 250 festivals take place across London every year including Europe's largest street festival, "Notting Hill Carnival".
- Every year there are over 17,000 music performances across 300 plus venues. The city caters for all musical tastes. The O2 Arena is now the world's most popular music venue for big acts. Wilton's Music Hall is the world's oldest music venue built in 1743!...and there many other music venues that ooze charisma and have many a story to tell.
- The West End is the most popular Theatre scene in the world with attendances for shows regularly out performing New York's Broadway. The first Shakespeare performance at the Globe took part in 1599!.....You can experience a traditional Shakespeare play from times gone by at the rebuilt Globe Theatre while those seeking something more mainstream have around 40 West End productions to choose from.
- 100's of street performers ply their trade each day in London, juggling, singing, being statues or whatever their talent may be that entertains. This has been happening in London for over 450 years at least since the "Punch and Judy Show in Covent Garden" was first recorded in Samuel Pepy's diary back in 1662!....The most prominent locations for street performers are Covent Garden, the London Underground, Southbank, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.
- London is home to more live comedy shows than any other city on the planet.
- The city boasts 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace, Kew Gardens and the Tower of London.
- There are over 300 different languages spoken in London and with this over 100 different cuisines on offer for those who like experiencing different food when dining out. London has a true multi-cultural flavour to it.
- Book worms are well catered for with the city home to over 800 book shops and 350 public libraries. This includes Hatchards which has been selling books in London since 1797!
- London has long been a mecca for fashion. The "Victoria and Albert Museum" is the leading museum for fashion in the world, the city hosts the world renowned "London Fashion Week Festival" twice a year in February and September. Oxford Street is the busiest shopping street in Europe with over 500,000 visitors each day! Carnaby Street once had a big reputation for being at the cutting edge of fashion.
- Walk around London and look up, the city is full of many architectural masterpieces that can too easily be missed. The world leading London Design Festival is held every year attracting 350,000 people to innovative projects and cutting edge design. The Design Museum in Kensington, is viewed as one of the world's best museums for product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design.
- London has an interesting "Street Art" scene, which include many works by the world's most famous street artist "Banksy". Try and find the "Seven noses of Soho" or do a tour to explore London's street art scene.