London

"All the world's a stage," said Shakespeare, immortal words heard for the first time right here in London. And whether you prefer your theater, music, and art classical or modern, or as contemporary twists on time-honored classics, you'll find that London's vibrant cultural scene more than holds its own on the world stage.

Divas sing original-language librettos at the Royal Opera House, Shakespeare's plays are brought to life at the reconstructed Globe Theatre, and challenging new writing is produced at the Royal Court. Whether you feel like basking in the lighthearted extravagance of a West End musical or taking in the next shark-in-formaldehyde at the White Cube gallery, the choice is yours.

There are international theater festivals, innovative music festivals, and critically acclaimed seasons of postmodern dance. Short trip or long, you'll find the cultural scene in London is ever-changing, ever-expanding, and ever-exciting.

No matter where you head, London's art and performing arts scenes have been setting global trends for decades—and even for centuries, when you count Shakespearean theater and Handel oratorios. Fringe theater, classical ballet, participatory chorales: you name it, and London probably did it first (and often still does it best).

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  • 1. Barbican Centre

    City of London

    Opened in 1982, The Barbican is an enormous Brutalist concrete maze that Londoners either love or hate—but its importance to the cultural life of the...Read More

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  • 2. BFI London Film Festival

    More than 200 feature films, many of them world or European premieres, plus shorts and artist talks, grace the program of the BFI London Film...Read More

  • 3. London Jazz Festival

    Come November, international jazz superstars rub shoulders with emerging local talent and cutting-edge bands at more than 50 venues across the city during the 10...Read More

  • 4. The Bridge Theatre

    London Bridge

    This gleaming theater on the banks of the River Thames by Tower Bridge is the brainchild of director Nicholas Hytner and producer Nick Starr, who...Read More

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