What are the best concert venues in London?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Jo Caird
  • Jo Caird

  • Correspondent

  • London, England, UK

When it comes to high-profile concerts – both classical and contemporary music – it's hard to beat the Royal Albert Hall. This gorgeous Victorian building, which overlooks Hyde Park in Kensington, hosts the famous BBC Proms each summer as well as a year-round programme of big names, from world-class orchestras to the likes of Eric Clapton, who will be playing there in May.

The Barbican and the two venues at the Southbank Centre, the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, are also excellent large-scale venues.

For more intimate gigs, LSO St. Luke's offers a unique acoustic and extraordinary atmosphere – you'll find it in a historic church on the outskirts of the City of London. You'll find traditional concerts here, but also some more left-field gigs.

A venue loved by jazz afficionados is The Vortex Jazz Club in trendy East London. As well as jazz there's world music and folk too.

Joseph Reaney

It really depends what kind of music you like. If you are looking for classical concerts, you should make a beeline for either the iconic Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican Hall or the Royal Festival Hall. If you like rock and pop extravaganzas, try The O2 Arena, Hammersmith Apollo or the Brixton Academy. If you like jazz, check out Cafe Oto, Vortex Dalston or Luna Lounge. And if you like intimate venues offering everything from folk music to trance to hip hop, just take a walk around East London – there are hundreds of venues here, from Hoxton Square Bar to Cargo London, that cater for every taste.

But the best advice for any music-lover traveling to London is to wait until summer. That way you can enjoy the wealth of world-class music festivals happening on almost every single summer weekend, from the poptastic Wireless Festival to the classical (and fiercely patriotic) Last Night of the Proms. You'll find a list of some our favorite London festivals here.

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