If you’re in London on a city break, it can be a tough call choosing between all the world-class cultural attractions on offer. Do you want to get your mind-blown by million-year-old artefacts? Learn something new about science? Or just spend an hour or two perusing oil paintings? No matter how niche your interests, the capital’s museums, galleries and conference spaces will have an exhibition to suit you. Perhaps you’re in town to explore another side of London’s culture - the student side! With so many top-name universities to choose from, the capital attracts some of the world’s brightest minds. There’s just too much culture to explore in just one day, so how about an overnight stay? Check out our range of hotels in London to find one that puts you in pole position for all the high-brow hotspots.
Culture in London
Whether you want to be dazzled by a Da Vinci or delighted by a Damien Hirst, London has over 250 galleries offering you the chance to see art in all its forms and genres.
With a building that will inspire you before you even get inside, Tate Modern houses pieces from the big hitters of the art world. Most impressive of all is the cavernous Turbine Hall, used to show off larger installations to great effect. The galleries take a while to wander, so why not book a room at the Premier Inn hotel near the Tate Modern so you can take your time?
Opened in 1834 as a place where everyone could come and enjoy the art on offer, the National Gallery is still free to enter today. The Gallery is devoted to education and inspiration, with everything from concerts to lectures and talks taking place in its hallowed halls. With a central location at Trafalgar Square, you could just wander in simply to gaze at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers - how amazing is that?
The National Portrait Gallery has 10,000 portraits of historically important British people. Among the legends depicted in paintings, sketches and sculptures, you’ll spot everyone from Florence Nightingale, The Beatles and Kate Middleton. Once you’ve had your fill of famous faces, our Leicester Square Premier Inn hotel is just a short stroll up the road.
Tate Britain is dedicated to historical and contemporary British art from 1500 to the present day. Not to be confused with its more famous modern counterpart on the South Bank, this Tate can be found on Millbank in the City of Westminster. Alongside a large collection of the works of Turner, Tate Britain is also the home of the controversial Turner Prize exhibition, featuring four artists selected by a jury.
Located in the centre of London on the Kings Road, Chelsea, the Saatchi Gallery offers the latest and greatest in contemporary art. Known for controversial works of art, like Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” or Spencer Tunick’s nude happening, expect the unexpected at the Saatchi Gallery.
Over three million visitors head to Somerset House each year for a cultural calendar jam-packed with events and exhibitions, classics and contemporary arts. Recent highlights include photography, design and art installations, as well as annual festivals such as Pick Me Up, celebrating graphic arts, and Photo London.
Who says high-brow pursuits have to come with a sky-high price tag? London has one of the greatest concentrations of top-class museums in the world and the vast majority of them are free to enter.
With the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone and more Egyptian mummies than a double episode of Scooby Doo, there are some jaw-dropping exhibits among the eight million items on display at the British Museum that will thrill the whole family. You’ll feel like you’ve seen the world without leaving London!
High-tech, hands-on and hugely entertaining. A trip to the Science Museum can turn even the most die-hard technophobes into physics fans. The most-visited science and technology museum in Europe, it’s filled with interactive games and experiments you’ll be dying to try out. Besides all the buttons to press, there are 15,000 items on display, from Stephenson’s Rocket to the Apollo 10 capsule.
The Imperial War Museum tells the story of modern warfare, but don’t think that a visit here is going to be a total downer. With wartime memorabilia, military vehicles, planes and weapons to look at, there’s something for both young and old visitors to enjoy. To really get the most out of your visit, why not book into a Premier Inn Hotel near the Imperial War Museum London? There’s one right around the corner, ready and waiting to get your city break off to the best possible start.
With stunning architecture, the Natural History Museum is a work of art in itself - it looks more like a cathedral than a museum! But stop marvelling and get inside, as there are 70 million curiosities from the natural world waiting for you to ooh and ahh over. A huge blue whale, ‘Dippy’ the diplodocus and a wonderfully creepy room full of things pickled in jars. Staying in our hotel near the Natural History Museum means you can get there early and beat the crowds.
The London Transport Museum in Covent Garden tells the story of transport in the capital through the medium of 440,000 fascinating items, artefacts and exhibits. From old maps and station signs to real old buses and vintage steam trains, there’s plenty to look at and climb on - and kids of all ages will love the chance to drive a Tube train. You won’t even need to take the bus to get there if you’ve booked into our London Holborn Premier Inn hotel - it’s just around the corner!
One of the capital’s most iconic cultural institutions, the Victoria and Albert Museum covers 13 acres of ground and contains some artefacts that date back to around 5,000 years ago. First opened to the public in 1909, it was originally used by Queen Victoria and her husband to house their growing collection of art. Expect to see extensive collections of jewellery, glassware, textiles, furniture and paintings - you’ll soon realise how much these royals enjoyed their art!
The Design Museum in Kensington brings together the worlds of architecture, fashion, transport and digital design, all within its beautiful marble and oak walls. But it’s not just for art and design lovers exclusively. Little ones and budding teen designers can enrol in courses and workshops, plus enjoy talks and tours galore.
The capital’s cultural scene is always kept fresh and interesting because of its huge student population. London attracts more academic talent than any other city on the planet, and its universities are some of the oldest and most prestigious in the world.
The highest ranked university in London and an impressive eighth in the world, Imperial College London is nothing short of amazing when it comes to its history and achievements over the years. Attracting students from over 125 countries, what better place to study than in amongst some of London’s most historical and iconic museums, galleries and buildings. Got an open day to attend here? Book a room at our hotel near Imperial College London and finish your day in a cosy, comfy bed.
Located in the trendy, student area of New Cross in South East London, Goldsmiths University is renowned for being a hub of creativity. Small in size but big in culture, it’s hard not to feel the sense of community here. Coming to visit? Our London Greenwich hotel is handy.
Found in the Georgian market town of Uxbridge, Brunel University is a great place to study or come for a visit. Close to the Pavilions and the Chimes Centre, you’re never far away from shops, bars and restaurants and, as a campus-based university, students have everything they need at their fingertips. Family visiting for graduation day? Head to our London Uxbridge hotel just over a mile away where you can look forward to a comfy bed after a day of celebrations.
Heading to the capital to catch a conference or an event? You’re in luck! London has some of the finest exhibition centres, with lots to do off-site when you’ve got some down-time.
Affectionately known as Ally Pally, Alexandra Palace is a great place for an exhibition. This historic entertainment venue nestled in Alexandra Park has beautiful views over London and an events calendar that’s bursting at the seams. Due to its size, grand exhibitions can take place, such as the annual antiques show and even yacht events (with real-life yachts set up in the hall!).
Where better to attend an event than at the Barbican, winner of the ‘Coolest Conference & Exhibition Centre 2017’ award at Prestige Event’s COOL Awards. Set in one of the most iconic Brutalist buildings in the world, it offers a range of exhibitions and conferences. Prepare to be inspired, whatever brings you here!
Hosting more than 200 events and exhibitions each year, Olympia London really knows how to put on a good show. From national wedding, food and health shows to specialist trade fairs, this amazing building is made up of seven spaces that stand alone for intimate events, or combine for something truly spectacular.