Plan your visit
The Royal Festival Hall and Hayward Gallery are reopening soon, but Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room remain closed for now.
As part of our Summer Reunion, the Hayward Gallery reopens with two new exhibitions on Wednesday 19 May, and the Royal Festival Hall reopens for socially distanced auditorium events from Friday 28 May.
Please see below for more information on your visit and how we’re keeping you safe.
Before we reopen
We're really looking forward to welcoming you back soon. We believe that access to art, music and creativity is more important than ever, so stay connected for your regular culture fix of blogs, videos, podcasts and playlists on our website and social channels.
The Southbank Centre is Covid-secure. For now, you must only visit with people from your own household or support bubble. As always, maintain social distancing and make sure you wear a face covering at all times in our buildings. There's plenty of hand sanitiser available to keep your hands clean.
If you're enjoying our riverside bars and entertainment, these areas are subject to the rule of six outdoors. Please maintain social distancing and wear a face covering when accessing the indoor toilets.
As we welcome you back, our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, so we’ve introduced a number of measures to help everyone stay safe. Here's what you need to know before you visit.
We’re following the official government guidance on working safely during coronavirus to make sure we’re Covid-secure. Measures we’ve introduced so far include:
- Reduced visitor numbers and social distancing
- Physically distanced seating
- Clear signage and one-way systems
- Removal of some seating and changes to access
- Hand sanitiser stations
- Regular and thorough cleaning
- Support bubbles only
- Face coverings for ages 11+
- Going cash-free
We’ll continue to review and manage any risks and respond to any changes in the guidance, keeping our staff trained and up to date as we go.
Reduced visitor numbers
We’re admitting fewer visitors than usual so that you can easily keep a safe distance from others and enjoy a crowd-free visit.
When you book for the Hayward Gallery, you’re given a time slot to make sure that we keep to a safe number of people within the gallery.
Keep others safe
You must wear a face covering during your visit, for your safety and the safety of other visitors and staff.
Please, stay at home if you have symptoms of illness such as a cough, sore throat or fever or have been in contact in the past 14 days with someone who has coronavirus. You can email us up to 24 hours before the event to refund or exchange your ticket.
During your visit
To keep yourself and others safe, please:
- Wear a face covering
- Follow our one-way system
- Keep a safe distance from others
- Use the hand sanitiser provided
You don't have to wear a face covering if there is a good reason why you can't do so.
- children under the age of 11 don’t have to wear a face covering
- you don't have to wear a face covering if you can't put on, wear or remove it because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability
- you don't have to wear a face covering if putting on, wearing or removing it will cause you severe distress
- you don't have to wear a face covering if you are providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
Socially distanced seating
Step 4 of the government’s roadmap anticipates the removal of all legal limits on social contact and the reopening of full auditoriums from Monday 21 June, subject to successful pilot test events taking place in April and May.
We initially have a socially distanced seating plan in the Royal Festival Hall, which offers a reduced capacity of 1,000 people, ensuring a one-metre-plus space between audience members when seated. We are also carrying out enhanced cleaning of the auditorium between performances.
You can make bookings for households or support bubbles of up to six people, but our auditorium seats are only available in groups of one or two people, which allows us to maintain social distancing. This means that bookings of more than two people will be split across multiple groups.
Four people from the same household or support bubble can be seated together in the boxes only. The cost of a box ticket is for four people, and one ticket is issued for entry. Please ensure all members of your party enter the venue at the same time.
We are acting in accordance with government guidelines, which are subject to change – please check this page before your visit.
Our venues are not yet open; the Hayward Gallery reopens on Wednesday 19 May and the Royal Festival Hall reopens for socially distanced auditorium events from Friday 28 May. Please see below for opening times from these dates.
Opening times for the Royal Festival Hall
The Royal Festival Hall is open to all for access to the Level 2 foyers, Level 2 toilets, the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre Shop and Riverside Terrace Cafe at the following times:
Sunday – Thursday, 12 noon – 8pm*
Friday and Saturday, 12 noon – 10.30pm*
*Closing times may vary on event days. Access to the Royal Festival Hall foyers is restricted to ticket holders from 90 minutes before events begin.
Opening times for the Hayward Gallery
Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm
Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Closed on Monday and Tuesday
Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX.
- The nearest tube and train stations within 5 – 7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines).
- There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2 – 5 minutes from our venues.
For more information on getting here by road, rail or river:
Pre-booking online is essential. Entry is by pre-booked ticket only. Check our website on the day for returns.
There’s no need to print your e-ticket – just show your phone to our Visitor Assistants on entry.
If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, tickets admit you to both exhibitions, Matthew Barney: Redoubt and Igshaan Adams: Kicking Dust. If you are a Member or supporter, please book your Hayward Gallery ticket online (details of how to book these tickets are below).
If you don't receive your e-ticket
Check your spam folder for an email from [email protected] If you don’t receive your e-ticket within a few hours of booking, please get in touch.
Unable to attend
If you’re unable to attend your booking, email us no later than 24 hours before the event to return your ticket for a credit voucher, valid for two years from date of issue. We can't accept returns after the date of your booking.
Please, stay at home if you have symptoms of illness such as a cough, sore throat or fever or have been in contact in the past 14 days with someone who has coronavirus.
Members visiting the Hayward Gallery
If you are a Member or supporter, you must book your ticket online in advance by selecting the 'Members’ free ticket' option under the concessions tab. This can only be applied to one ticket. Any extra tickets will be priced at the standard rate unless another concession applies.
Dual Members must book their tickets separately.
Concessions for the Hayward Gallery
Check the visitor info on our Hayward Gallery venue page for information on concessions.
Visiting the Royal Festival Hall
Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open on Level 2 of the Royal Festival Hall for ticket holders and those attending Riverside Terrace events.
The Royal Festival Hall cloakroom is closed in order to reduce face-to-face contact. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the Royal Festival Hall, so please leave large bags at home.
Visiting the Hayward Gallery
When you arrive
Entrance to the exhibition is via the Hayward Gallery main entrance. We’re operating a one-way system.
Get here as close to your time slot as possible – you won’t be able to come into the Hayward Gallery to wait.
Toilets, including accessible toilets, are open for ticket holders in the Hayward Gallery Foyer.
The Hayward Gallery cloakroom is closed in order to reduce face-to-face contact. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the exhibition, so please leave large bags at home.
Visitors with prams, buggies and wheelchairs are welcome.
After leaving the Hayward Gallery exhibition, the one-way system takes you through the Hayward Gallery Shop, which is now cash-free.
There may be short queues to enter our buildings, events and exhibitions. If you are not able to queue or need further assistance, our Visitor Assistants are here to help you.
We welcome wheelchair users and guide companion dogs.
Our Access Scheme
If you have any access requirements, please sign up to our Access Scheme for discounts, wheelchair spaces, dedicated seats and free companion tickets. You can also join our mailing list to get news about accessible events and exhibitions.
Entering the Royal Festival Hall
For level access to the Royal Festival Hall, please use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road, to Level 2, and enter via Riverside Terrace. All floors are accessible from the main foyer.
Entering the Hayward Gallery
There may be short queues to enter the Hayward Gallery building and the exhibition. If you are not able to queue or need further assistance, our hosts are here to help you.
For level access to the gallery from Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road, use the car park lift to the Hayward Gallery Foyer. All floors are accessible from the main foyer.
Accessible toilets are available, and there is some seating for visitors who need it during their visit. Wheelchairs and gallery stools are available for visitors by speaking to a host when you arrive (subject to availability).
Blue Badge holders and those with access requirements can be dropped off on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road (the road between the Royal Festival Hall and the Hayward Gallery).
There are four Blue Badge parking spaces available for visitors located on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and are free to use. You must display your Blue Badge as you enter the site. Vehicles that do not display a Blue Badge are refused entry.
Blue Badge parking at National Theatre
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can be found at the National Theatre car park (330 metres). If you are visiting the Hayward Gallery, just take your badge and car park ticket to the Ticket Desk in the gallery foyer for validation before you leave.
Please note: on Sunday when the National Theatre building is closed there is no step-free access from the car park.
Alternative parking is available nearby at the APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park (490 metres), subject to charges.
Blue Badge parking at APCOA Cornwall Road
Alternative parking for Blue Badge holders visiting the Southbank Centre can also be found at the South Bank Car Park – APCOA Cornwall Road Car Park. Just take your badge and car park ticket to the parking attendant office at the entrance to the car park for validation before you leave.
A drop-off point at the Royal Festival Hall (30 metres) has been created for visitors who are unable to walk from alternative car parks.
Your privacy and NHS Test and Trace
If you visit us when our venues reopen, we will collect your data and some information about you, so that we can take part in the NHS Test and Trace service and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The government has asked organisations to do this in order to keep our visitors and employees safe.