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Somerset House, London

4.3
#25 of 144 in Historic Sites in London
This grand neo-classical building operates as a major arts and cultural center. Somerset House hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including open-air concerts and movie showings, family workshops, and contemporary art and design exhibitions. During the summer months 55 fountains dance in the courtyard, and in the winter there is a large ice rink. Free, guided tours are available on certain days, so check online beforehand. If your visit coincides with a tour, turn up early, as they are very popular. There are several cafes and restaurants to choose from. Visit Tom’s Terrace for views across to the River Thames. With our international travel planner, London attractions like Somerset House can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
755 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    Small corner in the quiet Central London I advise you to go see! The summer there is a covered terrace side Thames which is just amazing! The prices are a bit high, as everywhere in London, but worth it. White wine for £ 20 and £ 10 cocktails. Not much choice of cocktail and one beer but it is well decorated and the service is quick although it could be brighter. On the other hand there is that one toilet for the bar which is very little.
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  • August 21, 2017
    If you aren't sure about the outdoor cinema GO! It's an incredible place to watch a film. Would recommend bringing blankets and pillows as you sit on the floor. Can also bring your own food and drink ...  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    What an incredible place to hold the outdoor cinema series. The setting was simply lit and looked suitably dramatic. The staff were lovely and welcoming, helped you look past the airport style securit...  more »
Google
  • We took the Old Palace tour. some of the nice things were that it was free, small sized, and seemed to cover a lot of history. The tour dragged on though, and you didn't get to see much of the existing structure just talk about the Old Palace. The tour guide seemed disorganized and anxious. The grounds were beautiful and I would recommend viewing the building and it's museum, but there isn't much need to walk the tour.
  • Love going here for events such as London Fashion Week but it's really nice during the summer evenings when it's empty to take photographs and just walk around. Definitely a tourist spot.
  • Somerset House is one of the most beautiful buildings in London and one of the best homes of the Art as I like to call the museums and exhibition centres. They host frequently classic and contemporary art, new artists and photography exhibitions. Frequent visitor myself I have enjoyed works of art that I would know nothing about if it wasn't for the Somerset house. No matter what I say is not enough you must visit.
  • The ice rink is probably one of the best around with fantastic rental boots. Fully fabric and really comfy. The staff and skating experts were a great help as it was my first time skating. There's also a little smaller rink for newbies to get the hang of things before you tackle the main rink. Perfect for kids and new starters.
  • Fun place to be. There is always something going on. On the picture you can see kids having fun on the hot day, there are film screenings in the Summer and ice-skating in the Winter. Inside on regular basis they have extraordinary exhibitions. And fashion shows I heard... So, it's one of the places, which one should always keep in the diary and check what they are up to...

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Where to stay in London

Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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