Barbican Centre, London: How To Reach, Best Time & Tips
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Entry Tickets

About Barbican Centre

Barbican Centre happens to be one of the most renowned centres for performing arts in the Barbican Estate in London. It is one of its kind in Europe and is considered to be the largest in the world. This centre is a popular place for a multitude of events starting from classical and contemporary music concerts to dance performances and from film screenings to art and craft exhibitions.

The Barbican Centre happens to be one of the members of the Global Cultural Districts Network. The City of London Corporation has not only funded the Barbican Centre but also maintains it at the present time. As per the estimates, the building was constructed at an expense of a whopping £161 million at that time which is now equivalent to almost £500 million.

The centre was opened for public visits in the year 1982 after Queen Elizabeth graced its inaugural ceremony. One of the primary reasons for its significance in the tourism map of the United Kingdom is its brutalist architecture. The architects of this magnificent building were Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon.

The architecture at that point of time was considered to be very well thought out. It had provisions for a restaurant, library and a conservatory. The Barbican Centre is also the home for the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. 

A tour to  the Barbican Centre can never be complete without visiting the tourist attractions nearby it like Museum of London, Blood and Tears Walk, Postman’s Park, St Paul’s Cathedral and many more. Come to this wonderful place with your loved ones and take away some of the treasured moments with you to cherish.

How to Reach Barbican Centre

The distance between London City Centre and the Barbican Centre is about 2.4 miles. The total time required to cover this distance is more or less close to 10 Minutes. You can choose to travel by a local bus, train or cab. Buses bearing number 4, 7, 55 100, 141, 156, 207, and 270 passes through the Barbican Centre.

You can also choose to travel by the South Western Railway from Central London to the Barbican Centre. Some of the other means of transport are Tube and DLR. Being one of the most popular places of tourist interest, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to reach this place. If you are new to this place, you can hire a rental taxi and it will drop you at the Barbican centre in a matter of 10 minutes without any inconvenience.

What Not to Miss at Barbican Centre

Here are some of the best things to do in Barbican Centre:

1. Tuck into London’s finest pub food
You can find a number of pubs close to the Barbican Centre. All these pubs offer the best British meat and drinks. You can relish upon the famous pig's trotter with haggis stuffing and piccalilli. 

2. Take part in the Blood and Tears Walk
The Blood and Tears Walk is one of the most popular guided tours of London. The tours are led by Declan McHugh, one of the former actors. You will move across the places where notorious killer Jack the Ripper committed his crime and the sites of the Victorian grave roamers. All these tours will give you a complete picture of the times gone by.

Places to Visit near Barbican Centre

1. Museum of London
The Museum of London is the closest one to the Barbican Centre. This exhibition hall showcases a multitude of artefacts related to the times gone by of the city and some even date back to 450000 BC. 

2. Postman’s Park
Postman's Park is one of the green spaces located at the heart of the city. Watts Memorial is the centre of attraction of this park and it is dedicated to the heroes of everyday life. 

3. St Paul’s Cathedral
It happens to be one of the most loved tourist attractions in the city of London. This is because of its intricate design elements and sheer craftsmanship. This cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London and also happens to be the mother church of the Diocese of London.

Other Essential Information About Barbican Centre

The Barbican Centre is located at the Silk Street, London, United Kingdom.

The Barbican Centre is open from 9 AM to 11 PM. 

Entry Fee:
You can choose to book your entry into the centre before reaching the place. In order to avoid the rush at the counter, you can book your tickets online or by calling on the particular registration number. 

- Online Booking: £3
- Telephonic Booking: £4

Photography allowance:
Photography and videography are allowed at the Barbican Centre on proper request. However, you need to take prior permission from the authorities. You need to specify the purpose and only after getting approval you can use your lenses to capture the exquisiteness of the place. 

Distance from London city centre:
The Barbican Centre is located 2.4 miles away from the London City Centre. It takes about 10 minutes to travel by cab.

History of Barbican Centre

Barbican centre has a deep connection with countless happenings in the times gone by. The place where it is situated had been heavily bombed in the course of World War II. After that, the city was renovated by the City of London Corporation.

Famous architects Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon played a very important role in the construction of this amazing place. The architecture of the Barbican Centre is termed as Brutalist architecture. The building has a multi-level complex layout with more than a few entrances. 

It was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth on 3rd March 1982 and was open to the public. The Barbican Centre is known for its exquisite detailings and theatres. One of the theatres was the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the year 2001, this place was listed as the Grade II Listed Building.

This status was given to the building because of its scale and magnificence. The Barbican Centre is also part of the novel 'In Search of Sixpence’ by Michael Paraskos as the residence of the protagonist.

Places to Eat in Barbican Centre

1. Salvatores at the Lighthorseman
This place is located at a walkable distance from the Barbican Centre. The Salvatores at the Lighthorseman is known for its amazing offerings and quality of service. You can enjoy the casual dining style at this place relishing your favourite Italian dishes. 

2. Shori
Shori happens to be a multi-cuisine restaurant that is well-known for its speciality Japanese beers and non-alcoholic options. You can find a wide range of vegan options as well. 

3. 29 States the Indian Kitchen
This contemporary kitchen satisfies all the cravings for Indian Food in a foreign land. You can choose from a wide range of Indian Cuisines and wine selections.

Places to Stay near Barbican Centre

1. South Place Hotel
The South Place Hotel is a stay in the heart of the city that is built with a touch of modernity and contemporary design elements. You will get all the bells and whistles in this  place starting from a rooftop restaurant to a cocktail bar and from a gymnasium to a swimming pool. The speciality of this place is the upmarket designer fittings and mood lighting in all the rooms.

2. Montcalm Royal London House
Montcalm Royal London House is one of the modern hotels to stay in the city centre offering all the amenities. It is just 10 minutes from the Barbican Centre.  It provides 24x7 WiFi service and also has a rooftop restaurant. You can also take a spa in the serene atmosphere of London.

Performance Halls and Facilities at Barbarian Centre

1943-Seater Barbican Hall for the London Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra. 

1156-Seater Barbican Theatre for the Royal Shakespeare company

200-seater theatre venue - The Pit

Barbican Art Gallery

3 Barbican Film Screen

Barbican Library

3 Restaurants

7 Conference Halls

2 Trade Exhibition Halls

Informal Spaces for performance

Travellers' Tip before visiting the Barbican Centre

Here are certain things that you need to keep in mind when visiting the famous Barbican Centre:

You should take permission for photography and videography from the authorities. 

Book your tickets online in order to avoid the rush at the counter.

If you want to click selfies with your favourite actors then you can approach them through the stage door. 

You should not carry outside food and drinks to the theatres.
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People Also Ask About Barbican Centre

  1. Is the Barbican Centre free?

    No, the entry to the Barbican Centre is not free. You need to book your entry before coming to this place. You can book from the official online website or by calling on the registered booking number. The entry fees for online booking and telephonic bookings are £3 and £4 respectively.
  2. How do I get to the Barbican Centre?

    The Barbican Centre is located close to the city centre and is well linked by all means of transport. The best and the fastest way to reach the Barbican Centre would be by Tube. The tube station is just 7 minutes from the centre.
  3. Why is it called the Barbican?

    Barbican was known all over the world as a place of trade and it also happened to be home to several shops, traders and stalls. The name Barbican has originated post the local area was hit by a series of bomb blasts in the course of the Second World War. The place was reinstated with an aim to serve as a cultural phoenix that rose from the ashes of the war by the designers.
  4. What is near Barbican?

    Here are the things that are near to the Barbican Centre:
    - Museum of London
    - Tate Modern
    - Millennium Bridge
    - Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
    - Brick Lane
    - St. Paul’s Cathedral
    - Old Spitalfields market
  5. What time does Barbican station close?

    The Barbican Station closes at 11 PM in the evening.
  6. Is the Barbican Conservatory open today?

    The conservatory is open to the public on selected Saturdays only.
  7. Which tube line is the Barbican on?

    The Barbican Centre is on the Hammersmith and City tube line.
  8. How do I get to Barbican by tube?

    You can easily reach the Barbican Centre by tube. The Barbican tube station is at a walkable distance and it is served by all the major tube operators including Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan, and Circle lines.
  9. How far is Barbican from Kings Cross?

    The distance between Kings Cross and the Barbican Centre is about one mile. You can catch the local bus numbered 46 to reach the Barbican Centre from the Kings Cross.
  10. What kind of architecture is the Barbican Centre?

    The Barbican Centre is crafted all together in Brutalist architecture by the famous architects of those times Chamberlin, Powell, and Bon. The Barbican Centre literally transformed the area of London that was left devastated after the bombing in the course of the Second World War.
  11. How big is the Barbican Centre?

    The Barbican Centre is spread over an area of 40 acres. It is home to almost 4000 people. The Barbican Hall, Barbican Theatre, and The Pit have accommodations for 1943, 1156, and 200 people respectively.
  12. What is Barbican?

    Barbican is a gateway that acts as an outer defence to the city. It is mainly constructed for defensive purposes.
  13. What area is the Barbican in?

    Barbican is located at the Barbican Estate in the city of London.
  14. Can you live in the Barbican?

    Yes, you can choose to live in the Barbican Estate. It is considered to be one of the best places to reside in the centre of the city.
  15. Is the Barbican a council estate?

    Barbican is now a council estate however; it was designed as a small and walled town.
  16. When did the Barbican Centre open?

    The Barbican Centre was open for public on 3rd March 1982 after being inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth.
  17. Who lives in the Barbican estate?

    The Barbican Estate is spread over an area of 40 acres and is inhabited by about half of the city's residents. There are almost 2000 homes that accommodate financiers, families, and empty nesters.
  18. How many people does the Barbican hold?

    There are 1158 seats in the Barbican Centre for audiences to enjoy the show.
  19. Is the Barbican a listed building?

    Barbican Centre is listed as a grade II building in the year 2001. The construction of this building fashioned in between 1963 and 1982 by the City of London Corporation. There are 2 schools and more than 2000 flats inside the estate.
  20. How old is the Barbican London?

    The Barbican Centre is 37 years old now. It was opened for the public in 1982.