Barbican Centre Overview

Barbican Centre is regarded as the largest performing arts centre in the entire Europe. One can never miss this famous tourist attraction during their visit to London where the famous Shakespearean plays were performed. From classical to contemporary, events such as film screenings, crafts exhibitions and orchestra performances take place at this centre. The Barbican Centre London has a library, three restaurants and a conservatory.

Barbican Centre, nestled within the renowned Barbican Estate in London, stands as one of Europe's foremost performing arts centers and the world's largest of its kind. Featured in our exclusive Europe travel packages, this cultural hub hosts diverse events, ranging from classical and contemporary music concerts to dance performances, film screenings, and art 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.


• The Barbican Centre London has been featured in Michael Parkson’s novel ``In Search of Sixpence'' as a “Gin Bar.”
• During World War II, this place was heavily bombed, and much damage took place at this centre. But in the course of time, it was again renovated by the City of London Corporation.
• This building has multiple entrances with a complex multi-level layout and was announced as a Grade II listed building in 2001.
• Barbican Centre is home to almost 4000 people as it is spread over 40 acres.

How To Reach

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.

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Other Essential Information

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.

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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Open Today
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 08:00 PM
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Normal Timings:
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Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 08:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 08:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 08:00 PM
Normal Timings:
09:30 AM to 08:00 PM
Point of Interest for Barbican Centre
Barbican Hall

Barbican Hall

It houses the London and BBC Symphony Orchestra. People can spend their quality time listening to world-famous orchestral music. It is one of the country’s finest auditoriums which is well known for its architecture and acoustics all over the world. This hall has seats for 500 to 1943 people at a time. Apart from the opera concert and orchestra, this hall is used for corporate conferences, graduation ceremonies and even product launching events.

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Barbican Theatre

Barbican Theatre

 This theatre is well known for its construction and production history. It was designed for the Royal Shakespeare plays with a holding capacity of around 1156 people. Tourists can be amused by the plays taking place at this theatre. This theatre is also used to host conferences, award ceremonies and private functions. One can avail free wifi service at this theatre. It is located in the centre of Barbican Hall London.

Barbican Art Gallery

Barbican Art Gallery

Barbican Library

Barbican Library

 It is a special library that is divided into many sections which are dedicated to art and music. It is the centre of attraction of Barbican Hall London. It is a vibrant library dedicated to the public, who can read books and can hear audio recordings, DVDs, CDs and sheet music. It is closed on all Sundays and on bank holidays but for the rest of the days it is open from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Barbican Centre FAQs

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.

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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.

Is the Barbican Conservatory open today?

The conservatory is open to the public on selected Saturdays only.

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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.

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.

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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

When did the Barbican Centre open?

The Barbican Centre was open for public on 3rd March 1982 after being inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth.

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What time does Barbican station close?

The Barbican Station closes at 11 PM in the evening.

Which tube line is the Barbican on?

The Barbican Centre is on the Hammersmith and City tube line.

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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.

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.

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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.

What is Barbican?

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

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What area is the Barbican in?

Barbican is located at the Barbican Estate in the city of London.

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.

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Is the Barbican a council estate?

Barbican is now a council estate however; it was designed as a small and walled town.

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.

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How many people does the Barbican hold?

There are 1158 seats in the Barbican Centre for audiences to enjoy the show.

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.

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How old is the Barbican London?

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

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