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A culture vulture's paradise - the Southbank Centre

Nestling neatly between the Hungerford and Waterloo Bridges in central London is the Southbank Centre, a collection of performance and arts venues that are a must for culture vultures from across the globe. Originally constructed as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951, it includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. A regular programme of concerts and exhibitions take place here; check the Southbank Centre website for up-to-the-minute details.

The Royal National Theatre - plays at their best

Further along the Southbank is The Royal National Theatre. Its brutalist architectural style has been reviled in the past, but is now much-admired. It houses three theatres of varying sizes - the Olivier, Lyttelton and Dorfman - which showcase new productions and revivals of classic plays. A well-stocked shop is also on-site, and backstage tours are available.

Lights, camera, action - it's BFI Southbank

Also close to the Southbank Centre is BFI Southbank, more familiarly known as the National Film Theatre, or NFT for short. It hosts seasons of acclaimed movies, and events in which stars and directors discuss their work with the public. Outside the NFT, sheltered from the elements by Waterloo Bridge itself, are a selection of secondhand book stalls.

Looking for a cheap hotel Near Southbank Centre? Check out Travelodge London Central Waterloo Hotel, Travelodge London Central Covent Garden Hotel or Travelodge London Central Southwark Hotel, which are all within a simple Tube journey or short walk away.