Things to do in South Kensington

South Kensington boasts an unbeatable range of free museums and beautiful open spaces alongside its more upmarket attractions.
  • South Kensington is home to many free museums including the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum.

  • The Royal Albert Hall hosts many concerts, performances and even tennis, as well as the BBC Proms.

  • Hyde ParkKensington Gardens, and Kensington Palace are located in the area.

  • High Street Kensington is home to a great number of shops.

South Ken, as it is often referred to, is a great place to while away a whole day. As well as three of London's biggest and best museums, there're plenty of other things to do that are sure to entertain and amuse everyone in your group.

How to get to South Kensington

South Kensington has a Tube station which is served by the Piccadilly line, the Circle line and the District line. There are also some bus routes that go through the area.

If you're going to be in London for more than a day, it's worth buying a Visitor Oyster card* in advance. The Visitor Oyster card is delivered to your home before you arrive in London. It is one of the easiest ways to get around London.

If you do not have a Visitor Oyster card, but still plan to travel around London for more than a day, buy an Oyster card at the Tube station. Learn more about Oyster cards.

What is there to to in South Kensington?

London's free museums

South Kensington is home to a cluster of free museums, making it the perfect destination for families and adults alike.

In winter, the Natural History Museum also hosts an ice-rink.

At the Victoria and Albert Museum, you can see art and design from the past 3000 years, including ceramics, furniture, fashion, jewellery, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings.

The family-friendly Science Museum caters for kids of all ages. The interactive Garden area is specially designed for under fives, while the hands-on Launchpad gallery is perfect for teenagers.

Just next door you'll find London's Natural History Museum, where you can come face-to-face with a giant T-rex, and experience an earthquake in the Power Within zone.

The Royal Albert Hall

Kensington's famous Royal Albert Hall plays host to The BBC Proms concerts each year. As well as classical concerts, you can also see rock and pop gigs, ballet, opera and even tennis here!

Next door to the Royal Albert Hall is the Royal College of Art, a postgraduate art and design college, which holds regular exhibitions. Look out for up-and-coming artists and designers at the annual graduate shows.

Royal Parks in Kensington

There's plenty of green space in Kensington – the area's home to two of London's magnificent Royal Parks: Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.

When you're in Kensington Gardens, make sure you visit Kensington Palace, the former London residence of William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales. It is also where both Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales lived. Explore the State Apartments, see Queen Victoria's bedroom, look around temporary exhibitions, stroll around the landscaped gardens and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea in the Orangery.

Take a walk around Kensington's Royal Parks and you'll discover lots more attractions, including the Serpentine lake, the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

High Street Kensington

Looking for a shopping fix? Check out High Street Kensington's fabulous shops, from Urban Outfitters to Oliver Bonas. Don't miss the Whole Foods Market, a huge organic food market housed in a former department store. Or pick up Japanese tableware, technology and more at Japan House London, which also hosts exhibitions and a restaurant.

If you're a history fan, make sure you visit nearby Linley Sambourne House. Cartoonist Edward Linley Sambourne and his family lived here from 1874, and the house still contains most of the original furniture and fittings.

Where to eat in South Kensington

There are places to eat in South Kensington to suit all budgets.

Enjoy a snack between exhibitions at the Natural History Museum cafes, The V&A Cafe and Science Museum cafes, or dine alfresco at the Kensington Gardens Cafe

Tuck into modern British cuisine at Scoff & Banter Kensington, find fresh-as-you-like shellfish at Wright Bros. South Kensington or Spanish treats at Casa Brindisa.

Splash out with Michelin-star dining at Claude Bosi at Bibendum or Phil Howard's Elystan Street.

Where to stay in Kensington

There's an excellent range of hotels in Kensington. Kensington hotels include:

More hotels in Kensington