Whether you’re there to see what’s on in its renowned cultural institutions or are simply looking to kill time, the southern bank of the Thames is endlessly strollable—especially in the evening, when the bridges are neon-lit and the buskers are out in full force. Start with a dozen Cornish oysters and a glass of porter or wine at the counter of Wright Brothers in Borough Market. Move on to the iconic Tate Modern, with its rotating program of visual and live art exhibits in the former Bankside Power Station—all of it open until 10pm on weekends. It’s worth popping in for a tour at the historic, open-air Shakespeare’s Globe—which has introduced its indoor and entirely candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, modeled after those from Jacobean times—even if you haven’t booked to see a show (tip: if a production is sold out, visit the box office an hour before showtime, when returned tickets are resold at face value). And while there are ways to get last-minute tickets at the recently revamped Brutalist landmark that is the National Theatre (it reserves a limited number of tickets to most performances for those who queue up that morning, and releases an allocation of £20 tickets online every Friday at 1pm), you can also take a free tour of their workshops on the newly opened Sherling High-Level Walkway.
All just south of the Millennium Bridge, get off the tube at Mansion. Stroll down the bank to catch a theatrical performance, check out some contemporary art or dine over wine and oysters.
WRIGHT BROTHERS OYSTER AND PORTER HOUSE: 11 Stoney St.; 44-(0)20-7403-9554; thewrightbrothers.co.uk
TATE MODERN: Bankside; 44-(0)20-7887-8888; tate.org.uk
SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE: 21 New Globe Walk; 44-(0)20-7902-1400; shakespearesglobe.com; tour £13.50
NATIONAL THEATRE: Upper Ground; 44-(0)20-7452-3000; nationaltheatre.org.uk