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Somerset House

#131 of 1,514 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
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Address: The Strand, London London WC2R 1LA, England
Phone Number: +44 20 7845 4600
10:00 - 18:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 18:00

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of...

Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. During summer months 55 fountains dance in the courtyard, and in winter you can skate on London's favourite ice rink. Somerset House also hosts open-air concerts and films, contemporary art, design and fashion exhibitions, family workshops and free guided tours of spaces usually hidden to visitors.

The Trust's mission is to conserve and maintain Somerset House to the highest standards and to develop the site as a public space which is universally recognised as a world class visitor attraction and centre of excellence for culture and the arts.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 639 reviews
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  • 288
  • 194
    Very good
  • 45
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Striking photographs at Malick Sidibe exhibition

This is a fairly small but fascinating exhibition of striking black and white photos from Mali, from the 70s onwards, taken by Malick Sidibe. They record the night life in Bamako... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Sheffield, United Kingdom
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639 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 550: English reviews
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
421 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This is a fairly small but fascinating exhibition of striking black and white photos from Mali, from the 70s onwards, taken by Malick Sidibe. They record the night life in Bamako at the time, young people down by the river bank, and a whole range of individuals cutting striking pictures for the camera. They really stand out for their strongly... More 

Thank amdgriggs
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great evening very well organised event. Fortnum and Mason's display excellent. Skating sessions controlled. Great music.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I went with work colleagues for a session of skating. What a lovely experience. The Christmas tree is as always really pretty, the ice rink luminated, animated and with great music . There are helpers skating if you need them, it's not too crowded if you don't want to do too many moves but it can be too much if... More 

Thank Smolks
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Wanted to make the most of an hour lunch time break and walked to the Somerset House which is located close to main action on the Strand. Beautiful architecture, interesting exhibitions and great view of the river. Lovely open areas to walk around and browse.....enjoyed my brief visit...

Thank TouristFromLA
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Visited with 9year old & 6 year old, they were able to take part in an art activity around food, food shopping and sustainability, they made food out of clay and created computerised sounds from their art work - they really enjoyed themselves. My husband enjoyed the Utopia exhibition, the children really enjoyed a good run around the courtyard and... More 

Thank M G
Derby, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
87 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I went there for a photo exhibition by a Malian artist. It was really good. The fact the photos were accompanied by Malian music made all the difference. It is a shame the cafes and restaurants in this building are so expensive.

Thank segolkeith
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I went to the Somerset House to see the Bjork Digital installation and was amazed at the amount of space available for various happenings. It also has a great view of the Thames river.

Thank kostam
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I've been at Somerset House to see the ”Bjork Digital” exhibition. Beside the fact the the event itself was a truly remarkable experience, I've discovered a wonderful place, perfect for art-nerds. It's a beautiful space where you could find various ways to indulge your cultural cravings. You should regularly check their website: it seems that something good could happen at... More 

Thank Popeaska2013
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2016 via mobile

Fine for an end afternoon visit. The building in itself is outstanding and at the time I went was the Rodin and the dancers. Those stairs are impressive and beautiful in a way.

Thank Natasha T
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2016 via mobile

I never knew that this place had so many things going on. Bjork Digital Biennale Kubrick Singing bridge To name but a few.. I am going to check what's on here every time I visit London from now on. Excellent all round entertainment.

Thank John L

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Staying in Trafalgar Square / Embankment

Neighbourhood Profile
Trafalgar Square / Embankment
With its iconic Nelson’s Column, majestic oversized lions and brightly-lit fountains, Trafalgar Square is not just considered the heart of this bustling London hub, but the very core of the city itself. Beyond this esteemed gathering place are more famous icons, as well as a disproportionate numbers of the city’s most popular cultural attractions including the National Gallery and many West End theaters. Along the way to these major sites are quiet lanes and antiquated pubs to discover, as well as riverside vistas to enjoy on the embankment. With a calendar full of celebratory events, any time of year is a fine time to visit.
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