Tourist Information Guide

Visitors Guide To Tours at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, England

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Shakespeare's Globe offers much more than just a theatre. The Globe is a place where you can step back in time to the days when the playwright was alive. At the Globe, next to the theatre you will find an exhibition centre. At the centre, you can see a museum of the life and times of William Shakespeare. This is an opportunity to put the sights of London into context. Included in the entrance price to the exhibition you will also be given a tour of the theatre itself.

On this page you will find the different tours that are on offer, prices for tours, how to arrange the tours and activities and contact details in relation to the tours.

For an overview of what to expect on a trip to the Globe Theatre, with information on location, how to get there, photographs, some history and information on what to expect when you arrive, see our General Guide to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Tour and Exhibition.

Tour options

There are two tour options at the Globe. Depending on what time you arrive at the theatre will determine what tour you can go on. You will not be able to visit the Globe during the times of the year when plays are shown. Instead, you will be taken to see the nearby site of the Bankside's first theatre (The Rose).

If you would like to ensure that you see the Globe theatre rather than the Rose Theatre you should check ahead of your trip (head to the Official Globe Theatre Website) regarding the times of the matinee performances that mean you will not be able to enter the Globe Theatre.

What to expect from the tour

The Globe theatre tours take place every thirty minutes. On arrival at the Globe exhibition centre, you can ask at reception to find out when the next tour will be taking place. However, don't worry if you forget to ask - the exhibition space is reasonably small and the tour guide will come around the exhibition space ringing a bell to let you know when the tour will be starting, so you won't miss the tour.

Unfortunately, the tour is only available in English. However, the tour guides are helpful, and at the start of the tour, they will check whether you would like to receive some printed information. This will help you to understand what you are seeing as the tour guide takes you around the theatre.

The printed material is available in Spanish, French, Portuguese and German.

As the tour begins you will realise quickly that the tour guides are both expert and entertaining. They will take you on a tour of both the inside and the outside of the Globe theatre. They explain that their aim is to transport you back in time to 1599 when the Globe was first in existence (so don't forget to turn your mobile phone off to immerse yourself in the mood). You will be told stories about what it was like to live in London in Shakespeare's time (when plays were actually banned in what was then the city of London, explaining why the theatre was located over the bridge on the Southbank).

The guides will also give an in-depth explanation of how the Globe theatre was reconstructed in the 1990s. You will be amazed at how faithful the reconstruction process was.

The tour guides are also clearly lovers of Shakespeare. They will use quotes from some of Shakespeare's famous plays to put them in the context of the time when they were being written and first shown in the Globe.

Both at the end and during the tour guides will make it clear that you can ask any questions that you might have.

tip If you are taking the tour remember that the Globe theatre is an outdoor space - it has no roof. Therefore, during the winter months, it can get chilly as you walk around the space. Don't forget to wrap up warm for the tour and perhaps buy yourself a coffee from the cafe in the main Globe theatre building to keep your hands warm!

Tours of the Rose theatre:

If you are at the exhibition during a time when the Globe theatre is not available (due to matinee performances during theatre season, special events or maintenance to the theatre) the tour guides will take you to the nearby Rose theatre. This is another theatre on the Southbank where Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson wrote many of their plays and where Shakespeare was inspired for his own writings. The Rose is the only Elizabethan playhouse that has been excavated on a large scale by archaeologists.

How to buy tickets

It is possible to book tickets for the Globe tours and exhibition by three different methods:

At the venue: you can buy tickets for the tour and exhibition on the day of your visit at the venue. There is no discount for buying tickets online, and tickets do not sell out, so this is an easy and convenient way to buy your tickets. However, remember, if you are coming in a group of more than 14 people you will have to book in advance (see below options).

Online: go to the Official Globe Theatre Website and click on 'Tickets and Booking' in the Exhibition and Tour section. Here you can buy your tickets ahead of your trip.

Telephone: You can book your tickets over the telephone by calling the number below.

Booking line for exhibition and tour:
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7401 9919

Ticket prices

Type of Tour Adult prices Senior (over 60) prices Student prices Children (aged 5 to 15) Children (under 5) Family (up to 2 adults and 3 children)
Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour £17.00 £15.50 £13.50 £10.00 FREE £46.00
Exhibition and Rose Theatre Tour £12.50 £11.50 £10.00 £8.00 FREE £25.00

If you are booking the exhibition and tour for more than 14 people you will be able to get a group discount. However, you will not be able to book online - call to make your booking (see below for group booking contact details). For details on the prices for group bookings, see the Official Shakespeare's Globe Website group bookings page.

Contact details

For the general contact details for Shakespeare's Globe see our General Guide to the Globe Theatre and if you would like to contact the Globe theatre specifically to buy tour tickets, see the contact telephone number above.

Shakespeare's Globe offers the opportunity to learn about the history of the playwright and the city of London. If you cannot afford to go to see a play at the theatre you will still have the opportunity to see the theatre space. Get yourself a ticket for the exhibition and tour and you will be transported back in time to the glory days of Shakespeare's theatre. This is a London experience that is unique and offers insight into the history of the city.

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