As you approach Shakespeare's Globe Theatre it is awe inspiring to see the old and the new sitting together in perfect harmony - the Globe theatre is a replica of the theatre that first staged Shakespeare's plays 400 years ago that sits on the same stretch of the Southbank as the Tate Modern (modern art museum). Fans of the film 'Shakespeare in Love' will recognise the theatre as the central scene for the majority of the film's action.
The Globe theatre has been re-created exactly as it was originally, meaning that the theatre has an open-top roof. Plays do not take place during the cold British winter. If you are visiting London when the theatre season is not yet running this should not deter you from visiting. The building in itself is an experience and it is possible to take a guided tour. There is also a museum in the building next to the theatre where you can find out about Shakespeare's life and the history of the theatre.
This page will provide an overview to the attraction, a description of a visit there, links to detailed pages on ticketing and tours, photographs, advice on where to eat in and around the theatre, location and contact details, a map and opening times.
The Globe Theatre is more than just a theatre. It is like a working museum to the life and times of Shakespeare. Not only is there a theatre where you can go to see plays just as they would have been enjoyed in Shakespeare's time (there is even the option of affordable standing tickets in the front pit of the theatre - where the 'unclean' would have watched the plays during Shakespeare's time!), there are also tours and a museum at the Globe.
The theatre has been constructed exactly as it was in Shakespeare's time - without a roof. Therefore Shakespeare's Globe is a functioning theatre only during theatre season. The theatre season dates change each year (they tend to run from around April to October), so it is best to check the Official Shakespeare's Globe Website to find out whether you will be able to get play tickets during your visit.
Before a visit to the Globe Theatre it is worth considering what you would like to do when you get there. If you plan on seeing a play during your visit it is a good idea to book your tickets in advance (see below for a link to a page dealing with ticketing for the Globe). However, if you simply wish to head to the Globe to take in the atmosphere and visit the exhibitions and take the tour, you can buy your tickets on the day.
On arrival at the Globe you will immediately get a sense of what the place is about - sitting on the banks of the Southbank, sandwiched between modern shops and businesses and the Tate Modern art gallery it feels as though you have taken a step back 400 years.
The Globe theatre is made up of three buildings that are interlinked. The main entrance area is a modern building sitting to the left of the theatre. This is where you will find the ticket desks, the Globe shop and the eateries (see below for more details). The theatre is a roofless round space with white walls and wooden beams. The building that sits to the right of the theatre is the museum and exhibition space. This is where you should head outside of theatre season if you would like to see the theatre itself (which you can access if you get tickets for the tour).
If you want to visit the Globe but are not interested in seeing a play or the museum, you also have the option to visit the Globe restaurant. Located in the Globe's modern entrance building, the Swan at the Globe Brasserie offers high quality food and live music on certain nights - see below for further details.
For details on ticketing at the Globe Theatre, including details on prices, different ticket options that are available, how to buy tickets and discount options, see our Guide to Ticketing at Shakespeare's Globe.
The Operating hours that are provided here are for the Globe Theatre's exhibition and tours. To check theatre times visit the Globe Theatre official website theatre section.
The opening times of the theatre exhibition and tour vary depending on whether it is theatre season or not (for exact theatre season dates you will need to keep an eye on the Official Globe Theatre website, but it generally runs from late April to late October). Please see the table below for the tour and exhibition opening times.
|Time of year||Days of the week||Tour type||Opening times|
|Off season||Monday - Sunday||Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour||10:00 - 17:30|
|Theatre season||Monday - Saturday||Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour||09:00 - 12:30|
|Theatre season||Monday - Saturday||Exhibition and Rose Theatre Tour||13:00 - 17:00|
|Theatre season||Sunday||Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour||09:00 - 11:30|
|Theatre season||Sunday||Exhibition and Rose Theatre Tour||12:00 noon- 17:00|
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
21 New Globe Walk
Tel Globe Theatre general enquiries: +44 (0) 20 7902 1400
Tel Globe Theatre box office: +44 (0) 20 7401 9919
Tel Globe Theatre Exhibition and Tour: +44 (0) 20 7902 1500
Tube: London Bridge (Black Line / Northern Line and Grey Line / Jubilee Line)
Inside the Globe Theatre building you will find a number of food options:
Swan at the Globe Bar
The Swan at the Globe Bar is open to all guests to the theatre. It offers alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in a relaxed environment. The bar also serves affordable meals including cooked breakfast, salads, steaks and small dishes to share. Live music events are organized on some evenings. For details of the music events, plus the menu see the Official Swan at the Globe Website.
Monday - Wednesday: 08:00 - 23:30
Thursday: 08:00 - 00:00 Midnight
Friday: 08:00 - 00:30
Saturday: 10:00 - 00:30
Sunday: 10:00 - 23:00
Swan at the Globe Brasserie
The Swan at the Globe Brasserie offers traditional English food in modern surroundings. It is also possible to order set menus. For a copy of the sample menu plus details on how to book a table see the Official Swan at the Globe Website.
Monday - Sunday: 12:00 Noon – 15:00, 17:00 – 18:00, 18:30 – 23:00
Coffee bar at the Globe theatre
The coffee bar in the Globe theatre sits next to the gift shop and offers the opportunity to get a sandwich, coffee, cake or soft drink on the hop.
Monday - Friday: 09:00 - 18:00
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00
If you don't fancy eating in the Globe theatre, you will find a whole host of restaurant and cafe options in the surrounding area. The Southbank is known as convenient and enjoyable place to head for a meal out. So you can take a stroll along the river's edge and see whether any of the other restaurant options take your fancy.
If you have a blue disabled badge you will also find limited parking on New Globe Walk and in the surrounding area.
For details on hotels in the area surrounding the Globe Theatre see our Guide to Hotels Near the Globe Theatre.
The Globe theatre is a prized London tourist attraction. For Shakespeare fans it offers the ultimate opportunity to celebrate everything about the life and work of the playwright. You will be given the opportunity to see his plays, learn about the life of the famous Brit and learn about the history of the time in which he was alive. Even if you are coming to see a play it is still worth seeing the exhibition and tour. It is an interesting way to put the venue into context and to learn about the history and what it was like seeing plays in Shakespeare's time (for a guide to the tours at the Globe Theatre, see our Guide to Tours at Shakespeare's Globe).