Attraction Reviews,  Things to Do

Royal Albert Hall Tour Review: Prioritize It or Pass It Over?

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London boasts many famous landmarks and it can be hard to choose which ones to visit! Many of these iconic places are easily recognized by everyone from TV and films, while others are less known, yet just as fascinating and influential. 

The Royal Albert Hall is one of London’s oldest and most iconic performance spaces and its magnificent architecture is iconic… but what is it actually like to visit? Does the interior design match the exterior beauty? What exactly is there to do when visiting, if you’re not there to see a show?

Royal Albert Hall Tour Review Hero

Well, you’re in luck! In this Royal Albert Hall tour review, I’ll tackle all of those questions, share my personal experience of touring Royal Albert Hall, and attempt to answer one more important one: is the Royal Albert Hall tour worth it? Let’s dig in to help you decide if visiting this London attraction will be worth it in your itinerary.

Bonus! As part of the London Pass, you can receive a free guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall (valued at £17.50pp in 2024!). Click here to read my London Pass review and click here to buy your own London Pass and save during your London trip.

Basics of Visiting the Royal Albert Hall

Before I jump into what it’s like to visit the Royal Albert Hall, I’d like to share a bit of info regarding where it is, the opening hours and price, plus what food options and facilities it offers as many travelers pay attention to these things when deciding to include a place or not in their itinerary.

Location & Transport

The Royal Albert Hall has a superb South Kensington location with excellent transport links. South Kensington and High Street Kensington are the closest underground stations to the venue; it takes around 10 minutes to walk here from either. Alternatively, Victoria and Paddington are the nearest National Rail stations, each is an approximate 30-minute walk away. There are, of course, regular bus services and many taxi cabs waiting to assist you too!

Hours, Admission & Tickets

Opening hours, admission, and tickets for the Royal Albert Hall depend very much on what experience you choose to book. You may decide on a guided tour of the venue, which can be booked in advance, any day from 9am to 5pm. There is also the option to book afternoon tea to accompany your tour.

Prices for the tour start at £18.50 and vary depending on what experience you go for. Be sure to book online, in advance to secure the best prices. 

Food Options & Facilities

Photos courtesy of Royal Albert Hall

If you’re not interested in booking afternoon tea as part of your tour, there are other options for dining or snacking during your visit to Royal Albert Hall.

There is an impressive selection of cafes, bars, and restaurants across each level of the Royal Albert Hall. However, many of these venues are not open on non-show days; if you do want to grab a bite to eat during your visit, Verdi Italian Kitchen and the Café are both typically open during the day.

Gift Shop & Souvenirs

There is a fabulous gift shop at the Royal Albert Hall packed full of items highlighting the arts and artistic experiences you can have here (as well as lovely London-themed souvenirs). The gift shop is open every day from 9am to 9pm, and is located at Door 12. 

My Royal Albert Hall Tour Experience

Royal Albert Hall Tour Review - Entrance

Now that you’ve got the basics of visiting down, let’s chat about what visiting the Royal Albert Hall is really like – this is the meat of my review!

I arrived for my Royal Albert Hall tour in plenty of time and headed to the main cafe for a light bite first. I enjoyed some delectable sandwiches and fresh juices, but be warned… it is rather pricey! This was helped slightly when I received a small discount on our order when I presented my tour tickets. 

We joined our tour group and guide around 10 minutes before the tour was due to start. Most visitors were smartly dressed and we were pleased we had opted for more formal attire.

The Royal Albert Hall Tour took approximately one hour and the tour guide was very well-spoken, informative, and time-conscious. The tour is well suited to people who are fascinated by London history, particularly anything Royal-oriented. (The Royal Albert Hall was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 as a tribute to her late husband, Prince Albert.) It was really nice to walk in the footsteps of the various monarchs; we also saw the Royal box with its crown above the entrance. It’s roped off with silk curtains and has fancy velvet chairs and gold detailing. 

My tour guide passed on loads of interesting information about how the stage and seats can be altered to accommodate all the different performances that it hosts. It was interesting to see all the different seating options and it was quite surprising to see that the top seats are extremely high and steep!

At the end of the tour, I headed to the Gift Shop and spent far too much money on cute t-shirts, tote bags, and postcards.

So by the end of my tour, I was able to answer the question, but you might still wonder: is the Royal Albert Hall tour worth it?

The Royal Albert Hall tour was informative and enjoyable for us, particularly as we have been to performances there, so a “behind-the-scenes” perspective is always fascinating. I would suggest that the Royal Albert Hall tour is best suited to people with a particular interest in the venue, the history of London and/or the arts, or people with a fascination with historical architecture.

To be honest, kids may find this tour rather boring; here are some other things to do in London with kids, and I’ve written reviews for some specific attractions like Shrek’s Adventure, the Alexandra Palace Go Ape, and the London Zoo.

I hope this helps you decide whether to add this tour to your London travel plans. Have any other questions after reading my Royal Albert Hall tour review? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t Forget! As part of the London Pass, you can receive a free guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall (valued at £17.50pp in 2024!). Click here to read my London Pass review and click here to buy your own London Pass and save during your London trip.

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Vikki grew up in south east London and enjoyed all aspects of the city for many years before she left to travel the world. She still has family in the city and brings her kids back to enjoy all the wonders of London whenever she can.

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