The Royal Albert Hall is a live event space and unquestionably one of the most famous buildings in London. It stands tall above the regal blocks of South Kensington, sporting an elliptical shape and a shimmering glass dome. Opened way back in 1871, it's hosted some super-famous names and prestigious events throughout the decades.

    Today, you can attend a box-office show, which ranges from national ballets to rocking blues bands. You can also join a historic tour to learn about the building’s rich past – you get to explore the colossal auditorium where totemic figures in the ilk of Muhammad Ali and Beyonce have taken to the stage over the years.

    You'll also want to leave extra time to admire the Royal Albert Hall from the outside. It's adorned with elaborate terracotta friezes that celebrate the arts and sciences, as well as grand marble entranceways. It's not for nothing that it's up there with the most impressive structures in the Big Smoke.

    A brief history of Royal Albert Hall

    The Royal Albert Hall has loomed large over West London since the 1870s. It was originally the brainchild of Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, who saw the need for the capital to have an exhibition space to host grand World Fairs like the one he'd presided over in 1851.

    A real feat of Victorian ingenuity and engineering, the building was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria herself. Great performances by the likes of Richard Wagner and Rachmaninoff followed in the next decades. The hall then became a major events space throughout the 20th century, hosting everything from the Eurovision Song Contest to the English National Ballet.

    What are the highlights of Royal Albert Hall?

    The Royal Albert Hall lays claim to perhaps the best box office line up in London. Eclectic doesn't quite do it justice – the space can host UFC fights one night and Miss World pageants the next. It's been an especially popular place for legendary rock and blues acts to get strumming, too. Names like Don McLean and Eric Clapton have taken to the stage here. Be sure to book early if you're coming to see acts like that, though.

    Those who are more interested in learning the tale of the iconic structure should be sure to book onto the Royal Albert Hall Tour. It lasts around an hour and takes you through all the important spaces inside the complex. With a dedicated guide at hand, you can also ask about the past performances and historical development of the landmark.

    Good to know about the Royal Albert Hall

    The Royal Albert Hall sits in an accessible part of West London. Hop on the Tube and get to South Kensington or High Street Kensington. The concert venue is about 10 minutes' walk to the north of the first station, and around 15 minutes' walk to the east of the second. Speaking of walking, consider coming in via Hyde Park if it's a sunny day. The famous London garden buts right up to the Albert Hall.

    It's important to book tickets for major events like the BBC Proms and big-name rock concerts well in advance of the date. Never buy from touts outside the venue. Tours are also booked in advance. You can do that online via the Royal Albert Hall website.

    Royal Albert Hall in London

    Location: Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)20 7959 0500

    Joseph Francis | Contributing Writer

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