Visit Southampton

Art and Culture in Southampton

Southampton is a cultural city with outstanding art galleries, magnificent theatre, live music venues, festivals and art-based events.

Art Galleries

  • Southampton City Art Gallery  is an internationally renowned regional gallery run by Southampton City Council and home to one of the best publicly-owned collections in the UK outside London. The gallery provides a broad programme of exhibitions and activities throughout the year.
  • The John Hansard Gallery at the University of Southampton is one of the best places to view contemporary and visual art.
  • Solent Showcase is a gallery and exhibition space at Southampton Solent University, featuring contemporary visual art that encourages engagement, discussion and participation with the whole community.
  • Smaller venues such the Art House Gallery and Cafe in Above Bar or the Brompton Gallery in Old Northam feature a range of work by local artists along with workshops and events.


  • The Mayflower Theatre is the largest theatre in Southern England, regularly showing West End Shows, musicals, opera and ballet.
  • The Nuffield Theatre at the University of Southampton is equally renowned for the quality and varied programme hosting Shakespeare to contemporary drama.
  • The Hub at Southampton City College offers first class drama by leading companies mixed with raw talent.
  • The Berry Theatre in Hedge End opened in 2011 and offers an innovative programme to the local community from drama to film.
  • The Point in Eastleigh is the region's venue for contemporary dance and performance including theatre, film and live music.

Music Venues

  • O2 Guildhall Southampton is a multi purpose venue staging major rock, contemporary and classical music events by national touring acts.
  • Turner Sims Concert Hall at the University of Southampton has a reputation for hosting a varied programme including classical, world music and jazz.
  • The Brook in Portswood is an intimate venue where you can get up close an personal with the bands and sing along to classics from the tribute bands.
  • The Joiners in St Marys hosts performances from some big names in rock, punk and metal scenes.
  • Talking Heads in the city centre is known for its open mic nights, comedy and eclectic mix of music.
  • The Stage Door  in West Marlands Road is the place for Fringe Theatre, Restaurant & Bar.
  • A number of restaurants and bars host live music nights.

Film Fanatics

If film is your passion, then we recommend the multi-screen Odeon cinema at Leisureworld, or Cineworld cinema at Ocean Village for a brand new blockbuster. For a more intimate cinema experience, visit Harbour Lights Picturehouse cinema which overlooks Ocean Village marina. As well as a select few of the latest blockbusters, you will find a handful of independent and European films to enjoy.
Use the What's On pages to find out about the latest gigs, exhibitions, performances and leisure activities in the city.