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 University of Southampton's The John Hansard Gallery is one of the best places to view contemporary and visual art - now located in the heart of the city at Studio 144, Above Bar Street off Guildhall Square.
  • 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. It has two venues, one based on the Universtiy's Campus the other in the heart of the city at NST City, Above Bar Street, off Guildhall Square.
  • 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.
  • The Stage Door  in West Marlands Road is the place for Fringe Theatre.
  • The 1865 is a popular music venue in Brunswick Square.
  • The Engine Rooms located at West Quay Road Industrial Estate hosts a variety of live music performers.
  • 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 for a brand new blockbuster or Showcase Cinema de Lux Southampton at Westquay. 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.