London Destination Guide

Continuing to blaze an international trail of cutting-edge arts and culture, London offers a thrilling itinerary of exhibitions, music and performance this season. From lauded paintings by Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite luminaries to the freshest films from across the globe, you’ll find it in the British capital this autumn.

Until 18th November 2018

Frida Kahlo: Making Herself Up

One of the 20th century’s most recognised artists, known for her vibrant self-portraits, Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) lived an extraordinary, if painful, life. The new exhibition at the V&A explores her life and how she fashioned it through her personal possessions, from clothes and cosmetics to photographs; a collection which has never before been seen outside of Mexico.

V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

UNTIL 22nd December 2018


This iconic musical comedy from Stephen Sondheim and George Furth has been reimagined from its original 1970s Broadway production for the Gielgud Theatre, with the lead role of Bobby now being cast as a woman played by the award-winning British actress Rosalie Craig. The tunes are catchy, the script is witty, and the cast is well-seasoned with stars such as Broadway legend Patti LuPone and British favourite Mel Giedroyc.

Gielgud Theatre, 35 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR

UNTIL 6th January 2019

Turner Prize 2018

One of the world’s most celebrated awards for visual arts, the Turner Prize presents notoriously challenging and unflinchingly provocative works from four British artists. Previous winners include Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry and Chris Ofili. This year’s shortlisted works include Autoportrait 2017, a fascinating installation by Luke Willis Thompson that offers a stern comment on class, racial and social inequality.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

UNTIL 20th January 2019

Christian Marclay: The Clock

This 24 hour-long montage collects thousands of excerpts of clocks, spliced from a range of films from blockbusters and the silver screen to low-budget science fiction and spaghetti Westerns, edited together to show the actual time. It’s a mesmerising installation that took Marclay years of painstaking production to create, and the result poses pertinent questions about our relationship to time and the media. Installed at the Tate Modern, the gallery will stay open overnight once a month for a full screening.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG

UNTIL 20th January 2019

Renzo Piano

With London’s Shard, The New York Times Building and Paris’s Pompidou Centre in his portfolio of architectural feats, Renzo Piano is a pioneer of modern urban landscaping. This exhibition at the RA glances back over his career, curating rarely seen drawings, photography, maquettes and installations to illustrate how Piano designed the 16 key buildings that have shaped our global capitals’ signature skylines.

RA, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J0BD

UNTIL 27th January 2019

Anni Albers

It’s not often that a textile artist is singled out by the Tate for a retrospective, but Berlin-born artist and printmaker Anni Albers’ prolific oeuvre has sealed her slot in the art powerhouse’s program. Instructed by Paul Klee at the notorious Bauhaus school, Albers’ works combine the ancient craft of hand-weaving with contemporary art. The result? A stunning compilation of thrilling patterns in vivid colours.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG

UNTIL 27th January 2019

Mantegna & Bellini

This intriguing exhibition at The National Gallery explores the relationship between two heavyweight Italian Renaissance painters, Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Mantegna, who also happened to be brothers-in-law. Central to this collection is a comparison between their separate renderings of The Agony in the Garden and The Presentation at the Temple, which gives precious insight into how the artists influenced and shaped each other’s work.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

UNTIL 3rd February 2019


Fragile lines, etheric sighs of colour and a fascination with the naked form: the dialogue between heavyweight Austrian modernists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele is glaringly apparent in a comparative study. Klimt/Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna is a broad retrospective that brings together around 100 sketches, self-portraits and studies by the two artists to highlight an interesting dynamic between them.

RA, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

UNTIL 24th February 2019

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

Gamers and design buffs alike will find plenty to inspire at this cutting-edge curation of the conception, design and prototypes of ground-breaking videogames from the past decade. From the hyper-visual Nintendo Splatoon to the post-apocalyptic landscapes of The Last of Us, this collection at the V&A demonstrates not only immense artistic and technical talent but raises skilful philosophical questions about the videogaming culture.

V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL

UNTIL 24th February 2019

Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Those who appreciate the poignant symbolism and romantic mythology favoured by the Pre-Raphaelites will applaud this retrospective of British artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones at the Tate Britain. A broad exhibition that draws together 150 pieces, including sensitively rendered pencil drawings, evocative stained glass and exquisite tapestries from his prolific career at the end of the 19th century.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London, SW1P 4RG

UNTIL 24th February 2019

I am Ashurbanipal, King of the World, King of Assyria

Ruling the ancient world in the 7th century BC, Ashurbanipal was the king of the Assyrian Empire, which stretched from Egypt to Iran. The BP Exhibition I am Ashurbanipal, King of the World, King of Assyria draws together an exciting curation of ancient Assyrian artefacts, including intricate sculptural reliefs depicting daily life in the historic Middle East.

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

26th November 2018 - 22nd February 2019

La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini’s frothy opera is based on Henri Murger’s Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, a collection of fatuous vignettes about life in 1840s Paris. The libretto focuses on the romance between a poet, Rodolfo, sung by Chilean tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and an embroiderer, Mimì, sung by Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw. Jonathan Miller directs against an atmospheric bohemian Parisian set.

London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

13th December 2018 - 20th January 2019

English National Ballet

For the best seats at the ballet, join The Dorchester for its English National Ballet experience. With excellent views guaranteed in the charming festive Nutcracker, exquisitely choreographed Swan Lake and giddily romantic Manon, the experience includes tickets to the ballet, a pre-theatre meal at The Grill at The Dorchester, luxury accommodation and breakfast for two.

Nutcracker, 13th – 30th December 2018

Swan Lake, 3rd – 13th January 2019

Manon, 15th – 20th January 2019

London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4ES

26th December 2018 - 6th January 2019

Disney on Ice: Dream Big

Everyone’s favourite animated characters don their skates in Disney on Ice’s spectacular Dream Big extravaganza. Starring big-voiced Polynesian heroine Moana, The Little Mermaid’s Ariel, Cinderella and Belle from Beauty and the Beast, along with her merry troupe of singing candlesticks, this is a definitively all-star cast. The enchanting choreography culminates in a fitting crescendo of fireworks.

The O2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX

16th - 19th January 2019

London Art Fair

As popular among gallery-goers as it is with collectors, London Art Fair offers an incredible spectrum of works. Contemporary prints and limited-edition photographs rub shoulders with conceptual installations, large-scale paintings and expansive sculptures conceived by leading international artists. Accompanying the exhibits is a program of screenings, talks and tours, guaranteeing a fascinating 2019 edition of the annual event.

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N10QH

2nd February - 14th July 2019

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

One of fashion’s brightest trailblazers, Christian Dior is synonymous with heart-breaking haute couture and striking silhouettes. Reaching back to the designer’s first show, at 42 years old, in Paris, this thrilling retrospective traces Dior’s rising star to become one of the most influential fashion designers of his century. Sketches, photography and original garments showcase the couturier’s finest feats of fashion.

V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL

16th - 19th February 2019

London Fashion Week

Prepare to hit the FROW as the coming season’s collections alight upon catwalks across the British capital. Expect cutting-edge couture from the world’s leading fashion houses, from Ashish to Victoria, Victoria Beckham, in a heady blend of sumptuous fabric and outré styles. With shows held in some of London’s most prestigious enclaves, Fashion Week is a captivating way to experience the capital.

Various locations around London