September 22, 2014

All eyes are on the South Bank, thanks to its world-class art museums, galleries, and theaters. Here, a few must-see destinations.

Design Museum: This Modernist-style museum by Terence Conran hosts exhibitions on fashion, architecture, furniture, and more. On view this month: “Designers in Residence,” an annual show that celebrates local and international emerging talent.

Fashion & Textile Museum: Come here to view the best of British and international textile design dating from the 1950’s until the present. A current highlight: knitwear, from Chanel to Vivienne Westwood.

Hayward Gallery: Housed in a Brutalist building from 1968, the Hayward Gallery is known for its exhibitions spotlighting artists including Barbara Hepworth, Tracey Emin, and Antony Gormley.

Menier Chocolate Factory: A 150-seat theater, the Menier Chocolate Factory is an intimate alternative to London’s West End. Book a table at the on-site restaurant, then catch a revival of Fully Committed.

Shakespeare’s Globe: The legendary Globe recently added a sister theater next door—the Jacobean-style Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Unlike its neighbor, the candlelit new space is indoors, so visitors can see performances year-round. John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore opens this fall.

Southwark Cathedral: Around the corner from Borough Market is this 11th-century cathedral with beautifully manicured gardens. Pop in on Thursday evenings to hear the local choir sing.

Tate Modern: In a converted power station, the iconic Tate Modern is currently expanding with a new building by Herzog & de Meuron, due for completion by 2016.

Sarah Miller is Travel + Leisure's European Editor.

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