Planning your visit
Useful information for planning your family's visit to the Barbican Centre
The Barbican is served by Barbican, Moorgate, St Paul's, Bank and Liverpool Street underground stations. Lots of people say the Barbican is hard to find, so here's our handy tip: exit Barbican tube via Aldersgate Street and walk through the Beech Street tunnel, then turn right on to Silk Street at the end. The Barbican Silk Street entrance will be directly in front of you. For information on buses, on-site car parking and even bicycles (if your family is the sporty type!), visit the Visitor Info: Barbican page.
LSO St Luke's is served by Old Street underground. Exit the station via Exit No 7 and walk straight ahead for a few minutes: you won't be able to miss the beautiful spire on your right. For more transport options to LSO St Luke's, visit the Visitor Info: LSO St Luke's page.
The Barbican is Grade-II listed and one of the most striking pieces of architecture in London. With a world-class arts and culture programme, we're on a mission to get families to step inside, have an adventure and fall in love with this unique space.
Inside the Barbican, you'll find three cinemas, two art galleries (one free), a theatre, concert hall and library, including a dedicated children's library. The carpeted foyers are always open, with comfy seating, coffee points and free wifi-access. Don't miss the gift shop on Level G to take home a special reminder of your day. Parents will be pleased to hear that the Barbican has plenty of toilets. If you don't want to queue, head to Level -1 and down one further level to what are fondly known as the 'Super Loos'! The building is fully accessible: if you would like to know more about what the venue does for disabled visitors, click here.
LSO St Luke's is also fully accessible. No need to worry about whether this particular church is drafty or is missing toilets - it's one of the most modernised venues in the area!
Food & drink
The Barbican has a host of eating options: bring your own food to eat on the foyers or have coffee and cake from the foyer cafes (including the Cinema Cafe on Beech Street). Looking for something more substantial? Enjoy cafeteria-style service and a 'kids eat free' offer in the Barbican Kitchen, run by Benugo; American-style burgers and milkshakes in Bonfire; or a three-course smart meal in Searcy's Gin Joint. For more about all these in-house eateries, and opening times, click here. Other family-friendly restaurants close by include Côte Brasserie on Beech Street, Pizza Express and London Wall Bar & Kitchen.
LSO St Luke's friendly in-house cafe (underground, in what used to be the crypt) is open before and after lunchtime concerts and serves sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks; there's a full hot meal menu for the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts. In the summer, local residents and workers from nearby offices come and picnic on the front lawn - why not join them? Whitecross Street, a stone's-throw from LSO St Luke's, is famous for its daily food market. There's a large Waitrose on this street too, and some lovely green spaces to eat al fresco including Fortune Park (complete with children's play area) and Bunhill Fields.
Buying multiple tickets can rack up. There's also a preconception that classical music in particular is an expensive pastime. Wrong! The LSO is committed to welcoming everyone into the concert hall – our top-price ticket for a Barbican concert is £40 with other price ranges beginning at £10. That's considerably cheaper than your average West End musical. Moreover, under-18s are entitled to £5 tickets – simply phone the Barbican Box Office on +44 20 7638 8891.
Over at LSO St Luke's the average ticket price is between £5 and £10 and many events, such as our Friday Lunchtime Concerts, are completely free of charge.
What else to do in the local area
The Barbican area is something of an undiscovered treasure. Why not try one of these family-friendly activities? The more you get to know this special part of our capital, the more you'll love it.
- Barbican Children's Library
- Barbican Kids' Film Club
- The Big Barbican Adventure: adventure trail
- BBC Symphony Orchestra 'Plus Family' free workshops
- Museum of London exhibitions and events
- Bank of London Gold Museum
- St Paul's Cathedral: climb the dome, have afternoon tea
- One New Change shopping centre, with restaurants
- Swimming at Ironmonger Row Baths
Barbican: the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, the Barbican was opened in 1982. Its 1800-seater concert hall hosts the LSO over 50 times a year
LSO: the London Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1904
LSO Discovery: the Orchestra's world-leading community and education programme, founded in 1990.
LSO St Luke's: an 18th-century church on Old Street (visible from the Barbican), renovated by the LSO in 2003, which hosts the Orchestra's education projects, chamber music and more