London's Must-See Cultural Events this Fall

London's cultural calendar is packed full of cool events this autumn, from blockbuster art shows to brand-new gallery openings. Here's the lowdown on the best events for every budget. 

  • 01 of 08

    Open House London

    The Gherkin
    Photo Credit: Clive Totman/VisitEngland

    Where: Various locations

    When: September 17 & 18, 2016

    How much? Free

    This annual event lets visitors snoop around some of London's finest buildings including those not normally open to the public. More than 700 buildings open their doors to visitors as part of a weekend celebration of architecture and design. All admissions are free but you'll need to pre-book to enter some of the most popular buildings. Highlights for 2016 include the Gherkin, Brixton Windmill, City Hall and a tour of the Emirates Airline including a ride on the cable car. Alongside big-name buildings, you'll also be able to explore stunning house renovations, architecture studios and government offices.

  • 02 of 08

    Björk Digital

    Bjork Digital at Somerset House
    Photo credit: Nick Knight/Somerset House Press Office

    Where: Somerset House

    When: September 1-October 23, 2016

    How much? £15

    This otherworldly exhibition from the Icelandic icon brings together music, art and virtual technology. Set to tour Europe after debuting at Somerset House, this immersive show takes visitors to the highlands of Iceland, into inner space and even inside the singer's mouth via a series of virtual reality videos. The exhibition features four new VR videos from Björk's acclaimed album, Vulnicura, plus custom-made musical instruments and innovative apps.

  • 03 of 08

    London Fashion Weekend

    The Saatchi Gallery, London
    Photo credit: Laura Porter

    Where: Saatchi Gallery

    When: September 22-25, 2016

    How much? £16

    If you haven't scored a ticket for London Fashion Week (September 16-20), take a seat on the 'frow' at London Fashion Weekend instead. This fabulous event takes over the Saatchi Galley in west London and the line up features runway shows, pop-up shops, hair and beauty salons, panel discussions and talks from top fashion editors and stylists. SIBLING, J.JS Lee and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi will showcase their AW16 collections this year.

  • 04 of 08

    Picasso Portraits

    National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square
    Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery

    Where: National Portrait Gallery

    When: October 6, 2016-February 5, 2017

    How much? £17

    This major exhibition features over 80 artworks portraying Picasso's family, friends and lovers including posed portraits, witty caricatures, classic drawings and pieces inspired by Velazquez and Rembrandt. Many of the masterpieces are on loan from international institutions and are being displayed in the U.K. for the first time. It's the first large-scale exhibition devoted to his portraits since the Picasso and Portraiture show at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1996.

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  • 05 of 08

    Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery

    Science Museum, London
    Photo credit: Visit London/britainonview

    Where: The Science Museum

    When: From October 12, 2016

    How much? £8 (£6 children 4-16; free for under 3s)

    This brand-new interactive gallery aims to bring science to life through a series of hands-on exhibitions and live demonstration areas to showcase experiments about explosions and rockets. The space will feature a giant orrery (a mechanical model of the solar system) and seven different zones covering subjects like sound and light. Visitors will be able to request live experiments at the Chemistry Bar and test out interactive sound displays.

  • 06 of 08

    London Design Museum

    Design Museum
    Photo credit: Alex Morris Visualisation

    Where: Kensington High Street

    When: From November 24, 2016

    How much? Free to view the permanent collection. Some exhibitions may incur an additional fee

    The brand-new Design Museum will open its stylish doors at the end of November following an £83 million refurbishment of the Commonwealth Institute building on Kensington High Street. It will be three times the size of its current home in Shad Thames on the South Bank and will offer free entry to its permanent collection which celebrates contemporary design, from architecture and fashion to graphics and products.

  • 07 of 08

    Museums at Night

    Tate Britain at Night, London
    Photo credit: Visit London/britainonview

    Where: Various locations

    When: October 27-29, 2016

    How much? Many venues are free to enter but some special events incur an additional fee

    Explore some of London's top museums after dark at this bi-annual event that encourages attractions to throw open their doors to showcase their treasures in quirky ways. Highlights for 2016 include a Halloween tour of the Charles Dickens Museum, a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail at the Museum of the Order of St John and Regency food demonstrations at Keats House.

  • 08 of 08

    School of Rock the Musical

    School of Rock the Musical
    Photo credit: Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

    Where: New London Theatre, Drury Lane

    When: From October 24, 2016

    How much? From £30

    Based on the hit film of 2003, School of Rock the Musical hits London's West End in October direct from a successful run on Broadway. The Tony nominated musical features songs by Andrew Llyod Webber and tells the story of wannabe rock star Dewey Finn's transformation of a class of straight-A students into an ear-splitting rock band.