Visit Shakespeare’s Globe in London

Stepping into Shakespeare’s Globe in London is like traveling back in time to the Elizabethan era, where the greatest playwright of all time, William Shakespeare, enchanted audiences with his timeless plays. Located on the South Bank of the River Thames in South East England, this iconic theater not only pays homage to Shakespeare’s genius but also serves as a living museum, educational space, and vibrant performance venue. Whether you’re a die-hard Shakespeare aficionado or simply curious about historical theaters, a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe offers an immersive glimpse into the world of Elizabethan drama.

A brief history

The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by Shakespeare’s playing company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Tragically, it burned down in 1613 during a performance of ‘Henry VIII’ when a theatrical cannon misfired and ignited the thatched roof. Rebuilt in 1614, it was eventually closed by the Puritans in 1642 and demolished shortly after. The modern reconstruction, located just a few hundred yards from its original site, opened to the public in 1997. Painstakingly recreated to resemble its predecessor as closely as possible, today’s Globe offers visitors an authentic taste of Elizabethan theater-going.

Why does Shakespeare's Globe use natural lighting during performances?

Shakespeare's Globe uses natural lighting during performances because it aims to recreate as authentically as possible how plays were originally staged during William Shakespeare's lifetime when artificial lighting was not available.

What to see and do

Shakespeare’s Globe isn’t just for watching plays; it’s an experience that engages all your senses. Take a guided tour and marvel at the open-air playhouse’s architecture – from its wooden O-shaped structure to its natural lighting and absence of microphones. Learn about the historical context of Shakespeare’s works and how performances were staged during his lifetime. Don’t miss visiting the exhibition beneath the theater for an interactive journey through Elizabethan London.

For those wishing to witness Shakespeare’s plays as they were meant to be seen – live – attending a performance is a must. With actors using traditional staging techniques under natural light (or candlelight for evening performances), it’s as close as one can get to experiencing theater exactly how audiences did over 400 years ago.

Educational opportunities

Beyond entertainment, Shakespeare’s Globe is deeply committed to education and making Shakespeare accessible to all ages. Workshops, lectures, and events are regularly held here, offering insights into both specific plays and broader topics related to Elizabethan culture and society. For students and educators alike, these programs provide invaluable resources for understanding not only Shakespeare’s texts but also their historical significance.

Practical information

Visiting Shakespeare’s Globe requires some planning. The theater operates seasonally for performances but tours are available year-round. Booking tickets in advance is highly recommended due to high demand, especially for popular plays or special events like ‘Midnight Matinees’. Remember that since it’s an open-air venue, weather can impact your visit – bringing layers or rain gear might be wise depending on when you go.

To enhance your visit further consider dining at Swan at The Globe before or after your tour or show; enjoying views over St Paul’s Cathedral while savoring British cuisine adds another layer of delight to your cultural outing.


  • Reconstruction of original Globe Theatre which burned down in 1613
  • Located near original site on London’s South Bank
  • Offers guided tours exploring Elizabethan theatre architecture and history
  • Hosts live performances under natural light or candlelight
  • Dedicated educational programs including workshops and lectures
  • Tours available year-round; performance season varies
  • Dining options available at Swan at The Globe with views over St Paul’s Cathedral

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