Shakespeare’s Globe is one of Captain Ulysses’ favourites in London! Discover all his tips and recommendations to make the most of your visit! Follow the guide!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of London? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the capital. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!
Looking for a hotel in London? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in London? Advice & recommendations
Brief history of Shakespeare’s Globe in London
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Othello, MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet…: Shakespeare’s legacy is quite simply spectacular. Even though they are wonderful to read, Shakespeare’s plays are above all meant to be brought to life onstage.
In the sixteenth century, countless spectactors gathered to attend Shakespeare’s theatrical performances. Where exactly did they go? To the Globe Theatre of course! Well, that’s the theatre that went down in history as Shakespeare’s theatre, but that’s actually not where all the playwright’s representations were given.
The history of the Globe Theatre began in 1598, when the Theatre (yes… that theatre was simply called ‘the Theatre’), where Shakespeare staged his plays up to then, shut down. When the lease for the land on which the Theatre was built expired, the landlord claimed that the Theatre had become his property. Shakespeare’s company therefore secretly dismantled the Theatre while the landlord away, was celebrating Christmas, and rebuilt it on the South Bank of the Thames in Southwark: the Globe was born.
Shakespeare performed on the Globe’s stage some of his most emblematic plays, including Julius Caesar, Othello and Hamlet.
But, at the time, theatre was a risky business. On June 29, 1613, the Globe entirely burnt due to the misfiring of a theatrical cannon. It was rebuilt on the following year, but the Puritans ordered that it be shut down in 1642. Two years later, it was destroyed to make way for housing.
In 1997, a replica of the theatre opened its doors some 200 meters from the original location of the Globe. It was built using the same materials as those of the original construction.
Visiting Shakespeare’s Globe
Captain Ulysses absolutely recommends stopping by Shakespeare’s Globe while visiting London. The visit begins with a forty-minute guided tour on which visitors are told about the history of the theatre and its famous playwright, as well as the customs in Elizabethan England.
The guides are lovely, enthusiastic and happy to share their stories and anecdotes. Did you know for instance that in Shakespeare’s days, there was no set onstage? Spectators came to listen to the plays rather than see a proper performance.
After the guided tour, visitors are free to explore the permanent exhibition at their own pace. Costumes, props and accessories are displayed in windows, while boards explain how a theatre functioned in Shakespeare’s time.
In a word: Shakespeare’s Globe is definitely worth a visit.
Attending a theatrical performance
Shakespeare’s Globe is not simply a museum, it is also an actual theatre, where the playwright’s iconic works are still performed. Representations are given in the summertime (Shakespeare’s Globe is an open-air theatre): it is an incredible opportunity to dive right in the world of Elizabethan spectators at the time of Shakespeare!
You can chose whether you want to be standing (£5) or seated (£23) and book your tickets directly on the Globe’s website. Find out more here.
Getting to Shakespeare’s Globe in London
Shakespeare’s Globe is located on the Southern Bank of the Thames. It is easily accessible on foot or by subway.
The main subway stations in the area are:
- Mansion House
- London Bridge
- St Paul’s
You’ll also find bus stops near the theater, among which:
- Blackfriars bridge
- Mansion House
- Southwark Street
- Southwark Bridge Road
The hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses also stop near the Globe.
Tickets to Shakespeare’s Globe include access to the permanent exhibitions as well as a guided tour of the theatre. Prices range from £17.00 per person for an adult, to £10 for children, £15.50 for visitors over 60 and £13.50 for students. There’s also a family fare (£46).
👉 Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Guided Tour: to avoid queuing at the entrance, you can also book your ticket beforehand here.
👉 Shakespeare in London 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour: If you are passionate about Shakespeare and visiting the Globe is not enough to satisfy your insatiable curiosity, you can also book a 3 hour guided tour in the footsteps of famous playwright.
👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!
👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all the Captain’s suggestions in London!
🛏️ Accommodation: If you haven’t booked your accommodation in London yet, Captain Ulysses highly recommends Expedia. And for more tips and recommendations, check out the Captain’s detailed article: Where to stay in London?
🎟️ Activities: For your visits and activities in London, the Captain recomends checking out GetYourGuide, Civitatis and Tiqets. Skip-the-line tickets, cruises, guided tours, activities off the beaten tracks… You will undoubtedly find what everything you need… and more! Keep in mind that London is a very touristy city: if you want to avoid queuing for hours, skip-the-line tickets are great time savers!
🎫 Citypass : If you’re spending a few days in the capital, Captain Ulysse recommends investing in a city pass which will give you access to the most iconic monuments and attractions in London. There are 2 options: the London Explorer Pass and the London Pass (which also includes a 1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour.). These passes have 2 major advantages: the discounts and the skip-the-line accesses.
🚐 Transfers: London is a huge city and the airports are quite distant from the city centre. If you want to avoid spending hours in public transports to get to your hotel, you can book a transfer from the airport. A car will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you wherever you want in the city centre. Find out more here.
🚌 Transports: The capital being quite spread out, there’s no avoiding taking public transports. The good news is that they are quite easy to navigate! You can also opt for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour, which includes an audioguide and stops at the main attractions and monuments in the city.
✈️ Flights: To get to London, there are plenty of options: planes, buses, trains and even ferries. For your flights, the Captain highly recommends that checking out Skyscanner: you’ll be able to find the best deal for the dates on which you plan on traveling to London. If your dates are flexible, you will even be able to compare prices over several weeks in order to find THE best deal. London is also easily accessible by bus and train. To book your trips, the Captain warmly recommends Omio, which allows you to travel through 44 countries with 207 train and bus companies, including Eurostar.