Portsmouth has an amazing cultural offering, with magnificent theatres, live music venues, contemporary art galleries, two cathedrals, a rich literary heritage, galleries, nightclubs, events and festivals throughout the year.
Whatever your idea of culture is, we've got it covered. This section is packed with all the information that you could possibly need to find out what's in and around Portsmouth.
Museums and Attractions
With over a dozen museums, two cathedrals and a range of attractions and activities Portsmouth offers plenty to inspire and entertain you.
St John's R.C. Cathedral is located at the heart of the city, and is a beautiful building to visit and explore. St Thomas' Anglican Cathedral can be found in picturesque Old Portsmouth, with history dating back to the 12th century.
Portsmouth's world-class museums cover a wide range of topics, subjects and themes, including the city's literary heritage, maritime history and social history. The city is also home to the Richard Lancelyn Green bequest - the largest collection of items pertaining to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes in the world. More information on the collection can be found here.
The newly renovated Hotwalls Studios in Old Portsmouth is a thriving arts hub for Portsmouth. The arches at Point Battery have been transformed into sleek and modern studios - providing the city's up-and-coming makers, designers and artists with affordable bases. The studios have an open-door policy, so visitors are welcome to pop in and chat with the makers themselves, and potentially buy an item or two to take home.
Visit Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays, offering an outstanding exhibition programme featuring works by contemporary artists from around the world. Showcasing the latest in contemporary art, Aspex is also a great place to see Portsmouth’s freshest artistic talent. Portsmouth Museum’s fine and decorative art gallery has changing displays mixing paintings, prints, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, glass and textiles from over 500 years of artistic creation.
There's an ever-changing programme of art exhibitions across the city in theatres, community centres and outdoor areas.
Portsmouth has a lively music scene with a regular programme of classical music, rock, pop, folk, jazz, opera…the list goes on and on. From large venues like Portsmouth Guildhall and the Pyramids Centre to more intimate venues like the Wedgewood Rooms, there's something for everyone. Be sure to check out some of the brilliant Pompey-grown musical talent at any of the venues mentioned above, or catch them at one of the many music events and festivals that Portsmouth hosts each year.
If you’re looking for a night out on the town, then you're spoilt for choice in Portsmouth. Head to one of the multi-screen cinemas to catch the latest blockbuster, or visit No. 6 Cinema, located within the historic Boathouse Number 6 for the best independent and international cinema. Portsmouth Film Society hosts a summer-long programme of Outdoor Cinema across some of the city's best-loved venues.
You can dance the night away at many of the clubs and pubs across the city hosting top DJs and local legends! Guildhall Walk has a choice of fantastic clubs open until the early hours, and Albert Road has a wide range of pubs for all tastes.
Treat yourself to a night at the theatre. Portsmouth has two major theatres and a range of smaller venues plus an annual al fresco Shakespeare production in the grounds of Portsmouth Museum.
The Kings Theatre in Southsea is one of the most complete Matcham Theatres in the country and plays host to touring West End productions and a varied programme of opera, ballet, drama and music. The New Theatre Royal is a majestic venue in the heart of the city, home to cutting edge dance, theatre, drama, music and comedy. Groundlings Theatre is an exciting new arts venue in Portsmouth based in the stunning Beneficial School, offering some of the most unique and exciting shows in the city including themed murder mystery nights, dinner-theatre, cultural festivals and more.