advertisement

In addition to being a great concert venue, the Royal Albert is also one of London’s great landmarks, and you don’t need a seat to enjoy it. Conceived by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert and opened in 1871, a decade after his death from typhoid (Vicky was so distraught that she didn’t speak at the opening ceremonies). You can take a 1-hour tour. The hall contains such oddities as Britain’s longest single-weave carpet (in the corridors), the Queen’s Box (still leased to the monarchy), and a spectacular glass dome (41m/135 ft. high and supported only at its rim). Be warned: You don’t go backstage (that’s for groups only). Some 320 performances a year are presented, many with less than 24 hours’ set-up time, and a flow of sightseers would be in the way.