20 facts about London’s culture
Here are 20 of the many reasons why London is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world.
1. There are more than 32,000 music performances a year in London – 621 a week, 17% of which are free!
2. London has four UNESCO world heritage sites: Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace, Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
3. London has 40,000 listed buildings and over 150 ancient monuments.
4. London has 22 national museums and more than 200 other museums.
5. London has twelve specialist arts and culture Higher Education Institutes.
6. The new Wembley Stadium is the largest football stadium in the world.
7. London has cultural centres run by and dedicated to its Polish, Kurdish, Chinese, Romanian, Hungarian, Bengali, Jewish, Somali, Hindu, and Irish communities.
8. London’s 395 public libraries stock 17 million books.
9. Nearly a third of all the UK’s archives are in London. These include the National Archives, which provide an unbroken record of Britain's government from the 11th century to the present day.
10. 51% of Londoners visited a museum or gallery in the last twelve months, compared to 42% for the UK as a whole.
11. The Tate Modern is the world’s most popular modern art gallery.
12. It is estimated that 200 festivals take place in London every year.
13. Baishaki Mela – the Bengali New Year – is celebrated in Brick Lane and is the biggest Bengali celebration outside Bangladesh and West Bengal.
14. The London 2012
Olympic and Paralympic Games will require 70,000 volunteers.
15. The O2 Arena sold two million tickets in 2008 and hosted 140 events, making it the world's most popular music venue.
16. There are more than 900 bookshops in London – twice as many as New York.
17. There were 14,350 film “shooting days” in London in 2007, making it the third most filmed city in the world.
18. London has 105 cinemas and more than 500 cinema screens.
19. There are more than 17,000 theatrical performances per year, and more than 50 theatres in London’s West End.
20. Around 85% of the UK’s fashion designers are based in London.