Southampton known as the cruise capital of Europe, it plays host to over four million visitors a year and boasts an impressive cultural offering, from museums, music venues and art galleries, to award winning parks and the general hustle and bustle of a diverse city with fantastic shopping facilities.Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New forest and its geography is influenced by the sea and rivers. The city, which is a unitary authority, has an estimated population of 253,651. The resident of Southampton is called a “Sotonian”.

The city lies at the northern tip of the Southampton Water, a deep water estuary, which is formed at the end of the last Ice Age.  Here, the rivers Test and Itchen converge. The Test which has salt marsh that makes it ideal for salmon fishing runs along the western edge of the city, while the Itchen splits Southampton in two east and west. The city center is located between the two rivers.

Culture, Media and Sports

Southampton is a cultural city with outstanding art galleries, magnificent theater, live music venues, festivals and art-based events.

Art Galleries: Southampton City Art Gallery is an internationally renowned regional gallery run by Southampton City Council and home to one of the

best publicly-owned collections in the UK outside London. The gallery provides a broad programme of exhibitions and activities throughout the year.

Music Venues: Southampton Guildhall is a multipurpose venue staging major rock, contemporary and classical music events by national touring acts. Turner Sims Concert Hall at the University of Southampton has a reputation for hosting a varied program including classical, world music and jazz.


Theatre: The Mayflower Theater is the largest theater in Southern England, regularly showing West End Shows, musicals, opera and ballet. The Nuffield Theater at the University of Southampton is equally renowned for the quality and varied program hosting Shakespeare to contemporary drama.

Film Fanatics : If film is your passion, then we recommend the multi-screen Odeon cinema at Leisure world, or Cine world cinema at Ocean Village for a brand new blockbuster. For a more intimate cinema experience, visit Harbor Lights Picture house cinema which overlooks Ocean Village marina. As well as a select few of the latest blockbusters, you will find a handful of independent and European films to enjoy.

Top 10 Attractions and Activities in Southampton

  • Southampton City Art Gallery
  • Tudor House and Garden
  • Sea City Museum
  • St Mary’s Stadium
  • Solent Sky Museum
  • Mayflower Theatre
  • Red Funnel Ferries
  • Speed Boats Tours
  • Steamship Shield hall
  • Hythe Ferry

Travelling to and from Southampton

One of Southampton’s great advantages is its convenient location on the south coast and impressive transport links. The city’s national and international travel links by road, rail, sea and air are unmatched in the region. Southampton is approx 75 miles from London and 21 miles from the Channel ports making it the ideal city break or a stop off point for cruise and airline passengers on their way to further afield.

Road: Southampton is a major UK port which has good transport links with the rest of the country. The M27 motorway, linking places along the south coast of England, runs just to the north of the city. The M3 motorway links the city to London and also, via a link to the A34 (part of the European route E05) at Winchester, with the Midlands and North. The M271 motorway is a spur of the M27, linking it with the Western Docks and city center. Check our fare to Southampton


Rail: Southampton is also served by the rail network, which is used both by freight services to and from the docks and passenger services as part of the national rail system. The main station in the city is Southampton Central. Rail routes run east towards Portsmouth, north to Winchester, the Midlands and London, and westwards to Bournemouth, Poole, Dorchester, Weymouth, Salisbury, Bristol and Cardiff.

Air: Southampton Airport is a regional airport located in the town of Eastleigh, just north of the city. It offers flights to UK and near European destinations, and is connected to the city by a frequent rail service from Southampton Airport Parkway railway station, and by bus services.

Bus: Buses now provide the majority of local public transport. The main bus operators are First Southampton, Bluestar, Xelabus and Wheelers. The other large service provider is the Unilink bus service (running from early in the morning to midnight), which was commissioned by the University of Southampton to provide transport from the university to the town.

Cruise shipping: Southampton’s tradition of luxury cruising began in the 1840s, one of the pioneers being P&O who advertised tours to Egypt. Many of the world’s largest cruise ships can regularly be seen in Southampton water, including record-breaking vessels from Royal Caribbean and Carnival Corporation & plc. The latter has headquarters in Southampton, with its brands including Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises and Cunard Line.


Whether you are visiting the city for the first time, on a return visit, on business with a few hours to spare, or you’re a resident wanting to find out more about the city, Southampton guarantees an enjoyable experience for everyone, of all ages and interests.