This surprising place is now London’s most popular attraction

When you think of London’s most popular tourist attractions, a familiar bunch of names likely come to mind. The National Gallery, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge… those sort of places. But did you know that there’s a new ‘most popular’ attraction in town?  

Well, there is. It’s called Outernet and it’s a visually-dazzling complex in the West End (right next to Tottenham Court Road tube, in fact). Outernet dubs itself an ‘immersive entertainment district’ and it includes two venues – HERE and The Lower Third – as well as massive, free-to-access screens.

According to Outernet, the hub has welcomed 6.25 million visitors since it opened just over a year ago in November 2022. And those are really impressive numbers, seeing it rank up among some of London’s most established and famous attractions. 

For comparison, Statista data put 2022 visitor numbers at the Natural History Museum (London’s most popular tourist attraction) at about 4.7 million. The second-most popular, the British Museum, apparently saw about 4.1 million visitors last year. Even bearing in mind that we’re comparing Outernet figures for a year-and-a-bit and others for just a year, the new attraction is still getting enough punters to rub shoulders with our capital’s most legendary tourist spots. 

And it’s easy to see why Outernet has proven so popular. From its wincingly bright, Insta-ready screens to its well-curated gig listings, the entertainment complex isn’t just flashy but actually pretty engaging. We particularly loved the recent Mixmag retrospective, which saw those ginormous screens plastered with over 40 years of legendary music mags.

Even being a little sceptical of Outernet’s visitor numbers, there’s no denying the place has become quite the hit. And we at Time Out are fans: after all it’s one of increasingly few central London places bucking the trend of going to bed early

Did you see that London is officially one of the best places to visit in the UK in 2024?

Plus: iconic east London queer venue The Glory is closing.

Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out London newsletter for the best of the city, straight to your inbox.