Our Venue FAQs

Ri by night

Find out more about hosting an event in our elegant Mayfair venue. Get in touch with us today if you have any further questions about hosting your event. 

What is the Royal Institution?

The Royal Institution was formed in 1799 as a place where the public could hear the latest scientific discoveries, theories and inventions from leading scientists of the day. Throughout our history, world-changing science has been announced in our theatre, from the invention of photography to the discovery of the electron and the invention of the electric motor. Today, millions enjoy our talks in-person, on YouTube or on BBC TV, home of our Christmas Lectures.

Is the Royal Institution a Members' Club?

The Royal Institution is for everyone and is a public building and organisation to be enjoyed by all. We have been a Membership organisation since 1811. Membership is open to all, with no nomination or qualification required. Our Members and Patrons are our most loyal supporters and their generous support provides the financial foundation of our charitable work.

How do I get to the Ri?

By Tube

The closest tube station to the Royal Institution is Green Park on the Jubilee, Victoria and Piccadilly lines. The Royal Institution is a five minute walk from the station. Also within a ten minute walking distance is Piccadilly Circus tube station, on the Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines, or Oxford Circus tube station on the Victoria, Central and Bakerloo lines.

By Bus

There are numerous bus stops along Piccadilly which runs along the entrance to Albemarle Street.

Bus numbers: 9, 14, 19, 22 and 38

By Bicycle

There is parking for bicycles located around the corner from the Ri, on Bond Street.

By Car

Travelling to the Ri by car is inadvisable with  limited  parking available nearby. Please note that the Ri is located within the Congestion Charging zone.

Is there parking on-site?

There is no parking on Albemarle Street however there is parking nearby in surrounding areas of Mayfair. Please note that the Ri is located within the Congestion Charging zone.

For accessible parking near the institution you will find, four spaces for Blue Badge holders on Mayfair Place and three spaces for Blue Badge holders on Cork Street.

Is the building accessible?

The Royal Institution has two main entrances, both on Albemarle St. Both are accessible via double doors. All public areas are wheelchair accessible via the scenic lift in the Atrium where floor levels are announced.

The theatre can accommodate four wheelchair users.

Accessible and standard toilets are located on the ground floor in the reception area.

We welcome guide dogs and hearing dogs at the Royal Institution. Water bowls are available – please ask a member of staff. Induction loops also operate in the Theatre.

Is the building open to the public?

Yes our museum is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm, however it closes for special events or when hired exclusively.

Does the venue have security?

We are able to book dedicated SIA security staff for specific events on request. Get in touch with your event manager to find out more.

What is the maximum capacity of the venue?

Our maximum capacity across the venue for events is 400 people.

Is there a bar / restaurant in the building?

We do not have a public bar or restaurant on site at the Royal Institution, however we are able to offer full food and bar facilities. Our catering partner Searcys can also provide tailored seasonal menus for your event.

Is there any outside space with the venue?

There is no outdoor space at the Royal Institution.

Is it possible to film in the venue?

We are happy to have filming in the building however there are certain areas and artworks that are unfortunately not allowed to be filmed for copyright reasons

 All filming companies are required to fill out our location release form to film in the venue. Get in touch with your event manager to find out more about filming in the venue.