Arts and Culture

When it comes to arts and culture, Norwich punches above its weight.

With four independent theatres, three museums and one world-class museum of world-art at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich is a modern cultural hub.

For a compact city centre, Norwich offers a lot of culture. Museums and galleries  include: Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, The Museum of Norwich, Strangers’ Hall and The South Asia Collection at County & Eastern. The Castle is by far the largest with many wonderful collections however it also has five galleries displaying works from The Norwich School, and regular changing exhibitions. Over the years Norwich has attracted huge international names in the art world including Jeff Koons, Manet and Rembrandt.

Two miles from the city centre at the University of East Anglia find the world-renowned Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts which has an incredible collection of world art spanning 5,000 years as well as a series of changing exhibitions. There’s also a Sculpture Park. See works by Thomas Moore, Picasso, Degas, Antony Gormley, Francis Bacon, Giacometti and Degas. Entry to the permanent collection is free. No visit to Norwich is complete without a visit here.

Literature is close to our hearts too; we are England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. With a rich history of writers: Julian of Norwich, Thomas Browne and Anna Sewell to mention just a few. We also have the National Centre for Writing (the only one in the country) which opens its doors for events, online courses, festivals and workshops. Budding writer or one with more experience, this one’s for you.

Theatre and performance are a never-ending programme of entertainment. Norwich has 4 independent theatres: Norwich Theatre, The Playhouse, Norwich Puppet Theatre and The Garage. See opera, comedy, west-end musicals, plays, pantomime, live music, family entertainment and more.

Music plays a large part of culture in Norwich. Every genre is catered for at all of our theatres, in our talented street buskers, at the University of East Anglia, The Waterfront and Norwich Arts Centre. The latter three have an incredible history of live music. And if you have a penchant for classical music make sure you see a performance from Norwich Philharmonic and Norwich and Norfolk Chamber Music.

Festivals are a big part of the arts and culture scene in Norwich. With many annual festivals celebrating international arts, beer, science, literature, crime writing, architecture and history.

Annually in May, Norfolk & Norwich Festival is a 17-day international arts festival with a diverse and exciting programme. It attracts big names and is one of the oldest festivals in the country. In 2022 it celebrates 250 years.